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Welcome to Albania!

EDIT

This is in Transportation because I thought I would stop with what the airports and flights were like. It turned into a very special trip, so I kept writing. Sorry, it should be under General Europe.

Today ....

Got to the airport 2 hours early. Nothing but carryon, so went straight to the pre-check line, they only wanted to see my ID and sent me through to the conveyor belt. Shoes and belt stayed on. Took only minutes.

Bought tacos and coffee and sat in the restaurant for an hour.

At the gate vented masks aren't allowed, but United will give you a mask if thats all you have. Everyone wearing masks,, everyone keeping distances.. Only one guy with just nose hanging out.

Boarding was not by boarding number, it was by seat number starting from the back.

Its a full flight, but easier than the old days; organized, no crowding, no pushing. Let's hope this never changes.

Leaving the plane is in groups of ten. Again, well organized.

Here in my domestic stop the domestic terminals are pretty lively, but the international terminal is a freaking ghost town.....

Posted by
12139 posts

So, flew here on a separate UA ticket. The next flight, Turkiah Air, wouldn't give me a boarding pass on line. Spoke to some agents from another airline at the gate area and they suggested I play it safe and go to the ticket counter 2 hrs before flight time, then back through security. yea😒

Posted by
3113 posts

I am so glad that you are finally on your way. I know you have been waiting for this for quite some time. Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
12139 posts

I'm going to. enjoy it. Thank you Carol. Thought I would use it to let people know what its like right now.

Got my boarding pass. They took me aside and checked my passport twice.. Interesting..

TSA Security was set to hold no less than 200 people .... i was there alone. Nearly a dozen TSA agents, all in a good mood. To be fair, my flight isn't for 3.5 hours. At this moment there is no one in the entire terminal .... except for 5 ladies at the Duty Free shop that were thrilled when I walked in. They gave me candy for visiting them.

I know there are a number of flights to Mexico and South America today, they must be using another terminal.

Posted by
1865 posts

Glad you were able to get away. I swear, when this is all over, I will never complain about waiting on any line at the airport again. Whether it be for security, check-in, boarding or even the bathroom!

Posted by
12139 posts

Barbara, its spooky here. The waiting area is designed to serve at least 4 wide body international flights at any given time .... there is maybe 20 people here. I know my flight is half booked so maybe 125 people will be here eventually. Till then spooky but easy social distancing.

Posted by
1023 posts

James- Thank you for taking the time to post here, i look forward to reading about your experience. I follow a few Flight Attendants on YouTube and recently they have been flying full flights domestically. Wonder what is going to happen October 1st when a lot of them will be furloughed and there are still full flights. The International Flight attendants I follow are stationed in Europe and they fly to America and other European destinations.

Posted by
1854 posts

Leaving the plane is in groups of ten.
I like the sounds of that. The chaotic offboarding process is uncomfortable in the best of times; I can't imagine the stress of offboarding in the usual chaotic jumble, while in your head you're thinking "I've got to social distance. I've got to social distance."

Posted by
12139 posts

The connecting international flight boarding was pure chaos. In part due to language issues, part the sheer number flying and in part due to the airlines lack of attempt to do anything better. Very disappointing..

Posted by
1854 posts

Very disappointing..
Hmmmm, yes. That sounds more stressful.

Posted by
12139 posts

It is what it is. We'll see how it works out. The airline gave everyone a sanitation kit with a pretty decent size bottle of hand sanitizer, masks, and wipes. Flight attendants have masks but no gloves.... same as the domestic flight.

My center seat is empty 😄 cause I looked for a row that had an aisle seat taken, then i got the opposite aisle seat hoping no one would book the one between the two. Seems to have worked, but its what I generally do.

Posted by
5954 posts

That’s how I usually book my seat, too.

Safe travels, James. Thanks for sharing what it is like right now !

