Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Taag Angola 777-300ER Lisbon-Luanda In Y  
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1108 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 27776 times:



Introduction:


This is not my first time around the block with TAAG Angola Airlines. Exactly two years ago I flew this same route on this same airline, and it was quite the experience. Probably one of the more stressful ordeals of my life, which begs the following question: Why the HELL would I do it again?! I am truthfully still trying to pinpoint my exact desire for this, and I hope this report will provide insight for both me and you.

Taag Angola 777-200ER Lisbon-Luanda In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 29 2010 in Trip Reports)

Angola is not a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons, one of them being an insane visa application process. I know I’m American so everyone will yell at me for complaining, but I’ve never seen anything like it. Invitation letter (notarized in Angola and written in Portuguese), bank statements, proof of yellow fever vaccination, a passport photo wearing a dress-shirt and tie (no joke), and finally the actual application form are the plethora of requirements for an Angolan visa. I think this “exclusivity” made Angola more appealing to me. You always want what you can’t have right? You think I’m crazy yet?

When I flew TAAG in 2010, as described in the trip report linked above, I did not actually enter Angola. I had tried to get a visa, but had failed miserably after the Angolan embassy in Washington D.C. simply never processed my visa application. After the aforementioned TAAG experience, a feeling of unfulfillment continued to linger. I couldn’t exactly figure out why at first, but I eventually realized that this was the result of my failure to actually stay in Angola. I had the biggest desire to visit this place and I had no idea why!

TAAG Virtual:


As a fan of Microsoft Flight Simulator, virtual airlines (yes, they exist), and TAAG; I was obviously on the lookout for a virtual airline for TAAG. I found what I was looking for in late 2009, shortly after real-world TAAG was removed from the EU Blacklist, and joined immediately! It is called AVAGroup – Angolan Virtual Airliners Group, which consists of both TAAG Angola Virtual and SonAir Virtual (www.flyavagroup.com).

Shortly after joining, the TAAG Virtual CEO sent me an e-mail expressing how surprised he was to see an American showing an interest in TAAG Virtual and Angolan aviation. He apologized that his website was only in Portuguese, but said that I was more than welcome to fly for them.

His name is Nuno Sousa, and I discovered that he actually lived in Daytona Beach where he was studying aviation management. I began making YouTube videos for TAAG Virtual, which helped them out a bit at this annual international business fair in Luanda called FILDA (Feira Internacional de Luanda). They have a pretty cool stand at FILDA, where they set up a decked-out flight simulator for everyone to try out. Nuno and I talked on Facebook from time to time, which was great as I got to learn about Angola and TAAG from an Angolan’s point of view. It was refreshing to hear a positive outlook on matters in Angola, which was a far cry to what I’m accustomed to hearing about Africa here in the States. I finally had the opportunity to meet Nuno and his two friends Nelson and Neila for lunch one time in Orlando, which was an awesome experience.

TAAG Virtual has a private Facebook group for its pilots, which I am obviously a member of! It is in this Facebook group that pictures and statuses are posted about tons of different things – Flight Simulator, Real-Life Flying, TAAG Virtual events & gatherings, and just your average day-to-day Facebook nonsense. I’ve been taught my whole life that “strangers” on the internet are automatically pedophiles or kidnappers. But my gut knew that this was far from the truth. These people were really cool guys who loved aviation just like me!

Enough was enough. I needed to go Angola.

I chatted Nuno on Facebook and asked if there was any way I could travel to Luanda and visit them. He was extraordinarily generous, told me I am always welcome to Angola, and that I could even stay in house. This was too good to be true.

I promptly booked my flights.

But there was still that dang visa.

Nuno was confident I could get it. He suggested that instead of sending the application to the Angolan embassy in Washington D.C. (probably one of the most useless buildings in the U.S.), I send it to the Angolan consulate in Houston. We guessed they’d be much better at processing visas in a timely manner than Washington (oil industry). Plus, Nuno knows people in the consulate! After getting a yellow fever vaccination and the invitation letter from Nuno, I sent away my documents to Houston without much confidence at all.

Well, you can imagine my surprise upon receiving the “documents processed” e-mail from Travisa. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe this. And it only took 5 days! Pretty sure I just got accepted to college or gained admittance to an exclusive country club. I was set. I was actually going to Angola. Wow.

Lisbon (LIS):


Having just arrived from MIA on a TAP A330, I just needed to re-clear security. I had checked-in online the day before at my house in TPA for my TAAG flight, which went seamlessly.



LIS is not well-designed for transiting. There was no one at the transfer desks by immigration, so I tried to follow the transit signs to the international departures area. The signage led me up a staircase, where there were hoards of passengers walking in the opposite direction. That couldn’t be right. I had a lot of time, so I decided to just try it. I ended up walking through this very long hallway, which finally opened up into this small security checkpoint. I told them “I’m going to Luanda”, to which they responded “Yes Luanda, right this way”. I cleared this security checkpoint, and was in the deserted international departures area. What a weird experience, but hey, it worked!



I went to the bathroom to try and clean myself up. I changed clothes, brushed my teeth, and washed my face. I felt much better after that.

