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Bmi Business Class, Tbilisi To London Via Baku  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Posted (3 years 12 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 21320 times:

bmi Business Class, Tbilisi to London via Azerbaijan
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/bmi-star-logo-150dpi.jpg
Hello!

This trip report follows on form the first two parts of my trip

[url= TK Biz LHR-IST. From Terrible To Fantastic (by gabrielchew Oct 21 2010 in Trip Reports)] Part 1: Turkish Airline Business Class A340 London – Istanbul[/url]
[url= TK Biz, IST-BUS (Batumi, Georgia). Not Again! (by gabrielchew Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)]Part 2: Turkish Airline Business Class B73G Istanbul – Batumi (Georgia), inc photos of Istanbul and Batumi[/url]

A few photos of Georgia

Borjomi (home of the Sparking Water)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2525.jpg

Bakuriani, ski resort
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2607.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2633.jpg


Gori, hometown of Stalin
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2692.jpg

Stalin’s House
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2697.jpg

Gori Castle
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2741.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2748.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2767.jpg

Uplistsikhe, 3600 year Silk Road cave city
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2815.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2873.jpg

Ananuri Monastery
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2958.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2978.jpg

Kazebgi Mountain Region
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG2999.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3047.jpg


Local Beer


Gergeti Trinity Church and Mt Kazbegi
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3047.jpg

The Georgian and Russian borders (Chechen, Ossentian and Ingushetian areas)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3117.jpg
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Typical Georgian Food
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3181.jpg
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Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital
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My return flight to London on bmi would be my 6th flight (6th and 7th sectors) with bmi, having previously flown them a few times between Heathrow and Dublin and Paris. Unfortunately due to incessant trimming of the schedules on this route, and the bizarre pricing, I’ve switched to using with Air France from, London City (the only decent airline on what is one of the worlds busiest international routes) or, dare I say it, Ryanair (its true, often they really are the cheapest). I planned on taking TK back as well, but the connection from Tbilisi to Istanbul (to connect with TKs B77W First Class would mean leaving at 4am, not something I fancied).

My journey started with a short taxi ride to Tbilisi’s Airport. Like a lot of the region’s airports, the middle of the night is peak time, so when I arrived at 0750, the airport was deserted save for passengers for the bmi flight.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3364.jpg
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Despite advertising a 3 hour check in, the desk only opened when I arrived, less than 2 hours before departure. I was second to be served. The two people manning the desks seemed to be having quite a few problems with just about everything, which may have explained the late opening. I was given a lounge pass, and directed upstairs.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3375.jpg

Tbilisi’s Airport was reconstructed in 2007, and is now a beautiful terminal to use, with lots of glass and metal. Views of the tarmac are a little awkward due to the holding pens blocking the views (so you can get some views when you board).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3376.jpg
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After being stamped out the country (by a rather rude lady), I went into the ‘prime Class’. It wasn’t the best lounge ever, but was clean and comfortable. The range of food on offer was a bit strange given the time of day, but the drinks selection was good. The inclusion of the microwave on the buffet table was a bit odd, especially as there was nothing much to microwave.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3385.jpg
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One nice aspect of the lounge was the ‘terrace’ area, which was on a balcony thing in the main departure hall, but separated by a gap. Interestingly, this was also a smoking area, despite being inside. The Georgians love to smoke!


Check in desks as viewed from the lounge terrace
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3391.jpg

The Armavia flight to Yerevan
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3380.jpg

The Air Zena (Georgian Airlines) flight to Minsk (there was also a Belavia flight to Minsk earlier that morning)


‘My’ bmi resting
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3381.jpg

Around 9am I went over to the gate area for security, which was very slow, as they were making everyone take out their laptops and turn them on

Boarding was announced not long after I entered the holding room, and as everyone else was very slow moving, I was the first onboard
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3393.jpg
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The crew were only half ready for us, as there was no one waiting at the door to welcome me; however I was seen very quickly, and directed to me seat. The load on this leg was 27 + 1 infant in economy, and 2 in Business (I overheard). However, the leading FA, Sarah, said that I was the only Business pax on this leg. The other guy in Biz seemed to be some sort of trouble shooter (he had an Airbus ID tag), and he left the aircraft in Baku (I saw him wondering around the tarmac). As such, I had two crew all to myself on this sector – my first time with a private cabin (well, sort of).

