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Air Malta And The Business Class Upgrade  
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10545 times:

Hello dear reader, and welcome to my latest trip report. This report is about my third trip of 2012.

Preamble
After a somewhat mild and rather pleasant start to winter, the beginning of February 2012 saw temperatures across Europe go way below the freezing point, with icy cold winds blowing all the way from Siberia. Where I live in Switzerland the temperature went as low as -15 on some nights. To me, that’s really where it stops being funny, no matter how pretty everything looks covered in snow. So it was around the same time the cold set in that I decided it was time to head for the warmer climes of my native country for the weekend.

Flight: KM491
From: ZRH
To: MLA
Aircraft: A 319
Seat: 10F
Class: Economy


Currently only Air Malta operate direct flights between Zurich and Malta. The flight times are very convenient from Zurich. The outbound leaves Zurich at 17:40, which more or less gives you a full working day before heading for the airport. The flying time to Malta is usually somewhere around 2 hours. The return on Sunday departs at 14:35, which gives you enough time to take a leisurely breakfast and doesn’t get you back home too late ahead of the coming working weak starting the following day.

The story begins on an icy cold winter’s days in February.
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As usual I took the train to the airport.

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When I arrived, I was rather surprised by how full the airport was. There were people everywhere.
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As I still had some time to kill before my flight, I decided to go on a walkabout around the newly constructed Dock B/D. I still have to get used to the place.

This here is a sculpture that goes by name 'the cloud'. Perhaps just to explain. I was standing on the Schengen level. The people you can see below are in the non-Schengen level one floor down.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020408.jpg

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Just a piece of advice: if ever you find yourself wanting to go from ZRH to MLA, book the trip via the Air Malta website. Their fares are usually around CHF100 cheaper than if you book at SWISS, who codeshare on the flight. Rather conveniently, Swissport does the check-in for Air Malta at ZRH. This means you can actually check-in via swiss.com on SWISS’ web check-in application. If you do so, you will be checked in on the LX flight number which gives you access to the Senator lounge even though Air Malta is not a member of the Star Alliance.

One way or another, the lounge was packed and I decided to take just this one shot. I’ve been meaning to take this picture for a while now but somehow never got round to it.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020419.jpg

The flight was operated by an aircraft that goes by the name of Marsaxlokk, a small fishing village in the south of Malta. From what I counted, there were about 70 passengers on the flight. Boarding was on time and quick. I guess most people were eager to get away from the bitter cold weather in Switzerland.

Here are few pictures of my bird which I took before boarding.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020422.jpg

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I was one of the last passengers to walk down the gangway to the aircraft. As there was still a queue at the door I stopped to take this picture of a SWISS crew preparing for the next flight. Actually the copilot was on the blower. It looked like a personal call.
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I had booked the emergency exit on the Air Malta website. At the time of booking this was free of charge. Only a few days later, Air Malta introduced a fee of EUR25 to get an extra legroom seat on the emergency exit. In order to make sure that nobody sat on that row who hadn’t paid for it, once boarding was completed the crew placed these cards on the empty seat of the exit row. This meant that I got the whole row of three to myself. Thanks a lot for that KM!
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Zurich was rather busy and there was a queue of six aircraft ahead of us making their way to the active runway. On this particular evening runway 10 was in use for departures, which is somewhat unusual. In the 32 years I’ve lived in Switzerland this is only the third time I’ve ever used this runway.

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After takeoff and once the fasten seat belt sign had been switched off, the crew sprung into action. The crew on this flight consisted of a male purser, one male and one female flight attendant. All three of them were quite friendly.

The meal consisted of cheese and ham served with iceberg salad and tomatoes and boiled eggs. The tray also included salad dressing, butter and an almond biscuit type thing for dessert. To drink I had Kinnie, what else?
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Air Malta branding everywhere...
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The flight was very pleasant and calm and before long, we had already reached Palermo and the top of descent.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020456.jpg

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After landing we taxied to the apron by the old terminal, as it seems the aircraft would be going in for maintenance after our flight. This really brought back fond childhood memories of the many hours I’d spent as a kid on the old viewing gallery, long before the current terminal was built. In those days the viewing gallery was open air. It was on the first floor, which meant that you were more or less at eye level with the jets. The aircraft would park nose in, and when they moved off stand to depart they would do a U turn, giving all the spectators a healthy dose of jet blast in the process. Oh how I miss those Boeing B 720s…

But enough of that, upon arrival I got the new Arriva Express bus to Valletta, which really makes a change from those god awful rickety old buses they used to have. The driver was friendly and did not try to rip me off. The bus was clean, punctual and air conditioned. The journey took about 25 minutes to complete.

These pictures are of the Triton fountain at the old bus terminus in Valletta, which is about to be demolished. The fountain will be moved to a new place.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020464.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020466.jpg

Stay tuned...

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10556 times:

The weather in Malta did not disappoint. It was rather cool for Malta at 15 degrees, but given the cold I’d left in Zurich I wasn’t complaining. Allow me to take you on a tour of Malta before we move on to the return leg and the C-Class upgrade.

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User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10459 times:

All too soon the weekend was over and it was time to head back to the airport to catch my flight back to Zurich. On the Sunday the weather was rather unsettled with spells of heavy rain. Even so it was certainly not cold. About two minutes after I entered the terminal check-in for the flight to Zurich started.
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As my luck would have it, they were offering the Zurich route for a EUR99 upgrade, an offer I simply couldn’t refuse. The offer is valid irrespective of the original fare you purchased. Which is a good thing as I was originally travelling on a bottom-of-the-food-chain, absolutely rock bottom promotion fare for CHF225. For the EUR99 upgrade you get lounge access, the full Business Class treatment on board, priority for your luggage, which did not apply in my case, and full Business Class bonus points with Air Malta’s FFP Flypass. Not bad me thinks. Since I first tried out the scheme last summer they seem to have streamlined the process. The passenger is no longer required to queue separately at the KM ticketing office and everything is done at the check-in counter. The friendly check-in agent assigned me to seat 1F, handed me my boarding pass and lounge invitation and sent me on my way. As easy as that.
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To reach the lounge you have to go through the rather huge Duty Free shop. Where, among other things, they also have these. Very tasty.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020547.jpg

The lounge was quite full. Apart from the Emirates flight which leaves at the same time, there was also a delayed Alitalia flight and the 07h50 departure to Heathrow, which had been delayed to 14h25 due to the weather in London.
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As soon as the flight showed up as ‘BOARDING’ on the screen, I left the lounge and made my way to gate 4. When I arrived most passengers had already boarded so I did not have to queue and could take my time taking pictures.
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Once I had taken my seat, the purser came round with a copy of the two English language newspapers. A female FA offered orange juice as a welcome drink. There were two others sitting in Business Class on the flight.
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Taxiing for departure.
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In this picture you can see Valletta very well in the centre.
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After take off, service started with the distribution of the hot and rather soapy towels.
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That was followed by the table cloth and the tray with the meal. The tray contained a side plate with two different types a cheese, the blue one was particularly strong I though. There were also two bread rolls and an antipasto dish with rocket salad, hummus, slices of chicken breast, Kapunata (a Maltese dish made with eggplant, tomatoes and cheese), shrimps, zucchini and a parsley salad with lemon. And last but not least there were profiteroles filled with vanilla cream and smothered in chocolate for dessert. Divine!
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malta_Feb_2012/P1020579.jpg

The black contraption with the arrow is to stabilise the table.
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Throughout the flight the crew took good care of me and the other passengers and made sure we hade everything we needed.

The best part of the flight came as we started our descent into Zurich. It was a lovely, clear day and the Alps looked simply stunning, just beautiful!
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The route for the approach was rather unusual I thought, as they brought us in right above the airport. This meant doing a rather steep right hand turn to line-up for an approach to runway 14.
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All in all, these were two good flights with Air Malta. The staff were professional and rather friendly. I guess it helped that the flights were both, which gave them more time for a more personalised service.

The future of Air Malta still hangs in the balance. The government has requested permission from Brussels for a further loan to finance the restructuring the airline is currently undergoing. Should the EU refuse the request, Air Malta would be forced into liquidation. I think I would very much miss them.

Comments are, as ever, appreciated.


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1201 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 9938 times:

I loved Malta and Gozo. Interesting to see Valetta in the winter; so quiet compared to summer tourist season.

Great that they still serve something in Y.

Was it really worth paying 99 EU for C?

I flew on AZ.


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9713 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report!

Looks like you had a great time flying with Air Malta - 99EUR for an upgrade, and you get all that? Nice! Quite a deal - good looking food, nice cabin, lounge access, etc.

Thanks for sharing your Malta pics - looks like a very cool place where not many have a chance to visit, so it was nice to see what it looks like.

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineHELyes From Finland, joined Oct 2010, 939 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9511 times:

Thank you for the TR, beautiful pics!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

The story begins on an icy cold winter’s days in February.

Somehow comforting HEL is not the only cold place in February!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
Allow me to take you on a tour of Malta

Malta looks so beautiful... I planned to jump on AY charter to Valletta last spring but something came between, will do that sooner or later.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The tray contained a side plate with two different types a cheese, the blue one was particularly strong I though. There were also two bread rolls and an antipasto dish with rocket salad, hummus, slices of chicken breast, Kapunata (a Maltese dish made with eggplant, tomatoes and cheese), shrimps, zucchini and a parsley salad with lemon. And last but not least there were profiteroles filled with vanilla cream and smothered in chocolate for dessert. Divine!

Looks delicious - and healthy.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
...Air Malta would be forced into liquidation. I think I would very much miss them.

It's so sad European flag carriers are disappearing one after another, hopefully Air Malta survives!


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 986 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9204 times:

Cool report, thanks for sharing. Good idea to escape the cold in Europe!
Thanks for the pictures of the new terminal in ZRH, hadn't seen in on the inside yet! (only visited the viewing terrace).


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8988 times:

Hi Lychemsa

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
I loved Malta and Gozo.

I'm glad to hear that. Gozo is particularly nice in that it has managed to retain much of its original identity, despite the many significant changes the rest of Malta has undergone in recent years.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
Great that they still serve something in Y.

On the return there was even a choice in Economy between a vegetarian and a standard meal. What I like is that their service is very old-school, what with the trays and all. Nowadays most airlines just offer you a sandwich.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
Was it really worth paying 99 EU for C?

I think it is generally debatable whether short-haul in Europe is worth it or even necessary. But for EUR99 I think it's nice to get a bit of extra pampering and attention. Apart from that, Air Malta's pitch really is awfully tight towards the back.

Hi Matthew

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
99EUR for an upgrade, and you get all that? Nice! Quite a deal - good looking food, nice cabin, lounge access, etc.

Air Malta ordered its Airbuses shortly after 9/11. They got a really good deal from Airbus because they were basically purchasing when other carriers where busy parking up their existing fleets to cope with the over capacity. Hence the rather nice cabin.

As for the food, I only noticed when I looked through the photos how colourful the plate with the antipasti was. But I agree, it looked nice. Tasted good also!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
Thanks for sharing your Malta pics - looks like a very cool place where not many have a chance to visit, so it was nice to see what it looks like.

I guess Malta is rather difficult to get to if you're coming from outside Europe. Although having said that, I noticed there was quite a large group of Japanese tourists checking in for the Emirates flights.

Hi Helyes

Quoting HELyes (Reply 5):
Somehow comforting HEL is not the only cold place in February!

I guess so, although I assume that the temperatures we're having here will hardly impress you, coming from Finland.

Quoting HELyes (Reply 5):
Malta looks so beautiful... I planned to jump on AY charter to Valletta last spring but something came between, will do that sooner or later.

I like it, but I also think the beauty of Malta is not always immediately apparent. But if oyu take a closer look, it can be very charming.

