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Iran Air DXB-IKA-BKK A320 + B747SP  
User currently offlinetk747 From Australia, joined Sep 2009, 343 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 23265 times:

I decided to fly Iran Air heading back from Dubai to Australia. It was one of the cheapest options and of course I couldn't miss the opportunity to fly on the B747SP and pass through Tehran airport once again. I purchased the ticket through Alternative Airlines, they emailed me straight after the purchase indicating that the Tehran to Bangkok segment of the ticket could not be issued as an e ticket and that it would be better if I could fly with another airline, I was offered Qatar Airways for the same price. I declined their offer and asked if there was any way possible that I could fly this routing, they replied saying it was possible only if I could pick up the ticket from Iran Air's Dubai office as it would have to be issued as a paper ticket. Total cost of the ticket was $280 USD. Unfortunately my memory of the flights are a bit sketchy so the pictures will have to do the talking.

Departure Apt: Dubai (DXB)
Arrival Apt: Tehran (IKA)
Airline: Iran Air
Flight #: IR 658
Date: February 21 2011
Aircraft: A320
Registration: ???
Scheduled Departure Time: 21:00
Scheduled Arrival Time: 23:00

I arrived at Dubai airport relatively early however there was still a line at the Iran Air check in desk. It seemed like each person had at least 2 large suit cases with them and the queue moved thorugh very slowly. Finally it was my turn to check in. The agent seemed to have problems with my ticket as she furiously typed on her computer, the manager was called. In the meantime the agent told me NEVER Ever to fly Iran Air lol. The manager then arrived and seemed to know what to do, he also asked me why I was flying Iran Air when I could fly Emirates or Thai Airways direct. My boarding pass was then issued and I was wished a pleasant flight.

Bishkek please

Mumbai please

Seychelles please

I was welcomed on board by a pretty forlorn looking crew. I initially had a window seat however an Iranian couple had been split up so I moved into the row in front into the middle seat so that they could be together. My seat mate was a very friendly man from Tehran and despite his little English we had some interesting conversations about Iran etc. He mentioned several times that Iran is "not like on TV" and Ahmadinejad "nice man who help poor people". He had lots of questions about Australia and why people don't like Iran  .

Leg room was quite good on this older A320.

Soon after reaching cruising altitude a drinks service was conducted with a range of soft drinks and juices all Iranian.

I had a Zam Zam Cola

My seat mate saw me snapping photos and gave me his Zam Zam Lemon  

The members of crew serving my section weren't very friendly or interactive. They just handed the meal items over without looking at the passengers. The generous meal service consisted of:

Chicken breast with corn, peas and potatoes in a butter sauce, it was absolutely delicious, one of the best airline meals that I have had.

Eggplant dip, again very tasty.

Muesli bar and yogurt which I gave to my seat mate. This was followed by a hot tea service.

After landing we parked at a remote stand and were bussed to the airport terminal. I was the only passenger in transit. As opposed to my flight with Mahan Air one week previously, there was no Iran Air representative waiting for me. I made my own way to what seemed to be the transit area which was unstaffed and waited awkwardly until a securty guard approached me to find out what I was doing. He then took my passport and I had to sit there for 20 minutes or so. An Iran Air agent then came and apologised for the delay. He took me to the cafe and said "take some food". I'm not sure if this was because I had to wait or if everyone is entitled to free food in transit. The airport terminal is very modern with free internet however it is quite small and was totally deserted at this hour

Free food Iranian style

Comfortable seats were I waited for my flight to Bangkok. Wireless was available throughout the airport and Facebook was working.

Departure Apt: Tehran (IKA)
Arrival Apt: Bangkok (BKK)
Airline: Iran Air
Flight #: IR 808
Date: February 21 2011
Aircraft: B747SP
Scheduled Departure Time: 02:30
Scheduled Arrival Time: 13:20

One hour prior to departure I made my way through a security screening and to the area of the airport where my gate was located.

Yerevan please

I took many photos of the airport and of planes and no one seemed to care  
Long Queue for boarding to Bangkok. The flight was to be pretty much full in all classes. I was the only non Iranian passenger in economy the crew would later tell me.


I was greeted by two very beautiful fa's and was directed to my seat which was an aisle seat right behind the galley. The aircraft was uncomfortably warm inside, slightly stifling, I was however too excited to care  .

Blanket and pillow were already waiting for me on my seat. I was very thankful for this later on in the flight as it was absolutely freezing inside the cabin.

Virtually unlimited legroom.