The seats in Business were pretty comfortable, very nice for a daytime flight, although not really ok for a nighttime one.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3395.jpg

Tarmac views
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3395.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3401.jpg

I was asked for my choice of boarding beverage, and got champagne


Goodbye Georgia!

November 2010
bmi British Midland International BD 928
Tbilisi (TBS) –Baku (GYD)
Airbus A321 (G-MEDG)
Scheduled: 0940-1055 (1h15m)
Actual: 0942-1034 (0h54m)
Business Class

We took off into a beautifully sunny sky two minutes behind schedule. The views over Tbilisi were great.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3402.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3403.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3410.jpg


As well as Tbilisi, there were also fantastic views of the snowy Caucasian Peaks.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3413.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3414.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3423.jpg


Once the seatbelt signs were off, I was offered another drink (water and champagne), and some nuts
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3417.jpg


Empty cabin
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3418.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3419.jpg


The approach to Baku took us over the city (I had to switch sides), which looked a lot drier and dustier than Tbilisi.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3428.jpg
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The Caspian Sea
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3437.jpg
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Baku Airport
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3444.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3455.jpg

We were advised that we would upload fuel, meals and passengers here, so to keep out belts off, but stay in our seats.



For the next sector, the load was 55 in economy, and 8 in Business.

November 2010
bmi British Midland International BD 928
Baku (GYD) – London Heathrow (LHR)
Airbus A321 (G-MEDG)
Scheduled: 1140-1405 (6h25m)
Actual: 1139-1307 (5h28m)
Business Class

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3457.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3458.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3459.jpg

This time, we took of a minute early into a cloudy Azeri sky. Menus were distributed detailing lunch offerings.


An amenity kit was also handed out. In the little box was some lip balm and moisturising cream, and in the black case, an eye shade, ear plugs and a few other bits and bobs. It was more than I was expecting for a daytime flight.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3464.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3465.jpg

IFE was provided by the non-AVOD system. The selection of films (around 4) was really bad, so I forwent the TV altogether (minus a few short looks at the map). The screens were tiny, and had terrible contrast.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3466.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3467.jpg

More champagne, water and nuts
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3468.jpg

View with Lunch: Mount Elbrus I believe, Europe’s highest mountain
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3469.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3471.jpg


Smoke Salmon Starter
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3475.jpg

Top ups
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3476.jpg

Seafood Linguini – very tasty
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3479.jpg

Vanilla Dessert – not great
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3480.jpg

After dinner tea
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What I much preferred with BD rather than TK is that not only are you served a drink after takeoff, but they serve meals from the trolley so when you get you starter and main course, you are simultaneously offered drinks top ups and bread. On TK everything is brought out separately for everyone which a) takes much longer, and b) means that its much easier to forget something like I was (I wasn’t offered a drink on LHR-IST). After lunch, a few people went to sleep, a few watched TV. I settled in with a good book (The Third in the Steig Larsson Millennium Series)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3485.jpg
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This kept popping up on the flight map, which was quite annoying
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3478.jpg

Seeing double
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3488.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3489.jpg
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Signs in the toilet
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3496.jpg

Cabin
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An hour or so out of London I was feeling a bit peckish, so asked if there were any snacks available. There wasn’t much, but I was offered a started from earlier, along with some more nuts and Champagne. Aubergine, artichoke and pomegranate




I asked the purser for a comment card after my second lunch. She looked a bit concerned, but I said that I’d had a great flight and wanted to commend them. I filled in the card (which incidentally seemed designed for complaints only (“What was wrong with your flight?”) – I wrote on the card that I thought that this showed a strange lack in their own confidence that anyone might have enjoyed their flight! After praising the crew, I mentioned about my difficulty dealing with Diamond Club, then handed the card back. Not long after, the purser came around, and we talked a bit about the problems experienced with DC. She then gave me the contact number of the head of Diamond Club, together with a UK telephone number (hurray, no more calling India!), along with her name (incase anyone asked where I got the number from). What a result! Excellent customer service.

bmi’s schizophrenic route map
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3502.jpg

And fleet



Our descent into London
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We touched down nearly a full hour ahead of schedule, which was great. We had to wait a while for our gate to be vacated by a previous LH A320.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3510.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3521.jpg

As I disembarked, I was thanked by the crew for my feedback, and told “good luck” dealing with Diamond Club, along with a thumbs up!


