Thanksgiving Greetings from Ethiopia
We just finished lunch onboard our Ethiopian Airlines flight. There was a choice of three items – chicken, pasta or vegetarian. I picked the vegetarian and it was very tasty – it was the most authentic Ethiopian choice – along with the entree was a bean salad, white roll, crackers with cream cheese and a slice of pound cake topped with a berry compote. The meal was accompanied by very good Red or White French wine.
Economy class passengers all received a welcome package after we took off which consisted of socks, toothbrush and tooth paste and an eye mask. Most airlines don’t give you anything similar unless you fly business class or first so it was a nice surprise. You know how I like good surprises!
We are flying on a 787 aircraft – Ethiopian started flying this state-of-the-art aircraft before Air Canada started to receive them. I like the oversize windows that by a touch of a button can dim to black. In economy seating is 3-3-3. We were able to secure aisle seats for all of us which was ideal. The flight is oversold by 19 so every seat is taken. This is a daily flight out of Toronto.
The boarding process ran smoothly – instead of boarding by Zones we boarded by colour – during check-in a colored sticker was placed on our boarding pass.
The flight attendants are all female on this long haul – some are dressed in the same modern outfits while others are wearing much more traditional garb – a coarse looking fabric white dress with embroidery, wrapped with a scarf.
I am seated next to a couple from Ethiopia who are in their mid-80’s. If I understand correctly she came to Toronto for heart surgery. They spent a number of weeks in Toronto and they are now heading home. He is a true gentleman and his wife very distinguished.
There is a real mix of nationalities on the aircraft – many Caucasian’s. I figure the couple across the aisle are also heading out on a safari. He is dressed in his Safari clothes already – the only thing missing is his safari hat. So many young people travel – our flight is packed with them. We have some children in the section where I am sitting – I won’t forget Kaleb who was pretty noisy for most of the flight.
After the lunch meal service there were a number of plastic items that had fallen in the aisle ways – I thought they would probably be there for the duration of the flight but soon an attendant walked through the plane to pick up the mess. The attendants also kept the washrooms clean and let me tell you I don’t see that happen on many flights anymore so I am very impressed.
There were 3 meal services during the flight – at mid-flight we received a corn beef sandwich and prior to arrival a nice breakfast was served – eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, fruit, croissant.
The flight was so smooth. The crew worked hard. We were all impressed.
After 13 hours hours of flying we arrived in Ethiopia. We just can’t get over how many planes Ethiopian Airlines has in their fleet – so many of the new A787’s. Ethiopian aircraft are the only planes we see at the airport – unlike other airports where there are airlines represented from around the world. I bet there are at least 30 new Ethiopian aircraft at the gates currently.
We deplaned by walking down stairs and then boarded coaches which brought us to the terminal which isn’t near as bad as what I had read. We found nice padded seats to sit on – there is no air conditioning but overhead fans keep the air moving. Birds are flying around so we hope they aren’t going to leave any droppings for us. This is a very busy airport.
We have 3 hours before our connection to Kenya.
Everyone is tired but excited.
It’s 7 hours ahead of Ontario time here. We basically flew during our daylight hours – its now bedtime for us but morning in Ethiopia. A beautiful sunny day without a cloud in the blue sky.
Since we are transiting there is no formalities to go through here – not even security.
I hope to blog more once we arrive in Kenya.
Thanksgiving Greetings from all of us!