Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/226396/

Topic: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 09:47:51 and read 20332 times.




Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz



Intro
In early 2012 my brother and I decided to go on another Asia tour. Our focus was on Dubai and Bangkok, but later we also decided to include a short stay in Taipei in order to visit the Taipei 101. We had planned to combine one-way flights from the beginning to the end, but it turned out to be much cheaper to return to Dubai again before going home. As usual, I tried to include as many new carriers as possible.

First of all, we booked a very cheap Munich-Doha-Dubai roundtrip on Qatar Airways, an airline which I had wanted to try for a long time. In order to get from Dubai to Bangkok, I would have preferred Gulf Air as it would have been another new carrier, but there was no service to Bangkok on the desired day of travel. So we chose SriLankan Airlines which had impressed me back in 2006. Finally, we decided to fly China Airlines, another new airline for me, from Bangkok to Taipei. Details about the last two sectors will follow in the next part. In the end, we had booked nine flights (both Business and Economy Class) on five different airlines, including three new ones. This is what the final itinerary looked like:

Munich-Doha
Doha-Dubai
Dubai-Colombo
Colombo-Bangkok
Bangkok-Taipei
Taipei-Seoul
Seoul-Dubai
Dubai-Doha
Doha-Munich


Map:


Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

This part of my current series will focus on the DXB-CMB-BKK sectors on SriLankan Airlines, our stay in Bangkok and the BKK-TPE flight on China Airlines.

Part I can be found here:
5* Carrier, Hilton Suite & Dubai's Epic Landmarks (by PlaneHunter Aug 10 2012 in Trip Reports)




Sunday, March 2012
Dubai (DXB) - Colombo (CMB)
SriLankan Airlines UL228
Scheduled times: 22:50-04:40
Actual times: 23:40-05:24
Flight duration: 03:51 (hrs)
Distance: 2041 miles
Economy Class, seat 55A

Airbus A330-243
4R-ALB (MSN 306)
Delivered in 11/1999


2nd flight on 4R-ALB
16th A330-200 flight
26th A330 flight



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wongwei
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Viktor Gula


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jerry Pang
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter Bakema



After having spent a nice day in Dubai, we took a taxi to the airport more than two hours before departure. We didn't have to wait more than five minutes in queue, but the check-in process took much longer than expected. After the young agent had entered our data, nothing happened for a while. Then she wanted to see our visas, but I told her that we didn't need any in order to enter Thailand.

Some more minutes passed without any notable progress and after I had asked whether there was a problem, she referred to a "missing entry" in our reservation. Then, after talking to an older colleague, she asked for my credit card for verification. I gave it to her, but apparently the system didn't accept it.  Yeah sure I was slowly getting annoyed, but finally everything worked out and she could print our boarding passes.

I had already pre-reserved our seats, but that hadn't been easy either. During the booking process on SriLankan's website, I had been able to select seats for both flights, but the assignments had changed when I checked the reservation again later. Interestingly, on one sector we had been moved to a row which didn't exist according the seat maps on the carrier's website. So I tried to select new seats, but the system only accepted changes on one sector - an error message showed up when I tried to change the other seat assignments.  Embarrassment

After several failed attempts - spread over two weeks or so - I finally called SriLankan's worldwide hotline. The young male agent wasn't overly friendly and his English wasn't great either. However, I was finally able to get the desired seats (window and aisle in the back, just before the fuselage curvature) on both sectors.  thumbsup 

Back to Dubai Airport. We had plenty of time left, so we kept walking through the terminal for a while. There's a very interesting exhibition about the development of aviation in Dubai in the passage between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. But something's fundamentally wrong here:


Any idea? The first user with the right answer gets a free ginger ale (or another drink) during a future meeting.  Wink

As mentioned above, I had four nice flights on SriLankan Airlines A330-200s and an A340-300 in 2006 (report can be found here). Now I was certainly hoping that I wouldn't get the same aircraft (4R-ALB/ALC & 4R-ADA) again. Actually I was even hoping to get one of the new fleet additions. Since 2006, UL had added three used A330-200s (formerly operated by bmi, Yemenia and Thomas Cook Airlines) as well as one A340-300 (formerly operated by Cathay Pacific).

The plane, inbound from Kuwait, arrived on time, but I was very disappointed when I discovered a "B" over the cockpit windows...  thumbsdown 


4R-ALB is one of seven A330-200s in the fleet and flew me from Frankfurt to Colombo in 2006.

Unfortunately, boarding didn't commence as planned and after the scheduled departure time (22:50) had passed, I was getting a bit concerned. But then a gate agent announced that boarding would start at 23:10, referring to "congestion at the airport" - which didn't make any sense.

Boarding finally commenced at 23:15 and we stepped on board a few minutes later. We received a friendly welcome, but the crew couldn't really impress me later during the flight. Many seats were already occupied by passengers originating from Kuwait and it was obvious that most people on this flight were guest workers.

4R-ALB used to be equipped with comfortable turquoise seats back in 2006, but now those were rock hard and looked totally different:


Additionally, the lumbar support was inflated which didn't feel good at all. I pressed the button to deflate it, but it didn't work.  thumbsdown 

The seat back confirmed that UL had only replaced the covers. My PTV would remain black throughout the whole flight:



What I found disappointing as well was the reduction of legroom - the 32 inch pitch which I had enjoyed in 2006 was gone, while the large IFE box was still there:


While the reduction of legroom didn't bother me so much, my brother (who is taller than I) felt totally cramped.

The whole cabin looked worn - and so were the tables which fell down on our legs after unlocking:



My handset's front side still looked fine...



...in contrast to the back side:



I cannot say much about the headphones which I didn't use due to my inoperative PTV:



Inflight magazine and safety card:



Shopping guide:


I couldn't find an IFE guide in my seat pocket, but it would have been obsolete anyway.

At 23:25, after boarding had been completed (load factor somewhere between 90 and 100 percent), the captain made a welcome announcement which was hard to understand for acoustic reasons. According to him, we wouldn't be able to leave the gate earlier than "30 minutes from now". He also mentioned something about "ATC" and "Muscat", but I didn't understand the whole sentence. However, there was no reason to be concerned about because we would still have plenty of time for the transfer at Colombo. After the announcement, the flight attendants distributed cold towels.

We finally left the gate a bit earlier than announced and took off shortly before midnight. Tasty nuts and drinks were offered about 30 minutes after takeoff. I was glad that SriLankan still had Schweppes Dry Ginger Ale but I didn't get the whole can:



Hot meals were served shortly after the snack service. SriLankan still provides pretty menu cards (which get distributed and recollected again):



One cannot complain about the bar service:



SriLankan still offers a choice of three main courses - and the food descriptions sounded very promising:



My brother wasn't hungry and rejected his meal, while I decided to try the lamb. Very nice tray:


I was totally impressed by the main course - meat, rice and sauce tasted very good. However, the salad had been spilled with a disgusting sauce and the pistachio cake was extremely sweet.

After dinner, I tried to get some sleep, but failed. About one hour before arrival, I was totally shocked after opening a lavatory door - it looked so horrible in there that I immediately shut the door again and went to another lavatory. Don't ask me to go into detail any further...  Embarrassment
Well, the other lavatory was in acceptable condition and I was able to lock the door, but, as I found out later, the sign "vacant" was stuck.  Yeah sure

There wasn't much to do for the rest of the flight behind my black screen:



My brother's IFE didn't work properly either, but at least he could watch the airshow channel:



Airshow channel also running on the overhead screens:


Surprisingly, the front camera view appeared on the screens during final approach.

We touched down in darkness after a flying time of 3 hours and 51 minutes and taxied to a remote parking position next to some other SriLankan aircraft. Many passengers jumped up and started pushing and shoving in the aisle...probably they were in great fear that the busses would leave them behind on the apron.  Yeah sure

Anyway, there was no reason to hurry, so I took some more cabin pictures. The interior is very similar to the one on Emirates' A330-200s:



Nice design:



I'd have preferred to fly on sister ship 4R-ALA in the background:






Monday, March 2012
Colombo (CMB) - Bangkok (BKK)
SriLankan Airlines UL422
Scheduled times: 07:20-12:15
Actual times: 07:21-12:39
Flight duration: 03:31 (hrs)
Distance: 1487 miles
Economy Class, seat 60H

Airbus A340-311
4R-ADA (MSN 032)
Delivered in 09/1994


2nd flight on 4R-ADA
12th A340-300 flight
17th A340 flight



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Steven Shi
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthias Bindseil


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mike Fuchslocher
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Glenn Beasley - Global Aviation Resource



Former appearance:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alan Tsui
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum




Back in 2006, I had been impressed by the nice and clean terminal building. This time, however, it didn't appear well-kept any longer and the restrooms were filthy.

There was only one A340 parked at a gate position - and that gate turned out to be ours. My worst fear came true when I identified the plane. There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006...  Embarrassment


Two "old friends" in a row, that's what I call bad luck...but I was too tired to bother. We passed security once the gate had been opened and I took a seat. Spotting opportunities were limited, but I at least I can say that I logged Mihin Lanka's entire fleet...which consisted of one A320 and one A321 back then.  Wink

This is SriLankan A320 4R-ABO, one of eight frames in the fleet:



Numerous tourists from Europe kept filling up the gate and I was expecting another packed flight. Boarding commenced on time and we soon received a friendly welcome again - and this time the entire crew turned out to be nice.

The interior was in better overall condition, but everything looked worn. Seat colors hadn't been changed since 2006:



Both PTVs in our row were working this time:



As expected, the seats were hard again, but there was even less legroom:


As seat pitch was slightly more generous in the window seat, I let my brother move there. Otherwise the flight would have been a torture for him.

In addition to the usual magazines, I also found an IFE guide in my seat pocket this time - however, I didn’t check whether all advertised entertainment options were indeed available:



What I noticed with disgust was a bad smell in the cabin. And what I found even more disgusting was the fact that one lavatory apparently hadn't been cleaned properly before boarding.  thumbsdown 

In his welcome speech, the captain announced an on-time departure and a flying time of 3 hours and 15 minutes. We were indeed pushed back almost on time, taxied straight to the runway and started a typical A340 Classic takeoff roll:



Menu cards were also distributed on this flight:



Interesting options once again:



My brother and I ordered the omelette...


...which turned out to be fine, just like the potatoes and the mushrooms. But I didn't like the "grilled signature chicken sausage" - and the fruit pieces didn't taste fresh. This time my cold drink was served in a glass - that had already impressed me back in 2006. Unfortunately, the coffee tasted burned.

The seat belt signs had already been switched on before breakfast service, but nothing had been happening for 30 minutes or so. But just after we had finished our drinks, the plane suddenly dropped - which felt like being hit by something.  alert  There was total silence in the cabin as people were paralyzed for a short moment. And then I discovered numerous people with wipes in their hands cleaning walls and overhead ceilings because their drinks had splashed upwards! Well, one should never underestimate the Bay of Bengal!  Wink

Less than a minute after the event, the captain made an announcement, referred to sudden turbulence and advised passengers to remain seated with seat belts fastened. However, the seat belt sign was switched off again after a while. Perfect opportunity for a cabin shot:



As usual, I had been watching the airshow channel most of the time. Almost there:



After circling for a while, we finally touched down after a flying time of 3 hours and 31 minutes. Taking approach and landing pictures through the dirty window had been a bit difficult, so here's just one - Transaero's 747-400s are frequent visitors at Bangkok:


We arrived at the gate 24 minutes late and once we had left the plane, we walked straight to the immigration hall. Apparently, numerous other flights had just arrived, too, because huge queues had formed - and they were moving very slowly. So we were stuck for at least an hour, probably much more. Of course we weren't happy to find ourselves in such a situation again after the bad experience at Dubai Airport...and this time it was much warmer in the "waiting area".  thumbsdown 

[Edited 2012-09-24 10:00:23]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 09:48:33 and read 20533 times.

Two Nights in Bangkok
After grabbing our luggage, we walked straight to the taxi stand. There are cheaper ways to get into Bangkok, but we preferred the comfortable ride direct to the hotel door. The driver turned out to be very nice, spoke relatively good English and told us some interesting things about the city. Due to low traffic, we reached the exclusive Le Méridien Bangkok in the city’s Silom area in about 40 minutes. Very friendly receptionists welcomed us and quickly handed out the key cards. Very elegant lobby:



Cool design - never seen such a hotel entrance:



The room was nice...


...but I just didn't like the aircon blowing air directly towards the beds. There should be a better solution in a 5-star hotel.

Information material with delicious chocolate bar and coffee bar coupons on each bed:



Views from the room:







Nice pool area - too bad we didn't have enough time to relax there:





In the early evening we decided to try the dinner buffet in the hotel's Latest Recipe restaurant. There was wide range of high-quality food - and only few other guests had decided to eat there, so it felt very private.









After our extended dinner, we explored the surrounding area. You just have to walk a few steps to immerse in the life of the city:



You cannot miss the hotel when on tour in the neighborhood.