From the gate, there was a LONG walk to immigration, then on to baggage reclaim.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3522.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/BD%20TBS%20LHR/CIMG3524.jpg

And herein ends my trip report. bmi was a very pleasant surprise. The crew were fantastic, and the catering very good. The seats were perfect for a daytime flight. The flight times were good, and we arrived well ahead of schedule. I now just have to deal with the Diamond Club to try and get my miles recruited after my downgrade with Turkish Airline at the beginning of my holiday. However, now that I have DC’s director’s name and number, it might be easier!

Georgia is a beautiful country – it’s not quite set up for mass tourism yet, but for most countries, you can visit visa free, and the scenery is simply stunning! You’d better brush up on your Russian before you go though!

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing your comments!


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLuxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 511 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (3 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 20560 times:

Hey

very interesting report.
For sure you reported about 2 airport, which aren't much known here
All your detailed pictures made a nice read for me.
Thank you very much for sharing

Johannes


User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (3 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 20526 times:

Hey, great trip report. I was waiting for the final instalment of your ongoing saga and it did not disappoint. Georgia looks like a fascinating country to visit.

I am afraid that I cannot share your view of bmi. I just flew Tehran to London with them in C and it was abysmal in every respect. You are right that the IFE is really poor. A terrible selection and a tiny screen. On my flight the airshow was not even working.

What is the point of printing a wine list if they do not mention the vintage? Perhaps I am being pedantic, but this is surely relevant if you are selecting a wine to accompany your meal? The service was also poor. The food was just terrible. I handed back my "breakfast" untouched. On another carrier such as Lufthansa or Swiss, I would have been asked what was wrong with it, and been offered something else. On bmi they just want to clear everything away and retreat to the galley for the next 5 hours. I will certainly avoid bmi mid haul product. I am going to Beirut soon and had considered bmi but will take Lufthansa instead.

I am glad that you had a better experience than I did. All in all, sounds like a fascinating trip!


User currently offlineglobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (3 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 20520 times:

Hey Gabrielchew,

An excellent trip report with some amazing pictures! Thank you for giving us such a detailed insight into Georgia.

Globetraveller


User currently offlineeicvd From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2174 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 20457 times:

Hi gabrielchew
Thoroughly enjoyed reading every minute of this & the previous reports. Always nice to read about less covered airports/countries. My next flight is on saturday with BD so the pics of the route map were a nice little teaser  


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6858 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 20385 times:

Hi Gabriel,

another really interesting report - this time with many nice pictures from Georgia. The catering on BD could be improved IMO.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Upcoming flights: IST-BUS,TBS-GYD-LHR-ICN-KHV-VVO-UUS-ICN-FRA-LHR

Quite impressive.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 20327 times:

Hola Gabrielchew!

Thanks for this unusual route in a TR. It is always interesting to see what airlines offer on those off the regular tracks.

I have never flown myself BD but I see their product as what is growing nowadays for this medium-haul routes: I see them similar to OS offering to the Middle East or recently advertised IB, BusinessClub, to Tel-Aviv, Moscow, Cairo, Lagos and Malabo, instead of the classical European business class: economy with middle seats free.
The amenity kid seems to offer great quality products and the food looks adequate to me... and if it even tasted nice that is even better.
Crew seemed pretty attentive to me, it is great to see that they take care and pride in their job and the detail of offering a second 'meal' to a hungry passenger is something we do not see everyday.
Pity the entertainment was not as goo as one may expect. But I consider it to be a minus point as I do not pay much attention to it as long as the in flight map is working. I tend to read, listen to music and look at the scenery, when possible.
Pictures of Georgia show a very nice scenery country... certainly a place to visit.

