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SA2011 Take 1: Return To UK With BA, ET, BD  
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6198 times:

SA2011 take 1: Return to UK with BA, ET, BD

This report follows on from my previous one:
SA2011 Take 1: Norwich-Durban With Toddler And Inf (by signol Nov 26 2011 in Trip Reports)

After almost 2 weeks in Durban, it was time for me to return home alone, leaving my wife and children staying with Granny and Grandpa. I had a rental car to take back to the airport, so our tearful goodbyes were said on the driveway, before I headed out to the airport. Roads were clear and I was soon there, with plenty of time to spare. I had contemplated spending R100 for a visit to the Bidvest Lounge (pre-booking rate) but decided against it - after all I'd have 2 lounges to visit on my return in December.


The terminal from outside.

I had some time, so I went outside to look for a Geocache, but with no luck I returned into the terminal.


Statue of come cows, that were accompanied by one of the airport's namesake, King Shaka, but was removed as apparently it looked too much like a cow herder.

13/11/2011
DUR-JNB
BA6210
ZS-OKG


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Shephard



Checkin was a breeze, in fact checkin was still open for the previous BA (Comair) flight to Johannesburg. I handed over my luggage, and proceeded to the security checkpoint. I had completely forgotten that I had recently downloaded the BA Android app, that allows for mobile paperless checkin - if I remember I will give it a try for my next BA flight. Security was easy, so I went through to Departures and had a look around. I bought a copy of Getaway magazine, as it contained an article about the resort that my wife and I had spent our honeymoon (Umngazi River Bungalows, well worth a stay if you're in the area!)


FIDS. My flight at 17:55


Looking along the terminal


The previous BA flight departing


A red-nosed 1Time MD preparing for departure to Cape Town


My aircraft on stand

By now it had started to rain heavily, at the old airport boarding was only by stairs, so thankfully we now had air bridges to board.


View from the window still on the ground

We boarded and I took my seat. Load was good, around 80%, though the middle sear next to me was free. The captain gave an announcement that heavy turbulence was forecast, so no hot drinks would be served, and to expect lots of movement during the flight. We took off to the south, and immediately entered the cloud layer. After a while we entered clear air, and cruised comfortably. Aside from a few small bumps, the ascent was smooth.

UFA_pSQA/s200/PB130148.JPG" width="200" height="150" border="0"/>
Mini burgers and beer

The crew started their service. The "meal" on board was mini burgers - which were 3 very small bread rolls, two of which contained an inch square piece of cheese (nothing else) and the middle one a similarly sized piece of chicken in a mild periperi sauce. They were ok, nothing special though, and the cheese ones a bit dry. No hamburger patties at all though! Still, slightly better than the birdseed another A.netter was served recently! I took a beer with it.


Sunset over the Drakensberg (not that you can see the mountains under the cloud)


More clouds

We started our descent, all the while I was expecting major turbulence, but there was very little except when going though the clouds. I spotted a lake below, but my seatmate said that there were no lakes in this area, so it must be cloud. (I later found the Vaal Dam on Google Maps - I was right!) We landed with a jolt and taxied to the domestic terminal, where we parked at a remote stand and boarded busses to the terminal. Bags took a while to come through, as before they had been sealed with cable ties. After thinking this was a Lanseria Airport idea, perhaps it's a Comair (BA and Kulula) idea. My next domestic flight is on Mango, I'll see then if it continues. I picked up my rental car and headed for my brother-in-law's house in Centurion, though the occasional downpour and thunderstorm.

The next day I headed back to the airport, and dropped the car off at the rental returns, after filling up at the petrol station that is on the roof of the car park. I headed inside to checkin.

14/11/2011
JNB-ADD
ET808
ET-ALP


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Raimund Stehmann



I presented my passport, and put my luggage on the scales - it only weight 7kg so no worries about being overweight. I was given my pre-selected seat that I had guessed was a bulkhead seat, but turned out not to be - Ethiopian publish seat plans on their website of each aircraft, but there was no way to guess what actual aircraft would operate the flight! Still, the more pressing issue was that I could not be issued with a boarding pass for my 2nd flight, ADD-LHR, as this flight had not yet opened. I was advised to ask at the gate.


