November is almost over and I’m sorry for the lack of posts this month. It was simply because I flew continuously from 1-18 November and then I spent a week after that in Lebanon for solo trip. If you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on instagram, you can see some of the trip photos there.
It was a relaxing week and I had a lot of fun there. Meeting new people, visiting new places, walking the paths I have never taken before, eating the local food and exchanging stories with the other travelers. That’s what I love about traveling. You discover yourself more while on the go. I will try my best to write all my travel experiences while in Lebanon, the good and the not-so-good ones, so those who want to visit this country either by themselves or in groups can learn from my journal and prepare better for their own trip.
On this post, I’d like to review my flight with Middle East Airlines (MEA) from Riyadh to Beirut on November 20, 2016. It was my first time to take another airline’s flight on personal travel. Normally I fly with the airline I’m working for, using one of the perks as a flight attendant that is envied by a lot of people, staff discounted tickets. But since the airline only flies once daily to and from Beirut, I chose to fly with MEA with more convenient departure and arrival time.
The airplane was Airbus 330-200, quite old but the cabin was clean and smelled nice. The boarding music, some Arabic-style instrumentals, was played and the passengers were walking slowly. It was not a problem since the flight was not on full load. The female purser was greeting us with a wide smile, but unfortunately I didn’t see the same coming from other female crew members. They looked a bit tense and uncomfortable, which I understood why.
Beirut – Riyadh – Beirut are roundtrip flights only for them and it’s not easy to manage your energy after doing one sector, with delay, and they might have experienced some problems on the previous sector before. So I could totally understand if they were tired and seemed eager to finish boarding as soon as possible, close the doors, and get the flight done. The male crew members however looked more smiley and they even recognized me as a cabin crew working for another airline.
The service started around 15 minutes after take-off. With hot meals of two choices (chicken or fish) and passengers are allowed to enjoy their choice with either red or white wine. I chose white. The meal was decent and wine was okay. I didn’t have the chance to ask what kind of wine it was, but anyway it helped me relaxed a bit and slept later.
One of the stewards, named Tony, approached me and gave me a pack of nuts. This was a very nice gesture and I thanked him for this. Tony was working at the right hand side aisle and I was seated by the window in the left hand side of the aircraft. He must have taken that nuts from the crew meal cart because it was not served on the passenger trays. I had the chance to ask him about his aircraft qualification and he said he’s licensed to operate flights with Airbus 330, 321, and 320. He asked me in return about my qualification and then we had a short chit-chat in the aisle between the aft lavatory and galley. It’s always nice to talk with other crew members and listen to their stories. Flight attendants always have some common stories to exchange and they will make us exclaim, “Oh, gosh! I had the same experience like yours!”.
The combination of me being tired and that white wine eased me to sleep. I was watching the documentary movie about how MEA was formed as Lebanon’s flag carrier when I fell asleep. I woke up when the seat belt sign was turned on and it was time to prepare for landing. I was the last to deplane from the aircraft and the other steward seated on the jumpseat behind my row was being nice and thanked me for taking their flight.
My flight was safe and smooth. I would one day take MEA again, either to Lebanon or other destinations they are flying to.