Diamond Life: Hitting skies with high rollers

2012-07-24 13:48

There’s something to be said for flying with the aviation big cheese.

It was my first time not having to show my ID at the airport in order to get my ticket at Lanseria on Friday but I wasn’t about to complain.

My middle name always makes me cringe and for some reason, the airport staff always feels the need to call it out.

I was invited to come and check out Kulula’s “ridiculously posh new Boeing” as they put it, alongside others you don’t normally see on budget flights, like Comair CEO Erik Venter.

The brand new Boeing 737-800’s maiden flight was scheduled for a day trip to the Mother City for lunch, as one does.

The fun part of the whole thing was watching the priceless look on the paying passengers’ faces when they were met by a marching band, a green carpet and a welcome banner as they boarded the flight.

It was only when they were on the plane that they realised it was a special occasion.

The airline pulled out all the stops, offering passengers some bubbly to go with the three-course meal served on real crockery by flight attendants dressed in tuxedos with green bow-ties and white gloves.

Throughout the flight, there was entertainment in the form of a comedian masquerading as a flight attendant and an opera singer and violin player.

When we landed, there were Kulula staff clapping and shouting out “congratulations” to guests as if they had just performed a miracle.

Once we left the airport, they shuttled us off to The Ritz restaurant to continue the festivities.

The restaurant kept revolving so that you could get a different view every time you looked outside to the grey skies of the city.

I loved the idea of the 360-degree view restaurant but I still maintain that the restaurant could use some major decor overhaul.

I felt like I was trapped in the bad interiors of the 70s, which kind of steals the joy away from the food experience.

Venter mentioned that Kulula would be investing R2.5 billion in its new fleet over the next four years.
The flight we were on is just one of the first of its seven fuel-efficient next-generation aircraft that will arrive in Mzansi from Seattle in the US.

To be honest, I was secretly rolling my eyes at all the fuss about this one plane until our trip back when we flew on one of the old ones with the sponge seats – not leather like the new one.

Good thing we were rolling with the Comair CEO because after that heavy lunch, I was not in the mood for airport queues.

I’ll admit to not being much of a fan of the airline – even though their funny adverts rock – but after trying out that one, I might give it another go.

However, I’ll have to wait until there’s more of them because what are the chances of always flying on the new single, lonesome one?

Not many.

» Follow me on Twitter @Mokgads. Follow City Press: @City_Press

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