The Sweet Service Award goes to Emirates, for its flight from London to Dubai, on Sunday 1 July. At the check-in I was told to reduce 5 kg of weight of my suitcase, luckily having bought a hand-luggage suitcase into which I could transfer items of that weight, and having to check it in too, to avoid paying extra. My son had left my check-in too late, so I was allocated a poor seat. I asked the check-in lady if she could find me a window seat, but she told me that the fight was full, and that all such seats were taken already. She said that she would continue to try to find me a window sat, and that I should ask again at the boarding gate desk. Lo and behold, there it was, in the second row from the front, in the company of a delightful Rodney Phillips from Mauritius, and Rachel from Singapore, a double bonus. Being a A380 aircraft added to the flying pleasure, being absolute luxury, with better service and meals than the standard Emirates flights. My Emirates flight of Cape Town to Paris, and London to Cape Town, cost a mere R8000, excellent value! A year ago I was an extremely dissatisfied traveler with this airline, having to spend 24 hours in Dubai, due to an airline delay!

The Sour Service Award goes to British Airways, on its flight from Nice to Manchester on 23 June. Having booked via Travelgenio, I was shocked when the French check-in staff member representing BA rudely told me that my suitcase had not been paid for, wanting an additional €75. She kept telling me rudely that I had made a mistake, and I had no choice to pay this amount, as there was no record of the booking details received in the confirmation from Travelgenio. I received one of the worst seats on the aircraft, in the second last row. The food service started from the front of the aircraft, so that by the time the air hostess got to our row, there was the choice of falafel or falafel, the chicken option having run out. I was dissatisfied, and the air hostess said I should speak to the Service Manager, serving first class. She offered me a drink in the meantime, and brought me a gin on the rocks, saying there was no alternative food available. Due to a strike by the French air controllers in Marseilles, our flight was delayed by two hours, and my blood sugar level started reacting to not having eaten in a number of hours. The Service Manager Alan Rabb decided to first assist the air hostess in serving drinks in our section, until he came to my seat, having taken half an hour. He told me rudely that he had to assist her first, and that there was no alternative meal. When I expressed my dissatisfaction with his response and asked for his details, he grabbed and removed my gin, as if I was an unruly passenger! The final blow of this flight was that I found the handle of my suitcase ripped off on arrival at Manchester Airport! The worst flight service I have ever received!

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein