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Iran Air IR 811: 08/DEC/09: BOM-IKA: J Cabin  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5100 posts, RR: 55
Posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 090
Flight Category: J-IMR (See Report End)
Date: 8 Dec-09 (See Report End)
SDT/SAT/Dur/Delay: 0930/1155/04:25 hrs
Flight: Iran Air 811, 1739 miles
Routing: BOM-IKA
Aircraft: 74L
Seat: Business “Homa” Class, 5A

I > Background:
I had never flown the 747SP. With Syrian having retired their fleet (more or less) from trips to Europe, I thought my days of flying the beautiful aircraft had disappeared. While playing with a GDS at a client site in Astana, I noticed that Iran Air plies their 74L twice weekly to BOM. Immediately, my head started spinning with the desire to fly the aircraft. I HAD TO DO IT! Now, there were the logical challenges. While I maintained several passports, I only had my Liechtenstein one with me … and I could not afford any Iranian stamps with my love being an Israeli. Moreover, I had a business meeting in Addis Ababa.

After working through several permutations and combinations (let me tell you, non-daily flights are such a pain logistically), I decided to have the agent in Astana route me on Air Astana (via Almaty) to Delhi. There, I got on a Jet Airways flight to Bombay and checked-in at the ITC Maratha near the airport to find an agent willing to ticket me last minute on IR.

UK_Dispatcher had the last 74L report on the legendary CCS-DAM-IKA routing. This can be read at Iran Air B747SP Transatlantic DAM-CCS [+pics/vids] (by UK_Dispatcher Aug 24 2007 in Trip Reports). Now, this is going to be the only 3rd report for IR’s 74L, the first on BOM-IKA, and definitely the only Iran Air J class report … and I think the only J class 74L report.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Iran Air, or Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the flag carrier airline of Iran, operating services to 20 scheduled and 5 charter destinations. The cargo fleet operates services to 35 international and 25 domestic destinations. Its main base is the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. Its bird, Homa, comes from a griffin of Persian lineage.

Iran Air used to be the fastest growing airline in the world, and was poised to take the SSC’s … that is before the Revolution swept through to power.

While it has improved, Iran Air’s website at http://www.iranair.com/ is still a basket case. And, don’t expect to do any booking there. So fast forward to Bombay, the ITC Maratha hotel room, and my frustration as none of the booking engines would let me book IR. India has an excellent array of domestic travel sites – and while all of them offer multi-stop itineraries, none would let me book a trip next day. So, I ended up calling www.makemytrip.com and they were able to create one PNR and two tickets. IR Stock on BOM-IKA connecting to GF stock on IKA-BAH-ADD (BAH-ADD being a ET/GF code-share.) Of course, a last minute one-way ticket in J by a random man from Liechtenstein flying between India and Ethiopia via Iran raised lots of red flag and I had to send copies of my credit card, visa, passport, and Indian entry visa via e-mail before the wonderful agent could process my request. Poor chap kept on telling me that I could fly BOM-ADD nonstop in ET and save a bucket load of money. Haha.

Anyways, having spent the day at the airport hotel on buying the ticket, I treated myself to a very nice dinner at one of my favorite Bombay restaurants called “Vie” (http://www.vie.co.in/) with a good Venezuelan friend who lives there. We saw Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal who apparently now lives there a few months every year and has a flat there. Weird, globalized world.

b) At Airport:
My Mercedes chauffeur dropped me at Iran Air’s Gate D @ terminal 2A at BOM. After showing my passport and e-ticket, I walked to the rather busy Iran Air counter. Now, there was a separate line for “Homa Class” and I was not surprised that some of the people ahead of me were not J class passengers. However, an agent came quickly and asked if I was J class, and then quickly ushered me to the first empty counter. Nice.

