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EgyptAir MS 787: 12/FEB/09: CAI-IST: J Cabin  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5088 posts, RR: 55
Posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 23558 times:

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 073
Flight Category: J-ISR (See Report End)
Date: 12 Feb-09 (See Report End)
SDT/SAT/Dur/Delay: 1045/1300/02:15 hrs
Flight: Egypt Air MS 737, 762 miles
Routing: CAI-IST
Aircraft: 320
Seat: Business, 10A

I > Background:
I was working in Egypt for a client and decided to visit one of my top 5 cities for a quick getaway. Egypt Air had some incredible J class deals and I jumped at the opportunity to visit Istanbul for like the 13th time! I believe this is the first review of MS J on a 320 short hop international.

I apologize for the lack of normal pictures of the cabin – I know they are rare and would have been a good addition. However, I accidentally deleted a bunch of pictures. Oops.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Egypt Air, is the national airline of Egypt. Based in Cairo, it offers flights to 70 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. It is Africa’s 2nd largest airline and currently the newest member of the Star Alliance family.

Egypt Air’s website at www.egyptair.com has come a long way and was actually pretty easy to use to purchase the ticket. I was able to quickly book and pay for the ticket which arrived electronically in an hour. It is not a perfect system and has some weird quirks. For example, one can only select FFP information if they belong to BD, MS, or LH!? Now, I don’t know which is weird – the fact you can chose only three airlines; or the randomness of the three airlines. Having said that, I was impressed that one could chose their seat, view reservations later, and even modify seat requests. This won many brownie points from me as regular readers of my trip reports understand how important the seat selection thing is for me .

b) At Airport:
Egypt Air still was using T1 for its international flights at Cairo. It has changed to the integrated (and much improved) T3 since then. T1 is a complete Cairo experience. One jostless and pushes their way past countless random people hanging out at the entrance to make their way into the terminal past security guards. Once inside you recognize the huge queues and realize you are going to miss your flight. Fortunately, I remembered there was a separate check-in for Business and First class passengers. To find it required asking a bunch of random security guards who pointed me to this man who walked me to the gates of the premium check-in and then insisted I give him some “baksheesh” … hehe. I love Cairo. And of course, he got nothing from me.

Anyways, there was nothing really premium about the check-in experience as the crazy queues meant that the process took almost an hour. I hit off a good conversation with the director of HSBC Cairo who reeked of alcohol. Gotta love the expat lifestyle! She was flying to London on BD and failed in her attempt to get upgraded. Awesome conversation though. The kind of person I would bond with anywhere in the world. The check-in agent was nice and efficient and gave me my boarding card and lounge invitation.

Post check-in, I made myself through the mess of the airport and crowds past immigration to the very 1970s styled waiting rooms and lounges. There was a distinct air of being stuck in the 1970s and 1980s with smoked filled corridors and a weird sense of nostalgia, romance, and charm. This airport was VERY MENA and I was consistently expecting to walk onto a tarmac filled with 707s and 720s!

CAI has all these random themed lounges which make no sense as none of them live up to their glorious names (“Egyptian” lounge, “American” lounge, “Italian” lounge, etc.). Anyways, after a quick café and goodbye to my friend and fellow A.Netter (“kiramakora”), I made myself to my gate. As boarding was called, there was a mad rush to get into the gate hold area and I am convinced Cairo would be a great addition of a follower to “ILBST”. Actually, of late, boarding has been remarkably civil in India and Latin America (founders of “ILBST”) and nowhere else! As I was waiting in the boarding line, “kiramakora” frantically sent me an SMS. His flight was delayed by 12 hours and he invited me to witness the “fight” that had broken out at the customer service desk. It was amusing to watch. So the passengers had got no information and the MS people were not willing to re-book. “kiramakora” holding uber-status on five(!) Star carriers and fellow airline consultant lost his cool as he successfully managed to negotiate with the MS Cairo SM to have him be transferred to a flight departing out of T2 in 40 minutes. This involved the SM personally having to take “kiramakora” through immigrations office (where he was temporarily let back into Egypt), having a special car and SM mad drive to T2 through the tarmac, another round of immigration, onto the gate. As “kiramakora” and I discussed later – we did not know which to highlight. The gross incompetence of MS’ Cairo staff; or the absolutely amazing SM who understood who is a valuable client and went far above and beyond his duty. In the end we settled that while the SM was simply amazing, ‘status’ and knowing the airline industry should not be pre-requisities for receiving good service. Anyways, my own flight was nothing as dramatic as “kiramakoras” as boarding was soon called on time.
*** note: my score will not reflect “kiramakoras” experience as this is my TR dammit ***

No priority boarding or buses happened for Business/Star Gold card holders. Boarding past the excited Japanese and Chinese tour groups to our plane via tarmac was exhilarating and I was welcomed to the cabin by a unsmiling FA. J load was 100%.

