Nightmare on ATL Street

I have a love-hate relationship with ATC – now ATL.  They always have long excuses – and my experience with them is they are always late kikweli kweli.  The love relationship is that however late you are, you’ll still board your plane.  So I had to visit a site and see a client on Friday.  The client booked me on the 21h30 flight to KIA – mind you there was no t supposed to be any pass overs.   

Anyway, yours truly with the little people in her head packed, bwana.  “This one incase, it’s warm…  Yeah, been told it’s cold, so we need something warm…  A girl has to look sexy …”  Unajua sometimes these little people wananipoteza
  Have you ever heard of being sexy at site with the makuli?  The trip was for only one day halafu!  My backpack was so crammed up with a laptop, files, drawings and half my wardrobe that I walked like Hunchback of Notre Dame’s African cousin.

Earlier I had run into a friend who was flying to Mwanza with a 20h00 flight.  I get there a bit after eight and my friend was still there.  ‘Heeh?’ the little people in my head and I wondered.  Ati the plane that was to fly them to Mwanza hadn’t arrived yet.  Africans we are known not to keep time, lakini sasa mpaka na our modes of transport? 

Basi bwana, since I had just gotten there, I sat down na kuanza kupiga domo.  Then I spot a girlfriend of mine.  She didn’t look very happy.  She was tired and if she had it her way she would have walked to Mwanza, but then unfortunately her company had booked her to get to her destination with good old ATL. 

                “Attention ladies and gentlemen,” I suddenly heard.  Usually I just listen to the flight number and the destination, then I take off to the said gate.   

                “That’s us,” I jumped happily upon hearing Kilimanjaro.  “But what gate number did they say?” 

                “I don’t think you are leaving just yet,” my friend pointed at the crowd and commotion ahead of us.  People were throwing arms around and the hostess looked as if she was praying for the ground to open and swallow her mzima mzima. 

Quickly I dragged my big black behind to the gathering.  My girlfriend followed me huffing and puffing – she had a few heavy hand luggages with her – poor thing.  Between the two of us, I don’t know who looked like Hunchback of Notre Dame’s African cousin.  Women!  Tuna matatizo!  You travel for only one day, but you take your manucurist, hair stylist and personal instructor with you!  Anyway, everybody was trying to talk at the same time, but after a while I managed to make sense of what was happening. 

                “You mean we are going to fly to Mwanza first?” 

                “This is unacceptable!” 

                “Why can’t we go to Kilimanjaro first?” 

                “This doesn’t make sense!  We are going in circles!” 

                “There are passengers in Mwanza who are heading to Kilimanjaro,” the clearly very tired hostess tried to explain – whom I’m sure was working double shift maskini. 

                “I will never fly ATC ever again!” A mzungu lady cried out. 

                “So you mean we will get there after midnight?” 

                “No, we will get there after one!!” 

                “We can’t!  I have a meeting in Arusha at eleven!”  Talk about workaholics! 

                “Which bed and breakfast would be opened after one?” 

                “We refuse to go!  Refund us!” 

                “Don’t speak for us!”  now the passengers were turning against each other. 

Anyway we found ourselves in the plane – a good hour later.  I was so tired and pissed that I just wanted to nap.  But there was a Kenyan cousin next to me, that just wouldn’t shut up!   Uwii!  Brotha couldn’t even take a hint from my silence and curt nods that I wasn’t in a chatting mood.  So brotha started talking to himself!  I tell you, I’m not the only one with little people in my head!  Or maybe it was the beers he was drowning. 

When we got to Mwanza, a Mhaya brotha sat next to the Kenyan cousin.  Uwiii!  Not today Lord!  It was another chatter box!  For a while it was interesting listening to the two bulls with their beers.  Lol.  Poor hostesses, every two minutes they were told “leta bia!” by the two.  While some of us were lamenting the way too long domestic flight in the history of – well, in the history of my life – these two were celebrating their make-shift groseri – lakini kweli, whatelse was there to do.  If I was a beer-drinker myself, I would have drunk the plane to the ground! 

Basi bwana, as my cousin and my brotha were happily drowning on beer.  I silently with one eye closed – incase my cousin and my brotha try to strike a conversation – I silently munched on a sub that my girlfriend had bought from Subway – instead f the dried up, tasteless things they call sandwiches.  The so-called sandwiches were so dry – and usually are – that my Kenyan cousin only ate the thinner than paper patties. 

