Not sure if this is what you were looking for, but here goes anyway.
I don't have the reg, so I can't post a pic, but I shall never forget arriving at the gate at LHR
back in 1989 or so and seeing the Air India B742 that would be flying me, my mother and my cousin to JFK
on the transatlantic leg of a trip to visit family in North Carolina. The thing was a mess - paint peeling all over the place, and what looked like numerous patches on the wings. It didn't help that it was parked next to an immaculate Qantas 747 that looked like it was making its first ever flight that day. This also happened to be the first time that the cousin I was travelling with had ever flown, so I was keen to keep her away from the window so that she didn't see what she was getting herself into!
Had I been travelling alone, I may well have considered turning round and going home, but I didn't, and we boarded the plane only to find that the inside wasn't too confidence-inspiring either! Granted, our flight was a continuation of a flight from India (Delhi I think), but it looked like it hadn't been cleaned for a week. Anyway, we made it into the air (with my cousin close to tears and shaking like a leaf and my mum wondering how I had managed to persuade her to fly AI
..."It was cheap" I kept saying!) and they started the IFE. However, we then found that the audio channels on our bank of seats weren't working, so no sound for us. Later on came a trip to the 'little boys room' - well, I like to paddle, but in the sea, not in other people's bodily fluids, although some may argue that it's the same thing!! I was so glad when we "touched the ground at JFK
" (and it wasn't even a "cold and wet December day")!!
I don't mean to bash AI
in any way, I've read some good things about them lately (and I did experience them in 1989), but this was the only time in all the years I've flown that I've seriously considered not boarding an aircraft because of how it looked.
[Edited 2005-10-11 22:16:05]
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb