ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

It’s a long way back to Melbourne from our cosmopolitan desert port city and one person who knows that well is Rex Airlines flight attendant Tracey Mulgrave.

The nation’s alternate airline, Rex, is famous for its country roots and associated hospitality that comes with it. Not as straight-laced as Qantas but not yet a weird try-hard, foreign-owned carrier like Virgin.

“It’s the poor man’s SkyTrans or the rich man’s AeroPelican,” explained one frequent Rex traveller, Clyde Roy AO.

“While they don’t have the automatic pancake machine of the Qantas Lounge or the complimentary toe sucking that Virgin offer in their lounges, Rex has a fridge full of cold piss and a few packets of chips lying about, like you’ve just arrived in your mate’s shed ready to watch the footy. Although, you can’t just walk outside and piss on the ground like you can in your mate’s shed, they make you piss in a toilet in the Rex Lounge,”

“But yeah, it’s pretty laid back flying on Rex. When you thank the pilots on other airlines, they stoically nod and smile. On Rex, the last pilot punched me in the arm and said, ‘No worries, you big horse’s hoof! Piece of piss!” and told me my personalised July luggage was ‘fucken cool’. You don’t get that on Virgin or Qantas, they pretend they’re not just 4D bus drivers.”

Mr Roy, a renown molecular geneticist, told The Advocate that as the plane slipped silently into New South Wales, it ticked over to 5pm shortly after the gentlemanly, 3:45pm takeoff time.

“The hostie got up after the seatbelt sign went off and asked anyone if they had a lighter,” said Mr Roy.

“One bloke put his hand up and she came up the aisle and lit a smoke. She told us it was 5 o’clock and that, ‘Mummy’s lungry’, which I understand is a portmanteau of ‘hungry’ and ‘lung’ – that one’s lungs are hungry for smoke. She lit her smoke and went back to her seat for a scroll on Instagram while we were still close enough to the ground to get reception. She just asked on the floor and stomped into the carpet, like my Grandad did on his moleskins,”

“This is a proper country airline. I love it.”

More to come.


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