The plane has been kept in very good condition considering its age.

Prior to take off candies were handed out by the smiling crew members. Even with sucking on the lollies my ears were popping like crazy. The take off roll was one of the longest that I have ever experienced and the ascent one of the slowest. It seemed that we used most of the runway at Tehran Airport  .

My IFE for the flight   + the airshow which was left on all the way to Bangkok

The captain made a detailed announcement after take off explaining the routing and that due to strong tail winds we would be arriving into Bangkok early.

The galley and toilet have an interesting design. Old school  .

Shortly after reaching cruising altitude the first meal service was conducted. The crew member serving my section of the plane was fantastic, she never once did not say "thank you, please, you're welcome, enjoy your meal etc".

The meal consisted of 2 rather stale pieces of bread and some fruit salad.

The prunes, olives and tomatoes were nice and fresh.

Drink service was conducted both before and after the meal as well as a hot tea service.

Unidentified piece of meat?

The meal was then promptly collected and the cabin lights were dimmed so that the passengers could get some sleep.
The crew made several runs through the cabin making sure everyone was ok. I was asked several times if I would like anything to drink or if I needed anything. The FA spoke excellent English and was curious as to why I chose Iran Air, but she said that she had heard the same reason before. I guess some A Nutter has flown with her  .

The spacious cabin of the B747SP

Prayer room on the right

Generous leg room in economy (picture taken upon disembarkation)

Two hours prior to Bangkok a lunch service was carried out. I can't recall the second option but I went with the chicken. It was again absolutely delicious, as was the dessert. All in all one of the best meals that I have had on a plane in all classes.

Service began with a cold towel.

Cold salad accompanied with Zam Zam and Iranian yogurt.

Caramel cream dessert with almonds, yum  
Chicken with melted cheese, potatoes, carrots and tomato sauce. Presentation looks terrible but it was so delicious and moist. The only bad aspect of the entire meal was the freezing rock hard bread roll. Well done Iran Air.

The meal was then collected and I spent the remainder of the flight talking with my seat mate. He could see me taking photos like a maniac lol and insisted on taking photos of me. Each of seat mates that I had on my 4 flights with Iranian airlines were so nice.

Frosty window views.

Unfortunately the flight was coming to an end. Prior to landing in Bangkok an envelope was handed to each passenger with a pamphlet on things to do in Bangkok as well as a phone card. The landing in Bangkok was exceptionally smoooth. Upon disembarking, I thanked the crew who smiled and said "look forward to seeing you again on Iran Air". All in all it was a fantastic flight one that I won't forget. Anyone with the opportunity to fly Iran Air do it!. I didn't want to bring politics into this trip report, but its disgusting what these people are put through by the international community, the fact that they have to fly on planes this age not to mention a million other things is terrible  .

Contents of the Envelope

Iranian Halva

Thanks everyone for reading  


My other trip reports:

Singapore & Turkish Airlines SYD-SIN-IST-SKP (by tk747 Jun 21 2011 in Trip Reports)
Returning Home Part 1: Mahan Air IST-IKA-DXB (by tk747 Mar 3 2011 in Trip Reports)
3K: BKK-SIN, AK: SIN-KUL, MH: KUL-BKK (many Pics) (by tk747 Oct 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
EK:SYD-DXB-ZRH-BEG ZRH-DXB + TG, LX Meal Pics In C (by tk747 Aug 10 2010 in Trip Reports)

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlinemal787 From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 713 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 23046 times:

Nice Report Jordan, good photos the cabin cerinaly looks old compared to todays. the only version of the 747 I have never flown on and I geusse I never will, but waiting for the 748 will compensate for it I'm sure. Apart from the strange looking meat the food looks good, but what was that white thing in the free food in the terminal?
Did you do reports on the rest of your travels?


BN2 Metro, 402,404, Conquest, king air, 707,727.200, 732,733,734,735,736,738,757,762,763,742,743,744, MD11, DC9,Westwind
User currently offlineeco From Bulgaria, joined Nov 2010, 89 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 22524 times:

Zdravei tkt747,

Thanks for shearing this amazing trip report.


P.S. Blagorodno zavijdam  

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 7028 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22253 times:

Very interesting report, congratulations on getting the 74L. I'd like to fly on that one, too.

Quoting tk747 (Thread starter):
He mentioned several times that Iran is "not like on TV" and Ahmadinejad "nice man who help poor people".

Ah, I see, we only get to hear lies about the regime...  
Quoting tk747 (Thread starter):
The galley and toilet have an interesting design.

