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Christmas The Maltese Way: ZRH-MLA-ZRH  
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Posted (1 year 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 9550 times:

Dear readers,

Welcome to another trip report of mine.

December ended up being quite a busy month for me aviation wise. A few days after this trip:
A Winter Wonderland: BSL-NCE-GVA (by infodesk Jan 7 2013 in Trip Reports)

I flew back to England for a short stay. This time I chose KLM, so that I could reach silver status with Flying Blue.

My husband and I decided to do something different for Christmas. We have always either spent it in England or Switzerland, but we felt like a change and a break from “family traditions”. He didn’t want to fly too far after our epic trip to New Zealand earlier in the year, so we looked at what options were available in Europe.

We initially thought of the Canaries but the prices were extortionate so we then turned our attention to Cyprus. I found a nice hotel at an acceptable price in Ayia Napa, but somehow had my doubts. Some research on Trip Advisor confirmed them: seemingly the resort is pretty dead over Christmas, with not much going on.

Then I thought of Malta. We’d been there back in 2006 and liked it very much. Although the weather could be hit & miss in December, I read that Christmas on the island is a great experience and very much celebrated. So, we booked the same hotel as 6 years ago together with the Air Malta flights through a Swiss tour operator (this was cheaper than booking the hotel & flights directly). There were no transfers included but this wasn’t a problem, the hotel organised them for us.

Sunday December 23rd

OLCI doesn’t work. The system won’t accept my name (too long and complicated) so we decide to get to the airport a little earlier than planned. A neighbour drives us down to the station where we pick up the direct train, arriving at 3pm.

Up to Check-in 2, row 5 it is, this is where Swissport operate their common check-in desks. There is a short wait to hand in our suitcase and my request for a window and middle seat near the back is met: 20E&F.

The whole of Terminal 2 is going through a much needed facelift. You can see how old this part looks.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas012.jpg

On time for Malta


After chatting to some of my colleagues and buying some reading material, we go through security. As I know one of the guides on duty, we are allowed to use the business lane, speeding things up. Once airside I treat my husband to tea and cake in the new Sprüngli cafe. Well, that was the plan, he’s not a tea fan so has cola instead. It’s a nice addition to the airport, but extortionately expensive. 2 drinks and 2 cakes come to over 20CHF. Thankfully the meal vouchers I get makes the visit more affordable.

Just in case I forget where I am
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas014.jpg

Christmas lights
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas020.jpg

Here’s the lovely cafe
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas021.jpg

Afternoon tea
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas017.jpg

On our way to the gate we are treated to a lovely sunset
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas022.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas023.jpg

The gate area is pretty full. The inbound is slightly late arriving, so our ETD is delayed by 10 minutes. I am pleased to see the plane flying us down to Malta has the new livery which I really like: it’s so bright and cheerful. Just the right thing to get you in the holiday mood.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas030.jpg

I try to peer through the window to glimpse the registration and finally manage to read it, getting a few odd looks from the waiting passengers in the process.

Boarding starts at 17.25.

KM491
ZRH-MLA
STD 1740 / ATD 1804
STA 1955 / ATA 1952
A319 9H-AEM
Seats 20E&F
128 pax
63rd flight on the A319 & 1st on this aircraft


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas031.jpg

It’s clear this flight is going to be pretty full. There aren’t many tourists like us on board, it’s mainly Maltese going home for Christmas. Unsurprisingly we already have a seatmate, although she seems to know the tricks because after take-off I see her scanning the cabin for empty seats and sure enough she moves to the back row.

A festive touch
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas038.jpg

Legroom, perfectly acceptable for me, a bit tight for my husband
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas040.jpg

There’s a brief welcome form the flight deck, our flying time is announced as just under 2 hrs and we will be cruising at 37,000ft. It’s about 1,300km down to Malta where it’s 13C. There are 3 female FAs and 1 male.

Announcements are made in English & Maltese. It’s a funny language and quite amusing to listen to. Especially when amongst all the foreign sounding words you hear “telephone” and “flight mode”.

Pushback is at 17.51 and it’s just a short taxi to runway 28, although we do have a wait before we can take off at 18.04, as there’s quite a queue in front of us.

We fly above lake Zurich before the clouds appear and there are no views for a while.

Bright city lights


Reaching the Med
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas042.jpg

The meal service is swift considering how full the flight is. One member of staff distributes the food and the others serve the drinks.

Teamwork
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas043.jpg

I’m unsure what to expect to eat on KM as the service has been cut back over the years. On our last flight we got a hot meal but I think those days are over, so I don’t even bother to order a vegetarian meal. I’m pleasantly surprised when the tray gets handed to me:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas044.jpg

Chicken salad, the biggest bread roll I’ve ever seen plus a festive mince pie. Some swopping goes on: my husband takes my chicken and I have his mince pie. As for the drinks, well, when you’re flying KM you have to have Kinnie. The first sip of the stuff after so many years is just great. You can have one drink for free on Air Malta as well as unlimited water, anything alcoholic or further soft drinks have to be paid for.

Bliss…Kinnie


The crew pass through with tea and coffee later.

Later I can make out the lights of Sardinia in the distance.

Cabin shot
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas039.jpg

Reaching Sicily
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas047.jpg

Nearly there
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas048.jpg

We fly in along the East coast of Malta and have some lovely views of the island by night. Then we bank and approach from the South East, right past the Malta Freeport at Birzebbuga & touching down at 19.52.


Deboarding is a pleasure: by stairs of course and there’s a warm Mediterranean wind blowing. It’s a short walk across the tarmac to the terminal where for a brief while we mingle with the departing passengers.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas053.jpg
.


Under the wing, of course


The airport by night
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas058-1.jpg

Bye bye!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas059-1.jpg

Terminal
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas060-1.jpg

Some festive cheer
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas061.jpg

FIDS


There’s a long wait for the luggage and I notice several, what I assume to be customs officers (although they’re not in uniform) watching the goings on. Once we do have our bags and proceed to the exit, one of the officials stops my husband and says he wants to x-ray the case. I’m really not amused by this. Whilst there’s nothing in there that there shouldn’t be, there are Christmas presents which, of course, are all wrapped and I’m not in the mood to have them all unwrapped the day before Christmas Eve. There are other passengers also having things checked, although one woman looks like she’s facing a problem when an expensive Louis Vuitton box is unearthed. Fake and she’s in trouble, real and she could be too.

Thankfully, once the case has been x-rayed we are free to go, no further checks are carried out.

