Ladies and Gentlemen

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Welcoming face

It’s been a while since I’ve flown South African Airways (SAA). The onboard staff were very warm and welcoming, and lucky me, I had three seats to myself to lie back and relax. The experience felt though as if I was stepping back in time. From the aircraft itself, as well as to the onboard experience. Many of the announcements were introduced with the term ‘Ladies and Gentleman’, I can’t recall how other airlines address the passengers. It just kept on sounding very odd. What was more odd though, was the announcement that the plane was refueling – after we were already in the air. The arm rest next to me had a missing silver button, with only a button hole appearing where the button should be. And the pillows, whilst bearing clean paper covers, were re-used. I know this because I thought to look under the cover (should these covers be taken off?). And the one I looked under bore old stains (coffee? blood?). I took a pic to share as this is a story like – if there isn’t a picture it wasn’t so:

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Can you see it?

The inflight entertainment system was also rather dated. The interface looking like it was state of the art somewhere in the 1980s (I did manage half of the Intern until the entertainment system was switched off for descent). And all electronic systems (including mobile phones) to be switched off ‘completely regardless of their mode’. Because why?

Apart from all of that, the flight felt strangely familiar. This is the airline of my youth. The inflight magazine is the same brand as the one I used to read when I flew jhb to Cape Town many times. The cabin crew all South African, and hey, I am going ‘home’.

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