Well, if ever you do decide to go, just let me know if you need any advice on where to go and what to do.

Quoting HELyes (Reply 5):
Looks delicious - and healthy.

Except for the profiteroles perhaps...

Quoting HELyes (Reply 5):
It's so sad European flag carriers are disappearing one after another, hopefully Air Malta survives!

So do I. Air Malta plays a vital role in the Maltese economy, which relies heavily on tourism. If they go out of business, it would have a very significant impact on the island's fortunes. Critics have often said that the tourism industry could easily survive in Malta just with the likes of Ryanair or Easyjet. Which is of course true - as long as they continue to fly to Malta.

Hi Roberts87

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 6):
Thanks for the pictures of the new terminal in ZRH, hadn't seen in on the inside yet! (only visited the viewing terrace).

I like the new dock. It looks very fresh and mordern, although I think it's probably also smaller than the original structure that stood in the same place. I suspect it might be rather cramped in the morning when the wide-bodies come in. I haven't been on the viewing terrace yet but it must be rather nice from what I've heard.

Thanks for posting and commenting gents.

William


User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 928 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8937 times:

Hi William. What a wonderful report. I have never been to Malta but it looks wonderful. Love the close up of the kitty cat!   Nice price for the upgrade on the return. The meal looked really nice. Cheers, William


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8745 times:

Hi William, great report!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
To me, that’s really where it stops being funny, no matter how pretty everything looks covered in snow.

I have to agree with you on this one. I really don't see what people like so much about the snow. Cold however can be manageable, but the snowing is just horrible.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The outbound leaves Zurich at 17:40, which more or less gives you a full working day before heading for the airport. The flying time to Malta is usually somewhere around 2 hours. The return on Sunday departs at 14:35, which gives you enough time to take a leisurely breakfast and doesn’t get you back home too late ahead of the coming working weak starting the following day.

Those times are really great, nothing better then being well relaxed prior to a trip. It's only been the case for me a handful of times, as I always pick the earliest departures. Normally the "good" times are more expensive to fly on.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
This means you can actually check-in via swiss.com on SWISS’ web check-in application. If you do so, you will be checked in on the LX flight number which gives you access to the Senator lounge even though Air Malta is not a member of the Star Alliance.

Interesting, so is this perhaps a flaw in the system, or is it more the case of LX giving their SEN passengers lounge access despite not flying LX or *A metal?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As my luck would have it, they were offering the Zurich route for a EUR99 upgrade, an offer I simply couldn’t refuse.

That's a pretty decent offer, although I had imagined them charging only €55. Didn't they do that the last time you flew them?

Thanks for sharing
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8599 times:

Hi William

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 8):
What a wonderful report.

Thank you, glad you liked it.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 8):
Love the close up of the kitty cat!

Yeah, I have a thing about cats and that one looked so nice. I was seriously considering calling Air Malta to let them know I'd have a Pet in Cabin on the way back...If I'm not mistaken I'd say he was a Maine Coon.

Hi Jonas

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Hi William, great report!

Thanks, good to hear form you. So how's it going with your newly found Star Gold Status?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Cold however can be manageable, but the snowing is just horrible.

Precisely, in the end the snow just ends up looking like muck. The floor in our office is a mess!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Those times are really great, nothing better then being well relaxed prior to a trip. It's only been the case for me a handful of times, as I always pick the earliest departures. Normally the "good" times are more expensive to fly on.

Yeah, I know what you mean. When I'm not travelling on business, London is the only place nowadays for which I make the sacrifice of waking up early. And that's just to give me a full day of shopping before returning home in the evening.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Interesting, so is this perhaps a flaw in the system, or is it more the case of LX giving their SEN passengers lounge access despite not flying LX or *A metal?

I'd say it's a flaw in the system. Although interestingly enough, when I checked in for the flight to Malta, my Senator number was transferred to the Air Malta reservation system. So when I checked in for the return leg it was already in the booking.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
That's a pretty decent offer, although I had imagined them charging only €55. Didn't they do that the last time you flew them?