Once outside, I see a driver waiting for us and before long we are being whisked (very fast, I don’t think Maltese drivers have heard of speed limits) to our hotel in St. Julians, the Juliani.

After a welcome drink (yes, another Kinnie) we are shown to our room, a junior suite on the 7th floor with superb views over the pretty Spinola Bay. This is one of those hotels where having a sea view is a must.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas064.jpg

Breakfast area
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas514.jpg

A late dinner and a stroll along the promenade (No hat! No gloves!) and then it’s time for some sleep.

MALTA

The next morning I am woken by sun streaming through the gap in the curtains. Sun? I can’t remember the last time I got woken by the sun.

When you have a view like this on Christmas Eve, then there’s only one thing for it: get out and explore
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas095.jpg

We decided to venture into Valletta on the bus. A day ticket costs about 2.50E and the ride takes a good half hour. The bus was jam packed, standing room only. Sadly the old yellow buses have given way to the UK’s Arriva cast-offs. It was a really wonderful atmosphere in Valletta: the streets were bustling but it wasn’t unpleasantly overcrowded and most noticeably nobody seemed stressed. Try finding a scene like that on a high street in Central Europe.

A tree made entirely out of Mdina glass baubles


Christmas Eve crowds

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas120.jpg




A street corner
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas125.jpg

Were you able to sit out in the sun on Christmas Eve?
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas127.jpg

St. George’s Square
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas129.jpg

An impressive church entrance
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas150.jpg

The stress-free way to buy your fruit & veg


Christmas lights
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas176.jpg

In the evening we went to the nearby Radisson hotel for a buffet dinner which I booked in advance. The restaurant did a really super job: the buffet was an enormous spread and the staff were so attentive.

On Christmas Day morning the roads were empty


It was also the sunniest day of our stay, so after a leisurely breakfast we went for a wander around St. Julian’s

Spinola Bay with the hotel in the centre
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas230.jpg

This is my favourite picture
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas293.jpg

The nearby Portomaso complex, where some Hollywood stars own property.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas247.jpg

How about a Christmas swim in the rooftop pool? (Ok, the water was very cold, I made it as far as my knees, backed out & enjoyed the view instead)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas261.jpg

During an evening stroll, the churches were lit up….


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas078.jpg



…and we came across a beautiful nativity scene that someone had set up in their garage. This is not uncommon in Malta.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas283.jpg

On Boxing Day, we hit the sales in Sliema. Well, with shops such as:

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas310.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas332.jpg


and
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas343.jpg
…how could I resist?

The Bay shopping centre


Sliema
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas315.jpg

The view across to Valletta
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas321.jpg

Christmas lights in Sliema

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas374.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas380.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas088.jpg



On an environmental note, one thing that really impressed me on Malta was the lack of plastic bags. Every shop I bought anything in, with the exception of one late night store, gave me a paper bag. Even the stores like Debenhams and M&S which still use plastic bags in the UK. A big thumbs up to Malta here.

Sadly, all too soon, our stay came to an end and it was time to pack our cases for the return trip.


"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 9549 times:

Friday 28th December
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas523.jpg

After a leisurely breakfast and a final stroll along the promenade soaking up the last rays of sun, we are picked up for our ride to the airport. The taxi driver is a very chatty guy, who even gives us his business card and says he’ll happily send us Kinnie by post when we run out. He never stops talking and proceeds to show us the pictures of his rescue dog on his phone whilst changing lanes on a busy road   .

Still, we make it one piece and are soon at the airport, this time in daylight

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas521.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas520.jpg



How nice to see a crib on display
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas518.jpg

They sure have some strange number plates in Malta


FR are pretty big here
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas527.jpg

Christmas decorations
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas526.jpg

We have two bags to check in. Two? We only had one coming out. Well, I planned ahead and took an empty case as hand luggage. This had one sole purpose: to be filled with Kinnie. There are 23 cans of the stuff in there and I have never known such a small case to be so heavy.

Check-in
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas516.jpg

Dedicated desks for the ZRH flight
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas515.jpg

FIDS
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas517.jpg

As we leave the check-in area we are asked by a student whether we mind filling out a questionnaire on tourism in Malta & we oblige.

Security is pretty painless, well, for us at least. There’s a heated debate going on between the staff and a gentleman who refuses to give up his can of shaving foam.

A last look back landside
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas531.jpg

After security we enter the duty free shop run by Nuance and it looks just like the one at Zurich. The staff are very attentive. We buy a bottle of Maltese wine which we’d had one night in a restaurant and then my husband gets a bottle of local liquer. Once again, no plastic bags here.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas532.jpg

Airside at MLA is pretty small: the usual touristy shops and a self service restaurant.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas534.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas533.jpg



We opt for the Hard Rock café for a penultimate Kinnie. The staff aren’t very strict and there are plenty of people sitting in the comfy chairs who aren’t patronizing the place.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas537.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/MaltaChristmas538.jpg



I see something large out on the tarmac and make a beeline for the nearest window, getting a few funny looks in the meantime. Well, I couldn’t miss this beauty amongst the sea of A32xs, could I?

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas540.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas541.jpg



Gate 4 for Zurich


Swarovski crystals


Homebase for KM
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas547.jpg

We wander around, after all, we’ll be sitting for long enough on the plane, and my attention is caught by a smoking area. Not that you’ll usually find me in such places, but at airports they can be worth investigating. Sure enough, the self service restaurant has an outdoor terrace for smokers. It really does stink, but at least I manage one photo.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas548.jpg


KM490 MLA-ZRH
ZRH-MLA
STD 14.25 / ATD 14.33
STA 16.50 / ATA 16.53
A319 9H-AEG
Seats 14E&F
Load: 95%
64th flight on the A319 & 1st on this aircraft


At 14.00 boarding is called at gate 4 and we’re bussed out to the plane. One chap is sent away from the queue, he’s at the wrong gate and is booked on the Vienna flight.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas549.jpg

Boarding by stairs always gives you nice photo opportunities.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas550.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas551.jpg



“Under the wing, you know”
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas552.jpg

Love the bits of info on the engines!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas557.jpg

Thank you!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas559.jpg

Just like on the outbound flight, most of the passengers are Maltese heading somewhere for New Year. The chap on the aisle seat is going to the Black Forest with his family.

