Old fashioned seat, no usb to charge my phone, battery went ;off and couldn't make a call to my family to assure them of a half way safe trip while stopping over for almost 6 hours in Ataturk Intl. Airport, Turkey.
Boarding was easy. clean plane, crew was very friendly. I was very concerned though, when we banked left and did a complete circle in the air. An explanation from the captain would have been terrific. I made sure I was the last one to leave the plane and asked him about it when I saw him at the exit. He told me what happened but I would have liked to know while it was happening. Besides that, the coke and pretzels were divine. :)
I generally am biased in favor of SAA, because they have better legroom, they provide blankets and pillows for the long haul and the cabin crew is acceptable.
First, I had ordered Hindu Meal; the caterer in NY does not seem to know what that means. I had some colored rice with a spiced tomato suce, with no vegetable or anything else in it at all; a Hindu meal can comprise meats other than beef and pork; and there was chicken on the regualr menu - they did not have to make me special meal.
They gave a small meal (to every one), not realising that the stretch between that and the breakfast is over 10 hours; to their credit, there was some food - bare minimum - available for the picking up.
The crew looked tired (or "lazy"); they served the two meals well, and then virtually were not around, except for a water and sandwich round. I do not expect them to be serving hands and foot, but in other airlines, I have enjoyed better.
The entertainment offering was lmited, in the Asian segment, to some chinese offering, but very little, if any from the Indian subcontinent. There is an over one billion population in that region and they are travelling more.
SAA is trying to expand: I think they can, but these little kinks need to be removed; there are more people with special food needs in the world today than in the past.
These are not complaints; I took the time to write so SAA can do better, and create a position for itself in the world of aviation.
The service provided by the airline crew was magnificent. I enjoyed the entire flight from my departure point to the arrival point. Turkish Airline is my to go airline herein henceforth. I will implore prospective travelers to give the airline a shot (try). I can unequivocally attest that the decision to do so will not be regretted.
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