FIDS above the checkin desks

After leaving my bag, I decided to hunt out the viewing decks at the airport. The first was above the International terminal, which involved going down some corridors that appeared to house general office space, not looking promising at all, until it reached the end where the viewing gallery was. The view was great, I managed to get a few good pictures.


Cathay Pacific 747 at the gate immediately below the viewing deck. This was the gate that my flight was due to depart from, but didn't, as a BA 747 arrived in the meantime. I'm not sure what it would arrive then, perhaps it was late.


A statue of some pioneering aviators

I decided by this point to head airside. I used the security point between International and Domestic, that usually is empty, but it seems that more and more people are becoming aware of it. Since the originally allocated gate was by now taken with the BA arrival, our new gate was right at the end of the new pier.

BA 747 at gate behind the Saudi


Pair of A380s waiting for their return night flights. A 3rd, belonging to EK, was out of shot to the left.


First sight of my ET 767

A crowd was gathering at the gate, and boarding was called. There was no preboarding announcement for anyone - business class, status passengers, people with children, noone. People did form a kind of queue though. When it was my turn, I asked about my 2nd boarding pass - I would get it on arrival in Addis, I was told. I then headed down the bridge to the aircraft.


Front on shot of ET-ALP


The Star Alliance logo is a little premature?  


The legroom shot. Not bad.

Once everyone was on board, we pushed back, and headed down the taxiway to take off northwards. Load was close to 100%. Takeoff wasn't very powerful, though JNB has very long runways.


Engine view, somewhere over Limpopo province


View from my seat

I set my IFE screen to the airshow, and left it there. The system was quite basic, with only about 6 films on loops, so not AVOD. One of the cycles showed the direction of Addis, much like sometimes the direction of Mecca is shown on Muslim airlines, though it seemed to be somewhat pointless as it was almost always directly in front. Not long into the flight, the meal was served, it was quite substantial and of good quality.


Meal

There were two large pieces of chicken under the tomato sauce. I had a white wine to go with it. After a few hours, a juice round was offered.

I spent the time dozing, and watching the airshow, until it got dark, and soon it was time to land. We came in low over the lights of the city, and landed very smoothly. Unlike Nairobi the previous year, there was no mention of any photography ban.


Pulling onto stand

As we got off, there were plenty of uniformed staff waiting, so I asked about my boarding pass. They referred me to a desk behind, next to an escalator upwards to the main departure level, instead of the baggage reclaim and exit. I waited here, despite several people pushing in front (including an African lady with a t-shirt with Bible quotes on it), until I was served. I was told to go upstairs to the gate, there I would be given my boarding pass, so upstairs I went.


Departure level of Addis Abeba airport, glass wall on the right, behind which are the gates.

There are 8 departure gates, in a line, and 2 security points, one at either end of the terminal. The gates themselves are separated from the rest of the departures area by a glass wall, with the 2 security points being the only way to get from the duty free shops area, to the gates. The FIDS told me that the London flight was from gate 2, so there I went. The guy at the security point said no, London was from gate 8, and he showed me a piece of printed paper showing this. So I went to the other security point. No, they said, gate 2 is for London. Still, I went through the security (with several women in Muslim robes pushing in front) and along to gate 2 on the gates side of the wall. At gate 2 was the flight to Tel Aviv, so the agent advised I take a seat and wait, which I did.


Seating area at Gate 2

14/11/2011
ADD-BEY-LHR
BD904
G-MEDN


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Erwin van Hassel



The Tel Aviv flight left, and an agent came around advising all London passengers to queue and have their documents checked. This I did, and by this time one agent (called Benjamin) arrived in BMI uniform. He said to wait, and he would arrange for my boarding pass to be brought here from checkin. Also by now, the flight to Rome and Stockholm was also supposed to be boarding from gate 2, and the 2nd agent was dealing with this flight. Benjamin had taken my passport, and I was a little worried about it, so I stood near the desk. Rome and Stockholm passengers' boarding passes were checked, and they were invited to board through the door (or rather, downward stairs) at gate 1, despite the paperwork being dealt with at gate 2. By this time, a BMI A321 had arrived at the gate.