The infamous Patpong entertainment district with its large night market and countless bars begins just across the street. Some impressions:



















On the next day, we visited the Grand Palace which is one of Thailand's most popular attractions. When our tour guide picked us up, we were surprised to hear that the two of us were the only participants. We were stuck in traffic again and again, but that gave me the opportunity to take some pictures:









Finally there:



The Grand Palace is made up of numerous stunning buildings, halls, pavilions, gardens and courtyards. Here's just a small selection of pictures which we took on the site:

































After the tour was over, we asked the driver to drop us off at the Baiyoke Tower II which is Thailand's tallest building. You need to be patient when driving in Bangkok...



Hungry?



Baiyoke Tower II rises 328 meters and contains the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia and the fourth-tallest all-hotel structure in the world:



The building has 85 floors, with a public observatory on the 77th floor, a bar on the 83rd floor and a 360-degree revolving roof deck - and the latter is where we headed to. The views were stunning in the late afternoon sun:















This is the Siam Paragon mall, our next destination:













If you want to buy something which you cannot find on the city's markets, I recommend to visit the Siam Paragon, one of the largest shopping malls in Asia:



[Edited 2012-09-24 10:04:40]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 09:49:23 and read 20578 times.


Wednesday, March 2012
Bangkok (BKK) - Taipei (TPE)
China Airlines CI066
Scheduled times: 08:30-13:00
Actual times: 08:27-12:52
Flight duration: 03:05 (hrs)
Distance: 1547 miles
Economy Class, seat 61J

Boeing 747-409
B-18201 (s/n 1114)
Delivered in 05/1997


1st flight on B-18201
17th 747-400 flight
21st 747 flight
132nd airline



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Edward Lai
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dennis Chang


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sneeze Lam
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kobayashi




Due to the early departure time, we left the hotel before 06:00, but traffic was low and we reached the airport well in time. I had already selected our seats in the second last row (two-seater) during the booking process, so there was no need to worry. There were only few people waiting in queue and a friendly agent soon entered our data. Then she wanted to know what our next destination after Taipei would be and she asked to see the e-ticket printouts. "Oh, you live in Dubai?", she said somehow euphorically after I showed her our itinerary for the next two days. I denied, but didn't go into any further detail. We finally got our boarding passes and went airside.

S7's green aircraft, such as 767-300ER VQ-BBI, stand out everywhere. There's also a Nordwind 757-200 in the background:



The most exotic plane at BKK on that morning was 747SP A9C-HAK of Bahrain Royal Flight:



And there's the tail of our China Airlines 747-400 which had arrived from Amsterdam:



Of course I had been hoping to get one of these birds, oh well...


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Raymond Karsten - Dutch Aviation Pics
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © KSK



Our plane was B-18201, the second oldest frame in the 13-strong 747-400 (pax) fleet. Just look how dirty the plane was:



We didn't see a reason to line up with the crowd, so we belonged to the last passengers to step on board. Friendly flight attendants welcomed us, but the good first impression was gone soon. The interior was old and worn - and there were large spots on the seats:



No PTVs in this retro cabin:



While the old seats were remarkably comfortable, legroom was tight:


According to Seatguru, China Airlines has a pitch of 32 inches on the 747 fleet, but this was clearly not the case in our row. Since there was slightly more legroom in the window seat, I let my brother sit there. I was very disappointed by China Airlines' hardware - I wouldn't want to take a long-haul flight on such a plane.  thumbsdown 

Inflight magazine and safety card:



Shopping guide:



My headphones remained unused:



S7 Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air India and China Southern:



We left the gate 3 minutes early and soon passed Thai Airways A330-300 HS-TEE...



...as well as ANA Cargo 767-300ERBCF JA8286 and a Volga-Dnepr An-124-100:



Another interesting visitor was Avient Aviation's sole MD-11F, Z-BVT:



The massive An-124 again:



Liftoff after a powerful takeoff roll:



Dirty windows were another annoyance on this plane:



Hot meals were served about an hour after takeoff. I chose chicken over fish and got a nice-looking tray:


However, the quality of the meal was below average. Rice, vegetable and fruit were okay, but the breaded chicken pieces, the (strange) salad and the coconut cream dessert tasted terrible. It was probably the worst meal I have ever received on an Asian carrier. And no, that artificially colored fruit juice (or punch or whatever) wasn't great either.

Btw - the flight attendants working on our side weren't overly charming either. And what I found totally unacceptable was an older male flight attendant rushing through the aisle with coffee and tea pots - he was moving so quickly that he must have missed some requests. And when he filled up a cup, he made it so quickly that he spilled some drops onto the trays or elsewhere. Very unprofessional!  thumbsdown 

This cabin looks very retro:



About 20 minutes before landing, we dived into dense clouds and it was almost impossible to see the wingtip any more:



The ground appeared only shortly before touchdown which happened after a flying time of 3 hours and 5 minutes. What a bad weather at Taipei:



China Airlines meets Air China:


Due to reconstruction work, we had to walk through dark corridors and finally arrived in an old hall where we had to line up at immigration. 20 minutes later, we could step outside and were surprised how cool it was compared to Bangkok. The next bus to the city center was about to leave in five minutes which we were very glad about. However, we were still disgruntled about the terribly bad weather considering that we were planning to visit the Taipei 101 later in the day. Story to be continued...



Conclusion
Both airlines performed worse than expected and I'm particularly disappointed by SriLankan Airlines because I had some nice flights on that carrier back in 2006. The A332 cabin was in terrible condition and seating was extremely cramped on both types. Cabin crews were partly nice, but not overly impressive either - at least the catering was still good. I would fly SriLankan again, but only after all widebodies have received the rather promising new interior.

Old and worn cabin, seats with big spots, tight legroom, below-average catering, unimpressive service - that China Airlines flight was a major disappointment. What I found very irritating is the fact that planes with that old interior are also used on the carrier's longest routes. At least the booking process (including seat selection) on the carrier's website had been convenient. However, I wouldn't fly on a China Airlines 747 again until all planes have been refurbished.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
5* Carrier, Hilton Suite & Dubai's Epic Landmarks
India's Finest? BKK-BOM-LHR, Jet Airways 738 & 77W
3x Asian Quality: CGK-SIN-HKT-BKK On GA, FD & PG
Blast From The Past: Sriwijaya 732 & Lion Air 739
Widebody Hopping & KUL Spotting: SIA A330, KLM 77W
QF A380 Grounded, Bags Lost - LHR-SIN, TK A330/340
Type Downgrade, Class Upgrade: EgyptAir Business
Long-Haul Cabin On A 737: MUC-CAI On PrivatAir
1 Day, 2 Highlights: Big A.net Meeting & LAN A340
Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
BA Vs. LCC, African Way: JNB-DUR-CPT, Comair/Mango
Africa's Best Airline? FRA-JNB On SAA A340-600
Fuel Dump & Return To CDG: Enroute To LAX On 9/11
Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Exploring A Virgin: VS A343/A346 & Dubai Delights
Superb Stübli & Crew: LAS-LAX-ZRH-MUC, LX J Class
Grand Canyon & More: Scenic Flight On Dornier 228
San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco
Fully Flat Bed to SFO: SWISS' New Business Class
Mountains, Meals & More: SunExpress Vs. Pegasus
Crossing Two Oceans: AKL-SFO-MUC, NZ 777 & LH A346
Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2012-09-24 10:10:19]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: win1290
Posted 2012-09-24 10:19:58 and read 20240 times.

Hi PH,

I only just started reading this, but want to make a guess on your question  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Back to Dubai Airport. We had plenty of time left, so we kept walking through the terminal for a while. There's a very interesting exhibition about the development of aviation in Dubai in the passage between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. But something's fundamentally wrong here:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Any idea? The first user with the right answer gets a free ginger ale (or another drink) during a future meeting.  

Well, I think the Dubai-LA was operated by 777-200LR, rather than the E6-EMK which was 777-200ER as pictured, as the 777-200ER version doesn't have the range for the flight.

Regards,

WIn

[Edited 2012-09-24 10:21:04]

[Edited 2012-09-24 10:30:12]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 10:35:45 and read 20164 times.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 3):
I only just started reading this, but want to make a guess on your question

Hi Win, you really wanted to win this, right?  

Quoting win1290 (Reply 3):
Well, I think the Dubai-LA was operated by 777-200LR, rather than the E6-EMK which was 777-200ER as pictured.

Exactly! I hadn't expected the right answer so fast. EK's 777-200ERs have certainly never flown to LAX. It's A6-EMK, btw, but that doesn't matter for the contest.

I'm looking forward to buy you a drink - whenever that may be!


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: lukeyboy95
Posted 2012-09-24 10:39:56 and read 20128 times.

Hi PH,

As for your pub quiz, I am in no doubt that the more eagle-eyed spotter will have guessed it already... but is that really DXB? Perhaps a diff airport. Anyway,

Excellent report. You said you were easing back on the detail of your reports, but as far as I am concerned, this report seems to be business as usual; i.e. Excellent and well presented.

I was expecting this UL let down, after you mentioned caution. Now, what has begun this sliding of standards?? As more time has passed since EK was off the scene>?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
But I didn't like the "grilled signature chicken sausage"

And as a German, you ought to know your sausage.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
I can say that I logged Mihin Lanka's entire fleet...which consisted of one A320 and one A321 back then.

UL are a bit cheeky in their deployment of Mihin flights. E.g. DXB-CMB-CGK, the longer CGK leg is operated by Mihin, and the information on this is tiny in the booking search engine. Suppose it is the same as my mate who booked EY RUH-ABU-DHABI-HKT and got AirBerlin for the longest Phuket sector. Bummer...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
only few other guests had decided to eat there, so it felt very private

Eeek, what a waste of food this could be. Did look great though, and I am surprised you had the energy to explore afterwards.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
747SP A9C-HAK of Bahrain Royal Flight:

probably escaping the fun back home!

Thanks PH,

Luke!

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: lukeyboy95
Posted 2012-09-24 10:41:59 and read 20118 times.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 3):
Well, I think the Dubai-LA was operated by 777-200LR, rather than the E6-EMK which was 777-200ER as pictured, as the 777-200ER version doesn't have the range for the flight.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Exactly!

Oh! Foul... ! This question is only for die-hard plane-spotters that understand those letters at the end! haha

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 10:50:26 and read 20095 times.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
As for your pub quiz, I am in no doubt that the more eagle-eyed spotter will have guessed it already... but is that really DXB? Perhaps a diff airport. Anyway,

Hi Luke! The question was answered faster than I had expected! I guess I need to find something more diffcult next time.  

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Excellent report. You said you were easing back on the detail of your reports, but as far as I am concerned, this report seems to be business as usual; i.e. Excellent and well presented.

Many thanks. Well, I used to write more about flight planning etc. And I only write when I take pleasure in doing so.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
I was expecting this UL let down, after you mentioned caution. Now, what has begun this sliding of standards?? As more time has passed since EK was off the scene>?

I'm not sure when it has begun, but EK's withdrawal certainly didn't help. However, I'm hoping UL will improve again. The new interiors are a big step in the right direction.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
And as a German, you ought to know your sausage.

No doubt about that!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Suppose it is the same as my mate who booked EY RUH-ABU-DHABI-HKT and got AirBerlin for the longest Phuket sector. Bummer...

Now that's a bad surprise indeed!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Eeek, what a waste of food this could be.

Yes, unfortunately. That's what I thought, too.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Did look great though, and I am surprised you had the energy to explore afterwards.

Well, we just walked around in the neighborhood.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
probably escaping the fun back home!

Yes, probably.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Luxair747SP
Posted 2012-09-24 10:59:43 and read 20052 times.

Hi PH,

Very nice TR about your Asia travel!
Quite retro cabins on all of your flights in this report!
Sometimes I like that retro feeling in the world of modern aircraft with endless IFE options.
The food looked great on UL!
Your CI flight indeed looked quite below average, but on the other hand, without PTV, one can fully enjoy the flying!.

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Servus,
Johannes

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 11:06:59 and read 20031 times.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
Oh! Foul... ! This question is only for die-hard plane-spotters that understand those letters at the end! haha

I'm sorry, Luke!  

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 8):
Very nice TR about your Asia travel!

Hi Johannes, thanks for your comments!

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 8):
Quite retro cabins on all of your flights in this report!

Yes. I was hoping for the newest hardware and got the oldest...

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 8):
The food looked great on UL!

Let's hope that standard will be kept.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 8):
Your CI flight indeed looked quite below average, but on the other hand, without PTV, one can fully enjoy the flying!.

Well, I enjoy it much more with a moving map in front of me.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2012-09-24 11:12:12 and read 20009 times.

Hello PH!

Great report!
Very interesting to read about your UL and CI experience. I especially enjoyed the China Airlines bit, since I will be flying EVA Air next month on a similarly long route, so it was nice to see what the competition has to offer.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006...

Shame that you got two regs you had already flown.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
As seat pitch was slightly more generous in the window seat, I let my brother move there

Was that due to the curvature of the fuselage?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Of course I had been hoping to get one of these birds, oh well...

The one in the Boeing livery is really stunning, the flower on the stabilizer doesn't make it any worse either. The Skyteam one is also a good looking bird, of course.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hot meals were served about an hour after takeoff. I chose chicken over fish and got a nice-looking tray:

That does indeed look very good, shame it didn't taste as good.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, we were still disgruntled about the terribly bad weather considering that we were planning to visit the Taipei 101 later in the day. Story to be continued...

Very much looking forward to the next part featuring Taipei, since I'll spend a couple of days there before my EVA Air flight.

Martin

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 11:17:11 and read 19995 times.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Great report!
Very interesting to read about your UL and CI experience.

Hi Martin, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
I especially enjoyed the China Airlines bit, since I will be flying EVA Air next month on a similarly long route, so it was nice to see what the competition has to offer.

That sounds really good! Which type will you get?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Shame that you got two regs you had already flown.

That was bad luck indeed.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Was that due to the curvature of the fuselage?

Yes.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):

The one in the Boeing livery is really stunning, the flower on the stabilizer doesn't make it any worse either. The Skyteam one is also a good looking bird, of course.

Those birds look really stunning, saw the Dreamliner 747 on the ground after takeoff from TPE.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
That does indeed look very good, shame it didn't taste as good.

  

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Very much looking forward to the next part featuring Taipei, since I'll spend a couple of days there before my EVA Air flight.

Good decision, it's a nice city. Here are two reports about my first trip to Taiwan:

"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi (by PlaneHunter Jan 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101 (by PlaneHunter Feb 21 2009 in Trip Reports)


PH

[Edited 2012-09-24 11:21:33]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-24 11:21:48 and read 19976 times.

Wonderful trip report!
Looks like were in the exact same spot in more than one occasion on your trip.
The Sri Lankan A340 interior looks warm and inviting but too bad to hear about the seats being hard.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My brother wasn't hungry and rejected his meal, while I decided to try the lamb. Very nice tray:


That looks delicious!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the plane suddenly dropped - which felt like being hit by something. There was total silence in the cabin as people were paralyzed for a short moment. And then I discovered numerous people with wipes in their hands cleaning walls and overhead ceilings because their drinks had splashed upwards! Well, one should never underestimate the Bay of Bengal!



Would have been cool if you could have got a photo during the drop with coffee cups and sausages rising in the air.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
a typical A340 Classic takeoff roll:


Nice!
I like the A340-300 for this reason. Many dislike it for this reason.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Le Méridien Bangkok in the city’s Silom


Wise choice!  
I've stayed there before and know some of the people that run that hotel. Their Pan-Asian buffet is world class.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
The room was nice...


Looks like we even stayed in the same room.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
There should be a better solution in a 5-star hotel.


Those comforters are great and keep you warm even with an ice cold air conditioner blowing. They have the most comfortable beds I've slept in here in Bangkok.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Views from the room:


I like that view.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
The infamous Patpong entertainment district with its large night market and countless bars begins just across the street.


I always avoid that area. Very pushy vendors and is too touristy.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Hungry?



That is grilled nin fish (Pla-Nin-Yang Gur) ปลานิล

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Baiyoke Tower II rises 328 meters and contains the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia and the fourth-tallest all-hotel structure in the world:



I've been there many times. I stayed there on my 2nd. visit to Bangkok back in 2007.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
1st flight on B-18201
17th 747-400 flight



We were on the same plane.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
The most exotic plane at BKK on that morning was 747SP A9C-HAK of Bahrain Royal Flight:



What a coincidence. I saw that very plane today parked at Don Mueang.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
and there were large spots on the seats:


That seat was empty when I flew.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
While the old seats were remarkably comfortable


They were very comfortable and I like the padded headrest.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I found totally unacceptable was an older male flight attendant rushing through the aisle with coffee and tea pots



Maybe he had too much coffee.   

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
No PTVs in this retro cabin:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
This cabin looks very retro:



Oh come on, it's not that old.




I especially like this bulkhead photo.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 11:32:00 and read 19939 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Wonderful trip report!

Hi Superfly, thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Looks like were in the exact same spot in more than one occasion on your trip.

At the same time, too?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
The Sri Lankan A340 interior looks warm and inviting but too bad to hear about the seats being hard.

And seating was very cramped. But the colors look nice.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Would have been cool if you could have got a photo during the drop with coffee cups and sausages rising in the air.

Yeah, that would have been an interesting picture.  

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
I like the A340-300 for this reason. Many dislike it for this reason.

That's true. I prefer powerful planes such as the 777, but I also enjoy A340-style takeoffs.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Wise choice!
I've stayed there before and know some of the people that run that hotel. Their Pan-Asian buffet is world class.

Both the hotel and the food were great, I would stay there again.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Looks like we even stayed in the same room.

Really? Unfortunately, I cannot remember floor and room number any more.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
They have the most comfortable beds I've slept in here in Bangkok.

The beds were indeed comfortable.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Very pushy vendors and is too touristy.

I didn't enjoy that part either. But the vendors weren't as annoying as expected.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
That is grilled nin fish (Pla-Nin-Yang Gur)

Thanks! You're the expert here.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
We were on the same plane.

Nice!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
What a coincidence. I saw that very plane today parked at Don Mueang.

Interesting. They seem to like Bangkok.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Maybe he had too much coffee.

Yes, maybe.  

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Oh come on, it's not that old.

Well, I'm spoilt by these funky cabins on EK, SQ, WY...  

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):

I especially like this bulkhead photo.

That decor is indeed nice.


PH

[Edited 2012-09-24 11:34:55]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: win1290
Posted 2012-09-24 11:41:54 and read 19913 times.

Hi again PH!

Very nice and interesting report! The cabin from Both Sri Lankan Airlines and China Airlines look very retro indeed, and not so well maintained. But the food on UL looks rather good with three options! and I quite like the menu with drink lists as well.

Great pictures during your visit to my home city as well. I love the pictures you took at the Grand Palace, a spectacular attraction in my opinion. The hotel looks great! and the food at the hotel makes me hungry again . Patpong! I have never visited the area, that name scares me haha.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hot meals were served shortly after the snack service. SriLankan still provides pretty menu cards (which get distributed and recollected again):

The menu looks absolutely nice! and the main dish looks delicious too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
You need to be patient when driving in Bangkok..

Couldn't agree more

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Hi Win, you really wanted to win this, right?

Haha, I like quizzes, especially aviation related  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Exactly! I hadn't expected the right answer so fast. EK's 777-200ERs have certainly never flown to LAX. It's A6-EMK, btw, but that doesn't matter for the contest.

I'm looking forward to buy you a drink - whenever that may be!

Yeyy! I am looking forward to the ginger ale  

Regards,

Win

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-24 11:45:02 and read 19896 times.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
As for your pub quiz,


Pub quiz? Some long term expats from the UK has turned me on to pub quizes. I'm getting really good at it but an totally lost when it comes to the Shakespeare trivia.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
At the same time, too?


Possibly. I've been living here over 2 years.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
I prefer powerful planes such as the 777, but I also enjoy A340-style takeoffs.


For modern powerful takeoffs, I like the 717 the most.
Other powerful takeoffs I enjoy have to be loud like the TU-154. Those have very impressive takeoffs.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
I cannot remember floor and room number any more.


Me neither.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Thanks! You're the expert here.


Thanks but not really. I hardly eat the street for anymore

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Interesting. They seem to like Bangkok.


I can understand why.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Well, I'm spoilt by these funky cabins on EK, SQ, WY...



Haha! The modern interiors are to be appreciated but I wouldn't consider China Airlines old interiors that old. Keep in mind, I've gone out of my way to fly Cubana, Aeroflot, Orient Thai, Nok and Philippines Airlines.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 11:55:19 and read 19857 times.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
Very nice and interesting report!

Hi Win, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
But the food on UL looks rather good with three options! and I quite like the menu with drink lists as well.

The menu cards are indeed impressive.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
Great pictures during your visit to my home city as well.

Thanks! I'm glad you like them.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
I love the pictures you took at the Grand Palace, a spectacular attraction in my opinion.

Yes, it is. But there were too many visitors for my liking. I still remember my first visit in 1997, it wasn't crowded at all.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
Patpong! I have never visited the area, that name scares me haha.

Well, it has a bad reputation.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
The menu looks absolutely nice! and the main dish looks delicious too.

  

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
Haha, I like quizzes, especially aviation related

Good to know!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
Yeyy! I am looking forward to the ginger ale

Or Bavarian beer?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
For modern powerful takeoffs, I like the 717 the most.

I only flew on that type once and the takeoff wasn't overly impressive - but I'll give it another try.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Other powerful takeoffs I enjoy have to be loud like the TU-154. Those have very impressive takeoffs.

Never been on that type!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
I can understand why.

Can you elaborate?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Keep in mind, I've gone out of my way to fly Cubana, Aeroflot, Orient Thai, Nok and Philippines Airlines.

Nice choice of carriers!


PH

[Edited 2012-09-24 11:56:53]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-24 12:05:06 and read 19821 times.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 14):
I like quizzes, especially aviation related


Are there really aviation related pub quizzes here in Bangkok?
If you're really in to it, come down on Monday nights. We need more smart people on our team.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
I only flew on that type once and the takeoff wasn't overly impressive - but I'll give it another try.


It's up to the pilot. I flew on Midwest Airlines out of Milwaukee and Kansas City.
The 717 has a steeper climb rate than the 777.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Never been on that type!


Get on one while you can.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Can you elaborate?


Umm, they come for the grilled nin fish.....

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 12:09:47 and read 19806 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
It's up to the pilot. I flew on Midwest Airlines out of Milwaukee and Kansas City.

Yes, and the load and probably other reasons. You never know.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
The 717 has a steeper climb rate than the 777.

Well, it's an advanced DC-9 after all.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Get on one while you can.

Yes, I really need to check the available options.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):

Umm, they come for the grilled nin fish.....

  



PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2012-09-24 12:13:00 and read 19798 times.

Hi again,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):

That sounds really good! Which type will you get?

Scheduled on the 744 Combi, will be really nice, even if I expect a dated cabin with them as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):

Good decision, it's a nice city. Here are two reports about my first trip to Taiwan:

Thanks, I actually looked through them both shortly after making my booking to TPE, might read them again as I get more excited about the trip!  

Martin

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 12:17:24 and read 19778 times.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 19):
Scheduled on the 744 Combi, will be really nice, even if I expect a dated cabin with them as well.

Hi again, Martin! Perfect choice! You'll enjoy the 744 Combi a lot.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 19):
Thanks, I actually looked through them both shortly after making my booking to TPE, might read them again as I get more excited about the trip!

Good to hear!


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2012-09-24 13:27:49 and read 19589 times.

Hi, PH,

good to follow something more from you´re hand.
Nice pictures all around, well done.
Bad luck with SriLankan, but that happens from time to time, I´am sure, you know.
Hah, that CI 744 looks indeed not that really welcoming.
I will see hopefully another reg. on AMS-BKK-TPE in a couple of weeks.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 13:33:59 and read 19572 times.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 21):
good to follow something more from you´re hand.
Nice pictures all around, well done.

Servus Markus, thanks for your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 21):
Bad luck with SriLankan, but that happens from time to time, I´am sure, you know.

Yes, we cannot get the good stuff all the time.  

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 21):
Hah, that CI 744 looks indeed not that really welcoming.
I will see hopefully another reg. on AMS-BKK-TPE in a couple of weeks.

That's a long journey - hopefully you'll get a bird with the new interior.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: debonair
Posted 2012-09-24 14:12:14 and read 19481 times.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 21):
Hah, that CI 744 looks indeed not that really welcoming.
I will see hopefully another reg. on AMS-BKK-TPE in a couple of weeks.

Hi FLIEGER67, don't worry... Flights from/to AMS will be operated by refurbished B747 only (Sorry, link only in German): http://www.chinaairlines.de/Home/tab...e/mid/924/ItemId/1283/Default.aspx

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: foppishbum
Posted 2012-09-24 17:56:42 and read 19234 times.

I'm surprised that China Airlines uses the old 744 for AMS via BKK route. I fly China Airlines all the time to TPE from LAX or SFO and all flights have been on newer (or at least refurbished) interiors with nice PTVs, etc. I guess since LAX and SFO are the two largest long-haul markets for China Airlines, they put the newer planes with nicer interiors on those routes.

Thanks for sharing the trip report. Nice pictures, too!  

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: 767747
Posted 2012-09-24 18:48:51 and read 19145 times.

Another great report, PH! Great to hear from you again. Sorry you did not have a more memorable experience with either airline; The China Airlines 747 does look really old - those cloth seats look so dirty! Come on, China Airlines!

I'd love to visit Thailand. My wife has been, but I haven't. It is definitely a place I'd like to visit.

Best,

Matthew (767747)

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: coolfish1103
Posted 2012-09-24 19:52:41 and read 19092 times.

There are no more old birds in CI that are flying now so you won't be seeing anymore of them.

Though the refurbish also got rid of the comfy headrest, so it's all new pinky regular headrest.

The pitch is pretty tight, and gets tighter when you go to the back (like 31").

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 21:21:35 and read 18972 times.

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 24):
Thanks for sharing the trip report. Nice pictures, too!

Thanks, Wesley!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 25):
Another great report, PH! Great to hear from you again.

Hi Matthew, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 25):
The China Airlines 747 does look really old - those cloth seats look so dirty! Come on, China Airlines!

Yes, there's no excuse for such dirty seats.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 25):
I'd love to visit Thailand. My wife has been, but I haven't. It is definitely a place I'd like to visit.

I can only recommend to go there.

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 24):
I'm surprised that China Airlines uses the old 744 for AMS via BKK route. I fly China Airlines all the time to TPE from LAX or SFO and all flights have been on newer (or at least refurbished) interiors with nice PTVs, etc. I guess since LAX and SFO are the two largest long-haul markets for China Airlines, they put the newer planes with nicer interiors on those routes.
Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 26):
There are no more old birds in CI that are flying now so you won't be seeing anymore of them.

Very good news. But it's odd that they kept flying birds with the old interior to AMS so long.

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 26):
The pitch is pretty tight, and gets tighter when you go to the back (like 31").

Hopefully the new seat design makes 31" more bearable.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-24 22:11:47 and read 18894 times.

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 26):
There are no more old birds in CI that are flying now so you won't be seeing anymore of them.

Though the refurbish also got rid of the comfy headrest, so it's all new pinky regular headrest.



Did this happen within the last few days?
I flew them last month and had an old interior between Taipei and Bangkok.
The older style headrest were very comfortable.

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 24):
I guess since LAX and SFO are the two largest long-haul markets for China Airlines, they put the newer planes with nicer interiors on those routes.



LAX and SFO are also much longer flights and home to some of the largest Taiwanese expat communities. Glad to see at least 1 Asian airlines sending their best aircraft to the US. Most send their best to Europe.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 22:32:13 and read 18865 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
Did this happen within the last few days?
I flew them last month and had an old interior between Taipei and Bangkok.

Good question. I just found a Bloomberg article from 2011 suggesting that the 747 refurbishment programm was planned to be complete by May 2012.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-24 22:48:53 and read 18844 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 29):
I just found a Bloomberg article from 2011 suggesting that the 747 refurbishment programm was planned to be complete by May 2012.



Bloomberg often is inaccurate. My B-18201 flight with old interior was on August 1st, 2012.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 22:51:02 and read 18839 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
Bloomberg often is inaccurate. My B-18201 flight with old interior was on August 1st, 2012.

I don't follow Bloomberg very often, so I don't know. I guess they only published what they got froom CI last year. But it seems the refurbishment programm was delayed.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-09-24 23:20:33 and read 18796 times.

Thanks a lot for your report PH. To be honest, I am not particularly surprised by UL's decline. I have spoken to quite a few people who have had similar experiences like yours -- and then, have experienced the same as you. I really hope something can arrest their decline as I do think they have an important role to play in Sri Lanka's recovery.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was totally impressed by the main course - meat, rice and sauce tasted very good. However, the salad had been spilled with a disgusting sauce and the pistachio cake was extremely sweet.

= Wow. That looks more filling than a JCL meal in several Latin or European carriers.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After dinner, I tried to get some sleep, but failed. About one hour before arrival, I was totally shocked after opening a lavatory door - it looked so horrible in there that I immediately shut the door again and went to another lavatory. Don't ask me to go into detail any further...

= Haha. Worse than my Russian carrier in Serbia  ?

Thanks for writing this up.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-24 23:24:56 and read 18779 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
Thanks a lot for your report PH.
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
Thanks for writing this up.

Hi Alex, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
To be honest, I am not particularly surprised by UL's decline. I have spoken to quite a few people who have had similar experiences like yours -- and then, have experienced the same as you.

That's really bad - so I guess a few other planes aren't in great shape either.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
I really hope something can arrest their decline as I do think they have an important role to play in Sri Lanka's recovery.

Yes, I really hope so. UL used to be such a fine carrier - but the new interiors are a big step in the right direction. Hopefully the widebody fleet will be completely refurbished soon.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
Wow. That looks more filling than a JCL meal in several Latin or European carriers.

One cannot complain about the portion size.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
Haha. Worse than my Russian carrier in Serbia

I have to check this report again later today!


PH

[Edited 2012-09-24 23:25:33]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: debonair
Posted 2012-09-24 23:41:37 and read 18757 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
Bloomberg often is inaccurate. My B-18201 flight with old interior was on August 1st, 2012.

As you can see in my previous reply (no 23), I posted a link to CI's press release in German...
You will read, I will try to translate:

"The reconfiguration of the B747 fleet for EUROPEAN ROUTES has now been finished and since the end of May 2012 the AMS-BKK-TPE route will be served by our brand-new cabin configuration!"

According to CI web-page, there are still old configured B747 around- have a look:
http://www.china-airlines.com/en/check/check_boeing747_first.htm

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-24 23:57:07 and read 18742 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 31):
I don't follow Bloomberg very often, so I don't know. I guess they only published what they got froom CI last year. But it seems the refurbishment programm was delayed.

I try not to follow Bloomberg either.

Quoting debonair (Reply 34):
According to CI web-page, there are still old configured B747 around- have a look:

No need to. I was on one of their old planes last month.

Typhoon Saola On China Airlines 747 Bangkok-Taiwan (by Superfly Aug 3 2012 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 00:12:42 and read 18715 times.

Quoting debonair (Reply 34):
"The reconfiguration of the B747 fleet for EUROPEAN ROUTES has now been finished and since the end of May 2012 the AMS-BKK-TPE route will be served by our brand-new cabin configuration!"

Not in any case, as Superfly's experience has shown.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-09-25 00:23:43 and read 18699 times.

Hi PlaneHunter!

Thanks for an excellent report with excellent pictures !

Too bad UL was a disappointment and it seems they have gone downhill quite a bit recently. Not having clean bathrooms is a must for all airlines; food, IFE and service are all secondary.

Very unfortunate that both UL flights were on aircraft that you had flown on before.....especially bad with the 343 since they have five more....

Bangkok looks nice but always good to use the transit system there now rather than deal with the traffic.

I have heard from several people that legroom is not so good on CI and that service is not great either so your experience doesn't surprise me. CI almost never use the lower registrered 744s to LAX; usually B-18208 and higher. I think they may have PTVs.

Too bad that service wasn't so great either. Very bad when the coffee/tea service is rushed like that. At least most of their flight attendants are very attractive.....

I was going to say that A6-EMK is an -200/ER and has never been here to LAX but Win was very quick in replying.

Very much looking forward to your next report!

The777Man

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 00:31:33 and read 18690 times.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
Thanks for an excellent report with excellent pictures !

Hi Lars! Thanks a lot for your nice comments!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
Too bad UL was a disappointment and it seems they have gone downhill quite a bit recently.

This needs to be stopped.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
Not having clean bathrooms is a must for all airlines; food, IFE and service are all secondary.

Yes, I can only agree.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
Very unfortunate that both UL flights were on aircraft that you had flown on before.....especially bad with the 343 since they have five more....

And six other A332s...but bad luck strikes sometimes. I have been lucky with numerous other aircraft in the past.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
CI almost never use the lower registrered 744s to LAX; usually B-18208 and higher. I think they may have PTVs.

Interesting.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
At least most of their flight attendants are very attractive.....

Well, I cannot confirm that.  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
I was going to say that A6-EMK is an -200/ER and has never been here to LAX but Win was very quick in replying.

Yes, I was sure you'd know the answer, but Win was faster with his reply.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-09-25 01:10:06 and read 18636 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 38):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
At least most of their flight attendants are very attractive.....

Well, I cannot confirm that.  

Well, I haven't done any closer inspection other than seeing the ones here at LAX when they go thru immigration....but most of them are VERY attractive.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 38):
Yes, I was sure you'd know the answer, but Win was faster with his reply.

Yes, he was very fast but I had a great day spotting at LAX : )

The777Man

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 01:31:23 and read 18627 times.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 39):
Well, I haven't done any closer inspection other than seeing the ones here at LAX when they go thru immigration....but most of them are VERY attractive.

Well, LAX seems to be a premium destination for CI - new interiors, most attractive FAs?  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 39):
Yes, he was very fast but I had a great day spotting at LAX : )

Good to hear!


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-25 02:12:58 and read 18567 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
The most exotic plane at BKK on that morning was 747SP A9C-HAK of Bahrain Royal Flight:



Speak of the devil.
That very Bahrain 747SP just climbed out of Don Mueang, rumbling over my condo about a minute ago.  
I should have gone to play golf this morning at DMK to get a photo before it left.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 40):
LAX seems to be a premium destination for CI


..and SFO. They better send their best planes to California!   
That is a very loooooooooooong flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 40):
most attractive FAs?


Most women in Taiwan are very attractive. Even their high-speed rail attendants are cute.   

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 02:29:19 and read 18540 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 41):
Speak of the devil.
That very Bahrain 747SP just climbed out of Don Mueang, rumbling over my condo about a minute ago.

Interesting. Where do most VIP operators fly to DMK or Suvarnabhumi?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 41):
I should have gone to play golf this morning at DMK to get a photo before it left.

Nice, I guess planes would always distract me from playing.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 41):
Most women in Taiwan are very attractive. Even their high-speed rail attendants are cute.

Well, I can also recommend to visit the Home Hotel Taipei.  



PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-25 03:52:16 and read 18400 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 42):
Interesting. Where do most VIP operators fly to DMK or Suvarnabhumi?

Increasingly Don Mueang.
Suvarnabhumi is already crowded. There is plenty of space at Don Mueang. In fact, Don Mueang is becoming a spotters paradise. There are 3 parked L1011, several 747-200s, NAMC YS-11s, military aircraft and all sorts of random aircraft coming in and out. I even stumbled across an abandoned SUD Caravelle sitting in a gravel pit with weeds growing around it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 42):
Nice, I guess planes would always distract me from playing.

More like the golf distracting me from the planes.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 42):
Well, I can also recommend to visit the Home Hotel Taipei.

What's that place all about? Do they have the same chair that I had in my room in Taipei?

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 04:08:27 and read 18375 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 43):
Increasingly Don Mueang.
Suvarnabhumi is already crowded. There is plenty of space at Don Mueang.

Good to hear.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 43):
In fact, Don Mueang is becoming a spotters paradise. There are 3 parked L1011, several 747-200s, NAMC YS-11s, military aircraft and all sorts of random aircraft coming in and out. I even stumbled across an abandoned SUD Caravelle sitting in a gravel pit with weeds growing around it.

Really interesting stuff!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 43):
What's that place all about? Do they have the same chair that I had in my room in Taipei?

Oh no, just regular chairs. But nice hotel staff...  



PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: SRQKEF
Posted 2012-09-25 08:47:54 and read 18094 times.

Hi PH, great report!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had already pre-reserved our seats, but that hadn't been easy either.

Not good service at all by UL. Would've expected something better than this, way too complicated.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
But something's fundamentally wrong here:

I saw it right away: A6-EMK is not a 77L. Saw above that Win won the quiz though.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hot meals were served shortly after the snack service. SriLankan still provides pretty menu cards (which get distributed and recollected again):

Nice!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My brother wasn't hungry and rejected his meal, while I decided to try the lamb. Very nice tray:

Beef looks great!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There was only one A340 parked at a gate position - and that gate turned out to be ours. My worst fear came true when I identified the plane. There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006...

Unlucky to get 2 regs you've flown already! Same reg on 1 flight is one thing, but on 2 connecting flights... come on!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Taking approach and landing pictures through the dirty window had been a bit difficult, so here's just one - Transaero's 747-400s are frequent visitors at Bangkok:

BKK has some very nice terminals! Only downside is how hard it is to take pictures through those windows.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
S7's green aircraft, such as 767-300ER VQ-BBI, stand out everywhere. There's also a Nordwind 757-200 in the background:

There it is: terrible windows. What a nice liveried 767 though!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
...as well as ANA Cargo 767-300ERBCF JA8286 and a Volga-Dnepr An-124-100:

Love those big mamas from Russia.

cheers,
Sveinn  

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 10:19:49 and read 17952 times.

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
Hi PH, great report!

Hi Sveinn, many thanks for your feedback!

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
Not good service at all by UL. Would've expected something better than this, way too complicated.

The booking process itself was easy and convenient, but then the problems started. SriLankan and PlaneHunter didn't go well together this time...

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
I saw it right away: A6-EMK is not a 77L.

Good job!

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
Saw above that Win won the quiz though.

Yes, he was very fast.

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
Unlucky to get 2 regs you've flown already! Same reg on 1 flight is one thing, but on 2 connecting flights... come on!

Yeah, really bad...I'm glad I was very tired on that journey. Otherwise I would have been extremely pissed off.

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
BKK has some very nice terminals! Only downside is how hard it is to take pictures through those windows.

True. And it's pretty bad if you have to walk from one end to the other. That's what I had to do in order to reach the transit hotel on my RTW trip in 2010.

Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777 (by PlaneHunter Jan 23 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
What a nice liveried 767 though!

No doubt about that!

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 45):
Love those big mamas from Russia.

Yes, really impressive machines.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: jwhite9185
Posted 2012-09-25 12:10:42 and read 17818 times.

Hi PH,

Nice continuation of your report there.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Since 2006, UL had added three used A330-200s (formerly operated by bmi, Yemenia and Thomas Cook Airlines)

Ahh I was wondering where the other BMI bird was now flying - last i heard it was with SAA. I was also unaware that TCX had shipped one of their A330's off also.

Both of those aircraft you went on look pretty awful! Luckily you weren't on either for a huge amount of time. Amazing really that airlines can fly planes in such a state.

Also surprising how retro that A330 looks compared to the VS birds i was on last week - I wasn't aware that Airbus had upgraded their A330 cabins so much.

