REVIEW | My first flight ever was with an all-female flight crew to Cape Town. Here's how it went

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How my first flight experience was VIP standard. Image writer's own
How my first flight experience was VIP standard. Image writer's own
  • I've been to Cape Town before but never on a plane so, I was nervous to take my first flight ever.
  • This was an all-female crew flight with South African Airways to celebrate the end of Women's Month.
  • Apart from the turbulent landing in Cape Town, this was certainly a memorable experience.

When it comes to manifestations, I must admit, I'm a bit of a sceptic - but that was until one of my old manifestations came true. A couple of years ago, I was sitting in my bedroom having an imaginative interview with Oprah Winfrey. She was the interviewer, and I (a seven-time Grammy and Emmy-winner and billionaire, Futhi Masilela) was the interviewee.

In the interview, she asked me when my first flight was, to which I responded, 'some years ago, and it was a work trip'. Fast forward to 30 August 2022, and it actually happened as I imagined. I got to fly to Cape Town from Johannesburg on an all-female flight crew on South African Airways, celebrating the end of women's month.

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The flight was scheduled to leave at 08h05, but I arrived at the O.R Tambo International Airport at 06h30 as the invitation stated. As expected, I was nervous on the way to the airport, not necessarily because I'd never flown before, but because being at the airport gave me anxiety.

The thought of walking around trying to find my check-in counter, getting my boarding pass and going to the plane gave me heart palpitations. For one, I have a bad sense of direction and always seem to get lost in the most obvious places. Two, I watched too many Airport Security episodes, so I freaked myself out.

Luckily, the PR lady Cheryl Hunter gave me simple directions, and it was easy to find her at the check-in counter. We waited a while for the other media companies' journalists to arrive, and once they did, one news anchor had an interview with CCM, Heidi Vandekeere, for her live segment.

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Once the interview was over, we headed back to the check-in counter to get our boarding passes and off to the big plane we went. I walked in on the plane thinking, 'this is really happening', and I headed straight to find my seat number, then I realised I didn't film the iconic moment of walking into the plane so, I got up and asked someone to take the video.

You know, nothing serious, I'm just walking in, and I'm about to have breakfast in the sky (schmug schmug schmug). I had to take my bag and coat to make it even more believable, okay.

The rest of the passengers followed in, and the pilot made announcements and walked us through safety instructions. We put on our safety belts, and the plane started moving around the runway and eventually took off.

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I told the girl sitting to my right that this plane was going really high, and she responded saying, "we're not even high yet; it's still going high until it's straight and we can take off our seat belts".

I had a moment of panic but eventually we reached the highest point, and the air hostess started walking around with the food trolley asking if we'll be having breakfast and giving us options to choose from. I got an omelette and sausage with veggies; it looked too tiny for my liking, but it was surprisingly filling. I had it with juice and some yoghurt, and they also started handing out cupcakes with a note that said, "Thank you for flying SAA."

They also handed out red roses to all the women on the flight. I took a nap and woke up as we descended. The winds were so strong I thought, "this is how it starts, then you know what happens." Luckily we landed safely. We clapped for the crew, and all the passengers got off. Then we met the female captain Zeenat Safi.

After that, the flight had to return immediately, and we were moved to a 15h10 flight back to Johannesburg, so we had time to kill until then. What better way to do so than lounging at the South African Airways Premium Lounge? The views from the lounge were spectacular, and the food was for VIP guests like myself. It also had an open bar. I, of course, am a wine lover, and since my own body doesn't produce it, I had two glasses of Anura Merlot.

Those two glasses were enough, I got a little buzzed, and when I looked at the back of the bottle, I realised it was 15%, and I usually have 14% because I thought that was the highest percentage of wine, but boy, was I wrong. I had a full meal that included rice, tomato gravy, chicken and some greens. The time came for us to board and head back to Johannesburg, so we did.

On the flight back, they served burgers, and this time around, with the option to have some wine. I had enough already, so instead, I opted for water. My nerves were better this time around because I had done it before.

It's safe to say I conquered my fear of flying, and hey - be delusional and have conversations with yourself. Things might just happen for you - manifest it, as everyone calls it.

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