Still boarding
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas561.jpg

Company traffic
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas560.jpg

Legroom
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas562.jpg

In-flight magazine


Just in case I forgot
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas564.jpg

There’s a more detailed welcome from the crew this time and Cpt Azzopardi (a good Maltese name there) gives us some info about the flight. We’ll take off to the NW, flying directly over the island and Gozo before heading across to Sicily. Cruising at 38,000ft with a lengthier flying time of 2hrs20 today.

A colourful line-up
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas565.jpg

En detail
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas566.jpg

Turning
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas568.jpg

It’s a short taxi to the runway and at 14.33 we take off.

Bye Malta!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas571.jpg



As we climb higher, the full splendour of Malta’s capital comes into view

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas576.jpg




On the left is Sliema
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas578.jpg

Getting greener


I’m sure William will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the famous church at Mosta
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas581.jpg

Final view of Malta 

We enter the clouds, there are a few gaps where we get a glimpse of Gozo:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas586.jpg

….and then it’s out over the Med heading for Sicily, which soon comes into view. There’s some light chop, nothing major, but the pilot puts the seatbelt sign on immediately.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas594.jpg

Flying over Sicily reminds you how small Malta is
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas596.jpg

We have a nice view of PMO from above


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas602.jpg



Before long, our food arrives. It’s was identical to what we had on way out, but nevertheless bearing in mind this was a mid-afternoon flight, you can’t complain.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas604.jpg

Close up
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas605.jpg

To wash it all down? A Kinnie of course!


Oops, these must have fallen into my bag.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas609.jpg

After the meal service the crew disappear. Into thin air. They don’t reappear until the plane begins its descent. This doesn’t create a good impression, I think they should always be evident somewhere in the cabin.

Cruising at 38,000ft
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas610.jpg

Progress
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas612.jpg

Isola del Giglio


Traffic
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas615.jpg

Passing over Elba


Ferry just leaving Piombino


Soon things get much hillier


The pilot really put his foot down to avoid this one


The Alps soon come into view, tinged pink in the evening light

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas635.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas639.jpg




Lake Maggiore & the Magadino plain


It just keeps getting better



http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas649.jpg



Despite several attempts on google maps, I couldn’t identify this one
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas655.jpg

Back under the murk, must be on approach to Zurich
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas657.jpg

Atomic power station at Leibstadt
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas661.jpg

Over the Rhine


It’s a smooth landing on runway 14 at 16.53, after exactly 2hrs20 of flight, just as the flight deck predicted.

Heavies over at Dock E
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas664.jpg

And the not-so-heavy
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas667.jpg

Dock B & the viewing terrace
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas668.jpg

A final view of our plane
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Maltaxmas/MaltaChristmas670.jpg

On passing through the arrival duty free, the following offer catches my attention. As the duty free store at MLA is also run by Nuance, they have the very same penguin on offer. In Malta it was free with purchases over 50E (ca. 64CHF). In ZRH, a whopping 119CHF spend is necessary!


Our luggage arrives quickly and before long we are on the train back home. No time to really reflect on the trip, I have an early shift the next day and my bed is calling……

My verdict:

My flights on KM are pretty much a repeat of the ones back in 2006. No major delays, acceptable onboard service and comfortable seats. Yet somehow the crew just lacked warmth. To me they come across as quite robotic, which I find a real shame.

As for Malta, a lovely island, ideal for a short break, with lots of discover and pleasant all year round temperatures. It was great to do something so different for Christmas.

In case you were wondering, yes, we do have enough to keep us going for a while  

Thank you for reading and as always, comments & feedback are much appreciated!

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 offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 934 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 9339 times:

Hi Hannah... Great TR. Malta looks beautiful. That is one country that I have not yet had the chance to visit. OK I have to ask...what is Kinnie? I have never heard of this drink? Cheers, Will


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 9140 times:

Hi Hannah

Loved your report - it was a great way to spend a cold night commuting home.... I enjoyed reading about your Air Malta experience, and by co-incidence saw one of their A320s in the new colours for the first time at LHR when I arrived home on Sunday.

I also really enjoyed your destination pics. Malta looked great and your hotel looked like it was a great location.

All those UK shops - like home away from home. I felt the same way when I was in Dubai last year - just about every UK chain store has a presence in Dubai as well, including a Waitrose in Dubai Marina!

Thanks again - the sunset pics at ZRH on your departure were my favourites!

Cheers Palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 8980 times:

Hi Hannah,
Excellent report, thank you for writing it! Nice to see Malta again, I only visited once, before children!
23 cans of Kinnie? Did one not make it into your case?  
Yes, I believe the church from above was the famous Mosta dome.
Thanks again
signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 8955 times:

Very nice report Hannah. I nearly booked a last minute trip to Kuwait over Xmas, but stayed in the Uk instead in the end  
Looks like you had a great time in Malta. Shame those old buses have gone. KM looked ok. Not great staff, but good catering. Funny how they have kept the meal, but gone stingy on drinks, whilst most other carriers (like BA) ahve gone the other way.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This is my favourite picture

Great one it is too. Like timelaspe or something!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This had one sole purpose: to be filled with Kinnie. There are 23 cans of the stuff in there and I have never known such a small case to be so heavy.

Haha, you're worse than I am! I think I only brought back 4 (1.5L) bottles of Borjomi from Georgia!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Flying over Sicily reminds you how small Malta is

I know, it's funny how big Sicily is compared to Malta. How did Malta stay independent all these years?



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 offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1168 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 8926 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Hannah,

Great report with many nice pictures, especially those of Malta! Seen many different reports on Malta it looks like a beautiful island, I must get there soon!
As for KM, they look quite OK nothing all too special. Shame about the crew being robotic though.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This time I chose KLM, so that I could reach silver status with Flying Blue.

Congrats, So I guess we all have priority next weekend?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
As I know one of the guides on duty, we are allowed to use the business lane, speeding things up.

Oh the joyce of working at the airport!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
2 drinks and 2 cakes come to over 20CHF

wow, that is pricy

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Afternoon tea

That chocolate cake looks absolutely delicious!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
On our way to the gate we are treated to a lovely sunset

Beautiful sunset indeed  
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I am pleased to see the plane flying us down to Malta has the new livery which I really like: it’s so bright and cheerful.

Congrats on catching the new livery, I think it looks great and much better than the older one

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
A tree made entirely out of Mdina glass baubles

Looks impressive

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Were you able to sit out in the sun on Christmas Eve?

