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Friday, August 27, 2010

Welcome to the funny skies

"Flying. Whatever any other organism has been able to do man should surely be able to do also, though he may go a different way about it." ~ Samuel Butler ~

A little over a year ago, I wrote the post, “Welcome to the Friendly Skies Again,” which featured Southwest Airlines and their “unique corporate culture” that allows employees to be themselves and have fun, which ultimately translates into happier and less stressed out passengers.

At the time, I thought nothing could top Southwest’s YouTube sensation, the “Rapping Flight Attendant” or their on-board “toilet paper races.”

Well, I was wrong.

The other day I received a hysterical email that opened my eyes to another budget airline; this one headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa – Kulula Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Comair Limited.

Kulula goes way over the top making passengers smile with their brightly colored Boeing 737 aircraft fleet, which is promoted as “Flying 101,” and includes painted text that points out various under-the-skin aircraft components.

I had to grin when I took a closer look at the forward left cockpit area designated with an arrow pointing to “the big cheese” – this is where the captain sits.

In the email I received, there were reported samples of Kulula’s in-flight announcements, which said, “Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight safety lecture and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported.”

I have to tell you I laughed quite hard as I read them, but was skeptical that many of these one-liners were the product of someone’s over active humor gland, so I did some sleuthing and found the smoking gun, which is in the YouTube video at the end of this article.

For airline stories/jokes, these are some of the best in the business.

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, 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 will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing, the stewardess said, "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."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 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 in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell 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 seats 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."

(From the 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."

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the 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. Finally, everyone had gotten off except for an elderly lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."

Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."

Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

A plane was taking off from Durban Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOODNESS!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger then yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!”

NOW… if you think these were not for real – check out this video.

Have a great weekend, and keep smiling. Laughter is always the best medicine for anything that ails you.


arlee bird said...

Somebody needs to make flying fun again because lately with all of the added charges it ain't so funny. This must be the only airline with a staff of comedy writers.

Tossing It Out

Jo said...

Oh, Paula, that's wonderful. I detest flying, so I would love to fly on an airline like that.

A friend of mine was a senior captain for Air Canada. His flight was between Vancouver and Tokyo, and one day as he was flying back to Vancouver, he took the passengers for a "tour" of the town on Vancouver Island where he grew up. He showed them his high school, his house, etc. The people in the town were phoning the police, saying there was a fully loaded 747 in trouble over Port Alberni. *heh* When my friend got back to Vancouver, he was suspended for six months. But the passengers loved it. He always reassured people by saying, "Don't worry about flying with me; I have never left anyone up there yet..."

Paula Slade said...

Lee - You're right - somebody does need to make flying more fun. It's not only all the extra fees involved in flying but the whole ordeal of just getting through security. It certainly takes the "romance" out of air travel.

Jo - I would love to try Kulula and keep my video camera running the entire time.

What a great story about your friend, the senior captain for Air Canada. Gosh, if he had been working for Kulula or Southwest they probably would have given him a raise. Your friend has a marvelous sense of humor. Thanks for sharing that wonderful story.