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Night Stop In Beirut: Turkish A333 & MEA A320/A332  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20024 times:



http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/EuropeMiddleEast2012Beirut/Map1.jpg

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz



Intro
Back in summer 2012, I started working on an itinerary which should include some widebody flights on intra-European routes. As usual, I also tried to include as many new airlines as possible. First of all, I earmarked Turkish Airlines flight TK1822 (Paris-Istanbul) which regularly showed a 777-300ER on certain days. Then I found a very tempting connecting option: Istanbul-Beirut-Paris on MEA - Middle East Airlines A320 and A330-200, including a 4-hour stopover. I had always wanted to fly MEA, so I quickly booked the flights. Seat24 was the travel agency of choice because it sold all three flights on one ticket.

Now I needed to find interesting ways to get to Paris and back. After searching for a long time, I booked an open jaw Lufthansa ticket offered by Expedia: Munich-Paris on Augsburg Airways Embraer 195 and Paris-Munich-Luxembourg on Lufthansa A321 and Luxair Embraer ERJ-145. I was really glad that I would finally be able to log Luxair which had always deterred me due to astronomical fares.

My next task was to find an attractive option for the return to Munich. After a while, I decided to book Luxembourg-London/City-Dublin on CityJet Fokker 50 (operated by VLM) and CityJet Avro RJ85. Finally, I added a Dublin-Munich flight on Aer Lingus and reserved airport hotel rooms in Paris and Luxembourg. Over the course of four days, I would fly on four new carriers (MEA, Luxair, CityJet and VLM) and visit three new airports (Beirut, Luxembourg and London City). Map:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/EuropeMiddleEast2012Beirut/Map2.jpg

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

Part I of my new series will focus on the flights on Turkish Airlines and Middle East Airlines.

[Edited 2013-06-28 23:43:20]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
67 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20333 times:

Munich-Paris and Ibis CDG Airport
My trip started with a relaxed Sunday afternoon flight on Augsburg Airways Embraer 195 D-AEMC (new registration for me) from Munich to Paris. After a quick ride on the CDGVAL, I checked in at the Ibis CDG Airport and got a room with runway/apron view as requested. The rooms are small, but nice:



The weather was bad outside, so I kept spotting from the window. This is an Air Méditerranée 737-500:


Later in the evening, I checked in online for the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul and I was relieved that a 777-300ER seatmap showed up. The 777 had mostly operated TK1822 on Mondays in the last few weeks, but there had been some equipment changes as well. Going from a 777 to an A321 or A320 would have been really bad. Well, I selected a window seat in the back and kept hoping that there wouldn't be a last minute aircraft change...  crossfingers 



Monday, October 2012
Paris (CDG) - Istanbul (IST)
Turkish Airlines TK1822
Scheduled times: 11:25-15:55
Actual times: 11:50-16:31
Flight duration: 03:09 (hrs)
Distance: 1392 miles
Economy Class, seat 37A

Airbus A330-343E
TC-JNH (MSN 1150), named "Topkapı"
Delivered in 09/2010


1st flight on TC-JNH
13th A330-300 flight
29th A330 flight



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As soon as I woke up in the morning, I checked Flightradar24...and was vastly disappointed that an A330 was operating TK1821 to Paris...so much for the desired 777 ride.  Embarrassment  thumbsdown  At least it was one of TK's A330-300s and not an A330-200 or an A340-300 (both of which I had flown on before), or even worse, a narrowbody aircraft. Then I tried to change my seat, but the online check-in tool was still showing a 777 seatmap.  thumbsdown   thumbsdown 

About three hours before departure, I went to Terminal 1 and joined the small queue at the Turkish Airlines check-in area. A ground staff member immediately waved me to a Business Class counter where a friendly agent welcomed me. I told him about my seat selection (50A) and the aircraft change and he offered me 37A in the third last row which I gladly accepted. Before printing the boarding pass, he asked me twice whether this was a business trip - apparently he was rather confused about the fact that I would return to Paris in less than 20 hours after transiting in Istanbul and Beirut. He was finally satisfied and smiled when I told him that I was simply enjoying flying around.

Now it was time again to enter one of the funky Terminal 1 escalator tubes...





...followed by the tunnel to the satellite:







The Terminal 1 gate areas are nice for spotting, so I cannot complain about this old building and its layout. My plane arrived almost on time:



TC-JNH was the first factory fresh A330-300 to join the Turkish Airlines fleet...



...and is named "Topkapı":



Boarding was done by groups, but numerous people were blocking the way which wasn't helpful. So it took me a while to get through the crowd. Once on board, friendly flight attendants welcomed me. When I arrived in the back, I started a conversation with a young male flight attendant. "No 777 today - last minute aircraft change?", I asked, but he apparently didn't understand what I was talking about...anyway, I returned to my seat after we had exchanged a few more words.

The seat was comfortable enough...


...but I preferred the older versions which I had on my trip to Singapore in 2011. If you want to compare:
QF A380 Grounded, Bags Lost - LHR-SIN, TK A330/340 (by PlaneHunter Jan 30 2012 in Trip Reports)

However, the new seats are equipped with larger screens and more features:



Seat pitch hasn't changed, but there's more space due to the lack of IFE boxes:



Safety card:



Inflight magazine:



Very detailed fleet information page...couldn't find any mistakes, except for the gray engine on the 737-700:



A330 data close-up:



IFE guide:



That's what I also found in the seat pocket package:



New-style handset:



Rather cheap earphones:



Turkish's audio/video on-demand IFE system, called Planet, offers a great choice of features. The older version on the A330-200 and A340-300 had already impressed me, but the latest version on the A330-300 and 777-300ER is even better. Language selection:



Main menu:



Less detailed fleet information here:



The most important feature:



Parked next to us was United 767-300ER N655UA in nice old colors:


Boarding took longer than expected and once it had been completed, there weren't many empty seats left. Unfortunately, the seat next to me was taken as well.

We left the gate 25 minutes behind schedule (without an explanation) and started a 16 minute journey to the runway on the other side of the airport. The Terminal 1 main building looks like a huge saucer:



Air China A340-313 B-2385:



Syphax Airlines A319-112 TS-IEF:



Malaysia 777 tail and departing Air France 777-300ER in the background:



Malaysia Airlines 777-200ER 9M-MRQ flew me from Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt in 2008:



Many people hate it, but I like it:



SIA A380 and Thai 777-300ER:



TAM A330-200:



XL Airways 737-86N F-HJER:



Face to face with Concorde...





Ibis CDG Airport in the middle:



Nice visitor from Beirut - will I see you tomorrow?



Finally reaching the runway...



Just after the "takeoff position" command, the remark "nice flight!" was added by a young man on the flight deck. Never heard that before. Climb-out with Le Bourget on the left:





Paris from another perspective:



CDG Airport:



Shortly after takeoff, tasty nuts were offered:



Now it was time to have a look at the menu card:





20 minutes after the snack service, the flight attendants commenced serving lunch - from the back, btw, so my preferred choice (beef) was still available. The tray looks impressive...


