MHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1094 posts, RR: 9 Posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 21946 times:
This Trip Report is the third that includes my journey to, around, and from Africa. This Trip Report includes the following flight:
BP212 JNB-MUB (Maun, Botswana) (BAe 146-100)
I must start out by mentioning the surprise I experienced when I found out I was travelling with Air Botswana. Since it was booked by a tour company, we were not given a choice of the airlines we take for the regional flights. As soon as I saw the words “Air Botswana”, I immediately went to my computer to look up information about this carrier. Apparently, they experienced an accident where a BP pilot stole an ATR and committed suicide by crashing it into two other BP ATR’s on the tarmac. This happened in 1999 and completely crippled their operations.
Well I could only hope for the best.
We arrived at JNB about 2 hours before our flight. Check-in was simple and fast, however, the agent was less than friendly.
Passport control and security was easy enough also. A security agent allowed a family to take a water bottle through. Is there a liquid ban in South Africa?
I walked around the terminal and felt it necessary to take this picture of a UM 732 to HRE. You can’t see this everywhere.
All flights departing from a remote stand board from an area downstairs. It’s actually quite a nice waiting area with a high ceiling and one or two shops.
Apparently they don’t really do announcements at JNB. There were a few final boarding calls for SA flights but that’s it. I did hear ‘Love in This Club” by Usher over the P/A system though. At about 09:45, the departure board said our flight was boarding, however, there was no agent at the gate to board us. We all waited in line for about ten minutes until a BP agent showed up and began boarding.
We all got on the bus where we sat for about 25 minutes without going anywhere. The driver got out (is it legal to leave pax alone in a bus?) and started talking to another bus driver. This flight was full of Americans and Europeans. Eventually, the driver returned and drove us to the aircraft.
Views from the bus
After I took this picture, someone yelled “NO PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE AIRCRAFT!”. Oh well too late. I just looked away and pretended like I didn’t do it haha.
We were welcomed on board by an unsmiling flight attendant. It was then when I noticed how nice the interior was. I believed they refurbished their cabins not to long ago.
The departure time came and went when about 20 or so people boarded the aircraft. It was a group from the UK that was building a school in Botswana. They were connecting from a VS flight, which was actually ontime. Their connection was just ridiculously short.
I also noticed that BP actually has their own in-flight magazine. No apology for the delay but we began pushing back at about 10:30.
The takeoff roll seemed extremely long.
There were drinks and a small biscuit offered during this flight. The flight attendants were not too friendly and didn’t smile at all. For the rest of the flight, I just looked out the window and listened to my iPod
There was no acknowledgement of our descent into MUB until I heard a broken up P/A announcement from the captain asking the flight attendants to be seated for arrival. That’s the first time I heard the pilots speak the whole flight.
The initial approach was very bumpy and it felt as though the rudder was moving from side to side violently. However, it smoothed out on final
Landing video. Interesting landing technique as the pilot pulls up right before we touch down.
Air Botswana really left me with no significant opinion. I was thankful we arrived close to ontime after listening to people at our lodge talk about their experience with BP. They mentioned that their flight disappeared from the departure board and was over four hours late.
I hope you enjoyed this report as I don’t think there are too many involving Air Botswana.
Look out for the following Trip Reports:
South African Airways (LVI-JNB-CPT)
Delta Airlines (JNB-DKR-ATL-TPA)
Norcal773 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1403 posts, RR: 12 Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 21619 times:
Very interesting. I went to Botswana about 3 years ago and opted to take the bus from JNB instead after reading up on BP. That and the fact that my dad recommended the bus..lol. Looking at it though, I wouldn't mind flying them.
The BAe-146 is an interesting aircraft, I flew one a few months ago in the Philippines and loved the little thing.
MHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1094 posts, RR: 9 Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 20871 times:
Ok pix should be working again!
Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 2): Very interesting. I went to Botswana about 3 years ago and opted to take the bus from JNB instead after reading up on BP. That and the fact that my dad recommended the bus..lol. Looking at it though, I wouldn't mind flying them.
I might still think twice before taking them again. We've heard many horror stories from other people and I think we just lucked out.
Semsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20456 times:
Great. Thank you for fixing the pictures. Very interesting. Enjoyed the video. Same things happened to me as to you. I recently took a picture boarding a CCM flight from Nice to Bastia and they ran up to me and said "No pictures." Too late. The crew were also "No Smiles." It is getting to be common it seems all over the world.
Haha, I meant to add more to that sentence but then I forgot. The security officer originally told them that they couldn't take the water bottle on board. The family replied by saying something like "Oh, you can't take liquids on flights here either?". Then the security officer decided to let him take it.
Quoting Semsen (Reply 8): Great. Thank you for fixing the pictures. Very interesting. Enjoyed the video. Same things happened to me as to you. I recently took a picture boarding a CCM flight from Nice to Bastia and they ran up to me and said "No pictures." Too late. The crew were also "No Smiles." It is getting to be common it seems all over the world.
Thanks. I don't think the security people understand that you can get pictures of any aircraft, airline, and airport on the internet. It's not gonna make a difference if you take a picture or not.
Quoting AlexEU (Reply 9): Very nice trip report ! I am glad to see Jumbolino 100-version and BP. 3-3 seating
configuration seems dense for Jumbolino.
Thanks! Yes it was very cramped but I'm pretty sure this is the standart configuration for the BAe 146.
ZS-SAZ From South Africa, joined Jul 2001, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 16882 times:
Interesting report. I have always wondered what Air Botswana's service would be like, and I'm quite disappointed that it wasn't too good!
As for the liquid, I have had liquid (that I forgot I had packed) confiscated before. And as for the photography, what rubbish from that official! It's quite common to see people taking photography at OR Tambo.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 20 hours ago) and read 16448 times:
I got slapped very hard on my arm by an over zealous officer on the tarmac of Singapore Changi's Budget Terminal once... for taking a photo of a Tiger A320. I really wonder what is the reasoning behind this "security" enforcement?
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
MHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1094 posts, RR: 9 Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 16400 times:
Wow! I'm very surprised to see all these replies recently!
Quoting TJCAB (Reply 16): I just had the very same thought! Don't see what the big deal is with these paranoid rules!
I know, I completely agree!
Quoting ZS-SAZ (Reply 17): What was your impression of OR Tambo Airport?
I found the airport to be very nice actually. When I was there in July 2008, there were still renovations going on so I'm sure it has improved quite a bit since I've been there. My only complaint is that I was unable to check my bag through when I flew LVI-JNB-CPT on South African since apparently they do not transfer bags between international arrivals and domestic departures.
Quoting PresRDC (Reply 18): It is my understanding that the BAe-146 is no longer operating. My wife and I took the flight in March and it was being operated by an F-28 operated by a company called "Air Quarius."
According to the BP in-flight magazine, BP is acquiring a new fleet of Q400s, which would eventually operate all flights.
Wow, Q400s would be a great plane for them. I don't think any of their flights are over an hour in duration.
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20): I got slapped very hard on my arm by an over zealous officer on the tarmac of Singapore Changi's Budget Terminal once... for taking a photo of a Tiger A320. I really wonder what is the reasoning behind this "security" enforcement?
Obviously because we are going to use our pictures to plan a terrorist attack since we definitely cannot find pictures of airplanes on the internet!