The Difference in Economy Classes

Emirates and Etihad are some of the world’s top airlines.

FlyDubai is not. It is a budget airlines. Low frills. All one class. No free service.
If you’re flying to Kabul, you can take either option.  The difference is stark.
At the top end are moist towelettes to freshen yourself when you sit down.  1000 channels of entertainment. There are little stickers you can stick on your seat to tell the staff not to wake you for a meal, or to wake you if you’d rather.  A reasonable meal.  Fuzzy blankets. Free water. Free wine or beer.
The passengers are those that can afford the top end ticket. Nicer clothes. Gold jewelry. Smart phones.  They are at least bilingual, maybe more.
FlyDubai has one class of service; Economy. They’ve sometimes got TV screens, sometimes they work. No meals unless you pre-ordered. No drinks, not even water unless you want to pay.
The clientele is totally different. From Kabul, anyway, many may not have flown before. Watching them board the plane is entertaining.  The attendants on the plane seem steeled against the boarding passengers.  Stationed strategically, they greet each person, check their ticket and then point at the seat numbers and count and send the person down the aisle.
The passengers advance until the meet someone else, passenger staff, it doesn’t matter. They show their tix and look pleadingly for help finding a seat. They stop searching and plop down into the first empty seat they come upon.
Confusion reigns, then, when the rightful owner approaches and finds their seat occupied. They look at the number, their ticket and back again.  They ask for help. An attendant approaches and tries to shoo the person to their proper seat.

Sometimes they go. Sometimes they shrug. They remark that they found an empty seat next to their friend, so they’ll just sit here if no one minds.

Speaking no Dari or Pashto, the staff is left with raising their voices and gesturing. If someone doesn’t move, they plead with the other person to just sit in the other person’s seat.
FlyDubai.. We can take a reservation, we can’t keep a reservation.
The people who eventually sit next to you, illiterate and innumerate though they may be, are the kindest you may meet. There is singing. They talk. There are no strangers.  The second the wheels are up, they pull out bread and cheese and cookies. Maybe some chocolate. I haven’t been offered so much food by strangers ever.

Adding value to a budget flight.

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