The TAAG flight from LAD arrived 20 minutes early, and the 77W could be seen parked at a remote stand. TAAG’s striking color scheme definitely stands out among the dozens of Euro-white aircrafts. Additionally, I was surprised to see the mysterious CEIBA Intercontinental 77L parked at LIS. Some of rarest 777s at the same airport!









I had a lot of time to spare, so I decided to get breakfast at this restaurant called “First Class Café”. I had a pretty good ham and cheese sandwich with coffee. I needed to be energized for my upcoming flight!

After some spotting and walking around, I decided to plop myself down at our gate. I wanted to let the anticipation build inside me.

TAAG Angola Airlines flight DT 651:






Think Emirates A380, BA London City Premium Service, or SQ's Newark flight, this is TAAG's version of a flagship route. In TAAG's world, this is the perfect flight offering the full-on service to its full potential.
-Ronerone


Transito!: A Connection On TAAG-Angola (B743/B772) (by ronerone Jul 31 2010 in Trip Reports)

Nothing could better describe this flight than the above quote. LAD-LIS-LAD is extremely important to TAAG’s operation, and the airline will do anything in its power to make sure this flight always goes without any problems. TAAG operates newer, nicer, and bigger planes than competitor TAP; this flight is about showing the best of Angola and TAAG to the western world and its former colonial power.

The gate area slowly began to fill up. I had never been around such a passenger mix. The majority of the passenger demographics appeared to be younger Angolans – incredibly fashionable, youthful, and friendly looking. Then there were the old Angolan men, who truthfully looked rather angry and intimidating. And then lastly there were the Portuguese going to Luanda for whatever reason – be it work or visiting family. Oh, and there was me of course! The lone blonde-haired American on this flight. Boy was I sticking out!

Date: 11 August 2012
Airline: TAAG Angola Airlines
Flight: DT 651
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3M2/ER
Aircraft Reg: D2-TEH
Departure City: Lisbon, Portugal
Departure Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS / LPPT)
Arrival City: Luanda, Angola
Arrival Airport: Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport (LAD / FNLU)
Scheduled Departure Time: 11:00 AM
Actual Departure Time: 11:07 AM (7 minutes late, from stand)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 6:30 PM
Actual Arrival Time: 6:17 PM (13 minutes early, on stand)
Class: Economy
Estimated Load Factor: 80%

Boarding was called exactly an hour before departure at 10 AM. I walked up to the gate agent and presented my boarding pass. He checked my visa and for some reason asked to see my ticket. I handed him my ticket, which he seem satisfied with. Then, he scanned my boarding pass, tore it in half, and gave it back to me.

Since this was a bus gate, I took the escalator downstairs. Once downstairs, I began walking to the doors of the bus. Out of nowhere, this guy grabbed my carry-on and took it. WTF. I turned around and he was picking it up. He mumbled something “Too Heavy”. I tried to protest, but this guy was having none of it and was only speaking Portuguese. He tagged my bag to LAD with a handwritten bag tag and sent it away.

This frustrated me as I HATE checking bags. The manner this guy did it was also rather unpleasant. I know my bag was within the limits because I just took everything on an AA 737-800 and a TAP A330-200. The 777 cabin has much more space than both of these planes!

Anyways, I put that behind me and got on the bus. Again, the drive to the aircraft was a long one. Arriving at the mighty 777-300ER, registered D2-TEH, I took in the scene and snapped a picture. Obviously some guy had to yell at me for taking the photo but whatever, he will get over it. I’m not a terrorist.



We boarded from the rear air stairs, where a TAAG flight attendant greeted and directed me to my seat. Manufactured and delivered new to TAAG in 2011, not only was D2-TEH’s cabin modern, clean, and very aesthetically pleasing, but it was incredibly comfortable. TAAG is the only airline in the world to have switched FROM a 3-4-3 configuration to a 3-3-3 configuration on their 777s. Pitch was very generous at 34 inches.







Angolan music was played during boarding, occasionally interrupted by a recorded announcement asking passengers to stow their bags and make sure their seatbelts are fastened. Like my prior TAAG flights, boarding was incredibly slow. Angolans are never in a rush to go anywhere!







At 11:01 AM, exactly 1 minute after the scheduled departure time, boarding was completed and the doors were closed. The First Officer came over the P/A saying “Welcome about this TAAG Triple Seven with nonstop service to Luanda”. He then proceeded to give us extensive details about our route and thanked us for flying TAAG. His English was extremely good.

Pushback commenced at 11:07, 7 minutes late, followed shortly by a safety video. The flight attendants followed along, pointing out the exits and the safety card. Then came the 777 engine start which was very loud and exhilarating.

We taxied to runway 03 where we held short of the runway where the captain announced over the P/A “Cabin crew, prepare for takeoff please”. We taxied into position and waited for an Orbest A330 to land on intersecting runway 35. I had no clue they landed widebodies on that runway.



Takeoff power was applied, and the roar of the GE-90s was like nothing else I’ve ever heard (except on other 777s of course).









