With so many airlines to consider I am hard-pressed to choose just one favourite, be it domestic or international, so I thought I would jot down my top few that impress me for various reasons, and a few that we use for Gold Travel that our corporates favour…
LOCAL IS LEKKER
My go-to airline for short jaunts and that “before the birds are up” flight would be SAA. Whilst not the least expensive, they are on time and have many flight times to choose from, so you can make that business trip to Johannesburg or Durban in a day, and still be on time for dinner with the family by 19h00.
Kulula appeals to my sense of humour – I know, after the fifth emergency briefing you know what’s coming but it still never fails to crack me up, just a little. If it’s purely value for money you are after, then Kulula (or Mango) is the way to go, and the flight attendants are usually super-friendly too, which makes up for the cramped quarters. Yeah, the food isn’t stellar but that chicken roll does fill the spot, if you’ve remembered your 20 bucks, after a long, coffee-fueled day of business meetings.
FOR THE LONG HAUL
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to international airlines so it will all depend on what you are looking for – be it price, air hostesses, the seats, dining or rewards programmes….
I’ll start with Emirates Airlines– reasonable ticket pricing, extra baggage allowance, lots of leg room, great food (with real cutlery), and experienced, friendly flight attendants. And did I mention loads of destinations to choose from….
Connections – what used to be exclusive to business & first class passengers is now available to economy class passengers too with wi-fi & telephone services available at reasonable prices, which means that I can still get my Facebook fix, google my destination and WhatsApp my kids to say goodnight.
Talking about destinations, did you know that the food served onboard is determined by the region/country you’re flying to, so you get to learn about the country before you land! Truth be told, this is true of all international airlines, but it is cool, right?
Qatar Airways is another world-leading airline but only if you can get a flight, they are that popular and have more than a few awards under their belt. The aircraft are new and spotlessly clean. They have great baggage allowance so your wife (and daughters) can lug their entire wardrobe for ‘just in case’. The food is outstanding and the air hostesses are beautifully groomed and friendly. With awards for best staff service, best rewards program, world’s best business class, best first class lounge, you’d best make that booking!
Otherwise, Gold Travel uses Turkish Airlines a lot because of their many destinations, the huge airport, good connection times and pricing very competitive with Emirates. The business class lounge in Istanbul is amazing – and when you fly business class you get a chef on board, for real!
I believe Singapore Airlines has just launched premier economy – but we haven’t tried it out yet and we have found that the British Airways and Emirates business rewards programs suit our corporates better.
So, whatever the reason for flying with a certain airline, be it for business or pleasure, we all have our favourites and, let’s face it, we are more than a little spoilt for choice.