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Taag Angola DT 503: DEC/10: TMS-LAD: J Cabin  
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5099 posts, RR: 55
Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 18273 times:

Feedback always appreciated.




I > Background:
Having accomplished my "mission" to see São Tomé and Príncipe (STP), it was time to head home. Now, I could go back the same way ... but that is so against the fundamentals of being an airline dork. Being in TMS severely limited my options ... since I did not want to fly TP, and Ceiba International's flight to LBV was sold out, I got a seat on TAAG's flight to LAD. This flight comes from RAI and since I had never flown DT, it would be perfect!

I was a little apprehensive about flying to Angola as I find its bureaucracy mind numbing, and each time, the process of obtaining the Angolan visas had been a "telenovela". Anyways, numerous phone calls to old contacts at the World Bank ensured and after a flurry of activities and phone calls, and a bottle of Mr. Walker Blue, I obtained my visa in a record 8 days.

I believe this is the first report on TAAG's 73W service in JCL, and the first on this route.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
TAAG Angola Airlines is the national flag carrier of Angola. It operates domestic services within Angola, as well as medium-haul services in Africa and long-haul services to Brazil, Cuba and Portugal. Wholly owned by the Angolan government, it has benefited from Angola's resource boom, and the well guarded bi-laterals that have prevented real competition from taking shape.

TAAG has a dramatically improved website (http://www.taag.com/), and I was able to not only browse, but also actually buy my ticket. I could not chose my seat - but that was fine by me. Later on, I could view my itinerary as well. The entire site worked - though had tons of quirks, and very reminiscent of Air India's old site.

b) At Airport:
I hitched a ride with a farmer going to the airport and arrived around 3 hours prior to departure. I had been warned that DT always overbooks these flights, and as much as I loved STP, being stranded there would be terribly inconvenient for my dinner plans in Luanda and my onward plans out of Angola.

As I looked one more time at the airport and smiled, I realized what an incredibly remote part of the world I had seen. I was grateful for my life. At the airport, the queue to enter started building. They had blocked the entrance and were not allowing anyone to go through. In the usual African scene, a porter asked for a payment to put me in the front of the line. A lady came by to sell fish to the people standing by. As customary in these places, there were tons of NGO workers and I started chatting with one of them and realized that I had not paid my airport tax. She vaguely pointed at a direction and I asked if she would not mind looking after my bag. I had no intention of losing my space in the line.

As I made my way to the counter, I begun to understand something was amiss. I speak Portuguese well enough to comprehend that a man (later finding out he was the station manager) was having a heated discussion with someone in Luanda. As I was more interested in hearing the conversation than paying the departure tax, the woman at the counter (let's call her Ms. CW) said rudely: "Sir, you pay or go?". I think I stunned her with my response in Portuguese: "You and I know very well that this flight is not going anywhere. So why create health problems and rush?". Haha. I think she was stunned and managed to apologize and let me even pay in the local money. $1 = 24,000 Dobras (or something like that) ... so it made her life difficult.

Anyways, having caught strains of the conversation with the station manager, I confronted him, and he basically as a matter-of-fact mentioned that the plane had developed a mechanical in RAI and had never left. Now, RAI-TMS is a near 6 hour flying time. Why had he not mentioned to all the ranking passengers was beyond me?! Not that he cared. Anyways, as I was thinking of what to do, I realized my bag was still with the NGO worker. So I went back to the line and gave her the news. Soon people came all around me - and the fun yelling, anger, and drama started. People demanded to be let inside the airport. The station manager came outside to calm the situation. Having traveled throughout Africa, I basically decided to see how the even unfolded. In typical fashion, angers soon subsided and everyone realizing the flight would only go tomorrow began to withdraw.

Since there was no other flight out, I resigned to fate and now had to make my way to the TAAG city office. There was no other way of getting hotel accommodation, and I morally refused to pay. Negotiating with the taxi drivers had become hopeless. Well, let me rephrase: negotiating with the random men with cars who would give me a ride to town was hopeless. They knew that this white dude was stuck at the airport and was quoting over $100! I was beginning to just accept the 10KM walk to town in 35C heat when Ms. CW came and started yelling at the taxi drivers for being bad host to the foreign guest. Aaww ... SOOO African/Latin/Asian  Smile. She was a big lady and people listened to her. Soon, one of the men just mumbled me to get in. As he was about to pull away, she said to him in Portuguese that it was a small island and she better not hear tomorrow that I had been ripped. She knew the driver's mom. Haha. Thanking her severely as my taxi pulled away, a big smile engulfed me. Here I was ... stranded. Yet, everything felt right. It was almost as if it was a way of humanity to remind me that it existed.

The driver was also incredible. He waited for me at the TAAG city office as they arranged for my hotel stay at the top place in STP. This was as "old school" as it got.

After spending the rest of the day bonding over drinks with fellow stranded passengers, next morning, we all got on the pre-arranged transfer service to the airport. At the airport, things were much calmer. I had bought a box of chocolate for Ms. CW and you could see the joy on her face. She immediately basically took me to the secure area where government vip's hang out (shockingly -roll eyes- same place where I had landed) and basically had some dude bring me drinks and stuff as someone checked me in. Haha. Can you beat that Thai First Class at Bangkok  Smile? Minutes later, I had my boarding pass, went through immigration, and was on the boarding wait area. I had some time and wanted to buy some more local stuff so basically just walked past the immigration and security guy back to landside to haggle with the ladies. No question asked - it felt empowering to have entered STP illegally!