Shortly after our powerful takeoff, the purser introduced herself over the P/A and explained the in-flight service. We were to be served lunch first and then an afternoon snack before landing in LAD. Additionally, there were to be duty free items for sale on this flight.

Like most foreign airlines, the seat belt sign was switched off at 10,000 feet.



Our climb was relatively quick. The 777 was definitely louder than the A330 I just flew on, but for some reason the noise didn’t bother me at all.



I was beginning to get rather hungry, so I was relieved when the cabin crew began the meal service promptly after reaching our cruise altitude. It was a choice between beef and fish (classic), with me choosing the former. TAAG also gave passengers the entire “mini” wine bottle, unlike TAP. Alcohol was free and flowing generously.



I thought the meal was pretty good. In terms of taste, it was above average compared to other Y class meals I’ve had. They gave us a toothpick and a moist “towel” in the silverware packet. This was nice because I always feel like my hands are disgusting after boarding and sitting in an airplane. Also, the butter wasn’t extraordinarily hard like it usually is on flights!

They came around again after the meal offering drink refills and coffee.

I began to explore the IFE system, which I thought was a disappointment. The system interface was fantastic with fast response times and all, but the movie choices were pretty terrible. There were less than 10 choices, most of them being movies I have never heard of. Come on, if you have a nice system, you might as well use it right!

I ended up watching some sub-par movie about fishing in Yemen, but the in-flight map was to be my main source of entertainment. After lunch the purser announced that duty free sales were now open, and the mood lighting was activated.





I napped a little throughout the flight, watched some other sub-par movie, and listened to music. I still couldn’t believe how comfortable this seat was; I was able to doze off while sitting straight up in the seat, which is usually impossible for me.



Roughly 2 hours before arrival into LAD, an afternoon snack was served. I was very impressed with the quantity, especially considering this was less than a 7 hour flight.



The cabin crew on this flight was a bit of a let-down. They did their jobs, responded to call buttons, but really didn’t seem happy to be on board. They rarely smiled or anything.

But then right before descending, a flight attendant came to my row and asked “Are you Will?” I was a little confused and told him “Yeah that’s me!” to which he responded by saying “You’re the flight guy! My name is Ednei and I have your profile on Facebook. It’s very nice to meet you in person.”

That was really cool, and definitely left me with a better feeling about this flight. Stuff like that doesn’t happen too often!



Getting close!







Descent into Luanda began just as the sun was starting to set. Luanda is usually cloudy this time of year, and today was no exception.





ANGOLA SIX-FIVE-ONE, cleared to land runway TWO-THREE.



Final approach was incredibly smooth followed by a very soft touchdown on runway 23.









We landed at 6:05 PM and coasted all the way to the end of the runway where we turned around and back tracked to taxiway E. Taxi to the ramp was very slow, where we parked at the stand furthest away from the terminal at 6:17 PM (13 minutes early).

Luanda (LAD):


I was incredibly nervous about clearing immigration in Luanda. I know that sometimes they detain people if they are suspicious of your intentions in Angola. I’m pretty sure they NEVER get American visitors who aren’t traveling to Angola for work, so I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

As I exited the bus at the arrivals terminal, all of a sudden I hear “Hey Will!” Startled, I turn to see Nuno’s friend Nelson (he works in flight operation for TAAG) waving to me. I went over where we shook hands and hugged, and he proceeded to make sure I got through immigration without problems. We then went to baggage claim where it took 30 minutes for my bag to come out. Next, we cleared customs successfully and I was officially in Angola. I DID IT. This wasn’t real.

Nuno was waiting for me outside the secured area, where he was very excited to greet me with a “Welcome to Africa!”

Conclusion:


TAAG did well this time around. Their hard product is competitive with the world’s premier airlines (seats, IFE, mood lighting, and food). The flight arrived early into LAD, which was a first for me with TAAG. Safety seemed to be taken seriously, which I was pleased to see. From those perspectives, TAAG is easily amongst the best in Africa. Where they still need to improve, however, is with their cabin crew. For the most part, the flight attendants were not the most pleasant to interact with. They didn’t seem too comfortable with English, which was probably a factor in the disappointing service. But I know TAAG has significant expansion plans beyond Lusophone countries, so they’ve got to improve their English if they want to succeed. The younger crew members were noticeably better and friendlier than the older, and my nice encounter with one of the flight attendants definitely “saved the day” and left me with a better impression than I would’ve had otherwise. I’d recommend TAAG to a “regular” traveler if the price was right and they cared more about hard product than cabin service. To any aviation enthusiast, it’s definitely worth the experience!

Continued Below


55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1108 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 28142 times:

Angola:


Friends and family members were at large extremely concerned about my trip to Angola. Americans really don’t know much about Africa, and people seriously thought my safety was at grave risk. A 19 year-old white American kid traveling to Africa by himself to stay with a guy he’s met once sounds incredibly sketchy to most people. I am not crazy, I realize my trip was “out there”, but my gut was telling me that I HAD to go and I am so glad I did.