No doubt about that.


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRvXKaz From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 195 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 22206 times:

Hi TK747,

A most intriguing report on Iranair and I am most glad to hear you've had a wonderful experience with Iranair! You're really fortunate to have flown with the B747SP and thanks for the photos of the cabin and interior which is a real eye-opener. The late night snack certainly don't look too appealing but the lunch service looks like a delicious treat!

Kudos on your accomplishment on flying with on the mysterious national carrier of one of the world's most misunderstood countries! A wonderful accomplishment indeed!


They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1160 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 22108 times:

Hi Jordan.

Excellent TR, and yet again you manage to find a really exciting way to get home. I am green with envy!

I would love to fly Iran, and infact, even just through Iran. You dont need anz transit visa or documents eh?

The food looked so terribly presented, but you could always see it was actually something tasty... Very cool.

Not sure about that Zam Zam though! Cheap immitations!?


Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 902 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 22073 times:

Wow very cool! Thanks for sharing the photos....

Interesting to see how their planes have been holding up over the years!

So just to get this straight...the staff at the check-in counter for the Iran Air flight who told you NOT to fly Iran Air....were those actual employees or contract workers?

User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 22057 times:

Excellent report!

Flying to KUL or BKK via Iran has been high on my list, but i am always hesitant because of my US/Jordanian passports! But i suppose transiting through should not be a problem.. I presume your passport was only checked for ID purposes at IKA?

Congrats on getting on the 77L. It is a fantastic little jumbo, and i would love to get on it again! And as far as the IR service, we always seem to hear positive reviews on the crew and the food! Very interesting!

I can agree that perhaps Iran on TV is exaggerated to ultimate levels, but as far as the regime goes, i can't really judge on that  

Thanks for sharing another great report with us! Looking forward to more!


A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1364 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 21419 times:

I love the geometric "shapes with the circle" motifs on the panels of the aircraft. It must have been a gorgeous aircraft internally, just as much as it still is externally! Nice to know you were photographed as well on board lol. Great that you got that info on Bangkok and a sim card too.

User currently offlineRussianGirl From Russia, joined Jan 2011, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21124 times:

Privet Jordan!
Nice and interesting TR, cool that you flew on 747SP!



User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2527 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21009 times:

Very nice TR...

Quoting tk747 (Thread starter):
The members of crew serving my section weren't very friendly or interactive.
Quoting tk747 (Thread starter):
The crew member serving my section of the plane was fantastic, she never once did not say "thank you, please, you're welcome, enjoy your meal etc".

Strange to see such difference! On my (also longer) flights with Iran Air I only met friendly and helpful staff. Anyone know why? Maybe the more senior cabin crew do long haul flights only??

User currently onlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3485 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 20403 times:

Looks like some interesting flights. I'd love a trip to Iran, but it's tricky for UK passport holders. You flight was pretty cheap for $280 - excellent value!

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 offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1352 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 20396 times:

Very interesting and enjoyable until you started with politics.

User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3025 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19831 times:

Fantastic report. Thanks for sharing....

I still hold out hope that one day I will fly on IR's -SP.

The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19821 times:

Hello tk747

Thanks for your report. Great trip and I'm happy for you to have caught the 747SP!


User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6723 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks ago) and read 19638 times:

Hi !

Nice report with nice pictures ! Nice that you got on a 747SP and it's amazing because it looks so old inside! Looks like a trip report from the 1980s! Food looks okay.


Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinetk747 From Australia, joined Sep 2009, 343 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 19359 times:

Thanks everyone for the nice comments  
Quoting mal787 (Reply 1):

Hi Mal, I'm not really sure what white thing you are referring to either the icing sugar or the whipped cream? Yes I have so many more trip reports to write up. I will get started on them now that i'm back home and finished with travelling for the rest of the year  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):

Hey Luke, I didn't need a transit visa I think only US citizens need one. The security officer who stopped me mentioned that Australian citizens could get a visa on arrival. I liked the Zam Zam   pretty much tasted exactly the same though.

Quoting Burj (Reply 6):

Hi Burj, yeh the check in agent told me never ever to fly Iran Air lol  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):

Hi Roni, yes my passport was only checked for ID purposes but i'm almost certain that US citizens need a transit visa and Israeli citizens are not allowed even in transit. I think that these 2 countries were the only exceptions.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 8):

Hey, it was absolutely gorgeous inside like no other plane I have experienced before. There was so much space in the cabin it kind of felt like a movie theatre.