No I was working a 12 hour shift at work, lucky you 
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This is my favourite picture

That is one of my favorite too. The water, houses and beautiful clouds, stunning!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
FR are pretty big here

There isn't a "second" airport miles out of town for them to fly too 
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I see something large out on the tarmac and make a beeline for the nearest window, getting a few funny looks in the meantime. Well, I couldn’t miss this beauty amongst the sea of A32xs, could I?

Haha, I have that myself a lot too. People are thinking: "Did he really run over to the window to take a picture of that plane, he must be crazy!"  
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Swarovski crystals

How much would that cost 
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Just in case I forgot

Interesting too see those covers still have the old logo on them

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
As we climb higher, the full splendour of Malta’s capital comes into view

Stunning!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The Alps soon come into view, tinged pink in the evening light

I can never get enough of the beauty of the Alps!

Thanks for another great report Hannah  

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2444 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 8768 times:

Nice TR!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
So, we booked the same hotel as 6 years ago
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
How about a Christmas swim in the rooftop pool?

Sorry, I must have over read - which hotel did you stayed in? The location is stunning!


User currently onlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1221 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 8649 times:

Malta is great. Also Gozo. Really enjoyed my trip there.

User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 730 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 8373 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello and great trip report with KM!!!

I'm so jaded with anything chicken as it is always served here in the USA, however, it was nice to see the addition of olives and haricot vert with your salad!

You should have seen the look on my face when I was offered either "Hibachi CHICKEN or Teriyaki BEEF" on a DL flight from NRT to LAX... I thought to myself how un-inspiring and typical. Maybe I'm jaded. Who knows? lol!!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to share this report with the rest of us!

Bon Voyage,

AirAfreak



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7690 times:

Hi guys,

Thank you all for your feedback & comments, much appreciated!
Will,

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 2):
Hi Hannah... Great TR. Malta looks beautiful. That is one country that I have not yet had the chance to visit. OK I have to ask...what is Kinnie? I have never heard of this drink? Cheers, Will

Oh yes, Malta’s really worth a visit. So much history on such a small island. Kinnie is the local soft drink, the nearest I can compare it to is a mix of coke & orange. It’s very refreshing – and I’m not even a fan of fizzy drinks.

Palmjet,

Quoting palmjet (Reply 3):
Loved your report - it was a great way to spend a cold night commuting home.... I enjoyed reading about your Air Malta experience, and by co-incidence saw one of their A320s in the new colours for the first time at LHR when I arrived home on Sunday.

That’s so nice to hear, thank you! The new livery is great, isn’t it?

Quoting palmjet (Reply 3):
I also really enjoyed your destination pics. Malta looked great and your hotel looked like it was a great location.

A super location. The hotel is right in the middle of St. Julians, with loads of restaurants nearby and the bus stop right opposite.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 3):
All those UK shops - like home away from home. I felt the same way when I was in Dubai last year - just about every UK chain store has a presence in Dubai as well, including a Waitrose in Dubai Marina!

It’s a strange feeling isn’t it? You could kid yourself that you’re in the Uk, then you walk outside into the sunshine and realise that it’s definitely not the UK  
Quoting palmjet (Reply 3):
Thanks again - the sunset pics at ZRH on your departure were my favourites!

Thanks, I’ve rarely seen a sunset so impressive from the airport.

Hi Signol,

Quoting signol (Reply 4):
Excellent report, thank you for writing it! Nice to see Malta again, I only visited once, before children!

Thank you. Time to introduce the kids to Malta one day?!

Quoting signol (Reply 4):
23 cans of Kinnie? Did one not make it into your case?

10 out of 10 to you for being so observant! Yes, one can was sacrificed to replace what we had out the minibar  
Quoting signol (Reply 4):
Yes, I believe the church from above was the famous Mosta dome.

Thanks, I googled it and it looked the same!

Gab,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Very nice report Hannah. I nearly booked a last minute trip to Kuwait over Xmas, but stayed in the Uk instead in the end

Well, ok, Kuwait is somewhat more exotic than Malta, but come next Christmas, I can highly recommend escaping the UK winter!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Looks like you had a great time in Malta. Shame those old buses have gone. KM looked ok. Not great staff, but good catering. Funny how they have kept the meal, but gone stingy on drinks, whilst most other carriers (like BA) ahve gone the other way.

Yeah, I was certainly surprised by the meal. And yet as you say you pay if you want an extra Kinnie or the like, it doesn’t really make sense.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Great one it is too. Like timelaspe or something!

Thanks.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Haha, you're worse than I am! I think I only brought back 4 (1.5L) bottles of Borjomi from Georgia!

Glad to know I’m not alone! What’s Borjomi like then?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
I know, it's funny how big Sicily is compared to Malta. How did Malta stay independent all these years?

Quite incredible, isn’t it? There was an interesting programme on BBC recently about Malta, it was the most bombed place in all of WW2. Never knew that.

Brendan,

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
Great report with many nice pictures, especially those of Malta! Seen many different reports on Malta it looks like a beautiful island, I must get there soon!
As for KM, they look quite OK nothing all too special. Shame about the crew being robotic though.

Dank u wel! Malta is sure worth a trip, but yeah, it’s a pity about the crew.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
Congrats, So I guess we all have priority next weekend?

Priority, maybe, but not lounge access 
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
Oh the joys of working at the airport!

You have to use the perks whilst you can!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
That chocolate cake looks absolutely delicious!

It was good, but very rich indeed.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
No I was working a 12 hour shift at work, lucky you

Poor you. Don’t worry, I made up for it on New Year’s Eve……

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
That is one of my favorite too. The water, houses and beautiful clouds, stunning!

Thanks!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
Haha, I have that myself a lot too. People are thinking: "Did he really run over to the window to take a picture of that plane, he must be crazy!"

So I’m in good company then!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
How much would that cost

More than the holiday probably!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
Interesting too see those covers still have the old logo on them

They were hoping nobody would notice  
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 6):
I can never get enough of the beauty of the Alps!

Me neither, but I’m sure you already know that…..

Debonair,

Quoting debonair (Reply 7):
Sorry, I must have over read - which hotel did you stayed in? The location is stunning!

It was the Juliani in St. Julians. Highly recommended. Take a look at the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Lychemsa,

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 8):
Malta is great. Also Gozo. Really enjoyed my trip there.

Two great islands for sure.

AirAfreak,

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 9):
I'm so jaded with anything chicken as it is always served here in the USA, however, it was nice to see the addition of olives and haricot vert with your salad!

I was just grateful to get a free meal on the flight. The beans weren’t bad either!

