Saturday, 21 August 2010
Tell it like it is.
I mentioned the 'no frills' approach of Ryanair the other day (How to reduce the gap, Aug. 18th) and a friend of mine in the airline industry now tells me that Kulula, an African airline, has taken it even further. Their aeroplanes have all the important features such as wings, doors and engines clearly labelled so that they can dispense with engineers and stewardesses and the passengers can more or less look after the aircraft themselves.
Just joking. In fact it is a very respected airline with an excellent record and a great sense of humour. When their pilots and crew make jokes over the PA system the management congratulates them instead of suspending them, as would probably happen in USA or UK.
A few examples will illustrate this refreshing approach:
Flight attendant 'To operate the seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle and pull it tight. It works just like any other seat belt and if you have difficulty with this you probably shouldn't be travelling alone'.
'In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one child, pick your favourite'.
'In the event of an emergency landing over water, your seat cushions can be used for flotation. Please feel free to paddle ashore and keep them with our compliments'.
Captain (on a flight with rather senior hostesses): 'Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached out cruising altitude and will now be turning down the cabin lights to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants'.
After a bumpy landing in a thunder-storm, a voice came over the loudspeaker 'Whoa, big fella, WHOA!'
After this the flight attendant announced, 'Please take care when opening your overhead lockers as after a landing like that, sure as hell, everything will have shifted'.
This relaxed approach can have its drawbacks though, like the time when the captain was giving his usual soothing announcement over the intercom.
'....the weather is good and we anticipate a smooth and uneventful flight to Cape Town, arriving at approximately JESUS CHRIST, HOLY SH*T, ...OW, ..OOH'.... and the plane went into a steep nose dive, banking to the left.
After a few moments the plane straightened up and resumed a stable course and the captain said.
'So sorry, ladies and gentlemen. While I was talking to you the flight attendant brought in my hot coffee and spilt it into my lap. You should just see the front of my trousers.'
At which a passenger shouted out 'That's nothing, you should see the back of mine!'