When boarding was called in, everyone jumped and we were all herded on to walk to our 73W. I took a deep breath and mentally captured the scenery of the young kids around the airport perimeter and climbd onboard.

Greeted at the door, I went to my seat. Y load was around 90%, J load was around 80%. Interestingly, most J passengers were from RAI.

Airport - External:

(STP Airport)


(Queue to get-in)


(People park their luggage hours before and just leave)


(Queue getting long and no idea of when check-in opens)


*


Check-in:

(Very old school)


Airport - Internal:


*

*

(FIDS: What is that?)
NONE

(Post Security @ TMS)

(Technically, this is the VIP room I was given access to - the same one at arrival)

*


Scenes of the tarmac:



Lounge: NONE



Boarding:


(Gate Area)


(Boarding - the inevitable crazy rush)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
While on the ground, just water offered. After take-off, following service and order: skimpy headphones and a meal service. I was curious if they had an amenity kit - and shockingly, they had one and gave it to me!

b) Aircraft + Seats:
I personally find TAAG to have one of the smartest liveries out there, and this 73W looked immaculate in the tones of its colors. While the inside was maintained enough, it was not immaculate and the regular wear and tear was far more than an aircraft of this heritage should be. The bathroom looked rather dingy (far more than its age) and could have been better maintained. The seats were normal cloth seats and very average. While pitch was rather average, recline was generous and reminded me of the Jet Airways reclines on their international 73Ws's.

Aircraft:
(DT's 73W @ TMS - personally I think they have one of the most striking liveries out there)

*


Views from Aircraft:

(Random birds @ TMS)


(Dedicated to debonair)


(Bye bye kids on the runway)


(Bye bye beautiful STP)

*


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Seat)

*
(Front of seat)

*
(Seat controls)

*
(Legroom)


Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Impressive recline for a regional JCL)

*


Cabin:


*


(Blanket ++)
NONE

(Bathroom: could do with a bit of sprucing up)

c) Meal + Beverage:
Meal service commenced soon after take-off and was an "interesting" affair. The entire meal was brought at once and included a rather generous lobster salad which was rather delicious. For main (there were no choices), it was a local delicacy(?) - rice, chicken, carrot, and beans. Unlike what would be in parts of Latin America, this was rather bland and I felt like I was eating food to lose weight. Not good. Finally, the dessert was just weird - perhaps it caters to more local tastes, but I did not truly enjoy a loaf of bread soaked in a sugary sauce filled with pineapple and mango stripes. All strange. Thankfully, the café was splendid and did wonders to drown the other stuff out.

No other meal or beverage service offered, and the crew did not come with water or anything. To be fair, on a small JCL, passengers just asked for stuff, and they delivered.

(Dinner)

*
(Excellent café)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Fold down screen showed a second-run Hollywood movie that I cannot recall. We were handed out some of the poorest headphones I have seen in Business Class. Also disappointing was the lack of any magazine. Overall, extremely poor for a JCL product.

(IFE Screen and Control)

*

*


(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)
NONE



e) Crew:
The best word to describe the TAAG crew would be "indifferent". I felt they were in "auto pilot" throughout the entire flight. They was some faint greetings during boarding, and some basic conversation during the meal service. Other than that, they did their service runs, and basically retreated behind the curtains. When a call button was rung, they came to ask for what was being asked, brought it, and then retreated back to their cocoon. It was almost like they were robots incapable of any charm whatsoever.

IV> Post-Flight:
Landing in LAD was smooth - but then the usual drama with Angolan immigration started. I was waived through with ease, but three of the people I had met at the hotel earlier were detained and put in a "holding cell". They were a Portuguese, a Japanese, and an Indian national. Their multiple entry visa had caused upset with the immigration officials who could not believe that these 3 guests of the World Bank could actually come to Luanda for one day. No way. To the paranoid Angolans, they were in there to "steal local jobs". I had promised them a taxi ride and since I have this bad habit of putting myself in situations I should not, I decided to hang out at the airport for them. The next 4 hours were spent calling contacts at the World Bank and my contacts at TAAG to secure their release. During that time, the shift of the chief immigration officer changed and there was power politics being played as the new immigration guy did not want to take responsibility for their release. After a lot of going back and forth, on the fifth hour, and after several bribes, the three were released. The entire episode was extremely sad and reflected the current mentality of the Angolan ruling elite. As frequent readers of my trip reports can attest, I am usually very aware of local "protocol" and usually find humor goes a long way in defusing these "situations". Angola is one of the few countries that I genuinely felt helpless. Here were three qualified men with connections being detained. Imagine the plight of the African workers they shared the cell with who had to apparently linger for days. The resource boom has gone into the head of the Angolan elite who feel invincible. Usually I find expat whining very off-putting - but this is one rare time where they have every right to. Talk to any expat in Luanda, and I am sure they will have similar stories to tell.