...but the meal quality didn't entirely come up to expectations. The beef was okay, but the chicken breast was dry - and the pieces of eggplant were soaked in oil and totally mushy. As for the chocolate cake - it was okay, no more, no less.

No doubt, it was a very decent meal for an intra-European flight, but I wasn't entirely satisfied considering that it was provided by the heavily advertised DO&CO catering which calls itself "The Gourmet Entertainment Company". As for variety - I'm not a TK frequent flyer and cannot draw any conclusions, but I found it quite interesting that my main course looked very similar to the one I had received on my LHR-IST flight almost a year before. You can find it here:
QF A380 Grounded, Bags Lost - LHR-SIN, TK A330/340 (by PlaneHunter Jan 30 2012 in Trip Reports)

No empty seat in this section:



After we had started descending...





...it would take no less than 30 minutes until touchdown. We passed Istanbul and flew a wide holding pattern along the Black Sea coastline which added some 20 minutes of flying time. Finally, we turned back and I enjoyed stunning views during final approach to runway 23:





The Bosphorus Bridge:





Some treats for the cruise ship lovers:







Süleymaniye Mosque and Istanbul University:







Almost there:



We touched down after a flying time of 3 hours and 9 minutes and taxied to a remote parking position where we arrived almost 40 minutes behind schedule. Parked next to us was A340-300 TC-JDL in Star Alliance colors:



Two more pictures from the bus:






Transfer at IST
Once at the terminal, I was first heading towards the exit because I was assuming that I would need to go to a MEA check-in desk in order to get my boarding passes. Then I discovered a transfer desk and tried my luck there. A very friendly young agent could indeed check me in and reserve the desired seats on both flights for me, but it was only possible to print the boarding pass for the Istanbul-Beirut sector.

Due to very long queues at security, I postponed going to the departures level and kept spotting for a while near the transfer desks. It wasn't a great place, but I could log a few registrations:


Finally, I passed security and went up to the departures level. However, no matter where I went to - gate areas, shopping zones, restaurants or restrooms - all these places were crowded. I even had to wait in line in the restrooms! The terminal has become too small for these masses of people - transferring at IST can be a pain during peak times, at least for Economy Class passengers. Well, there are some lounges which grant access for a fee, e.g. the Millennium Lounge which is nice, but I didn't want to pay €20+ for two hours or so.

[Edited 2013-06-28 23:54:57]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20264 times:

Monday, October 2012
Istanbul (IST) - Beirut (BEY)
MEA Middle East Airlines ME268
Scheduled times: 20:30-22:15
Actual times: 20:29-22:15
Flight duration: 01:22 (hrs)
Distance: 615 miles
Economy Class, seat 32F

Airbus A320-214
F-OMRA (MSN 5162)
Delivered in 05/2012


1st flight on F-OMRA
48th A320 flight
144th airline



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Photo © Erwin Scholz



After a rather uncomfortable waiting time, I was glad when I discovered an illuminated tail showing a nice cedar tree in the distance. The MEA flight from Beirut arrived on time and the plane turned out to be F-OMRA, one of the three newest A320s in the fleet:



It's hard to see from this perspective, but the three newest A320 frames are powered by CFM56s...


...unlike the seven older frames and the four A321s which are IAE-powered. I had hoped that MEA would send OD-MRL which is the 5000th A320 family aircraft, but what can you do?

When I stepped on board, I got a friendly welcome by female flight attendants in nice uniforms. MEA's entire fleet is equipped with fixed shell seats (more about this later)...



...and PTVs:



Legroom was sufficient (when in upright position):



Tiny IFE boxes didn't take away much space:



I felt truly welcome on MEA:



The flight was packed, but not entirely full, because the couple next to me suddenly decided to move elsewhere after boarding had been completed. I was certainly glad about that! A flying time of 1.5 hours was announced and we soon left the gate - exactly one minute ahead of schedule.

Numerous planes had lined up for takeoff and when only two of them were left ahead of us, one of the flight attendants quickly headed back to take her seat. Suddenly a man seated behind me shouted at her in a demanding tone of voice: "Water, please!"  Yeah sure Wow, sometimes you really have to wonder. The flight attendant didn't react which wasn't surprising considering that the plane was about to enter the runway.

After a powerful takeoff and an enjoyable climb over millions of lights, I wanted to have a closer look at the IFE system, but I couldn't do so immediately due to a trailer which lasted some 20 minutes. Anyway, here's what I found in the seat pocket:



Shopping guide and inflight magazine:



More details about MEA's fixed shell seats:


I found my seat rather comfortable, but only in normal position. Sliding forward when pressing the recline button is not to my taste. Btw - according to the article, the seats are wider than any others installed on similar aircraft. I'm skeptical - can anyone confirm this?

Pope Benedict XVI. flew on the 5000th A320 aircraft - I wonder if he noticed...



Integrated IFE guide - I counted a total of 12 movies and 15 games on offer:



Now back to the IFE system itself. Language selection:



Main menu:



I was mostly interested in the moving map, as usual:





As a full service carrier, MEA provides meals even on such short flights - here's my tray:


Unfortunately, the cheese sandwiches were too dry for my liking, but the sweet biscuit and the Tropicana orange juice tasted good.

After all trays had been recollected, water was offered during another drink round. Nice cup:



That's how a narrowbody cabin should look like, at least in terms of hardware:



172 kilometers to go:


We touched down after a flying time of 1 hour and 22 minutes and arrived at the gate exactly on time. Unfortunately, I couldn't see much outside. I wish I had been able to make a daytime connection at Beirut.


Night stop at BEY
There was no reason to hurry, so I belonged to the last passengers leaving the aircraft. Then went to a (rather basic) restroom to change clothes. However, when I finally showed up at the transfer desk some 25 minutes after arrival, all agents had already left. A small security checkpoint for transfer passengers was located only some meters away and fortunately, a friendly officer (wearing a military uniform) was sitting there. He immediately jumped up and called someone after I had told him about my connection. He explained that an agent would come down soon.

10 minutes later, an agent showed up and apologized for the waiting time. After checking my data, he seemed to be confused about my itinerary. He asked me to confirm that I flew from Paris to Istanbul earlier on that day and was now heading back to Paris. I was already prepared for a longer explanation, but he didn't ask any more questions and just issued my boarding pass. Then I passed the small security checkpoint and walked up to the departures level.

The central airside hall with numerous shops and some restaurants was mostly deserted on that late evening, actually there were more staff members around than passengers. This kept changing within the next two hours, though. Nice cars were on display - I'm not sure whether one could win those:





The gate concourse looked rather depressing...


...seats were uncomfortable and the restrooms weren't in good shape, but at least free WiFi was available and I could even log some registrations of parked aircraft. I also bought some snacks and drinks in a small cafeteria which charged insane prices.

