I love EgyptAir. Honestly I do. And I have flown a number of different airlines, some Arab, some European, and some Arab Gulf airlines.
In total, I have flown about 15 different airlines – some have been coach, economy while others have been business class.
And when it comes to business class, the pharaohs in the sky take the brass ring.
They bend over backwards to accommodate you. They are so incredibly kind, generous and gracious that – well you know what happens when you eat too much chocolate, right?
You get sick.
That’s how sweet the EgyptAir staff are, particularly on business class voyages.
And for those of the readers sniggering in the back – stop it.
But this isn’t about EgyptAir per se.
It is about all the upgrades in the airport.
I think Cairo’s airports in the past few years have been cleaned up, organized, improved – much better services, much better shopping.
I also like the near spotless environment in the new Terminal Three which is connected to an adjacent shopping mall.
A shopping mall! In an airport; plus a food court. Wow. And across the street to Terminal Three is the Awlad Ragab chain of supermarkets.
No more getting ripped off for a sandwich or chocolate bar at the airport for that all too loathsome airport gratuity tax.
All in all, I like Terminal Three save for one minor complaint.
Well, two. Let’s start with the obvious one. The restrooms have a foul stench. Not a very becoming way of enticing tourists to and from the country. The Terminal Three complex must have cost quite the piaster so how about dishing out for some air freshners?
Okay, that problem is easily solved.
The second problem is personnel maintenance. In the three times I have been to Terminal Three I have seen – and more importantly – heard shouting. A lot of it.
And those who have been to Terminal Three know that the use of marble and the sheer vastness of the terminal, any peep can become magnified to sound like the maddening charge of African elephants.
That means it is proper decorum to maintain a certain noise level.
But no. On Visit One, a man stood atop the escalator screaming profanities at a floor cleaner mucking about at the bottom.
“Ya hmaar (donkey), he called down to the man who shrugged and cleaned the floor with his mop.
“You, donkey, I am calling you, why didn’t you clean the .
Tourism? What tourism do you want when visitors arriving in this ancient and beautiful land are greeted by the shouting of some disgruntled, mustached man screaming at another.
A police officer starts screaming at a taxi and limousine operator.
“Didn’t I tell you to do so-and-so, he barks.
But this is ridiculous. We want to beat out Dubai and Israel and Lebanon in luring tourists over. We have far, far many more sights – beaches, diving areas, deserts, Pyramids, Sphinx, Islamic architecture.
Dubai is a concrete jungle. But do you think they will have people shouting and screaming as tourists push their bags through?
So why do we?