Another thing I love is the Georgian alphabet, really interesting!

Salut!

Roger

[Edited 2010-11-02 09:07:45]

[Edited 2010-11-02 09:08:34]


"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineHUYfan From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 1411 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 20261 times:

The cabins are ex-BMED, and the screens are admittedly small, but I think an update/upgrade of both cabins at bmi midhaul is coming, which will hopefully improve the experience for all.

Regards

Mike


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17681 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 20193 times:

Great trip report. I hit Kazbegi, Tblisi, and Ananuri too but your pics came out way better; maybe I'll just show people yours instead of mine 


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 20170 times:

Nice report, I did not knew that BD had such large recliners in J-class on the 321. Liked the pictures of Georgia as well.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1224 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 20131 times:

I had no idea Georgia was so beautiful. How did you get around the country? Did you rent a car or by taxi? Thanks for posting such wonderful pictures.

User currently onlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 20106 times:

Hello,

Thank you for this great and rare TR. Those photos from Georgia are great, no wonder it's pretty popular destination out of here.

BMI's J class seat looks also very good, great for inter-Europe (well, sort of) flights.

LY



"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6351 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 20070 times:

Those are some ridiculous pictures! Never been to Georgia, but I am tempted now...

User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 19947 times:

Hi gabrielchew,

Awesome insight review of Georgia. I did not expect the country to be such beautiful. The scenery is gorgeous and the puppy in the bucket just makes me melt.

Nice to know you were well taken care of by the BD crew members. The J seats looked definitely better than the usual European ones.

It is a bit odd that you as a J passenger did not get anything more than a bag of peanuts on a fifty minute flight.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 19660 times:

Hi Gabrielchew. Thanks for posting this set of reports, i enjoyed all three.
The Mid-Haul cabin looks ok i guess. Just looks a bit dated.

Good to see you found a nice crew, this can surely make or break a flight experience on any airline.

Georgia looks amazing and the airport at Tbilisi looks way nicer than i had imagined.


Long live Diamond Club. For all its faults its helped me fly in cabins i would have never visited otherwise.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 19260 times:

Thanks for all your replies! I'm off to Austria tomorrow (driving a van!), so won't be able to reply again in a while, so apologies for that.

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 2):
I am afraid that I cannot share your view of bmi. I just flew Tehran to London with them in C and it was abysmal in every respect. You are right that the IFE is really poor. A terrible selection and a tiny screen. On my flight the airshow was not even working.

What is the point of printing a wine list if they do not mention the vintage? Perhaps I am being pedantic, but this is surely relevant if you are selecting a wine to accompany your meal? The service was also poor. The food was just terrible. I handed back my "breakfast" untouched. On another carrier such as Lufthansa or Swiss, I would have been asked what was wrong with it, and been offered something else. On bmi they just want to clear everything away and retreat to the galley for the next 5 hours. I will certainly avoid bmi mid haul product. I am going to Beirut soon and had considered bmi but will take Lufthansa instead.

Sorry your flight wasn't very good. It would be very easy for the crew to hide, especially when there isn't much to do. It sounded like the 5-lady crew had just had a good layovewr in TBS. In some instances they weren't as good as some (QR etc), but they were friendly, and I was offered so many drinks. I was the only Brit in Biz, so perhaps they found it easier to talok to me?

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 1):
very interesting report.
Quoting globetraveller (Reply 3):
An excellent trip report with some amazing pictures! Thank you for giving us such a detailed insight into Georgia.

Thanks!

Quoting eicvd (Reply 4):
Thoroughly enjoyed reading every minute of this & the previous reports.

Glad you enjoyed them

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
The catering on BD could be improved IMO.

Well, they should load some snacks, otherwise I was satisfied (the dessert was a bit rubbish though - I think the apple tart looked nice though)

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 6):
The amenity kid seems to offer great quality products and the food looks adequate to me... and if it even tasted nice that is even better.

Yeah, the amenity kit was very nice, espcially getting the little branded box. Thumbs up to BD for that.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 6):
Crew seemed pretty attentive to me, it is great to see that they take care and pride in their job and the detail of offering a second 'meal' to a hungry passenger is something we do not see everyday.

