Home is where you feel you belong and for me that started the minute I set foot on the Tokyo bound flight this summer. My excited bunch of 2 kids aged 4 and 9 have already decided in their head that Emirates is the best airline to fly with. With their name printed meals, an inflight Santa to distribute gifts round the year and mid-night on-spot photo prints, I too do tend to sometimes imagine taking Emirates for New Zealand or South Africa. That is plain crazy of course.
My experience with most other airlines has been a mixed bag. Even the most reputed ones seem to discount basic ingredients-courtesy for Indian travelers. I wouldn’t blame them much as we are to introspect ourselves first as to why we jump the queue, donot switch off our mobile phones in time or watch a movie on our personal tablets with speakers on. But that discussion is for another day.
So this summer, we were on a 9 hour flight to Tokyo and I was overwhelmed with the hospitality and respect offered by the airlines staff. Like I avoid drinking anything cold for the fear of landing up with a sore throat. So the air hostess was quick to offer coffee, tea and lemon tea which you can say is usual. But I was still a NO so she said “Japanese Green tea?” Who can refuse that now! I was all Aweee.
Or for that matter just the wide spread of food, there were 11 variants being served, one being Veg-Hindu meal! Mind you this is economy and not business class that we are talking about. Every preference was meticulously planned and taken care of! Read this now, the dal and bhindi frywere served separately in cupcake liners so that they don’t smudge and lose flavor!
We had the most noise-free sleep that night. Next morning, I woke up to the aroma of one of the best masala chai. I kid you not, it felt so good! You know what I mean if you are a tea-addict yourself. When they offered to bring me tea, which by the way they call “Chai-tea”, I expected a bland dip-dip tea bag. But no, it was masala chai, so palatable just like our desi milk laden sugary chai. What more can you ask for! The above tell you enough about how polite and thoughtful the entire crew was.
Though the only thing I would have liked better was to have some desi entertainment like Bollywood movies or songs on the in-flight entertainment system. Not that I am a big fan of Bollywood movies on flight but that day I happened to read a news snippet on Nirja in the Bombay Times and I has sort of made up my mind to catch the movie on the overnight flight.
We landed fresh, well fed and before time on the impeccably clean Tokyo Narita airport but that story is for another day!
Signing off now, Sayonara.
Image Coutsey : TechCrunch