Turkish DeFlight.

Interestingly, it takes 4.5 hours to fly from Moscow to Dubai, 3+ hours to fly from Istanbul to Moscow, and from Dubai to Istanbul – the same 4.5 hours!

Yes, direct from Dubai to Istanbul it’s a little shorter as the crow flies, but commercial flights fly around conflict zones. Mmm, unpleasant topic, but that’s the reality of today’s turbulent world.

I was just about to snap the image of our trajectory on the screen when…

… the screen went blank, as it insists on doing when a ‘passenger announcement’ is given over the tannoy. Grrr.

Hmmm; interesting selfie ).

But enough about selfies. More about those passenger announcements…

Now, on regular scheduled and also charter flights the pilot in command and the cabin crew make several announcements. Normally they go something like this:

    1. Safety instructions before take-off; normally dull – sometimes oh my groovy!
    2. ~ “We’re beginning our descent and preparing for landing; fasten your safety belts, fold away your tables, put your seats in the upright position, and open all blinds on the windows.”
    3. Some time after the plane comes to a level position up above the clouds the pilot informs the passengers about the weather (good/excellent/average), about the current altitude and velocity of the plane, and which cities are being flown over or which are to the right or to the left…

And possibly…:

    1. ~ “We’ve hit on some turbulence, so get back to your seats and belt-up; and crew – stop your toing and froing for a while.”

And maybe even possibly…:

  1. ~ “If there’s a doctor among the passengers, please could you approach one of the cabin crew.” (This happened once on a flight from Melbourne to Moscow via Abu-Dhabi. Someone was taken very ill, there were in fact no doctors among the passengers, and so we had to make an unscheduled landing in Perth so the poor fellow could get to a hospital asap).

But anyway; what am I getting at here?… This: I like to take pics of the trusty back-of-seat monitor on planes; there’s just so much useful info thereon, and they look kinda cool too. But what they show – when you choose ‘flight details’ or ‘flight map’ or some such – changes, but not in a regular cycle that can be depended on. Sometimes you get adverts cutting in (like on Emirates); other times they show the maps with the flight route in different languages. It all adds up to one thing: you can’t take the pic you’re really after. You have to wait. Sometimes ages while all the piffle that substitutes the map/route display finally gets off the darn screen. So, waiting patiently, finger on the camera’s ‘shoot’ button, I sit there like an apeth, and then… lo and behold – in it cuts: the DARN PASSENGERS ANNOUNCEMENT AGAIN. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

Maybe it’s just me; maybe it’s not so irritating objectively. Maybe I should accept it, and life, and fate, and all that, and get in the lotus position and hum om? I’ll have to try it next time. It sure does seem I’m the only one who reacts like this to these unpredictable screen changes. While some passengers I do believe need and/or appreciate these passenger announcements!

Aaanyway, this time, I was lucky. The captain wasn’t long mumbling his facts and figures, so I got the pic I was after! And it turned out not bad at all!…:

But still on the PA (passenger announcement? Public address system??:) theme…: there are flights where it mostly keeps quiet, and then there are those where it seems to never shut the flight up!…

// Disclaimer: Aeroflot, IMHO, is the best European airline. That is, if we count Turkish as not European; if we do – Aeroflot is the second-best Euro-airline!

An example of the latter: Aeroflot. Its PA just can’t stop gabbing! In fact, it’s the chattiest airline in the whole world!

For example:

” Ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to announce that the year 2015 has been declared the ‘Year of Literature’ in the Russian Federation. Aeroflot takes pride in traditions…”, and so on and so forth for several minutes!

Or they’re “happy to inform us that…”:

“2016 has been declared the ‘Year of Russian Cinema’ … supports cinema” … and on and on and on…

But it doesn’t stop there!… All those announcements then get repeated in different languages – sometimes two, sometimes three!

So, yes: Aeroflot takes the PA when it comes to overdoing the announcements, but if you look at it another way, at least all passengers get informed about this and that in their own language, which is kinda pleasant; also courteous and respectful. And most passengers, I’m fairly certain, would agree with me.

First they give the culturo-informational report in Russian; next comes – you guessed it – English (I bet there’s a rule on that, just like with the pilots speaking in English the world over); next: the language spoken in the country of destination if English isn’t its main language.

But, why am I getting all hot and bothered by passenger announcements on planes? It’s hardly a serious bit of hardship…

Let me explain.