When I got to the counter, I asked if the Upper Deck was J, and was told that it was not. I requested seat 1A, which prompted the out-sourced ground agent to call the IR manager to unblock the seat. Now this IR station manager was probably one of the rudest man I have ever seen. He started screaming at the young lady saying that the passenger can’t just get any seat he desires and that they should be just given any seat. WTF?! I was standing right there! Anyways, I hate when people abuse power and I made it a point to tell him that there was no need to shout. This made him angrier and he said it was a security block with “security agents” and I should be “grateful” for a seat. Now, this pissed me off. I reminded him that I am a full paying last minute J passenger and this language was inappropriate. He went off again and I told him I would call Indian security if he did not calm down. Now, interestingly, this calmed him down. He mumbled something and went away. The check-in woman was very nice and sweet and apologetic of her superior. She had to photocopy my onward tickets because she was paranoid of letting someone into Iran without a visa. Fine. I got a good window seat, a lounge tag, and some IR bag tags, and was on my way. What an experience at 7am! I was now beginning to get nervous about what lay ahead! Seriously though, where does Iran Air find these agents? They are men who are relics in the service industry. The Iran Air manager in Caracas is made of the exact same fiber!

Anyways, boarding card and departure card in hand, I made it past security and immigration. BOM’s terminal has improved tremendously and I was impressed by the amount of food and duty-free options that had cropped up. Iran Air uses the “Clipper Lounge” which I have used on previous GF and 9W flights. The peaceful Clipper lounge has also gone through significant improvements and I made myself a hot breakfast. There were lots of staff around eager to help out … but I chose to pick a quiet corner and check e-mail on the computer terminal available.

Boarding was called on time and I made it to the gate. It was interesting to see the passenger mix. Almost 75% of the passengers were Iranians who worked in India, and/or, were on shopping trips. There was a ton of very fashionable woman stocked with designer labels. Funny, I thought. I was later told that India had become a hot tourist destination for Iranians, and that Bombay was a big party destination for them to escape the repressive regime at home.

Anyways, I joined the line only to have an agent from the gate walk to me and we had the following conversation:

Agent: “Mr. AM – you are flying Business today right?”
Me: “Yes”
Agent: “Please come with me to the front of the queue”

Not bad. At the gate, the check-in girl apologized (again) for her supervisor and the entire ground staff wished me a pleasant flight. It was all very sweet.

“Homa” Class is in the front of the aircraft. And immediately after I entered, I was thrown back to yesteryear. A huge smiled engulfed all of me. The friendly crew welcomed me, offered welcome drinks (water, OJ), and asked if I needed any assistance with the baggage. The senior purser came by and asked whether I wanted to change seats as my seat was close to the door and it was noisy! Nice little touch. J load was 30% (and the pilots who had brought the flight in from IKA); Y load was 70%.

>Airport - External:

(Bombay Airport)




Check-in:

(Check-in)


Airport - Internal:

(Internal)


(FIDS)


(Post Security @ BOM)






Scenes of the tarmac:

NONE

Lounge

(Clipper Lounge @ BOM)








Boarding:

(Organized boarding and I was called aside by staff)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
While on the ground, beverage service is conducted. Also, purser comes with sweets and pens. Then the highlight, an amenity kit! YAY! I now have an Iran Air amenity kit. I feel special. Pretty impressive as it is a daytime flight of 4 hours. After take-off, hot towels and beverage. Then, an elaborate lunch service from the trolley with café and tea. Finally, another meal service prior to landing! Remember, this is a 4 hour flight!!!

Now the highlight. During boarding, I noticed that one of the pilots was talking to another gentleman in Farsi. I approached him and asked if the Saha Air 707 was still flying. He confirmed it was. Anyways, I told him my interest in aviation and we kept talking during boarding and he asked me if I’d like to join him upstairs to “check the lady out myself”. More importantly, he did it in front of the rude SM of BOM. Hehe. Redemption! Like a little kid, I nodded and could barely contain my excitement.

After lunch had been served, it seemed the entire crew knew of my love for aviation and came to share their stories about flying with the airline. There was the young stewardess who also was an athlete; the female purser who had designed the crew uniforms; a camera seeking steward; etc. I knew I was going to be in for a ride. They all thought my routing to fly the 74L was “so adorable”.

Anyways, after all the attention, the lead purser requested me to follow her upstairs. This is where IR crew and security personnel hang out. Entering the flight deck (crew of 4), I was transported to another era. As we crossed Pakistani airspace to Iranian, we traded stories on aviation; favorite aircraft; aviation in Iran; 74L, etc. The flight engineer was super excited to show me the 74L log (WOW!), the certification documents from Boeing, etc. All super cool and nothing like I have encountered before.

After 30 minutes, the cabin crew brought the meals for the flight deck … including a plate for me! I was very touched. They kept on saying, “What would you have?” … “you MUST”. It was all very surreal. I was hanging out with the boys and living the fantasy of anyone into airlines.

Anyways, prior to landing, they requested I return to my seat. I took the moment to walk around the 74L and soak in my first/last experience on the aircraft. I must say, it had an incredible feeling which you just don’t get from aircraft today.

After landing, the entire crew bid me adieu. All just amazing.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
Iran Air’s 74L looked great for her age. It was a trip down memory lane with controls that were from the golden era of air travel. What I thought was impressive was the good conditions of everything.

Iran Air’s J class seats will not be winning any accolade just yet. It was a very US domestic F seat with decent legroom and decent recline. I would not want to be taking this flight daily … but this was a very special situation. One thing – the leg rest seems to have been ill conceived and did not fit in with the overall seating comfort.

Aircraft:

(74L@ BOM)


Views from Aircraft:







General Seat Views + Seat Legroom



(Seat controls)




(Decent legroom …)


(…but don’t try to use the awkward legrest)


(Blanket provided)


Seat Recline + Angle View:





Cabin:







(Y Class)







(Upper Deck)




(Cockpit)


(Bathroom Amenities)





c) Meal + Beverage:

Lunch service was delivered from the trolley and started with an appetizer which was extremely healthy and fresh. Haha … at first, I thought that this was the entire meal service and we would be offered another small meal upon arrival at IKA . Boy, was I wrong! After the entrée, the main was a “trolley-buffet” service very reminiscent of the golden days (I keep on saying the “golden days”, but I was born in 1979. LOL). The food was EXCELLENT restaurant quality Persian fare. The crew was like family trying to overfeed me. Seriously folks, one of the best food I have EVER had on a flight … and I travel my fair bit. Meal service ended with fresh fruits, dessert (I did not have), and café. All incredibly fresh and good.

Prior to landing … and literally an hour after lunch … there was a snack service made of fresh fruits, café, and a very nice croissant. All, top class.

(Lunch)














(What was brought to me in the cockpit)


(pre-Arrival snack)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
As to be expected, IFE was not going to be the highlight of the trip. Besides, “my IFE” was sitting on the cockpit of a 74L and see the world go by. To IR’s credit, they did have an Iranian movie with subtitles play out with audio from some rather nasty headsets. The in-flight magazine was pretty interesting to say the least.





(Propaganda video at the beginning)


(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)
(I found the Carlsberg a tad ironic)




e) Crew:
I cannot say enough good things about the Iran Air crew. From the very minute we started boarding, their pro-active hospitality made me feel part of a family. From the head flight-attendant (who also designs their uniform), to the smiling and joking male crew members, to the beautiful woman who worked my section in J, there was a genuineness amongst them that is missing on many an airline.

I have already written at lengths on how they treated me during the flight. At the end, it all came together when they all came to me saying they wanted a picture taken  … and then, they brought me a big bouquet of flowers (!!!) and a couple of model Iran Air planes. Can a crew get any better than that? All of them came to wish me a safe onward trip upon leaving the aircraft. Just pure magical stuff!



IV> Post-Flight:
“Shockingly”, IKA does not get many transit passengers. Especially, those who go from Iran Air to a different airline. So, just prior to the immigration counters, there was a mad scramble by the young security boys as they rushed to figure out what to do with me. They wanted me to give my passport to them … and with the Israel stuff, I absolutely refused. After much persuasion, an airline agent came to verify my passport … go back to check-in … bring back my boarding pass. I was then allowed to take the escalator back to the departure level. All experiences that I will remember … and totally worth it for the 74L!

(Pictures of IKA – who would have thought there would be so many 747s!)



























V> Impressions + Scores:
I did not have many expectations from Iran Air. I flew on them to fly the 74L. However, I ended up being thoroughly impressed by the classiness of their service! Ok, the airport manager in Bombay was a complete ass; and, you do not want to be stuck in those J class seats for a ultra-long haul flight with their crappy IFE and no booze. However, this evaluation is for a short sector and the seats and IFE are adequate. What makes you overlook all that is the absolutely incredible service provided by the crew. As I wrote in their section, they were flawless. Genuine Persian warmth and a desire to help. All the small touches – from making sure I was fed, to treating me like a family member in the cockpit, to all personally coming to thank me and wish me well … a very positive reminder of why I love flying, and why I love this job.

Adding to the amazing crew was a wonderful meal service. Some of the best food I have had on air in a long time. Finally, small touches like the good amenity kit on a 4 hour flight was nice.

