You’ve got to give it to the Asia-Pacific market for best branding, naming and uniform design. This week I had the pleasure…hmmm…I had the opportunity? Let’s just say I had some really bizarre flights this week.
Tiger Air flight crew wears black and yellow and yes, the female flight crew wears tiger printed scarf’s as belts. One of the male members of the flight crew had a tiger tail. I kid you not. The planes do have tigers and tiger stripes painted on them. The inside of the plane was cramped. The seats made Spirit Airlines look luxurious. They packed the people in and some of those people they were packing in…well, they didn’t smell so lovely. So I decided, if Tiger (and Air Asia, and Firefly and Lion, etc… can charge for bags, drinks, food, a good seat, a bad seat, the toilet, and just about anything else they can think of, why don’t they just start selling deodorant? Honestly) Thank goodness my flight was only 1:30 minutes or I might have gone completely insane.
Firefly, not to be confused with the Sweet Tea Vodka from South Carolina called Firefly (oh, I see a great partnership brewing here.)
Their outfits are bright orange and a deeper orange color. Luckily for them they don’t have to wear the scarves as wings!
And then there is Lion Air – does anyone even know where they fly? I actually saw one of their planes this week parked right in between Air Asia and Tiger. Who do you think wins in that fight? I would guess Tiger?
Now, the one that continually puzzles me is Nok Air – a low fare Thai carrier. The logo looks like a bird beak or maybe a fortune cookie (but that’s not really Thai) so I’m going back with bird beak. A bird would also make sense because their planes are painted like tropical birds. But why the homage to big birds beak? And do the poor crew really have to wear big bird yellow? Why not dress them like a parrot?
Well, you know what they say…birds of a feather – so I vote for a new alliance called Flock with Nok and Firefly (it’s kind of like a bird) and a second alliance called Safari Alliance with Tiger and Lion. Now, I still haven’t figured out what to do with plain old Air Asia. Perhaps they are taken over by Lion in 2013 and we’ll let Simba figure out who keeps control after the merger. They also must change their name from Air Asia to one of the other big 5 predators in jungle – something like leopard, elephant, buffalo or rhino. Hmmm…I can see the uniforms now. Elephant Tusks to keep unruly passengers in line? Sounds good to me.
What spawned this little post? Let me tell you a story. I’ve flown 3 of the carriers I list above this week. On one flight from Phuket to Bangkok I sit next to two guys (I’m guessing in their late 20s or early 30s) who look like they’ve been backpacking not just in Thailand, but across the entire South East Asian region. I can tell from their accents that they’re from down under. Ah, Australian backpackers, oh how I love thee. For the first 10 or so minutes while we waited for the door to close, they joked about how bad their clothes smelled, how back their shoes smelled, and so on. They weren’t lying…everything smelled. Just after takeoff one of them made a terrible miscalculation and spoke to me. Where am I from? I’m from the US. They seem interested in conversation. I’m not. I’m trying hard not to become nauseous from the smell. So are all the people in the surrounding rows. But, they insist in dragging me into a conversion – so here’s how it goes (BP for backpackers and S for me)
BP: We’re from Australia
S: I guessed from your accents
BP: You think we have accents – we don’t think so
S: I just squinted my eyes as if to say “are you f-ing kidding me”
BP: We were in Phuket
BP: We’ve been staying at hostels for the last 25 days
S: (this is where I just couldn’t help myself) And none of them had a shower?
BP: Oh, ha, we know we smell.
S: And you didn’t go into the beach at anytime?
BP: Ha, nah
That was the end of the conversation. Just like that, I couldn’t stand another second of breathing in their stench. It was retched. We started the decent, thank goodness, because 10 more minutes and I might have considered sky diving as an alternative. Oh…not for me! For them.
Moral of the story is that just because you’re flying on an airline named after a wild animal doesn’t mean you need to smell like one too!
P.S. – I’ve had a few moments on this trip where I just couldn’t help myself and spoke my mind. I’ll share all of them with you over the next few weeks.