Benjamin disappeared down the airbridge, but I'd got my passport back before that. By now the scheduled departure time had been passed by almost an hour. Benjamin came back holding a boarding pass, mine! The other agent had started the boarding process, when people started coming back up the bridge into the departure area. Noone knew anything, and we were all advised to sit and wait. After another 30 mins or so, we could all board again, those whose boarding passes had been torn off as well as those (like me) who hadn't got this far yet. I hadn't been given my pre-selected window seat, instead I had been given the aisle, but I wasn't complaining at this point.

Anyway, once we were all aboard, it became apparent that there were no more than 30 people on the A321, most of them belonging to a large family group. The captain came on the tannoy to apologise for the delay, saying there was a computer problem and they rebooted the system and it appeared to be working again. We pushed back, and waited for a while until the captain again came on and said the same issue had reoccurred, and that we would be returning to stand for an engineer to come and look. This happened, the system was rebooted again, and we pushed back again. This time the problem did not reoccurr, so we were ready to take off, only 3 hours late. I wasn't too worried about the delay, as originally the flight was due to go via Amman, leaving 6 hours later than now, so I had pre-booked a train ticket home from London leaving plenty of time.


View from my seat

Once airborne, the drinks service began, followed by the meal service. I had a G&T (dedicated to Gabrielchew), only the one though, despite the steward offering me a 2nd G and an 2nd T.


G&T

Then came the meal, a type of pancake containing scrambled egg. Not bad tasting.


Cooked breakfast number 1


Airshow

I then put the airshow on the IFE. Our route was rather strange, in that we headed almost due east to the Red Sea, then followed the sea northwards. Does BMI have a problem with both Sudan and Eritrea? I then fell asleep, and woke as we arrived into Beirut.


Arriving on stand in Beirut


View of the city of Beirut

The crew changed here, they had spent a few days here before doing a round trip to Addis. Our steward was a young French guy, he was chatting to the one passenger in the row in front of me, as the rear-facing crew seat at the exit row was facing him. His place was taken by a Spanish lady. As for the other seats, the load jumped to almost 100%. A father and son (who was probably about 8) had the seats next to me, the father asked if he could have the aisle. Of course I complied, and moved to the window seat.


Boarding in Beirut

We took off towards the sea, and climbed through the cloud layer. Another cooked breakfast was served, an omlette this time with sausages (that tasted like beef sausages), the rest of the meal was identical though. I took a juice this time, no more alcohol for me as I was working that night!


Somewhere above the Rhine canal in Belgium


I like this picture of the sharklet


Antwerp from above


Antwerp docks



I spent most of the flight dozing. As we approached London, we were put in a holding pattern above the East End, with occasioally the Olympic site poking through the clouds. We then headed westwards accross north London, to approach Heathrow from the west, coming in to land smoothly. The boy seated next to me started to vomit though - his father handed him a plastic bag, it looked like it might have safety holes in it though so I handed him an air sickness bag from the seat pocket. In the end, I think he must have had a bug of some sort, as I was sick with it a couple of days later. We were soon on stand at Terminal 1.


Arrived on stand, notice the bus.

We disembarked through the jetbridge, but were led down some stairs to the waiting bus. I assume the aircraft was next to be used on a domestic or Dublin flight. The bus drove under the bowels of Terminal 1 to another part, where we entered.


Our aircraft from the bus. Other side was the Lufthansa retrojet.

Baggage took an age to arrive, but it did eventually, and the queue for passport control was huge, except I used one of the E-gates with had a queue of 1, and I passed through quickly.

