Shocking news this week: Israel’s national airline was named the “noisiest” at Heathrow, ticked off with a “red rating,” placed bottom of a league table and “written to” by airport management.
We immediately queried it with the report’s authors, asking whether they were sure they had the right country. Was it really ‘Israel’ they meant? Not ‘Iceland’? For it is a common truth that Israelis are quiet, shy, retiring folk, slow to come forward, reluctant to offend, always thinking of others.
Were it not for the signposts, you’d never even know they were there, tucked away at the end of that 12-mile Terminal 1 pier. The idea that they may be the noisiest bunch at Heathrow would no doubt cause angry, rambunctious uproar at other, more boisterous airlines, but at El Al, it elicits nothing but muted anguish. Such is the nature of Israelis. Clearly, there must be an error, we thought, and a closer look at the study revealed the sinkhole in logic. Lo and behold, the study’s “noise metrics” were all based on the planes themselves, not the passengers. It turns out the El Al fleet could be quieter on their descent and in terms of their engine noise. Thank goodness. PR crisis averted. Nation’s reputation saved. Long may people of the world know Israel as a nation of reserved, courteous deference.