Posted by
7317 posts

Here's a report on my four flights last weekend.
My two domestic flights on Delta last week were orderly, boarding from the back. People remained seated to disembark until the person in the row front of them was on their way down the aisle. We chose the back of the plane so no one would walk past us. Planes were re-cleaned immediately before each flight.
We took an overseas Air France flight the next day. We had three sets of paperwork to show at check in plus European passports: COVID test results, motive for travel, health questionnaire, plus a contact tracing form that was filled out in the plane. Dulles airport was deserted, CDG hopping but some terminals are closed. The Air France lounges at Dulles and CDG had a lot of people. Boarding was back to front on this flight, too, but it looked like a pretty empty flight. We were in the front, so I didn't really see. One young French woman wore a full hazmat suit, to protect her parents in France she told us. Everyone was masked unless eating; crew was great. It didn't feel too different from all the other years of flying as long as I masked up, washed, and sanitized. And I wore a face shield over my mask on the domestic flights.
COVID tests were offered for free to arriving passengers in France, but the nurse told us they were unnecessary for us as we'd been tested four days earlier. Our domestic Air France flight: clean plane, social distance, much better quality nibbles than Delta.

If nothing else, at least Delta and Air France are clean, air replenished every three minutes, and maybe that will be the end of those airplane viruses we all used to get. So far, so good.

Posted by
2925 posts

This is a great moment-by-moment report James.

I'm anxious to hear how your experience connecting in Istanbul goes as we were scheduled to do so in May.

Safe travels - enjoy your time away!

Posted by
12139 posts

I've flown Turkish Air a few times, this was probably the most chaotic of all the trips. I think its harder for them as they serve a lot of infrequent travelers speaking a lot of languages, so I'll cut them some slack.

The new airport is like all the mega airports but maybe a bit more organized as it was built post 911. Even for transfers you have to go through security on arrival.

The x ray showed a long tubular item in my RS backpack. So I had to show them my fly rod.

Sleeping tonight in the Airside of the airport hotel (Yotel). These aren't rooms in the traditional sense, but they serve the purpose really well ... and the hotel has an open bar.. so what the heck.

Posted by
7317 posts

What a good point about Turkish Airlines serving a diversity of people and cutting the airline some slack.
I'm glad I was able to provide some contrast with my bourgie fellow passengers, some of whom were connecting to points further east, as well.

Mask up, wash, sanitize. We'll all get back where we want to go in our new normal.

Posted by
12139 posts

I walked some Albanians through security in Houston and filled out landing papers for a woman from Kazakhstan. It was interesting.

But the American with the 4 year old ahead of me in security in Istanbul was inexcusable. She paid no attention and so had to unpack once to find her laptop and a second time for a bottle of water. I have never seen anyone so unconcerned as she held up the line for 5 minutes packing, unpacking, packing and playing with her kid. I have all night so I kept my mouth shut.

Posted by
18162 posts

I've opened a thread in the General Europe section of the forum on the topic of a TravelGuard survey I was asked to fill out about travel experiences, plans and attitudes. It was very focused on flying/cruising, so it could just as easily (perhaps better) fit in this (Transportation) forum. Here's a link for those who read by top rather than using the All Topics view.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/travelguard-survey-on-customers-travel-plans

Please put survey-related comments in the other thread rather than further derailing James's thread. (Please forgive me, James, but I figured people interested in your report would probably also be curious about the TravelGuard survey.)

Posted by
6208 posts

Thanks for posting this. I had a horror of a flight in June and am about to return home by air, again on AA. It was total chaos when getting off the plane . No one followed flight attendant’s instructions at all, shoving, pushing. Hoping for a better flight next month.

Posted by
4522 posts

I've been flying a fair amount in the past few months, all domestically on SWA. Southwest remains committed to keeping capacity no more than 2/3, so I haven't had a middle seat taken ever. Often the aisle seat is open too but some flights have been at their "full" capacity. I simply will not fly an airline filling the plane right now.

Masks are mandatory and people have been good about compliance. Many will sit in the terminal seating with their mask off, even when just chatting with their companions. But those people are easy to avoid. I haven't had any issues with masks.