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 9):
You should have seen the look on my face when I was offered either "Hibachi CHICKEN or Teriyaki BEEF" on a DL flight from NRT to LAX... I thought to myself how un-inspiring and typical. Maybe I'm jaded. Who knows? lol!!!!!

Well, beef or chicken, it’s the classic, let’s-not-try-too-hard option. Not inspiring at all.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 9):
Thanks for taking the time to share this report with the rest of us!

And thank you for leaving your feedback!

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 offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1746 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7445 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi there Hannah,

Nice report and good to see some remnants of Christmas here lol! Well, it certainly is different from the cold and wet winter in the more northern latitudes of Europe and with the weather nowadays I guess your only desire would be to hop an a plane and get over there asap! KM provided you with a decent crossing although I don’t seem to be too happy with the overall cabin feel, a bit dull and grey (dark blue), but perhaps you can prove me wrong?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Some research on Trip Advisor confirmed them: seemingly the resort is pretty dead over Christmas, with not much going on.

I sure would love a bit a peace and quiet over that period which is by far too hectic for me.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The system won%u2019t accept my name (too long and complicated)

Well, people don’t choose their names themselves now do they  

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
As I know one of the guides on duty, we are allowed to use the business lane, speeding things up.

  so next time I’m in ZRH, I wil tell the staff about the infodesk and hopefully I get the same nice treatment  

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
You can have one drink for free on Air Malta as well as unlimited water, anything alcoholic or further soft drinks have to be paid for.

I can live with that service concept.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Under the wing, of course

Hmm, wonder who would be of inspiration for this 

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
How about a Christmas swim in the rooftop pool? (Ok, the water was very cold, I made it as far as my knees, backed out & enjoyed the view instead)

Booo!   

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Christmas lights in Sliema

That looks very nice!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Well, I couldn%u2019t miss this beauty amongst the sea of A32xs, could I?

You sure could not. Your report in fact inspired me to try to book something around this EK 5th freedom flight. Am working on that!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
One chap is sent away from the queue, he%u2019s at the wrong gate and is booked on the Vienna flight.

Vienna, Zurich, what’s the difference. They’re both(practically) in the Alps anyway lol!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
In case you were wondering, yes, we do have enough to keep us going for a while

Bring some to MAN if you will?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7292 times:

Hey Hannah


Great report, thanks for taking the time to share this with us.
KM looks to be a nice carrier with good (free) service.

The Island of Malta looks to be the ideal place as well to spend the holidays.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 7052 times:

Dear Hannah,

A break from “family traditions” will not harm for once. As the matter of fact, it would make the next family reunion even more exciting as you’ll have something new and different to share! Like your Christmas escape to Malta!  


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
So, we booked the same hotel as 6 years ago together with the Air Malta flights through a Swiss tour operator (this was cheaper than booking the hotel & flights directly).

You just notice it everywhere. Flight and hotel combo tends to be cheaper most of the times!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
the hotel organised them for us.

Complimentary, I assume?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
A neighbour drives us down to the station where we pick up the direct train, arriving at 3pm.

How accommodating of your neighbour.  


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
As I know one of the guides on duty, we are allowed to use the business lane, speeding things up.

That’s the way I like it!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Once airside I treat my husband to tea and cake in the new Sprüngli cafe. Well, that was the plan, he’s not a tea fan so has cola instead.

I didn’t dare to ask, but do they serve beer as well?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
to a lovely sunset

Gorgeous!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I try to peer through the window to glimpse the registration and finally manage to read it, getting a few odd looks from the waiting passengers in the process.

We definitely should do this next weekend! 


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Unsurprisingly we already have a seatmate, although she seems to know the tricks because after take-off I see her scanning the cabin for empty seats and sure enough she moves to the back row.

Way to go!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Especially when amongst all the foreign sounding words you hear “telephone” and “flight mode”.

These important terms are just universal!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I’m pleasantly surprised when the tray gets handed to me:

No hot meal, but how could you possibly refuse fresh salad with eggs, chicken slices and accompaniments?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
As for the drinks, well, when you’re flying KM you have to have Kinnie.

Each airline has its own signature local drink!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
You can have one drink for free on Air Malta as well as unlimited water, anything alcoholic or further soft drinks have to be paid for.

Why oh why does KM not offer unlimited Kinnie?  


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Once we do have our bags and proceed to the exit, one of the officials stops my husband and says he wants to x-ray the case. I’m really not amused by this.

Oh, no! If such control would take place, that official would definitely pick me!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
a junior suite on the 7th floor

Your own private space!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
a stroll along the promenade (No hat! No gloves!)

How I miss that!  


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
get out and explore

Definitely!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Try finding a scene like that on a high street in Central Europe.

or in Western Europe…   


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
A tree made entirely out of Mdina glass baubles

 Wow!


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Were you able to sit out in the sun on Christmas Eve?

No!   


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The stress-free way to buy your fruit & veg

Cool! Did you buy anything?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
On Christmas Day morning the roads were empty

Did everyone go to the church?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This is my favourite picture

Was it really wintertime?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
During an evening stroll, the churches were lit up…

Beautiful!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
(Ok, the water was very cold, I made it as far as my knees, backed out & enjoyed the view instead)

What about your husband?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Christmas lights in Sliema

Charming!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
proceeds to show us the pictures of his rescue dog on his phone whilst changing lanes on a busy road  Wow! .

What a driving skill!  Wow!


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
How nice to see a crib on display

How adorable.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
There are 23 cans of the stuff in there and I have never known such a small case to be so heavy.

Don't you fancy post holiday workout?   


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
There’s a heated debate going on between the staff and a gentleman who refuses to give up his can of shaving foam.
Some people just never learn!   


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Well, I couldn’t miss this beauty amongst the sea of A32xs, could I?

Emirates A343! You were very lucky to spot this rare frame!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Swarovski crystals

Fragile jewel!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
It really does stink, but at least I manage one photo.

Being smoker can have an advantage…

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Boarding by stairs always gives you nice photo opportunities.

So glad that no one bothers tarmac photography!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Cpt Azzopardi (a good Maltese name there)

Good on you to write down his name!   


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Before long, our food arrives. It’s was identical to what we had on way out, but nevertheless bearing in mind this was a mid-afternoon flight, you can’t complain.

  


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
To wash it all down? A Kinnie of course!

Kinnie, what else?   


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Oops, these must have fallen into my bag.

