Even when there were a dozen Concordes in operation, people still said There's Concorde when she flew overhead, not There's a Concorde. It's as if she's so special, we can't think of her as merely one of a fleet.

Both British and French governments also always viewed her as special, as shown by the arrangements they made to show her off at events like the Golden Jubilee fly-past:

I always wanted to fly on her, but of course the cost was always a big barrier. However, the crash was a real wake-up call. For quite some time, nobody knew if she would ever get her airworthiness certificate back, and I was kicking myself that the chance may have gone forever.

When she started flying again, I knew I'd regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't do it, so it shot to the top of the priority list. Fortunately, my girlfriend of the time didn't take much persuasion, and we were able to get a good deal, so we decided to make it a once-in-a-lifetime treat and do it in style.

We thus booked Concorde to New York and combined it with a stay at the Waldorf-Astoria.

British Airways took advantage of the grounded period to do a complete refit. The most notable change was to the seats. Designed by Terence Conran and finished in dark blue handstitched Connolly leather, and costing £8000 each, they changed the interior look from this:

to this:

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