I can confidently say that my experience in Angola was one that no other American has had, nor one that another other American will have. Putting your full trust in someone you don’t really know can be a risky move, but its payouts can be incredibly rewarding. I was able to completely immerse myself in the unique Angolan culture, and feel I have grown significantly as a result of this trip. One of the most important lessons I’ve taken away: do not stress about things you can’t control. There were multiple stressful and desperate situations (visa process, flying domestically, having my camera confiscated by the police, etc) where I felt I was in way over my head. I wanted more than anything to take control of the situation and fix the problem myself. But that was simply impossible; the situation was very much out of my control, and I just sat there worried and stressed. About halfway through the trip, I realized this stress was unwarranted. It made no sense to lose energy over something I simply couldn’t change. I had to relax and just hang on for the ride.

This trip wasn’t intended to be a sightseeing vacation. I wanted to learn what it means to be Angolan, and essentially discover a culture I knew next to nothing about. Traveling for me is about meeting people and building relationships more than anything else. Angola satisfied this aspect to its fullest extent. I met some truly great people, and despite the language barrier, feel that I became really close with many of them. Looking back on this trip, the memories of just hanging around with the TAAG Virtual guys and simply taking in the local culture are the ones that truly stick out. Angola is not for everyone by any means; it can be very stressful and frustrating. However, if you the adventurous type and happen to have an Angolan friend, I would definitely recommend the trip. It’s a truly unique place. And with that, I will leave you all off with some pictures from my trip.

Lubango:





Nuno:



























View of the airport from Nuno’s house:



Bairro Cassenda neighborhood:





















Aborted Landing And Diversion: Qantas 738 SYD-ZQN (by MHTripple7 Jul 13 2011 in Trip Reports)
Virgin Blue 737-800 Sydney-Cairns In Y (by MHTripple7 May 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y (by MHTripple7 Apr 20 2011 in Trip Reports)
Taag Angola 737-700 Windhoek-Luanda In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Sep 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
Taag Angola 777-200ER Lisbon-Luanda In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
Asiana Airlines 777-200ER ICN-LAX In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Apr 16 2010 in Trip Reports)
Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Bangkok Airways A319 BKK-REP In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 30 2010 in Trip Reports)
Asiana Airlines 747-400 LAX-ICN In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-700 ATL-SXM In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR DEL-JFK In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
Drukair A319 PBH-DEL In Y W/TONS Of Pix/Vid (by MHTripple7 Jan 10 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR JFK-DEL In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
South African 737-800 JNB-CPT In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Sep 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
South African BAe 146-200 LVI-JNB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 13 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 767-400ER JNB-ATL In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air Botswana BAe 146-100 JNB-MUB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France 777-300ER CDG-JNB In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France A330-200 DTW-CDG In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-800 JFK-TPA (Pix And Vid) (by MHTripple7 Apr 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777 DEL-JFK Mar 28 2008 Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 29 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 9W707 W/Diversion (Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777-300ER JFK-DEL ( Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)


User currently offlineSpeedbird741 From Portugal, joined Aug 2008, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 27825 times:

Will,

Thanks for the report! Great job as always. I am glad you enjoyed Angola and got to go to other cities beyond Luanda. I see you also got to know the new Marginal which is quite beautiful. You missed the FILDA by a few days, which is a pity, as the TAAG stand was quite nice and that simulator sure was popular. I am bit surprised that you posted no pictures of Mussulo. It is a must for any person visiting Angola and I do hope your friends take you there (or took you there). If not, I'll invite you next time for a proper tour of the country as we seem to be around the same places - Florida, Portugal, and Angola!

I got to fly TEG and TEH this summer and I must confess those birds are lovely to fly on. If only the bloody service got some improvements! See my Youtube channel for some videos I shot, which you might enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=700ZdF7Hjos&feature=channel&list=UL

Cheers =)

[Edited 2012-11-07 19:47:45]


Boa noite Faro, Air Portugal 257 climbing flight level 340
User currently offlineATLFlyer323 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 618 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 27801 times:

Awesome report! Their 77W is a real beauty, and you had some great photos of Angola too! I always like it when people include some personal photos. Glad to see you had a good time.

-Brandon



Everyday, the fluffy temptation of wheat!
User currently offlinethegivenone From Austria, joined Jan 2008, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 27797 times:

Fantastic report! I enjoyed every bit of it. The uniqueness of the route, the pictures from Angola and the amazing backstory. It is one that will lie close to the hearts of many people in this community: flying half way around the world to a new country to meet up with fellow aviation enthusiasts.

I admire your openness to culture and exploration. And I am also happy you ignored all the concerns people had before your trip. I live by similar principles to those you discussed. I believe in trusting people.

Good stuff.


User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 27795 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very well done and very nice to see you have an open mind for Africa!!!

I agree with you how sometimes, the media tends to over-sensationalize a situation (good or bad) which in turn discourages travel to such destinations as Luanda. Well done and bravo!

I hope you were able to earn valuable miles for your flight to Luanda!

Bon voyage,

AirAfreak



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1240 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 27797 times:

Seems like a great airline.

How was TAP from Miami?


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 27798 times:

Very nice report Will - it's great that you were abel to get to Angloa with such ease and then meet up with some great people!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):

I began to explore the IFE system, which I thought was a disappointment. The system interface was fantastic with fast response times and all, but the movie choices were pretty terrible. There were less than 10 choices, most of them being movies I have never heard of. Come on, if you have a nice system, you might as well use it right!

