EgyptAir is in the news again, and it is never good news with EgyptAir. Lucky and I are planning our trip home from Colombo and had I not been traveling last week we likely would have confirmed our trip home through Cairo. This was just a day before the deadly accident of MS804. Should this accident change our plans? Lucky has already posted his thoughts and my reactions are very mixed, though I seem to be more drawn to EgyptAir than before the incident occurred.
It has been nearly seven years since I have been to Cairo and thus I have no first-hand knowledge of the security situation there. Investigators have not even determined the cause of the air crash yet, though whether the issue was terrorism, pilot error, or mechanical does not diminish the further shadow this event casts on EgyptAir. Security was incredibly lax at CAI when I was there and from what I hear, it has not changed at all.
My desire to fly EgyptAir was rooted in two sources. First, I want to fly every Star Alliance carrier and EgyptAir is one of three I have yet to fly. Second, I send a lot of Award Expert clients to South Africa and often the only premium cabin award space is via Cairo on EgyptAir. Nine times out of ten my clients will immediately reject EgyptAir. I had hoped to provide a honest but positive report showcasing that despite being a dry airline, flying EgyptAir was not to be dreaded. I question whether that will even be beneficial any more in light of security concerns in Egypt.
Sure, Lucky and I could fly EgyptAir and write, if nothing else, an entertaining report. But then what? If everyone is too afraid to fly through Cairo then the review would serve little good. But that is the same issue with the Kuwait Airways alternative — who is really going to fly in Kuwait Airways Business Class when the product is so bad?
But just like I am flying twice on Malaysia Airlines next month, part of me really wants to fly EgyptAir — now more than ever. I worked with wonderful EgyptAir personnel while I was at Star Alliance and I want to show some solidarity with the superb employees of EgyptAir while also refusing to cave into the goal of terrorism: to disrupt our lives.
I know, I know…Flight 900…pilot suicide…but think about it. Really. Our chances of getting killed braving LA traffic from the Westside to LAX are still much greater than any threats of terrorism. If we are going to play probability games, those are the cold hard facts.
So while part of me is still leaning toward Royal Jordanian because so many of you have American Airlines miles and may not be familiar with the RJ product, this incident in Egypt now makes me more anxious to fly EgyptAir, not less.
Of course to my family (hi Mom!), this cannot be more shocking and I understand the concern — why even put yourself at any elevated risk of danger, no matter how small? Well, maybe because you, dear readers, would like to read more than just a flight review but about how current events are shaping and changing a major airline. That would be my focus of any writing on the event.
So what do you think? EgyptAir or not?