De-boarding is the worst part. As usual, everyone jumps up to get their bag and wait in the aisle to leave. I just sit and wait until my row is reached, but if you are sitting in an aisle seat, you will have people all around you.

TSA has been a breeze, even if you don't have pre-check.

Crowds are very light. Terminals are quiet and many of the shops/restaurants are closed or have very limited hours.

Posted by
12139 posts

On both the domestic United flight and the international Turkish Air flight mask compliance was near 100%. So far all three airports, my home town, Houston and Istanbul mask compliance has been near 100% .... even when people were sitting off in the corner talking. Very impressive actually. United contacted me the night before to warn me it was a full flight and offer me a seat on the next flight. Flight was a sellout but I took it anyway. This was one of those small regional jets, so no center seat. Turkish air was laid out 3....3....3. Most of the center seats in the center section were empty ... otherwise a full flight. Helped too as I could let the guy in the seat in front of me lean all the way back and still stretch out towards the center seat. Not a bad flight.

Acraven... thats fine.

Posted by
12139 posts

Okay, so sort of jet lag in reverse. I woke too early. Anyone with a long layover in Istanbul should consider the airport hotel. Worked out well.

Now I am rested for a 2 hour flight to Tirana followed by a 4+ hour race into the mountains. https://images.app.goo.gl/qX6xQTfxzzUsFpkG7 Race, cause I don't want to be on those roads after dark and I have to cross into Kosovo briefly on the way. See, the long layover was the easy part of this trip. I'm pretty pumped for this.

Reminds me of the discussions of trips that are too fast in the minds of many. There are times when the trip IS the event. For this one its sort of a 3 way tie. The act of the difficult trip is amazing, the outdoors and the fishing will be amazing, then the brief tour of parts of Albania afterwards will be amazing. It's like a story with three plot lines ..... but not enough pages unfortunately.

Posted by
9 posts

Well...my experience was normal but with very less people so everything is super quick. I flew from Amsterdam to Berlin it was okay. Everyone was wearing a mask and following the rules. It was a full flight also. But funny thing is that in Amsterdam there are one part only for European flights and International flights and they kind of combined it now.....because there are no people in the international flights.

However after 4 days in Berlin.....I got the Coronavirus which I believe I got infected from the airport/ flight :( but I am okay now.

Posted by
1671 posts

I flew Atlanta to Cancun about two weeks ago.

Security in Atlanta was a breeze but also strange. At the International Terminal they had closed the checkpoint for travelers and moved us all downstairs where they used to screen just employees. No real line, no real pre-check but not a problem.

International terminal was a ghost town. :(

Plane boarded back to front. All middle seats empty (Delta) I got upgraded to First Class and it was less than half full. My traveling companion did say that a lot of people ignored the request to "let the row in front of you leave before you get up" but he was in a window seat and just stayed put until he felt it was safe.

Cancun airport was busier but we had no problem at immigration staying 6' away from everyone. When we got to customs it was getting busy, but an airport employee stopped us, asked me if we had cigarettes and then sent us around the customs line. (My travel partner thinks it was the "priority" tag on my luggage, we had checked because we had all the sunscreen in my bag)

Coming back the Cancun airport was definitely busy. Not like I have seen it in the past but you did have to work a little harder for "social distance". The return flight was more of an adventure, one large group didn't seem to care if they created all kinds of havoc and had a big party in the aisle making it hard for others to stay away from them. And of course they were unable to comply with the FA requests on getting off the plane.

At both airports mask compliance was very good with the exception of "Mr and Mrs. No Mask" they somehow wound up on both flights with us. Couldn't wear a mask in the airport and had to be reminded on the plane. On the return flight, the second time the FA warned "Mr No Mask" she stated "if this happens again we will take action" which I assume means putting him on the "no fly' list. He got the hint and there were no more problems.

Neither of us apparently picked up the COVID germ on the flights or while in Mexico.