Iran Air excelled in most fields. I encourage everyone to try them before their 74L’s are retired. It is a fantastic machine and one that you will look back fondly. Flying on Iran Air makes the experience even more special. Two thumps way up.



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
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
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 10/2009
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
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
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
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: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
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
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
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
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009

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
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
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:

(Pretty good amenity kit. Besides, how many have an Iran Air kit  Smile?)


[Edited 2010-01-30 17:52:42 by abrelosojos]


Live, and let live.
67 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent TR and definately a unique experience.

I don't know what anyone else agrees but I think the female cabin crew unifors look really attractive, not as bland or austere I would have expected.


User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3537 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

What a truly fantastic trip report! Iran Air, especially in J class is something that is rare (This is the first IR trip report I have seen). The hospitality of the crew really shows the true nature of Iranian people. The area where I live back home has seen a HUGE influx of Iranian immigrants and I cannot say I've ever experienced anything short of polite and overly friendly interaction with them.

I do however wonder if their photos should be posted on a public forum such as this one. Them letting you into the cockpit/take pictures freely could be very frowned upon by the super fanatical religious government in Iran.



Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlineN537FX From Switzerland, joined Oct 2009, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Really great report! Iran is one place i would love to go soon, its supposed to be a very beautiful place with great skiing in winter months. I just have too many stamps of a certain country in that neighborhood so I won't be on a flight to IKA in the near future.

What did you think of the terminal in IKA? It did not seem to crowded.


User currently offlineLYchemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1207 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow another fantastic report. You are spoiling us.

I flew on a Pan Am 747SP in F from Los Angeles to New York in 1989 when you were 10. I can't believe how old this plane looks. It must be at least 30 years old.


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5100 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 1):
Excellent TR and definately a unique experience.

= Yup.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 1):

I don't know what anyone else agrees but I think the female cabin crew unifors look really attractive, not as bland or austere I would have expected.

= Agreed.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 2):
I do however wonder if their photos should be posted on a public forum such as this one. Them letting you into the cockpit/take pictures freely could be very frowned upon by the super fanatical religious government in Iran.

= You know, the thought did cross me. So, during the flight, I told them that I do coverage for some magazine and also that the pictures I was taking could end up as a report on A.Net. They did not mind me taking the picture of them. In fact, they volunteered. Usually, I NEVER take pictures of crew members as I find it weird. This time around, they wanted it.

My take on these situations is simple. Sometimes we have this obsessed view of any particular country and think many things. Yet, the reality might be much different. In this example, I sort of accepted that the staff members were more aware of the issues they can face than the paranoia some in the media keep telling us. Or at least, I hope so.

They were fantastic crew members and a beautiful representation of legendary Iranian hospitality.

Quoting N537FX (Reply 3):
Really great report! Iran is one place i would love to go soon, its supposed to be a very beautiful place with great skiing in winter months. I just have too many stamps of a certain country in that neighborhood so I won't be on a flight to IKA in the near future.

= Me too. My "lover" is Israeli. Just get multiple passports  .

Quoting N537FX (Reply 3):

What did you think of the terminal in IKA? It did not seem to crowded.

= Very functional and clean. Better than many airports in Europe or North America.

Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 4):
Wow another fantastic report. You are spoiling us.

= Thanks. Haha.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Propaganda video at the beginning)

Was this an actual kind of pro-regime or pro-Iran video? Or was it like the three minute cheesy Aeroflot advertisement video?

Keep up your great reports! They always make for great reads and re-reads when I'm stuck behind my desk on worthless conference calls.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

What can I say - thank you again for a TREMENDOUS report.

User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JCS17 (Reply 6):
They always make for great reads and re-reads when I'm stuck behind my desk on worthless conference calls.

Thank God I'm not the only one!


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Brilliant Alex!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I noticed that Iran Air plies their 74L twice weekly to BOM. Immediately, my head started spinning with the desire to fly the aircraft. I HAD TO DO IT!

- Yes, if the chance is there!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Poor chap kept on telling me that I could fly BOM-ADD nonstop in ET and save a bucket load of money. Haha.

- Some people will never get us.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
At the end, it all came together when they all came to me saying they wanted a picture taken  … and then, they brought me a big bouquet of flowers (!!!) and a couple of model Iran Air planes. Can a crew get any better than that? All of them came to wish me a safe onward trip upon leaving the aircraft. Just pure magical stuff!