I had a look in the old trip report, it was already EUR99 then:
Air Malta, Will We Ever Meet Again? (by knightsofmalta Jul 8 2011 in Trip Reports)

Perhaps you're getting it mixed up with the Blue 1 upgrade scheme. If I'm not mistaken, that was somewhere around EUR55.

Thanks for posting gents!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8113 times:

Hi William,

That is what I call a great short winter break. I never thought that Malta’s climate remained mild this winter. Those beautiful pictures of yours make me eager to go.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
the temperature went as low as -15 on some nights.

Last Tuesday we had the temperature as well in Holland. The coldest morning I ever experienced in my whole life while riding on the bike.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As usual I took the train to the airport

Hassle-free and convenient.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Just a piece of advice:

Thank you for that.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
This meant that I got the whole row of three to myself

Courtesy of Air Malta. 


Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
To drink I had Kinnie, what else?

Undoubtedly the most appropriate way to start your Malta experience.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
This really brought back fond childhood memories of the many hours I’d spent as a kid on the old viewing gallery, long before the current terminal was built

There is no harm for getting nostalgic.  


Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
Allow me to take you on a tour of Malta

Oh yes, please! Can you tell more what we get to see?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
they were offering the Zurich route for a EUR99 upgrade, an offer I simply couldn’t refuse. The offer is valid irrespective of the original fare you purchased.

I would jump at it as well. Good decision, William.  


Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
could take my time taking pictures.

Good to know no one bothered your photo-taking as it should be.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
In this picture you can see Valletta very well in the centre.

Lovely.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
Kapunata (a Maltese dish made with eggplant, tomatoes and cheese),

Is it like Greek moussaka?


Thanks again.

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1710 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 8086 times:
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Hello William,

Thanks for posting another one of your enjoyable reports! Good to see you going to warmer climes in your home country, but as I’m typing right now I think the cold weather has by far not disappeared in Western Europe. So I think you have to get yourself to Malta again one of these weekends  Air Malta does a good job out there and by the looks of it your self made business class upgrade was worth it. I hope they can keep it up!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One way or another, the lounge was packed and I decided to take just this one shot. I’ve been meaning to take this picture for a while now but somehow never got round to it.

That’s a cool display.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Only a few days later, Air Malta introduced a fee of EUR25 to get an extra legroom seat on the emergency exit.

The crisis settling in gradually. Did you have to pay for these seats as well.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
In this picture you can see Valletta very well in the centre.

Quite medieval by the looks of it.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
That was followed by the table cloth and the tray with the meal.

That looks like a nice meal and stylishly presented as well. Even metal KM branded cutlery is used. Impressive!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8082 times:

Hi and thanks for sharing your holiday.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
When I arrived, I was rather surprised by how full the airport was. There were people everywhere.

It seems that they all had the same idea - get away from the cold.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
At the time of booking this was free of charge. Only a few days later, Air Malta introduced a fee of EUR25

Talk about excellent timing.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
This meant that I got the whole row of three to myself

Nice to be able to spread out a bit.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Allow me to take you on a tour of Malta

Thank you Sir. Is it customary to tip the guide?  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
For the EUR99 upgrade you get lounge access, the full Business Class treatment on board, priority for your luggage, which did not apply in my case, and full Business Class bonus points with Air Malta’s FFP Flypass

A bargain, to be sure. And from your description of the the in-flight service it was worth it.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The tray contained a side plate with two different types a cheese, the blue one was particularly strong I though.

I love blue vein cheeses. The presentation of the food is very good and it all looks very appetising.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Should the EU refuse the request, Air Malta would be forced into liquidation.

It would be a shame to see an airline providing a quality service disappear.

Regards,
Roy


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7898 times:

Hi Suryo

Good to hear from you. How are you keeping?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
I never thought that Malta’s climate remained mild this winter. Those beautiful pictures of yours make me eager to go.

