Bobbie's Beat: Funny flying

Do you remember when flying was fun? Neither do I. However, I’m old enough to remember when a plane trip was exciting and special. Passengers did not wear shorts and flip flops, and there was room in your seat for your seat. You were served a hot meal and free drinks by a cheerful stewardess in high heels. Those were the days.

Several years ago I wrote about a South African airline, Kulula, because of its wonderful sense of humor. In that column were examples of funny, in-flight announcements like the following: 

• Heard on Kulula Flight 255, just after a very hard landing in Cape Town: “That was quite a bump, and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the pilot’s fault. It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault. It was the asphalt.”

• “In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”

• On a Kulula flight there is no assigned seating. You just sit wherever you want. Passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced: “People, people, we’re not picking out furniture here. Please find a seat and get in it!”

• “As you exit the plane, make sure you gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave spouses or in-laws as we are trying to get rid of our own!”

• “Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt, and if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably should not be out in public unsupervised.”

• During a recent flight, after the plane reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement: “Welcome to Flight 203. The weather ahead is good, and therefore we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now, sit back and relax — O M G…..”  Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!” A passenger then yelled, “That’s nothing. You should see the back of mine!!”


Out of curiosity, I checked the website of Kulula Airlines to see if they were still making people laugh. Read on:  

• “Ladies and gentlemen, hope you enjoyed  that smooth landing here in Durban, where the curry is so hot you will love it today, but tomorrow you will be doing handstands in the shower.”

• “There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only four ways out of this airplane.”

• “Your seat cushions can be used for flotation. In the event of an emergency landing please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

• “Welcome to Johannesburg.  If this is not where you were intending to go, then you have a bit of a problem.”

• “Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”


If you find yourself looking for more laugher, check  I’m making plans to visit my family, and it’s darn unfortunate Kulula Airlines doesn’t go to Omaha.

Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to the Rotary International Foundation, is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]


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