- This just goes to show not all Iranians are as bad as the media make them out to be.

This is one of those once in a lifetime trip's, amazing stuff.

The cabin looks like the pictures Boeing produced back in the late 60's/early 70's, seems little if anything has changed, pure history!

Thanks for posting, a really enjoyable read.

Regards

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 offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex,

another excellent report, one of your best. Fantastic to see how you were treated by the crew. I heard similar stories from enthusiasts flying on Iranian domestic routes. They were treated as special guests and got seats in Business Class even though they had booked Economy.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Now this IR station manager was probably one of the rudest man I have ever seen. He started screaming at the young lady saying that the passenger can’t just get any seat he desires and that they should be just given any seat. WTF?! I was standing right there! Anyways, I hate when people abuse power and I made it a point to tell him that there was no need to shout. This made him angrier and he said it was a security block with “security agents” and I should be “grateful” for a seat. Now, this pissed me off. I reminded him that I am a full paying last minute J passenger and this language was inappropriate. He went off again and I told him I would call Indian security if he did not calm down. Now, interestingly, this calmed him down.

Well done, you scared him!  

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Pictures of IKA – who would have thought there would be so many 747s!)

Yes, there are quite a few. And interestingly, you can find all (basic) 747 variants at IKA - operated by only two carriers. Mahan Air has 747-300s and 747-400s (currently stored AFAIK), Iran Air has 747-200s, a 747-100 and 747SPs.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Iran Air excelled in most fields. I encourage everyone to try them before their 74L’s are retired

All four 747SPs are back in service, chances are better now again than they used to be for some time.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 2):
I do however wonder if their photos should be posted on a public forum such as this one.

Interesting thought. It's fine if you tell these people about your intentions. However, I would never ever post pictures with people who are not aware of the consequences. That's why I always blur faces in my trip reports.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFlyboy_se From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 812 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for a great report.
IR is a nice airline, i had opportunity to fly them from ARN to IKA , but only on a A300.
Also the IR Station manager is a total opposite from your experience.One of the best at ARN airport.
You flew on GF out of IKA?? Those winglets on that airbus looks just like QR



I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6577 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex!!

Wow, another amazing reprot! Iran Air seems to have very good food and lots of it. Aboslutely amazing with that amount of food served on a 4 h flight! Crew seems to be fantastic and in my opinion, the crew is the most important factor in a good flight. A fantastic crew can make up for lack of IFE.

Quoting Abrelosojos, reply=9:
and then, they brought me a big bouquet of flowers (!!!) and a couple of model Iran Air planes.

I'ver never heard of such a thing; speechless! You got to keep the model planes ? What kind were they ? Just curioes....

The interior looks probably very much like it did when the aircraft was first delivered in the late 1970s. Seats looks okay; similiar to what United and TWA had in the early 1990s or earlier.

I flew on a UA 74L LHR-LAX (N144UA) in Oct92 so I have already had my 74L fix.

Thanks again for posting this report! Two amazing exotic reports back to back. Can't wait to see what's in store for us next!!!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4271 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi A.!
you did it again. Another brilliant report, and featuring another interesting route/aircraft combi. Indeed an understandable choice to book that SP flight now, you never know how long they continue to fly these odd aircrafts.
I'm happy to see this report, which is so positive about IR's crew. That means that it's not all that bad as we read/hear in the media.
I use to see the IR crew at AMS walking by my office, when they go to their aircraft. Usually a large group, for the A300 flights, but always very smiling and they seem to be in a good mood.
And of course, such a good pics again. I like the cabin shot with the stairs to UD in the background! Nicely done, very retro  

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4271 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Mahan Air has 747-300s and 747-400s (currently stored AFAIK)

@ PH; Mahan's B747-400's were due to fly in to AMS last week, but were called back to THR while enroute... Their purpose of visiting AMS was to be maintenance, with KLM.



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineMalayil From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Alex I have always been a big fan of your trip reports, and I finally decided to take the plunge after a long time and join A.net! Iran Air definitely seems like a great airline to fly with and the crew seem fantastic. I am surprised the IR people at BOM let you board the plane with Israeli stamps, surely you are not allowed to transit with those in your passport? Anyway will be going to one of those countries, ie Lebanon, soon but don't have any Israeli stamps on mine. Anyway great trip report and I'm looking forward to more of your adventures!