Looking forward to the next part...

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 21:37:13 and read 17562 times.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 47):
Nice continuation of your report there.

Hi James, thanks for your comments!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 47):
Both of those aircraft you went on look pretty awful! Luckily you weren't on either for a huge amount of time.

That's true. One must be aware that both planes have also been operating to Europe. Horrible!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 47):
Amazing really that airlines can fly planes in such a state.

It's a shame - UL aleniates many customers with these planes.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 47):
Also surprising how retro that A330 looks compared to the VS birds i was on last week - I wasn't aware that Airbus had upgraded their A330 cabins so much.

Yes, a today's A330 is quite different from a ten year old bird.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 47):

Looking forward to the next part...

I have started working on it...hopefully online within two weeks.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2012-09-25 22:58:05 and read 17518 times.

Nice report and pictures PH, thanks for posting.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Munich-Doha
Doha-Dubai
Dubai-Colombo
Colombo-Bangkok
Bangkok-Taipei
Taipei-Seoul
Seoul-Dubai
Dubai-Doha
Doha-Munich

- What a great itinerary!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
SriLankan still provides pretty menu cards (which get distributed and recollected again):

- I tend to 'loose' menu cards when on a plane  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I decided to try the lamb. Very nice tray:

- Good looking meal.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006...

- That's bad luck.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Two "old friends" in a row, that's what I call bad luck..

- Indeed, double bad luck!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Spotting opportunities were limited, but I at least I can say that I logged Mihin Lanka's entire fleet...which consisted of one A320 and one A321 back then.

- The UL business class lounge has great views, not sure what the movement numbers are like, but a long layover there could be good for spotting.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I didn't like the "grilled signature chicken sausage" - and the fruit pieces didn't taste fresh

- No, the fruit looks a bit old.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the coffee tasted burned.

- Something too many airlines manage to do.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The interior was old and worn - and there were large spots on the seats:

- Gosh, those seats look filthy, not a great colour to hide the dirt and grime.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-25 23:11:01 and read 17507 times.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 49):
Nice report and pictures PH, thanks for posting.

Hi Mark, many thanks for your reply!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 49):
What a great itinerary!

Well, it took me a while to work that out.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 49):
I tend to 'loose' menu cards when on a plane

 

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 49):
Good looking meal.

  

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 49):
The UL business class lounge has great views, not sure what the movement numbers are like, but a long layover there could be good for spotting.

Sounds good. But I guess it can become boring due to limited traffic.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 49):
Something too many airlines manage to do.

Yes, unfortunately. But at least the Italians know how to do it right.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 49):
Gosh, those seats look filthy, not a great colour to hide the dirt and grime.

So true. I'm wondering how long these seats had already been in that dirty state.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: sultanils
Posted 2012-09-26 00:13:23 and read 17463 times.

Hello PH,

Phew, am I glad that the not so positive title didn’t cover the contents of your report, trust me, it wasn’t a letdown, it was yet again another excellent story with very nice destination pics! I’m sorry to hear that the featured flights were not up to standard. While it was a double coincidence to get 2 already flown regs - which is in fact a big letdown - one would expect that the good service you received back then would certainly be present again. Too bad it wasn’t... The planes looked really old and worn out. The same goes for the China Airlines B747. While it is of course nice to be on a classic outfitted plane, one would surely want to know how their most recent cabin looks and feels like.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So I tried to select new seats, but the system only accepted changes on one sector - an error message showed up when I tried to change the other seat assignments.

These website flaws can be very annoying sometimes, especially if you’re after that one desired seat.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The first user with the right answer gets a free ginger ale (or another drink) during a future meeting.

To be honest I wouldn’t have guessed the answer here. So congrats to Win!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Very nice tray

Indeed and it’s in Milka colours as well  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Two "old friends" in a row, that's what I call bad luck

Damn! And by the looks of it the cabins have only become worse.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and started a typical A340 Classic takeoff roll

That’s just great. I love these sluggish A340’s!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, one should never underestimate the Bay of Bengal!

You’re right. That reminds me of a Lauda Air flight from VIE to KUL I once had: a meal was served right in the middle of heavy turbulence which made it virtually impossible to eat or drink.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The interior was old and worn - and there were large spots on the seats:

Yuck, that really looks filthy. This aircraft is a definite candidate for an ‘extreme makeover’   

Sultanils

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-26 00:50:03 and read 17416 times.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
Phew, am I glad that the not so positive title didn’t cover the contents of your report, trust me, it wasn’t a letdown, it was yet again another excellent story with very nice destination pics!

Hi Nils, thank you very much for your nice comments! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
I’m sorry to hear that the featured flights were not up to standard.

Well, I had indeed expected much better flights.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
While it was a double coincidence to get 2 already flown regs - which is in fact a big letdown - one would expect that the good service you received back then would certainly be present again. Too bad it wasn’t...

The new interior on at least one UL plane would have been a decent compensation...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
While it is of course nice to be on a classic outfitted plane, one would surely want to know how their most recent cabin looks and feels like.

  

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
These website flaws can be very annoying sometimes, especially if you’re after that one desired seat.

  

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
Indeed and it’s in Milka colours as well

Yes indeed!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
Damn! And by the looks of it the cabins have only become worse.

Unfortunately, yes. I hadn't expected such a decline.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
You’re right. That reminds me of a Lauda Air flight from VIE to KUL I once had: a meal was served right in the middle of heavy turbulence which made it virtually impossible to eat or drink.

It can become really nasty there!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
Yuck, that really looks filthy. This aircraft is a definite candidate for an ‘extreme makeover’

No doubt about that.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: OA260
Posted 2012-09-26 03:49:59 and read 17291 times.

Hi Udo  

Nice report as always .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
4R-ALB used to be equipped with comfortable turquoise seats back in 2006, but now those were rock hard and looked totally different:

I loved those cabins and UL was really good back then . I had a few lovely flights on them and prior to that I flew them under the Air Lanka brand and they were good too. Shame they have gone so down hill.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Nice design:

Yes love that . Something local , always a nice touch .

Shame it was a let down but still good to have the experience anyway . Always good to re visit are product after years to see how it is . Sometimes its good and sometimes it bad I guess its a roll of the dice really.

Nice pics of BKK . Exactly how I remember it both good and bad ! Hotel looks lovely . The famous market where you can get anything including latest release movies before they are out  

Anyway thanks for a lovely read and looking forward to the next part.

Regards

Philip  

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-26 03:55:50 and read 17286 times.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 53):
Nice report as always .
Quoting OA260 (Reply 53):
Anyway thanks for a lovely read and looking forward to the next part.

Many thanks for your reply, Philip! Good to hear you enjoyed the report.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 53):
I loved those cabins and UL was really good back then . I had a few lovely flights on them and prior to that I flew them under the Air Lanka brand and they were good too. Shame they have gone so down hill.

Yes, it's a shame. The airline used to have a good reputation.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 53):
Shame it was a let down but still good to have the experience anyway . Always good to re visit are product after years to see how it is .

Absolutely. I hope things will improve again.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 53):
Nice pics of BKK . Exactly how I remember it both good and bad !

Bangkok is a very special city - the good and the bad so close together.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 53):
Hotel looks lovely .

Yes, I can only recommend it. But there are so many great (and affordable) hotels in Bangkok.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 53):
The famous market where you can get anything including latest release movies before they are out

Yes, and many many more things, good and bad...


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2012-09-26 04:12:13 and read 17262 times.

Nice report Udo. Shame UL and CI weren't up to the job. Still, they both got you there in a safe and timely manner.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, one should never underestimate the Bay of Bengal! Wink

It's true. Always stay strapped in over the Bay of Bengal, and thr Tasman Sea too...very turbulent

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Le Méridien Bangkok in the city’s Silom area in about 40 minutes.

Oh, you stayed in the same hotel. Looks like you had a nice time in Bangkok.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-26 04:24:13 and read 17251 times.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 55):
Nice report Udo.

Thanks, Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 55):
Shame UL and CI weren't up to the job.

  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 55):
Still, they both got you there in a safe and timely manner.

  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 55):
Always stay strapped in over the Bay of Bengal, and thr Tasman Sea too...very turbulent

Yes, better safe than sorry.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 55):
Oh, you stayed in the same hotel. Looks like you had a nice time in Bangkok.

I remember your report about Bangkok. Usually you cannot go wrong with Le Méridien.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2012-09-26 08:51:19 and read 17052 times.

Hey PH,

Great to see the next installment of your trip!! A pity indeed that UL did not meet with your expectations, which was surprsing especially like the time TG did not meet your standards. Two otherwise renowned carriers providing otherwise great inflight service. China Airlines on the other hand is usally a hit and miss, but such gorgeous are the colours of CI are they not, especially on the Boeing 747-400!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had already pre-reserved our seats, but that hadn't been easy either. During the booking process on SriLankan's website, I had been able to select seats for both flights, but the assignments had changed when I checked the reservation again later. Interestingly, on one sector we had been moved to a row which didn't exist according the seat maps on the carrier's website. So I tried to select new seats, but the system only accepted changes on one sector - an error message showed up when I tried to change the other seat assignments.

After several failed attempts - spread over two weeks or so - I finally called SriLankan's worldwide hotline. The young male agent wasn't overly friendly and his English wasn't great either. However, I was finally able to get the desired seats (window and aisle in the back, just before the fuselage curvature) on both sectors.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was slowly getting annoyed, but finally everything worked out and she could print our boarding passes.

Glad that the boarding process worked out, and you were still able to keep those disered seats you had to rebook

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
But something's fundamentally wrong here:

Now that the solution is out, it makes the solution so much easier lol. I flew on A6-EWD on the DXB-JFK route and is probably a regular on the DXB-LAX routes.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The first user with the right answer gets a free ginger ale (or another drink) during a future meeting.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was glad that SriLankan still had Schweppes Dry Ginger Ale but I didn't get the whole can:

What would be great is to actually take a trip with you PH!!! Then you could have just handed the ginger ale can to me lol

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
As mentioned above, I had four nice flights on SriLankan Airlines A330-200s and an A340-300 in 2006 (report can be found here). Now I was certainly hoping that I wouldn't get the same aircraft (4R-ALB/ALC & 4R-ADA) again.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Two "old friends" in a row, that's what I call bad luck...

Now that is a shame, especially to one who likes to fly on new registrations within an airline's fleet. I should consider myself lucky to have flown on three of LH's long haul fleet of A340s and 744s which also have 1:200 scale models designed after them!!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Additionally, the lumbar support was inflated which didn't feel good at all. I pressed the button to deflate it, but it didn't work.

I never use those lumbar supports, I feel they hurt my back even more. Not to mention not reclining my seat when I can avoid it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My handset's front side still looked fine...
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...in contrast to the back side:

Imagine the shock on discovering the back side when flipping.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

I cannot say much about the headphones which I didn't use due to my inoperative PTV:

Headphones are good If there is nice music to listen while watching the flight map, or simply gazing outside and seeing the world go back...such serenity!! Or if there is a good movie on, which I actually do have difficulty finish watching even on a 14 hour flight...too many distractons around.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
According to him, we wouldn't be able to leave the gate earlier than "30 minutes from now". He also mentioned something about "ATC" and "Muscat", but I didn't understand the whole sentence. However, there was no reason to be concerned about because we would still have plenty of time for the transfer at Colombo

That area between Dubai and Muscat is one of the heaviest, especially when landing from the East in DXB. So many jets including the mammoth A380s circling in the area

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My brother wasn't hungry and rejected his meal, while I decided to try the lamb. Very nice tray:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was totally impressed by the main course - meat, rice and sauce tasted very good. However, the salad had been spilled with a disgusting sauce and the pistachio cake was extremely sweet.

It does look like a very good tray. Unfortunate about some of the contents though.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
it looked so horrible in there that I immediately shut the door again and went to another lavatory. Don't ask me to go into detail any further...
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This time, however, it didn't appear well-kept any longer and the restrooms were filthy.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What I noticed with disgust was a bad smell in the cabin. And what I found even more disgusting was the fact that one lavatory apparently hadn't been cleaned properly before boarding.

It's unfortunate that they were this way both in the air and the sky!! On my Kuwait Airways flight before we even left Kuwait for the Americas, the lavatory was smelling and remained that way for the rest of the flight. Everytime the door opened and close the wafts of air filled the cabin....very unpleasant experience.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Many passengers jumped up and started pushing and shoving in the aisle...probably they were in great fear that the busses would leave them behind on the apron.

Nothing more amusing (but not from a safety aspect) of people getting up while still on finals thinking the aircraft has landed. Believe me I have seen that happen.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Nice design:

Had that aircraft been in DXB with the door open, the warm air in the cabin would have only added to the true feeling of the design, warm tropical breeze with swaying palm trees.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Former appearance:

And what a glorious bird she looked then. An A340-600 in those colours would have made me pass out everytime I saw it, had it to be!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Boarding commenced on time and we soon received a friendly welcome again - and this time the entire crew turned out to be nice.