[Edited 2013-06-29 00:02:48]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20250 times:

Tuesday, October 2012
Beirut (BEY) - Paris (CDG)
MEA Middle East Airlines ME209
Scheduled times: 02:05-05:45
Actual times: 02:15-05:54
Flight duration: 04:19 (hrs)
Distance: 1983 miles
Economy Class, seat 44K

Airbus A330-243
OD-MEC (MSN 995)
Delivered in 05/2009


1st flight on OD-MEC
17th A330-200 flight
30th A330 flight



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Photo © Gary Claridge-king


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Photo © Tomek Kusnierz



The political situation had become more tense in Lebanon in the days before the trip, so I was certainly glad when I noticed that my flight to Paris was scheduled to operate as planned. At least the Air France flight on the next day would be canceled, but I don't know the reason.

OD-MEC, the second newest frame in the four strong A330-200 fleet was being prepared for flight ME209 - I was really looking forward to the ride on this pretty bird:



The gate area was slowly becoming crowded and people started to line up when the first ground agents arrived. Boarding commenced early without a dedicated announcement and the huge queue was moving very slowly because police officers carefully checked passports of many passengers.

I was relieved when I could finally step on board - and once again the friendly welcome by the flight attendants left me with a good first impression. The cabin was in good shape and had been cleaned well. As expected, the seats were identical to the ones on the A320...





...but legroom was more generous, I guess by one inch or so:


The seat was comfortable at first, but my back would start hurting later during the flight - so I can only wonder about that modern and "ergonomic" seat type.

Yes, I did indeed feel welcome on MEA again:



The seat pocket content was the same, except for the safety card, of course:



Low-quality headphones:



I was hoping that the aisle seat would remain empty, but it was soon taken by a man from Syria (as he later told me during a short conversation). The flight was packed, I didn't see more than a handful of empty seats.

The plane was pushed back slightly late, but we reached the runway very quickly and soon lifted off, climbing out over the sea. Beirut looked nice at night, but a daytime departure would have been much better.

Didn't I fly on that path in the opposite direction just a few hours ago?  Wink



I was expecting to get a small snack after departure and breakfast before arrival, but MEA proved me wrong. Here's the menu card with it's pretty front page...



...and pretty backside:



MEA was about to serve brunch shortly after departure:



Drinks:



A very friendly female flight attendant distributed the trays on our side and I asked her what "Knafeh" was. She smiled and explained that it was a sweet cheese pastry and I decided to try it - which made her smile even more. Here's my tray which looked really good:


After she had handed the tray to me, she grabbed a small bottle of syrup and asked me if I wanted some splashes over my "Knafeh". Of course I agreed. The main course tasted very good, just like most other items.

After I had finished eating, the nice flight attendant returned and asked me how I liked "Knafeh" - I told her that I liked it a lot and she seemed to be satisfied. I can only praise MEA for this good meal - and I can only praise that flight attendant for her personal service.  thumbsup 

For the rest of the flight, I kept watching the airshow most of the time:







The inflight magazine didn't contain a fleet information page, but I found some data while browsing through the IFE system. No complaints this time:



Last but not least, the obligatory cabin shot:



After a flying time of 4 hours and 19 minutes, we touched down at CDG and reached the gate slightly late. During disembarking I said goodbye to the nice flight attendant and thanked her for the good service.

One last shot of OD-MEC which looks beautiful at any time, no matter if it's day or night:


After a short ride on the CDGVAL, I went back to my room at the Ibis to get some rest before the flight to Munich in the early afternoon. Story to be continued...

[Edited 2013-06-29 00:08:42]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20170 times:

Conclusion
Even though I didn't get Turkish Airlines' 777, I enjoyed the flight from Paris to Istanbul. The A330-300 was equipped with the airline's latest Economy Class product which is very good in terms of seating comfort and entertainment. One can only praise Turkish Airlines for the quantity of food it serves (especially on European flights), but it should make sure to keep quality on a high level as well. It raises high expectations with the DO&CO catering - and those should be met. Ground stuff members and flight attendants were friendly and provided a good service. What I didn't like was the transfer at Istanbul - that airport has become too small for Turkish Airlines and the situation won't get better any time soon.

Middle East Airlines definitely exceeded my expectations. All ground staff members and flight attendants were friendly and appeared motivated, with the nice girl on the BEY-CDG flight even being outstanding. The meal on the short hop was nothing to write home about, but the catering on the longer flight was truly impressive. It was a great decision by MEA to introduce PTVs and modern seats fleet-wide, even though the selected seat type is not to my liking. Once again, the transfer hub is the airline's weakness - Beirut Airport is not a great place to spend a few hours. Nevertheless, I would certainly fly both carriers again.



Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



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3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90 (+pics) (by PlaneHunter Sep 27 2008 in Trip Reports)
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic (by PlaneHunter Sep 10 2008 in Trip Reports)
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality (by PlaneHunter Aug 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling (by PlaneHunter Aug 2 2008 in Trip Reports)
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi (by PlaneHunter Jul 19 2008 in Trip Reports)
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s (by PlaneHunter Jun 25 2008 in Trip Reports)
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777 (by PlaneHunter Apr 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310 (by PlaneHunter Apr 9 2008 in Trip Reports)
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog (by PlaneHunter Mar 13 2008 in Trip Reports)
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11 (by PlaneHunter Feb 10 2008 in Trip Reports)
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300 (by PlaneHunter Jan 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark (by PlaneHunter Dec 31 2007 in Trip Reports)
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777 (by PlaneHunter Dec 15 2007 in Trip Reports)
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic) (by PlaneHunter Dec 3 2007 in Trip Reports)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340 (by PlaneHunter Nov 15 2007 in Trip Reports)
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote (pix) (by PlaneHunter Oct 14 2007 in Trip Reports)
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa (pix) (by PlaneHunter Aug 26 2007 in Trip Reports)
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321 (by PlaneHunter Jul 24 2007 in Trip Reports)
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH (by PlaneHunter Jun 28 2007 in Trip Reports)
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777 (+pics) (by PlaneHunter Jun 16 2007 in Trip Reports)
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays (by PlaneHunter May 30 2007 in Trip Reports)
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9 (by PlaneHunter May 21 2007 in Trip Reports)
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343 (+pics) (by PlaneHunter Dec 28 2006 in Trip Reports)
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773 (+pix) (by PlaneHunter Nov 29 2006 in Trip Reports)
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ) +Pics (by PlaneHunter Oct 18 2006 in Trip Reports)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400 (by PlaneHunter Oct 5 2006 in Trip Reports)
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332) (by PlaneHunter Oct 4 2006 in Trip Reports)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345 (by PlaneHunter Sep 29 2006 in Trip Reports)
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB (by PlaneHunter Jul 15 2006 in Trip Reports)
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels (by PlaneHunter Jun 4 2006 in Trip Reports)
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro +pix (by PlaneHunter May 6 2006 in Trip Reports)
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762 +Pix (by PlaneHunter Mar 26 2006 in Trip Reports)
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US +Pix (by PlaneHunter Mar 13 2006 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2013-06-29 00:11:20]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1197 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 19767 times:

Hola Udo!

Very informative report on those two great airlines: THY and MEA.

Being able to fly those two wide bodies in these medium-haul flights gives you and idea of what their long-haul ones look like.

TK seems to offer a great product, compared to other European airlines, really nice IFE and food. IST is suffering from over crowdedness all year around, they have started many new routes and probably IST capacity is not prepared for that. For example. they have three daily flights from BCN, three from MAD, one from VLC, BIO and SQC... They are growing very fast and maybe it is time they start investing in the airport to provide its customers with hassle-free connections.

MEA is a rarity here and I really appreciate your report. Interesting seat, at least you do not recline on the back passenger but it does not seem to be very comfortable. The food looks great, what an interesting breakfast you got and the FA care seems to be genuine Middle East friendliness, nice of her to offer such a great service.

Glad you were able to log those three new registrations, there are many more to come, I am sure. Looking forward to seeing and reading your reports.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 19699 times:

Hola Roger!

Thanks a lot for your quick feedback!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
Very informative report on those two great airlines: THY and MEA.

Good to hear you liked it!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
Being able to fly those two wide bodies in these medium-haul flights gives you and idea of what their long-haul ones look like.

True! But it's interesting to note that MEA's longest flights are the ones to West Africa.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
TK seems to offer a great product, compared to other European airlines, really nice IFE and food.

What's most impressive is the fact that you even find PTVs on the newer TK narrowbodies.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
IST is suffering from over crowdedness all year around, they have started many new routes and probably IST capacity is not prepared for that. For example. they have three daily flights from BCN, three from MAD, one from VLC, BIO and SQC... They are growing very fast and maybe it is time they start investing in the airport to provide its customers with hassle-free connections.

Yes, one can only hope that the new airport won't be heavily delayed.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
MEA is a rarity here and I really appreciate your report.

Thanks!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
The food looks great, what an interesting breakfast you got and the FA care seems to be genuine Middle East friendliness, nice of her to offer such a great service.

  

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
Glad you were able to log those three new registrations, there are many more to come, I am sure.

Yes, I have logged some really interesting birds in the last few months.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
Looking forward to seeing and reading your reports.

Good to hear. More report to come!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 19072 times:

Hello PH. I'm glad to see a new (and what appears to be a very fun) series from you. A great selection of new carriers, two of which I have been "hunting" myself for many years (MEA and LuxAir) only to be denied due to inconvenient routings and/or high prices.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Over the course of four days, I would fly on four new carriers (MEA, Luxair, CityJet and VLM) and visit three new airports (Beirut, Luxembourg and London City). Map:

What a funky map. Looks a bit like a thunderbolt.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
A330 was operating TK1821 to Paris...so much for the desired 777 ride.

I'm sorry to hear that. Don't you hate it when you do so much good research but at the end you are denied due to some (probably random) equipment change?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Boarding was done by groups, but numerous people were blocking the way which wasn't helpful. So it took me a while to get through the crowd.

I had the exact same experience while boarding TK aircraft. I'm not sure whether it's because of the demographics of their passengers or something else. Definitely not a TK-unique phenomenon but one that they seem to be prone to.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
No 777 today - last minute aircraft change?", I asked, but he apparently didn't understand what I was talking about...

Do you think this was due to his relatively poor English (TK crews are infamous about this after all) or because he simply did not expect such a question from a passenger?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seat pitch hasn't changed, but there's more space due to the lack of IFE boxes:

Amen! The IFE boxes on the TK 330s that I flew on were such a huge pain.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then I discovered a transfer desk and tried my luck there. A very friendly young agent could indeed check me in and reserve the desired seats on both flights for me, but it was only possible to print the boarding pass for the Istanbul-Beirut sector.

That's awfully nice and convenient. You definitely don't wanna have to deal with the passport and/or security lines at IST.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Finally, I passed security and went up to the departures level. However, no matter where I went to - gate areas, shopping zones, restaurants or restrooms - all these places were crowded.

IST is definitely one of the most crowded airports I know. I similarly had difficulty finding a place to seat during my multi-hour waits there. No wonder people take it to the floors.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I can only praise MEA for this good meal - and I can only praise that flight attendant for her personal service.

That's impressive, even more so when we're talking about Economy. Very well done MEA.

Thanks for what made a very nice Saturday morning read! Looking forward to the next parts and I hope they don't take too long to come out  

Stojan



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 19039 times:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Hello PH. I'm glad to see a new (and what appears to be a very fun) series from you.

Hi Stojan, thanks a lot for your comments! I know I need to accelerate my production rate.  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
A great selection of new carriers, two of which I have been "hunting" myself for many years (MEA and LuxAir) only to be denied due to inconvenient routings and/or high prices.

I must admit the TK/MEA combo wasn't cheap, but at least I got Luxair for a very reasonable price.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
What a funky map. Looks a bit like a thunderbolt.

Yes, somehow!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
I'm sorry to hear that. Don't you hate it when you do so much good research but at the end you are denied due to some (probably random) equipment change?

Absolutely. But I knew it was risky. It seems I have to get TK's 777 on a long-haul flight.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
I had the exact same experience while boarding TK aircraft. I'm not sure whether it's because of the demographics of their passengers or something else. Definitely not a TK-unique phenomenon but one that they seem to be prone to.

True. It was almost the same before my LHR-IST flight in 2011.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Do you think this was due to his relatively poor English (TK crews are infamous about this after all) or because he simply did not expect such a question from a passenger?

Probably both - I tried to end the conversation quickly after realizing that my question created confusion.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Amen! The IFE boxes on the TK 330s that I flew on were such a huge pain.

I guess you had a 332?

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
You definitely don't wanna have to deal with the passport and/or security lines at IST.

I have never arrived at IST (only SAW arrival and IST transfers), but I can imagine that.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
IST is definitely one of the most crowded airports I know. I similarly had difficulty finding a place to seat during my multi-hour waits there. No wonder people take it to the floors.

And this situation gets worse with every new aircraft TK takes delivery of.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
That's impressive, even more so when we're talking about Economy. Very well done MEA.

  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Thanks for what made a very nice Saturday morning read! Looking forward to the next parts and I hope they don't take too long to come out

Thanks again, Stojan! I promise to work faster.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 18727 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 42):
Watch out for a new one in the next few days...I'll report about a Middle East(ern) Airline... which hasn't shown up here very often.  

As promised here is your latest trip report...and with a nice hint in the reply above of what is to come....And I still didn't get it lol...now I do!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then I found a very tempting connecting option: Istanbul-Beirut-Paris on MEA - Middle East Airlines
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
After checking my data, he seemed to be confused about my itinerary. He asked me to confirm that I flew from Paris to Istanbul earlier on that day and was now heading back to Paris. I was already prepared for a longer explanation, but he didn't ask any more questions and just issued my boarding pass

No wonder the poor agent got confused when he read your itinerary!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now I needed to find interesting ways to get to Paris and back. After searching for a long time, I booked an open jaw Lufthansa ticket offered by Expedia: Munich-Paris on Augsburg Airways Embraer 195 and Paris-Munich-Luxembourg on Lufthansa A321 and Luxair Embraer ERJ-145. I was really glad that I would finally be able to log Luxair which had always deterred me due to astronomical fares.

