Monday, April 13, 2009

Travel 25/3/09 (2) – Amsterdam

Having convinced the security guy our electronics were our own, we could finally get to see the plane. Although we booked our tickets with KLM, the flight was operated by NWA (who I am always disappointed isn't owned by rappers and doesn't stand for Niceguyz With Altitude (or whatever their name was)). And although the flight was operated by NWA, the plane was emblazoned with "Delta."

This all seams confusing until you realise that Delta now owns NWA and all three are members of something called SkyTeam, which to me sounds like a 1950s superhero collective.


From More's Uncyclopaedia, the free uncyclopaedia
The three main members of SkyTeam were Kite-Like Man, Negro With Altitude and Delta, who - along with Aero Mexico, the flying Mexican; the clumsy Russian superhero, Aeroflot; and the seductive Alitalia - fought crime and generally made the skies safe until the mid 1970s when the comic series was stopped after allegations of racism.

The plane saying Delta was a disappointment to Cath who had vowed never to fly with them again after they were decidedly unhelpful at a time of family tragedy. However, despite saying "Delta" on the outside of the plane, on the inside all of the entertainment screens and staff uniforms said "NWA." So really they'd just borrowed their boss' plane. It was good to see the NWA safety videos again. They have gone for the inclusive approach of cramming in as many "minorities" as possible, including the minority groups of smiley old women and handsome staring men. After each long passage in English, there is the shortest possible summary in Dutch.

English: "Should it become necessary to perform a water landing, life-vests are available under your seats. Place the life vest over your head and tie the straps around your waist securely in a double-bow. Use the nozzle to top up the air and the whistle to attract attention. A light will come on with contact with water"
Dutch: "Er zijn Zwemvesten."

Whilst all this is going on there is in the background a soundtrack that was pure 1970s Jazz Pop. It is almost, but not quite, porn music. Were this music to be played over the top of the Singapore Airlines safety instruction video, most men would forget that their life was in any sort of peril.

After the safety rigmarole in English and Dutch, a map appeared showing the plane's progress. It was in English and German. And later also in French and Spanish. In fact anything except Dutch. But then, German with added English, French and Spanish IS, in fact, Dutch.

Take off took a long time due to, firstly, the "tug" breaking down and secondly, Schiphol's noise-reducing policy of having most of their runways in Belgium. But eventually we the ground was receding behind us and ready to save the world from SkyTeam's mortal enemies of Commies and the evil Count Von Lufthansa.

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