(Parked besides this bird @ LAD)


V> Impressions + Scores:
My flight out of São Tomé and Príncipe was as different as my flight into it. While I will smile and look back at the "ancillary" drama around the flights, some of it was unnecessary. It does not harm TAAG to treat their passengers with respect and notify them of a flight cancellation; nor, does it do any good for the Angolan authorities to treat everyone as an illegal worker entering their country. Besides these, TAAG does OK. While its hardware is perfectly acceptable for a flight with this stage length, it could definitely improve on its software. Adding an IFE and an in-flight magazine does not take that long. Real and sustained improvements could be had by improving the quality of its personnel - the on board staff were as detached as one could get. If this is how passengers were treated in JCL, I can only imagine how service was back in YCL.

Overall, a thumps down. I would fly TAAG only if there were no other competitive options. Irregular operations happen all the time in the airline industry. How an airline deals with it separates the great, the good, the average, and the bad. Sadly, TAAG in this instance, fell in the last category with no service recovery during the actual flight portion.



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
9.27: JET AIRWAYS **FIRST** (110): LHR-BOM: 10/2010
9.27: THAI AIRWAYS **FIRST** (108): BKK-LHR: 07/2010
8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.82: UNITED AIRLINES **FIRST** (110): SFO-ICN: 10/2010
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.66: Sri Lankan (104): DEL-CMB: 07/2010
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.61: China Southern (103): LOS-DXB: 04/2010
7.57: Pakistan Airlines (102): ORD-BCN: 06/2010
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.38: AMERICAN AIRLINES **FIRST** (112): LHR-JFK: 10/2010
7.38: CATHAY PACIFIC **FIRST** (109): HKG-LHR: 10/2010
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Aer Lingus (105): MAD-IAD: 05/2010
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.82: Air Burkina (106): BKO-OUA: 06/2010
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.75: Afriqiyah + Libyan (113): CAI-TIP: 11/2010
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: A SKY (107): OUA-COO: 06/2010
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: SATA Azores (101): BOS-PDL: 04/2010
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.11: Tunisair (115): TUN-ORY: 12/2010
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.89: TAAG Angola (117): TMS-LAD: 12/2010
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.81: STP Airways/Euro Atlantic (116): LIS-TMS: 12/2010
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.52: Sevenair (114): TOE-TUN: 11/2010
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

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

VII> Other Pictures:

(Why they provided an amenity kit on this short flight is beyond me - especially it being a F kit! Especially because the airline had no IFE and magazine!)


[Edited 2011-08-08 19:13:23]


Live, and let live.
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5925 posts, RR: 40
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 18015 times:

very nice report!

would love to use them once on the flight ex GIG!

dude we have still pending a together trip!

cheers and thank you
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6570 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 17966 times:

Hi Alex!

Thanks for another excellent report with great pictures! Too bad TAAG didn't live up to your expectations. Seat looks nice but the meals looks a bit strange. Nice with an amenity kit for such a short flight!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Especially because the airline had no IFE and magazine

They do have a magazine but must have been out of it at your seat or row. I kept a copy after my flight about four years ago. I think you can even read parts of the magazine on their website. Think the magazine is called "Austral"

Looking forward to read about LAD and how you got out of there.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 17964 times:

Thanks for another interesting trip report!

The amenity kit looks fabulous though, apart from the indifferent service and also the lack of it.

I also really enjoy your commentary about the affairs in Africa, a continent that I am not familiar with and we don't really hear about it except civil wars and famine.

Thanks again and look forward to your next adventure!

Carfield


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5099 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 17836 times:

Quoting Avianca (Reply 1):
very nice report!

would love to use them once on the flight ex GIG!

= You must. That would be an awesome flight  .

Quoting Avianca (Reply 1):
dude we have still pending a together trip!

cheers and thank you
Avianca

= Hmmm ... maybe the GIG option  ? What are you thinking?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):


Thanks for another excellent report with great pictures! Too bad TAAG didn't live up to your expectations. Seat looks nice but the meals looks a bit strange. Nice with an amenity kit for such a short flight!

= Agreed. Overall, a pretty strange affair.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
They do have a magazine but must have been out of it at your seat or row. I kept a copy after my flight about four years ago. I think you can even read parts of the magazine on their website. Think the magazine is called "Austral"

= Interestingly enough, I saw the "Austral" magazine a few months later at a contract lounge in DXB!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Looking forward to read about LAD and how you got out of there.

= I had a fantastic trip planned on the 74D going on LAD-SID-HAV - but the plan got changed due to the day loss at TMS. Moreover, I had to go to work so took the "boring" LAD-FIH-BRU SN flight. Since I don't write reports on work trips, exit out of LAD won't be covered  .

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):
Thanks for another interesting trip report!

= Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):
The amenity kit looks fabulous though, apart from the indifferent service and also the lack of it.

= Ya. Overall, it was kinda weird.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):

I also really enjoy your commentary about the affairs in Africa, a continent that I am not familiar with and we don't really hear about it except civil wars and famine.

= And, Africa, is incredibly diverse.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):

Thanks again and look forward to your next adventure!

Carfield

= What about you? Where is the next adventure taking you?

Thanks a lot all for stopping by.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6570 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 17829 times:

Hi Alex !

