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Transito!: A Connection On TAAG-Angola (B743/B772)  
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32384 times:


Original photograph sourced from TAAG Angola's page on Facebook




There was a staircase that had the sign “Transito” but also a door that was locked. Another woman soon got there as well and about ten minutes later, a representative from TAAG brought us past immigration thru different corridors and customs to the check in counter and an agent there check us in for the flight to JNB. He then went back with us to the departure lounge. The whole process was very fast; less than 10 minutes. Taag 777 LIS-LAD 17May07 With Pics (by The777Man Jun 12 2007 in Trip Reports)



TAAG - Transportadora Aérea Angolana
Think outside the box this time. Not your usual five-star dining experience at thirty thousand feet, but more an adventure that began out in pure darkness. The unknown is something I try to avoid in everyday life, yet I could not feel more drawn towards it on this occasion. I begin this journey with nothing more than what you have read so far however, sometimes very little is all you need.

But I did not know that prior to the trip. Consistent Internet reviews on the airport experience only revealed rather horrific stories of bribery, tse-tse flies, slow processing, missed flight connections, and everything else revolving around "a truly bizarre place." I certainly did not want to miss my flight in a place like this.

With my ticket in hand, it was time to fly an airline that seemed to have a rather contrasting history. From a few decked out Triple 7's to a 737 crash in 2007, a previous EU blacklist status, and one of the very few profitable airlines in Africa. Which direction do I turn to? Perhaps it's best that I stick to the thought of that ex-Swissair 747 that was about to fly on!

Deep into the night, it was rather icy, though I had no choice but to continue. It felt exciting, dangerous, and definitely far out of my comfort zone. This isn't Cathay or Etihad after all, it was Africa! With Internet reviews practically dismissing the entire journey, I had no choice but to freak the hell out!

Nevertheless, with my pre-flight Portuguese lesson accomplished, it was time to embark on this journey with nothing but 'Transito' echoing inside my head. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes it's only so much you'll need to know.


Bem-vindo ao TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
69 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:





WELCOME TO MY 26th TRIP REPORT
This TR will cover the following sectors on TAAG Angola:

A) Johannesburg - Luanda in Economy Class (B747-300 Combi)
B) Luanda - Lisbon in Business Class (B777-200ER)



B A C K G R O U N D
Following on from a previous post on Facebook as many of you may know, this trip happened the following day after my Emirates flight between DXB and JNB (a TR will follow later). However, the result of a TAAG Angola trip happened rather last minute.

The initial plan was based around a Hellenic Imperial Airways B747-200 flight from Johannesburg to Athens, where all other itineraries including Emirates, were planned to predominantly connect me to and from this flight. However, a week before my travel, I received a call from Hellenic Imperial's office in Athens informing that the flight would be cancelled on that day due to low demand.

I was proposed an option between receiving a refund, being rebooked on the next available Hellenic flight, or on another airline. Now, having a plethora of itineraries that have already been purchased, I was rather bummed to realize that this entire trip had lost its value as there was absolutely no point in aimlessly circling around the altitudes of three continents anymore. I only had a long weekend to work with, and the next Hellenic flight would be on the first day I had to be back at work. So I opted for a refund and decided to find my own way to get me from Africa to Europe.

TAAG Angola was my next choice, although Arik Air was an interesting idea as well. A call to TAAG's GSA in the UAE was quite useless as the system was down and the agent was unable to access any information on her computer. However, a visit to my travel agent was quite fruitful and I was eventually booked on TAAG Angola from Johannesburg to Lisbon with a five hour transfer at Luanda.

The most exciting part was the chance to re-experience the B747-300 between JNB and LAD and in such a case, Economy Class is the best way to travel. The connection to Lisbon was on TAAG's flagship 777, and on this sector I opted for an experience in Executiva Class, which is the airline's version of Business Class.

For those of you who are interested, Hellenic Imperial Airways is still flying an ex-Lufthansa B747-200 between ATH and JNB. So if you have some time to kill, and your plans could squeeze in the possibility of a random flight cancellation, a trip on this classic bird is a must try! The flights are also easily bookable on www.hellenicairways.com



O R I G I N
At 10:30am, I had checked out of the Southern Sun O.R. Tambo Hotel that is located within the airport boundary of JNB. Taking the airport shuttle bus, I was dropped off at Departures Terminal A of O.R. Tambo at 10:45am.



Departures Terminal A at JNB



Curbside





The interior of the departures hall looked very dull. It reminded me of an airport as old as Washington Dulles, though nowhere near as pleasant (I am a big fan of IAD). The pale yellow lighting and the rather dark check-in hall was quite depressing actually, and definitely not favorable for taking pictures.

The atmosphere was quite congested, and clearly because there were several flights departing around the same time, including Etihad, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Kenya Airways, Air France, and of course TAAG Angola. However, the World Cup spirit was clearly felt even inside the airport after hearing several deafening soundings of the Vuvuzela.



Inside Terminal A at JNB







Further inside the building, I arrived at the very dim check-in area. This hall runs throughout the length of the entire building and can be a far walk from end to end. TAAG's check-in counters were literally located towards the very end of the hall, and were not open yet. Having time to kill, I explored the area for a while.



Check-in hall at JNB









Located one level above the check-in hall is an aircraft viewing area which, while enclosed, features excellent views of the apron, taxiways, and the runways. I spent most of my time there while I waited for TAAG's counters to open.



Air Seychelles B767-200ER (S7-SEZ) while CX spies on me with jealousy



Kenya Airways B767-300ER (5Y-KQY)



Etihad A330-200 arriving from CPT



Iberia A340-600 (EC-LCZ)





Returning back to the check-in hall at 12 noon, I noticed my flight listed on the check-in FIDS screen.



Check-in FIDS screen





For today's flight, TAAG was using counters A97 and A98, both of which are located right across from the airline's ticketing desk. Arriving at the counters, I noticed that passengers had already begun checking in for the flight. I approached two agents who were standing before the counters right next to a scale, and they requested to see my ticket.

I explained to them that while I was traveling Economy Class to Luanda, I was connecting on the Lisbon flight and would be flying Business Class. To my knowledge, some airlines allow passengers to use premium facilities and services as long as at least one of their itineraries is in a premium class. My worry was that the airline may request me to check in my carry-on to Luanda, when the whole idea of not checking in any luggage was to help for an easier transit.

As expected, the agents could not grasp what I was trying to explain to them, and insisted that my carry-on was too heavy and needed to be checked in. I did not try to explain my point to them any further, and thought I would give it another try at the counter. However, my laptop bag was tagged and approved as cabin baggage.



TAAG's check-in counters at JNB







At the check-in counter, I explained my situation to the agent as she tried to locate my flight booking on her system. However, she could not find any booking under my name and requested me to go to the ticketing counter to get a printout from the agent there.

Luckily, a very rude TAAG agent at the ticketing desk located my itinerary and gave me a printout to hand to the check-in agent. When I asked if everything was alright with my booking, she simply ignored and turned her back to me to make a phone call. Back at the counter, I once again reminded the same agent of my mixed-class situation and that I needed not to check any luggage in.

"So you will stay on the plane in Luanda?"
"No I will be changing planes to another TAAG flight which is going to Lisbon"
"Oh ok. So you want to collect your bag in Luanda and then carry it on the flight to Lisbon?"
"No. I will be in transit, and will not go through immigration. I need to carry it on board from here"

She consulted with the supervisor, whom I assumed was TAAG's station manager, and after a quick discussion, he confirmed to me that it is possible for me to carry my bag on board from JNB because I was traveling in Business Class on the Lisbon flight.

"Are you sure?"
"Of course sir, I am the supervisor"
"Then just to be sure, may I have an approved carry-on luggage tag like this please?"
"Oh. Where did you get this from?"
"Your agents over there that are weighing the luggage"
"Ok. I will get one for you"

With this relieving progression, the station manager tagged my carry-on, and my boarding pass to Luanda was printed. I was asked to check with the ground staff at Luanda for my Lisbon boarding pass, as the flight hadn't yet opened for check-in.



Just look at this fascinating boarding pass



A tag from TAAG: Approved as cabin baggage!