Airport - External:

(Cairo’s Terminal 1)


Check-in:

(Y interior)


(Premium Check-in)


(Premium counter still has crazy lines and chaos)


Airport - Internal:

(Internal – actuall of arrivals section)


(FIDS)


(Post Security)


Scenes of the tarmac:











(Executive terminal?)






(Old and new liveries)


Lounge







Boarding:

(Huge line to get into gate area)


(Crazy security hold area)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Prior to take-off, hot towels and menus. After take-off, lunch served.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
Egypt Air’s 320 looked in average condition. I found the seats to be a tad too old-school for me and the lack of legroom and seat recline did not leave a favourable expression on me. On the same sector, TK’s mint-fresh 738 just offers a significantly superior service.

Aircraft:



Views from Aircraft:

(Cairo)


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Poor legroom)


Seat Recline + Angle View:

NONE

Cabin:

NONE


c) Meal + Beverage:

For a short sector, the meal service was actually impressive. I liked the fact that there were 3 choices of meals – though, was surprised at the lack of a vegetarian menu item. I chose the salmon which was just about average – nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either. Impressive was the dessert tray made of delicious Egyptian delights. The FA brought a tray and we got to pick. All very impressive. MS is a dry-airline … and since I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, it would be a thing to consider when chosing them a long-haul flight. Personally, I find this surprising as Cairo is a pretty open minded city for the region. However, I guess Egypt is not the Egypt it used to be in the 1960s/1970s. MS could improve in this area by having an array of fresh juices and smoothies. One thing that shocked me was the dirty linen! I had not received dirty linen since an Air France flight from CDG to JNB. Pretty sad. However, in this instance, the crew was apologetic and replaced it immediately.

(Menu)




(Lunch)




(Dirty linen)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Extremely poor. There was nothing except the “HORUS” magazine. Again, an area of significant improvement.

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)




e) Crew:
We were served by a male pursar and a female crew member during the flight. Neither of them had any smiles during the entire flight. They barely were able to greet us, distribute menus, and do the food run. There was as much warmth as I have encountered on some European carriers where crew robotically due their duties and disappear. It is a shame really. Egyptians are infectious people with a great sense of humor. Too bad it does not transcend to the airline. Staff members at Cairo were much more nicer.

IV> Post-Flight:
Arrival at IST was smooth and I was out enjoying one of the my top 5 favorite cities in the world in a matter of minutes. IST seriously should be increasingly considered as one of the best hubs between ZRH and SIN!

(Beautiful IST suburbs and wealthy homes)


V> Impressions + Scores:
While the average staff member at MS is extremely pleased at becoming a Star member, and the opening of T3 has given an additional moral boost, MS has a long way to go before becoming a truly global airline befitting of an ancient civilization. It can be done. Just look at Turkish Airlines! For now, MS should be a carrier chosen solely based on pricing and scheduling. I am sure yields are not great at this bloated airline (look at the staff: aircraft ratio). Check-in was chaotic (and “kiramakora” had a harrowing time), on-board service was mediocre at best (poor IFE, poor seats, average meal, poor beverages), and staff left much to be desired. I am a huge fan of the country and of Cairo and I really do wish I could say nicer things about MS. However, this is a objective trip report and unfortunately I won’t seek out to fly MS anytime soon. Thumps down.

1.0 > RESERVATION: 7.5
2.0 > CHECK-IN: 4.0
0.5 > LOUNGE: 5.0
0.5 > BOARDING: 5.0
2.0 > SEAT: 4.0
0.5 > AIRCRAFT OVERALL AMBIENCE: 5.0
1.0 > IFE: 4.0
2.0 > CREW: 4.0
2.0 > FOOD: 6.5
0.5 > BEVERAGES: 3.0
0.5 > A.KITS + OTHER FREEBIES: 5.0
0.5 > DISEMBARKATION: 8.0
1.0 > ON-TIME RECORD: 9.0
WEIGHTED OVERALL IMPRESSION (WOI): 5.21
(Pre-flight WOI of all reviews: 6.47)
* Weighted Overall Impression (WOI) aligns scores with what matters most. Weights are indicated alongside each category.
(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21:Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Scenes from CAI)
(International Arrivals Hall)


(Scenes from IST)





















Live, and let live.
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 22743 times:

Hola Abrelosojos,

Thank you for sharing this lovely trip report! I will be traveling to CAI myself in September. So I appreciate your insight view very much.

We were supposed to fly MS. But we dropped this option and booked with another airline, basically due to the fact that MS does not serve alcohol on board.

