a crazy story about domestic flights in Somalia

Somalia: pray before, during, and after your flight — an article by Hamza Mohamed, an independent British-Somali journalist — tells a story that is either harrowing or unbelievable. I have no way of knowing whether the linked article is fact, fiction, or simply a true story with some measure of exaggeration.

It's an interesting read, and it raises disturbing questions about air safety in Somalia, an impoverished African nation. If true, Mohamed describes a serious problem with air safety. The plane was over-crowded with 25 passengers standing in the aisle throughout the flight. Equipment was defective —many faulty seats, some without seat belts, a crack in the window, a non-functioning air-conditioning system, no PA system). The professionalism of the pilots was in question — "two old, pot-bellied, sun-burnt, sweat-covered, cigarette-smoking, booze-smelling, Eastern European male pilots wearing only shorts."

Readers' comments after the article debate the veracity of the story, some stating that this is exactly how things are in Somalia, others insisting that the story is absolute rubbish.

What do you think?

copyright (c) 2013 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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