No worries!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
The Alps soon come into view, tinged pink in the evening light

What a serenity!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Despite several attempts on google maps, I couldn’t identify this one

Could it be Lago di Luzzone?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
In case you were wondering, yes, we do have enough to keep us going for a while

How many of them are left by now?


Thank you for sharing this beautifully shiny evening read.

Happy Easter to you and your husband.
Suryo  



Friends forever
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6994 times:

Hi Hannah!

Thanks for a very nice report with amazing pictures !

Malta looks fabulous ! I will visit some day but not sure when.

The view from your hotel is stunning !

I'm happy that you were able to get away for a few days to experience something like Malta.

Flights seem okay. At least you get a meal which looks okay.

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6883 times:

Hi Hannah

Thanks for the great report. I've been looking our for this one. I'm glad to hear you had a good time in Malta. I was there too just before Christmas, but somehow I had trouble getting into the festive spirit because it simply wasn't cold enough.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I try to peer through the window to glimpse the registration and finally manage to read it, getting a few odd looks from the waiting passengers in the process.

Let them look and learn from an expert at work!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
There aren’t many tourists like us on board, it’s mainly Maltese going home for Christmas.

That's actually quite unusual.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
On our last flight we got a hot meal but I think those days are over, so I don’t even bother to order a vegetarian meal.

Normally Air Malta also have a vegetarian option available on their flights. But you have to ask for it.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
It’s a short walk across the tarmac to the terminal where for a brief while we mingle with the departing passengers.

It's quite unusual that they should not segragate arriving and departing passengers. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
This had one sole purpose: to be filled with Kinnie. There are 23 cans of the stuff in there and I have never known such a small case to be so heavy.

I always stock up at the duty free store too.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
I’m sure William will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the famous church at Mosta

Spot on as usual, Most dome it is.

Thanks a lot for posting Hannah, I enjoyed that.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 999 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6672 times:

Hi Hannah! Nice report, wit some great pictures from Malta too. Seemed like a perfect way to spend Christmas!

User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6550 times:

Hi guys,

Great to see some more comments!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Nice report and good to see some remnants of Christmas here lol! Well, it certainly is different from the cold and wet winter in the more northern latitudes of Europe and with the weather nowadays I guess your only desire would be to hop an a plane and get over there asap! KM provided you with a decent crossing although I don’t seem to be too happy with the overall cabin feel, a bit dull and grey (dark blue), but perhaps you can prove me wrong?

Thanks for your feedback. It’s sure a long dark winter and those days in Malta really did us good. I can’t really prove you wrong as regards the cabin, the seats were dark, but at least they were the nice comfy armchair ones that I love. Pity they didn’t use some of the bright colours from the new livery in the cabin as well.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
I sure would love a bit a peace and quiet over that period which is by far too hectic for me.

It’s got way out of hand. The only thing that seems to be important is how much money is spent  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Well, people don’t choose their names themselves now do they

No, of course not. Where did you get that idea from?  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
so next time I’m in ZRH, I wil tell the staff about the infodesk and hopefully I get the same nice treatment

Next time in ZRH, be sure to visit at a time when I’m not on holiday!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Hmm, wonder who would be of inspiration for this

Nobody on this forum, that’s for sure!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
That looks very nice!

I’m a sucker for Christmas lights.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
You sure could not. Your report in fact inspired me to try to book something around this EK 5th freedom flight. Am working on that!

That’s great to hear! I’m sure you’ll make a nice little trip out of that.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Vienna, Zurich, what’s the difference. They’re both(practically) in the Alps anyway lol!

True, and they’re boh freezing cold!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Bring some to MAN if you will?

I’ll bring a can & you bring some plastic glasses?  

Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 12):
Great report, thanks for taking the time to share this with us.
KM looks to be a nice carrier with good (free) service.

No complaints, they did the job.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 12):
The Island of Malta looks to be the ideal place as well to spend the holidays.

Well worth a trip, lots of history and copious sunshine!

Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
A break from “family traditions” will not harm for once. As the matter of fact, it would make the next family reunion even more exciting as you’ll have something new and different to share! Like your Christmas escape to Malta

True. Family traditions are all well and good, but sometimes you need a change.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Complimentary, I assume?

No it wasn’t, but taxis in Malta are cheap compared to Switzerland so it didn’t blow the budget!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
How accommodating of your neighbour.

We take him to the station when he’s travelling & vice versa.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
didn’t dare to ask, but do they serve beer as well?

I’m not sure actually! I don’t think so, it doesn’t really fit with the tea & cake atmosphere…

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
We definitely should do this next weekend!

I’m sure we will!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
These important terms are just universal!

And seemingly difficult to translate.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
No hot meal, but how could you possibly refuse fresh salad with eggs, chicken slices and accompaniments?

Well, exactly.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Why oh why does KM not offer unlimited Kinnie?

Because the tourists would drink the plane dry  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Oh, no! If such control would take place, that official would definitely pick me!

I think it was my husband’s bad boy leather jacket that did the trick. Must remind him not to wear it again when we’re crossing borders.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Your own private space!

Heavenly.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
How I miss that!

The time will come again, we just have to be very patient this year.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Cool! Did you buy anything?

No. We had some fine takeaway lunch Maltese style instead. Delicious pastries filled with ricotta cheese.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Did everyone go to the church?

I guess so. The Maltese are a religious folk.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Was it really wintertime?

It didn’t feel like it.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
What about your husband?

Two lengths of the pool…..

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
What a driving skill!

Not a skill I wish to learn!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Don't you fancy post holiday workout?

I will need it, for sure.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Some people just never learn!

No they don’t. How long have the restrictions been in place now?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Emirates A343! You were very lucky to spot this rare frame!

I didn’t realise how lucky until you told me.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Being smoker can have an advantage…

Rarely, but, yes, now and again.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
So glad that no one bothers tarmac photography!

It should always be like this….

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Good on you to write down his name!

I always try, but sometimes the announcements aren’t clear enough and I end up with a question mark in my notebook.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
What a serenity!

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Could it be Lago di Luzzone?

It could be, that was one of the ones on my shortlist. It just didn’t seem to match one to one. Sometimes I wonder whether I search for too much detail when it’s more obvious than you think.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
How many of them are left by now?

22! You need the warm sunny weather to enjoy them.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Thank you for sharing this beautifully shiny evening read.
Happy Easter to you and your husband.
Suryo

Thank you Suryo for leaving all your comments. Hope you had an enjoyable Easter.

