New York

Astounding Airline


First, a picture I forgot to include with the khat post. That’s khat in his cheek, in his hands, and behind him in the bags.

Okay, Yemenia airlines continues to astound. My reservation was bumped again (see earlier entry on this), but I pleaded my way back on this morning’s flight to Cairo. The drive to the airport was eerie; it’s the first day of Ramadan, and I literally saw six other cars during the whole 35-minute drive. Likewise, check-in was quick, and the cafeteria was operating normally. Nescafe. Then another. We finally boarded the bus that takes you to the plane, and instead of stopping by the staircase that leads to the plane door, we swung around to the other side, where they load the luggage. We all stepped off, picked our suitcases of the tarmac, and placed them on the conveyor belt. Not far away, four mechanics appeared to be putting a spare tire on the 737.

I didn’t pay too much attention to this, because an Egyptian man behind me kept screaming about his lost bag — really, he was quite hysterical, and all the Yemenis looked a bit embarrassed for him — but he sorted it out, and just continued on loudly in the seat behind me during the flight. We passed the holy city of Mecca on the way, and at this point the pilot disengaged the autopilot, I guess, and made a couple of passes around the city so everyone could get a better view.

I also saw the Suez Canal (“The Ditch” to policymakers) for the first time, which is really, really long.


Archive Highlights