Immigration and security were a breeze, and by 12:55pm I was airside. Similar to the landside part of the terminal, it was dull but it did offer some excellent shopping and a range of F&B outlets.



Airside at JNB









FIDS





As I had some time to kill, I continued to explore the terminal. In almost each and every corner, there was something set up for a commercial purpose. Almost the entire space was efficiently used to the point it sometimes seemed a little congested. However, a long transit at O.R. Tambo could be far from uneventful.



Ample seating area scattered throughout the terminal



F&B outlets overlooking the aircraft and the apron



I decided on a sit-down for something to eat



I settled for a grilled cheese sandwich and a Diet Coke



This future TR was the view outside of the window where I was sitting!





At 1:10pm, I spotted TAAG's 743 taxiing to the gate, and was pulling into the stand close to where I was sitting. I must admit, TAAG's livery is one of the nicest out there in my opinion. The bright orange colors, along with the logo form a design that is very 90's and is reminiscent of a time when I was growing up alongside a lot of aviation happenings that are practically classic as of today. And to complement this mood elevation, was this very livery on a B747-300 Combi!

I can't remember when the last time I flew on B743 was, but decades ago on Singapore Airlines' Mega Top between SIN and HKG comes to mind! I had always preferred a B744 to any other variant back in the day because I had always associated it as 'larger' mainly because 4 is greater than 3! However, it's commonality today makes me beg for a ride on the 743 or its predecessors!



TAAG's B747-300 Combi











At 1:50pm, I proceeded towards Gate A4 in hopes that the holding area would be open by then. However, the doors were still closed although several of us had began to congregate around the entrance.



My fellow passengers to Luanda



Another version of the FIDS





At 2pm, the agents finally opened the doors and everyone was allowed to proceed inside the holding area which seemingly, was located down a ramp one level lower. Halfway down this ramp, a small queue had formed before your typical podium that was staffed with one agent who was scanning boarding passes.



In queue at Gate A4





My boarding pass was reconciled in the system, and I was handed back my ripped stub. The friendly agent wished me a pleasant flight before I proceeded down the ramp. I then found myself inside the aerobridge one hour before departure. Looking behind me with slight confusion, there was no holding area, and in fact, we were actually boarding! Is it normal for boarding to commence one hour before departure at JNB? This is great and gives me more time inside the aircraft!

Arriving at Door 1L, a male purser was standing at the entrance welcoming everyone on board. He smiled and spoke Portuguese to me which presumably translated into the usual "hi welcome on board, your seat is right this way"


By 2:20pm I was on board TAAG Angola's B747-300 Combi.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

FIRST SECTOR
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TAAG Angola Flight Information:

SCR
/DT/27JUN
S10
27JUN
JNB
KDT578 01JUN30JUN 0234507 26374D JNBJNB1525 1755LADLAD J
GI BRGDS

Actual Departure Time: 15:25 (Pushback)
Actual Arrival Time: 17:30 (Touchdown)

Registration: D2-TEB
Condition: 22.6 years old, delivered to TAAG in 1999, and previously owned by Swissair as HB-IGG

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Welcome to TAAG Angola!





As expected, the aircraft interior was definitely shabby. The cabin was also slightly dirty, with the carpeting in a dire need of some vacuuming. Who cares though, I wasn't on board this bird for an audit of cleanliness standards. I was hoping for this aircraft to have the classic 747 window designs however, that was not the case. Though the overhead bins were purely 747-style, and so were the overhead screens which were the classic projector-type. This aircraft seemed like it was almost untouched since Swissair.



The cabin









After snapping some pictures of the seat and the cabin, a female cabin crew (the same one that has short hair that is standing on the left of the introduction picture at the beginning of this TR) quickly approached me as I was walking towards my seat. I could hear her slightly elevated tone saying something in Portuguese with a few "Hey, Hey!" in between. Oh no, here we go again, I knew what this was going to be all about.

She approached my seat, and was frowning ever so angrily; she was pissed and I was scared! Her sharp features can really elaborate on her anger and it was clearly vibrating across towards me. She uttered a few struggling English words in the midst of all the Portuguese and ever so firmly mentioned that photography is strictly prohibited. I smiled and apologized, and even after this she shot me with one more vibrating frown before proceeding down the aisle to assist a fellow passenger who had boarded.

Carrying on, I settled into my seat which was quite comfortable, though the padding was definitely used and abused time and time again. The legroom however was excellent! Naturally, the seat was plain and pure and featured no IFE screen, nor its associated IFE box that would otherwise eat away at your personal space.



The seat







Leg Space



In-seat ashtray!



Old-school seat controls



The seatbelt sign was on! This one just wasn't working



Old-school wing



Footprints on the wing. Is it allowed to step on this part of the wing?





We had so much time before our scheduled departure and as such, the boarding process could not have been more leisurely. Passengers trickled into the cabin in bits and pieces that it seemed our flight load was going to be light. However, only as we neared our departure time did I realize that the flight was rather full.



Casual boarding





As I was silently observing these casual goings-on, the angry cabin crew, in a calmer state by then, was strolling down the aisle waiting for the next trickle of boarding passengers. I thought to break the ice a little and ask her some questions about the transit in Luanda.

"Excuse me, I have a question"
"Sim"
"I am connecting on a flight to Lisbon after this, will I need to go through immigration to check-in for the flight"
"Lisboa?"
"Yes Lisboa"
"Emm .. sim, you go to check-in counter for boarding pass"
"Even when I am transit?"
"Transito?"
"Yes transito"
"Lisboa? Emm… TAP?"
"No not TAP, on TAAG"
"Ah sim .. ten o'clock your flight"
"Thank you"



More passengers boarded





At 3:10pm, our captain made an announcement to welcome us on board, and to inform us that we were almost ready for our departure to Luanda. He also informed us of our routing for today's flight, and that our flight time to Luanda was to be 3 hours. At 3:15pm, the doors were closed.

A manual safety demonstration was conducted afterwards, and it was quite the sight. The crew was standing on each side of the cabin, by Doors 1L and 1R where they were performing the demonstration to the sequence of the announcement. However, the passengers seated in the middle rows had no view of the safety demonstration because the staircase and the overhead screens were obstructing their view.

We pushed back at 3:25pm as the engines on this aircraft spooled back into an ageing life.



While we taxied to the runway





At 3:35pm, the muffled squeal of this 747 was in full swing as we thundered down the runway for a powerful takeoff into the African skies and towards Luanda. Eventually reaching cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was switched off and the crew released for service preparations.



Cabin shots at cruising altitude





Filthy safety card









On-board literature and IFE guide





The crew did take their time in preparing the meal service however, the trolley eventually appeared in the aisle and was manned by two crew, Claudio and the angry lady.



Meal service











On offer were a beverage selection from the bar, and a choice between chicken or fish. I opted for the chicken and a cup of water. The meal consisted of your basic salad, bread, Kiri cheese spread, butter, and crackers. The main course consisted of chicken with a creamy sauce and accompanied with potatoes, carrots and green beans, and a basic mousse type of cake was offered for dessert.



Meal tray





After taking the picture above, Claudio approached me.
"Why are you taking pictures?"
"Sorry, is it not allowed?"
"I don't know, I will have to check with my supervisor"
"No it's ok, I'll stop"

Since the angry lady was on the other side of the trolley, I could feel her firing away at me with those angry looks. I did not dare look back at her, though I did continue taking pictures.



Main course



Salad



Dessert





Overall, the meal was awful. The salad had too many onions and the main course was absolutely tasteless. The chicken was too tangy and the sauce far too creamy. Also, the potatoes and the rest of the vegetables were undercooked. The dessert however wasn't too bad, but rather generic.

During the meal service, the crew walked around the aisle with cases of juice to offer seconds to the passengers. I thought this was a rather unique touch that I had not seen before. This was followed by the standard coffee/tea service which was conducted by the angry lady.



Nasty coffee!





Just for laughs was played on the screen after the meal service





I spent the remainder of the flight holding a conversation with a fellow passenger who was seated next to me. He was a South African who was living and working in Luanda. When asking him about how dangerous (or not) Luanda and the airport are, he stated that in simplest terms, Johannesburg was far more dangerous as a city. He also mentioned that the transit process should be relatively easy as the terminal building is very small.