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
= I had a fantastic trip planned on the 74D going on LAD-SID-HAV - but the plan got changed due to the day loss at TMS. Moreover, I had to go to work so took the "boring" LAD-FIH-BRU SN flight. Since I don't write reports on work trips, exit out of LAD won't be covered .

That's too bad; LAD-SID-HAV on the 74D would have been very intersting to read. I think the 74Ds have left the fleet now that they have taken delivery of the 77Ws. Perhaps you can try those one of these days ?  

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5925 posts, RR: 40
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 17799 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
Hmmm ... maybe the GIG option ? What are you thinking?

sounds good, but ex CCS booked  , as per my understanding you can book them ex CCS with Gol or Tam connection.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
LAD-SID-HAV

sounds even more interesting CCS-HAV on Conviasa / HAV-SID-LAD-GIG on DT and than boring Gol or TAM back to CCS.

what are the schedules for the HAV-LAD flights?

saludos



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 17791 times:

Hi Alex,

fascinating review, what a pleasure! You never cease to amaze me with your reports.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
As I made my way to the counter, I begun to understand something was amiss. I speak Portuguese well enough to comprehend that a man (later finding out he was the station manager) was having a heated discussion with someone in Luanda. As I was more interested in hearing the conversation than paying the departure tax, the woman at the counter (let's call her Ms. CW) said rudely: "Sir, you pay or go?". I think I stunned her with my response in Portuguese: "You and I know very well that this flight is not going anywhere. So why create health problems and rush?". Haha. I think she was stunned and managed to apologize and let me even pay in the local money. $1 = 24,000 Dobras (or something like that) ... so it made her life difficult.

Anyways, having caught strains of the conversation with the station manager, I confronted him, and he basically as a matter-of-fact mentioned that the plane had developed a mechanical in RAI and had never left. Now, RAI-TMS is a near 6 hour flying time. Why had he not mentioned to all the ranking passengers was beyond me?! Not that he cared. Anyways, as I was thinking of what to do, I realized my bag was still with the NGO worker. So I went back to the line and gave her the news. Soon people came all around me - and the fun yelling, anger, and drama started. People demanded to be let inside the airport. The station manager came outside to calm the situation. Having traveled throughout Africa, I basically decided to see how the even unfolded. In typical fashion, angers soon subsided and everyone realizing the flight would only go tomorrow began to withdraw.

Since there was no other flight out, I resigned to fate and now had to make my way to the TAAG city office. There was no other way of getting hotel accommodation, and I morally refused to pay. Negotiating with the taxi drivers had become hopeless. Well, let me rephrase: negotiating with the random men with cars who would give me a ride to town was hopeless. They knew that this white dude was stuck at the airport and was quoting over $100! I was beginning to just accept the 10KM walk to town in 35C heat when Ms. CW came and started yelling at the taxi drivers for being bad host to the foreign guest. Aaww ... SOOO African/Latin/Asian Smile. She was a big lady and people listened to her. Soon, one of the men just mumbled me to get in. As he was about to pull away, she said to him in Portuguese that it was a small island and she better not hear tomorrow that I had been ripped. She knew the driver's mom. Haha. Thanking her severely as my taxi pulled away, a big smile engulfed me. Here I was ... stranded. Yet, everything felt right. It was almost as if it was a way of humanity to remind me that it existed.

Wow, what an adventure!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
DT's 73W @ TMS - personally I think they have one of the most striking liveries out there

I can only agree!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
While the inside was maintained enough, it was not immaculate and the regular wear and tear was far more than an aircraft of this heritage should be.

The plane was delivered in 11/2006.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I had promised them a taxi ride and since I have this bad habit of putting myself in situations I should not, I decided to hang out at the airport for them. The next 4 hours were spent calling contacts at the World Bank and my contacts at TAAG to secure their release. During that time, the shift of the chief immigration officer changed and there was power politics being played as the new immigration guy did not want to take responsibility for their release. After a lot of going back and forth, on the fifth hour, and after several bribes, the three were released.

That was very kind of you!   



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 17632 times:

Wow! Very interesting!

The airport does seem like it is from another time!

The meal is actually impressive in size. So did you suck the heads out of the shrimp? Some people think that is the best part!

The amenity kit is also quite impressive for a short haul J class! Did they give them out to everyone or just to you because you asked?

It is weird that the amenity kit is so nice, but the headset is the keep disposable kind you get in Y on U.S. carriers...

As always I enjoyed the trip report and kept saying "Transito!" in my head while reading it!


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1201 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 17567 times:

How is Sao Tome; the beaches etc? Thanks.

User currently offlineswedenflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 17296 times:

Hi Alex,
I've read many reports about TAAG long-range Y class on the 777, and that seems much better than regional J class. They have PTVs, and even a meal choice. STP seems on the rise as a country, and so does DT as the Angola flag carrier!
As always, a pleasure to read!



FlyingFinn76, abrelosojos
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 17235 times:

Hi Alex

Just when we thought that you had posted the most exotic trip report out there, you go and totally outdo yourself! Kudos! We're all very, very jealous of your opportunities to travel JCL on some exotic airlines and routes.

Interesting to see they had the amenity kit with Biotherm products, that's quite nice.

Also interesting to see there is a China Sonangol aircraft parked to the right of the other DT 737. Probably ferrying pax to the Angolan oil fields. Yet another example of an Chinese ACME company    Do you remember what a/c type it was? AFAIK they only operate A320s.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 17236 times:

Ah! I see they are working to build a new airport in Angola (presumably LAD).

http://www.chinasonangol.com/eng/photo.asp

They've also built some condos here in Singapore.

How's the progress?

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 17130 times:

Hi Alex,

I have just finished reading Planehunter's report of travels to DXB and luxurious resorts, then I come and read something that is out of a completely different world. You do seem to manage to get caught up in all sorts of troubles. Still, it makes for very good reading. At least you did find someone to help you along the way  

As you say, TAAG could certainly improve their interaction with passengers, both before boarding (keeping them informed of cancellations or flight delays) and in flight. On the other hand you did end up with an amenity kit that is surprising on a short run - many other carriers don't offer them except on long haul overnight flights. An oversight, maybe. Was this handed out to all passengers in J or just you?

Thanks for sharing your adventures,
Quokka


User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 17063 times:

Another TAAG trip report! This airline seems to be a "favorite" of A.Netters for a truly exotic and off-the-radar experience. This reminds me so much of my trip with TAAG. Except they ended up "saving the day" in the end for me. I'm quite envious that you were able to get a visa.

When did your flight finally leave?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
In the usual African scene, a porter asked for a payment to put me in the front of the line.

Did you accept?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
. I speak Portuguese well enough to comprehend that a man (later finding out he was the station manager) was having a heated discussion with someone in Luanda.

First signs of trouble!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Anyways, having caught strains of the conversation with the station manager, I confronted him, and he basically as a matter-of-fact mentioned that the plane had developed a mechanical in RAI and had never left. Now, RAI-TMS is a near 6 hour flying time

Classic. Your trip occurred in December, during TAAG's operational meltdown. All of their 777s were out of service, and I think they were having some issues with maintenance. A lot of their planes were going tech, and the EU was suspicious that they were taking shortcuts again. But an inspection in January revealed that TAAG was at least attempting to perform proper maintenance. As of now at least, they seem to have gotten their act together once again, so maybe they will be able to sustain it this time.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
At the airport, things were much calmer. I had bought a box of chocolate for Ms. CW and you could see the joy on her face. She immediately basically took me to the secure area where government vip's hang out (shockingly -roll eyes- same place where I had landed) and basically had some dude bring me drinks and stuff as someone checked me in.

Very nice!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
After a lot of going back and forth, on the fifth hour, and after several bribes, the three were released

This is ridiculous. It sure seems hard to encourage economic development with such an attitude.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
= I had a fantastic trip planned on the 74D going on LAD-SID-HAV - but the plan got changed due to the day loss at TMS. Moreover, I had to go to work so took the "boring" LAD-FIH-BRU SN flight. Since I don't write reports on work trips, exit out of LAD won't be covered  .

You are probably lucky you weren't able to take this flight. I doubt it would've gone, because their one 74D was busy doing runs to GIG and GRU since their 777s were out of service.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Why they provided an amenity kit on this short flight is beyond me - especially it being a F kit! Especially because the airline had no IFE and magazine!)

TAAG is very imbalanced with their product offering. It's quite strange. However, they actually do have a magazine. Perhaps it just wasn't loaded onto your flight.

http://taag.com/documents/Austral86Jul_Ago11.pdf

Your TAAG experience once in the air is pretty standard for them I believe. I've been told by a friend of mine that TAAG has made some changes to their operational procedures, and delays have been reduced significantly. Obviously when an aircraft goes tech, there's nothing you can do though.

Thanks for sharing, as usual I found this report to be extremely interesting!


User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 17055 times:

Hi Alex,

What a great way to start one's morning; checking out A.net and seeing one of abrelosojos' TRs. Who needs a coffee to wake up?

Sorry to hear about all the crazy things that happened at TMS and LAD. It seems that drama follows you everywhere (maybe something to do with the destinations you choose?). I hope the rest of your stay at (and departure from) Luanda was much smoother.

The meal looks impressive. The quantity and presentation makes it look like a meal you would get at your local restaurant.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

WideBodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineNDiesel From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17020 times:

Another wonderful report - your way of describing these events puts us right in them. Glad you were able to assist the poor guys in LAD who were detained!


Delta MD-11 JFK-CDG - Upon sunrise I fell in love with Aviation
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 16629 times:

Great report - and I was wondering how you were going to get out of Sao Tome!! Pretty chaotic scenes when you originally got to the airport. Glad you were able to navigate your way through all of that.

I agree - TAAG's colours are incredibly striking. I think they are great on both the 737 and 777s.

Thanks for taking the time to do this very rare report. Cheers P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 16425 times:

Hi Alex,

another amazing and adventurous trip report. For traveling in Africa you certainly need a lot of patience and sometimes determination, I really find it impressive how you handle all these situations, well done.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
They knew that this white dude was stuck at the airport and was quoting over $100! I was beginning to just accept the 10KM walk to town in 35C heat when Ms. CW came and started yelling at the taxi drivers for being bad host to the foreign guest.