My next task was to find an attractive option for the return to Munich. After a while, I decided to book Luxembourg-London/City-Dublin on CityJet Fokker 50 (operated by VLM) and CityJet Avro RJ85. Finally, I added a Dublin-Munich flight on Aer Lingus and reserved airport hotel rooms in Paris and Luxembourg.

Interesting...I am still confused....honestly I am. I will let your trip reports lay it out for me!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
I checked Flightradar24...and was vastly disappointed that an A330 was operating TK1821 to Paris...so much for the desired 777 ride.     

Well where equipment varies this was bound to happen....I'm glad that at least on long hauls one is guaranteed the aircraft promised on the route.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now it was time again to enter one of the funky Terminal 1 escalator tubes...

At least the glass is clean and well kept....Kinds of feels what food feels inside our intestine lol

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...followed by the tunnel to the satellite:

That first pic is so Abu Dhabi's old terminal.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Boarding was done by groups, but numerous people were blocking the way which wasn't helpful. So it took me a while to get through the crowd.
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
I had the exact same experience while boarding TK aircraft. I'm not sure whether it's because of the demographics of their passengers or something else. Definitely not a TK-unique phenomenon but one that they seem to be prone to.

This is getting to be pretty standard, regardless of demographics, really...people just want to get on the plane faster than anyone else!! Though a little order would help!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I started a conversation with a young male flight attendant. "No 777 today - last minute aircraft change?", I asked, but he apparently didn't understand what I was talking about...anyway, I returned to my seat after we had exchanged a few more words.

I guess they have added your question to their training manuals now....If you watch the Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Just Planes video you can clearly see they struggle with the English skills. I say better service skills over English, and they inflight service in that video is amazing... You should watch the video PH, you would definitely like it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

Very detailed fleet information page...couldn't find any mistakes, except for the gray engine on the 737-700:

You will hear me echo this for eternity..."Only you, PH" lol

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The most important feature:

Always!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Face to face with Concorde...

Such a shame she meet with that tragic incident on her own soil, some distance away

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):

After we had started descending...

Nice pics, winglet with shadow, winglet with sunlight....would make a good animated pic!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Finally, we turned back and I enjoyed stunning views during final approach to runway 23:

Wow, wow...gorgeous approach into IST!! I must get seat on the port side of the aircraft if I ever fly TK!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, no matter where I went to - gate areas, shopping zones, restaurants or restrooms - all these places were crowded. I even had to wait in line in the restrooms! The terminal has become too small for these masses of people - transferring at IST can be a pain during peak times, at least for Economy Class passengers.

Is IST heading to become the next Sheikh Zaiyad Terminal in DXB during the time EK was also using the terminal!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I also bought some snacks and drinks in a small cafeteria which charged insane prices.

I don't know when is the last time I bought anything at a transit airport. Fortunately Toronto has a very affordable Tim Horton's airside, in addition to more premium named joints if one feels the need to spend more.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Didn't I fly on that path in the opposite direction just a few hours ago?  

I'm glad however you could return on that route with the bigger gorgeous Airbus A330-200!!...Nothing against narrow bodies, but why not return in style....especially on the Airbus widebodies!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
A very friendly female flight attendant distributed the trays on our side and I asked her what "Knafeh" was. She smiled and explained that it was a sweet cheese pastry and I decided to try it - which made her smile even more. Here's my tray which looked really good:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
After she had handed the tray to me, she grabbed a small bottle of syrup and asked me if I wanted some splashes over my "Knafeh". Of course I agreed. The main course tasted very good, just like most other items.

After I had finished eating, the nice flight attendant returned and asked me how I liked "Knafeh" - I told her that I liked it a lot and she seemed to be satisfied. I can only praise MEA for this good meal - and I can only praise that flight attendant for her personal service.   
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
During disembarking I said goodbye to the nice flight attendant and thanked her for the good service.

Great personal service received, and acknowledged back to the FA!! I once had a great Emirates FA, who I had photographed on my flight from DXB-KHI and then I found her on the KHI-DXB sector and after I had told her about being the same guy that took her photo, she gave a bag of goodies, playing cards, pens and amenity kits before we even left the gate....she was an ex-Middle Eastern Airlines FA!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Last but not least, the obligatory cabin shot:

For some reason that looks like the inside of the new dreamliner....except for the windows of course!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
One last shot of OD-MEC which looks beautiful at any time, no matter if it's day or night:

Beautiful bird....Only a bit of time before I start to like the Airbus A350...but this bird and her bigger sisters A340-500 and A340-600 will have a special place in my heart!!!!!!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 18649 times:

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
As promised here is your latest trip report...and with a nice hint in the reply above of what is to come....And I still didn't get it lol...now I do!

Hi flightsimboy,

thanks a lot for your nice feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the report. But hey, wasn't my hint obvious?  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
No wonder the poor agent got confused when he read your itinerary!!

Well, I'm wondering why. There's a lot to do at a destination within a few hours.  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Interesting...I am still confused....honestly I am. I will let your trip reports lay it out for me!!

I admit it may be confusing. I should have listed the flights in chronological order.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Well where equipment varies this was bound to happen....I'm glad that at least on long hauls one is guaranteed the aircraft promised on the route.

Well, it depends. In TK's case, A330/340s could easily replace 777s and vice versa on numerous long-haul routes. LAX is definitely a 777 route, for example.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
At least the glass is clean and well kept....Kinds of feels what food feels inside our intestine lol

Interesting thought.  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):

I guess they have added your question to their training manuals now....If you watch the Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Just Planes video you can clearly see they struggle with the English skills. I say better service skills over English, and they inflight service in that video is amazing... You should watch the video PH, you would definitely like it.

LOL. I need to watch that.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
You will hear me echo this for eternity..."Only you, PH" lol

 

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Such a shame she meet with that tragic incident on her own soil, some distance away

So true.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Nice pics, winglet with shadow, winglet with sunlight....would make a good animated pic!

   It was a great day for flying.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Wow, wow...gorgeous approach into IST!! I must get seat on the port side of the aircraft if I ever fly TK!

You need luck, though. Approach directions can change frequently.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Is IST heading to become the next Sheikh Zaiyad Terminal in DXB during the time EK was also using the terminal!

Yes, unfortunately!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
I'm glad however you could return on that route with the bigger gorgeous Airbus A330-200!!...Nothing against narrow bodies, but why not return in style....especially on the Airbus widebodies!!

The bigger the better!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Great personal service received, and acknowledged back to the FA!!

  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
I once had a great Emirates FA, who I had photographed on my flight from DXB-KHI and then I found her on the KHI-DXB sector and after I had told her about being the same guy that took her photo, she gave a bag of goodies, playing cards, pens and amenity kits before we even left the gate....she was an ex-Middle Eastern Airlines FA!!