At 4:55pm Angola local time, our captain made an announcement to inform us that Argentina had beat Mexico 3-1 at Soccer City in Johannesburg, and that while he was supporting England, he was sad that they had been out of the World Cup earlier that day. He then proceeded to inform us that we were to begin initial descent within ten minutes and were expected to arrive Luanda earlier than scheduled.



Cabin s hot before descent





At 5:05pm, the seatbelt sign was switched on and the crew began preparations for arrival. At 5:30pm, we had touched down at Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport, bringing my B743 experience to an end.

We docked at the stand right next to a company 777, which was soon to be my ride to Lisbon a few hours later. Thanking the purser at the door for the crew's efforts during the flight, I proceeded down the steps and into the bus that took us to the main terminal building.


It was now time for the anxiously awaited for transit at Luanda.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32747 times:

T R A N S I T
Arriving at the main terminal building, I noticed a 'Transito' sign located right before the immigration counters that directed transit passengers to proceed to the right. Approaching a desk in that direction, an officer who seemed to be writing something was quite startled to find me there.

"What?"
"Transit"
"Not here. Go!"
"But the sign said transit passengers here"
"I said not here. Just go!"

I went back to the entrance where the bus had dropped us off, and I found a TAAG-uniformed agent standing outside of the building alongside two officers. She noticed I was waiting for her, and then came inside the building.

"Transito .. to Lisbon"
"Yes yes.. Please come. I take you"
"Thank you"

I followed her into a 'Staff Only' corridor that bypassed immigration and ended right at the customs area. She spoke to the customs agent in Portuguese and I was even allowed to skip the security screening machine to get to the baggage claim area.

"You have bag?"
"No. This is all I have"
"Ah finish?"
"Yes. Finish"
"Please come"

Inside the very small check-in hall, we arrived at the counters and the agent had a word with the officer and informed him that I was in transit from Johannesburg to Lisbon.

"Transito?"
"Yes transito. To Lisboa"

I thanked the very helpful agent for her support, and she then handed me over to the check-in staff before returning back to her routine duty. At the counter, my usual documents were handed to the agent who began processing my way through the Lisbon flight.

"Window? Aisle?"
"Aisle please"
"Is the flight full tonight?"
"Sorry?"
"Flight is full?"
"Heheh sorry I do not understand"
"It's ok then"
"Ahhh sim I know … no Business Class not too much"

Again, the very nice agent was very helpful and very quick. In no time my boarding pass to Lisbon was printed and handed to me along with my passport, ticket, and lounge invitation. By 6pm I was ready to proceed further.



Boarding pass to Lisbon



Very nice lounge card!



Backside of the lounge card





After passing through security, the officer asked me if I was carrying any Kwanza on me since it is strictly illegal to export the local currency. After declining, I was allowed to proceed through immigration.

I handed the immigration officer my passport, and he asked to see my visa.

"Hello my friend. Where is your visa?"
"Transito! I came from Johannesburg"
"Oh Transito! Where are you going?"
"Lisbon"
"Come my friend, I take you to customs"
"Thank you"

I was taken inside a small office where a customs agent was sitting behind a desk.

"Lisbon?"
"Yes"
"Visa?"
"No visa. Transito!"
"Oh ok. From where did you come?"
"Johannesburg"
"Are you carrying any Kwanza with you?"
"No"
"Any US Dollars or Euro?"
"Yes .. Dollars"
"How much?"

By 6:15, I was airside, and that was it. As simple as that! Absolutely nothing that was mentioned on Skytrax was valid. The process was rather eccentric to say the least, but to say that it was difficult is definitely not the case. The staff was friendly, extremely helpful, and the overall experience in this airport offered far more than many other airports that I have traveled through. As long as the rules are followed, and you are aware of the word 'Transito', you will have absolutely no problem whatsoever.

The airport is very small, but it was far from old and shabby. It seemed like it was newly constructed, or at least renovated. The small airside area was located one level above the departures hall, and featured nothing apart from a tiny seating area, a smoking room, and TAAG's Welwitchia Premium lounge. Free wireless internet is available throughout the airport, which was a great bonus, and one small café was located next to the departure gates which offered food and drinks.



Airside at LAD





Smoking room



Apron view





At the time I was there, an Emirates A330 was getting ready for its flight back to Dubai, a Brussels Airlines flight had just arrived from Brussels, a TAP Portugal flight was expected to arrive within the hour, and finally, my TAAG Flight to Lisbon was to depart in a few hours time. So simple and humble! I was really liking this place!

I proceeded inside the lounge at 6:45pm, where I was to spend the remainder of my transit. Another friendly TAAG agent took my lounge card and welcomed me inside. The lounge featured a simple and reasonably modern design, and offered ample comfortable seating.

Food and beverage included sandwiches, soup, cookies, and peanuts, in addition to an open fridge with non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol was also available at the bar which was located next to the entrance of the lounge. Overall, it was a comfortable area and although the food options were mediocre, it was far more than what I had expected.



TAAG's Welwitchia Lounge









F&B offering









I had some cookies



And a Bloody Mary later on





By 9pm, there was nothing left that I could do in the lounge, so I proceeded towards Gate 3 which was right around the corner. A small queue had already formed at the entrance to the gate, where an officer wearing a yellow vest that had 'CDG' written on it, was checking passenger documents.

At 9:05pm I was inside the holding area, and boarding began only several moments afterwards. Joining the crowd, I proceeded one level down and was inside the bus that was to take us to the aircraft.

Ten minutes later, we had arrived at Door 4L of the Triple 7, where Economy Class passengers were to board from. There was another set of steps attached to Door 2L however, and Business Class passengers were allowed to walk to it and board from there.

Arriving at Door 2L, I was greeted by the female purser on tonight's flight.

"Welcome"


By 9:20pm I was on board.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

SECOND SECTOR
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TAAG Angola Flight Information:

SCR
/DT/27JUN
210
27JUN
LAD
KDT650 01JUN30JUN 1234567 255772 LADLAD2200 05101LISLIS J
GI BRGDS

Actual Departure Time: 22:05 (Taxi from stand)
Actual Arrival Time: 04:55 +1 (Touchdown)

Registration: D2-TED
Condition: 3.8 years old, delivered to TAAG Angola in September 2006

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



On board TAAG's 772





Think Emirates A380, BA London City Premium Service, or SQ's Newark flight, this is TAAG's version of a flagship route. In TAAG's world, this is the perfect flight offering the full-on service to its full potential. The crew were friendly, looking fresh, and the cabin was spotless. The ambience however, was slightly dimmed and the seat coloring was far too dark for my taste.



Cabin





Arriving at my seat, I discovered that it was the bulkhead located right after Door 2L. I had not bothered to check before, but I was a little disappointed as it was far too close to the galley and the crew. However if the flight wasn't going to be full in Business Class, I didn't think there would be any issue with switching seats later.

The seat was quite comfortable, and even more so than those on other reputable airlines to be honest. TAAG's Business Class product on this aircraft also offers lie-flat seats and personal IFE screens (though the screens are TINY). Legroom was typical J class, and each seat had a wrapped blue blanket placed on top of the seatbelts. Other amenities also include the usual power and USB ports etc. Basically, the hardware is quite competitive and nothing sub-standard to the usual offering.



The seat



Leg space



Small IFE screen



Blanket





Welcome drinks were offered right after the first group of passengers had boarded. This included a first tray service that offered Champagne, and was shortly followed by a second service that offered a selection of orange juice and water.



Naturally, I was celebrating with a glass of champagne





As one of the crew passed by my seat, I requested to change to another window seat if it was possible.

"Excuse me, if the flight is not full, I would like to change to another seat please"
"Please wait. After takeoff ya? I tell you"
"Thank you"

Doors were closed at 10pm, and moments later the same crew returned.

"Ok. You change now. But quickly please ya?"
"Thank you!"



The view from the last row in the cabin



Leg space



Amenity kits were distributed





Tonight's purser on the flight made an announcement to welcome us on board and to inform us that the flight time tonight was approximately 7 hours. The safety video was then played on the IFE screens while the engines powered on as the aircraft was still idle on the stand.

