By Jimmy Dunn
My favorite airline for travel to Egypt has taken a lot of abuse lately. That's unfortunate, because Egypt Air has really had few such problems in the past, and is rated by the FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA) as Category 1, meeting ICAO standards.
In fact, Egypt Air is often the first in the Middle East (or northern Africa) to commit to new aircraft such as the A318 Airbus to be used in regional and in country flights by Egypt Air, and much of their fleet of aircraft, particularly for international flights, is more advanced and most often in better repair than even American airlines that fly to Egypt.
But none of this has to do with why I like Egypt Air as well as I do. Meet Nagia Farrag. Sure, she's a long way from the good old days of Braniff and mini-skirted stewardesses, but she typifies Egypt in general; hospitable, a gracious host and unabashedly friendly.
To me, as someone who loves Egypt, stepping onto an Egypt Air flight is like stepping onto Egyptian soil, and it is precisely people such as Nagia that make me feel this way. Her recognition is long overdue.
Precisely, she and the other stewards, stewardesses and even pilots of Egypt Air make one feel special. Having grown up in a small town, I was never very comfortable with being one more person in a crowd, and on Egypt Air, even though I may be surrounded by hundreds of others, I don't feel that way. The personnel literally go out of their way to accommodate, much as people in Egypt do.
"So you'll be staying at the Hilton in Luxor", she asks. A few minutes later I get an envelope with an introduction to the hotel's manager, who she knows personally. But it is the invitation to join her family for dinner that really makes one feel like being once again on Egyptian soil. It is the typical Egyptian show of hospitality, and throughout the flight, your always made to feel special.
But that's not the only reason. Egypt is a long flight from the US and even from most European countries. Traveling on Egypt Air means one is traveling with other tourists, excited about their first trip to Egypt, or reliving their experiences of prior trips to the novice travelers. Its a great place to pick up information, make new or sometimes life long friends with a similar interest and generally glow in the excitement. People get worked up about a trip of a life time to Egypt, and on Egypt Air, it all seems to pour out.
Last Updated: May 23rd, 2011