Posted by
12139 posts

Arrived in Tirana. Easy flight. Headed straight to the mountains and the Valbone river valley. Stopped in a town in Kosovo for dinner on the way. I've been to Montenegro and Bosnia, but nothing compares to the beauty of this place.

Tomorrow I see if the trout will bite.

Posted by
1270 posts

What do you do with the fish you catch, James?
Are you able to cook them where you are staying?

Posted by
12139 posts

Prizren is where we stopped and ate. Yes, marvelous town. Oddly enough the trip to Valbone is faster and I suspect safer with the detour through Kosovo.

Posted by
12139 posts

I woke up this morning in the most amazing and beautiful place. I'm not a big walker, but walked for almost an hour along the river. Discovered a few good fishing locations despite the low river I was going to hit it hard this morning, but its all so beautiful and peaceful .... i will put on the waders and climb in the water in the late afternoon. Till then, good food and relax.

The COVID forces you to think out of the box .... and sometimes that really pays off. 20 years ago, my first evening in Budapest, I knew I would return. I have a home there now. I had the same feeling this morning; I will be back.

Posted by
12139 posts

Ufkak, now you know why I asked about the Kosovo stamp. But, so far I have entered Turkey, Kosovo and Albania twice and no one has stamped my passport. Im not really here.

Posted by
1865 posts

Hi James, from your posts i am deducting you are travelling alone. Did you hire a guide like you usually do?

Posted by
108 posts

We decided to go fly fishing in Missoula. Three of us in the boat and our guide wore a mask. We flew through SFO and the international terminal was a ghost town. We got in late so we stayed at the Airport Hyatt which pre-covid was $500+ a night. We stayed for $150. Flying was easy, masks, no service food service. Get on and get off.

Posted by
12139 posts

Hotel on edge of river $30/night
Air Fare $860
Full time guide with a car on call 24/7; $150/day
Fantastic food about $30/day
Beer $1/each

Fishing: fair

Regrets: none

Posted by
1865 posts

Sounds like a great trip and the prices aren’t BAD either

Posted by
12139 posts

Actually, for me, cheaper than a fly fishing trip to Colorado.

Last night the guide took me to some sort of party at the national park. He says the locals show up with boom boxes every weekend and dance Interesting. Tonight I have an invite to an engagement party. They really had no choice as its in the restaurant of my hotel. I'm the only non-Albanian at the hotel. All the English of all the staff combined is more than adequate.

Great staff, very clean hotel, excellent food. A+. Ohhhhh, but shared bathrooms. 2 for 6 rooms. And they are wet rooms too, so the whole room is the shower. But spotless, new, clean. No complaints.

And the view of the mountains from the dining room .... spectacular.

Posted by
1899 posts

Oh, James...yet another awesome trip! I really appreciate your on the ground report of how you experienced flying, airports, etc. I am so hoping to be able to get traveling again by late spring next year. I can just picture your fishing experience, it sounds wonderful. My grandfather taught me to fly fish when I was just a youngster but haven’t tried anywhere but the CA Sierras. Have a great time and I would love to hear more! With luck, my family and I will be flying through Istanbul on our way to Ljubljana late May (crossed fingers) so that info was especially relevant to me! .

Posted by
12139 posts

Here are some photos of the hotel and the surroundings. https://www.instagram.com/sofradardane/
Like many of the hotels here they are not on any of the booking sites. But if anyone were interested I can give you a contact. The hotels further up in the valley are larger and are on the booking sites but not as beautiful.

This is a whole different world up here. Essentially cut off from the rest of Albania by a mountain range, from the airport in Tirana you can reach it by a 4 hour drive through Kosovo or by the ferry on the Komani River (also 4 hour trip) or by an 8 hour walk through a mountain pass in the west. There are a lot of Kosovo and Albanian tourists but none i have seen from any place else.

Today we head to the Komani River Ferry, then the coast.

Would I have come here if not for the plague? Possibly not, and that would have been my loss.

Posted by
12139 posts

Paid the bill. 3 nights, 3 dinners, 2 lunches, 3 breakfasts, 6 beers = $120 euro.