That is almost all, though I took one jumper with me to South Africa (it was summer after all) but I couldn't find it when packing. So I arrived into winter England wearing a t-shirt and a light rain jacket. I took the bus from Heathrow to Feltham where I bought a thick jumper from Asda, and had a cup of tea in McDonalds (after a fortnight of foreign tea, even McDo's PG Tips was lovely!). I arranged to meet my sister in Shepherds Bush, as she was in London for a few days, and we had lunch in Pho noodle bar in the Westfield Centre. Then I took the tube to Liverpool St Station, for the train home. I'd pre-booked a cheap First Class ticket, that allowed me to use the lounge at the station. The ticket cost £12, booked in advance, compared to over £90 bought on the day.


Entrance to the lounge


Interior of the lounge.

Offerings were a hot drinks machine (but no milk to put into the tea) or water.


My train. The loco stays at one end, either pushing or pulling the train.


My First Class seat.

I tried to sleep on the train, but the continued announcements over the tannoy prevented this. Still, I got home after walking from Norwich station, got into my car and drove to work for a night shift, which was completely knackering.



Comments are always welcome, and larger pictures are viewable on my blog page, here:
http://signol.blogspot.com/2011/11/sa2011-take-1-return-to-uk.html

Thanks

signol

[Edited 2011-12-01 18:23:56]


Flights booked: none :(
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1871 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6056 times:

That's a complicated return leg. Was it booked that way for price or for an a.nut's pleasure of an odd routing?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Does BMI have a problem with both Sudan and Eritrea?

Ethiopia and Eritrea have fought wars against each other.

Looking forward to the next instalments!



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

Hi Allrite,

Quoting allrite (Reply 1):
That's a complicated return leg. Was it booked that way for price or for an a.nut's pleasure of an odd routing?

A bit of both   Actually, when I got around to buying the tickets, this routing was the cheapest, by around £100 over the next cheapest (Qatar Airways return JNB-DOH-LHR) - however this itinerary required the purchase of an extra ticket to Italy, a night in a hotel in Milan, and a train there from Turin, and local transport. So the overall saving was in the region of £20.

Quoting allrite (Reply 1):
Ethiopia and Eritrea have fought wars against each other.

True but the direct line avoiding Eritrea would head due north, over Sudan.

Anyway, I just noticed one of the pictures' link was broken, here it is:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IEuYxt7WLaw/TsRl4I-WOII/AAAAAAAAAPA/7c-UFA_pSQA/s1600/PB130148.JPG
Mini burgers and beer

Thanks

signol

[Edited 2011-12-01 19:57:56]


Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6658 posts, RR: 78
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

Hi signol,

nice second part of your SA trip, I really enjoyed it! You definitely chose an exotic routing. The food on ET looks good - and I like the cabin on the BD A321. I didn't know that they have PTVs. How was the IFE?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
My next domestic flight is on Mango, I'll see then if it continues.

Good!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Cathay Pacific 747 at the gate immediately below the viewing deck.

Great picture!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Pair of A380s waiting for their return night flights.

Familiar sight!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The Star Alliance logo is a little premature?

Yes, a little bit. ET will join on 13th December.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I took a juice this time, no more alcohol for me as I was working that night!

You went to work after such a trip? Wow!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 660 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5508 times:

hi Robin,

What a nice pair of TR that you have written there.

the first one (family journey) was as challenging as this one, on different ways though. Congratulation!

it's great that you've tried ET this year and got lucky to board a heavy. Was the deal cheaper than last year with KQ?

regards

EAS



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3053 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5414 times:

THat was an interesting way to get back home from JNB, with some interesting stops in BEY and ADD! The pictures were very small - perhaps you should have put the link to the other website at the beginning.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Still, the more pressing issue was that I could not be issued with a boarding pass for my 2nd flight, ADD-LHR, as this flight had not yet opened. I was advised to ask at the gate.

Annoying when so called partners can't print a boarding pass

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The Star Alliance logo is a little premature?

THey should be joining *S on 13th Dec. I want to make an award booking with them for January, so the sooner the better!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Once airborne, the drinks service began, followed by the meal service. I had a G&T (dedicated to Gabrielchew), only the one though, despite the steward offering me a 2nd G and an 2nd T.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
. I'd pre-booked a cheap First Class ticket, that allowed me to use the lounge at the station. The ticket cost £12, booked in advance, compared to over £90 bought on the day.