At 10:05pm, we taxied away from the stand for a quick hop to the runway. At 10:10pm, we thundered down the runway and began our 7 hour journey to Lisboa. After reaching cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was switched off and the crew was released to prepare for the in-flight service.



Service commenced with the distribution of headsets



Followed by hot towels



Views of the cabin during service preparations













Table linens placed on my table





The meal service was conducted from a trolley and on offer was a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a choice of meal. Menus are not offered on TAAG.


Meal service





"I have beef, chicken, or fish. What you like to have?"
"Chicken please"
"And drink?"
"Bloody Mary"
"No I have Fanta, Coke, and soft drink"
"Vodka & Tomato Juice please"
"Sure"

My tray and drink were placed on my table with a genuine smile, and a "Please enjoy" with that too. My tray consisted of a starter, main course, butter, crackers, bread, and plastic cutlery. The starter was some type of beef which looked a little similar to Carpaccio and was accompanied with melon. The main course consisted of fried chicken with a type of sauce, and came with pasta and green beans. No effort was made to remove the plastic/foil covering from the plates, which has its positives and negatives I suppose. Freshness is preserved, while the look is not.



Meal tray









Plastic cutlery



Starter



Uncovered



Main course



Introducing the ronerone-made TAAG Angola Bloody Mary!





I did not touch the starter, as I am not a fan of Carpaccio, nor anything related to it. The melon that accompanied it was soggy and far from fresh. The main course wasn't any better either. The pasta was drenched in butter and the chicken and vegetables were cooked in a jelly-like sauce/broth which seemed that the whole meal was overcooked. The meal was quite tasteless! The Bloody Mary however, was excellent, and that is mainly because the tomato juice was very tasty. It was the same brand that was offered in the lounge, and the result of 4 Bloody Mary's that turned my lounge experience into an enjoyable buzz.

The crew returned with the trolley to collect my tray once I was through, and to also offer dessert.

"Finished? May I?"
"Yes. Thank you"
"What do you want? I have cheese, fruit, or cake"
"Cake please"
"You want drink something?"
"I'll have a glass of water please"
"Water only? I have Bailey's you don't like?"
"I had too much Vodka. But thank you"
"No problem. Here you go"
"Thank you"
"Bye bye"

Once again, the dessert plate was covered with plastic, and consisted of a Black Forest cake with strawberry cream and sauce on the side. Wow, Black Forest cake is so retro, I can't remember when the last time I had it was, but I did enjoy it though. I think TAAG's desserts are their strongest point in the culinary experience.



Dessert







"May I? You enjoy?"
"Yes thank you"
"You want me get anything more?"
"No thank you. I will sleep now"
"Ah yes. But please, you close window after ya?"
"Yes"

After the meal service, passengers got into their zones of either sleeping, lounging, or watching IFE. The cabin lights were dimmed shortly afterwards, and the overall mood was calm for most of the flight.



Cabin shots after the meal service









I was feeling quite sleepy and in view of the long itinerary ahead that was to transport me back to Dubai, it was best that I caught a few hours of sleep. But prior to that, I powered on the IFE for a quick inspection.

Also known as Palanca, TAAG's IFE offering is quite decent. It offers an AVOD selection of Movies, TV programs, Radio, and Games. A range of relatively recent movies were showing including the likes of Avatar and what not. As always, IFE does is not my favorite aspect of the flight, though I can definitely say that TAAG offers a lot more than Jet Airways and Royal Jordanian in that area, albeit a very small IFE screen.


Palanca











IFE controller





I settled for the Route Map





I then turned my seat into its lie-flat position before dozing off for most of the remaining flight time. In its slightly angled lie-flat position, I found TAAG's bed to be quite comfortable. My feet were not touching the seat in front of me, and I was able to move about and find a comfortable position.



In bed with TAAG





Right before I fell asleep, I noticed the crew operating the Business Class cabin, appear from Economy Class and following them were several groups of passengers that were seated in the back of the bus. These passengers were allowed to sit in Business Class for the remainder of the flight. In the end, as we neared Lisboa, the Business Class load factor was 100%!

After closing my eyes, I was suddenly awoken to the movement of one young girl attempting to cross over my legs and hop into the empty window seat next to me that was already stacked with some of my things.

"Me and my partner want to sit together, and we like two seats"
"Okay? And?"
"You move somewhere else?"
"Didn't you pay for Economy Class?"

Before she responded, a crew had already appeared to take her aside and have a word with her in Portuguese. I was a revenue passenger in Business Class and I was getting what I wanted. Rightfully so, the teenage girl flocked away from my seat afterwards and I was able to fall asleep.

I woke up approximately one hour before landing, to find that the breakfast trolley was already in my area of the aisle. The crew pulled out a tray, and placed it on my table and offered drinks from the bar.

"Good morning. Sleep good?"
"Yes. Thank you"
"What you like to drink?"
"Orange juice and coffee please"

Breakfast was a one-tray service which included a cheese sandwich, a deli meat sandwich, and a cup cake, all of which were horrible. The bread was stale and very dry, and without any spread it was hard to swallow. I left the meaty sandwich to the side and ate the cheese sandwich and the cupcake.



Breakfast







Cabin during the meal service







My tray was collected as soon as the seatbelt sign was switched on. At 4:30am Portugal local time, the captain made an announcement to inform us that we had begun our initial descent towards Lisboa and that we were expected to land within 30 minutes.



Cabin at top of descent









The crew readied the cabin and eventually took their seats during final approach.



D E S T I N A T I O N
At 4:55am, we touched down at Lisbon Portela Airport and hence, bringing my TAAG Angola experience to an end. After a quick taxi, we docked at a remote stand and deplaned through mobile steps. I thanked the crew for their great efforts and proceeded inside Lisbon for my transit to London.

My British Airways flight departed from Terminal 2, which was the newer side of the airport. I found both Terminals 1 and 2 to be more of a dump. While Terminal 2 looked new, it offered very little entertainment and shopping, and the terminal map was completely misleading. Internet stations and smoking rooms were clearly marked on the maps however they were nonexistent.

Considering that the airport has a rather active marketing department, I quite expected a lot more than what was really on offer. Nevertheless, I made my connection on British Airways and that was the most important thing.



C O N C L U S I O N
While the overall service on TAAG is quite weak in comparison with the other usual airlines, this was definitely not the purpose of the report.

This trip was based on the journey itself, which I found to be quite easy and very pleasant. I had expected the utmost worst for my transit in Luanda, only to find that it was easier than many other airports. I would not take any of those comments on Skytrax seriously anymore, because the reality of it was nothing like that. TAAG, in addition to Luanda's airport staff really tried their best, and I appreciated every bit of it.

Anyone can do this, only never forget the word 'Transito' !

The following is an extensive show of all the TAAG souvenirs I gained after this trip:



TAAG Glass



TAAG Coffee cup, napkin holders, and airline-branded peanut packs



TAAG amenity kit and coasters



TAAG in-flight magazine and paper airplane



Inside TAAG's magazine







TAAG's IFE guide



From the seat-back!



TAAG napkin



TAAG blanket





This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!

Regards,
Roni



E Q U I P M E N T
- Camera:
- Canon 50D

- Lenses:
- Sigma 10-20mm Wide Angle
- Sigma 10mm Fisheye
- Canon 18-55mm



PREVIOUS WORK
Keeping Up With The JETs: 9W Première HKG-DEL-DXB (by ronerone Jul 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Petra Express!: On Royal Jordanian's A330-200 (by ronerone Jun 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Suite Redemptions: Cathay Pacific BKK-HKG In F (by ronerone May 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK (by ronerone Apr 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
In A Blink Of An Eye: AirAsia X’s A340 At AUH (by ronerone Feb 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
SriLankan Airlines: The Treasure Of Serendib! (by Ronerone Jan 9 2010 in Trip Reports)
Beijing Swire!: Cathay Pacific & Dragonair DXB-PEK (by Ronerone Dec 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
OpenSkies From British Airways: A New Era's End? (by Ronerone Oct 14 2009 in Trip Reports)
Revealing An Underdog: Royal Brunei Business Class (by Ronerone Sep 3 2009 in Trip Reports)
The Singapore Airlines Cliché (by Ronerone Jul 27 2009 in Trip Reports)
A380: Qantas Proper To SIN City (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
Welcome To Terminal 3: Etihad Airways AUH-SYD (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
5th Freedom Of The Air: Kenya Airways HKG-BKK-HKG (by Ronerone Mar 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Pacific: First Class On The Legacy Milk-Run (by Ronerone Jan 26 2009 in Trip Reports)
Inspirations On A Narrowbody: Etihad To Amman (by Ronerone Nov 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Boleh!: On The Malaysian Airline System (by Ronerone Oct 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways (by Ronerone Sep 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)



F L I C K R
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/sets/72157624489508071/

F A C E B O O K
R. Wadei Hawi
Please mention who you are when (and if) you want to add me as a friend


YOU TUBE
Username: ronerone
I have a range of taxi, takeoff, landing, announcement, and safety videos posted. Feel free to view them!