MS still seems the source of anxiety with Star Alliance. I hope their membership will boost the service level in the near future.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineTwolz2rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 22680 times:

Good report. I just took MS to NBO in April and had a different experience. Maybe my expectations were too low to begin with and everything just seemed better.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
and then insisted I give him some “baksheesh”

Ha! Classic. Another joy of being an expat in Egypt!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
chose the salmon which was just about average – nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either

The food on my flight to and from NBO was medicore as well. I'm surprised they had three options to choose from on such a short flight.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
MS should be a carrier chosen solely based on pricing and scheduling

Bizopt. While I was relativly pleased with MS, I would only choose them if there the lowest cost.

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/147164/


User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4267 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 22494 times:

Hi A.

fantastic and rare report. And therefore interesting to read!  thumbsup 

How can MS be in Star Alliance when they cannot deal with a normal queue and groundservice for premium passengers?! Just unbelievable... I think.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Dirty linen)

Oops .... That's a bummer!

And I know the MS A320 interior myself, they're not the nicest around. Would prefer TK or RJ over MS. Unless you can get on a A330/340/B777 or AB6 (do they still have the 300's?)

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offline1stClassDiva From Australia, joined May 2009, 32 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 22415 times:

I'm so glad I have stumbled across your trip reports. They are wonderful to read. Also love your pictures especially the one flying over Cairo. I have always wanted to go there. Great job.

Diva
http://1stclassdiva.wordpress.com/


User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1668 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 22357 times:

Great TR, as usual. I always love to read MS TRs, which are indeed rare. This is a very comprehensive and enjoyable piece. Some great photos as well!

This is a TR very typical of what MS offers

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
MS still seems the source of anxiety with Star Alliance. I hope their membership will boost the service level in the near future.

Why?

Quoting Twolz2rn (Reply 2):
Bizopt.

LOL!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):
How can MS be in Star Alliance when they cannot deal with a normal queue and groundservice for premium passengers?! Just unbelievable... I think.

Star Alliance's main aim is to recruit airlines to cover as many countries as possible. It is not an exclusive grouping of the world's choice airlines.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
MS has a long way to go before becoming a truly global airline befitting of an ancient civilization. It can be done. Just look at Turkish Airlines! For now, MS should be a carrier chosen solely based on pricing and scheduling. I am sure yields are not great at this bloated airline (look at the staff: aircraft ratio).

8-10 years ago it was worse. Back then it was truly bloated offering minimal frequencies and 'stretching' the airline network to a maximum.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
All very impressive. MS is a dry-airline … and since I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, it would be a thing to consider when chosing them a long-haul flight. Personally, I find this surprising as Cairo is a pretty open minded city for the region. However, I guess Egypt is not the Egypt it used to be in the 1960s/1970s. .

It's very unfortunate that Egyptair does not offer alcohol. GF, EK, EY and QR all offer alcohol and they are airlines hailing from much more conservative countries.


User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 22275 times:

Great job - absolutely love this part of the world ... I'm not impressed with places such as Dubai or Doha which, to me, lack any sort of soul or character ... spent 5 days in Cairo with friends after graduation ... we stayed in Zamalek but covered most parts including a very interesting train ride up to Alex .... would love to see the rest of the country one day; thanks for your photos - I've never had occasion to try Egyptair but I can see the $$ attraction - I'm mainly motivated by price when paying commercial tickets, so MS would definitely be an option for the future.

I don't think I've used T3 or T1 - only ever T2 which sounds as if its middle-aged compared to the other two.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I hit off a good conversation with the director of HSBC Cairo who reeked of alcohol. Gotta love the expat lifestyle! She was flying to London on BD and failed in her attempt to get upgraded.

Interesting; had an HSBC director which boarded one of my flights recently asking if her upgrade had cleared. Didn't realise HSBC had negotiated such a deal with airlines. Well she had an Economy boarding pass at the door, so obviously it didn't work that time ...

Glad you also like IST - and as for Turkish, I think they've got a decent service in Y (and better than the competition between IST and LHR in any case) ... just not overly keen on their insanely sweet desserts and snacks such as those sold in that shop, Saray ... Turkish coffee on the other hand, is fantastic.


User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 21997 times:

Great trip report as usual! If you don't mind my asking, what is it that you do for a living? You're trip reports are always all over the world! Whever you do, it sounds like a lot of fun to be travelling that much  Smile


Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 21978 times:

P.S. I'll be in Istanbul in early September...any good recommendations? It'll be my first time there, and I've heard great things about IST.


Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 21913 times:



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
Why?

I based my opinion on the flight reviews of MS on several forums. I think there is still a room for improvement. But MS is on the right road. The opening of Terminal 3 for instance will be a nice contribution.