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27034 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex,
Fantastic TR. I loved it. Reminds me of my trip years ago, one that Id love to repeat but probably wont.
Shame these interiors and other such things are dying away. The Iran Air crew are gracious and welcoming.

Food looks lovely. Then again I loved the food in Iran.

Happy flying

OA260


User currently offlineCanadianDC10 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 346 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice TR! It looks like Iran Air has a very nice atmosphere in first class. Too bad about the lack of IFE.

User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2595 posts, RR: 30
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I had to make myself a cuppa and get comfortable for this one.

Smashing read. What a great crew you had. I have usually found the same with Iranian crews - they are usually extremely friendly and interested in our enthusiasm for flying with them.

I see you flew EP-IAD. I've flown this one twice in 2008. It looks like they have since changed the seat covers - these were photos I took of Homa Class on the same aircraft:

EP-IAD, Homa Class, 2nd October 2008
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/2008_10_02%20NRT%20PEK/IMG_1389.jpg

Thanks for another fine report.


User currently offlineFly2YYZ From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 1046 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow thanks for the amazing trip report! Again as always always impressed and thanks for giving us a glimpse into IR!

User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5100 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JCS17 (Reply 6):
Was this an actual kind of pro-regime or pro-Iran video? Or was it like the three minute cheesy Aeroflot advertisement video?

= Sort of of a mix of all of them. There was the how amazing IR is and their expansion; Iran's progress as a country; and, finally the reason (the MAN) behind the progress.

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 6):
They always make for great reads and re-reads when I'm stuck behind my desk on worthless conference calls.

= Haha. I knew my TR's had a higher purpose  .

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 7):
What can I say - thank you again for a TREMENDOUS report.

= Anytime.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 9):
The cabin looks like the pictures Boeing produced back in the late 60's/early 70's, seems little if anything has changed, pure history!

= Nothing has changed ... except the weird flat screen TV in J class!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Interesting thought. It's fine if you tell these people about your intentions. However, I would never ever post pictures with people who are not aware of the consequences. That's why I always blur faces in my trip reports.

= As mentioned earlier, I NEVER take pictures of crew. In this instance, they came and wanted one. Moreover, I had told them where it MAY appear.

Quoting Flyboy_se (Reply 11):
Also the IR Station manager is a total opposite from your experience.One of the best at ARN airport.

= Cool. I have not had good luck with IR managers. The one at CCS is a total *ss with a very "interesting" construct of women.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
boslutely amazing with that amount of food served on a 4 h flight! Crew seems to be fantastic and in my opinion, the crew is the most important factor in a good flight. A fantastic crew can make up for lack of IFE.

= Agreed on IFE. Ya, the food served was indeed amazing.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
You got to keep the model planes ? What kind were they ? Just curioes....

= I will post a picture of them soon.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Two amazing exotic reports back to back. Can't wait to see what's in store for us next!!!

= Haha. Nothing as exotic anymore. I rarely get as much time with my engagements from work ... and as people know, I dont write reports on work trips.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 13):
That means that it's not all that bad as we read/hear in the media.

= Nope  .

Quoting Malayil (Reply 15):
I am surprised the IR people at BOM let you board the plane with Israeli stamps, surely you are not allowed to transit with those in your passport?

= Remember, the Israeli stamps prevent someone from entering Iran. I was transiting - and so BOM/Indians would not care. Besides, they are more open-minded than the lunatic EK agent at CAI who refused to board me on a EK connect to SIN once. To be fair, I should be grateful, I know of several people who were denied entry for transit by Dubai authorities.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
Fantastic TR. I loved it. Reminds me of my trip years ago, one that Id love to repeat but probably wont.
Shame these interiors and other such things are dying away. The Iran Air crew are gracious and welcoming.

= GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quoting CanadianDC10 (Reply 17):
Too bad about the lack of IFE.

= Trust me, I did not notice.

Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 18):
I had to make myself a cuppa and get comfortable for this one.

= LOL. Now, I never received any email from you about our plans for 2010  .

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5100 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Fly2YYZ (Reply 19):
Wow thanks for the amazing trip report! Again as always always impressed and thanks for giving us a glimpse into IR!