THE END



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineseemyseems From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 969 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 32252 times:

Great trip report ronerone! Its great to see TAAG still has the B743 flying.


seemyseems
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4273 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 32114 times:

Hi Roni,

fantastic routing and choice of airline. Hellinic Imperial would' ve been nice also, but this surely beats I think. Was that Hellenic flight cancelled because the B742 was operating charters from Western Europe to South Africa with supporters for the World Cup?

About TAAG, you mention the meal on JNB-LAD tastes bad, but it looks good in my opinion. The business class meal is definitely not at level compared to other airlines. And, that 'upgrading' passengers during flight is definitely not something I like, and even more, it's officially not allowed since they all change compartment during the flight, and influence the weight and balance during the flight. We all might hope that the flightcrew also knew about this. But, probably not. It's TAAG after all.

Looking forward to your onward journey.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 32105 times:

Hi Roni,

Thank you very much for bringing in this report. I have been waiting for it and really curious about your TAAG experience.

You really did a great job on covering the whole flying experience all the way from JNB. I appreciate your efforts to carry on despite your unpleasant encounter with the angry stewardess and really, I admire you on that. I will be following your example of this no matter what.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
my Emirates flight between DXB and JNB (a TR will follow later).

I suppose you were flying A380?   

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
However, my laptop bag was tagged and approved as cabin baggage.

You must have been relieved by that.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"Are you sure?"
"Of course sir, I am the supervisor"
"Then just to be sure, may I have an approved carry-on luggage tag like this please?"
"Oh. Where did you get this from?"
"Your agents over there that are weighing the luggage"
"Ok. I will get one for you"

Good move. You would never know what could have happened if you did not do that.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
During the meal service, the crew walked around the aisle with cases of juice to offer seconds to the passengers. I thought this was a rather unique touch that I had not seen before.

It reminds me to PIA somehow, though the attendants walked around carrying soft drinks.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
And a Bloody Mary later on

Do you know that I have missed it on some of your earlier reports?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Introducing the ronerone-made TAAG Angola Bloody Mary!

It looks pretty spicy!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
After closing my eyes, I was suddenly awoken to the movement of one young girl attempting to cross over my legs and hop into the empty window seat next to me that was already stacked with some of my things.

"Me and my partner want to sit together, and we like two seats"
"Okay? And?"
"You move somewhere else?"
"Didn't you pay for Economy Class?"

Before she responded, a crew had already appeared to take her aside and have a word with her in Portuguese. I was a revenue passenger in Business Class and I was getting what I wanted. Rightfully so, the teenage girl flocked away from my seat afterwards and I was able to fall asleep.

Well, the teenage girl really got the nerve. Luckily, TAAG still recognizes how to treat their premium passengers, although such experience should have been avoided.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Breakfast was a one-tray service which included a cheese sandwich, a deli meat sandwich, and a cup cake, all of which were horrible.

Really sad!

Roni, you are getting me more and more in the mood of my own traveling tomorrow. Your report is really encouraging. Just what I need this time. Thank you so much.

By the way, I look forward to your EK trip report.  

Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2010-07-31 08:41:03]


Friends forever
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 31898 times:

Hi Roni,

excellent report with many great pictures - you never cease to amaze me with your choice of airlines and the way you present your experiences.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The initial plan was based around a Hellenic Imperial Airways B747-200 flight from Johannesburg to Athens, where all other itineraries including Emirates, were planned to predominantly connect me to and from this flight. However, a week before my travel, I received a call from Hellenic Imperial's office in Athens informing that the flight would be cancelled on that day due to low demand.

Oh no, I'm sure that would have been a very interesting flight.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
She approached my seat, and was frowning ever so angrily; she was pissed and I was scared! Her sharp features can really elaborate on her anger and it was clearly vibrating across towards me. She uttered a few struggling English words in the midst of all the Portuguese and ever so firmly mentioned that photography is strictly prohibited. I smiled and apologized, and even after this she shot me with one more vibrating frown before proceeding down the aisle to assist a fellow passenger who had boarded.

Simply ridiculous...

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
After taking the picture above, Claudio approached me.
"Why are you taking pictures?"
"Sorry, is it not allowed?"
"I don't know, I will have to check with my supervisor"
"No it's ok, I'll stop"

Since the angry lady was on the other side of the trolley, I could feel her firing away at me with those angry looks. I did not dare look back at her, though I did continue taking pictures.

Supervisor? Unbelievable. At least you were able to continue.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
"Any US Dollars or Euro?"
"Yes .. Dollars"
"How much?"

Was it just a simply question...or did he expect anything else?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):

"I have beef, chicken, or fish. What you like to have?"
"Chicken please"
"And drink?"
"Bloody Mary"
"No I have Fanta, Coke, and soft drink"
"Vodka & Tomato Juice please"
"Sure"

  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Once again, the dessert plate was covered with plastic, and consisted of a Black Forest cake with strawberry cream and sauce on the side.

Hm, I wouldn't expect getting that on an Angolan plane on the way to Portugal...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
"Me and my partner want to sit together, and we like two seats"
"Okay? And?"
"You move somewhere else?"

Was she drunk???

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Breakfast was a one-tray service which included a cheese sandwich, a deli meat sandwich, and a cup cake, all of which were horrible. The bread was stale and very dry, and without any spread it was hard to swallow. I left the meaty sandwich to the side and ate the cheese sandwich and the cupcake.

Wow, never seen such a poor J Class breakfast...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineWhereToNext From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 31842 times:

Amazing trip report! TAAG has always been a mysterious airline, so thank you for shedding some light on their operations! I'm surprised your experience at LAD was seemingly positive. All I've heard about LAD is that it is a nightmare for passengers.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"Are you carrying any Kwanza with you?"
"No"
"Any US Dollars or Euro?"
"Yes .. Dollars"
"How much?"

Was a departure "fee" requested after this question?  


Again, amazing trip report! I'm jealous of your adventure haha.

-Matt S



Next Adventure: TBD
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1219 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 31441 times:

Wow you are very courageous to have continued taking pictures. That was a funny and fascinating report. As to the paint job to me it looks more like the 70s.

At first Swissair 747s had 9 seats accross compared to 10 on other carriers. I think later they added 1 more like the others. But that was one of the plusses of flying SR.

Thanks.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 31388 times:

Hello Roni, an excellent report with some stunning picture taking! As usual, of course  

TAAG is an airline that haven't been covered much here on the forum, but it's nice to finally see a detailed insight of what this airline has to offer.

The first part of the report, featuring the ex Swissair B743 was the most exciting one in my opinion. The interior did indeed look very old-school, and to me it looked like they had kept the original seats from Swissair. At least by judging the seat covers, which to me look very similar to what you would find on some of the older A332's (ex SR) in LX fleet. I could be wrong though...

The food on the first flight looked pretty nice to me, at least the quantity seemed generous for the duration of the flight.

Your transit, or should I say "Transito" in LAD seemed like a bit of a hassle, but it was at least nice that the staff (that btw to me seemed a bit unprofessional) managed to sort it out well. The Lounge however looked great, by far muc better than one would expect from an African carrier. One question though: Did they have "Fayrouz" in the Lounge fridge? 