Well, I suggested what they might serve to be honest, as they said they didn't load any snacks other than nuts.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 6):

Another thing I love is the Georgian alphabet, really interesting!

Yes, it's very beautiful

Quoting HUYfan (Reply 7):
The cabins are ex-BMED, and the screens are admittedly small, but I think an update/upgrade of both cabins at bmi midhaul is coming, which will hopefully improve the experience for all.

Yeah, 1/2 the fleet has been done. I think those PTVs are 1st gen - SOO small!

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 8):
I hit Kazbegi, Tblisi, and Ananuri too but your pics came out way better; maybe I'll just show people yours instead of mine

If you pay me an adequate commission, no problem!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Liked the pictures of Georgia as well

Thanks

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 10):
I had no idea Georgia was so beautiful. How did you get around the country? Did you rent a car or by taxi? Thanks for posting such wonderful pictures.

From Batumi, I took a slepper train to Khasuri, then a taxi to Borjomi (pre arranged). From Borjomi to Gori I took a local bus. In Gori I was met by an English speaking driver who took me and my friend up to Ananuri and Kazbegi, before coming back to Tbilisi. I can give you his contact info if you like.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 11):
BMI's J class seat looks also very good, great for inter-Europe (well, sort of) flights.

Yes, great for daytime flights

Quoting sw733 (Reply 12):
Those are some ridiculous pictures! Never been to Georgia, but I am tempted now...

It is very pretty. I'd advise a trip in Sept/Oct.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
The scenery is gorgeous and the puppy in the bucket just makes me melt.

We heard this moaning, and went over to find the dog in a bucket under a truck. Was quite funny!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Nice to know you were well taken care of by the BD crew members. The J seats looked definitely better than the usual European ones.

Yes, lucky I got a good crew!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
It is a bit odd that you as a J passenger did not get anything more than a bag of peanuts on a fifty minute flight.

Well, to be honest, I wasn't very hungry. All TBS pax are enroute to LHR so lunch is always served not long after the TBS-GYD flight. Most of the catering was uploaded in GYD.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 14):
Good to see you found a nice crew, this can surely make or break a flight experience on any airline.

Most definately. However, as proved on my LHR-IST flight, a bad crew can also be a good crew.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 14):
Georgia looks amazing and the airport at Tbilisi looks way nicer than i had imagined.

#
Yes the airport is very nice. Small, clean and modern.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 14):
Long live Diamond Club. For all its faults its helped me fly in cabins i would have never visited otherwise.

Yes, DC is wonderful, but is not much longer for this world!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1954 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 18737 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report!

Wow, what an interesting route, and really nice to see some views of Baku and Tbilisi! BMI seems to offer a pretty nice service in J on this route. How lucky you got an empty cabin! Never had this happen to me ..  

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3011 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 18421 times:

Great report! What a pleasure to read and wonderful to see such amazing pictures. My best friend lives in Tbilisi, I'm thinking of going out there in the next few months.

About the plane... why does this BMI aircraft have signage in Russian and Georgian? Is it a dedicated plane they always use on the route?

Aeroflot777


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 18325 times:

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
How lucky you got an empty cabin! Never had this happen to me ..  

I know, never happened to me before either

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 17):
Great report! What a pleasure to read and wonderful to see such amazing pictures. My best friend lives in Tbilisi, I'm thinking of going out there in the next few months.

It is a very nice city, although quite cold in the winter I think

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 17):
About the plane... why does this BMI aircraft have signage in Russian and Georgian? Is it a dedicated plane they always use on the rout

BMI use their medium haul fleet to a range of CIS and near-East destinations, so have those signs in the toilet. Not sure why they specifically have Georgian, given that they only fly to TBS 4 times a week, and maybe 5/6 to Armenia?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 934 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 12 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 17907 times:

What a wonderful TR! I am glad that BD camethrough inflight versus TK! The pictures of Georgia were AMAZING!


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27162 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (3 years 12 months 19 hours ago) and read 16960 times:

Very nice report, I loved the photos of Georgia , looks an amazing country. I still look at BMI meals and think even the plates are very bland, just cant warm to their catering at all   The Salmon looked nice though . The point about the drinks though im in total agreement with .