Wonderful, what a story, that's truly Africa. And nice of you that you bought something for Ms CW as a thank you.

That meal on TAAG really looks interesting, and what a generous ration. Too bad the main course and dessert didn't taste well.

Well, thanks again and I am really looking forward to read more about your adventures.
CaptainRed


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2429 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 16286 times:

FANTASTIC TR, as always...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
since I did not want to fly TP, and Ceiba International's flight to LBV was sold out



Would have been nice... Next time?!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
While the inside was maintained enough, it was not immaculate and the regular wear and tear was far more than an aircraft of this heritage should be. The bathroom looked rather dingy (far more than its age) and could have been better maintained.
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
he basically as a matter-of-fact mentioned that the plane had developed a mechanical in RAI and had never left.



TAAG is operating a modern fleet (especially for Africa) with their B73W's, B777's. But their EU banned operations in the past combined with your experience are leaving a bitter taste in my mouth...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Dedicated to debonair)



What a honour! And, isn't she beautiful?!


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 16057 times:

Hello Alex, great report as always! A very interesting, and hence a bit entertaining read.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I hitched a ride with a farmer going to the airport and arrived around 3 hours prior to departure.

Lol, I would never have imagined you getting to the airport like that. I thought you always had a chauffeur drive you to the airport, or was that time in JFK the only time?  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I had been warned that DT always overbooks these flights,

Interesting. So you couldn't have booked a ticket in Y, and hoped for a J upgrade 
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I think she was stunned and managed to apologize and let me even pay in the local money. $1 = 24,000 Dobras (or something like that) ... so it made her life difficult.

Talk about inflation! How much was the airport tax?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
After spending the rest of the day bonding over drinks with fellow stranded passengers, next morning, we all got on the pre-arranged transfer service to the airport.

Did the airline pay for your accomodation, or did you have to fork it out yourselves?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I personally find TAAG to have one of the smartest liveries out there, and this 73W looked immaculate in the tones of its colors.

You really think so? I personally find it quite hideous. Looks very 1960's, also don't like their logo, what is that animal anyway. A deer?  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The entire meal was brought at once and included a rather generous lobster salad which was rather delicious.

Looks more like prawns to me, are you sure it was lobster?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Thankfully, the café was splendid and did wonders to drown the other stuff out.

Looks like a very well brewed cup of coffee. Also that créma givens hints that it must've been freshly ground.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
No other meal or beverage service offered, and the crew did not come with water or anything. To be fair, on a small JCL, passengers just asked for stuff, and they delivered.

That is very bad indeed, how were they expecting people to finish their meals without anything to wash down the food with. Were many people bothered with this?

Anyway, thanks for the report. I like how you review these exotic african, etc carriers. Still haven't seen a RAM report from you, yet  

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5099 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15937 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):

That's too bad; LAD-SID-HAV on the 74D would have been very intersting to read. I think the 74Ds have left the fleet now that they have taken delivery of the 77Ws. Perhaps you can try those one of these days ?

The777Man

= I have decided to leave the 777 flying to you  . Can't match the greatness of your reports! However, I do like exotic routes, so vamos a ver ...

Quoting Avianca (Reply 6):
sounds good, but ex CCS booked , as per my understanding you can book them ex CCS with Gol or Tam connection.

= Hmm. I will have to check with my travel agent magician. Have you already researched what the fares would be?

Quoting Avianca (Reply 6):
sounds even more interesting CCS-HAV on Conviasa / HAV-SID-LAD-GIG on DT and than boring Gol or TAM back to CCS.

what are the schedules for the HAV-LAD flights?

saludos

= OOO ... this sounds like a much better proposition. May I ask what passport you hold? Getting an Angolan visa is quite an annoying feat.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
You never cease to amaze me with your reports.

= Thanks PH.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
That was very kind of you!

= Funny thing is ... in all my experiences, travelers to these parts of the world, usually help each other. I was just merely doing the same.

Quoting Burj (Reply 8):

The meal is actually impressive in size. So did you suck the heads out of the shrimp? Some people think that is the best part!

= You bet I did  !

Quoting Burj (Reply 8):

The amenity kit is also quite impressive for a short haul J class! Did they give them out to everyone or just to you because you asked?

= I asked for it. Though, it was amusing it was branded for F class. Always thought DT had 3 classes of service ...

Quoting Burj (Reply 8):
It is weird that the amenity kit is so nice, but the headset is the keep disposable kind you get in Y on U.S. carriers...

= Burj, it was WORSE than US carriers in YCL.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 9):
How is Sao Tome; the beaches etc? Thanks.

= It was awesome. Did you read my report on STP Airways? There are some pictures there.

Quoting swedenflyer (Reply 10):
Hi Alex,
I've read many reports about TAAG long-range Y class on the 777, and that seems much better than regional J class. They have PTVs, and even a meal choice. STP seems on the rise as a country, and so does DT as the Angola flag carrier!
As always, a pleasure to read!

= Thanks Swedenflyer.

Quoting Coal (Reply 11):
Just when we thought that you had posted the most exotic trip report out there, you go and totally outdo yourself! Kudos! We're all very, very jealous of your opportunities to travel JCL on some exotic airlines and routes.

= Thanks Coal. I am lucky enough to be able to do these things.