It's the same on AI 787's. Lovely system, but there's nothing to watch. They don't even have any TV to watch (no Simpsons etc). BTW, I quite like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
But then right before descending, a flight attendant came to my row and asked “Are you Will?” I was a little confused and told him “Yeah that’s me!” to which he responded by saying “You’re the flight guy! My name is Ednei and I have your profile on Facebook. It’s very nice to meet you in person.”

Shame they didn't contact you earlier....you might have been able to do a tour of the plane or somthing?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 940 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 27794 times:

HI Will. Great Trip Report and I am so glad that this one carried on without a hitch (except of course the cabin baggage). How cool was it for a F/A to know you from Facebook. It just goes to show how small the world really is! The pictures were incredible. I am very happy for you! Cheers, Will


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlinemikeology From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 27789 times:

Hey will,

Great report on a seldomly covered destination. And I must say TAAG has one of the best liveries on a 777. Love it.

Would you reccomend Luanda to other Americans to visit? Good food & drinks?


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 715 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 27793 times:

Hi Will,

what a great report, really enjoyed it a lot. Ever since I saw the TAAG 777 last year in LIS I was quite interested about them, so good to read something about their flagship flight. Actually service seemed to be quite decent, especially the food they served.

And of course great of you to visit Angola, certainly not a usual or easy travel destination. Well done to dismiss all the concerns from other people. And great from your friends to invite you and show you around, in Africa in general everything is much easier when you have someone local to help you, who know how things are going, but I am sure you have experienced that yourself.

Thanks a lot again for this report (and for the nice pictures as well)
CaptainRed


User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1108 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 27804 times:

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone, it means a lot!

Quoting Speedbird741 (Reply 2):
Thanks for the report! Great job as always. I am glad you enjoyed Angola and got to go to other cities beyond Luanda. I see you also got to know the new Marginal which is quite beautiful. You missed the FILDA by a few days, which is a pity, as the TAAG stand was quite nice and that simulator sure was popular. I am bit surprised that you posted no pictures of Mussulo. It is a must for any person visiting Angola and I do hope your friends take you there (or took you there). If not, I'll invite you next time for a proper tour of the country as we seem to be around the same places - Florida, Portugal, and Angola!

Hi Speedbird741! Nice to hear from you. Yes the new Marginal looked great, however, I just missed its official opening unfortunately. Much nicer than what was there before! I know, I wish I could have been there for FILDA, but work constraints back home prevented me from going then. Didn't get a change to visit Mussulo, it was a very quick trip and we didn't have the time sadly. A boat is required to get there, correct? Yes, we must meet up some time!

Quoting Speedbird741 (Reply 2):
I got to fly TEG and TEH this summer and I must confess those birds are lovely to fly on. If only the bloody service got some improvements! See my Youtube channel for some videos I shot, which you might enjoy.

I have actually seen your videos before. I had no clue it was you! Beautiful footage.

Quoting ATLFlyer323 (Reply 3):

Awesome report! Their 77W is a real beauty, and you had some great photos of Angola too! I always like it when people include some personal photos. Glad to see you had a good time.

Hey ATLFlyer323! Yes, TAAG's planes look great. I am glad you liked the photos of Angola!

Quoting thegivenone (Reply 4):
Fantastic report! I enjoyed every bit of it. The uniqueness of the route, the pictures from Angola and the amazing backstory. It is one that will lie close to the hearts of many people in this community: flying half way around the world to a new country to meet up with fellow aviation enthusiasts.

Thanks, thegivenone. I really appreciate it.

Quoting thegivenone (Reply 4):
I admire your openness to culture and exploration. And I am also happy you ignored all the concerns people had before your trip. I live by similar principles to those you discussed. I believe in trusting people.

Thanks. I like to think that it's a better way to live my life. But it's hard at times when people repeatedly tell me how crazy and reckless I am. Oh well!

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 5):
Very well done and very nice to see you have an open mind for Africa!!!

Thank AirAfreak!

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 5):
I agree with you how sometimes, the media tends to over-sensationalize a situation (good or bad) which in turn discourages travel to such destinations as Luanda. Well done and bravo!

Yeah, and this has resulted in many people grouping Africa as one holistic place, leading them to ignore that it's made of up many entirely different countries.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 5):
I hope you were able to earn valuable miles for your flight to Luanda!

I got UA miles on TAP thankfully. TAAG, however, does not have frequent flyer agreements with any other airlines now... Maybe in the future!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 6):

Seems like a great airline.

How was TAP from Miami?

Thank lychemsa! TAP from MIA was great. Here's the TR I wrote about that flight:

TAP Portugal A330-200 Miami-Lisbon In Y (by MHTripple7 Aug 19 2012 in Trip Reports)

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Very nice report Will - it's great that you were abel to get to Angloa with such ease and then meet up with some great people!

Thank you gabrielchew. Yes, it all worked out in the end (thank god). It was an awesome experience.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
It's the same on AI 787's. Lovely system, but there's nothing to watch. They don't even have any TV to watch (no Simpsons etc). BTW, I quite like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen!

