Best of 2017 (1)

At the end of every year I do an annual review, and award a “best of” in a few categories. The first of the 2017 awards is for flights.

2017 saw a big change in my travel patterns. No more regular, monthly commuting to Munich on easyJet (it’s a long, messy story).

Technology Rules

The change (like all these things) has had its positive angles. One has been more variety in my travel, and air travel in particular. easyJet did figure a couple of times in January, but let’s dump that in the past.

I flew with two airlines I’ve never used before – Royal Air Maroc between Casablanca and Ouarzazate, and Hebridean Air from Oban to Colonsay.

I renewed friendships with Turkish Airlines (Ercan via Istanbul), Norwegian (Oslo) and Air France (Casablanca via Paris). I’ve used them before (many times in the case of AF).

4 Hour Flight

I flew with FlyBe too – but it has never been a regular in the same way as Air France or easyJet. The short hop from Edinburgh to Belfast doesn’t allow much time for passenger experience, so its a question of whether it was on time and the staff were pleasant!

Norwegian was a 2 hour flight, but it is a slightly upmarket version of easyJet, so it’s hard to get excited.

Turkish Airlines was a 4 hour flight to/from Istanbul and a bit more than an hour from there to Ercan and back. All in all I was very happy with it. My last long flight with Turkish Airlines was in 2006, so my memory is a bit rusty.

Atatürk Arrivals

Air France – the flight from Paris to Casablanca seems to get a better quality of service because it’s inter-continental. It was fine, but nothing to get excited about. the connecting flights to/from Paris CdG were on AF’s Hop! brand. I think it’s their “no frills” version. Well, as you’d expect the French do “no frills” with style.

RAM? My flight to Ouarzazate was a 22:40 departure so the crew just left the lights switched off to let people sleep – no on board service! It’s only 80 minutes, of course. My flight back to Casablanca was a 6.55 am departure – again no service, but early departure and early arrival. I like that!

Ouarzazate Departures

Anyway, the Hebridean Air flight stands out. Unusual. Special. Fun.


An 8 seat plane with just the pilot to do it all.

Squeezed In

Loved it. Easy winner.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2018

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