There are quite literally hundreds of airline companies across the world; flying and travelling are big business.
Every day there are millions of people who climb on planes and fly thousands of kilometres to their destination, be it for work, pleasure, or family reasons.
So what makes an airline good? What airline does a single lady (feels weird every time I call myself by adult term….) choose for her first international solo trip on a budget?
Well in 2006 my mom and I flew to New Zealand via Dubai, Singapore, Brisbane and finally reaching Auckland. We flew on a then relatively new airline that many people were quite dubious about at the time, Emirates Airlines. It was amazing, the economy cabin gave us loads of space, fabulous food, and as a 15 year old on her first international trip, I was in awe.
Flash forward to April 2015, and I’m planning only my second international trip, but my first solo trip. I’m scared as all heck and the realization that I didn’t work out my budget correctly has me broke, but I’m stubborn, so I refuse to go back on my plans.
I started looking around, knowing I’m already somewhat biased towards Emirates. And the options I got that are within my price range flying from Durban to New York City were:
Etihad – for about R11,500 and +- 30 hours each way. The trip would be from Durban to Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi to New York.
Cathay Pacific – for about R8,000 and 55 hours each way, quite literally going around the world. Durban-Johannesburg-Hong Kong-NYC.
And Emirates – at about R12,400, 25 hours each way. Going Durban to Dubai and directly to JFK.
Cathay Pacific got thrown out the window almost as quickly as I saw how long the trip would be. Then it was down to a tossup between Emirates and Etihad.
Etihad was promising to be cheaper, but in looking at the details, the stopover in Johannesburg was only 1.30hrs. I thought back to last time I was in JNB airport and how enormous it is. Back in ’05 when we came through JNB we had 3 hours to change flights and because of customs and how big the airport is, we missed our flight.
Also upon reading review sights such as SeatGuru and seeing that the Abu Dhabi airport is currently undergoing renovations, well my decision was easily made.
Emirates it is then!
I’m excited about it! I have booked on the EK776 leaving Durban at 18:40 on July 24th on a Boeing 777-300ER to Dubai. Then on the new Airbus A380-800 from Dubai to New York, landing at 14:15 NY time. It’s a long trip, but it will be fun – if we don’t crash over Somalia or half way across the Atlantic.
Of course this is me though, and if you know anything about me, you know I have a stupid tendency to over complicate things that ought to be simple. And two things have made my trip suddenly complicated. The one being that I now have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which sadly I have no control over. The second being that I have decided I don’t feel like carting loads of luggage around the world with me, so I have challenged myself to do the trip with only hand luggage – a decision I am second guessing with (the one down side of emirates) being allowed only 1 bag of 7kgs as hand luggage.
Unless by some cosmic coincidence emirates decides to bump me up to business or first class (hint hint, wink wink) I’m going have to do some very very careful wardrobe choices.