Doesn't seem to be too uncommon on new IFE systems. Wonder why?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Shame they didn't contact you earlier....you might have been able to do a tour of the plane or somthing?

I know that would've been so cool. Next time maybe!

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 8):

HI Will. Great Trip Report and I am so glad that this one carried on without a hitch (except of course the cabin baggage). How cool was it for a F/A to know you from Facebook. It just goes to show how small the world really is! The pictures were incredible. I am very happy for you! Cheers, Will

Glad you enjoyed, globalflyer! Yes, TAAG was very reliable this time, which I must admit was a pleasant surprise. I know, I was stunned when he knew who I was! Pretty cool for sure.

Quoting mikeology (Reply 9):

Hey will,

Great report on a seldomly covered destination. And I must say TAAG has one of the best liveries on a 777. Love it.

Would you reccomend Luanda to other Americans to visit? Good food & drinks?

Thanks for stopping by, mikeology! Luanda is a tricky city to visit. I would not recommend going there on your own without knowing anyone that lives in the city or having a guide take you around. Angola really isn't set up for English-speaking tourists at this point, but I think they are trying to change that. Additionally, the visa process is truly outrageous. With that said, if you have someone that can take you around the city to local beaches, restaurants, and events, I would definitely definitely recommend the trip if you enjoy going off the "beaten path". Angolans are really cool people for the most part -- love to party and dance! If you can overlook the price, food & drinks are great, and there are some very cool restaurants.

Also, other parts of Angola are truly beautiful. Benguela has some excellent beaches and very pretty women I've heard. Lubango is also a nice city with some great lodges.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 10):
what a great report, really enjoyed it a lot. Ever since I saw the TAAG 777 last year in LIS I was quite interested about them, so good to read something about their flagship flight. Actually service seemed to be quite decent, especially the food they served.

Thank you CaptainRed! I agree, the product was very nice. Very 'traditional' in that since. If only the flight attendants could be a bit friendlier!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 10):
And of course great of you to visit Angola, certainly not a usual or easy travel destination. Well done to dismiss all the concerns from other people. And great from your friends to invite you and show you around, in Africa in general everything is much easier when you have someone local to help you, who know how things are going, but I am sure you have experienced that yourself.

I am glad you support my decision to go! I meant to mention this in the report, but yes, Nuno and the TAAG Virtual guys were INCREDIBLY generous. I can't even describe it. I mean, how many people host a random American in their house? I feel guilty that I couldn't really offer much in return.


User currently offline9V-SPJ From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 27789 times:

Great report! The B773ER has to be one of my favorite aircraft! Nice to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Angola! I have only been to South Africa and that was years ago, but a trip of a lifetime!

9V-SPJ


User currently offlineSpeedbird741 From Portugal, joined Aug 2008, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 27787 times:

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 11):
A boat is required to get there, correct?

Yup, in practice you do need a boat to cross to Mussulo, and if you don't have a boat there are some water taxis you can take. I can't promise that you won't have to swim through a portion of the route given how they overload the boats, but I promise you it's worth it! However, there is also a, very impractical, way to get there by land. You have to head south from Luanda until you reach the Palmeirinhas, point at which you make a sort of u-turn and then follow the route of mostly sand that is already already on the "island" of Mussulo. You have to head way north on the "island" of Mussulo until you see the houses and the nice places to be. It's a fun trip by land, but takes a long time and the only reason to do it is for the trip itself. You'll have MIGHTY fun driving along that route in a Jeep Wrangler or a Defender!

Speedbird741



Boa noite Faro, Air Portugal 257 climbing flight level 340
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 27789 times:

great trip report!

And i gotta say, please don't take this the wrong way but American boy you're quite a looker!


User currently offlinebaggageinhall From UK - England, joined Sep 2010, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 27780 times:

A fantastic report on an airline that isn't featured very often.

I admire you courage and intrigue aged just 19 to visit a country that isn't on the usual tourist trail.


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2981 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 27780 times:

Very nice TR, really loved it. The new B77Ws, pictures of Angola ... everything.

Thanks for sharing.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1108 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27783 times:

Quoting 9V-SPJ (Reply 12):

Great report! The B773ER has to be one of my favorite aircraft! Nice to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Angola! I have only been to South Africa and that was years ago, but a trip of a lifetime!

Thank you, 9V-SPJ! The 77W is my favorite aircraft after the 77L. I'm glad you too had a great trip to Africa, it's a special place.

Quoting Speedbird741 (Reply 13):
Yup, in practice you do need a boat to cross to Mussulo, and if you don't have a boat there are some water taxis you can take. I can't promise that you won't have to swim through a portion of the route given how they overload the boats, but I promise you it's worth it! However, there is also a, very impractical, way to get there by land. You have to head south from Luanda until you reach the Palmeirinhas, point at which you make a sort of u-turn and then follow the route of mostly sand that is already already on the "island" of Mussulo. You have to head way north on the "island" of Mussulo until you see the houses and the nice places to be. It's a fun trip by land, but takes a long time and the only reason to do it is for the trip itself. You'll have MIGHTY fun driving along that route in a Jeep Wrangler or a Defender!