Quoting debonair (Reply 10):

Hey, i'm not sure, the crew on both my Dubai to Tehran and Tehran to Bangkok were all young except for some of the male members of the cabin crew. There was however a huge difference in the service.

User currently offlinemalioil From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 138 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 18441 times:

What a great trip report, and congratulations on getting the SP, what a special aircraft that is indeed.

These Iranian trip reports have a special place in my heart- my grandparents are Iranian, and it saddens me greatly that I can not go back to even visit the town from which I hail, only 45 minutes flight time from BAH, while being able to travel the rest of the world, ever since the revolution.

It's great to hear you experienced some of the legendary Middle Eastern hospitality on your flight.  



[Edited 2011-09-19 14:33:40]

User currently offlineLazialeMKD From French Polynesia, joined Oct 2009, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 18398 times:

Bravo bre momche Makedonche  , ili pak ne?  

Nice report and many interesting photos.
Thanks for sharing

User currently offlinetk747 From Australia, joined Sep 2009, 343 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 17916 times:

Quoting malioil (Reply 17):

Thanks for reading and i'm glad that you enjoyed it  . That is such a shame that you cannot go back to Iran. I am absolutely fascinated by Iran and cannot wait to go an visit it.

Quoting LazialeMKD (Reply 18):

Hehe blagodaram   Macedonian citizens don't need a visa for Iran 

User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 16877 times:


Nice trip report, now that's a treat. Let's be honest, how many times do we see IR+TEH+the 747SP
Thanks for sharing  


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinetk747 From Australia, joined Sep 2009, 343 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 16681 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 20):

Your welcome. It was a real pleasure flying Iran Air, I just wish it was easier to purchase tickets on their flights.

User currently offlinegardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1526 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16443 times:


A very interesting and enjoyable report to a place I would love to go and explore (Iran, not Thailand)

The Thai phonecard thing was an unusual and nice touch to give out to everyone, I must say.

User currently offlineN178UA From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1730 posts, RR: 65
Reply 23, posted (3 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 16182 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi tk747

I enjoyed your TR very much. Reading your TR made me want to travel back in time once more for the IR 74L. The only downside of the IKA-BKK flight is a redeye. Would be much more enjoyable if it is a daylight flight such as KUL-IKA or BOM-IKA.

Did you stay in Iran? (not just changing planes)


User currently offlinetk747 From Australia, joined Sep 2009, 343 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 15808 times:

Quoting N178UA (Reply 23):

I think that they may have changed the time of the flight to leaving Tehran at 07:40 but it is only now twice weekly. Unfortunately I didn't stay in Iran   I had just assumed that the whole visa process was way too complicated.


25 alexeu : Hi, Excellent report and photos of B747SP, one of my favorite types! It´s somehow strange to me that the IranAir flight was so cheap. My Iranian frie
26 9w748capt : Very adventurous of you to choose this routing! Quite hilarious that Iran Air's staff themselves are questioning why you'd fly with them. Great pictur
27 Post contains images tk747 : Hvala. I think I was lucky with the price now looking at tickets from IKA to BKK they appear to be much more expensive. I think it is possible as lon
28 Post contains images abrelosojos : Fantastic report mate. I am such a fan of all these routes you take - keep on flying! = Haha. You sure he was not Iranian secret police? I got these s
29 Post contains images tk747 : I'm glad that you enjoyed it. One of the reasons I chose Iran Air was reading your report . TK747
30 Ps76 : Hi! Many thanks for the trip report. Flying Iran Air looks to me a little like flying back in time but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes a
31 Post contains images abrelosojos : = I remain flattered and glad I served a purpose . Thanks mate. Saludos, A.
32 MHTripple7 : Great trip report! IR actually looks like a pretty unique experience. I'd love to try it out some day, but I'm not sure I want to risk getting strande
33 Post contains images tk747 : It was the only flight where having no IFE did not bother me at all. I am glad however that the air show was played from takeoff until landing. The f
34 Post contains images OA260 : Hey great report and glad you posted the link as I missed it . Really nice photos and a great experience. I loved my trips on IR B747 and B727 some ye
35 tk747 : Your welcome. It was a great flight writing the trip report and looking at the photos kind of brought back the memories. TK747
36 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Jordan, Fabulous report! You are a credit to IR’s staff members by highlighting their courteous, utmost friendly and hospitable service. Hmm, did
37 Post contains images tk747 : Hi Suryo, thanks for reading and I'm glad that you enjoyed the report. I explained to that Iranian man that in general its mainly the politicians tha
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