Airlines I've Flown...
Second Part of Trip:
- United Airlines - I basically flew from SF - LA to visit some friends. Then I flew to Chicago to visit some more.
Then I flew from Chicago to London. Wonderful flight. But that is what happens when you splurge on a RTW
ticket on business class.
- EasyJet - I was a bit nervous about flying this airline. I didn't know what to expect...especially since I didn't
opt to pay for the 'Speedy Boarding' option. It wasn't a problem at all. All of the crew were very friendly. They
sell food and drinks on-board. The only thing to mention is that their seats don't recline.
- Aer Lingus - Another no-frills. I had to pay 5 Euros when booking online since I was going to be checking a
bag. Food and drinks are sold on-board.
- Ryan Air - Similar to EasyJet except it felt like there was less leg room. And there are no seat-back pockets to
store things in (probably good for me as I would be likely to forget a book doing this).
- British Airways - So nice to be on a non-budget airline and not have to pay for a beverage...and that includes
wine! We also got snacks on our way to/from Tunisia. I used them again to get to Dubrovnik. Once again, a
- Seven Air - A charter flight for Tunis Air. Extremely good smaller planes. They even served drinks.
- Croatian Airlines - I used them to fly to/from Zurich. They are part of Star Alliance. And I would get lucky
enough to be on flights that were nowhere near full. They gave snacks of sandwiches and really good
gingerbread-type of cookies. And words can't say enough about what I called my 'scenic flight' from Split to
- JAT (pronounced 'yat') - This is the Serbian airline that took me from Belgrade to Athens. It's important to
make sure the Serbian police stamp your passport when you arrive in the country. I didn't get this stamp and it
almost prevented me from being able to leave the country as it serves as the visa. The airline was good - they
gave a small snack and beverage service.
- Emirates - I am using them as part of my RTW ticket. And I sprung for business class. On the first leg of one
of my flights they even upgraded me to first class. The only difference I really saw, though, was that we got
slippers and noise-reducing headphones. The lounges are great. Especially when pulling an all-nighter - the
shower was a great way to wake up and not feel sick from the lack of sleep. I saw this as my last comfort for a
while before boarding my flight to India!
- SpiceJet - A budget airline in India. Good prices and a nice, easy flight. They have drinks and food to
purchase on-board. They hand out small bottles of water and little candies which is nice of them.
- Air Deccan - Another budget airline. We got a complimentary bottle of water though. My suitcase exceeded
the 15 kg allowance. But they were very nice and let the extra 5 kg slide with no fees.
- Vietnam Airlines - I was pleasantly surprised by the big 777 plane just to go from Saigon to Danang. Plus we
got a very simple and good snack.
- Air Asia - Beggers can't be choosers when doing the budget-airline thing.
- Mandala Air - An Indonesian airline that I was a bit nervous about. But it ended up being okay. It might have
had something to do with the prayers to God I did while onboard.
- Lion Air - Once again, another Indonesian airline. But it was actually a smooth flight. Always appreciated
after hearing how bad Indonesian airlines are.
- Berjaya Air - This was a charter flight to/from Tioman Island. It was pretty smooth, quick and had some
- Qantas - I flew them from Singapore to/from Perth. LOVED this airline and the planes and the entertainment
options. Six hours went by in the blink of an eye.
First Part of Trip:
- United Airlines - From SFO to London. Overnight flight with no free alcohol. Inexcusable. ;-)
- British Airways - From London to Istanbul. We left at 7am and there was free alcohol and a meal waiting for
us. Luckily, I didn't feel the need to put back any liquor that early in the morning. But had I wanted to, I could
have done so without reaching into my wallet.
- Turkish Airways - Short flights within Turkey. Gave us a very decent meal for our one-hour flights. Yes...I
did say meal.
- Middle East Airlines (MEA) - I used this airline for my 1.5 hour flight from Istanbul to Beirut. Every seat
had a video screen and a foot rest. We got a small lunch and mints upon arrival. (When checking in, the only
question I was asked was "Do you have an Israeli stamp in your passport?" Upon answering "No", I was sent on
my way with my boarding pass.)
- Sky Europe - This was a low-budget airline that I used from London to Krakow and from Split to Budapest. It
was great with a great in-flight magazine. Food and drinks are all available at a cost. This is more-than-okay due
to the cheap ticket prices! Very nice and very efficient flights.
- South African Airways - If it is possible to be in love with an airline, then I'm in love with this one. The crew
was as sweet as could be. I had my own television. They gave us little bags filled with masks, socks and
toothbrush/toothpaste. And we were given a menu...in economy class! The options were oh-so-gourmet, too.
Props to SAA!
- Kulula Airlines - This is a South African airline that we flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Our flight was
about $70 - this is one of their low-cost airlines. It is sort of like a Southwest but with reserved seats. The flight
attendants use dry, sarcastic humor over the intercom. It made me laugh. Also, drinks need to be purchased.
Flying with them was problem-free.
- Air Seychelles - The flight was pretty empty considering there is only one flight per week from Johannesburg.
Worked nicely for me since I got my own row. At the beginning of the flight they handed out little maps of the
four main islands of Seychelles for everybody. So nice! They have an in-flight magazine that is extremely
informative about all things Seychelles. Especially since I did not do any reading up before getting on the plane.
- Lufthansa - Sadly, I was not on a South African Airways flight going to Frankfurt from Jo'Burg. It was
Lufthansa and while they were nice, it was just not the same experience as on SAA. All in all, it was good...
especially since they found some gummy bears for me (that they give to the kiddies) when I got a sweet tooth in
the middle of the flight.
- Sri Lankan Airlines - This is the airline I flew to the Maldives. The flight was uneventful...which is good,
right? I had a layover in Colombo. Each flight was less than two hours and they served a meal on each.
