I remember flying from Riyadh to Manama back in the day and on hearing the captain over the PA I realised he was an old school pal of mine who was working with Gulf Air. I told a sceptical flight attended to tell Capt. XX I was onboard and I was summoned to the flight deck and stayed there for the flight (the old Lockheed L1011s had a lot of space at the sharp end). I remember him saying, as he lit up a fag, that the big benefit of being up front was you could smoke. I guess the pilot above felt the same.
I win’t go into how my pal misrepresented over the air where we were to Bahrain ATC to avoid queuing behind long haul inbounds.