Excellent value. Normally the advance tickets don't include lounge access do they?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-JMK,JTR-LHR-WAW,MSQ-FRA-EZE,IGR-EZE-CUN,MEX-FRA-LCY,LHR-TXL-LHR
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5138 times:

Hi signol!

Nice second part of your tripreport series.

It was nice to read about your experiences with ET and BD, since I will be flying them both for the first time next year.

Those mini-burgers on your Comair flight looked nice, I'd really enjoy them.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Rome and Stockholm passengers' boarding passes were checked,

When I'm flying ET I'll be flying from Stockholm to Rome.

Martin


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2433 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4891 times:

Hi signol,

What an exciting report. I applaud your calmness during the transit in ADD with people cutting lines and so on. To be honest, I dislike the idea of surrendering your passport to get your boarding pass.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
so our tearful goodbyes were said on the driveway, before I headed out to the airport.

Don’t worry. You will be together again.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I had completely forgotten that I had recently downloaded the BA Android app, that allows for mobile paperless checkin

Nothing beats real paper boarding pass.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
but my seatmate said that there were no lakes in this area, so it must be cloud. (I later found the Vaal Dam on Google Maps - I was right!)

Of course you were right. Your seatmate did not have the window seat, didn’t he?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
it only weight 7kg

Only hand luggage, I assume.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I had a G&T (dedicated to Gabrielchew

How appropriate.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Of course I complied, and moved to the window seat.

Like a true A.netter becomes.  


Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4740 times:

Hi all,

Thanks for the continued comments!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
How was the IFE?

To be honest, I was so tired by this point I just put it onto the map channel. I think it was AVOD with a larger collection of films and TV shows, but I can't be sure, sorry.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Great picture!

I like it   If not for the concrete lip of the balcony it might have been one to try and submit to the a.net database.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
You went to work after such a trip? Wow!

Probably a bad idea, I was very tired, but it was a quiet night on the helpdesk  
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 4):
it's great that you've tried ET this year and got lucky to board a heavy.

I enjoyed the flights, and on the return I should have another 2x ET 767s  
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 4):
Was the deal cheaper than last year with KQ?

Yes, but then the routing was different. Last year's route was NWI-AMS-NBO-JNB-AMS-NWI, this year was closer to peak holiday season and route was JNB-ADD-BEY-LHR, LIN-FRA-ADD-JNB,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
The pictures were very small - perhaps you should have put the link to the other website at the beginning.

Thanks, I'll try to make the next report's pictures bigger (I managed it with the burgers add-on pic)

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Annoying when so called partners can't print a boarding pass

Yes, though it was 11 hours ahead. Though I don't know what happens on other long haul, connection flights!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
I hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks, not bad! I've never had one before (my usual alcoholic drink of choice is a beer) but I was pleasantly surprised. Next up for the taste test: bloody mary  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Normally the advance tickets don't include lounge access do they?

I think it depends on the franchise. East Coast you are correct, advance purchase 1st class don't include lounge access without a "lounge supplement". Though I found nothing on the National Express East Anglia website, or signage on site, to suggest it wasn't allowed. Not that it was busy - I was there for over an hour, and a total of 4 people entered in that time (myself included).

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Nice second part of your tripreport series.

Thank you!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
It was nice to read about your experiences with ET and BD, since I will be flying them both for the first time next year.

Excellent, can we expect a report?  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Those mini-burgers on your Comair flight looked nice, I'd really enjoy them.

Like I said on Facebook, they were a nice idea poorly executed. The cheese ones were too dry, the chicken one was ok but very small.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
I applaud your calmness during the transit in ADD with people cutting lines and so on

Thanks, I knew I had plenty of time  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
I dislike the idea of surrendering your passport to get your boarding pass.

Me neither, hence why I stood nearby whilst waiting.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Don’t worry. You will be together again.

Thanks - in 10 days I start my return journey  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Nothing beats real paper boarding pass.

True but I like to try the new technologies too  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Your seatmate did not have the window seat, didn’t he?

