My little brother will be visiting me at the end of the month, it will be his time leaving South Africa and his first long distance flight. The poor guy is a little nervous as it is his first time and also because he is a self proclaimed nervous flyer.
He booked his flight via Kenyan Airways and I could not resist the opportunity to troll him. So I wrote the following “article” and posted it to our family whatsApp group, pretending that it was written by a writer for the New Yorker.
Hahahaha read the following article by Menno Hermes from the New Yorker 🤣😂😂:
My flight on Kenyan Airways was exciting to say the least, from faulty air compressors to spoilt chicken served from paint cans, Kenyan Airways certainly kept me on my toes.
My flight from Cape Town to Dubai via Nairobi was scheduled to last twelve hours with a quick stopover in Nairobi, this was not the case as I ended up arriving in Dubai three days later, after spending no less than thirty-two hours in the air and another thirty something hours in Nairobi.
The first warning sign was the price, flights are like tattoos, be weary if when they cost almost $200 less than the nearest competition. If this is the case one has to ask oneself why and even more importantly, how?
Both of these questions were swiftly answered minutes after checking in to the flight.
Most airports provide a shuttle service if one’s terminal is located a certain distance away from the check in counter but not Kenyan Airways, we were put on what in South Africa they call a “local taxi”, a decrepit vehicle running on mercy alone, and once at the airplane we were each expected to pay a couple of dollars for this “service”.
The taxi driver’s driving had my stomach turning, and I had not even set foot in an airplane.
From the outside, the airplane looked no different to any other major airline, the green and red logo was actually comforting but upon entering the plane, I knew that this was not going to be like any other flight I had taken before.
Normally the Boeing 737 is able to seat six people per row with the isle in the middle but on this particular flight, they managed to squeeze in an additional two seats per row, increasing the seating capacity from six to eight. It has to be noted that when selecting my seat, it did not reflect this overloaded seating arrangement, which in turn, led to people standing around confused, not knowing on which seat to sit.
Not unlike in the “taxi” to the airplane, an air host started whistling and shouting directions, slowly ushering passengers to their seats, it was amazing how proficient he was, especially since in his left hand he was mercilessly gripping a living chicken.
Once everyone was seated instead of being given the usual safety instructions, we were immediately asked to fasten our seatbelts as the seatbelt light did not work, in fact the only indication that we were taking off was the engines roaring to life and the airplane starting to slowly inch forward.
In a matter of seconds, we were building up speed and takeoff had commenced, in that moment the air compressors gave out, causing all the oxygen masks to fall from their overhead storage, immediately causing airplane wide panic and anxiety.
The passengers erupted in cries and panic as we were unsure whether we were taking off or plummeting back to earth. With that said, in a minute or two the atmosphere subsided as we had completed takeoff and were safely at a climbing altitude.
All things considered the takeoff was very smooth and once in the air the passengers seemed to calm down and the air hostess assisted people with storing their air compressors again.
Just when I thought that my travel experience was about to normalise, the air hosts started hawking products, each sold an array of crisps, beers, soft drinks and chocolates and they all seemed to compete with each other, shouting out prices, specials, combinations and products names.
I bought a Black Label and a pack of crisps, retailing for ten dollars, daylight robbery by any standard but after haggling with several air hosts, this was the lowest anyone would go.
Watching people haggling and bargaining certainly made up for the lack of inflight entertainment, where the small screen normally is, there was an ash tray, confirming my suspicion that this roaring beast comes straight out of the seventies.
The additional seats made the seating arrangement uncomfortable to say the least, I was in the unfortunate disposition to be squeezed in between an American bodybuilder who considered the use of the arm rest as his sole right and an African woman who probably had flown Kenyan Airways before thus bringing her own KFC family bucket.
The faint smell of chicken and gasoline permeated through the airplane as an air hostess pushed a trolley with a large drum, plates and cutlery through the isle. The old joke regarding airplane food is that the air hostess would shout “beef” or “chicken” but in this case it was chicken or nothing.
I opted to try the chicken as my diet of beer and crisps were not going to sustain me for another seven hours, I would greatly regret this decision especially upon finding out that the only working lavatory did not have a working lock.
The boiled chicken was bland, cold and tasted slightly of paint which was expected as the drum from which it was served very closely resembled a large fifty litre paint can but there was no way to definitely confirm this suspicion as the sides were blackened from cooking over an open flame.
I munched half way through a chicken leg and to my horror discovered that it was in fact still raw, to the disgust of my neighbouring passengers I choked up a bit of chicken, who both were wise enough to refrain from the onboard meal. I immediately ceased eating but the effect of the salmonella seemed to be instant, I could immediately hear and feel my stomach bubbling as it attempted to digest the partially cooked chicken.
Incidentally at this time the turbulence also started, and this was not your run of the mill regular rain storm turbulence, if this was an earthquake it would have registered an 9.5 on the richer scale.
Evidently there was no need for an seat belt light as everybody immediately buckled up when the airplane started plummeting, ascending and then plummeting some more.
Upon looking out past Mr. America out the window, I realised the absence of any clouds whatsoever, and this made the entire situation all the more alarming.