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dimanche 27 mars 2016


Cartographic projections, our planet Earth as a globe and Mercator projection are all imprinted in our brain, with regard to our concept of where places are and geography in general.
Recently I left on a Round The World flight: USA to Hong Kong/Kuala Lumpur in Asia to London in Europe, back to Miami. It does look like a simple continuous westward journey but following the flight path, I realized that there are shorter ways of reaching the orient than go west, in fact it was shorter to go east to reach west! No wonder, poor Cristobal Colon was confused!

On the way out of the USA west to Hong Kong, It was not the polar route I remembered, but we were flying "east?" over Gaspe Peninsula and then skirting Greenland. In fact this is the route taken to fly to Europe. But this flight kept on a steady direction flying to the north of Russia and entering China as if the flight made a turn south and landed in Hong Kong.

Companions on this long flight. The service on board on this Cathay Pacific Airlines Flight was just superb!

From Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur the service on the Cathay Pacific Flight was once again superior.

The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Abu Dhabi was on Etihad Airways and the service was good. The service from Abu Dhabi to London on an Airbus 380 was at best mediocre. I dont wish to sound incorrect, but the Asian Flight attendants whether male or female were much better than the European flight attendants( even if both worked for Etihad)
But give any of the above airlines anyday compared to USA based airlines where the service is non existent and the Flight attendants are annoyed if you are to request something from them, and the major portion of the flight, they are reading, on internet or playing sudoku. The average age difference between the US based Flight Attendants and Asian based Flight attendants is at least 20 years...and that is a long time  to be doing this work that needs constant enthusiasm, energy and stamina.

Champagne served, not in flutes but in tumblers? oy veh! reflected the disinterested look in the face of the Flight Attendants.
such lacklustre performance by USA based airlines, probably due to the fact there is no competition whatsoever and where investors take priority over the passenger (but their 10 million dollar salaried CEOs will complain non stop about Etihad and its CEO Peter Hogan, an aussie or the verbose HE Akbar al Baker of the Qatar airways). 
No USA based airline can boast of service comparable to the Gulf or Asia based airlines. It comes as no surprise. The five biggest US fund managers collecting own about 17 per cent of BOTH American Airlines and Delta Airlines. 
To avoid the grumpy service, I still enjoy flying, and not just think of getting from point A to point B, my next overseas flights would be on Etihad to Asia and back on Cathay Pacific; and I am willing to fly to Bogota so that I can enjoy civilized service on Avianca to Madrid rather than take a USA based airline from Miami.
The moral of the story is, if you enjoy flying, whether you think the world is flat as in a Mercator projection or round as in a globe, fly an Asia based airline or a Gulf based airline, even if you have to go to a third country to reach your destination.