Posted by
12139 posts

Took the 2 hour ferry down Lake Komani.

https://images.app.goo.gl/SxxSkWn547S67D6h8
2 hours worked out to 3 after stopping near villages to pick up passengers and after stopping to drag another boat off a beach. Apparently it got stuck when the water level went down. The ferry passengers assisted and the car ramp on the ferry doubled as a crane.

Backdoor enough??

Posted by
4189 posts

We plan an Albanian beach vacation at some point.

Posted by
12139 posts

Ate something that didn't agree with my stomach so the driver took me home where his wife prepared folk remedies. Excellent day.

Posted by
12139 posts

We both stayed in the same hotel.

Berat and then the coastal towns are for the Spring trip. The weather has turned a bit wet so I've decided to relax and finish the trip here. Its been a good week.

Posted by
12139 posts

Apparently the folk cures work well. Never had so many people so worried. Driver and his family, hotel clerk, hotel maid, guy at breakfast telling me what kind of food to eat.

Prayer time now ..... this is an amazing trip ....

Posted by
404 posts

James E.- that sounds like an wonderful trip in a great off the beaten path destination. I have added Albania to my travel list. I like anything related to the Ottoman Empire.
Safe travels back home.

Posted by
1865 posts

Amazing trip, glad you are enjoying your vacation. We appreciate you taking the time to keep us up-to-date while some of us travel vicariously through you.

Posted by
12139 posts

Tomorrow to some hot springs or something, then some natural areas ending in Tirana. The next morning the 17 hour trip home.

All in all, experienced no more than 30% of what there is to experience. This is a 10 day country to run past the high points 14 days to give it any justice .... i gave it 6 days.

If you come figure 50 to 60 euro a day for food, drinks, hotel: add 100 per day more for private driver/guide, but thats just on travel days.

Posted by
2644 posts

And if our experience in Tirana was any indication, the Albanians are very happy to have American tourists.

Posted by
12139 posts

I dont know about Americans in particular, but they have been very good to me and the other tourists I have seen. Very few Americans. I have heard American English 3 times since getting here. Traveling alone us easier than I thought it would be, but don't count on much English.

Posted by
6543 posts

How is the mask wearing and social distancing in the places you have visited, as well as between you and your driver?

Posted by
12139 posts

Much more important the fishing ....

The trout are similar to what we call bookies. Small but they put up a good fight. I had the best luck with the smallest zebra nymphs I had in my box. It has been a bit dry so water levels were not ideal. It was also unseasonably warm. But I found a number of deep pools with at least one sheer face and dropped the nymphs along side the face and set an indicator to let them settle at about 4 feet .... pretty good luck with that. Dry flies were not as good, but mainly because I overslept and missed the morning feeding more often than not. I used a 5wt rod but a 3 or 4 would have been much better but the only 7 piece rod I have is the 5 and it takes a 7 piece to fit in my carry on. I used 5x line with 6x tippet which I think was about right. Most of the fishing required wading no deeper than 2 feet and i brought hip waders for that. Does that answer your questions? I figure most readers will be bored with this so I skipped it.

Posted by
12139 posts

Albania has been on my radar for years but I kept passing it over for what seemed to be surer bets. Recent events pushed it to the top and now I regret not getting here sooner. I missed so much a second trip will be essential. I'm thinking maybe late May or early June when the mountain snow melts will make the fishing more interesting.

Posted by
12139 posts

On a side note, I left my elec adapter at home so had to buy one in the Houston airport. The only one I could find was one of those large square multi adapters .... i knew better but had no choice. They don't fit the standard recessed outlets. I spent a lot of time searching for flush mounted outlets. Usually found them behind TVs and in bathrooms. Don't buy these things.

Posted by
12139 posts

Nick, the info is pretty scarce. I spent months on websites. Thats why I thought this might be helpful. I you do get interested i can send you all my trip details.

And check with Ufkak, he saw the half i missed.

Posted by
12139 posts

Heck, we got side tracked.