TAAG's J class product looked pretty nice to me, IIRC those seats are from EADS Sogerma, a pretty common model found on many other airlines such as TK, IB, SAA(?) etc. The seat colours weren't that nice in my opinion too.
The food however looked pretty bad, especially the overall presentation. But the main course looked just like an Y class dish served on some nicer china. The breakfast looked pretty horrible as well, very Y class'ish.

The crew on the other hand didn't seem very professional on both flights, and them upgrading all those Y pax to J was very bad. I would personally been furious, since you've payed a lot of money for this, and they get this all for free. And it even looked like they were served the J breakfast? Also that teenage girl was very rude, asking you to move like that. She should at least have been happy for the up grade...

Thanks for sharing!

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 31345 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Roni,

What a great report and on an airline we see very few reports about and on which few of us will ever fly or want to fly.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The most exciting part was the chance to re-experience the B747-300 between JNB and LAD

- A good reason to fly for sure, reminds me of my one and only 743 flight, QF in 2007.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The connection to Lisbon was on TAAG's flagship 777, and on this sector I opted for an experience in Executiva Class, which is the airline's version of Business Class.

- Looking forward to seeing that.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
At 10:30am, I had checked out of the Southern Sun O.R. Tambo Hotel that is located within the airport boundary of JNB.

- Any good? - I'm going to be in JNB in Nov or Dec, need a place to stay.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
She consulted with the supervisor, whom I assumed was TAAG's station manager, and after a quick discussion, he confirmed to me that it is possible for me to carry my bag on board from JNB because I was traveling in Business Class on the Lisbon flight.

"Are you sure?"
"Of course sir, I am the supervisor"
"Then just to be sure, may I have an approved carry-on luggage tag like this please?"
"Oh. Where did you get this from?"
"Your agents over there that are weighing the luggage"
"Ok. I will get one for you"

- Hmm, seems a difficult conversation!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
This future TR was the view outside of the window where I was sitting!

- Nice, looking forward to that one.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I had always preferred a B744 to any other variant back in the day because I had always associated it as 'larger' mainly because 4 is greater than 3! However, it's commonality today makes me beg for a ride on the 743 or its predecessors!

- Agreed. I've been filling in my flights on Flightmemory.com, looking back it seems I always tried to get on new equipment, nowdays, getting on a rare or older machine is a real pleasure.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Overall, the meal was awful. The salad had too many onions

- Indeed, never seen so many onions on an airline salad!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Free wireless internet is available throughout the airport, which was a great bonus

- Not something I expected here.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The lounge featured a simple and reasonably modern design, and offered ample comfortable seating.

Food and beverage included sandwiches, soup, cookies, and peanuts, in addition to an open fridge with non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol was also available at the bar which was located next to the entrance of the lounge. Overall, it was a comfortable area and although the food options were mediocre, it was far more than what I had expected.

- Indeed the lounge looks pretty decent, much better than I would have envisaged.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"No I have Fanta, Coke, and soft drink"
"Vodka & Tomato Juice please"
"Sure"

- Ha, most amusing  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I did not touch the starter, as I am not a fan of Carpaccio, nor anything related to it. The melon that accompanied it was soggy and far from fresh. The main course wasn't any better either. The pasta was drenched in butter and the chicken and vegetables were cooked in a jelly-like sauce/broth which seemed that the whole meal was overcooked. The meal was quite tasteless!

- The meal looks more like something you would get in economy across the atlantic, ok perhaps a bit bigger that that, but i'm sure your get my point.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Right before I fell asleep, I noticed the crew operating the Business Class cabin, appear from Economy Class and following them were several groups of passengers that were seated in the back of the bus. These passengers were allowed to sit in Business Class for the remainder of the flight. In the end, as we neared Lisboa, the Business Class load factor was 100%!

- What, the FA's allowed this? - very poor!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
After closing my eyes, I was suddenly awoken to the movement of one young girl attempting to cross over my legs and hop into the empty window seat next to me that was already stacked with some of my things.

"Me and my partner want to sit together, and we like two seats"
"Okay? And?"
"You move somewhere else?"
"Didn't you pay for Economy Class?"

- Blooming cheek!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I made my connection on British Airways

- Were you transiting in LHR? - give me a shout next time for a beer, the last one in NYC was nearly 2 years ago! - BTW - we are there again from mid September.

Nic gives a virtual hug.

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 offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1107 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 31271 times:

Amazing report, ronerone! I've long been fascinated with TAAG Angla Airlines. You are courageous to fly on TAAG's 747-300... not sure I could to it. Interestingly enough, I'm supposed to fly LIS-LAD-WDH on TAAG in a few weeks but we'll see if that ends up happening for a variety of reasons. Interesting that you were actually in Angola and had to go through the immigration counters in LAD despite the fact you were changing planes! I suppose that if you really wanted to you could just walk outside the airport and be your way?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Right before I fell asleep, I noticed the crew operating the Business Class cabin, appear from Economy Class and following them were several groups of passengers that were seated in the back of the bus. These passengers were allowed to sit in Business Class for the remainder of the flight. In the end, as we neared Lisboa, the Business Class load factor was 100%!

Nice... I hope they at least payed for their upgrades... although I would bet that if they did pay anything it would just go to the purser or someone and not the airline itself.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
"What?"
"Transit"
"Not here. Go!"
"But the sign said transit passengers here"
"I said not here. Just go!"

WTF this would have sent me over the edge. Nice job for keeping your cool.


User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 934 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 31095 times:

Hi Roni,

Yet another fascinating report! I bet that was quite interesting. Indeed DT have an awesome livery. Sounds like the service though lacks, especially the food service, but we have to remember that this country has endured so many years of covil war. Again thanks for such a great report!

Cheers,
Liam



Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineEICVD From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2171 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 31038 times:

Hi Roni
As always an excellent trip report from you. Always nice to read reports about airlines not well covered in the trip report forum. Thanks for posting.


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2444 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 30928 times:

First and as always, GREAT TR, great pictures, great airline...

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The initial plan was based around a Hellenic Imperial Airways B747-200 flight from Johannesburg to Athens



Well, it's a shame, read carefully the last press-release

"Due to essential flight operations rescheduling, please be informed that we are temporarily suspending
operations of our direct flights between Athens and Johannesburg with immediate effect.
The resumption of our flight schedules, including periods and timings is currently being reassessed and
will be communicated to all concerned, end of August 2010.


I think, this route will be axed after 2flights like all other routes; e.g. Birmingham, Jeddah etc.!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
TAAG Angola was my next choice, although Arik Air was an interesting idea as well



Come on! This is not true, is it? How boring... My first choice would have been Bellview Airlines via Lagos (but I think the route is temporarily suspended) or Afriqiyah via Tripolis. Unfortunately the best flight with B727-100 and B767/L1011 onboard of Hewa Bora Airways is gone- very, very sad!


User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 30877 times:

Another excellent report!

Thank you for sharing and I have to say I really admire your sense of adventure!

But remember...you didn't "gain" any items on your trip...you "liberated" them!


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 30620 times:

Dear All,

Thank you for your comments.

For those who are interested, i have uploaded some TAAG videos on Youtube.

B743 Takeoff from JNB:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdsbdJREfIc

B743 Landing in LAD:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQpFVHV_oDo

B772 Landing in LIS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RKeMEqH9Lk

Quoting seemyseems (Reply 5):
Great trip report ronerone! Its great to see TAAG still has the B743 flying.

Thanks seemyseems! Glad you enjoyed it.

This TAAG thing happened so quickly that i did not even know i was on an ex-SR bird till i began writing this TR a few days ago!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 6):
Was that Hellenic flight cancelled because the B742 was operating charters from Western Europe to South Africa with supporters for the World Cup?

Hi Eric!  

I was told that only two people (myself included) were booked on the flight that day. Imagine that! TWO people booked on an entire 742, on a JNB flight right in the middle of all the World Cup happenings! .. Do they even have route planners?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 6):
it's officially not allowed since they all change compartment during the flight, and influence the weight and balance during the flight. We all might hope that the flightcrew also knew about this. But, probably not. It's TAAG after all.

Probably the flight crew were the board members of this 'business'  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Thank you very much for bringing in this report. I have been waiting for it and really curious about your TAAG experience.