Anyway, as I attempted sleeping – after my Subway dinner, thanks to my girlfriend – my Kenyan cousin, kept on nudging me and asking if we were there yet!  Jamani nimelala!  How would I know?  I don’t sleep with my eyes opened, you know!  I’m pretty sure he didn’t want the plane to land just yet – as he was enjoying his beer too much!  I could swear I heard a groan coming deep from him, when we landed, tena the groan was chorused by Mhaya brotha – making it sound like Maasai Mara and Serengeti lions musing together. 

Finally we get to Kilimanjaro, jamani I took off from the plane so fast – faster then the way my Kenyan cousin and Mhaya brotha were drowning their beer.  Even my backpack didn’t feel so heavy as I was walking straight and fast.  Quickly I rushed to the shuttle that would take us to Arusha.  It was a bit after one then. 

In the shuttle I saw the passenger who had earlier refused to fly to Mwanza en-route to Kilimanjaro.  I later learnt from this angry the passenger that the 2 hours – including waiting – flight from Kilimanjaro to
Dar es Salaam the day before had turned out to take 11 hours!  Kiruuu!  Halafu inatokea tena!  Kweli ningetafuta lawyer immediately!  Darn, I would have been pissed!  Halafu the direct flights from
Johannesburg had been cancelled twice that week ati!  Halafu ati apparently the plane they were leasing from Air
Malawi – I didn’t know such could be done – was taken back for some reason.  Sijui wameshindwa kulipa?

The interesting thing though, they never warn you – they never forewarn you of the delays and/or how long they will be.  When you see the minutes flying by you, you have to lift your African behind, go find one of the staff and ask him – otherwise utabaki tu kwenye mataa.   

One thing though, they have excellent pilots!  That I have to give to them.  Even on the harshest of weathers, they make you feel as if you’re just gliding on a fluffy cushion in the air!  Lakini otherwise, kweli they should just close shop!  Their motto, ‘Whether you fly with Air Tanzania from Dubai, Johannesburg, Muscat, Nairobi, Mombasa and Zanzibar, not forgetting our many destinations within Tanzania, we hope you will have a comfortable flight with the Wings of Kilimanjaro and the airline looks forward to sharing the experience with you soon.  We hope to serve you in the near future.’ 

How ironic!  At this rate I doubt if there will be serving anybody!  Afadhali tu wafunge office tujue moja for real!  Ati’ Air Tanzania the wings of Kilimanjaro … Air Tanzania the pride of Tanzania …  Air Tanzania flies higher … Air
Tanzania as the National Flag Carrier of Tanzania.’

I got to my hotel after two in the morning. 


~ by saharasoulfood on November 15, 2006.

6 Responses to “Nightmare on ATL Street”

  1. Thanks for taking me on an ATL ride. These suckers wouldn’t let me listen to my CD in a plane once in a flight from Dar to Mwanza, can you believe that?

    Heri waache biashara tu. You said it.

  2. sandra you make my day. ATL has issues. they cancelled they flight on wednesday. NO thinking of the problems they are causing to people. we had passengers that needed to catch a conecting flgiht that flies only on mondays, wednesday and friday….yaani, we acha tu. waondoke tu hewani tujue hatuna national carrier…by the way IS IT OUR national carrier?
    but darling, i had a worse expereince with KQ.. so please if you hear me get upset or my face changes whenever i hear the name KQ, you will know why. KQ really S_ _ _ _!!! kwanza hawana adabu. they really do not know customer relations and for them mteja ni mtumwa!!! not the other way round!!! still wonder up to today how they got their yearly awards.. tehy messed up more than 100 people’s life a certain weekend in end July. it was hell in Nairobi airport… information sharing for them is still a new concept or they do not believe in it…. nice blog love. gives us chance to lament on many issues… can you talk about DAWASCO and tanesco next?!?!?! lol

  3. Metty, I understand Precision Air are just as bad as ATL. Anyway, let me not say this based on hear-say – lets just wait for the experience.
    Ebony, I have written some about TANESCO. I have an issue with DAWASCO that I’m sorting out – their fuck up. Lets see how it goes.

  4. do you mind if i comment here?

  5. @jambomb: karibu Jambomb, you are welcome yo comment.

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