Isn't it great when the magic of that warm welcome extends for the entire duration of the flight. Usually it is there when you board and then it's gone, or sometimes the lack of it stares you right in the face right upon boarding, like on one of my Etihad flights. Fortunately that was the only bad experience on that airline, the others being quite pleasing overall.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
started a typical A340 Classic takeoff roll:

Nothing like a classic hair dryer take off with the A340....I still think the A340 is one of the smoothest aircraft out there!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

My brother and I ordered the omelette...
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
which turned out to be fine, just like the potatoes and the mushrooms. But I didn't like the "grilled signature chicken sausage" - and the fruit pieces didn't taste fresh. This time my cold drink was served in a glass - that had already impressed me back in 2006. Unfortunately, the coffee tasted burned.

That fruit does look like it has been sitting in some real warm temperatures for too long.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the plane suddenly dropped - which felt like being hit by something. There was total silence in the cabin as people were paralyzed for a short moment. And then I discovered numerous people with wipes in their hands cleaning walls and overhead ceilings because their drinks had splashed upwards! Well, one should never underestimate the Bay of Bengal!

Well even the A340 suffers from turbulence too lol....but in all honesty it is good in turbulence too. No matter how majestic the 747 those flapping wingtips in turbulence can be very nauseating. Wow, that must have been some experience to have gone through that especially while having breakfast

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Apparently, numerous other flights had just arrived, too, because huge queues had formed - and they were moving very slowly. So we were stuck for at least an hour

Always a good thing to arrive after the bank of arrivals have cleared up, but I guess it is not always the case to plan this way

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Cool design - never seen such a hotel entrance:

Very impressive indeed. Those sunglasses makes one relax almost instantly. Not sure about the dog though.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but I just didn't like the aircon blowing air directly towards the beds. There should be a better solution in a 5-star hotel.

When at a friend's place in Dubai, I literally had to sleep in sweat pants and a shirt due to the airconditioning blowing straight at me, even on the lowest settings...quite bizzare!!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The infamous Patpong entertainment district with its large night market and countless bars begins just across the street.

I am assuming this is the infamous entertainment district indeed where patrons of the entertainment district offerings literally holding onto their clients to visit their venues. Scary!! I saw this in a documentary!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
On the next day, we visited the Grand Palace which is one of Thailand's most popular attractions. When our tour guide picked us up, we were surprised to hear that the two of us were the only participants.

How nice that you and your brother were the only ones.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
You need to be patient when driving in Bangkok...

And keep that in mind when trying to make a flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Baiyoke Tower II rises 328 meters and contains the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia and the fourth-tallest all-hotel structure in the world:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The building has 85 floors, with a public observatory on the 77th floor, a bar on the 83rd floor and a 360-degree revolving roof deck - and the latter is where we headed to. The views were stunning in the late afternoon sun:

Nice to know about this. Looks like this was more of a "Tower" trip for you, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, this in Bangkok and the Taipei tower 101.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This is the Siam Paragon mall, our next destination:

Something like seeing the Macy's department store from the Empire State building in New York. Surprising they do not use the rooftops to advertise the place even better for those viewing it from up there lol

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And there's the tail of our China Airlines 747-400 which had arrived from Amsterdam:

A future trip report from Amsterdam for one of our a.netters on here!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The interior was old and worn - and there were large spots on the seats:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was very disappointed by China Airlines' hardware - I wouldn't want to take a long-haul flight on such a plane.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, I wouldn't fly on a China Airlines 747 again until all planes have been refurbished.

Those seats are just so gross!!! I would hardly want to imagine how those seats got that way, perhaps from barfing on to it, during those turbulent take offs or landings out of Taipei lol.....No seriously, having such dirty seats on a long haul flight is indeed not acceptable.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Liftoff after a powerful takeoff roll:

Yee Haw!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Dirty windows were another annoyance on this plane:

Not to mention the smoggy skies around Bangkok. Such a shame for those otherwise amazing pics with that gorgeous wingtip

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the quality of the meal was below average. Rice, vegetable and fruit were okay, but the breaded chicken pieces, the (strange) salad and the coconut cream dessert tasted terrible. It was probably the worst meal I have ever received on an Asian carrier. And no, that artificially colored fruit juice (or punch or whatever) wasn't great either.

That tray sends such mixed feelings. And yes that drink does indeed look artifically coloured lol...So orange indeed!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw - the flight attendants working on our side weren't overly charming either. And what I found totally unacceptable was an older male flight attendant rushing through the aisle with coffee and tea pots - he was moving so quickly that he must have missed some requests. And when he filled up a cup, he made it so quickly that he spilled some drops onto the trays or elsewhere. Very unprofessional!

Perhaps he was so used to serving tea and coffee in moderate turbulence and used to spilling that it became part of his routine even on a smooth flight lol....Just kidding. I know most airlines suspend all service during turbulence.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
About 20 minutes before landing, we dived into dense clouds and it was almost impossible to see the wingtip any more:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The ground appeared only shortly before touchdown which happened after a flying time of 3 hours and 5 minutes. What a bad weather at Taipei

I have to admit the landing and subsequent take off from Taipei on the MH flight from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur was one I will never forget. That 744 shook like a toy plane in an unopened box, being shaken by a kid on Christmas morning wondering what was inside. Never experienced such heavy turbulence on take off. Something to expect I guess should one travel to Taipei, and if transitting with EVA AIR at their home base there.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Lufthansa747
Posted 2012-09-26 09:41:53 and read 17021 times.

Nice report PH, especially after a perfect flight on HS-TJG BKK-SIN a few hours ago. I miss my time in BKK, and TG blows the lackluster service and poor SQ J meals out of the water on BKK-SIN. Great crew but I felt bad they had to literally run for the 1h55min to complete full J service unlike SQ and CX who dump you a single tray of Y class junk on BKK-SIN.

TZ2 to SYD now, will surely be a letdown after TG Royal Silk...

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: win1290
Posted 2012-09-26 09:59:55 and read 16999 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Yeyy! I am looking forward to the ginger ale

Or Bavarian beer?

Thats sounds great too. hmm, difficult choice

Quoting sultanils (Reply 51):
congrats to Win!

Cheers Nils  

Thanks,

Win

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: coolfish1103
Posted 2012-09-26 10:07:49 and read 16993 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 31):
I don't follow Bloomberg very often, so I don't know. I guess they only published what they got froom CI last year. But it seems the refurbishment programm was delayed.


PH

It was originally set for Mar. 2012 by China Airlines but they do have those infinite delays so it was never trustworthy unless the aircraft is actually inside the hanger.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):

Bloomberg often is inaccurate. My B-18201 flight with old interior was on August 1st, 2012.

I believe you were on B-18202 cause that one is inside the hanger now after B-18201 finished couple weeks ago. The interior is still old, they did not change them. All they did was put in new seats with AVOD. Since B-18202 is inside the hanger now, there isn't any non-refurbished old bird running around.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-26 11:15:03 and read 16945 times.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Great to see the next installment of your trip!!

Hi flightsimboy, great to hear from you! Thannk so much for taking the time to write such an extensive reply! This is really appreciated!   

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
A pity indeed that UL did not meet with your expectations, which was surprsing especially like the time TG did not meet your standards. Two otherwise renowned carriers providing otherwise great inflight service.

Yes, I'm wondering what comes next...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
China Airlines on the other hand is usally a hit and miss, but such gorgeous are the colours of CI are they not, especially on the Boeing 747-400!!

I agree, the livery is nice.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Glad that the boarding process worked out, and you were still able to keep those disered seats you had to rebook

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
I flew on A6-EWD on the DXB-JFK route and is probably a regular on the DXB-LAX routes.

That must have been a nice ride! I think EK mostly sends 77Ws to LAX now.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
What would be great is to actually take a trip with you PH!!! Then you could have just handed the ginger ale can to me lol

Sure, let's start planning!  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Now that is a shame, especially to one who likes to fly on new registrations within an airline's fleet.

So true...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
I should consider myself lucky to have flown on three of LH's long haul fleet of A340s and 744s which also have 1:200 scale models designed after them!!!

That sounds good! I still need to get a model of A6-EDA.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
I never use those lumbar supports, I feel they hurt my back even more. Not to mention not reclining my seat when I can avoid it.

I don't use them either.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
That area between Dubai and Muscat is one of the heaviest, especially when landing from the East in DXB. So many jets including the mammoth A380s circling in the area

And the area is getting more and more crowded...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
It's unfortunate that they were this way both in the air and the sky!! On my Kuwait Airways flight before we even left Kuwait for the Americas, the lavatory was smelling and remained that way for the rest of the flight. Everytime the door opened and close the wafts of air filled the cabin....very unpleasant experience.

That sounds awful!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):

Nothing more amusing (but not from a safety aspect) of people getting up while still on finals thinking the aircraft has landed. Believe me I have seen that happen.

Crazy people...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
And what a glorious bird she looked then. An A340-600 in those colours would have made me pass out everytime I saw it, had it to be!!

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Isn't it great when the magic of that warm welcome extends for the entire duration of the flight. Usually it is there when you board and then it's gone, or sometimes the lack of it stares you right in the face right upon boarding

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Nothing like a classic hair dryer take off with the A340....I still think the A340 is one of the smoothest aircraft out there!

Such a takeoff is definitely something special.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
That fruit does look like it has been sitting in some real warm temperatures for too long.

Now I realize what could have made me sick later on that day...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Wow, that must have been some experience to have gone through that especially while having breakfast

No doubt about that. I was already getting prepared for more surprises...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Those sunglasses makes one relax almost instantly. Not sure about the dog though.

Good point.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
When at a friend's place in Dubai, I literally had to sleep in sweat pants and a shirt due to the airconditioning blowing straight at me, even on the lowest settings...quite bizzare!!!

Horrible.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
I am assuming this is the infamous entertainment district indeed where patrons of the entertainment district offerings literally holding onto their clients to visit their venues. Scary!! I saw this in a documentary!!

It wasn't as bad as expected. What I found funny was a guy wearing SM outfit (with lash), shouting: "You never try, you never know!"   


Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
And keep that in mind when trying to make a flight!

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):

Nice to know about this. Looks like this was more of a "Tower" trip for you, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, this in Bangkok and the Taipei tower 101.

Yeah, it was a kind of "tower tour". We really like such tall buildings.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Something like seeing the Macy's department store from the Empire State building in New York. Surprising they do not use the rooftops to advertise the place even better for those viewing it from up there lol

Good idea!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
A future trip report from Amsterdam for one of our a.netters on here!!

Markus aka FLIEGER67 will soon try CI on that route - will be interesting to see the new interior.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Those seats are just so gross!!! I would hardly want to imagine how those seats got that way, perhaps from barfing on to it, during those turbulent take offs or landings out of Taipei lol.....No seriously, having such dirty seats on a long haul flight is indeed not acceptable.

I guess it's better not to know what happened to these seats...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
Perhaps he was so used to serving tea and coffee in moderate turbulence and used to spilling that it became part of his routine even on a smooth flight lol....Just kidding.

 

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 57):
I have to admit the landing and subsequent take off from Taipei on the MH flight from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur was one I will never forget. That 744 shook like a toy plane in an unopened box, being shaken by a kid on Christmas morning wondering what was inside. Never experienced such heavy turbulence on take off.

Wow, sounds very exciting!   


Thanks again for reading and commenting, flightsimboy!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 58):
Nice report PH, especially after a perfect flight on HS-TJG BKK-SIN a few hours ago.

Hi Lari, thanks a lot! Good to hear from you. Always on the road, aren't you?

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 58):
I miss my time in BKK

And many people here miss your reports! Seriously.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 58):
and TG blows the lackluster service and poor SQ J meals out of the water on BKK-SIN. Great crew but I felt bad they had to literally run for the 1h55min to complete full J service unlike SQ and CX who dump you a single tray of Y class junk on BKK-SIN.

Sounds really good!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 58):
TZ2 to SYD now, will surely be a letdown after TG Royal Silk...

You really need to start writing again!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 59):
Thats sounds great too. hmm, difficult choice

How about both?  

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 60):
It was originally set for Mar. 2012 by China Airlines but they do have those infinite delays so it was never trustworthy unless the aircraft is actually inside the hanger.

Interesting.

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 60):
The interior is still old, they did not change them. All they did was put in new seats with AVOD.

No new bins etc?

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 60):
Since B-18202 is inside the hanger now, there isn't any non-refurbished old bird running around.

Good to know, thanks for the update!


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-09-26 12:39:31 and read 16911 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 61):
I think EK mostly sends 77Ws to LAX now.

Mostly 77L with a 77W only once every ten days or so at best. Only one flight now.

The777Man

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: coolfish1103
Posted 2012-09-26 19:11:43 and read 16763 times.

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 60):
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 31):
I don't follow Bloomberg very often, so I don't know. I guess they only published what they got froom CI last year. But it seems the refurbishment programm was delayed.


PH

It was originally set for Mar. 2012 by China Airlines but they do have those infinite delays so it was never trustworthy unless the aircraft is actually inside the hanger.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):

Bloomberg often is inaccurate. My B-18201 flight with old interior was on August 1st, 2012.

I believe you were on B-18202 cause that one is inside the hanger now after B-18201 finished couple weeks ago. The interior is still old, they did not change them. All they did was put in new seats with AVOD. Since B-18202 is inside the hanger now, there isn't any non-refurbished old bird running around.

I got the B-18201 and 18202 mixed around. B-18201 is the one that's in the hanger now.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 61):
No new bins etc?

