Encore: Fly me up, fly me down

Encore: Fly me up, fly me down

Hands up if you have flown with a domestic airline lately – one that serves food as part of your fare? Well, that would basically boil down to British Airways and of course SAA – our beloved national carrier. Now I know we are all in a depression (oops, Freudian slip)…I meant a recession – even people’s hair seems to be following suit! Be that as it may, back to the airline and to the food (or lack thereof) they serve.
I remember a time when a lunch time flight served lunch…airplane food, but lunch none the less, with cutlery! Okay, let me take a few steps back for a second. I know we are not supposed to reminisce about the good old days of Apartheid – let alone the good ol’ days when one could still afford things like flying, or even the gooder (sic) ol’ days when you were not blatantly being robbed as a consumer.

I suppose in the context of flying that would still be the case for those flying Business Class or First Class. The rest of us – the plebs sitting like sardines in the economy class will just have to suck it up I guess.
Firstly let’s look at the low cost airlines – or the not so “low cost” of late I hear from reliable sources. The Mangos and the Kululas are apparently not so cheap anymore – and then you still have to buy your food on-board! So, whenever we fly for work purposes we ask not to be booked on Mango or Kulula if it can be helped.
So we usually fly SAA. At least we get food! And as “ghiemba” (a slang word for “greedy” for the uninitiated) as I might come off, it is still something I enjoy on an aircraft. Gary doesn’t care one way or the other since he is still on his blood group diet.

So usually if it is a nice snack I might have two! However, the “snack” they serve these days is no longer the lovely snack box (that is in itself the downgrade from the lunch)…it is now only a “wrap”. “I have a chicken or a vegetarian wrap today, sir,” says the hostess (or is it flight attendant?
I hear the word “hostess” has now become synonymous with a strip club or a brothel or something. This is only hearsay, so don’t quote me, please).
And, after she makes that statement – not asking me whether I would like either one of the two on offer, but rather turns it into a statement, I almost want to say: “I am happy for you, my dear. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person!”

I notice of late that the “wrap” in question has now also been downgraded to what can only be described as “half-a-wrap” – a very tiny two-bite “thing” that is as dry as the Namib.
The “wrap” is nothing but thick paper – and not even in a pretty colour – just a plain ol’ pale white, like manila, and it tastes like it looks. It tastes like nothing, really. Bread and bread rolls at least have a taste – and they were slightly more sizeable. Love that word sizeable. Just another way for food lovers to say bigger and more filling! With this “wrap” they serve a cracker or a “dessert” – too cute! A “dessert” that is literally nothing but a spoonful of sugar (I guess to help the medicine go down?).

Now I am not saying bring back that dreaded Apartheid (heaven forbid) or the good ol’ days or that we should let them know that we may not be happy (or am I the only unhappy camper?), or, or…and I am certainly not saying that when I fly to Johannesburg for just shy of two hours I am expecting a gourmet three- or five course meal.
All I am saying is when you offer me a snack (that I am paying for) then give me what I am paying for…that is all.
And of course this has become the norm – we pay and pay for things, and we are being cheated out of so much in the name of the recession…or is it really? I don’t see the rich getting any poorer. Just saying…

Rafiek@mweb.co.za