TRIP REPORT LHR - DXB - IKA - THR - AZD - THR - IKA - BKK - USM - BKK - DXB - LHR
Apologies for the lack of photos.
This is my first attempt of a trip report , (note I have left out the 2 flights from and to LHR, these were bog standard flights with EK)
Emirates EK 971 (Economy)
From (DXB) Dubai, AE to (IKA) Tehran, IR
My first time using the new Emirates terminal, space is vast and impressive. As with the other terminal I feel there is a lack of branded stores and restaurants but maybe that's just me. There also appeared to be a serious lack of bathrooms, all had huge queues and the facilities themselves were with all due respect filthy! Boarding was on time, flight was totally full and as is customary with Iranian passengers the boarding process was a total shambles!! Everything was trying to rush on at the same time totally ignoring the concept of boarding by zone. Interior was really tatty, ICE was of the old variety. For a short flight was surprised for the large meal served. (Bread,fruit,cheese,some sort of sandwich), Alcoholic beverages also served. Once landed at IKA, breezed through arrivals, quick chat at immigration/passport stamped and that was that. We did have to wait an age for baggage. Nothing much available at IKA, bank for changing money and that's about it. Cab took about 40mins to downtown Tehran, thankfully traffic was light.
Iran Air IR 294 (Economy)
From (THR) Tehran, IR to (AZD) Yazd, IR
Arrived at the IranAir domestic terminal about 40mins before my flight. Approached the Yazd desk with my wonderful hand written paper ticket (really miss these!) and was issued a boarding pass. Popped though second round of security and waited in the main hall. Airport really is looking old but noticed new collection of Bravia screens with concise departures info. Couple of shops/cafes and fairly priced (not like at IKA) Boarding was on time, bussed to aircraft. First time flying in a f100, more used to flying VLMs f50s. Interior was shockingly bad, torn leather seats, broken hand rests and tray tables. Flight full and departed on time. Again surprised at the unnecessary inflight meal.
(Juice,nut bar, breaded chicken burger!) I was stuck in a middle seat but both my neighbours were chatty so before I knew we had landed in Yazd. Airport is really small, similar to Shiraz or Esfahan. Outside the terminals there appeared to crowds of people waving flowers and screaming with joy at a certain group of passengers who had just arrived. Not sure what the occasion was but I sure would like that reception once in my life. Grabbed a cab and was on my merry way.
Iran Air IR 299 (Economy)
From (AZD) Yazd, IR to (THR) Tehran, IR
Arrived far too early, after passing security at the main entrance was issued boarding pass but told to wait in the main area and not to proceed through the next security until the flight was called. Airport is really basic, small cafe upstairs but it appeared to be shut.
Incoming flight was early and after about 15mins was called to the gate. Bussed to plane, this f100 was in far better condition. Once again stuck in middle seat, grrrr!! Same meal served, Unfortunately I had an incident with my juice box and soaked a poor lady next to me. She was ok with it, spoke perfect English and we had a long chat about the current political situation. People from left right and behind butted in and gave me their views, really wished the flight would have been longer! Thoroughly entertaining. Bused to terminal and hopped into cab. Traffic horrendous took about 35mins to travel to northern Tehran.
Mahan Airlines W5 5045 (Economy)
From (IKA) Tehran, IR to (BKK) Bangkok, TH
For the rest of my trip I had the company of my girlfriend, our flight to BKK was at about 2300, really didn't fancy hanging around IKA too long so arrived at about 2145. It's such a depressing location for an airport, really is in the middle of nowhere. Facilities are limited and totally overpriced. We queued up at the Mahan desk, I had purchased our tickets from Mahan's Birmingham office and was only supplied a ref number. This caused no end of confusion but after a couple of phone calls we were issued our boarding passes. Boarding was on time and miraculously we were one of the first to board. Economy was about 90% full, business section at the front was about half full. I have travelled quite a but on various Iranian airlines but this one took the biscuit. Cabin was really in a bad state. Each seat had a standard pillow and blanket. Take off was an experience to say the least, when the gear was being raised it sounded like the mechanism was on its last legs!! (possible slight exaggeration on my part), In-flight service soon began, kebab with rice, salad, bread cheese + choice of non alcoholic beverages. Interesting point to note cabin crew made a couple of announcements throughout the duration of the flight that Islamic dress code was to be maintained until we left the aircraft at BKK. Not sure of the legality of this statement surly once you are out of Iranian airspace such laws cannot be informed. Lights were dimmed for a good 4 hours. There was some sort of video played on various screens throughout the cabin but the footage was so corrupted who knows what it actually was. Captain was quite good at keeping passengers informed of our progress both in Farsi and English, he gave a really detailed explanation of our planned route which I thought was a nice touch. Breakfast was also served prior to landing. Cabin crew were friendly and professional. I still prefer Iran Air. We landed on time at BKK. Bussed to terminal.
