My long-term memory is rather blemished when it comes to mentally cataloguing my travels. One time I sailed for six hours to another country, the whole time thinking how I couldn’t WAIT to sink my teeth into the place for the first time. Imagine my bewilderment as I disembarked the boat and immediately recognized my surroundings. Not only had I already been there, I had rented a scooter with which I perilously traversed the entire city, had witnessed one of the prettiest sunsets ever, and had eaten fresh seafood on the sand while laughing the night away with locals. What the h-e-double hockey stick, brain?! Another time, I was convinced I had already traveled to Ushuaia until I recognized not one of the hundreds of pictures my friend had taken there. This blog helps me document my travels punctually and therefore accurately, but there’s one thing that still proves problematic for me. Airlines. I struggle in differentiating between those I adore and those I’d like to see fall off the face of the planet. Naturally, this cognitive haze results in my repetitively flying with the latter, and I think it’s high time for this madness to end. This entry will serve as a running list of honorable airlines, along with those that may or may not be the devil incarnate. I can revisit this post before booking my flights in order to outsmart my piss-poor memory. I’m not sure why this idea didn’t occur to me sooner.
Let’s start with the bad news.
Delta– John Mulaney helps me remember this horrendous airline with the following comedic skit:
US Airways– I think this airline’s employees were bred on a different (read: inferior) planet, one where the urbane acts of popping your gum, dropping the f-bomb within earshot of customers, and throwing luggage are rewarded.
Iberia– No in-flight entertainment? AWESOME! I guess I’ll just sit here for 15 hours and listen to this overweight man next to me snore.
?– There’s another airline that charges for carry-on luggage.
Me: “Let me get this straight. You’re going to charge me for packing light? What kind of jackassery is this?”
Does anyone remember which airline this is so I can add it to my blacklist?
As for pleasant experiences I’ve had, these are the ones that I vividly recall:
Air Canada– Their baggage fee for your second checked bag is inordinate (70 dollars), which in my mind annuls the “free” first bag they allow. However, Canadians are nicer than Americans (I’m allowed to say this since I’m American), and Air Canada’s customer service is responsive and quick. If you can travel with just one suitcase, you’re set.
Emirates– On most flights, there are no charges for baggage. Their attendants are diverse not just in their ads, but also in real life:
They speak innumerable languages, and their uniforms are ethnic and polished. If I had that gauze dangling from my hat, I would probably get my arm stuck in it, causing me to spill multiple beverages on passengers. Not these ladies, though! I respect that. Additionally, something about their bright white teeth and contoured eyebrows soothes me, and the meals they serve are plentiful and sophisticated, complete with fruit reductions and foreign spices. Also, Emirates planes are spacious and their entertainment is appreciable.
Etihad– Fresh baba ghanoush? Thai red bean coconut pudding? Complimentary wine and cappuccinos? This airline’s meal options seem endless, and I could honestly live on their planes. The seats are ergonomically-designed, and their foreign film selection made me feel like I was at a film festival. They allow two checked bags for free, and they graciously refer to their passengers as guests. Each of my flights with them epitomized comfort and class. Added bonus: they have a theme song that sounds like a Disney tune. In it, they call you beautiful and you can’t help but believe they are telling you the truth. Do I have this lil’ ditty memorized? Sure do!
Virgin America– I’m not a morning person, yet sometimes I forget to look at flight times when I’m booking. At 5am, I groggily approached the Virgin America counter to check in for a flight to CA. Their counter was illuminated with pink and purple lights and Ke$ha was playing in the background. Feeling like I just entered a dance club made me forget the fact that I hadn’t eaten breakfast, that my hair wasn’t exactly brushed, and that I was an idiot for booking the first flight. It only got better from there. Their safety video was hilarious, and gently mocked people who need instructions for securing a seat belt. I LOLed at least five times. The flight attendants were equally satirical. When we were about to land, one attendant announced, “Your luggage will be at Baggage Claim “B” for Botox (since we are in L.A. after all).” I couldn’t get enough of their snarky humor. While I didn’t love their baggage charges or a la carte amenities, I would still rank this airline high, as laughing is my favorite and Virgin’s seats are comfy.
I’ll lengthen this list as more airlines delight or disappoint me. In the meantime, shall we make a pact to only travel on these worthy lines with hopes that the others will vanish? I’m in if you are!
Question for you: Which airlines do you/do you not frequent and why? Funny anecdotes are entirely welcome!
Header photo from www.emirates.com