This morning drove from Gj to St Mary's Monastery on the coast west of Tirana. It sits on an island in the middle of a tidal marsh. Connected by a long wooden foot bridge. The marsh was full of fish and hundreds of crabs. Beautiful area. Stopped at a fish restaurant for what I think were sardines, octopus, some sort of fish fritters and fish soup. All the food has been great, but this among the best. Simple little place with maybe 6 tables outside. Then the rains came. Weather is good again here in Tirana. Final night of relaxation before I head home.

Posted by
12139 posts

Thank you Susan. I wish you could hang photos on the RS forum. It was a beautiful experience.

Posted by
1865 posts

Yes James, i hope you have an uneventful, smooth trip home.

Posted by
7684 posts

James, i’ll trade you my email address for some photos! I love other people’s travel photos. For real.

Posted by
12139 posts

I talk about the flights as they represent a situation where you have no control over the circumstances. Every place else is somewhat under your control. Also I expect that what I experience us somewhat uniform from flight to flight on the same airline.

Got to the airport 1.5 hours early. Only passengers allowed in the terminal. Everyone required to mask up. The check in line however has little social distancing. In security it was controlled. Waiting area had the usual number of seats blocked for distancing. This is the only flight at this time so not crowded.

Plane boarded front and rear to cut congestion and it worked. Flight attendants in face shields and masks passing out masks and hand sanitizer.

This time I have a window, but its an exit row, so a bit larger. Better than usual exit row procedure instruction.

I am pleased with the process so far. But thats subjective.

Oh this is Albania Air, but they are mostly owned and operated by Turkish Air, so procedures are consistent with Turkish Air.

Posted by
12139 posts

Okay, its getting redundant. Istanbul same as Tirana with more, a lot more, security checks.

Posted by
12139 posts

Two of you mentioned you will be transiting in Istanbul soon. You will exit your plane and follow the signs for international transfers ... for me it was a very, very long walk. Then you will have to go through security. The usual bags on conveyor belt thing. People were being asked to open their lap tops and turn them on. Enough lines though that it wasn't miserable. Then you will go up the stairs to departures. Huge airport but the signage is good, but plan on long walks. Still 100% easier than Heathrow.

On your connection back to the states the same procedure, but your gate waiting area will be secure and you will have to present your passport to get in. I was questioned by 3 different people. Your hand luggage may get searched too. But again, run pretty well.

Boarding was by seat number to lessen the crunch.

I am on my flight home now. I have read several posts of those traveling in Europe now. If you were comfortable getting to Europe on the other airlines, then Turkish Air and Albania Air won't be an issue. From the description of the attitudes of those currently traveling, I don't believe there would be a situation in those places I visited in Albania where you could not create a comfort zone.

If you like the Rockies, nature and hearty food after long walks in the woods and if you like crystal clear Caribbean Beaches and fresh seafood restaurants, I found both here. If small villages with a unique and living culture still exist then this is a good place. If you want a very, very soft taste of Islam you will be comfortable and enthralled by this place.

Without exception, the people were kind, helpful, friendly and giving.

Pretty sure I will be back when the snows melt.

Posted by
1270 posts

Thank you James: I've really enjoyed reading about a country I've never known much about.
Safe trip home!

Posted by
7684 posts

Yes, thank you James for that description, sounds wonderful.

Posted by
2925 posts

You're an adventurer for sure James!

I'm happy to know that your experience with Turkish Airlines was good. I've wondered as we were booked to fly them in May. The prices are usually better than most other airlines and they were good to issue a refund when our flight was canceled. We'll consider booking with them when it's safe to go.

I'm curious about the folk remedy. Made with herbs? Was it in a tea? How did it taste? That's a unique travel experience...

Thank you for keeping us posted each day!

Posted by
12139 posts

Well, the last flight they failed in my book. Two passengers just ignored being told to wear their mask. After no more than 2 attempts the flight attendants just ignored them. Two young ladies, neither American. Not sure what the flight attendants could do, but nothing isn't the answer.