Very nice!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
For some reason that looks like the inside of the new dreamliner....except for the windows of course!!

And the bins...

Some airlines use similar seats on the Dreamliner which may contribute to that impression.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Beautiful bird....Only a bit of time before I start to like the Airbus A350...but this bird and her bigger sisters A340-500 and A340-600 will have a special place in my heart!!!!!!

I'm skeptical about the A350 currently...I find it quite ugly, but this may change.

Thanks again for replying!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 18628 times:

Hi PH

Super report - thanks for posting this. I've been really looking forward to this one.

The flight on TK looked quite nice. I am a big fan of the A330 and it looks great in TK colours. The meal did look a bit oily which is a shame, given the reputation TK has with its on board catering.

I've heard a lot of stories about how bad IST can be during peak times. TK has expanded so rapidly in the past few years but unfortunately it seems that the infrastructure there has failed to keep up.

MEA looked really nice. Great to read a report on them as they are not featured that much here. Those seats look similar to the old CX ones (now being replaced)? Is that correct? I love the A330 in MEA's colours and often see one flying over my place on the way into LHR.

Great report - thanks again

Palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 18596 times:

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
Super report - thanks for posting this. I've been really looking forward to this one.

Hi Palmjet, thank you very much for your comments! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
I am a big fan of the A330 and it looks great in TK colours.

  

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
The meal did look a bit oily which is a shame, given the reputation TK has with its on board catering.

Even the bowls were oily...

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
I've heard a lot of stories about how bad IST can be during peak times. TK has expanded so rapidly in the past few years but unfortunately it seems that the infrastructure there has failed to keep up.

I'm not only wondering about the situation in the terminal - where will they park all these aircraft in the future? Bus rides, even to/from widebodies, are already common today.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):

MEA looked really nice. Great to read a report on them as they are not featured that much here.

Yes, quite a rare carrier here which is a bit surprising.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
Those seats look similar to the old CX ones (now being replaced)? Is that correct?

That's what I read, yes.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
I love the A330 in MEA's colours and often see one flying over my place on the way into LHR.
MEA's colors look fantastic on the A330, I had always wanted to fly on such a bird.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
Great report - thanks again

Thanks again for your reply!


PH

[Edited 2013-06-29 09:37:16]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 740 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 18370 times:

A very nice TR with an interesting combo of airlines indeed. The pictures are excellent too especially those ones on approach to IST.
TK is, as expeected, very good but not great and your experience was even better since you had an A330. Also the meal is generously portionned.
I thought flying MEA back in April from Dubai, but they were a bit pricey for, according to what you show us now, the quality offered.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Later in the evening, I checked in online for the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul and I was relieved that a 777-300ER seatmap showed up. The 777 had mostly operated TK1822 on Mondays in the last few weeks, but there had been some equipment changes as well. Going from a 777 to an A321 or A320 would have been really bad.

You have to tell me how do you learn these useful infos, since most of the time narrow bodies such as 737 or A32X are on the rota... too bad anyway for your 777,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Now it was time again to enter one of the funky Terminal 1 escalator tubes...

from french, translated as "guts" or whatever sounds similar ..   .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
"No 777 today - last minute aircraft change?", I asked, but he apparently didn't understand what I was talking about...anyway,

Too bad, was he busy? or did he ignore you?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
The Terminal 1 main building looks like a huge saucer:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Many people hate it, but I like it:

   or a Camembert.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I had hoped that MEA would send OD-MRL which is the 5000th A320 family aircraft, but what can you do?

you are extremely picky   .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Finally, I passed security and went up to the departures level. However, no matter where I went to - gate areas, shopping zones, restaurants or restrooms - all these places were crowded. I even had to wait in line in the restrooms! The terminal has become too small for these masses of people - transferring at IST can be a pain during peak times, at least for Economy Class passengers. Well, there are some lounges which grant access for a fee, e.g. the Millennium Lounge which is nice, but I didn't want to pay €20+ for two hours or so.

Totally agree!
Also i've seen so many lounges in this airport that i'm wondering who does not have access yet nowadays.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I was already prepared for a longer explanation, but he didn't ask any more questions and just issued my boarding pass.


LOL,    .


Many thanks for this great report and its very good insight of MEA

Looking forward to reading you


Léonard



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6491 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18166 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Thanks for another amazing report with amazing pictures!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Ibis CDG Airport and got a room with runway/apron view as requested. The rooms are small, but nice:

I was there in late November and it's a great hotel. Even though the rooms are small, they are very comfortable and the most important thing is the view..... 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
As soon as I woke up in the morning, I checked Flightradar24...and was vastly disappointed that an A330 was operating TK1821 to Paris...so much for the desired 777 ride.

That's very very disappointing. At least you got on another wide body aircraft and a new registration.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Seat pitch hasn't changed, but there's more space due to the lack of IFE boxes:

Leg room looks very tight to me and you are shorter than me.....

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
.but the meal quality didn't entirely come up to expectations. The beef was okay, but the chicken breast was dry - and the pieces of eggplant were soaked in oil and totally mushy. As for the chocolate cake - it was okay, no more, no less.

The meal looks really good, too bad you didn't like it that much.

All in all, a nice flight on TK.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Tiny IFE boxes didn't take away much space:

Very small IFE box ! I'm not sure I have seen that kind before. Something for Alitalia to think about..... 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Unfortunately, the cheese sandwiches were too dry for my liking, but the sweet biscuit and the Tropicana orange juice tasted good.

That's too bad but you can't expect too much on an airplane.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
OD-MEC, the second newest frame in the four strong A330-200 fleet was being prepared for flight ME209 - I was really looking forward to the ride on this pretty bird:

It almost looks like a Biman Bangladesh plane from that angle.....

MEA looks very impressive for those relatively short flights. It looks like the head phone jack is in front of you which I don't like and I've only tried the sliding seat once so not really sure what I think of that yet.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Well where equipment varies this was bound to happen....I'm glad that at least on long hauls one is guaranteed the aircraft promised on the route.

Well, it depends. In TK's case, A330/340s could easily replace 777s and vice versa on numerous long-haul routes. LAX is definitely a 777 route, for example.

I think there's much less equipment substitutions on long haul flights. LAX would be a good option to try the TK 77W  

You had some great flights on these two carriers but too bad with the equipment change on TK. There's nothing better than a 777 on a short flight!

Very much looking forward to part 2!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5130 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18135 times:

Servus PH,

great to follow something new from you´re hand. For sure a good read and definitely not the ordinary travel style
what the agents are looking for. The same for me from time to time, you know.
Nice pictures also.
Looking for the next part now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6405 posts, RR: 39
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 17494 times:

Hi PH,

Another great TR, nice to see these less heard about airlines pop up.

The TK meal is a real let down - it looks great. I've heard their J meals are excellent so it's a shame to hear this about their Y meal.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
MEA's entire fleet is equipped with fixed shell seats

Now you must know how I feel after a long haul on CX's old seats! Horrible seats - I suppose I won't feel very comfortable on a NH 787.. But the rest of MEA looked good.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 11):
Those seats look similar to the old CX ones (now being replaced)? Is that correct?

