CHARLOTTE, NC: Kulula Airlines of Africa joins the airline personnel who try to deescalate the tensions of flying with humor. From the planes appearance to the good natured flight professionals, its all a good laugh, really.
Old time travelers, and travel writers in particular, often yearn for the Golden Age of travel when getting to their destination was as much a part of the adventure as the journey itself. Even baby-boomers can recall days when flying was considered an elegant experience. Passengers actually dressed up when they flew and service was first-class, even in coach.
Today flying is, more often than not, nothing more than a hassle for most people, who must deal with long security lines, minimal in-flight services, delays and just about any other inconvenience imaginable. Modern day air travel is rather like being on a flying Trailways bus with wings.
Once in a while someone sends an e-mail that just needs to be shared. A couple of days ago, a good friend and fellow traveler sent me a message that anyone who has flown in recent years cannot read without laughing out laugh out loud. The story has to do with a low budget “no-frills” South African airline which began operations in July 2001.
What makes Kulula Airlines so unique is not that, despite its low fares, it doesn’t take itself so seriously that it has lost its sense of humor. An Afrikaner version of Southwest before.
Advertising Faux Pas?
In 2010, the Kulula Airline Website was forced by FIFA, the international sanctioning body for soccer, to stop an advertising campaign describing itself as the “Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What”, which took place “Not next year, not last year, but somewhere in between.”
The reference, of course, was to the World Cup soccer championship when South Africa was the host country.
Travel’s halcyon days have disappeared with the dodo bird and the dinosaursyoutube.com
In a day and age when the world could use a heavy dose of laughter and a lot less political correctness, it’s refreshing to find a company that enjoys doing business, even if it may only be a perception. Even their planes bring a smile.
Africa’s Kulula Airlines lime green planes:
As a service to trivia fans, frustrated airline travelers and people who just like to laugh, Myth Trivia happily brings you some actual in-flight announcements that have been attributed to flight attendants, pilots and crew members of Kulula Airlines. Enjoy.
On one of Africa’s Kulula Airlines flight , (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want), passengers were having a difficult time choosing their seats, when a flight attendant announced,
“People, people, we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”
On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and we will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
Upon landing, one attendant announces,
“Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”
Africa’s Kulula Airlines in-flight safety comment,
“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only four ways out of this airplane. “
“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker:
“Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”
After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms, a Kalula flight attendant announced,
“Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as heck everything has shifted.”
From a Kulula employee:
“Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”
“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 traveling with you secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”
“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”
“Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”
“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
And from a pilot during his welcome message:
“Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”
Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town:
The flight attendant came on the intercom and said,
“That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you, it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”
Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”
Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing:
“We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”
And finally, one pilot wrote that on one of his flights he had hammered his plane into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door as passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline:” He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.
After everyone had deplaned except for a little old lady walking with a cane, she said to the captain as she was leaving, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question, “Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?”
At which point the little old lady asked, “Did we land, or were we shot down?
Thank goodness for senior citizens and businesses like Kulula Airlines.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor iss an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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