If you listen to one and the same PA set-texts once or twice (even four or eight times) a year, you could maybe get used to it or sufficiently effectively ignore it. But when you hear it ~once every two weeks, i.e., ~25+ times a year?! You start to learn it all by heart – without really trying. “Put away your tables, put your seat in the upright position, and lift the screens on the windows”. And not only that but all the other info before and after the tables/seats/windows routine… (I even recall they used to say: “Put out your cigarettes!”). And there’s the rub – for moi. Phrases rubbed into my memory – now firmly ensconced there forever. Grrr.

So, dearest Aeroflot, my favorite airline in the world, if I’m a good boy this year, please, please please let me get what I want at Christmas: shorter passenger announcements! Much shorter! I would be forever grateful :-).

<= That’s what I asked Santa for towards the end of last year )…

And Santa granted my wish!!…

For in 2017 they don’t bang on about 2017 being “the Year of Whatever”!! Just silence. Ahhhhhh!

Hurray! I’m so pleased.

After writing the above micro-rant, we started our descent to Istanbul. I can see the bridge that’s just been built, which they say is super-advanced and super-wide, etc. Have a Google. Any interesting pics – send them my way!

Aha! All three bridges. Shame the sun’s not out; can’t see them too clearly.

And here comes the airport…

Ok, those words weren’t really typed on the plane, but back in Moscow on my home computer. From Istanbul we flew to Sheremetyevo and the roads were relatively clear save for the habitual, inevitable, default heavy congestion on the roads.

But earlier on there was a bit of a surprise. Now, the capital of Turkey is Ankara. And that was where we were heading. But – no direct flights there! Only to Istanbul! No direct flights from the capital of Russia (from where my trip companions were flying to join me) to that of Turkey, and no direct flights from Dubai either (from where I was flying). Oh my goodness!

But I digress…

In Ankara we had a large conference on all our cybersecurity initiatives: the second Cybersecurity Summit in Turkey. 380 representatives of IT divisions of 260 Turkish organizations, including the Ministries of Education and Health. It looked something like this:

After the event we didn’t get the chance to go walkabout, but then there’s not a great deal here in terms of tourist spots. Both Pamukkale and Cappadocia are too far away, as we had a mere two or three hours free.

I’ve therefore nothing to report from Ankara; only a few panoramic pics:

Our business in the city all done and dusted, and our dinner duly consumed, it was time to head back home – off we headed to Ankara airport…

There are around 100 domestic flights to and from this airport daily, but only 20 international ones – mostly to and from Germany (Cologne, Düsseldorf, Munich). There are also a few to and from the Middle East (Tehran, Baghdad, etc.). Also two flights a day to Kiev! And just one to Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport, taking off at 0:30. Not many flights to other main hubs of the world, which is rather unusual. No, it seems Istanbul is where the action’s at international-flights-wise in Turkey. So that’s where we flew to first, with a connection on to MOW. It was much more convenient time-of-day-wise that way (even though we practically flew over Ankara!).

And that’s it. My mini-Euro>Middle-Eastern>Asian tour over: Moscow > Dubai > Seychelles > Abu Dhabi > Sharjah > Ankara > home. Phew. Not the most complex business trip I’ve had, but sufficiently intense: my first full-on, full-power, real-deal sortie. The one before – Moscow > Davos > Vienna > Moscow was a mere warm-up.

Ok, that’s all for today folks. Back tomorrow!…

Comments 1 Leave a note

    PFB Jennings

    Oh my, this post gives me stream-of-consciousness thoughts: pop – pop – pop, one after another.

    Willie Nelson song — (his take on PA announcements) — “And a voice comes to the speaker, assuring us Flight 50 is the way to fly.” In the song, Bloody Mary morning.

    And the movie, The In-Laws, starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. The scene where one of the two Chinese co-pilots, Billy and Bing, deliver the safety instructions. In Chinese.

    Memorizing the speeches sounds like the “song that’s stuck in my head” . . . I still remember a young person sort of bursting into the house one day, and saying, “Somebody give me a new song, quick!! (Some awful song kept playing itself over and over in her head.)

    Love reading your posts, and seeing your pictures. And the British-isms like “apeth” — learned a new word there. And Tannoy, never heard that before. Enjoyable posts.

    Where do you find the energy, do you know?

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