Funnest Airline in the Skies

In The Social Fabric on March 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I couldn’t let today pass without mention of my favourite airline, Jeju Air.  What does a traveler look for these days in a carrier?  Cheap fares, quality service, adequate leg room…..

Well not me.  I have a new standard of code.  Jeju Air is the party bus of international airspace, and I guarantee you will feel you are on vacation the moment you board the plane.  Ok, maybe I’m overselling it just a tad, but I’m not lying when I tell you I grinned ear to ear on more than one occasion on my flight.  Now I’ve been known to be a thick-skinned individual in even the most emotional circumstances, so it’s the strangest things that can strike a nerve.  And I’ll say, that as that plane taxied off towards the runway, and when all the ground crew stood in a line and waved goodbye until we were out of sight….I struggled not to wave frantically back.  I don’t know if it’s because I have a thing about airports and saying goodbye, or the fact that a line of crewmen I wouldn’t know from a piece of lint were wishing me well on my trip, but it won points in my little black book of airlines instantly.

As I settled back and pretended to have the Asian gift of falling asleep within seconds of wishing it so (I find it’s better to fake it than have my eyes open and be eternally jealous), I was aware of the announcements being unfamiliar to the usual relay of safety and duty free.  There was no English this time, just Korean and Japanese, but my Korean was good enough for me to pick up the words “Rock, paper, scissors”.  Having been a teacher in the ROK for 4 years, I’m well familiar with the cultural importance of this game and found it distinctly out of place with oxygen masks and what was for lunch.  Turns out, we were going to play a game.  With the whole plane.  That’s right, hands in the air, we’re gonna play rock paper scissors with 192 passengers.  Ear to Ear grin number two.  As we hurled our best, those who threw whatever the hostess at the front threw were through to the next round.  It was a strategic lesson in how to play Rock Paper Scissors, as an astonishingly large amount of people threw scissors or paper….myself included.  Rock always wins.

After not winning the prize of some cosmetic package due to my lack of Rock Paper Scissor prowess (which I lamented for some time with all my years of practice), I thought all the excitement was over.  Not so.  The crew then proceeded to stroll through the cabin with a selection of part hats and disguises for passengers to don and take a lasting image.  You’d be surprised how many went for the Mickey and Minnie bows.

So you see, on a Jeju Air flight, there’s an atmosphere of  what the hell.  We’re on a plane.  We’re going somewhere.  We don’t need in-flight movies or headphones, lets play party games and take ridiculous photos of each other.

I leave with the words of the welcoming announcement of Jeju Air flight Incheon to Osaka “Thank you.  We love you.”


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