The Roaring Twenties. Mr Thomas was a successful American journalist who had often been in aeroplanes before.
He had had a fairly interesting Great War, hanging out with some of the coolest characters around:
He was pretty cool himself:
Money was no object. The newspapers would pay for exciting tales of those crazy new European 'airlines' that didn't just carry mail - they also took 'passengers'! Who knows? Maybe the US will have some too, someday...
'Okay, Thomas,' said the Ed, pushing back his eyeshade and chewing on yet another cigar, 'Sure money ain't no object. But everyone 'ready knows you're some kinda war-hero-daredevil-Rickenbacker-type character. You been in an airplane and you got shot at by the Red Baron, then you ain't afraid to fly them newfangled Briddish 'n' Dutch air-liner machines. And where's the female angle? Thomas, I'll tell you whats; Whats is, you can go, but you gotta take your Mrs, just to show it's safe for the Goils too. Geddit?'
After a great deal of argument (and a not ungenerous diamond mining visit to Tiffanys), Mrs T was finally persuaded to come to the Old World too. At least there would be London and Paris, plus the fun of the luxurious cruise over the Pond in the Mauretania. But where to begin on those European Airways?
Having spent so much time with Lawrence and Allenby in the War, Mr Thomas (unlike most Americans in the 1920s) was remarkably pro-British. So our old friend, romantic Croydon was the obvious place to start:
Shall we follow their adventures through the magic of Golden Wings?
Unbelievably, they did go in winter! Some of the scenery, especially in the north, might prove attractive, quite apart from the funny old aeroplanes we'll travel in...