Wow that sounds really fun. Next time!

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
great trip report!

And i gotta say, please don't take this the wrong way but American boy you're quite a looker!

Haha appreciate the compliments.

Quoting baggageinhall (Reply 15):

A fantastic report on an airline that isn't featured very often.

I admire you courage and intrigue aged just 19 to visit a country that isn't on the usual tourist trail.

Thank you, baggageinhall! I'm currently trying to find the next place to visit. It will be someone difficult to "one-up" Angola though.

Quoting ojas (Reply 16):

Very nice TR, really loved it. The new B77Ws, pictures of Angola ... everything.

Thanks for sharing.

Thank you for the kind words, ojas.


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27781 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Will,

Great report & pictures, quite a trip and a brave one for one so young an American!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Exactly two years ago I flew this same route on this same airline, and it was quite the experience. Probably one of the more stressful ordeals of my life, which begs the following question: Why the HELL would I do it again?!

- I did wonder myself!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
TAAG also gave passengers the entire “mini” wine bottle, unlike TAP. Alcohol was free and flowing generously.

- Interesting, I 'wrongly' assumed service would be lacking, however TAP is no real comparison, their Y product is pretty weak.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Roughly 2 hours before arrival into LAD, an afternoon snack was served. I was very impressed with the quantity, especially considering this was less than a 7 hour flight.

- Very impressive!

Nice images of Angola too, looks like some nice old buildings there.

Glad you enjoyed your trip.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 830 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 27779 times:

Will,

Unique and beautiful TR, you've really outdone yourself this time,
very well written, captivating and containing great pictures too, i've read it in one go

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I ended up watching some sub-par movie about fishing in Yemen,
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Angolans are never in a rush to go anywhere!

  , brilliant!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
where he was very excited to greet me with a “Welcome to Africa!”

How touching!

You've convinced me to eventually consider TAAG for a next African trip.

thank you so much for sharing



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 27781 times:

Hi Will

Great trip report, thanks for sharing! TAAG seems to have made some great improvements, it indeed looks like one of the better airlines in AFI!

Thanks for sharing the Angola pics as well, they look nice

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
TAAG is the only airline in the world to have switched FROM a 3-4-3 configuration to a 3-3-3 configuration on their 777s. Pitch was very generous at 34 inches.

Great 

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 27776 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello again!!!!

I did a quick research to see what other options are available to you since you travel quite extensively. Here is a copy and paste from airfrance.us for members of Flying Blue:


TAAG Angola Airlines (TAAG - Linhas Aereas de Angola) is Angola's national flag carrier, operating long-haul and domestic flights. DESTINATIONS: From Luanda to Benguela, Brazzaville, Cabinde, Dundo, Harare, Havana, Huambo, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Kuito, Lisbon, Lubango, Lusaka, Malange, Menongue, Moscow, Ponte Noire, Rio de Janeiro, Sal, Sao Tome, Soyo and Windhoek.
Earning possibilities¹,²
You can earn Miles on TAAG-operated flights between Paris and Luanda.

You earn:
First Class: 300% – A, F
Business Class: 150% – C, D, Z
Economy Class: 100% – B, H, L, M, Y, S, N, Q



Again, great job on this report and I am looking forward to reading more and more!!!

Bon Voyage,

AirAfreak =]



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27775 times:

Hi Will, what an excellent report! Never read any report out of Angola, so that was quite unique. Nice to see that TAAG is doing pretty well. I've been in LIS this weekend and this airport is crap. It's looooong and narrow and old. It's not made for transiting and TAP - while quite ok product - was always late on my flights I had with them. I believe they wanted to see your ticket to make sure you don't overstay your visa.

You should scan your visa and passport stamps (and blank out important data), as it would be really interesting to see it  


User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7325 posts, RR: 85
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 27775 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great trip report.   

User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1960 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 27774 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, MHTripple7!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I went to the bathroom to try and clean myself up. I changed clothes, brushed my teeth, and washed my face. I felt much better after that.

No matter what class of service you travel in, you always want to change and freshen up a bit after a flight. When we landed in CPH from an overnight from IAD that's all my wife and I wanted to do was to shower and clean up!

TAAG Angola looks like a really interesting airline; thanks for sharing your report with us! What a great trip it looks like you had.

