It's official! Jen and I have booked our next European jaunt! Get ready for more tales of security trauma, and outrageous gluttony, because we're going to Madrid and Lisbon in October! As we begin to plan, we'll tell you more, but as usual, my
my travel agent Jen used EuropeanDestinations.com to book us a fabulous yet crazy affordable vacation.
Unfortunately on this go-round, we'll be flying United. GAG. You know how I feel about domestic travel, and and it's not because there aren't any worthwhile destinations in the States. Rather, it's because our modes of transportation frankly suck. So the fact that we are flying an American line for a transatlantic trip is just...blurgh. Goodbye, dignity.
It got me thinking about the airlines that I've flown that are my favorites. Despite my love of travel, flying just kind of all around blows. I've gotten better at sleeping while sitting up, but ugh, the food, the dry air, the sharing of a relatively small space with the unwashed masses. It's just not the best. Which is why some airlines really stand out among the rest (but I mean, low bar here with Delta and the like, so how hard can it be).
Obviously although I prefer foreign lines to U.S. lines, I fully recognize this is not always the case. In fact, screw Alitalia for losing my entire study abroad semester's worth of luggage for like four days (but at least I got a sweet 2-euro pair of undies out of the deal). Alright, enough of the grumbling. In my not-so-humble opinion, the following are the best.
EL AL (ISRAEL)
After I studied abroad, I took my first foreign airline transatlantic flight when I went to Israel with Birthright. I LOVED El Al, primarily because seemingly every meal came with a giant tub of the best hummus I've ever eaten, accompanied by warm pita bread. All of the food was delish, which is really saying something for airline food. Plus, the plane was clean and spacious, as far as planes go. Also, fun fact, they give you real knives with which to cut your food. You know why? Because they're not fucking afraid of you or anyone else for that matter, terrorists or otherwise, because the flight attendants all did time in the Israeli Army and they are all mothafuckin' Gs who could go krav maga on your ass and take off your head in like 20 seconds. So needless to say, when flying El Al, I felt both safe and well-fed.
AER LINGUS (IRELAND)
Jen and I flew Aer Lingus between Edinburgh and Dublin, and truth be told, there isn't actually anything great that I have to say about it. I just listed it here because I miiight have the sense of humor of a sixth grade boy and still giggle when I hear Aer Lingus and choose to call it Aer Fellatio. Jen and I spent some time speculating about WHY in the world anyone would name an airline Aer Lingus. I know from my illustrious medical editing that "lingus" is like Latin-ish or something for the word "tongue," so like...Air Tongue?
SOUTHWEST (UNITED STATES)
Yeah, that's right, an American line makes my list, and no one's more surprised than I am. I used to HATE Southwest. First, a series of events (that may have involved weather, but whatever, I angrily blamed Southwest) stranded me in Florida for three days. Several months later, I found myself delayed eight hours at disgusting Baltimore-Washington International on my way to a wedding in Utah despite the fact that the weather in Baltimore and the weather in Utah was all A-OK. I swore I would never fly Southwest again, and now here I am, the proud owner of a Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa. Because you know what? When it comes to American airlines, Southwest is the best of the worst. They're the cheapest, and their flight attendants tend to have senses of humor. Now if only they flew to Europe so I could start using some of these points...
AEGEAN AIRLINES (GREECE)
I only took a brief flight during my semester abroad between Florence and Athens, where I spent spring break, but for whatever reason, my Aegean Airlines experience sticks in my mind as pretty dope. I remember the planes being comfortable, the flight attendants being really nice, and warm bread. It was a short flight, but that's right -- they gave us tasty warm rolls -- a.k.a. not a tiny bag of stale pretzels. And maybe I made this up in my head, but I am pretty sure we could have as many rolls as we wanted. Opa!
BRITISH AIRWAYS (UNITED KINGDOM)
This is not the first time I've lauded British Airways. I flew British to London the first time I went during my semester abroad, and Jen and I flew British to Paris. British lets you pay a mere $40 for extra leg room, and we were like kids in a candy shop when we found out all that we were getting on the red eye to Paris -- personal iPads for movies, TV, and games; a kit with a blanket, pillow, pen, WARM SOCKS (that I still have), an eye mask, and a foldable toothbrush and toothpaste; AND free mini wine. Needless to say, it was a rude awakening when we had to fly American home.
So these are my favorites. What are yours?
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