Quoting Coal (Reply 11):
Interesting to see they had the amenity kit with Biotherm products, that's quite nice.

= Ya. It is actually products I'd use!

Quoting Coal (Reply 11):

Also interesting to see there is a China Sonangol aircraft parked to the right of the other DT 737. Probably ferrying pax to the Angolan oil fields. Yet another example of an Chinese ACME company Do you remember what a/c type it was? AFAIK they only operate A320s.

= Isn't that a 737? AFAIR, it was a 737. Also, I hear that Sonangol is going to fly domestic routes in Angola for passengers. Anyone have any insight to that?

Quoting Coal (Reply 12):
Ah! I see they are working to build a new airport in Angola (presumably LAD).

http://www.chinasonangol.com/eng/photo.asp

They've also built some condos here in Singapore.

How's the progress?

= Far from done.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 13):
Hi Alex,

I have just finished reading Planehunter's report of travels to DXB and luxurious resorts, then I come and read something that is out of a completely different world. You do seem to manage to get caught up in all sorts of troubles. Still, it makes for very good reading. At least you did find someone to help you along the way
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 15):

Sorry to hear about all the crazy things that happened at TMS and LAD. It seems that drama follows you everywhere (maybe something to do with the destinations you choose?). I hope the rest of your stay at (and departure from) Luanda was much smoother.

= Haha. Do keep in mind the countries I "report" on are not ones for smooth sailing - STP, Angola, Somalia, Somaliland, Tunisia, Yemen, Congo, North Korea, Libya, etc.   ... trust me, I have plenty of "boring" trips. But, most of them are routine for work or family visits, and there is only so much I can write about a LH CCS-FRA flight. Moreover, I don't report work trips. If I wrote on all that, y'all probably would be bored to death!

Quoting Quokka (Reply 13):
On the other hand you did end up with an amenity kit that is surprising on a short run - many other carriers don't offer them except on long haul overnight flights. An oversight, maybe. Was this handed out to all passengers in J or just you?

= I don't know about others ... but I asked.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):
Another TAAG trip report! This airline seems to be a "favorite" of A.Netters for a truly exotic and off-the-radar experience. This reminds me so much of my trip with TAAG. Except they ended up "saving the day" in the end for me. I'm quite envious that you were able to get a visa.

= Haha. But, you're slightly obsessed with Angola ... right  ? Ya - the visa (pain in the ass) was totally worth it.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):
When did your flight finally leave?

= Following day.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
In the usual African scene, a porter asked for a payment to put me in the front of the line.

Did you accept?

= Nope.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):
Classic. Your trip occurred in December, during TAAG's operational meltdown. All of their 777s were out of service, and I think they were having some issues with maintenance. A lot of their planes were going tech, and the EU was suspicious that they were taking shortcuts again. But an inspection in January revealed that TAAG was at least attempting to perform proper maintenance. As of now at least, they seem to have gotten their act together once again, so maybe they will be able to sustain it this time.

= I thought their 777's were cleared for Africa flying?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
After a lot of going back and forth, on the fifth hour, and after several bribes, the three were released

This is ridiculous. It sure seems hard to encourage economic development with such an attitude.

= Well, the elite think that economic development is happening. Just look around Luanda for the amount of construction activities.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):
You are probably lucky you weren't able to take this flight. I doubt it would've gone, because their one 74D was busy doing runs to GIG and GRU since their 777s were out of service.

= Perhaps. But, it would still have been nice on that 74D  .

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):

TAAG is very imbalanced with their product offering. It's quite strange. However, they actually do have a magazine. Perhaps it just wasn't loaded onto your flight.

http://taag.com/documents/Austral86J...1.pdf

= Ya. I picked up a copy of Austral at the Dubai lounge.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 15):
What a great way to start one's morning; checking out A.net and seeing one of abrelosojos' TRs. Who needs a coffee to wake up?

= Haha. Thanks.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 15):
The meal looks impressive. The quantity and presentation makes it look like a meal you would get at your local restaurant.

= Really? It wasn't that yummy though.

Quoting NDiesel (Reply 16):
Another wonderful report - your way of describing these events puts us right in them. Glad you were able to assist the poor guys in LAD who were detained!

= Thanks man.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 17):
Great report - and I was wondering how you were going to get out of Sao Tome!! Pretty chaotic scenes when you originally got to the airport. Glad you were able to navigate your way through all of that.

= PJET - guess that was part of the experience  .

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 17):
Thanks for taking the time to do this very rare report. Cheers P/jet

= My pleasure.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
Hi Alex,

another amazing and adventurous trip report. For traveling in Africa you certainly need a lot of patience and sometimes determination, I really find it impressive how you handle all these situations, well done.

= Losing your cool in these situations rarely help - and I have realized that in Africa, just handling them politely go a long way.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):

Well, thanks again and I am really looking forward to read more about your adventures.
CaptainRed

= Promise, the next one is not going to be from Africa  .

Quoting debonair (Reply 19):


Would have been nice... Next time?!

= Gabon is on top of my list of placed I'd love to go to.

Quoting debonair (Reply 19):


TAAG is operating a modern fleet (especially for Africa) with their B73W's, B777's. But their EU banned operations in the past combined with your experience are leaving a bitter taste in my mouth...

