Kulula.com - MN305 HLA-PLZ – B737-400 ZS-OTH

Kulula.com is really fun – let me start by saying that. Lanseria is a really good airport to fly out of if you are in Johannesburg or the Johannesburg area. There are a few flights a day to the main centers – Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Check in is at one of 4 check in counters. The Kulula staff are incredibly friendly. This was my first experience of this LCC. After checking in and getting boarding passes, we went upstairs to the open viewing area and I managed to get some shots of different things. After coffee and a snack, we headed through security – less than 2 minutes in the line and to get through the checks – did I say I liked Lanseria?? The incoming flight landed and then Kulula announced a delay of 30 minutes due to a technical issue – the captain later told us it was due to excessive brake temperatures on landing and they had to wait for the brakes to cool. Lanseria, while being a great airport to fly out of, is also pretty small and the runways are not as long as OR Tambo International and the like of airport. Also, the airport is at an altitude of 4500’ which adds to the take off roll, so the brake reason made good sense. After the delay, boarding was through one door and no zones or row numbers – just announce the flight and get on. Walk out of the terminal building to stairs up to the plane – no jetways at Lanseria. My next reason for liking Kulula was when I sat in my seat – very much like my experience on jetBlue, I had plenty of leg room – my knees didn’t touch the seat in front of me. Being pretty tall, I like that a lot! As we started our push, another Kulula plane, this time a 737-200 classic arrived – interesting to see all the -200’s that are still in use in SA – British Airways (Comair has a franchise and Nationwide being the others). The safety instructions are still done by the cabin crew on Kulula – no video systems on any of the aircraft. This allowed the head flight attendant to make the safety instruction speech a little light hearted a-la Southwest crew. After the short taxi (there was a spotter out photographing – I think it was Rob Boyes – one of the SA spotters and I’m going to try and get a picture of the take off from him), we lined up on runway 6L and powered down the runway for take off. A climb straight up to 35,000’ and a very uneventful 1hr 29 min flight to Port Elizabeth. Like a lot of other LCCs world wide, everything on the plane to eat and drink is purchased and the prices were pretty reasonable for sodas/beers/wine. The landing at Port Elizabeth was a very smooth one even in a 30km/h wind and the taxi time was pretty short. Baggage handling was pretty good in Port Elizabeth and it wasn’t too long before we were off in our hire car to the next game park.