Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Qatar Airways (somewhere between the U.S. and the Philippines)

Flying to the Philippines from the States is no picnic. The flight paths for most U.S.-based carriers involve connecting flights to hubs in the Midwest or West Coast to a long layover in Japan and finally Manila, the capital. We hoped going the other direction on Qatar Airways would offer a modicum of comfort for the 30 hour journey, like say on Emirates to Australia. Sadly, this was not the case.

What we did get was an aging plane, an unnavigable menu, an unintelligible crew, and not one, but two crying babies (!) like some natal rendition of dueling banjos on repeat for the duration of the 16 hour leg. Relief - if you can call it that - came in the form of babies quieting to the dulcet tones of "Wheels on the Bus" blaring from an iPad.

In our exhausted states, we could only laugh at a still questionable exchange with the cabin crew.

Chinese (?) flight attendant: Something to eat? Sandwich cheese or cereal?
Rich: Cereal, please.
[Result: A granola bar.]
Flight attendant:  Sandwich cheese or cereal?
Arabic seatmate and me: Cheese sandwich.
Flight attendant: No cheese. Here is sandwich. Sandwich tuna. TU-NA.
Arabic guy and me: Ok.
[Me opening package, careful examination of sandwich.]
[Arabic guy opening and carefully examining sandwich.]
Arabic guy to me: This is not tuna.
Me: No, it's not. I think it's eggplant.
Arabic guy: Yes, I think so. Eggplant.
[Careful munching of eggplant - no cheese or tuna - sandwiches.]

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