= Anytime  . BTW, who do you work for at KBL? I am sure we have crossed paths then  .

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineJayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

AWESOME....i always watch the 74L land by my house and the loud noise just excites me!
I really really dint know how the J would be...but looking at your TR, it wouldn't be any better!


Nice job man!...hope you have many surprises lined up  

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Lunch service was delivered from the trolley and started with an appetizer which was extremely healthy and fresh. Haha … at first, I thought that this was the entire meal service and we would be offered another small meal upon arrival at IKA . Boy, was I wrong! After the entrée, the main was a “trolley-buffet” service very reminiscent of the golden days (I keep on saying the “golden days”, but I was born in 1979. LOL). The food was EXCELLENT restaurant quality Persian fare. The crew was like family trying to overfeed me. Seriously folks, one of the best food I have EVER had on a flight … and I travel my fair bit. Meal service ended with fresh fruits, dessert (I did not have), and café. All incredibly fresh and good.

Prior to landing … and literally an hour after lunch … there was a snack service made of fresh fruits, café, and a very nice croissant. All, top class.

(Lunch)

Wow, isn't this how the food was served in J before in the early 70's?
Simply tasty!
Couldn't be more better!

Marvelous report!

Keep flying!
Cheers!



Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5100 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Jayeshrulz (Reply 22):
Nice job man!...hope you have many surprises lined up

= Haha. Unfortunately, these "exotic" reports come to an end for a little bit.

Quoting Jayeshrulz (Reply 22):
Wow, isn't this how the food was served in J before in the early 70's?
Simply tasty!
Couldn't be more better!

= I would guess so ... was not really born  .

Thanks for reading,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineFloris83 From Netherlands, joined Feb 2009, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Abrelosojos,

I always read your reports with great pleasure, and this is - again - a fantastic report!

The treatment you got i guess it's totally uncommon for airline standards, but pretty common for Iranian standards. If you have some time left in the future (and an "Israeli-free" passport) don't hesitate to spend some time there. Just like JAGFlyer said, Iranians are just as hospitable and friendly as you have experienced...! My four week holiday consisted of highlights only...
By the way, I have experienced myself how Israeli officials can be pretty creative and understanding concerning putting their stamps on an extra -removable- paper which they attach your passport.

And keep them coming, those TRs!

