Airlines We’ve Known

by Marilyn on March 7, 2014

It’s Friday. Friday means different things in different parts of the world. For some of us, Friday is our day of worship. How well I remember Scotch Presbyterians arguing that “One could never worship on a Friday” when Pakistan changed its weekend to Friday and Saturday.  A year later said Scots were worshiping on a Friday.

For others Friday signifies the start of the weekend where all things feel possible. At least for the middle-class among us.

Still others close out their weekend with Fridays, rushing to finish tasks that will remain undone until the next weekend if we don’t get to them.

So in the spirit of this start or end of a weekend we offer something fun today.

A chance to rate your favorite airline.


I flew before I walked and can’t count the number of flights I’ve taken, or airlines and airports I have had the privilege to meet. At the risk of sounding annoying and “remembering the good old days”, when it comes to airlines, it was the good old days.

When I was tiny international flights often included overnights in major cities world-wide at the cost of the airline. All inclusive packages with meals and transportation vouchers to and from the airport were the norm. In-flight meals, drinks and toys were complimentary and we even got little wing pins to proudly place on shirts or jackets that said “Fly the Friendly Skies.“ Extra baggage didn’t come at an exorbitant fee and you could often talk your way out of the cost through smiles and thanks.

So in “Airlines We’ve Known” we want to hear from you: what airlines do you recommend and why? What airlines do you avoid like a plague?

To start us off I vote for Swiss. With their hot towels to refresh you in economy class and their attention to detail and comfort, even with a delayed plane, they rise to the top.  A stop in Zürich, particularly if you have young children, is a treat as the airport has a fully equipped play room/nursery with a special room just for babies. Memories of hours in that nursery remind me that it saved us from what could have been miserable times of waiting by gates during long lay overs – we owe this airport our sanity. A close runner-up could be British Airways as I have always had lovely flights on British Air.

Virgin Air gives a cheap but uncomfortable flight to London, and if you are patient you can usually find British Air tickets for almost the same price. I have heard that Singapore Air could probably get a world-wide award for the best airline (which I tend to believe as the efficiency in Singapore is legendary) but I can’t speak from experience on the airline. Lufthansa could be up there as a competitor, though not winner, and after our recent trip to Egypt, we would swear by the Egypt Air New York/Cairo Nonstop flight.

I’ve been told that Iceland Air is the bottom of the barrel internationally so I will not be swayed by their cheap prices, realizing I will pay the cost some other way (like having to make sure of change in my pocket in order to use the bathroom). I assure you I am not being dramatic – Ryan Air out of Ireland I’ve been told does have a “pay when you go” policy on using the loo. You may be able to change my mind on that if you’ve got a good story or review.

So what about the airlines you’ve known? Who gets the awards from your experience? Would love to have you weigh in – Favorite Airlines, Worst airlines, Worst airline stories – we want to hear it all!


Image credit: forestpath / 123RF Stock Photo


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About Marilyn

An adult third culture kid, Marilyn grew up in Pakistan and then raised her own 5 third culture kids in Pakistan and Egypt. She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts 15 minutes from the international terminal. She works with underserved, minority communities as a public health nurse and flies to the Middle East & Pakistan as often as possible. She is the author of Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging and you can find her blogging at Communicating Across Boundaries.

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