She didn't   But she could see out, as this seat had the view from 2 windows. I didn't think it looked like cloud, as low cloud or mist usually blankets the ground a lot more.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Only hand luggage, I assume.

No, I checked it - it was a big rucksack, only lightly filled. On my return in December it will be filled with presents for the family  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Like a true A.netter becomes

Indeed  

Thanks again all for your kind words!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5023 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

Hi, R.,

that was for sure not the standard routing back home to the UK from SA.
Well done. A good idea to catch it this way. Not that much here seen by ET and also BD from ADD looks like something new.
I want to try these ET birds also some times.
Good to see the link with the larger pictures.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Is there something new for the new countries?.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4671 times:

Hi Markus,

thanks for your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
that was for sure not the standard routing back home to the UK from SA.

Indeed! I think there were a few (maybe 4 or 5) people doing this route, probably as it cropped up a few months ago as the cheapest way.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
A good idea to catch it this way

Of course. And as my wife prefers direct or to our local airport, probably the only opportunity I'll get to fly it.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I want to try these ET birds also some times.

Rome - Stockholm is bookable on a 5th freedom, usually operated by 757. Also Brussels - Milan, though I don't think they have local traffic rights on that route.

Thanks again!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26521 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4255 times:

Nice report. Glad you got PTVs in Y . So you can now add BEY to your list   Shame you didnt have more time there . The approach is still one of my favs over the city.

I really want to do ET sometime. Looks like something I would enjoy.


Thanks for the pleasant read.

Regards

Philip  



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4200 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report Signol.

My one comment would be picture size, can we have them bigger in the future please?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I went outside to look for a Geocache

- Sorry mate, what is this?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I had completely forgotten that I had recently downloaded the BA Android app, that allows for mobile paperless checkin - if I remember I will give it a try for my next BA flight

- The BA app is excellent, use it loads.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
oad was good, around 80%, though the middle sear next to me was free

- Always nice when travelling.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Mini burgers and beer

- Thanks for re-posting the pic, looks nothing special but vs nothing looks good!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
after filling up at the petrol station that is on the roof of the car park

- Rather odd!!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I was given my pre-selected seat that I had guessed was a bulkhead seat, but turned out not to be - Ethiopian publish seat plans on their website of each aircraft, but there was no way to guess what actual aircraft would operate the flight!

- Indeed, the ET 763 is a bit of an oddball mix from various carriers.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I decided to hunt out the viewing decks at the airport. The first was above the International terminal, which involved going down some corridors that appeared to house general office space, not looking promising at all, until it reached the end where the viewing gallery was. The view was great, I managed to get a few good pictures.

- The two viewing decks @ JNB are excellent though I prefer the one closes to domestics myself.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
A crowd was gathering at the gate, and boarding was called. There was no preboarding announcement for anyone - business class, status passengers, people with children, noone. People did form a kind of queue though

- At least the formed a queue rather than a scrum!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The Star Alliance logo is a little premature?

- Indeed, surprised they are allowed to add it prior to entry.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I went through the security (with several women in Muslim robes pushing in front)

- Some people have no manors!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
ADD-BEY-LHR

BD904

- I have to be honest, never knew BD flew to ADD.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The boy seated next to me started to vomit

- Charming, something I actually worry about when sat next to other passengers.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
We disembarked through the jetbridge, but were led down some stairs to the waiting bus. I assume the aircraft was next to be used on a domestic or Dublin flight

- This thing does annoy me, why cause inconvenience to passengers than get a tug and move the plane once empty?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
we had lunch in Pho noodle bar in the Westfield Centre.

- Many a great meal eaten there  

Interesting routing home, how come you chose this option over KL via AMS and into NWI?

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4176 times:

Thanks for the continued comments!

Philip:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
So you can now add BEY to your list

Indeed  http://my.flightmemory.com/signol - not as impressive as some a.netters though!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Shame you didnt have more time there

I know, I would have liked to visit the cities of both Addis and Beirut, but I wanted to maximise time with my family before my work shifts started.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
The approach is still one of my favs over the city.

