I like planes. And I like flying.
I do not like airlines. One airline I recently added to my long list of really dislikable airlines is Hong Kong Airlines. Based in Hong Kong, representing the values of Hong Kong. And this is the airlines problem: Hong Kong values do not necessarily want to be represented. The onboard magazine (hey, airlines: want to cut costs? Get rid of the stupid and useless in-flight magazines. Never have the magazines delivered on the promise to reveal the secrets of any given destination nor ever given any other useful advise. And whilst we’re at it, kick the duty free nonsense off the plane, magazine, trolley and all. But I divert…)
Hong Kong airline is in its 10th year, as the in-flight magazine proudly points out. The introductory editorial with the chairman’s happy face at the bottom stresses the core values of the airline which is to represent the Hong Kong spirit and the local cuisine. The booklet specifically welcomes Hong Kongers first, and then whoever from the rest of the world, nicely representing the arrogance a great many in this city have, especially towards the mainland and south-east Asian countries. However, in representing Hong Kong’s spirit the airline succeeds: the seat pitch is reminiscent to Mong Kok’s building density, the attentiveness and friendliness is finely synchronized with the city’s overall feel of unwelcome-ness, and the food is a reminder that in eateries the main budges goes toward the rent and not the ingredients. Overall, it is true to its editorial introduction and delivers. Only in one aspect the airline is different from the city: Although prices in Hong Kong are sky-high, everything is cheap. The airline, however, is even cheap to book.
Hong Kong Airlines: we will not meet at the frequent flyer program…