And the food? Gross is an under statement. And no houch.

Posted by
12139 posts

on my two flights in the last 8 days, no alcohol and soggy rolls stuffed with stinky tomato and a dab of cheese along with a tiny carton of peach juice and about a 1 inch square piece of cake. Same on both flights. The purpose of the report is to say what is, not what was.

As for masks I have been consistent. If they help 3% its worth it when you can't social distancnce. And when the airline says they will require it, I take that as a contract with their customers. How else can people make individual judgments for situations they can not control.

And Turkish Airs boarding and deplaning procedures were adequate for me, but not nearly as good as united

Posted by
45 posts

James, your trip sounds awesome and your pictures of this beautiful are wonderful! When you plan your return trip, I think you should consider taking a small group....I'll be the first to sign up!!

Posted by
12139 posts

I'm no tour guide, but I did find a good agency in Albania that took care of the details so I could enjoy. Flexible too, as we made several running changes.

Posted by
31 posts

Many airlines are cutting back inflight service to minimize the contact between passengers and crew. Meal and beverage choices are less than what was available during normal times. This is true in all classes. Less hot food offerings more pre-packaged choices.

I wish all airlines would do what Delta does to passengers who won't wear a mask in flight. Add them to their own "no fly" list. You don't wear a mask, you don't fly on Delta in the future.

Posted by
12139 posts

Worldtraveler, Delta has the right idea. In my mind the flight is one if the few aspects if travel where I can not control my own environment. I care less if they require or don't require masks on a flight then I care that they adhere to their policy, what ever it is, so I can make informed decisions and have the factors governing those decisions prove to be true in fact.

Between United and Turkish Air; United won, hands down. Never thought I would say something good about United. But then I was just on one United flight so I have no idea if it was typical so don't judge anything on my experience.

Back on the food. You are correct. Ufkak hasn't been out in a while or he would have known. I have flown with 5 airlines (SW, Turk, Albania Frontier, United) since this thing began and not one had traditional food service. They pass out paper bags with crap rolls in them, then puck up the trash, then maybe bottled water a bit later. Otherwise there us nothing else.

After reading another thread, something else came to mind.

Not once did I ever get any indication that any citizen of Albania resented my presence there under the current circumstances. In fact I can think of no other trip where the people were more welcoming or kinder than what I encountered in Albania. There was no "Stay away" attitude perceivable.

Posted by
1671 posts

Ufkak,

Perhaps you should know what Turkish airlines is currently doing before basically accusing someone of being wrong.

https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-us/flights/fly-different/dining-onboard/covid-19/

https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-us/announcements/coronavirus-outbreak/what-you-should-know-during-the-pandemic/

"Does alcohol service continue on flights? Read more
Alcohol is not served in Economy Class at this time."

"Why are only cold meals served onboard during the pandemic? Read more
To minimize contact between cabin crew and meals, and to offer a healthier journey, a cold catering service is currently in effect."

Goes on to say basically they are throwing a prepacked thing at you and that's it! They do however have water and on LONG flights they have crackers!

Posted by
12139 posts

The topic of the thread was my trip last week not historic.. It was to provide some clue as what to expect in the current situation. I was a bit miffed that an airline with such a good reputation was having to cut back.

Posted by
1671 posts

James,

I appreciated your reporting. Not sure why others feel the need to "defend" an airline.

The real truth is that right now this is what you get in airlines and people planning to fly are better served by knowing the truth. RIght now "past reputation" is not an indicator of "current performance" :)

Posted by
3047 posts

Curious about the call to prayer, was it ever an unwelcome 5 am wake-up call?

Posted by
12139 posts

I am sort of a lover of religious dedication. The sound resonated well with me. I made a video one evening during the prayer call and sent it to some Muslim friends back home. Sort of a look where the redneck is message. They thanked me for the reminder of their culture and said it brought them good memories and a bit of sadness.

A shared appreciation for worship can bring people together: especially when you realize it is the same god of Abraham.