No new bins in Economy.

Business sector new bins in the middle, original ones on the side. Upstairs new bins.

First class sector new bins.

[Edited 2012-09-26 19:12:52]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-26 22:51:36 and read 16646 times.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 62):
Mostly 77L with a 77W only once every ten days or so at best. Only one flight now.

Interesting, thanks for the update.

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 63):
No new bins in Economy.

Business sector new bins in the middle, original ones on the side. Upstairs new bins.

First class sector new bins.

Alright, good to know.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-09-26 23:00:49 and read 16645 times.

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 63):
I got the B-18201 and 18202 mixed around. B-18201 is the one that's in the hanger now.



Now I can brag about being on the 'old' China Airlines.  
I got a taste of the old and new on my last trip to Taipei.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-09-27 00:36:43 and read 16593 times.

Hello PH

Another great report, thanks for sharing it with us.
Impressive is indeed a word that cannot be used, thrice the same registration isn't fun indeed.
ULs cabins do look pretty old! And then we are not speaking about all the details!

Quite surprised about CI as well, having a product like that on it's longest routes. Especially with HU, MU, CX, SQ, TG just around the corner.

Thankfully BKK looked nice, a place on my to visit list.

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: LH4532
Posted 2012-09-27 01:40:06 and read 16560 times.

Hello PlaneHunter,

great to see another of your Trip Reports.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We received a friendly welcome

A friendly welcome is something important for me before a flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
SriLankan still provides pretty menu cards

I don´t think many airlines distribute menu cards in Economy Class.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the fruit pieces

They really look old.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the good first impression was gone soon

That´s too bad.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
that artificially colored fruit juice

That is the most artificially fruit juice I have ever seen.


I have enjoyed reading this TR. Your pictures from Bangkok are great, I should go there soon again. Keep up the good work.


Daniel (LH4532)

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: coolfish1103
Posted 2012-09-27 09:34:12 and read 16381 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 66):
Quite surprised about CI as well, having a product like that on it's longest routes. Especially with HU, MU, CX, SQ, TG just around the corner.

Taiwanese like direct flights.

Also, CX is not that friendly in terms of service when you speak Mandarin. If you speak superb English then you will be having great service on CX. The rest are pretty far and/or difficult with multiple documents and transiting in China is not fun. I know some people would be willing to take a detour to SIN but that's only a few.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 64):
Alright, good to know.

Just took the flight today and correct myself that upstairs = old bins.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-27 11:53:26 and read 16302 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 65):
I got a taste of the old and new on my last trip to Taipei.

Always good to know two sides of a coin. Well, I could only experience the old CI.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 66):
Another great report, thanks for sharing it with us.

Thanks for your feedback, Marc!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 66):
Impressive is indeed a word that cannot be used, thrice the same registration isn't fun indeed.

No, no, only twice...that's already enough!  

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 66):
ULs cabins do look pretty old! And then we are not speaking about all the details!

  

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 66):
Quite surprised about CI as well, having a product like that on it's longest routes. Especially with HU, MU, CX, SQ, TG just around the corner.

Sure, serious competition in the neighborhood.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 66):
Thankfully BKK looked nice, a place on my to visit list.

Yes, I can only recommend to visit Bangkok.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):
great to see another of your Trip Reports.

Servus Daniel, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):

A friendly welcome is something important for me before a flight.

I can only agree.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):
I don´t think many airlines distribute menu cards in Economy Class.

Many Asian carriers have them. But UL's are among the prettiest ones.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):
They really look old.

  

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):
That is the most artificially fruit juice I have ever seen.

...or whatever it was.  

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):
I have enjoyed reading this TR.

Good to hear!

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):
Your pictures from Bangkok are great, I should go there soon again.

Yes, absolutely. Something for 2013?

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 67):
Keep up the good work.

I'll try my best. Part III should be online within two weeks.

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 68):
Also, CX is not that friendly in terms of service when you speak Mandarin. If you speak superb English then you will be having great service on CX. The rest are pretty far and/or difficult with multiple documents and transiting in China is not fun.

Interesting, thanks. But CX is still a big player in Taiwan, isn't it?

Quoting coolfish1103 (Reply 68):
Just took the flight today and correct myself that upstairs = old bins.

Ah, okay. Is it such a big deal to install new bins?


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-09-28 09:05:23 and read 16061 times.

Dear PH,

Fantastic report with many great pictures! I just had to read and re-read it several times as I did not want to miss anything.  

What a shame about your double disappointments. I am not sure which one is worse. Getting disappointed after first set of nice flights like the case of SriLankan or let-down at the first time like your experience with China Airlines.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was slowly getting annoyed, but finally everything worked out and she could print our boarding passes.

What did it have to be so cumbersome beforehand?  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but the system only accepted changes on one sector - an error message showed up when I tried to change the other seat assignments.

Bummer! While the interface looks sophisticated.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Many seats were already occupied by passengers originating from Kuwait and it was obvious that most people on this flight were guest workers.

As long as no one had a brilliant idea to occupy your seats.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My PTV would remain black throughout the whole flight:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
..in contrast to the back side:

Shame!  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
(which get distributed and recollected again):

I would have liberated the menu somehow.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
One cannot complain about the bar service:

Arrack! I would love to try that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
they were in great fear that the busses would leave them behind on the apron

Relax, people! You will all get on the bus!   
Though, I would not mind being left behind on the apron for spotting experience.  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seat colors hadn't been changed since 2006:

I prefer this color to the newer one!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the salad had been spilled with a disgusting sauce and the pistachio cake was extremely sweet.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
However, the quality of the meal was below average.

What a pity! They all looked delicious at a first sight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And what I found even more disgusting was the fact that one lavatory apparently hadn't been cleaned properly before boarding.

Gross!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Cool design - never seen such a hotel entrance:

Indeed, who is the man depicted on the glass? The young Thai king?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
In the early evening we decided to try the dinner buffet in the hotel's Latest Recipe restaurant. There was wide range of high-quality food - and only few other guests had decided to eat there, so it felt very private.

You make me craving for extensive Thai dinner!   


Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
The Grand Palace is made up of numerous stunning buildings, halls, pavilions, gardens and courtyards. Here's just a small selection of pictures which we took on the site:

Breathtaking! Your pictures remind me of my own visit in 2006. I feel like returning there one day.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Baiyoke Tower II rises 328 meters and contains the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia and the fourth-tallest all-hotel structure in the world:

Amazing! Maybe it is just me, but somehow I miss the picture of the rooftop bar.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
If you want to buy something which you cannot find on the city's markets, I recommend to visit the Siam Paragon, one of the largest shopping malls in Asia:

Gosh, I cannot remember going there. I will keep it in mind in case I make it to Bangkok again.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
B-18201

Hey, I flew it as well from AMS back in 2006.  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
S7's green aircraft, such as 767-300ER VQ-BBI

Absolutely. VQ-BBI must be a frequent visitor to BKK as I spotted it last March as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
and there were large spots on the seats:

Awful!


Thank you for sharing. Hopefully, both UL and CI will take note of your report and speed up their cabin refurbishments.


Best wishes,
Suryo  

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-29 03:33:02 and read 15837 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
Fantastic report with many great pictures!

Hi Suryo, thanks so much for your kind words!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
I just had to read and re-read it several times as I did not want to miss anything.

Great to hear!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
What a shame about your double disappointments. I am not sure which one is worse. Getting disappointed after first set of nice flights like the case of SriLankan or let-down at the first time like your experience with China Airlines.

Good point.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
As long as no one had a brilliant idea to occupy your seats.

  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):

Arrack! I would love to try that.

I still need to try that.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
Though, I would not mind being left behind on the apron for spotting experience.

  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
I prefer this color to the newer one!

Yes, the turquoise color is so much nicer.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
Indeed, who is the man depicted on the glass? The young Thai king?

Very good question. I was wondering about that, too.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
You make me craving for extensive Thai dinner!

I'm always ready for a good Thai dinner...

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
Breathtaking! Your pictures remind me of my own visit in 2006. I feel like returning there one day.

Thanks!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
Maybe it is just me, but somehow I miss the picture of the rooftop bar.

We didn't visit the bar.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
Hey, I flew it as well from AMS back in 2006

Nice! But why didn't I find an entry on Flight Memory or elsewhere?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 70):
Hopefully, both UL and CI will take note of your report and speed up their cabin refurbishments.

Well, CI has finished the program. But I have no idea how many SriLankan planes have been refurbished.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-09-29 05:01:39 and read 15785 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 71):
We didn't visit the bar.

My bad!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 71):
But why didn't I find an entry on Flight Memory or elsewhere?

I was not yet involved in trip reporting scene at that time.  



[Edited 2012-09-29 05:03:59]

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: roberts87
Posted 2012-09-29 07:52:52 and read 15715 times.

Great report as usual PH! Interesting to read about these not so common airlines. Too bad both were such a bad letdown.
Looking forward to the next episodes!

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-09-29 13:17:57 and read 15561 times.

Hi PH!

Another great report with great pictures, as usual! Very enjoyable  
From the looks of it SriLankan and China Airlines really need to refurbish their interior, rather sooner than later!
Love your pictures of Bangkok, great stuff!
Too bad about the weather in Taipei, hope you got some views from the Taipei 101, oh well thats something for the next report eh  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane, inbound from Kuwait, arrived on time, but I was very disappointed when I discovered a "B" over the cockpit windows...

So unlucky

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
referring to "congestion at the airport" - which didn't make any sense.

hmm,  thats an interesting reason!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The seat back confirmed that UL had only replaced the covers. My PTV would remain black throughout the whole flight:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The whole cabin looked worn - and so were the tables which fell down on our legs after unlocking
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...in contrast to the back side:

Very, very poor!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
while I decided to try the lamb.

A nice tray, looks quite tasty too

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Many passengers jumped up and started pushing and shoving in the aisle...probably they were in great fear that the busses would leave them behind on the apron.

Dont you just hate it when that happens, grr

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006...

And unlucky once again! Too bad, sorry to hear that but hey we cant have luck on our sides everytime unfortunately  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but I at least I can say that I logged Mihin Lanka's entire fleet...which consisted of one A320 and one A321 back then.

And I haven't (yet)  congrats!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and the fruit pieces didn't taste fresh

Tray looks quite ok and that fruit most definetely doesn't look fresh!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Less than a minute after the event, the captain made an announcement, referred to sudden turbulence and advised passengers to remain seated with seat belts fastened

I have to say I love some turbulence, but that just sounds scary!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Cool design - never seen such a hotel entrance

Hotel looks very nice!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The views were stunning in the late afternoon sun

Amazing views!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Of course I had been hoping to get one of these birds, oh well...

Unlucky once again, do see the dreamliner every now and then at AMS though..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The interior was old and worn - and there were large spots on the seats

very poor once again!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hot meals were served about an hour after takeoff. I chose chicken over fish and got a nice-looking tray:

Nice looking tray indeed, nice and full  

Looking forward to the next part!

cheers,

Brendan

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-10-05 23:48:01 and read 14917 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 72):
I was not yet involved in trip reporting scene at that time.

Ah, okay. Good to have you in the scene now, Suryo!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 73):
Great report as usual PH!

Thank you, Robert!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 73):
Too bad both were such a bad letdown.

  

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
Another great report with great pictures, as usual! Very enjoyable

Many thanks for your feedback, Brendan!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
From the looks of it SriLankan and China Airlines really need to refurbish their interior, rather sooner than later!

It's done in CI's case, but I have no idea how many UL planes have been refurbished.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
Love your pictures of Bangkok, great stuff!

Thanks!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
Too bad about the weather in Taipei, hope you got some views from the Taipei 101, oh well thats something for the next report eh

Don't expect too much...but the building itself is really interesting, too.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
Very, very poor!

  

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
Dont you just hate it when that happens, grr

Yes!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
Too bad, sorry to hear that but hey we cant have luck on our sides everytime unfortunately

True. I have been lucky many times.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
And I haven't (yet) congrats!

Thanks!  

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 73):

Unlucky once again, do see the dreamliner every now and then at AMS though..

  

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 73):
Looking forward to the next episodes!
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 74):
Looking forward to the next part!

The next one should be online soon!


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2012-10-06 04:48:04 and read 14820 times.

Udo, great reading here. It took me a while to reply but a good story! And good pics as usual. I totally agree with your opinion and view on both carriers. Unacceptable, though CI should finish refurbishment soon on the 744's.Yes, it's not the best product out of AMS all the way to TPE. And, CI isn't particularly cheap either. KL and BR both offer a better product so far.

Looking forward to the next episode. Your pics make me wanna visit BKK some day (never been in Thailand so far)

Regards
Eric

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2012-10-10 00:38:23 and read 14154 times.

Hi PH,

Finally got around reading the second part of your latest trip-report-in-progress.

Not terribly good experiences this time on UL and CI. Doesn't really surprise me for UL, at least on these routes which are full of guest workers and European budget travelers. But for CI I certainly expected a bit more. Hopefully their Airbuses are in better condition than that shabby 747...

Great shots from Bangkok, a good idea to split your journey there and a couple of days of R&R!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane, inbound from Kuwait, arrived on time, but I was very disappointed when I discovered a "B" over the cockpit windows...   