Lars,

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Thanks for a very nice report with amazing pictures !
Malta looks fabulous ! I will visit some day but not sure when.

Thanks & glad you enjoyed it. I’m sure you’d like Malta, so much to see and do.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
The view from your hotel is stunning !

Isn’t it just?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Flights seem okay. At least you get a meal which looks okay.

Punctual, comfortable and with a proper meal. Just a shame the crew weren’t that little bit more friendly.


William,

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
Thanks for the great report. I've been looking our for this one. I'm glad to hear you had a good time in Malta. I was there too just before Christmas, but somehow I had trouble getting into the festive spirit because it simply wasn't cold enough.

I could get used to a warm Christmas vs a cold one  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
Let them look and learn from an expert at work!

Nicely phrased!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
That's actually quite unusual.

It wasn’t what I was expecting. I assumed the flight would be full of sunseekers like us and was really surprised at how many Maltese were on board. Maybe because it was the last flight before Christmas Eve?

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
Normally Air Malta also have a vegetarian option available on their flights. But you have to ask for it.

That’s good to know. Yes, you’re right, I could have asked, but as the offending meat was easy to remove, I decided not to be awkward for once.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
It's quite unusual that they should not segragate arriving and departing passengers. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

I can’t remember how it was on our previous trip. I don’t like this mingling of arriving & departing pax, but it seems to be getting more common.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
I always stock up at the duty free store too.

I can understand that!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
Spot on as usual, Most dome it is.
Thanks a lot for posting Hannah, I enjoyed that.

Thank you & I’m looking forward to your promised visit at the desk one of these days……

Robert,

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 16):
Hannah! Nice report, wit some great pictures from Malta too. Seemed like a perfect way to spend Christmas!

Perfect in every way. I’d be happy to celebrate every Christmas like that.

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 offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27122 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6494 times:

Hi Hannah  

Lovely report. I recognise so many places from my visits there. One of my best friends is Maltese and I had the pleasure of spending some very nice times there.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
seemingly the resort is pretty dead over Christmas, with not much going on.

You chose right. Ayia Napa is not that nice in Summer also ! Paphos is nicer IMHO.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Bliss…Kinnie

Arr yes the liquid Gold ! I can taste it now ... so lucky to have your stock pile . Id fly to Malta just to have it again. Did you try the ricotta cheese pies? Love those too.

BTW Hannah I am going to get my mate to read this but I think you got his Aunts house in one of your shots ! Small world.

Anyway thanks so much for the report.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6468 times:

Hi Philip

Just thought you might be interested: you can actually buy Kinnie online for delivery in the UK at ilovekinnie.com. Not sure about Ireland though.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1313 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6407 times:

Hey Hannah,

Thx for great report. Interesting to see Malta at winter, as it is usually a summer destenation.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
2 drinks and 2 cakes come to over 20CHF. Thankfully the meal vouchers I get makes the visit more affordable.

20CHF for 2 drinks and cakes? and I thought DME was expensive.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
when you%u2019re flying KM you have to have Kinnie

   sorry, you wrote so much about it, but when I was in Malta I bought one as a must, but it was disgusting and I throewd it away half full. Can't understand people who willingly drink it.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Were you able to sit out in the sun on Christmas Eve?

Israel! Israel! Israel! Places like Nazareth, Jaffa and Bethlehem do get very 'christmasy'.


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
We wander around, after all, we%u2019ll be sitting for long enough on the plane, and my attention is caught by a smoking area. Not that you%u2019ll usually find me in such places, but at airports they can be worth investigating. Sure enough, the self service restaurant has an outdoor terrace for smokers. It really does stink, but at least I manage one photo

I remember this smoking area very well from my trip there: Nightmares And Thefts: Air Malta TLV-MLA-TLV (by EL-AL Oct 22 2010 in Trip Reports)

Thank you for the report, it was a great read. Always good too see one more full service European airline left.
Jonathan



"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6347 times:

Hi folks!

Philip,

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Lovely report. I recognise so many places from my visits there. One of my best friends is Maltese and I had the pleasure of spending some very nice times there.

Thank you & I’m glad I brought back some happy memories for you.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
You chose right. Ayia Napa is not that nice in Summer also ! Paphos is nicer IMHO.

Good to know for future reference. I’m sure we’ll go to Cyprus one day.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Arr yes the liquid Gold ! I can taste it now ... so lucky to have your stock pile . Id fly to Malta just to have it again. Did you try the ricotta cheese pies? Love those too.

My Christmas Eve lunch was Kinnie and a ricotta pie   Delicious and so cheap!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
BTW Hannah I am going to get my mate to read this but I think you got his Aunts house in one of your shots ! Small world.

What a coincidence!

William,

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 19):
Just thought you might be interested: you can actually buy Kinnie online for delivery in the UK at ilovekinnie.com. Not sure about Ireland though.

Thanks for the tip. I saw it's available on Amazon but would rather not give them the business.

Jonathan,

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
Thx for great report. Interesting to see Malta at winter, as it is usually a summer destenation.

It is indeed and you don’t even find it as a destination in any travel brochure here in the winter. The package we booked was online only. It’s a shame as well, as it makes a perfect winter break.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
20CHF for 2 drinks and cakes? and I thought DME was expensive.

Horrendous, I know, but the place is always full so people seem happy to pay it.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
sorry, you wrote so much about it, but when I was in Malta I bought one as a must, but it was disgusting and I throewd it away half full. Can't understand people who willingly drink it.

That’s ok! Tastes are different & that’s a good thing  
Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
Israel! Israel! Israel! Places like Nazareth, Jaffa and Bethlehem do get very 'christmasy'.

Something to bear in mind for the future.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
I remember this smoking area very well from my trip there: Nightmares And Thefts: Air Malta TLV-MLA-TLV (by EL-AL Oct 22 2010 in Trip Reports)

And I remember that report. Although I might just read it again now that Malta is fresh in my mind.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
Thank you for the report, it was a great read. Always good too see one more full service European airline left.

Thank you Jonathan for taking the time to leave your comment.

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 offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27122 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6129 times:

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 19):
Just thought you might be interested: you can actually buy Kinnie online for delivery in the UK at ilovekinnie.com. Not sure about Ireland though.

Hey William thanks for that link . Very useful ! I will be seeing if they deliver ti ROI and if not then my Mum will be getting a knock on the door with a crate LOL..  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 21):
My Christmas Eve lunch was Kinnie and a ricotta pie   Delicious and so cheap!