The winters are usually mild but this year I was seriously doubtful if Malta would be able to offer some relief. I think you may like Malta actually.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Last Tuesday we had the temperature as well in Holland. The coldest morning I ever experienced in my whole life while riding on the bike.

You're still riding your bike? I parked mine up for the winter!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Undoubtedly the most appropriate way to start your Malta experience.

Yep, the first sip of Kinnie is the moment I feel I'm already at home again.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
There is no harm for getting nostalgic.

No, not at all. Those were good days actually.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Oh yes, please! Can you tell more what we get to see?

The pictures before the water and the cat were taken in Valletta, overlooking the Grand Harbour towards the Three Cities from where the ottomans launched their attack.

The old city in the pictures after the cat are Mdina, the old capital. Mdina is my favourite. It's so serene.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Good to know no one bothered your photo-taking as it should be.

Actually that was funny. there were these two young guys. When they saw me taking pictures they kind of got the same idea and were taking pictures of each other in front of the aircraft.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Is it like Greek moussaka?

Well, yes. But without the meat.

Hi Nils

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
Thanks for posting another one of your enjoyable reports! Good to see you going to warmer climes in your home country, but as I’m typing right now I think the cold weather has by far not disappeared in Western Europe. So I think you have to get yourself to Malta again one of these weekends Air Malta does a good job out there and by the looks of it your self made business class upgrade was worth it. I hope they can keep it up!

Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed the report. Great minds think alike. As soon as I deplaned back in Zurich, my first thought was: "I'll have to book my next trip to Malta when I get home this evening."

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
That’s a cool display.

Yeah, although one of them in the back hangs rather precariously.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
The crisis settling in gradually. Did you have to pay for these seats as well.

No, only for the extra leg room ones. I wonder what they do if somebody with a broken leg or so books one of those seats. Refund?

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
Quite medieval by the looks of it.

Yes, Valletta is very old. It's under UNESCO protection, which makes it very difficult and costly to renovate and maintain.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
That looks like a nice meal and stylishly presented as well. Even metal KM branded cutlery is used. Impressive!

Oh yes, they love their branding at Air Malta. It's a bit inconsistent though.

Hi Quokkas

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
Hi and thanks for sharing your holiday.

My pleasure.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
It seems that they all had the same idea - get away from the cold.

I don't blame them! It's the school skiing holiday in Switzerland right now. But it's simply been too cold for many in the mountains with temperatures around -28!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
Thank you Sir. Is it customary to tip the guide?

Well, who am I to stop you?

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
A bargain, to be sure. And from your description of the the in-flight service it was worth it.

Yes, I think it is worth it. Even if it were just for the extra leg room!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
I love blue vein cheeses. The presentation of the food is very good and it all looks very appetising.

I love all kinds of cheese, but this one was incredibly strong. But tasty!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
It would be a shame to see an airline providing a quality service disappear.

It would. I check daily on the online Times of Malta but so far no news from Brussels. I mean hey, I can see the European Unions point, but compared to Greece a few millions for Air Malta are hardly worth mentioning.

In any case, thanks for posting gents!

Cheers,
William


User currently onlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1310 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7766 times:

Hey,

Thank you for very interesting report. Good to see KM is still around, in spite of everything.

I am not sure I would have pay 100 Euro for upgrade - mainly because of the seat, it's pretty much regular Y, and the lounge in MLA is nothing to write home about (saw it myself when I was there).

Malta is for sure a nice place to warm up a bit from Switzerland.

Thx for shearing,
LY



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3268 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7645 times:

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Perhaps just to explain. I was standing on the Schengen level. The people you can see below are in the non-Schengen level one floor down.

Nice, just like MUC

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
In order to make sure that nobody sat on that row who hadn’t paid for it, once boarding was completed the crew placed these cards on the empty seat of the exit row. This meant that I got the whole row of three to myself. Thanks a lot for that KM!

