JVB travels: happy cabin crews… Smile Emirates and Air Canada

As you know, I’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling this month. My trip to Turkey was fantastic. Everything worked out just perfectly, the people were great and it was just such a jol. I then turned thirty and to mark the occasion I decided to spoil myself, by booking a trip to New York City (the place that has completely captured my heart and soul). I also have a dear friend, who is based in Toronto, Canada. So I decided to hop across the border and come and see her… Add another stamp to the passport, another city and country to the ‘traveled to’ list. Blessed beyond words.

I will share a lot more about my experience of both cities in another post – I’m fresh into Toronto and I’m heading back to NYC next week, so more to come. For now that I want to talk about one interesting aspect I’ve noticed along the route of my travels. Air hosts/ hostesses can really make or break your flight experience.

I flew To New York using Emirates, which is hands down one of the best airlines out there. There’s a lot of space in the cabins, the food is good and the in-flight entertainment is fantastic too. After a long stop in Dubai (never again), some five hundred people boarded the A380 en route to NYC. What an amazing plane, gosh but the flight was extremely long. That is inevitable because it’s a transatlantic flight, so one merely has to suck it up, but just be prepared for that folks. I’ve always found the Emirates cabin crew very friendly and accommodating, but on board the A380 they weren’t that nice. In fact, I found one in particular air hostess to be extremely rude and snappy. I asked her for some fruit during the flight and she gave me the “urgh, sigh” sort of expression. Short of her throwing the apple at me, I was a bit astounded by her attitude. She did it to a few other people too and I really wasn’t impressed. I had a similar experience on board my Air Canada flight earlier. And those air hostesses were worse than the Emirates one. Could it be a break down in communication because of the language barrier? Maybe, but bottom line is, they chose to be in the service industry so they must just be strong, put smiles on their dials and make sure they do their job happily. Yes, we all have bad days, but unfortunately the customer service industry employees should always bring their a-game, especially when it comes to flying.

I do still enjoy flying Emirates, but sometimes experiences like this are bad enough to make you change. Hence the reason I don’t actively choose to fly South African Airways anymore. Have you ever had a great/ terrible experience with the airline crews? Who do you rate?

Traveling to Turkey – we’re here

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We left Jozi a little after 7pm last night. Once we were in the air, I decided to get acquainted with my surroundings i.e. my inflight entertainment. The entire offering on board Turkish Airlines is really great. In their blockbusters section, they’ve got some of the movies that haven’t even reached our shores yet – always a perk of flying internationally. In addition to the blockbusters, the airline offers a20140903-081625.jpg comprehensive library of other movies across all the major genres (comedy, action, drama). This isn’t a new feature, but it’s always a bonus to have a wide range to choose from. And that’s just the movies section. There’s a TV bouquet, a very awesome audio bouquet and of course the games section – Tetris had me hooked for a good hour 😉

The food on board was great. Usually the chicken breasts are tough and dry, but this one was delicious, as was the salmon and yes the sweet treat too. I snacked on dinner while watching Divergent, which is a really good films by the way. One down side, the basin I one of the restrooms wasn’t working – found out the hard way with all the soap in hand. The air host didn’t seem to understand me, so I thought at 30 000 feet, there want much I could do anyway. I didn’t have the most restful night sleep, but who does on a plane really? Hey, the plane got me to Turkey in one piece and it was comfortable for the nine hour journey, so that’s what counts.
After a long wait for our luggage and drawing money, we made our way to The Cinar Hotel. Thank goodness for an early check in – ain’t nobody got time for smelly plane folks. It’s always nice to have some time to get to know the people you’re traveling with and sharing this with and that was done over breakfast and sunrise over the sea. A great start indeed. We’ve got some downtime now and then we’re off to explore the city, humidity and all. More of my traveling to Turkey to come.