Now that gets your trip into a bad start!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The seat back confirmed that UL had only replaced the covers. My PTV would remain black throughout the whole flight:

Not very impressed at all. You should've demanded compensation, not that I expect you to get any but the response could have bene interesting.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What I found disappointing as well was the reduction of legroom - the 32 inch pitch which I had enjoyed in 2006 was gone, while the large IFE box was still there:

Wow, that is indeed very large. Not very good at all.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
SriLankan still offers a choice of three main courses - and the food descriptions sounded very promising:

That menu made me hungry. Good that it is almost lunchtime!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My brother wasn't hungry and rejected his meal, while I decided to try the lamb. Very nice tray:

Looks okay to me. A nice curry dish.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After dinner, I tried to get some sleep, but failed. About one hour before arrival, I was totally shocked after opening a lavatory door - it looked so horrible in there that I immediately shut the door again and went to another lavatory. Don't ask me to go into detail any further...  

And don't ask me to present my theory of guest workers and toilet usage, that would probably be flagged as racist...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, the other lavatory was in acceptable condition and I was able to lock the door, but, as I found out later, the sign "vacant" was stuck.  

One of the toilets on my SVO-NRT flight with SU was broken. Well there was nothing wrong with the toilet itself, but the locking knob had been torn off (passengers getting rowdy on a BKK flight?) and thus the door could not be locked. They tried to tape it shut with duct tape which didn't exactly succeed. Finally a big paper with "BROKEN" was taped on the door.

As I said there was nothing wrong with the toilet itself so I did use it to avoid the long queues for the other toilets...  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006...  

Now that is very, very bad luck! Hate it when that happens.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
. Spotting opportunities were limited, but I at least I can say that I logged Mihin Lanka's entire fleet...which consisted of one A320 and one A321 back then.

Hahah, not too hard then! Did you check the possibility of flying Mihin between DXB and CMB? That could have been an even more "interesting" experience.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
As expected, the seats were hard again, but there was even less legroom:

That looks tight! And a massive IFE box again, too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, one should never underestimate the Bay of Bengal!  

Oh yes, you learn to respect it after flying over a few times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Transaero's 747-400s are frequent visitors at Bangkok:

Flying one from Moscow to BKK would probably be quite a hellish experience. The Russian tourists have a certain (usually well deserved) reputation. Aeroflot doesn't even serve wine in economy on the SVO-BKK flights, unlike on most of their other long haul flights.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...but I just didn't like the aircon blowing air directly towards the beds. There should be a better solution in a 5-star hotel.

My zero star hotel in Tirana last weekend had the same problem - the air conditioning unit was directly above the pillow of the bed and blowing right on your face. I'm pretty sure this is one of the reasons I'm now suffering from a bad case of the flu!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The building has 85 floors, with a public observatory on the 77th floor, a bar on the 83rd floor and a 360-degree revolving roof deck - and the latter is where we headed to. The views were stunning in the late afternoon sun:

Nice views and photos! I'm a sucker for all kinda of high buildings and observation decks as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The interior was old and worn - and there were large spots on the seats:

Urgh, looks horribly shabby. Maybe these 747s are scheduled to be retired sometime soon so they won't spend any money on refitting the cabins any more.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hot meals were served about an hour after takeoff. I chose chicken over fish and got a nice-looking tray:

That doesn't look good at all to me.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw - the flight attendants working on our side weren't overly charming either.

I certainly hope it wasn't the same crew working the whole AMS-BKK-TPE flight! Your description sounds like something a tired crew would be like after a long day.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2012-10-10 03:06:50 and read 14079 times.

Hi PH,

good to read another report from you, and a very interesting as well. Sorry to read that all three flights were somehow disappointing. Especially from China Airlines I would have expected much more.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Map:

That's quite an interesting itinerary, well done.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was totally impressed by the main course - meat, rice and sauce tasted very good.

At least the meal looks good, and a generous portion as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Many passengers jumped up and started pushing and shoving in the aisle...probably they were in great fear that the busses would leave them behind on the apron.

Always the same, I can't really understand this. Some people.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006

That's too bad, to get two known planes in a row is definitely bad luck.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The interior was old and worn - and there were large spots on the seats:

Doesn't look very inviting indeed. It was for sure nice to fly on another 747, great airplane, but certainly sorry to see the cabin in such a bad state.

Also thank you for all the pictures of Bangkok, that is certainly a great city. Reminded me so much of my stay there a couple of years ago, enjoyed it very much.

CaptainRed

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-10-12 01:48:26 and read 13572 times.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 76):
Udo, great reading here.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 76):
And good pics as usual.

Hi Eric, thanks for your reply!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 76):
It took me a while to reply but a good story!

No worries! You have been very busy with CX rides recently...  

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 76):
Unacceptable, though CI should finish refurbishment soon on the 744's.

It's done now.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 76):
And, CI isn't particularly cheap either.

The flight between BKK and TPE wasn't cheap either.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 76):
Looking forward to the next episode.

Already online!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 76):
Your pics make me wanna visit BKK some day (never been in Thailand so far)

You definitely should!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Finally got around reading the second part of your latest trip-report-in-progress.

Hi P., good to hear you found some time between your extended tours!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Doesn't really surprise me for UL, at least on these routes which are full of guest workers and European budget travelers.

But UL used to be much better in general.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
But for CI I certainly expected a bit more. Hopefully their Airbuses are in better condition than that shabby 747...

Hopefully, yes. I haven't seen an A343 interior recently.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Great shots from Bangkok, a good idea to split your journey there and a couple of days of R&R!

Yes, a short visit to the city is always recommendable.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Now that gets your trip into a bad start!

Absolutely.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
You should've demanded compensation, not that I expect you to get any but the response could have bene interesting.

Yes, I should have done so.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Looks okay to me. A nice curry dish.

The main course was fine.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
And don't ask me to present my theory of guest workers and toilet usage, that would probably be flagged as racist...

No, I won't ask...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
One of the toilets on my SVO-NRT flight with SU was broken. Well there was nothing wrong with the toilet itself, but the locking knob had been torn off (passengers getting rowdy on a BKK flight?) and thus the door could not be locked. They tried to tape it shut with duct tape which didn't exactly succeed. Finally a big paper with "BROKEN" was taped on the door.

Haha, very interesting. How old was the plane on that sector?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Now that is very, very bad luck! Hate it when that happens.

Oh yes, "hate" is the perfect term here...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Hahah, not too hard then!

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Did you check the possibility of flying Mihin between DXB and CMB? That could have been an even more "interesting" experience.

No, I only checked options between DXB and BKK. I didn't want to make the itinerary more complicated as I wasn't on tour alone.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Oh yes, you learn to respect it after flying over a few times.

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Flying one from Moscow to BKK would probably be quite a hellish experience. The Russian tourists have a certain (usually well deserved) reputation.

I know, they have a bad reputation in Thailand. But I guess it's just a minority responsible for that image.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Aeroflot doesn't even serve wine in economy on the SVO-BKK flights, unlike on most of their other long haul flights.

Really? Very interesting.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
My zero star hotel in Tirana last weekend had the same problem - the air conditioning unit was directly above the pillow of the bed and blowing right on your face. I'm pretty sure this is one of the reasons I'm now suffering from a bad case of the flu!

Ah, I hate when that happens. But your immune system seems to be strong - I cannot remember reading about a cancelled flight due to health reasons.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Nice views and photos! I'm a sucker for all kinda of high buildings and observation decks as well.

Thanks!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
Urgh, looks horribly shabby. Maybe these 747s are scheduled to be retired sometime soon so they won't spend any money on refitting the cabins any more.

No, they remain in service - the last one is undergoing refurbishment.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 77):
I certainly hope it wasn't the same crew working the whole AMS-BKK-TPE flight!

No, I don't think so. Well, hopefully not...

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 78):
good to read another report from you, and a very interesting as well.

Hi CaptainRed, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 78):
Especially from China Airlines I would have expected much more.

  

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 78):
That's quite an interesting itinerary, well done.

It took a while to work that out.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 78):
Always the same, I can't really understand this. Some people.

  

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 78):

That's too bad, to get two known planes in a row is definitely bad luck.

It's horrible...

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 78):
Doesn't look very inviting indeed. It was for sure nice to fly on another 747, great airplane, but certainly sorry to see the cabin in such a bad state.

Yes, getting a 747 was one of few positive aspects.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 78):
Also thank you for all the pictures of Bangkok, that is certainly a great city. Reminded me so much of my stay there a couple of years ago, enjoyed it very much.

Thanks! Good to hear you enjoyed it.


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: SR 103
Posted 2012-10-12 06:29:21 and read 13443 times.

Thanks PlaneHunter for a great report.

Shame to hear about your SriLankan experience. I had hoped my rather unimpressive experience earlier this year was a one off. Shame to see it becoming more common at what was once a great airline to fly.

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: eastafspot
Posted 2012-10-13 11:29:51 and read 13193 times.

Hey PH

Nice report on a negative experience though. Unlucky or UL standards are decreasing?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now I was certainly hoping that I wouldn't get the same aircraft
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My worst fear came true when I identified the plane. There are six A340s in the fleet, but I got 4R-ADA again which flew me from Colombo to Frankfurt in 2006...  

IIRC, your signature was previously " Never fly the same reg twice" or something similar??? when did you change it... LOL after that?   .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
One cannot complain about the bar service:

True, to be honest better than a KGL-EBB-DOH leg on QR

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I discovered numerous people with wipes in their hands cleaning walls and overhead ceilings because their drinks had splashed upwards!

huh! so hilarious, i could even visualized the scene and the faces of the passengers


Many thanks for sharing your unpleasant rides onboard Sri Lankan!


Léo

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: infodesk
Posted 2012-10-18 22:10:25 and read 12663 times.

Hi PH,

I must have missed this one when you posted it as I was on holiday.

It’s clear where your title came from, what a disappointment indeed on both carriers. I would have expected more from UL, I think the meal looked about the best part of the flight. Did the crew make any comment on your broken IFE?

To find such dirty toilets on both carriers is also very bad. I remember how frequently the SQ girls cleaned them on our flights.

As for CA, those stained seating are quite simply disgusting.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
in contrast to the back side:

Yuck. Dread to think how many bacteria were on that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I at least I can say that I logged Mihin Lanka's entire fleet...which consisted of one A320 and one A321 back then.

Logging an entire fleet in one session? Excellent work  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There was total silence in the cabin as people were paralyzed for a short moment. And then I discovered numerous people with wipes in their hands cleaning walls and overhead ceilings because their drinks had splashed upwards! Well, one should never underestimate the Bay of Bengal!

And to think we didn’t experience one single bump in the area on our trip. Must be very much the exception.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Nice pool area - too bad we didn't have enough time to relax there:

Looks most inviting.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This cabin looks very retro:

Yeah, almost like a cinema with that huge screen at the front!

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-10-27 08:16:50 and read 11969 times.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 80):
Thanks PlaneHunter for a great report.

Thanks for your comments, SR 103!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 80):
Shame to hear about your SriLankan experience. I had hoped my rather unimpressive experience earlier this year was a one off. Shame to see it becoming more common at what was once a great airline to fly.

Yes, it's a shame indeed. But I'm still optimistic that it may change again.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 81):
Nice report on a negative experience though.

Hi Léo, many thanks for your feedback!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 81):
Unlucky or UL standards are decreasing?

It's the latter, unfortunately.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 81):
IIRC, your signature was previously " Never fly the same reg twice" or something similar???

It's back again!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 81):
huh! so hilarious, i could even visualized the scene and the faces of the passengers

Some of them must have been quite scared.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 81):
Many thanks for sharing your unpleasant rides onboard Sri Lankan!

Thanks again for your comments!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):

I must have missed this one when you posted it as I was on holiday.

Hi Hannah, thanks a lot for leaving a reply!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
I would have expected more from UL, I think the meal looked about the best part of the flight.

Yes, the meal was fine.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
Did the crew make any comment on your broken IFE?

No, but I didn't complain about it either.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
To find such dirty toilets on both carriers is also very bad. I remember how frequently the SQ girls cleaned them on our flights.

Well, SQ is in a different league.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
As for CA, those stained seating are quite simply disgusting.

  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
Yuck. Dread to think how many bacteria were on that.

Ah, I better don't think about it.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
Logging an entire fleet in one session? Excellent work

Yes indeed!  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
And to think we didn’t experience one single bump in the area on our trip. Must be very much the exception.

Who knows, there may be bad and good days, depending on the weather.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):
Looks most inviting.
Quoting infodesk (Reply 82):

Yeah, almost like a cinema with that huge screen at the front!

  


PH

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: eastafspot
Posted 2012-11-04 11:12:25 and read 11262 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 83):
Hi Léo, many thanks for your feedback!

You are welcome!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 83):
It's the latter, unfortunately.

Do you have any idea why?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 83):
It's back again!

That's much better with your footer now   


regards

Topic: RE: Double Letdown To BKK & TPE: UL A330/A340, CI 744
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-11-21 01:03:53 and read 10965 times.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 84):
Do you have any idea why?

EK's withdrawal may have been a reason. But I still hope it will change again. The new products look promising.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 84):
That's much better with your footer now

  


PH


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/