Good for you, a shame for the rest of us who don't like paying for the extra legroom seats!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

But enough of that, upon arrival I got the new Arriva Express bus to Valletta, which really makes a change from those god awful rickety old buses they used to have. The driver was friendly and did not try to rip me off. The bus was clean, punctual and air conditioned.

Have the fares risen since the change?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The tray contained a side plate with two different types a cheese, the blue one was particularly strong I though. There were also two bread rolls and an antipasto dish with rocket salad, hummus, slices of chicken breast, Kapunata (a Maltese dish made with eggplant, tomatoes and cheese), shrimps, zucchini and a parsley salad with lemon. And last but not least there were profiteroles filled with vanilla cream and smothered in chocolate for dessert. Divine!

No hot dish?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7474 times:

Hi Jonathan

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 15):
Thank you for very interesting report.

My pleasure, thanks for commenting.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 15):
I am not sure I would have pay 100 Euro for upgrade - mainly because of the seat, it's pretty much regular Y, and the lounge in MLA is nothing to write home about (saw it myself when I was there).

Well, I don't think I'd pay the regular Business Class fare. But for EUR99 I thought it was worth it. I think I've probably spent EUR99 on far worse things!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 15):
Malta is for sure a nice place to warm up a bit from Switzerland.

Yeah it was nice. It's still cold here in Switzerland by the way, starting to get to me...

Hi Gabriel

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
Nice, just like MUC

Yes, just smaller...

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
Good for you, a shame for the rest of us who don't like paying for the extra legroom seats!

Yeah, I know what you mean. My first reaction was "they've got some nerve". But then I figured hey, if it's good enough for Singapore Airlines, then it's good enough for Air Malta (the comparison is, granted, perhaps a bit far fetched).

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
Have the fares risen since the change?

Not much. A day ticket on the entire network will cost you EUR2.40. That's less than a single journey on the Tube.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
No hot dish?

Alas, only on flights longer than 2 hours and 40 mins.

Thanks for your comments and your time gents!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1457 posts, RR: 33
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 7363 times:

Hi William,

Another nice report which brings back fond memories of my trip to Malta a few years ago. You packed a lot into your stay, I spy some pictures of pretty Mdina.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Where I live in Switzerland the temperature went as low as -15 on some nights. To me, that’s really where it stops being funny

My sentiments exactly.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
In order to make sure that nobody sat on that row who hadn’t paid for it, once boarding was completed the crew placed these cards on the empty seat of the exit row. This meant that I got the whole row of three to myself. Thanks a lot for that KM!

Well done KM. I don't think other airlines are as strict to enforce this.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
On this particular evening runway 10 was in use for departures, which is somewhat unusual. In the 32 years I’ve lived in Switzerland this is only the third time I’ve ever used this runway.

There was a weekend recently when they had to do this becuase of the Bise wind. I'm guessing it was the same time as when you flew.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
To drink I had Kinnie, what else?

Cheers!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
It was rather cool for Malta at 15 degrees, but given the cold I’d left in Zurich I wasn’t complaining

15C would be more than enough for me right now!

You have some lovely pictures taken on the flight back, from Valletta to the Alps to ZRH from above. What a gorgeous day for flying.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7304 times:

Hi Hannah, good to hear from you!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 18):
Another nice report which brings back fond memories of my trip to Malta a few years ago. You packed a lot into your stay, I spy some pictures of pretty Mdina.

Yes, it was rather a busy day. First I went into Valletta, then I took the very to Sliema, walked all the way to St. Julian's for lunch at Wagamama and then from there took a bus to Mdina for tea. By the time I got back I was exhausted!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 18):
Well done KM. I don't think other airlines are as strict to enforce this.

To be honest, I'm not sure how long they'll be able to keep it up. The flight I was on was not that full so they were able to enforce their new scheme. But what happens if the flight is full and nobody paid to sit by the emergency exit?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 18):
15C would be more than enough for me right now!

The cold gets to you. You reach a point where you would just be happy to go outside without having to wrap up in numerous layers of clothing.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 18):
You have some lovely pictures taken on the flight back, from Valletta to the Alps to ZRH from above. What a gorgeous day for flying.