Best,

Matthew


25 Post contains images MHTripple7 : Thanks ba319-131, I appreciate it. You are right; however, I have found TAP to be very generous when it comes to meals and drinks. Have your experien
26 flightsimboy : Hello Will!! Thanks for the great write up and the explanation of how things came about for you to visit Angola!! I must say getting to know the peopl
27 Post contains links The777Man : Hi Will! Thanks for an amazing report with amazing pictures from the trip of a lifetime ( and you are ver young!) !!! This reminds me of my transfer a
28 MHTripple7 : Thank you flightsimboy! Yes, it was great having them on the ground in Angola helping me out. Although, I will comment that the sense of time and urg
29 The777Man : Hi Will! Yes, I know. I have decided not to fly on 777 carriers that have got the 777s second-hand. White technically falls in that category. Also, it
30 MHTripple7 : I say go for it! I would love to take the flight myself, however, I don't have much money left after Angola and my parents refuse to finance my crazy
31 The777Man : Thanks ! I appreciate your efforts regarding Ceiba. The777Man
32 I39OO : Will, well done! Visiting Africa is on my "to do list" by a long time. I know many people from various African countries and, even though most of them
33 PlaneHunter : Hi Will, great report with many good pictures! TAAG's product looks fine in general, but the IFE is certainly disappointing. Why not choose a slightly
34 MHTripple7 : Thanks I39OO! Yes, you should definitely make the trip to Africa. It's a special place. Haha, I would love nothing more than to party with my friends
35 adamspotter : Fantastic trip report, thanks for sharing it with us! Its great to get an insight on the TAAG 77W, I have to say I am quite impressed by them. Cabin l
36 jwhite9185 : Hey there - great report from an airline and country I knew existed - but never gave much thought to either. TAAG look pretty good actually - certainl
37 MilesDependent : Great report - I'd be very curious to visit Angola one day - it's definitely on my radar. I have read that Luanda is an outrageously expensive city to
38 MHTripple7 : Thank you adamspotter! I am glad you enjoyed the read! Yep. I guess he worked for the outsourced ground handling company, but it didn't reflect well
39 Post contains images abrelosojos : = And this is the attitude why I think you are awesome . This is exactly the approach one should have to traveling - instead of whining and going to
40 abrelosojos : WOW! I know you were looking forward to this trip for a while and I am glad you did it, and enjoyed it. TAAG was good and the cabin looked fresh - but
41 abrelosojos : Hey there - sorry it has taken me a while to get back to all the backlog of things to read. As some know, I have been locked up in the Western Hemisph
42 MHTripple7 : Sounds interesting!! Thanks so much for the kind words. Thanks again! I agree, but many of my friends continue to mock me for this trip. "You should
43 WROORD : Hi Will, Great report and pictures! Definately it was a lifetime experience. I am always travelling with the locals not in tourist buses that's how yo
44 MHTripple7 : WROOD -- thanks for the comments. Sorry it took me so long to respond; I have been on a training trip with my swim team without internet access. Thank
45 knightsofmalta : Hi Will Thanks for writing this up, it certainly was a very interesting read. It really is so much more rewarding when you have a local to show you ar
46 WROORD : I totally understand. I was on a couple of trips like that where you do not care what is happening around you and all you want to do is sleep. I had
47 Post contains links planiac787 : Great trip report mate... Dont get to see too many Taag reports , so this was definitely a pleasant surprise.. Great pictures and there on board produ
48 flyenthu : Great trip report. I saw a TAAG 777 in DXB early this month. It took a pic on its take off roll (see Houston-kolkata trip report). Their livery is ver
49 MHTripple7 : Thanks for the nice comments, William! Indeed it is, and I have made it a goal of mine to befriend locals on future travel experiences. It's so much
50 YYCSpotter : So what is this flight group you are talking about? it sounds interesting
51 laolao : Great trip! You really know how to travel.
52 christao17 : Wow, what a trip! I remember reading your previous report and am glad that this time you actually were able to enter the country. Thanks for sharing t
53 Post contains links MHTripple7 : Thanks for the comments guys. Sorry it's taken me a while to respond; life has been hectic lately. It's simply a Microsoft Flight Simulator virtual ai
54 celestar : Hi, I am not too sure that Angola airline is the world's only airline that switch from 3-4-3 to 3-3-3 for 777 economy class seating. Cathay/EVA/JAL ar
55 Post contains images stipica : Hi Will ! what to say expect wow and I am jealous ... nice that you put together so personal trip report ... you are so young but already on the right
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Taag Angola 777-300ER Lisbon-Luanda In Y
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Taag Angola 737-700 Windhoek-Luanda In Y W/Pix posted Sun Sep 12 2010 15:10:06 by MHTripple7
Air France 777-300ER CDG-JNB In J W/Pix posted Wed Jul 23 2008 07:11:56 by MHTripple7
A New Way To Fly – BA Boeing 777-300ER In First posted Tue Apr 17 2012 00:33:17 by Carfield
V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y posted Wed Apr 20 2011 10:59:58 by MHTripple7
AF FL#11 In Business Class 777-300ER JFK-CDG+pics posted Fri Jun 27 2008 14:36:09 by Jumbojet
A Lucky Trip On SQ's 777-300ER In First Class posted Tue May 20 2008 10:30:16 by Stargold
CX Boeing 777-300ER Inaugural HKG-ICN RT In J posted Thu Oct 4 2007 10:11:41 by Carfield
KLM's F70 And 777-300ER: BRS-AMS-BKK, July 2012 posted Thu Aug 30 2012 11:12:43 by win1290
Emirates A380 MAN-DXB/777-300ER DXB-MAN W/ Pics posted Sat Aug 11 2012 09:50:16 by mon330
Thai Airways Boeing 777-300ER: BKK-NRT-BKK posted Tue Apr 10 2012 04:23:25 by win1290

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format