= They are a very "random" airline. Have you seen them in Europe though? Striking livery.

Quoting debonair (Reply 19):


What a honour! And, isn't she beautiful?!

= Indeed!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I hitched a ride with a farmer going to the airport and arrived around 3 hours prior to departure.

Lol, I would never have imagined you getting to the airport like that. I thought you always had a chauffeur drive you to the airport, or was that time in JFK the only time?

= Haha. I maintain that one must be able to go from flying First Class Suite to staying in a backpacker hostel.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):

Interesting. So you couldn't have booked a ticket in Y, and hoped for a J upgrade

= I NEVER get OP-UPS  .

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
Talk about inflation! How much was the airport tax?

= Around USD 25?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
Did the airline pay for your accomodation, or did you have to fork it out yourselves?

= Airline paid. I had to ask ...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):

You really think so? I personally find it quite hideous. Looks very 1960's, also don't like their logo, what is that animal anyway. A deer?

= I think it is the Angolan national animal called the Sable Antelope. Can someone please confirm this?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The entire meal was brought at once and included a rather generous lobster salad which was rather delicious.

Looks more like prawns to me, are you sure it was lobster?

= Oops. It was prawn.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Thankfully, the café was splendid and did wonders to drown the other stuff out.

Looks like a very well brewed cup of coffee. Also that créma givens hints that it must've been freshly ground.

= Very nice indeed.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
Anyway, thanks for the report. I like how you review these exotic african, etc carriers. Still haven't seen a RAM report from you, yet

//Jonas

= Jonas, RAM would have to wait. I flew YUL-CMN, but that was for work ...

Thanks again everyone for stopping by.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineparis380 From France, joined Jul 2011, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days ago) and read 15719 times:

I think you should avoid these poor countries. Of course they have these miserable conditions!

User currently offlinekiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 15074 times:

As always, simply awesome trip report. Where is the next adventure we get to live through?

User currently offlineVSZ From Mexico, joined Jul 2011, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 14573 times:

I am a huge fan of your reports

after the situations with the bureaucracy of Angola,
i am very happy to leave in Mexico
at least we appreciate tourists

i think that Angola must show respect to the clerks of an institution that lends so many money to them!


25 Post contains images MSS658 : Hi, Another wonderfull creation, thanks for sharing it with us. Sorry to see that this flight has almost made a new all-time low. As you say, irregula
26 wheretonext : Hey Alex, Another great trip report... glad to see the outbound flight from TMS covered, too. It's unfortunate that TAAG was a disappointment this go-
27 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Alex, Do you ever consider selling your stories to Hollywood? You have been writing one after another blockbuster. This report should be a huge box
28 Avianca : if I am not wrong this can be booke in CCS paying VEF... Yes of course, only a German, hope that with that it is not impossible to get a visa...? sal
29 eastafspot : Hello Alex, i'm joining the rest of the communty to praise your latest report, wonderful writting style, beautiful pictures, and exotic route... perfe
30 Post contains images abrelosojos : = I am sorry if you saw my report as complaining - I was actually rather enjoying the different things the world has to offer. And, what do you expec
31 MHTripple7 : Hi, TAAG operates HAV-LAD every other Friday (fortnightly). The flight doesn't stop in SID anymore, but instead goes nonstop to LAD. The route has se
32 Post contains links Coal : In response to all of the above (including whether or not Sonangol has 737s or A320s), there's a very good investigative reporting article on this we
33 717Flyer : Hi Alex! First of all, your trip report about TAAG was very interesting. Not only did it cover an interesting flight on a rare airline, but it also ga
34 paris380 : If you want to enjoy comfortable travel and peaceful holliday, you should go only to Europe, and maybe some little parts of US of A. I think you crea
35 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Wow. A 77W doing the mostly political flight - now I am even more curious to do this and check out what the loads are going to be! Avianca, at firs
36 Post contains images Avianca : sounds more than great, well in September I am off to a milage run to HKG LIM-SCL-AKL-SYD-HKG-LAX-LIM for less than 1500 USD October, November or Dec
37 abrelosojos : = Please educate me on how you get such a fare! You must tell me! = Ok. Let's talk via email. I will reach out to MHTripple as well and see. It is a
38 Post contains images Avianca : well lets say playing a lot around... sometimes I think its a miss that I am not working for Travel Agency... Btw... the run gives you enough KM on L
39 Post contains images stipica : Hi A ! ...I read this report with comments and I think that is one of the better ones who made ​​the cross-section of today's social order and pre
40 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Haha. Thanks . = Great minds have great tastes huh ? = Maybe ... a conversation over Raki! = You wanna fund us? Thanks a lot for stopping by. Salud
41 Post contains images stipica : hahahah que modestia Raki ... new love from BEG ? ...heheh naughty naughty ... answer is in your Afriqiyah report ... yes of course ... just send me
42 ba319-131 : Hi Alex, Great report, not that many TAAG reports here as you know, an interesting carrier in a country nobody really wants to visit if they are hones
43 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Modesty is overrated . = Haha. I had way too much Raki in BEG - which is actually a very neat city. = I hate organized trips - and hence find Los R
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