Thanks! It really was a good day for flying. I was lucky with the departure route. Normally when they take off from runway 14 the planes continue to Gozo in a straight line before the turn north towards Palermo. But on this flight we turned more or less as soon as we'd taken off, which took as straight past Valletta.

Thanks for posting Hannah!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7268 times:

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 14):
How are you keeping?

I am fine, thank you.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 14):
You're still riding your bike?

Yes.  


Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 14):
When they saw me taking pictures they kind of got the same idea and were taking pictures of each other in front of the aircraft.

That is the spirit.  



Friends forever
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7183 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 14):
You're still riding your bike?

Yes.

I'm deeply impressed Suryo! Well I guess the movement keeps you warm.


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 7071 times:

Hi William

Great trip report, thanks for sharing.
I'm quite impressed by the service that KM offers in J.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3005 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 7022 times:

Hi Knightsofmalta,

great report, thanks!

Nice idea to escape the cold, if only for a weekend! I'm having to mentally warm myself whilst planning our summer holiday. There seem to be a glut of KM reports at the moment!

I enjoyed Malta on our only visit there (there is a report on here somewhere!), have to return at some point. Air Malta themselves were good on my trip, exceptional service.

Thanks again

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 6992 times:

Hiya William.

Great report. Let me start by saying that I love the picture of the train with the ice running down the front. Buurrrrr!!!
Also, the picture from ZRH at the cafe with the LX tails in the distance (8th picture in your report), very good work. I love it.

The KM service looks good in Y, and the selection of food in the J cabin on your return is very varied. Kudos to them. Those profiteroles sound devine.

Superb pictures over the Alps on the return to ZRH. Something to witness for sure over these winter months.

Great work.
Cheers, Lee.


25 Knightsofmalta : Hi Marc Thanks, my pleasure. Yeah, I think people don't really know much about Air Malta because they're so small so they also don't know what to expe
26 deltamartin : Hi William, a nice report as usual! Looks like you had two quite comfortable flights with Air Malta. Gotta love cheap biz upgrades! Nice pics of the A
27 Knightsofmalta : Hi Martin Thanks, glad you liked it! Yes. Previously if an aircraft came in from a Schengen country and its next trip was to a non-Schengen one, it ha
28 gpbcroppers63 : Hi William, Only just got around to reading this nice report. KM look good in both economy and business. The €99 upgrade definitely looks worth it.
29 Post contains images stipica : Hi Knightsofmalta ! I am crying man ... you are describing me and SPU viewing terrace ... I'm too emotional now to comment wonderful trip report ... h
30 Knightsofmalta : Hi Gareth Thanks for commenting. I think it's probably because there is a latent risk for the airline of cannibalising their Business Class product. A
31 Post contains images gpbcroppers63 : Yeah I can see that point but surely if they have spare seats and you're willing to pay €100 for them, it's better than nothing. The business class
32 Knightsofmalta : Hi Gareth Sorry about that, I only just had a look at your proifle. Yes, we wouldn't want people to think we're weird or anything like that! Do you kn
33 Post contains images gpbcroppers63 : No worries William. I didn't realise you were a linguist until you said either. Many people already think I'm weird but curiously it's more because o
34 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi William, A really enjoyable read with many nice pictures! I have always wanted to visit Malta (and log a flight on Air Malta at the same time), and
35 Knightsofmalta : Hi 717Flyer Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Excellent, it would be great if you could write a report on that trip. I've always been curious about KM'
36 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi again William, Who do you think I am? Of course I will write a report on the trip. Yeah, CTA-MLA is 45 minutes from gate to gate so most probably a
37 Knightsofmalta : Hi 717Flyer Good, just wanted to make sure! So does KM have two flights that day or will you take the catamaran one way, if I may ask? In any case, ha
38 717Flyer : Nope, Air Malta has only one daily flight on the route and as I found the catamaran quite expensive I'm flying back on Ryanair (MLA-TPS). Thanks! Reg
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