As the matter of fact, my holiday trip in September will include a domestic flight with MS.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8524 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 21542 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report as always, thanks.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
regular readers of my trip reports understand how important the seat selection thing is for me

- I think that applies to most of us  Smile

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
there was nothing really premium about the check-in experience as the crazy queues meant that the process took almost an hour

- Yikes, that's not a good start!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5088 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 20746 times:



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
MS still seems the source of anxiety with Star Alliance. I hope their membership will boost the service level in the near future.



Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):

How can MS be in Star Alliance when they cannot deal with a normal queue and groundservice for premium passengers?! Just unbelievable... I think.



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):

Star Alliance's main aim is to recruit airlines to cover as many countries as possible. It is not an exclusive grouping of the world's choice airlines.

= I am with Directorguy here. Alliances are rarely done to meet some service threshold. They are in the end a glorified marketing alliance more than anything else. Of course, they may evolve in the future.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):


And I know the MS A320 interior myself, they're not the nicest around. Would prefer TK or RJ over MS. Unless you can get on a A330/340/B777 or AB6 (do they still have the 300's?)

= Actually, MS is even more painful in premium cabins in the 330/340/777 as even F does not have any kind of recline seating.

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
It's very unfortunate that Egyptair does not offer alcohol. GF, EK, EY and QR all offer alcohol and they are airlines hailing from much more conservative countries.

= Yup ... and ironically, people from these GCC nations flock to Cairo for a good time.

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 6):
Great job - absolutely love this part of the world ... I'm not impressed with places such as Dubai or Doha which, to me, lack any sort of soul or character ... spent 5 days in Cairo with friends after graduation ... we stayed in Zamalek but covered most parts including a very interesting train ride up to Alex ....

= Completely agreed. Cairo has a soul. The others simply do not.

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 6):

Interesting; had an HSBC director which boarded one of my flights recently asking if her upgrade had cleared. Didn't realise HSBC had negotiated such a deal with airlines. Well she had an Economy boarding pass at the door, so obviously it didn't work that time ...

= I wonder if it is the same woman  Smile.

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 7):
Great trip report as usual! If you don't mind my asking, what is it that you do for a living? You're trip reports are always all over the world! Whever you do, it sounds like a lot of fun to be travelling that much Smile

= I am a spy. Just kidding. I work as the aviation "expert" for a large management consulting firm and manage most of their aviation gigs, especially in Latin America. I used to work primarily in South Asia due to my previous engagements in the region (UNDP guy in Pakistan), but this has shifted now. None of my trip reports cover work travel.

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 8):
P.S. I'll be in Istanbul in early September...any good recommendations? It'll be my first time there, and I've heard great things about IST.

= Where do I start  Smile? PM me and I can tell you more.

Thanks a lot for reading everyone.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 20576 times:

Hi A.,

another highly enjoyable report, too bad the MS experience wasn't better. Would be interesting to see how their new 738s compare to the older A320s.

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
Star Alliance's main aim is to recruit airlines to cover as many countries as possible. It is not an exclusive grouping of the world's choice airlines.

A certain standard in various ares should be mandatory for becoming a member. I'm not sure whether it's the right strategy to focus on quantity rather than quality.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2415 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 20468 times:



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
MS is a dry-airline ... and since I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, it would be a thing to consider when chosing them a long-haul flight.



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
It's very unfortunate that Egyptair does not offer alcohol. GF, EK, EY and QR all offer alcohol and they are airlines hailing from much more conservative countries.

Please correct me, but AFAIK you can bring your own alcohol on board (at least in the past)?!


User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1668 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 20468 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
A certain standard in various ares should be mandatory for becoming a member. I'm not sure whether it's the right strategy to focus on quantity rather than quality.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 11):
= I am with Directorguy here. Alliances are rarely done to meet some service threshold. They are in the end a glorified marketing alliance more than anything else. Of course, they may evolve in the future.

Indeed, members have to meet certain criteria to become *A members. They need to have a functioning FFP, e-tickets etc. Whether it's 'ethical' to focus on quantity versus quality is of course a matter of debate. Personally a compromise between the two, and certainly MS has improved a lot since last July when it joined *A. In any case, *A is now the largest alliance there is so whatever they're doing works for them.
*A has airlines like SQ, ANA, TG, LH, LX that all have a reputation for a high level of service (it's all a matter of perspective but they all tend to hit rather than miss). Members like bmi, UA and US Airways do not and in fact, give me MS any day over these three (judging from TRs and experience). But of course few will question their being in *A because of their strategic value and the fact that UA is a founding member of the alliance.
So while MS is far from perfect, it's come a long way and has benefited from the *A and vice versa.


User currently offlineManny From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 20174 times:

As always a great TR! Keep up the good work.

But you probably have heard(read) that remark so many times before.  Smile

Its was also interesting to see 2 Indigo A/C in one of your pics. I wonder what they were doing there ? Lease returns or do they go to IST for maintenance ?


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