Thanks Suryo   Glad you managed to read it before you traveled!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
You really did a great job on covering the whole flying experience all the way from JNB. I appreciate your efforts to carry on despite your unpleasant encounter with the angry stewardess and really, I admire you on that. I will be following your example of this no matter what.

Thanks! In a one-off experience like this, it was difficult not to stop! Even if picture quality was at stake.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
I suppose you were flying A380?

I was on the B77W.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Do you know that I have missed it on some of your earlier reports?

Haha .. so have i!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Roni, you are getting me more and more in the mood of my own traveling tomorrow.

Have a great time! and we are looking forward to lots of TRs on your trip!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
excellent report with many great pictures - you never cease to amaze me with your choice of airlines and the way you present your experiences.

Glad you enjoyed PH!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Oh no, I'm sure that would have been a very interesting flight.

I was really looking forward to it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Supervisor? Unbelievable. At least you were able to continue.

With extreme caution yes. It was more or less a game of hide and seek.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Was it just a simply question...or did he expect anything else?
Quoting WhereToNext (Reply 9):
Was a departure "fee" requested after this question?

Skytrax reviews all mentioned similar situations where additional 'favors' or 'fees' were requested, and i was fully prepared for it. Though it never happened!

However, apparently it seems that they do question certain amounts of Euros or Dollars!

Quoting WhereToNext (Reply 9):
Amazing trip report! TAAG has always been a mysterious airline, so thank you for shedding some light on their operations!

Welcome to a.net WhereToNext!

Glad you have enjoyed this  
Quoting WhereToNext (Reply 9):
I'm surprised your experience at LAD was seemingly positive. All I've heard about LAD is that it is a nightmare for passengers.

I was quite surprised myself! Within only an hour, i had turned around between flights and was in the lounge waiting for my connecting flight! I think that is quite standard at any airport.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 10):
At first Swissair 747s had 9 seats accross compared to 10 on other carriers. I think later they added 1 more like the others. But that was one of the plusses of flying SR.

Hi lychemsa,

Really? I did not know that before. It would be interesting to see a picture.
I have only been on SR's MD-11 (ZRH-ATL) and their A310 (ZRH-AUH-DXB).

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
Hello Roni, an excellent report with some stunning picture taking! As usual, of course

Thanks for stopping by Younis!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
and to me it looked like they had kept the original seats from Swissair. At least by judging the seat covers, which to me look very similar to what you would find on some of the older A332's (ex SR) in LX fleet. I could be wrong though...

Very interesting indeed! I will have to lookup some cabin shots in the database to compare.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
The food on the first flight looked pretty nice to me, at least the quantity seemed generous for the duration of the flight.

From a quanity perpective, it was great. But the taste was ... odd.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
Did they have "Fayrouz" in the Lounge fridge?

Hey how do you know about Fayrouz? Do they also have it in Sweden?  

But no, it definitely was'nt Fayrouz otherwise i would have noticed it. Though, they did have 'Oasis' water which is a Dubai company.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
The breakfast looked pretty horrible as well, very Y class'ish.

Well, it didn't even look LCC'ish! Countless BOB options on other airlines looked better!  
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
What a great report and on an airline we see very few reports about and on which few of us will ever fly or want to fly.

Thanks for stopping by Mark  
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
Any good? - I'm going to be in JNB in Nov or Dec, need a place to stay.

It does the trick if you plan to overnight near the airport before catching a flight the next day. It was cheaper than the Intercontinental (also located in the airport boundary).

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
I've been filling in my flights on Flightmemory.com

Which reminds me, i have to do this too. I have stopped fillinf in my flightmemory page for a couple of years now and i have lots to catch up on!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
Were you transiting in LHR? - give me a shout next time for a beer, the last one in NYC was nearly 2 years ago! -

Yes i was. Was lingering around T3 waiting for my RJ flight  

Will definitely let you know when im next in your area!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
BTW - we are there again from mid September.

It looks like i may be there in September (around the 10th or so) as well. Will let you know for sure!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
Nic gives a virtual hug.

Best wishes to Nic!  
Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 13):
Amazing report, ronerone! I've long been fascinated with TAAG Angla Airlines. You are courageous to fly on TAAG's 747-300... not sure I could to it

Thanks MHTripple7! You should go for it yourself!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 13):
Interesting that you were actually in Angola and had to go through the immigration counters in LAD despite the fact you were changing planes! I suppose that if you really wanted to you could just walk outside the airport and be your way?

The airline and the airport along with all the staff are barely 'built' for connecting passengers. My passport was even stamped on my way 'out' of Angola.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 13):
Nice... I hope they at least payed for their upgrades... although I would bet that if they did pay anything it would just go to the purser or someone and not the airline itself.

You make a very interesting point. The crew were quite focused on ensuring these Economy Class passengers were seated wherever they wished in J class! Perhaps money was indeed involved.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 14):
Sounds like the service though lacks, especially the food service, but we have to remember that this country has endured so many years of covil war. Again thanks for such a great report!

Hi globalflyer,

I think overall, TAAG was okay. Given those many years of civil war, their airline has emerged and prospered better than many others who probably wouldnt have.

Quoting EICVD (Reply 15):
Hi Roni
As always an excellent trip report from you. Always nice to read reports about airlines not well covered in the trip report forum. Thanks for posting.

Thanks EICVD! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting debonair (Reply 16):
First and as always, GREAT TR, great pictures, great airline...

Thanks debonair!

Quoting debonair (Reply 16):
Well, it's a shame, read carefully the last press-release

"Due to essential flight operations rescheduling, please be informed that we are temporarily suspending
operations of our direct flights between Athens and Johannesburg with immediate effect.
The resumption of our flight schedules, including periods and timings is currently being reassessed and
will be communicated to all concerned, end of August 2010.

I think, this route will be axed after 2flights like all other routes; e.g. Birmingham, Jeddah etc.!

Wow .. so soon after they announced frequency reduction only a month or so ago!
Too bad indeed! However, that is so Hellenic!

Quoting debonair (Reply 16):
Come on! This is not true, is it? How boring... My first choice would have been Bellview Airlines via Lagos (but I think the route is temporarily suspended) or Afriqiyah via Tripolis. Unfortunately the best flight with B727-100 and B767/L1011 onboard of Hewa Bora Airways is gone- very, very sad!

LOL. Don't tempt me, all i need is an excuse!  
Quoting burj (Reply 17):
Another excellent report!

Thank you for sharing and I have to say I really admire your sense of adventure!
Quoting burj (Reply 17):
But remember...you didn't "gain" any items on your trip...you "liberated" them!

Thanks Burj!

Hahah .. what did i liberate them from?


Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinestylo777 From Germany, joined Feb 2006, 2990 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 30447 times:

excellent report Roni!

quite interesting to see HT flight to ATH on the check-in screen eventhough it was cancelled!


User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 30419 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 18):
Hahah .. what did i liberate them from?

From a life of misery being used/abused by random different passengers and probably eventually ending up in the trash...now they have a loving home in the beautiful UAE!


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 30349 times:

Fantastic report, Roni!

Fantastic picutes as well. Thanks also for the link to my report! Seems you had a similiar expericne to mine although I flew in Y all the way and in the other direction. I was supposed to have a 743 LAD-JNB but ended up on the same 777 as LIS-LAD. We both flew on D2-TED......The airport seems to have gotten a huge upgade since I flew about three years ago or probably a new terminal, The lounge in LAD looks very nice. Food actually looks pretty good but I guess I'm less picky than you. Seat looks great on the 777 but food seems more economy class than business. Appetizer looks like prosciutto to me.......which I LOVE.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 18):
Which reminds me, i have to do this too. I have stopped fillinf in my flightmemory page for a couple of years now and i have lots to catch up on!



Flightmemory only lets you fill in 300 flights at no cost, over that you have to pay......Bad for me as I'm now over 700 flights....

Quoting ronerone (Reply 18):
The airline and the airport along with all the staff are barely 'built' for connecting passengers. My passport was even stamped on my way 'out' of Angola.

You were lucky; I did not get a stamp,,,,, 

Thanks again for a fantastic repot!

The777Ma



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2784 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 30230 times:

Nice TR Roni, an excellent read to enjoy my breakfast.