The 777-300ER and A330-300 fleets have the new cradle Y seat but the A343 and 744 will continue to have the fixed shell. Not only that but all regional planes will get the fixed shell seat so make sure you know what plane you're choosing if you're flying CX regional in a couple of years' time!



Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1911 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 17374 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, Plane Hunter! Looks like you had a few really good flights. Food looks pretty good on MEA and sounds like the service was good as well. I would love to try TK as well sometime, as their Economy product looks pretty impressive compared to others.

Thanks for sharing!

All the best,

Matthew


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 17274 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
A very nice TR with an interesting combo of airlines indeed. The pictures are excellent too especially those ones on approach to IST.

Hi Léonard, thanks a lot for your feedback! Good to hear you enjoyed it.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
TK is, as expeected, very good but not great and your experience was even better since you had an A330.

The 777 would have been even better.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
You have to tell me how do you learn these useful infos, since most of the time narrow bodies such as 737 or A32X are on the rota... too bad anyway for your 777,

I read airline route news which helps a lot.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
Too bad, was he busy? or did he ignore you?

I think his English skills were limited and the question about an aircraft change confused him.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
or a Camembert.

  

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
you are extremely picky

Sometimes, yes.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
Many thanks for this great report and its very good insight of MEA

Looking forward to reading you

Thanks again for your reply!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Thanks for another amazing report with amazing pictures!

Hi Lars, thank you very much!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
I was there in late November and it's a great hotel. Even though the rooms are small, they are very comfortable and the most important thing is the view.....

They also offer good breakfast.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
That's very very disappointing. At least you got on another wide body aircraft and a new registration.

The A333 was the second best type to get.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Leg room looks very tight to me and you are shorter than me.....

It was alright.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Very small IFE box ! I'm not sure I have seen that kind before. Something for Alitalia to think about....

Or Lufthansa which has large boxes even on the A380.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
That's too bad but you can't expect too much on an airplane.

I'm spoilt by EK and others.  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
MEA looks very impressive for those relatively short flights.

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
LAX would be a good option to try the TK 77W

Absolutely. But I'd prefer to sit in J on that long flight.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):

You had some great flights on these two carriers but too bad with the equipment change on TK. There's nothing better than a 777 on a short flight!

  

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
great to follow something new from you´re hand.

Servus Markus, thanks for replying!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
For sure a good read and definitely not the ordinary travel style
what the agents are looking for. The same for me from time to time, you know.

We know how to confuse ground agents.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
Nice pictures also.
Looking for the next part now.

Thanks again!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
Another great TR, nice to see these less heard about airlines pop up.

Hi Nicholas, thanks for your comments! Good to hear from you.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
I've heard their J meals are excellent so it's a shame to hear this about their Y meal.

They also have chefs on board, like Austrian.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
Now you must know how I feel after a long haul on CX's old seats! Horrible seats - I suppose I won't feel very comfortable on a NH 787..

Yes, I can imagine how much you "enjoyed" them.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
But the rest of MEA looked good.

  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
The 777-300ER and A330-300 fleets have the new cradle Y seat but the A343 and 744 will continue to have the fixed shell. Not only that but all regional planes will get the fixed shell seat so make sure you know what plane you're choosing if you're flying CX regional in a couple of years' time!

Alright, thanks for the update.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 17):
Great report, Plane Hunter!

Thank you, Matthew!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 17):
Looks like you had a few really good flights. Food looks pretty good on MEA and sounds like the service was good as well.

I can only recommend MEA.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 17):
I would love to try TK as well sometime, as their Economy product looks pretty impressive compared to others.

TK certainly offers an impressive product, you should try it one day.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinecgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1137 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 16933 times:

Hello PH, a great report. One of my dreams is to fly an MEA A-330. I think they have one of the best liveries and the A330 is a stunning example. Their service looks great for such a small carrier.

I've stayed at the IBIS CDG as well and agree it's simple but fine for an overnight. The views are also great. There use to be a great place to spot directly across from the Pullmann Hotel, unfortunately the airport expanded the parking lot.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Many people hate it, but I like it:

I know what you mean. I don't think T1 is all that bad. The renovations from a few years ago really improved the place although it can get crowded when the early morning flight to the US are being processed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Now it was time again to enter one of the funky Terminal 1 escalator tubes...

One of the things I like about T1. The last time I went through T1 there were stickers with advertisements all over them. Glad to see they've been removed. Makes the trip through the tubes more enjoyable.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
One last shot of OD-MEC which looks beautiful at any time, no matter if it's day or night:

Again, I agree 100% with this statement.



A330 man.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 16900 times:

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 19):
Hello PH, a great report.

Hi cgnnrw, thanks for your reply, good to hear you liked it.

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 19):
I think they have one of the best liveries and the A330 is a stunning example. Their service looks great for such a small carrier.

MEA's A330s are indeed stunning. You should give it a try! CDG gets two daily A330 flights. MEA also sends the A330 to LHR, but sometimes switches to smaller types.

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 19):
I've stayed at the IBIS CDG as well and agree it's simple but fine for an overnight. The views are also great. There use to be a great place to spot directly across from the Pullmann Hotel, unfortunately the airport expanded the parking lot.

Spotting at CDG is difficult, however, the Ibis is a good place for that.

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 19):
The last time I went through T1 there were stickers with advertisements all over them. Glad to see they've been removed. Makes the trip through the tubes more enjoyable.

  


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offline817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2181 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 16469 times:

Hi PH

Interesting report, I enjoyed reading it!   Too bad you didnt get the 77W like you wanted, but I guess the A330-300 isnt such a bad substitute. ( I would have taken either one considering ive never been on both). MEA looks like a nice Airline hopefully i'll be able to try them and TK in the future. Looking forward to your next report.



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 16363 times:

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 21):
Interesting report, I enjoyed reading it!

Hi Yvan, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 21):
Too bad you didnt get the 77W like you wanted, but I guess the A330-300 isnt such a bad substitute. ( I would have taken either one considering ive never been on both).

No, it was the second best type I could get.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 21):
MEA looks like a nice Airline hopefully i'll be able to try them and TK in the future.

Yes, you should try them.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 21):
Looking forward to your next report.

Good to hear!


PH

[Edited 2013-06-30 14:32:52]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 16288 times:

True PH quality as usual!

MEA looks very nice...

IST is a mess, I always exit via the Elite Plus line and get back in, instead of the huge transfer lines. What you got on CDG-IST is one of their VERY few European menus. I hate the ground experience at IST (and with SATS Gateway HKG), but looking forward to J HEL-IST-HKG again in August. Return is on Norwegian Longhaul B787 from BKK.


Regards,

Lari



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 16263 times:

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 23):
True PH quality as usual!

Thanks, Lari! Good to hear from you.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 23):
MEA looks very nice...

  

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 23):
What you got on CDG-IST is one of their VERY few European menus.