Cheers,
Floris


25 Post contains images Reifel : Excellent report again! What a great routing! I would have been anxious to be denied boarding although having an onward ticket, but since it's a seper
26 Flightsimboy : One cannot miss a day on Airliners.net these days.... Awesome trip reports every single day.....This one is very much appreciated. I couldn't be happi
27 Ojas : Brilliant , yet another spectacular one. I know that you flew on a Tuesday. The food looked good and the front end looked like a private jet. Here is
28 Post contains links Pagophilus : For future reference (and for anyone else wanting to fly Iran Air), www.alternativeairlines.com (based in the UK) can book Iran Air and many other we
29 NZ107 : Hi A., What a great TR! Very unique. Sounds like you had an excellent time onboard and the crew seemed great! I really wish I had an opportunity to tr
30 Braniff747SP : Hi, Abrelosojos, My dad is from Iran, and flew these same birds many years ago... I showed him your report, (Still trying to convince him that he will
31 FirstAlways : Hi Abrelosojos Great TR! I throughly enjoyed reading a report about IR and their 74SP. Its just experiences like that that makes me wish I could have
32 Post contains images Abrelosojos : = I have 5 passports ... so this is never an issue. It was just that I didn't carry another one on this trip. I had no real thought of flyin gthe 74L
33 MarcW10 : Wow, that's incredibly impressive. I spend most of the flights I'm lucky enough to go on praying for a cockpit visit, it's never happened so far. Any
34 Braniff747SP : Now that I see my post, I did not word it well. No, he was a frequent traveler in and out of Iran, and the last time he flew out, he flew on the same
35 Kaitak : What a wonderful trip report; wish I could have done it. I'm really surprised you got so many photos around the cabin; whatever about the cabin crew,
36 Post contains images Directorguy : Awesome...I loved The Motorcycle Diaries and Babel. Wonderful report....like UK_dispatcher I also had to make myself a 'cuppa' (ice-cream in my case)
37 Post contains images Abrelosojos : = Be nice. Show your interest in aviation and just ask. You'd be surprised how less stifling regulations are outside Europe/USA. In Europe (recent ex
38 Tonyban : An excellent trip trip repot. I flew the 747SP back on Dec 25th 1991 from EWR to LHR on UA. The Iran Air crew really deserve special praise for their
39 B737100 : Wow, what a great report! I have always enjoying reading your reports. I was able to ride the AA 747sp DFW/NRT in F and NRT/DFW in C class back in the
40 CYSAFAN : Wow! A very nice trip report man!! It is very rare to experience such a flight! I am sure the crew got a hatred for the American Navy to shot down IR6
41 tonyban : Why would you say that ? The crew ought to be professional and unbiased and politics shouldn't be a factor. Besides, that event took place 22 years a
42 JCS17 : How poor (or awesome) was the production value? I'm guessing it probably had an early-90s feel.
43 TK787 : Wow, how are you going to top this one? Just amazing stuff. I thought it was going to go downhill after you had the problems with the guy at the desk
44 CYSAFAN : Maybe.. I don't know. Besides, we can't read their minds lol!
45 Post contains images abrelosojos : = They do. They were amazing. = Yes. = I will post a picture when I am back in Caracas. Am on the road and in Abidjan. I love this country! = Pretty
46 Superfly : This is an incredible trip report! That is awesome to you were able to get a flight on a rare bird such as the Iran Air 747-SP. I saw your plane in To
47 LH648 : As usual, great report! p.s. Let's have some beer next time you in Kazakhstan : )
48 abrelosojos : = Ya. I wish I had more time these days to fly for leisure. Too much work. = You know, Kazakhstan is VERY high on my agenda of places to visit. Howev
49 Post contains images kiramakora : Fantastic report Alex. And, the drinks in BOM were fun. Come back soon and see us! You can even meet all the crazy Iranian partiers .
50 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Thanks. I am probably headed back to Iran for work (!!) ... and will see if I can get on the Saha Air 707. And, back in India soon ... need to rene
51 Post contains images Braniff747SP : You seem to have forgotten! Could you please post pics?
52 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Alex, Fellow Braniff747SP has called my attention to this wonderful trip report of yours. I only can say, WOW!!!! It amazes me how wonderful the ca
53 Daninafryingpan : Haha! I noticed that in one of your photos, just looks like a Sony plasma attached to the wall!
54 Post contains images surfandsnow : Haha, enjoy your line of work much?? Wow, are you ever brave! First the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and now going to Iran with a passport that
55 Post contains images abrelosojos : = I have indeed forgotten. Way too much traveling to be sane. I am in Santiago right now returning later tomorrow, and will have this in my ever-expa
56 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Sorry it has taken me a while to post this. I have been on the road nonstop. This is what they gave me. I haven't even had the time to open. Haha.
57 amax1977 : Another excellent TR, Alex. Indeed you have the best TRs on A.net! Good luck! Let me know if you need connections in Iran!
58 Post contains links and images amax1977 : I was able to catch 5 of them in this pic. There were even more that didn't fit in my pic (Mehrabad Airport 2001):
59 abrelosojos : = Thank you. = Will do. What do you do? = Very nice. Where were you flying to? Saludos, A.
60 amax1977 : I'm a technology consultant based in the Silicon Valley. How about you? Let me know if you get to stop by in San Fran Bay Area. We can catch up for a
61 Post contains images RussianGirl : Hi Alex! All your trip reports are GREAT!! They are very interesting and informative! And they really can be used as a first-rate air company guide! I
62 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Most definitely! I love SF ... and wish could make it there more often. = ... though to be honest, Shiraz is nicer . = Anastasia - thanks so much.
63 sfflyer123 : Excellent TR on an airline not commonly reported! Thanks for doing this. I have two questions: 1) Were you at all concerned about safety in Iran, give
64 F9Animal : Did you ever see the security agents? Were they in uniform? I understand that Aeroflot has security crews usually on their planes. I am somewhat fasci
65 Post contains images op3000 : An awesome trip report on what looked to have been a very memorable experience. I'm just getting acquainted with the TR planet, and your collection is
66 fanofjets : Really enjoyed this report. I have taken a strong interest in Iran Air's -SPs - they are true survivors. I wish I could make the trip some day. I hear
67 Post contains images abrelosojos : = No. Did not worry too much about the political situation. Iran is extremely safe for most travellers - also, SP indicates special performance and b
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