For those who have the same warped sense of humour this Letter can also be had in French.
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Monday, January 9, 2012
Comedy airline's true toilet joke
Dear Erik Venter Chief Executive of Kulula Airlines,
It’s all very well
having a low cost airline that made its name by being funny, but the jokes
mustn’t be at the expense of the passengers.
Coming up with the first budget airline
was a stroke of genius for your Johannesburg basedComair, which is the franchisee for British Airways.
It was also a brilliant, publicity idea to have
all kinds of graffiti on the outside ofKulula’s Boeing 737s. Like the one under the nose saying Big Cheese
with an arrow pointing to the cockpit. Or a square marked Loo - or mile high club initiationchamberand large arrows on the side of the
aircraft with a sign saying This way up.
the air hostesses carried on the fun with announcements like: Ladies and Gentlemen,
if you wish to smoke, the smoking section is on the wing. If you can light em,
you can smoke em.Here’s another one: Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope youenjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed
taking you for a ride.
All this is nothing new to you of
course but I wonder how much you know about the not so funnyside.
my wife and I flew to Johannesburg
from Cape Town
just before Christmas on one of your flights we
were in the last row at the back next to two toilets.
The one had an Out of Ordersticker on it and nobody,including your cabin crew, seemed to be
able to make out whether this was true or just one of your jokes.
JON on his own GREEN toilet
After I had seen several people going
in there I asked an air hostess if it was really out
of order and she said somebody had probably forgotten to remove the
When I said, I hope they don’t have one of those on theenginesshe replied, I hope so too.
Shortly afterwards, while I was standing in the
isle and my wife was in the other toilet a small boy came to use the toilet so
I told him he could go into the Out of Orderone.
It’s got no water, he told me dejectedly having
already tumbled to the joke in the smelliest possible way.
Is this one of your schemes to give
your planes extra propulsion?
As I didn’t want anybody else to kick
up a stink I told an air hostess about this and she immediately locked the
That left just two
toilets for 186people, but I suppose that’s why you have those bags in the pockets in
front of every seat. Are they really strong enough to be used for purposes
other than if you are air sick?
In your in flight magazine you list the
pay-as-you-eat food available, proudly supplied by Woolworths.
Well on our flight
there were no muffins, so the joke was on us.
A friend who travelled from Durban to Cape Town over
the holiday period also experienced one of your poor maintenance jokes. The catch on the turn down table in front of him had broken so the entire table had been taped firmly in the closed position. It couldn’t have been much fun trying to hold a drink while eating something at the same time, especially if there had beenturbulence.
My last howler concerns the steward,
who appeared to be the only male among our cabin crew. When I saw women
struggling to put their bags in the overhead bins I asked him why he didn’t
His answer was that they were not
allowed to do this because one of his colleagues hurt his back putting up a bag
and as he could no longer work he was laid off. While Superman was watching I saw air hostesses further down the plane
doing exactly what our Hero was too frail to
Please let me know which of these
experiences that I have mentioned were not supposed to happen or were part of
yourKeep-pulling-the-Passenger’s leg policy.
If your maintenance crew can’t fix a
toilet and a table catch, it becomes very scary when one thinks about what
happens when they start tinkering with an engine.
How about this for an announcement? Thank you forflying with Kulula. Anybody who can tell our jokes from reality will get a
year’s supply of Woolworth’s muffins for free, if they have any. And next year graffiti
will be allowed inside the planes and you will find spray cans, crayons etc
underneath your seats instead of lifejackets, so we’ll try not to fly over
Sorry if I got a bit muddled up with the pictures
in this letter. It’s not you with the Captain’s
cap on at the beginning. I assume you will recognise yourself a little further
Jon, a Special Air
Services trained parachute jumper and Consumer
Watchdog with a strong sense of smell.
As you can see I'm a bit of a toilet expert. That's yours truly relaxing on one of the latest Green aircraft.
Here's Erik Venter's answer
am confident that we have the best maintenance in South Africa. While it is performed
by SA Technical, we also have our own engineers to oversee the work. SA
Technical is the only maintenance facility in South
Africa to have International Air Transport Association
Operational Safety Audit accreditation and we are also audited by British
Airways and the fuel companies (kulula is the only low cost airline in South Africa
approved by the fuel companies for their corporate travel).
faults that occur in the cabin during the day might have to be left until the
aircraft is available at night.
does occasionally happen that due to unusually high water usage the water for a
toilet might run out for the return to Johannesburg,
in which case a technician will put an “out of order” sign on the door. The
toilet can be used as it works on a vacuum system, but it is not ideal. The
crew have been told to direct customers to the toilets with water, but if there
is a high demand then the dry toilet can be used.
the crew assistance with overhead luggage. I will follow up on this. There is
no reason for crew not to assist passengers with luggage as the weight limit
for cabin luggage is 8kg. If a crew member can not handle this we will ensure
that he/she spends some time in the gym.