I remember you mentioned the lack of variety once. How's the situation on long-haul routes?

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 23):
but looking forward to J HEL-IST-HKG again in August.

Sounds good!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 23):
Return is on Norwegian Longhaul B787 from BKK.

Not in the back, I guess? You need to start writing reports again!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
25 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : Hi PH, No variety on longhaul Y either from IST, outstations much better variety. Yes it's in the back on DY longhaul... I'll load up in the BKK foodc
26 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Lari! That doesn't sound good at all. Will they let you board with all these meal containers? Sounds cool! Go ahead! PH
27 Post contains images OA260 : Hey Udo Interesting report and two airlines and cities Im very familiar with. TK were what I have come to expect so no comments there. MEA for me is t
28 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : No, I'll happily have some last nice spicy stuff right there before returning home... Coke is THB 10/cup. Compare that to Euro prices, almost makes m
29 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Philip, thanks for your feedback. Their A330s are great indeed. I'm wondering when they will paint an aircraft in Skyteam colors. MEA could have g
30 RussianGirl : Privet, Udo! What a great report about 2 aircompanies! Espesially was interesting to read about flights with MEA! It seems that MEA make a very good p
31 PlaneHunter : Privet, Anastasia! Spasibo! I'm glad you liked it. Good to hear from you. Any plans for a new report? MEA exceeded my expectations, the lovely flight
32 ODAFZ : As a Lebanese , I am always worried about a foreigner's view of my country as unfortunately our country is associated with less than pristine fame. De
33 PlaneHunter : Thanks for your comments, ODAFZ! I'm glad you enjoyed it. No reason to worry this time! It seems I really missed something! PH
34 raffik : MEA are expecting 2 additional A320s this summer and one will feature the Skyteam livery. Their A330s are very nicely appointed, especially as they a
35 PlaneHunter : Hi Raffik, thanks a lot for your comments! Great news, thanks! It's about time for a Skyteam logojet. So they get two more A320? I have only discovere
36 Post contains images raffik : Ah, one has been delivered! My mistake, they have one more A320 due which will be in full Skyteam livery due around September. And then they have the
37 PlaneHunter : I cannot wait to see it! And those A321s are only 10 years old. Interesting how MEA tries to keep its fleet age low. That's too bad. There would be l
38 EL-AL : Hey PH! Thank you for the report on your short hop to Lebanon. Man I remember when I flew TK in 2002 and all their long howl fleet was just 5 A340s...
39 Saloth Sar : Impressive trip report! May I ask, how did you get that effect with the first photo?
40 PlaneHunter : Hi Jonathan, thanks a lot for your feedback! TK's growth has indeed been enormous. The narrowbody fleet has been expanded massively as well. The weat
41 Post contains images dirktraveller : Hello PH Impressive trip report as usual I flew TC-JNH to CGK two years ago, a really great bird. I also liked the colorful Economy Class TK had. Look
42 Post contains images RussianGirl : I haven't been written here for 1 year! Shame on me( I have written to this forum 2 first parts: about Yak-42 and about trip to France with Aeroflot!
43 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot, dirktraveller! And almost brand new back then. The choice of colors was indeed a good one. No doubt about that. TK's newer narrowbodies
44 LXM83 : Hello PlaneHunter I truly enjoyed reading this report. Very nice to see MEA covered, from your description and pictures it seems a very friendly airli
45 jwhite9185 : Hi there PH - interesting read as ever. Shame about missing the 777, however at least you managed to miss the A32X - much like how I felt on my last t
46 Post contains images Sultanils : Hi PH, how are you? I’m most glad to see the 1st part of a new series of yours here, it ws a nice read and a good starter to hopefully more to come.
47 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi LXM83, thanks for your comments! Good to hear you enjoyed it. Absolutely! That's nice indeed. I just don't like it in extreme heat or in bad weath
48 Post contains images Sultanils : Hi again PH, Well, TK was a good option as well, with interesting eqpt (B773) but the flight times are roughly 3h and 4h which makes it difficult to g
49 Lufthansa747 : It's getting off topic PH... Yes I understand your German view, but I will never forgive Swiss and LH Group for not honoring the Myanmar fare. It was
50 Widebodyroga : Indeed a 332. It was one of the most uncomfortable TALTs I can recall, mostly thanks to the IFE box. Yeah, I thought that this was a very nice touch
51 Emek96 : Hi Udo ! Very nice report espacially about the TK flight ! I don't know why many people are complaining all the time about that building because it is
52 MSS658 : Hello PH Great review about TK and MEA! TK is nothing more or less than I expected, too bad you did not have the 777! But still beats the A320 series.
53 CaptainRed : Hi PH, finally I found the time to read your report here, and a good one it was as usual. Really enjoyed it. Very interesting itinerary you have put t
54 Post contains images adamspotter : Hello PH! Another great report you made here provided with many nice pictures! You sure choose a great itinerary TK looks very nice, as usual, shame t
55 Post contains images lukeyboy95 : Hi PH, Always a delight to sit down with one of your reports, and invariably on nice routes and airlines. But surely with all these miles under your b
56 Post contains images abrelosojos : Thanks for the writeup and your continuously interesting routings . = I am a huge fan of TK and continue to believe in them. But with their recent gro
57 EL-AL : If you are not into the christian sites in the Galilee and not in the desert and Eilat, I think one week will do it (2 days for Jerusalem, a day to t
58 roberts87 : Great report as always PH! TK seems very good as usual, impressed as always by their catering on these intra-Europe flights. Too bad IST is way to sma
59 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi again, Nils! Good idea to choose that combo. Which types are on schedule? 744 and A343? Interesting, doesn't happen too often here. Well, it has b
60 ronerone : Dear Udo, As always an excellent report on TK and ME. TK's European service seems quite interesting and a little more elaborate than others in the reg
61 knightsofmalta : Hi Udo What an interesting routing and an even more exotic mix or airlines! Thanks for writing this up, I greatly enjoyed reading it. It's a pity the
62 PlaneHunter : Hi Roni, thank you very much for your feedback! Good to hear from you! Hopefully! MEA did really impress me, wouldn't mind to fly it again. I have al
63 Post contains images infodesk : Hi PH, That’s a good idea for a 4 day trip, logging some exotic widebodies- such a delight to do on shorter flights. MEA is very exotic and somethin
64 MHTripple7 : Hi PlaneHunter, thanks for putting together this very thorough and interesting Trip Report. Ahhh that sucks, a 77W would have been much better! Your f
65 Post contains links and images PlaneHunter : Hi Hannah, many thanks for your comments! The MEA A332 had been on my do-to-list for a long time. Everything was on one ticket, so I wasn't overly co
66 Post contains images LH4116 : Hi PH, thanks for an interesting an enjoyable report! Must say that Turkish Airlines Economy Class looks quite nice, especially the food which is norm
67 PlaneHunter : Hi Jonas, thanks for your comments! TK's catering is impressive on European routes, no doubt about that. It was better than it may look on the pictur
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