TAAG looks like an average airline, however the food does not look inviting at all, and about the "Transito" stuff, perhaps they are not used to connecting PAX in LAD.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"Why are you taking pictures?"
"Sorry, is it not allowed?"
"I don't know, I will have to check with my supervisor"

Next time say "I am conducting a secret review for an exclusive magazine" and see what happnes 
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"Me and my partner want to sit together, and we like two seats"
"Okay? And?"
"You move somewhere else?"
"Didn't you pay for Economy Class?"

Major ownage right there! cheeky buggers.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The following is an extensive show of all the TAAG souvenirs I gained after this trip:

My oh my, that's a lot of souvenirs!!!

MIAspotter.



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1364 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 30224 times:

Impressive Report and thanks a lot for sharing! Loved the transit part. Although I never flown any african airlines, seems that TAAG is not so bat at all.

User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1107 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 30042 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 18):
Thanks MHTripple7! You should go for it yourself!

It's now official - i'm flying LIS-LAD-WDH on 14 Aug and then WDH-LAD-LIS on 17 Aug. On the way to WDH I'm connecting to an Air Namibia flight with a TAAG codeshare flight number placed on the flight. We'll see how my transit goes. I'm expecting an adventure! I'm flying Y but perhaps we can "upgrade" to business at the last second?


25 Post contains images LH4116 : Haha, yes good old Fayrouz! We don't have it in Sweden, since the concept of selling non-alcoholic beer soda would of course never work here. But the
26 DunaA320 : Hi Roni An execllent report giving an insight to one of the less well known airlines out there. Excellent photos too. Thanks for sharing. Matt
27 Post contains images flightsimboy : Great trip report, Roni and nice to see you fly in Y class and get some "dragon" treatment instead of the usual pampering that you are so used to in J
28 caleb1 : You've done it again Roni. Excellent job! Once again, I performed my pre-reading ritual of getting a snack and tuning in to Gilles Peterson on BBC1. W
29 chepos : Thank you for sharing, very interesting read. I must tell you, I bet the nasty flight attendant does not hold a candle to the nasty, rude in-flight we
30 concordechild : great report roni, really makes us feel we were tere with you..... keep em coming....
31 Post contains images 767747 : Ronerone, Another fantastic report! Wow, what a report on TAAG Angola. I felt like I was traveling along with you .. every aspect of the trip was so w
32 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks Stylo777. I did notice that, and i did search for their counters, though it was true that the flight wasn't operating that day (whew!) Thanks
33 ojas : Hi Roni, Brilliant as usual, TAAG isn't something that is going to feature in my flying plans that soon! You flew an A345 or just another B77W? One of
34 Post contains links and images BOACCunard : Great report as always. I love these "exotic" ones! LAD looks a lot nicer than I expected. The food in J looks unacceptably bad, but otherwise TAAG lo
35 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks Ojas! B77W. Ah the good old days when AI did not have 9W, IT, and the LCCs around it! It is old and very 'brown'. But it is a great airport ne
36 Post contains images ODAFZ : Hi Roni I am always enjoying your trip report and this is no exception. I love your spirit of adventure and i liked the idea your traveled without pre
37 bedo : Nice TR Roni! It's always a pleasure reading your TR series. Your "home made" Bloodymary looks good! TAAG seems to have a god product in comparison to
38 Post contains links and images N751PR : Great job on another awesome report! I also noticed that the main course of your dinner looks almost exactly like I had! The chicken, noodles, peas, a
39 oa260 : Hey Roni , What a fantastic report. As always you never dissapoint. A really unique and intesting insight. You were certainly the one to write this TR
40 Post contains images Aleksandar : Hello Roni! Is there anything new I can write about your TRs, which I haven't mentioned before? Of course, there is no such thing and it is always a p
41 Post contains images EkA380 : Another addition to your record of Super Trip-reporting(thats the highest level). I do agree with you on that very much. Yes it does seem like you had
42 The777Man : I'm very happy that my trip report served as some guidance for you and that you were willing to try TAAG Angola Airlines! I had a niceflight in Y and
43 Post contains images ronerone : Thank you Christian! .. Glad you enjoyed I must admit, i did have a preconcieved idea about traveling through Luanda, but that was from Skytrax. Thou
44 Post contains images oa260 : They are a joke , dont fly with them , its only time before a major incident according to a friend of mine who knows them inside out. Yes , having a
45 Post contains images Aleksandar : The first thing I do onboard is checking the content of seat pocket. Prior to landing, I use all the tricks to "liberate" those things Now, you gave
46 Post contains images NZ107 : Hey Roni, Another fantastic TR of uet another exotic airline, it's great to see so many of these unique flights and airlines popping up! Superb detail
47 Post contains images tk747 : I can not believe how fantastic your reports are, each one gets better and better. I would have absolutely shat myself if I was told to stop taking ph
48 Post contains images ronerone : Haha ...i do that too. Thanks for the links! they are great! Thanks Nicholas! Hope all is well! You are so right! In that case, my SIN-HKG flight was
49 Post contains images TwoSevenRight : Very Interesting read Roni, keep it going
50 Post contains images BOACCunard : Mmm ... OK, suit yourself. I'm not sure why I was surprised, to be honest. I guess I thought premium traffic would be likely to fly foreign airlines,
51 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks TwoSevenRight. Glad you enjoyed Not sure what TAP's loads are on the LIS route, or SAA's to/from JNB. However, on my TAAG flight only one pers
52 AI151 : Hey Roni, at last I managed to finally read this amazing TR. I never knew you were travelling onto London. Did you stay here or transit onto somewhere
53 kurt : Excellent report - one of the most interesting I have read in a long time. Disappointing food, but the cabin looks good on the 777, and flying on 743
54 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks Sandeep Glad you enjoyed. I was in transit for a few hours before an RJ flight. That AI tag was the 'special' tag during my 9W trip. The secur
55 Post contains images airpearl : Hey Roni! Another very fascinating read! Thank you for this rare insight into TAAG. Sorry for taking awhile to get round to commenting. It sounds like
56 kurt : You know, I remember the KLM aircraft names, which were: PH-BUO "Missouri" YYZ-AMS (747-300) PH-KCG "Maria Callas" AMS-DTW (MD-11) I wish I'd logged
57 Post contains images ronerone : Heya Airpearl! Thanks for stopping by my friend! I still wished i had logged that Hellenic flight! Though if i did 'get' what i would have out of the
58 Post contains images Econojetter : Roni, thanks for another superb trip report. I almost feel like we are having some kind of African Special Month in this forum! Very old style livery
59 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks for stopping by Econojetter .. Glad you enjoyed. There have indeed been some nice African TR's of late. And i have a feeling that African Spec
60 LY777 : Very interesting and rare TR!!! It must be a great experience nowadays to fly on a good old 747-300!!!
61 ODAFZ : No they are not that bad, they are worse. They change their plans as some one would change their shirts ( on a humid day in BEY). Some also mechanica
62 globetraveller : Hi there Roni! I hope all is well with you! Another excellent trip report - great pictures and excellent detail. This report definitely made me laugh
63 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks LY777. It was indeed a great experience. Wow .. a true connoisseur of the black forest I will take your word for it then! haha Hey hey Globetr
64 The777Man : I checked my report and from what I can recall, I did not go thru immigration and/or customs either arriving or departing . The TAAG agent took me di
65 SR 103 : As usual, absolutely amazing report. I have often wondered what TAAG's in flight service was like. Thats a shame, would have been an absolutely amazin
66 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks Anosh! Glad you enjoyed! I am sure i will be on an original IT seat sometime in the near future Wow. I wonder if the seats are different. Chee
67 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : Fantastic stuff but nothing else expected from you! I need another 747 classic myself, maybe Orient Thai soon... Don't tell your beloved CX but their
68 Post contains images N178UA : Hi Roni I enjoyed reading and viewing every single TR you wrote on A.net. I reckon you're the best TR reporter here Congrats on also fine photography
69 Post contains images ronerone : Many thanks Lari! Orient Thai sounds very interesting indeed, and definitely on my list for a flight some day! Haha .. i have one of those nut bowls
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