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Concorde and the celebrity set

Concorde London fly-past
Royal celebrations over London.

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(CNN) -- At $10,000 for a return trip, Concorde has always been the plane of the rich and famous.

Despite the tight seating plan and noise, its champagne appeal with Beluga caviar, smoked salmon and lobster for the inflight meal, never wavered for its committed travellers, including royals, especially from Arab nations, CEOs and showbiz stars.

And although all the seats are one class, the most prestigious passengers could always be seen in rows one, two and three, said CNN correspondent Richard Quest.

"Towards the back of the plane you get the once-in-a-lifetime passengers, usually behind the middle toilet."

In 1985, pop star Phil Collins flew Concorde so he could perform at both Live Aid concerts in the UK and U.S., in London and Philadelphia, on the same day.

And during the Millennium celebrations in London, a Concorde was given permission to fly just several hundred feet above the River Thames .

A Concorde also led a fly-past over London for Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebrations in June 2002.

Rock star Sting was among the VIPs to toast the return of Concorde in November 2001, after flights were grounded for more than a year following the Paris crash.

But singer Diana Ross had a less satisfying experience when she was arrested and escorted off the plane at London's Heathrow Airport in September 1999.

She was preparing to fly to New York when she was detained for five hours by police in connection with an alleged assault on a female airport security officer. She was freed after a police caution.


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