Bangkok Airways PG135 (Economy)
From (BKK) Bangkok, TH to (USM) Koh Samui, TH
From the arrivals hall, we took a lift up a couple of floors to Domestic Departures, I had already checked in online so we went straight to baggage drop desk for Bangkok Airways, was greeted by extremely welcoming and polite members of staff. We were also reminded to make use of the complementary lounge which is available to economy Bangkok Airways passengers (Glad she said it as I had no idea). Proceeded though security and headed straight to the lounge which was conveniently located opposite our designated gate. As we had about an hour to wait was quite pleased to make use of the free wifi, various drinks and snacks were also provided. Good selection of travel magazines,guides and various pieces of literature also available. Boarding was called for our fight, we were bussed to the aircraft. Hadn't realised we would be flying an ATR so it was a welcome surprise. Last time I was on one of these was with Aer Arann. Livery was awesome. Boarding was from the rear and was swift. Plane was only about 75% full, (single class). Crew were professional and friendly, inflight services consisted of juice, plus a chicken sandwich. We hit quite a bit of turbulence which is always fun on a small prop. After about 90 mins we made out final approach into Samui airport. We exited from the rear and made our way onto a small toy train which brought us to the terminal. This was great, wished all airports had this type of transport. Terminal was extremely pretty and had a simple thatched roof, really put us in the holiday spirit.
Bangkok Airways PG104 (Economy)
From (USM) Koh Samui, TH to (BKK) Bangkok, TH
Airbus Industrie A319
Sad to leave the island we made our way back to the airport. Once checked in we walked about 5 minutes thought a long strip of shops, at the gate drinks and snacks were provided. I have to say this airport was the nicest I have every visited, really small, most of it outdoors and just a fun place to be. Form the gate it was back on the toy train which brought us to our plane, This time a shiny new A319. Take of was wonderful and views amazing. Luckily we had great weather for November almost no rain. Flight time was about an hour, we were served breakfast which consisted of a croissant, yoghurt and fruit bowl along with juice/tea/coffee. Once again crew really professional. All in all Bangkok Airways really surprised me, a truly excellent airline. Landed in BKK directly at a gate. Baggage was quick to collect and then popped into an official Taxi. This proved to be a disaster as the driver had no idea where he was going. I had written the address in Thai and he claimed to understand but it took about 5 different attempts to finally reach our destination.
Emirates EK 971 (Economy)
From (BKK) Bangkok, TH to (DXB) Dubai, AE
Airbus Industrie A380-800
Couple of days later made our way back to the airport. (Price was half what we paid on the way from the airport, not sure why!?) This time I knew exactly which aircraft we were flying!!! (specifically chose the late evening flight). Checked in and got the first middle row of economy. BKK is a magnificent airport, really impressed with the shops, restaurants and architecture. I thinks it's my favourite in Asia, better than Singapore or Incheon in my opinion. Once boarding commenced we made our way to the gate. The inside of an A380 is amazing. Really feels like there is more room around and above. Take off was amazing, I could feel the power as it charged down the runway. Once airborne the lack of noise was impressive. Cabin crew were extremely attentive and happy to answer numerous questions about the aircraft and general operational queries. Shortly after takeoff we were served a chicken wrap and biscuits. Cabin lights were then dimmed for a couple of hours. Cooked breakfast was then served. All in all I was impressed with Emirates on this occasion, my only problem with them is the lack of consistency with their products, especially when flying C as it's a real gamble with what you get.
Landed ontime at DBX.
There we have it! As my trip covered some less frequented airports thought a report might be of some interest. Hopefully this wasn't too tedious to read. Feedback/questions welcomed.
Next time I'll take photos!!!!
[Edited 2009-11-21 09:28:27 by dub2lcy]