I’m on the plane in one of those seats where the flight attendant sits directly facing you while you takeoff. The guy next to me is an uber-frequent-flyer and knows the woman. She knows the names of his kids, etc. They get to talking about how they had to kick sixty people off the plane. (Coach-class natch)
Why you ask? Well because due to unusually heavy jet stream headwinds our flight plan is 14 hours and we needed to make more room for jet fuel and less people or else we don’t make it all the way to Tokyo (the stopover). And occasionally they figure out half way “oops we aren’t going to make it” and make a stop in Anchorage Alaska to top off the tank before heading on.
These stories are quaint when you are in a little twin prop plane and you need to readjust the fat people on the jaunt over to Nantucket, but on a 747-400 it seems a lot more serious. The captain made some remark about 370,000 pounds of fuel. Can that be right? I’ll have to check when I get some internet access.