We approached from the north, so yes it was great - from the little I could see from the window on the other side!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Looks like something I would enjoy.

It was good, definitely. Don'f forget the 5th freedom ARN-FCO  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Thanks for the pleasant read.

Thank you!

Mark:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 12):
My one comment would be picture size, can we have them bigger in the future please?

Of course, now I knew how to (from the reposed burger picture) but it was too late to edit the main report.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 12):
Sorry mate, what is this?

Small "caches" - a small box, or container, containing a logbook and if big enough, some items to swap. Location coordinates are published online, http://www.geocaching.com and there are literally millions around the world. Bit like a grown-ups' treasure hunt  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 12):
- The two viewing decks @ JNB are excellent though I prefer the one closes to domestics myself.

I did check that one out too, but the pictures I took were better from the International one.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 12):
Interesting routing home, how come you chose this option over KL via AMS and into NWI?

Price, and variety mainly. Our full itinerary on the main ticket is NWI-AMS-JNB-CDG-AMS-NWI, with my wife and children staying in South Africa until after Christmas. I needed a ticket back to the UK, then returning to JNB, which I will do in about 10 days (report will follow later!) So the 2nd booked ticket routing is JNB-ADD-BEY-LHR, LIN-FRA-ADD-JNB, with a few JNB-DUR and returns. To get to Milan, I'm booked on BA's LGW-TRN flight next week. This worked out at £100 cheaper than the next option, JNB-DOH-LHR-DOH-JNB, throw in the Turin flight, a night at a Milan hotel and a Trenitalia ticket and the saving is closer to £20, but worth it for the interesting routing value!

Thanks again

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4175 times:

Hello signol

Congratulations on that special JNB-ADD-BEY-LHR routing!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I could not be issued with a boarding pass for my 2nd flight, ADD-LHR

Always a bit worrying for getting the worst seat after everybody else had already checked-in.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
it became apparent that there were no more than 30 people on the A321

But then it turned out well, with the low load in this case.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
the father asked if he could have the aisle. Of course I complied, and moved to the window seat

What a nice seat swap!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
think he must have had a bug of some sort, as I was sick with it a couple of days later

Oops, not nice. Hope you recovered quickly.

Best regards,
LXM83


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1582 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4173 times:
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Hi Signol,

That was an interesting story, thanks for that. I especially liked the part of the ET (phone home  ) flight. Nice crew and a good meal and some moving maps, that's enough to keep one busy! How long was the JNB-ADD flight?
That BD flight is bit of a strange routing and quite a long one for a A321. Do you know if the have 5th freedom rights for the ADD-BEY part?

A minor note maybe: the pics are very small, maybe next time posting them in a +/- 600px format would be much better  

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4090 times:

Thanks for the continued comments!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 14):
Congratulations on that special JNB-ADD-BEY-LHR routing!

Thanks

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 14):
Always a bit worrying for getting the worst seat after everybody else had already checked-in.

Yes, but it turned out ok.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 14):
Oops, not nice. Hope you recovered quickly.

Yes only a few days later.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 15):
That was an interesting story, thanks for that

Thanks

Quoting sultanils (Reply 15):
ET (phone home )

Lol  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 15):
How long was the JNB-ADD flight?

About 5 1/2 hours.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 15):
Do you know if the have 5th freedom rights for the ADD-BEY part?

You know what, I don't know. A quick search doesn't show up the route as bookable.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 15):
the pics are very small,

I know   As above, the next one will be fixed  

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3918 times:

Hi

Nice return trip report, quite an interesting route you got there! seems like ET and BD have a decent product on longer flights! First time I got to see Y in their new midhaul configuration!


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

Hi Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 17):
Nice return trip report, quite an interesting route you got there!

Thanks!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 17):
seems like ET and BD have a decent product on longer flights!

They do, more legroom would be nice but then it always would!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 17):
First time I got to see Y in their new midhaul configuration!

As above, it's not bad, but the Business seats up front looked very nice!

Thanks for the comments

signol



Flights booked: none :(
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