Finding the Humor in Flying With the Airlines
Flying with the airlines isn’t generally funny business, but that’s not stopping Kulula from trying to put a smile on your face.
Humor isn’t always the first thing you think of when it comes to flying with the airlines, especially if you’re currently studying for your commercial at Upper Limit Aviation. It takes a lot of hard work and focus, but that doesn’t mean that once you do earn that commercial pilot license, you can’t have a little fun. But if you haven’t heard of Kulula Airlines, a regional airline flying in South Africa, then you might not realize that sometimes humor is the perfect traveling companion. Take, for example, the opening to a recent in-flight announcement from of the flight attendants:
“You know, Kulula has the best looking cabin crew in South Africa, but due to rostering problems none of them are on board with us.” 1
Or this gem after landing at the airport for the city of Durban:
“Ladies and Gentleman, after that smooth landing, welcome to Durban, where the curry is hot. I’m [telling] you, you’ll enjoy it today, but tomorrow you’ll be doing handstands in the shower. If this is not where you want to be then you have some serious issues and I guess we’ll see you sooner than we thought.”
Or maybe this zinger upon arrival in Cape Town:
“If you need any assistance disembarking, sorry for you, help yourself…only kidding folks, we’ll ask one of the greasy engineers to come and assist you.”
Obviously, the crew at Kulula Airlines have a strong sense of humor. Kulula (drawn from the Nguni languages of Zulu and Xhosa with the meaning It’s easy)2 was founded in July of 2001, and in August, they started serving South Africa as the country’s first ‘no-frills’ carrier. They weren’t interested in simply establishing a brand, but rather making it an affordable, complete travel experience. And over the past 16 years, though they have a modest fleet of 10 Boeing 737s (nine 737-800s, and one 737-400) and serve 6 destinations, their culture has attracted the attention of the world.
The world definitely took notice when these awesome pictures of two of their Boeing 737s with appropriately cheeky paint jobs started making the rounds.
Kulula’s humor isn’t limited to just the announcements, though. They also put a strong dose of humor into their advertising, ribbing rival airlines, spoofing pop culture, and crafting clever billboards like this one:
All in all, it sounds like Kulula isn’t just a fun airline to fly, it’s also a fun place to work. Becoming a commercial pilot with ULA will open doors into airlines everywhere, including those at Kulula. Here are some more gems from Kulula flights:
- On one flight, when passengers were having a hard time choosing seats (there are no assigned seats), a flight attendant announced: “People, people, we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!“
- “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.“
- After landing, one flight attendant quipped “Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.“
- “There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.“
- “Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.“
- After the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a voice came on the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!“
- After a rough landing and flying through thunderstorms in the Karoo (a semi-arid desert region in South Africa), a flight attendant announced: “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as heck everything has shifted.” (ULA trained pilots only have perfect landings, just ask!)
- “Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.“
- “In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.“
- “Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.“
- “Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.“
- “As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.“
- After a hard landing, a flight attendant came on, saying: “That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.“
- After a windy, bumpy ride into Cape Town, including a particularly hard landing, the flight attendant said “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!“
- Another less than perfect landing earned this jab: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.“
- After another very hard landing, the pilot stood at the door as passengers exited, thanking them for flying the airline and smiling at them, as company policy required. However, he had a hard time looking them in the eye, fearful that after the hard landing, he’d earned a smart comment or two. Finally, everyone but an old lady walking with a cane had exited the plane. She stopped and asked the pilot, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?” “Why, no Ma’am,” he replied. “What is it?” To which the little old lady said, “Did we land, or were we shot down?“
- “Please pay attention to the safety announcement, because you will be writing a test shortly.“
- “You could be fined up to R7999 for smoking on the plane, and for these prices, you could be flying SAA.“
- “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.“
If you’re interested in punching holes in the sky and having this much fun flying commercial, complete your flight training with Upper Limit Aviation. Our commercial pilots are exquisitely trained and ready to fly left-seat for any airline out there.
Get Started With Your Flight Training Today
You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at 801-596-7722, or click here to start a live chat with us.
References and Sources:
1 – Kulula Humour, South Africa TO, Retrieved 7-12-17
2 – kulula.com, Wikipedia, Retrieved 7-12-17