- Emirates - This is the airline I flew from the Maldives to Sri Lanka. Oh...my...gosh. I looooooved this airline!
Our flight was only a bit over one hour but it should say something that I really was wishing that it was a four or
five hour flight. The small meal was simple and excellent - the way it should be. I got to watch tv and read up on
Dubai in their in-flight magazine.
- Kingfisher Airlines - I flew this airline from Mumbai to Kerala and from Kerala to Delhi. It is one of the
Indian low-cost carriers. The planes are great - each seat has its own television screen. The service and food are
also great. In addition, they give all of the passengers a little goodie bag type-of-thing with earphones, a wet
wipe, some candy, a nice pen and a menu of what they are going to serve on the plane.
- Indian Airlines - I was pleasantly surprised by this airline. I used them to fly from Delhi to Kathmandu. They
gave us washrags to refresh ourselves, candy and a meal for a flight that was just over one hour.
- Buddha Air - This is the airline I flew on for my mountain flight over Mt. Everest. It was a small 19-seater. We
were given a little piece of candy in the beginning of the flight. Then as we were passing Mt. Everest the flight
attendant pointed it out to each of us individually and gave us all the opportunity to see it from the cockpit as
well. We all received a certificate at the end of the flight.
- Aeroflot - Holy Soviet nightmare! The plane vibrated before we took off. There was no movie for a seven hour
flight. There were no overhead baggage compartments in the center aisle of the plane. There was no beverage
service for the last six hours of the flight. The domestic flight wasn't as bad...though the unused seats all
collapse forward upon landing. I will say that they were extremely nice in their Mumbai offices when I needed
to change the date of my flight.
- Hainan Airlines - I flew this airline from Beijing to Guilin. I got a very reasonable flight ($110) when booking
from my hotel in Beijing. The plane was a single-class plane. But there was lunch served. Very basic but no
- China Eastern - Very similar to Hainan except for that there was a first-class cabin and the planes seemed
newer. A great budget airline to use for domestic flights within China.
- Air China - All of these airlines are beginning to feel the same. Nothing stood out for being great or poor. So all
around, it was a good experience. Got us to where we needed to go. The standard 'rice or noodles' for lunch.
- Shanghai Airlines - They brought everyone hot cloth towels at the beginning of the flight. Nice touch. The
hot portion of the lunch was fair but they gave lots of packaged snacks, as well, which were easy to carry along
since I wasn't very hungry on the flight. There was a lot of space underneath the seats for my bags.
- Singapore Airlines - Wonderful! The on-board entertainment is fabulous. I actually wished my flight was
longer to take advantage of all of the great movies they offered. They also had fab soundtracks - even my
favorite from the Bollywood flick I saw in India!
- Jet Star - To be honest, I was half-asleep when I boarded this flight after pulling an all-nighter at the Singapore
airport. But I remember everyone being very nice and even 'showing' you to your seat much like ushers do at
the theater. They don't, however, allow outside food on-board. I'm guessing this is because they sell food on-
board? I wouldn't know since I was sleeping...
- Air Asia - This is a version of Southwest. There are no seat assignments. This gave me the kick in the butt that I
needed to get in line early. I was the leader of the pack and was first in line. I would have been the first person
on the plane if they didn't give the honors to the little kiddies and their families. That didn't matter as I still got
my aisle seat and was seated next to an adorable munchkin. As for the airline, there is soda that is sold as well as
some snacks. But the airline is very cheap so I had absolutely no problem with this.
- Thai Airways - We used this airline to fly around Thailand. It was good. Nothing special. But that's a good
thing, right? We got a little snack on board which was nice of them. The configuration of the plane was also 2-4-2
so my sister and I didn't have to worry about getting stuck next to some big, smelly person. We were our own
- Pacific Airlines - This was a great budget way to get in between cities in Vietnam for really cheap. I used them
for Danang to Ho Chi Minh City ($58 vs. $35 for an 18-hour train ride). It was a one hour flight and they served
little bottles of Aquafina. Before I knew it, I was in HCMC!
- Tiger Airways - This airline had open seating. But once on the plane, the seats were great. The planes were in
very good condition. However, they don't let you bring on outside food or drinks (I got in a bit of trouble when
they saw my soda can).
- Virgin Blue - This is the main low-price airline in Australia. It's basically no-frills. You have to pay for food
and beverages. But they do provide music if you have headsets (or you can pay for them).
- Air New Zealand - The crew was very nice and accommodating. The food was fair and so was the
- Delta Airlines - I flew this airline to Buenos Aires. It was okay. The plane was an older one which left a little
something to be desired. The domestic flight to Atlanta was good as they are one of the few U.S. airlines that still
- Aerolineas - I flew this airline from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Very old planes. The flight was one of the most
turbulent I have ever been on. Gotta give it up to the pilot for getting me there!
- LAN Chile - I flew this to/from Easter Island from Santiago. Good airline (in the One World alliance) but don't
expect to actually watch the movie on the flights (as the screen is almost impossible to see from the majority of
- StarPeru - A basic airline that I flew from Cusco to Lima. Provided beverages and a snack for the one-hour
flight. Very smooth. Non-eventful which is always good. And loads better than sitting in a bus for 30 hours!
- TAME - (Pronounced 'Tah-Meh') This is Ecuador's national airline. The plane was basic but there was good
service and the snack was actually very good for the 1 1/2 hour flight to the Galapagos.
- Copa Airlines - I used this airline for my flight from Ecuador to Brazil. They are in the OnePass alliance (with
Continental). I was more than pleased (I am sure the Tootsie Roll in the snack pack had a lot to do with that)!
- Tam Airlines - The airline we used to fly throughout Brazil. They provided the basics which was nice.