Arr good stuff Hannah I knew you wouldnt let me down   Long live Kinnie !!


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

Hi, H.,

such a very nice read. Well done and definitely a good restart to see all the stories posted during the last weeks.
Nice pictures also, definitely out of standard european christmas procedures.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Here’s the lovely cafe

The place for me!.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

Under the wing, of course

Oh, yes!.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

This is my favourite picture

Lovely.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
They sure have some strange number plates in Malta

He´s a Liverpudlian!.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

“Under the wing, you know”

More, please!.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5744 times:

Philip,

Quoting OA260 (Reply 22):
Arr good stuff Hannah I knew you wouldnt let me down Long live Kinnie !!

Indeed. Sometimes the cheap and cheerful snacks can be the best!

Hi Markus,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 23):
such a very nice read. Well done and definitely a good restart to see all the stories posted during the last weeks.
Nice pictures also, definitely out of standard european christmas procedures

Thanks for your reply. I'm sure you have a lot of reports to catch up on. Malta was certainly a great decision for a non conventional Christmas.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 23):
The place for me!.

And they serve special organic teabags!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 23):
Lovely.

Just the weather we need right now.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 23):
He´s a Liverpudlian!.

That's really funny! You clearly remember everything I told you  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 23):
More, please!.

Maybe under the nose next time!

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 offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 25, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5727 times:

Hi Hannah,

very nice report about your Christmas trip! The destination pics are great, I still need to visit Malta. Good to see you had decent flights on KM.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Afternoon tea

That looks good!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
A319 9H-AEM

Sounds familiar!  

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I’m pleasantly surprised when the tray gets handed to me:

The meals look better than the one I got.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
On an environmental note, one thing that really impressed me on Malta was the lack of plastic bags. Every shop I bought anything in, with the exception of one late night store, gave me a paper bag.

  

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Love the bits of info on the engines!

Very cool idea.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 26, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5532 times:

Hi PH,

Thanks for your comments.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):
very nice report about your Christmas trip! The destination pics are great, I still need to visit Malta. Good to see you had decent flights on KM.

You must indeed visit Malta, such a great escape from the dull cold days in Central Europe.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):
That looks good!

Something to try next time you’re passing through ZRH!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):
Sounds familiar!

Not too difficult with KM’s small fleet  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):
The meals look better than the one I got.

No complaints here for sure

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 offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5207 times:

Hi Hannah,

another great report from your side, nothing less than what was expected  . I also have fond memories of Malta, but unfortunately I never tried Kinnies  Wow! , looks like I missed out on something important  .

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
(very fast, I don’t think Maltese drivers have heard of speed limits)

So now imagine me arriving in Malta, everything pitch black night, me sitting in a rental car (steering from the wrong side) trying to drive (on the wrong side of the road) using Maltese signage (which is nonexistant FWIW) to my hotel near the Gozo ferry terminal  Wow!. I heard LOTS of horns that night .

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Despite several attempts on google maps, I couldn’t identify this one
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m...5.jpg

I think that could be Lago del Sambuco (http://goo.gl/maps/IqqwE) - keep in mind that in winter the water levels of the reservoirs are much lower than on the summer pictures of Google Maps.



WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 28, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4887 times:

Hi AustrianZRH,

Thanks for your kind reply.

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 27):
another great report from your side, nothing less than what was expected . I also have fond memories of Malta, but unfortunately I never tried Kinnies , looks like I missed out on something important

Sounds like a good excuse to go back and try one then, it tastes so much better when you drink it in the sun  
Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 27):
So now imagine me arriving in Malta, everything pitch black night, me sitting in a rental car (steering from the wrong side) trying to drive (on the wrong side of the road) using Maltese signage (which is nonexistant FWIW) to my hotel near the Gozo ferry terminal . I heard LOTS of horns that night .

You're braver than me! I'm used to driving on the "wrong" side, but I definitely wouldn't have the nerves for the Maltese roads!

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 27):
think that could be Lago del Sambuco (http://goo.gl/maps/IqqwE) - keep in mind that in winter the water levels of the reservoirs are much lower than on the summer pictures of Google Maps.

Good point, I hadn't considered that. Having looked again, it was definitely one of the lakes I shortlisted.

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 offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4667 times:

Enjoyed this TR, the photos bring back great memories.

We spent 5 nights in Malta in September and it was HOT. Loved it, liked snapping all the old trucks and the interesting mishmash of cultures, I have several 100 pictures in my photo stream if your are interested  

I could easily go back for 2 weeks vacation. Lots of interesting traffic transits MLA too if you are prepared to hang around.

Never even saw Kinnie...? Maybe I was too busy with the Cisk.



Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
User currently offlineB738FlyUIA From Kazakhstan, joined Dec 2009, 557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4486 times:

Hi Infodesk

Thanks for sharing the great TR on Air Malta.. looks really great and seams that you had a great time there.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
On our way to the gate we are treated to a lovely sunset

Simply lovely photo and think the best on your TR that is with planes  
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This is my favourite picture

Agree... the best without planes  

Look forward to more of your TR's... what you plan as next?

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
20CHF for 2 drinks and cakes? and I thought DME was expensive.

DME is expensive in Duty Free... not only for beverages and food but also for clothes.. T-Shirt for 31(t)eruro's  


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 31, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 3976 times:

Hello B738FlyUIA,

Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 30):
Thanks for sharing the great TR on Air Malta.. looks really great and seams that you had a great time there.

Thank you for your kind feedback and yes, Christmas in the sun certainly beat shivering in the snow!

Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 30):
Simply lovely photo and think the best on your TR that is with planes
Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 30):
Agree... the best without planes

Great minds think alike 
Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 30):
Look forward to more of your TR's... what you plan as next?

My latest report is up and I have a couple more to work on

Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 30):
DME is expensive in Duty Free... not only for beverages and food but also for clothes.. T-Shirt for 31(t)eruro's

Crikey, even worse than Swiss prices!

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 offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1341 posts, RR: 12
Reply 32, posted (1 year 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3874 times:

Hi there Hannah,

Glad I finally got round to having a look at this one! I did think about going to Malta earlier in the year after I found some pretty good prices with KM, however I went to Porto instead! However after seeing this report, I might have to have another look at going there. And trying some Kinnie! Never heard of it but you've got me intrigued now!

KM also look pretty good, however the onboard meal doesn't seem like my kind of thing, although it does look pretty high quality. At least they do serve something though, which is more than can be said for most these days.



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