Let’s start 2012 with a jokey post. Now, of course all these airlines below are wonderful, professional and safe. But air travel is a stressful experience and it has been the butt of jokes, comedy films and satirical TV series, maybe out of our desire to laugh in the face of fear.

So, in the same spirit, here are what some airline initials really mean. Some are old, some are new, some are borrowed and, yes, some are blue.

Alitalia Always late in Take Off Always Late in Arrival (or Aircraft lands in Tokyo, All Luggage in Amsterdam)

BA: Better Avoid (or Bloody Awful, take your pick)

PIA: Pray In Advance

Lufthansa – Let Us Fondle the Hostess As No Steward Available (rather confusing methinks)

TAP: Take Another Plane

VARIG: Very Acute Rot In Gut

BMI: Buy More Insurance

Olympic: Onassis Likes Your Money Paid In Cash (ah, the olden days)

DELTA: Don’t Expect Lunch Today Aboard

SABENA: Such A Bleeding’ Experience Never Again (airline defunct – for what reason I can not guess)

QANTAS: Quick And Nasty Traumatic Australian Service

El Al: Everyone’s Luggage Always Lost

plus of course my favourites:

RyanAir: Ruining Your Arrival Necessitates Another Irksome Rule

Easyjet: Enjoy Appalling Service: You’ll Jeer Every Takeoff

Happy 2012!