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   Two of my four favourite airlines... (December 7, 1991)

Two of my four favourite airlines are Lufthansa and British Airways. So, recently, on a trip abroad, I travelled by both.

The Lufthansa that I took from Bombay to Frankful lived up to its reputation of punctually, taking off and landing at the exact moment in the stated hour. On board, the in-flight service was efficient without being fussy. The hot towels were not over-cologned, the stewardesses not over-effusive, the wines were sober Rhineland, the roasted almonds were almonds and not peanuts, the meats and the black breads distinctly German.

Instead of stewardnesses going through a dumb-charade of now to use your safety-masks in case of emergency (the possibility of such an emergency arising on Lufthansa seems most remote), there was a film shown on their use. And, just before landing the following morning, there was a film explaining the intricacies of the Frankful airport terminal, so that you may not get lost, and another film on the attractions of the city.

On the whole, it was a typical Lufthansa journey interesting but uneventful.

Three days later, from Frankful I once again took a Lufthansa flight across the mightly Atlantic to Washington. Because of the six-hour time difference, which cut into my lifespan, or rather added to it, I left Frankful in the afternoon and arrived in Washington in the afternoon. In between, there was lunch, a moview, some siesta, and a lot of Wagner through the earphones.

That was the end of Lufthansa. A month later, I took British Airways on an overnight flight from Washington to London. We flew out at 9 p.m., and, in under threee hours, there was sunrise on the horison. The rest of the journey was done in a rich orange glow of an extended dawn that stretched from mid-Atlantic into England.

I was in what is known as the World Traveller, which is the ariline's new economy class, and the introduction of which has changed British Airway's fortunes from red to whatever the colour of growing profits is.

The dinner was good (not English), a channel of British humour was available on the in-flight entertainment, the commiander spoke over the public address system like a BBC newsreader of the old school, and, as in the case of the earlier airline, three was a film showing how to till the immigration forms.

At Healthrow, the immigration officials were very polite and pleasant. There is, I think, a lot of misinformation on their treatment of visitors.

The last leg of my journey, from London to Bombay, was also done by British Airways. Two of the stewardesses were Indian ladies, tall, doe-eyed, long thick hair tied up in buns, very caring about the requirements of passengers.

I would say that it was a pleasant journey, both going and coming. Thanks to two efficient airlines. As to which are my other two favourite airlines, I have to still decide on that.

 
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