Many travelers on the Paramaribo-Amsterdam route and vice versa choose SLM for the same reasons: tickets are cheaper, good food on board and satisfaction with service delivery. “As a woman you sometimes struggle to get your cabin luggage in de overhead bin. When this happens, the SLM flight attendants will assist you. At other airlines, they just stand back and watch”, says a Surinamese woman with a great deal of travel experience.
For those returning to Suriname for a visit, the feeling of being at home is another important reason to travel with SLM. “Suriname is a beautiful country. While I am on board the aircraft, I already feel at home. I know all the cabin crew by sight”, says Tamara Harman from The Hague. She then turns her head towards her daughter: “She is currently following a flight attendant training program. When she has completed the training, she wants to work for SLM.”
In the front row of the departure hall are Marjadie Sodiko and his wife, from Leonsberg. These seniors travel to Amsterdam every year. When asked why they prefer SLM, they demonstrate their nationalism. “We want to uphold Suriname and SLM is from Suriname.” Their children in The Netherlands follow their parents’ conviction. The Sodikos laugh when they mention another reason: “We have a cousin who is a flight attendant and we often meet him during a flight.”
When the pre-boarding announcement comes, George Pinas is not in a hurry to get up. As an experienced traveler, he knows when it is really time to do so. Besides Amsterdam, Mr.Pinas often travels to Miami and he has not missed an edition of the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival yet. He always deliberately chooses SLM. “Other carriers are cheaper sometimes, but for me it is the national sentiment. That is why I do it. Surinam Airways is our national carrier. You feel at home among your own people.”
Text & photos: Charles Chang, September 2019
Translation: Roline Brahim-Tjen A Kwoei/Equivalence Translations