Thanks for a great report.


Philip  


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 16483 times:

Hey there - very nice trip report (all parts). Looks like an interesting place to visit - Georgia. You managed to get some great pics as well. Really enjoyed reading all parts that you've posted.

That return sector is certainly a long one for the A321.

Look forward to your next trip report!

Cheers P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8563 posts, RR: 54
Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 16289 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures Mr Chew, thanks for sharing with us.

I have to say the pictures of Georgia are excellent, it does create a stir of interest to visit, though I would have troubl;e to get the wife interetsed1

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The load on this leg was 27 + 1 infant in economy, and 2 in Business (I overheard). However, the leading FA, Sarah, said that I was the only Business pax on this leg

- Oh my that's terrible!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
For the next sector, the load was 55 in economy, and 8 in Business.

- And this is not much better.

I sure hope these loads are not typical, if so bmi need to drop this route asap!

Not convinced of the food and presentation, however it is better than I expected - at least they kept you in drink!

Rgds

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 offlineFlying Belgian From Belgium, joined Jun 2001, 2396 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15970 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very nice TR !!

Georgia's pics are very very interesting and intriguing (positive way !).

Have flown three times with bmi and I was always satisfied with them. I did MAN-YYZ-MAN in C, their service was rather impressive at that time I must say.



Life is great at 41.000 feet...
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 15812 times:

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 19):
I am glad that BD camethrough inflight versus TK! T

So am I! I was just waiting for something to go wrong!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
Very nice report, I loved the photos of Georgia , looks an amazing country.
Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 23):

Georgia's pics are very very interesting and intriguing (positive way !).

Thanks! Yes, Georgia is a beautiful country

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
I still look at BMI meals and think even the plates are very bland, just cant warm to their catering at all The Salmon looked nice though .

It's true,. the meals could have been a bit more sophisticated, but better that they get simple stuff right, than complicated stuff wrong.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 21):

That return sector is certainly a long one for the A321.

Yes, lucky I was in Biz. I imagine 8 hours in Y without a PTV would have been very long

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 21):
You managed to get some great pics as well

Thanks!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):
I have to say the pictures of Georgia are excellent, it does create a stir of interest to visit, though I would have troubl;e to get the wife interetsed1

Well, if you have plenty of bmi miles (and are bmi Gold), then a weekend break in TBS might be nice?

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):

- Oh my that's terrible!

Well, it means better service for me!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):

- And this is not much better.

I sure hope these loads are not typical, if so bmi need to drop this route asap!

Average fares are quite high, esp from Baku, so perhaps they are making money where it matters?

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):
at least they kept you in drink!

x
Which, of course, is the main thing!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
25 gabrielchew : Oh yes, if anyone is interested., I just got a canned response from DC saying thanks for the positive feedback re: the cabin crew. Not mention of the
26 jamesontheroad : Perhaps I missed this comment above, but it's important to note this was one of the former British Mediterranean aircraft, so featuring a pretty old
27 bwaflyer : 4 aircraft (A321 G-MEDF/G/J, A320 G-MEDH) have the old BA Club World cradle seats and tape based IFE (and overhead screens in Y), 5 other aircraft (A
28 gabrielchew : The amenity kit was pretty good, esp for a daytime flight. No problem! So I guess I was pretty lucky with a fairly empty cabin
29 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi Gab, I read this excellent report a while ago, but never got around commenting it, so here goes. Nice to read about something a bit out of the well
30 eastafspot : Hi Gabriel, I was expecting this part of your trip with impatient, and it turned out in a real pleasure of discovering Georgia. the whole journey is a
31 gabrielchew : Hi P Thanks! Yes, it was a pretty good C class HA, yeah, that should have said 'sparkling' water! Yes, it's very nice Yeah, it looks like they've give
32 eastafspot : Hi, i don't know yet i was trying to figured out the best option. did you easily get a visa for both country?
33 gabrielchew : For Turkey, most nationalities can get a visa on arrival. Georgia is visa-free for most nationalities, so very easy for travel.
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