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Arabia & Thailand 2013 3: BKK-DXB-MCT With EK/WY  
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9040 times:

 photo Muscat-1.jpg

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Maps generated by theGreat Circle Mapper -copyright © Karl L. Swartz.


Videos for this report:

Takeoff from BKK on the EK 77W: http://youtu.be/xjgQVqWYt8Q
Landing into DXB: http://youtu.be/AWROf9x-pPg

Takeoff from DXB with WY: http://youtu.be/WQnt7Bmsg74
Landing in MCT: http://youtu.be/7D1kw4XFi5c

The second of my two-day trips whilst on my first Asian adventure was booked in January 2013. Having wanted to try out Oman Air (mainly due to their great livery) it seemed crazy not to take a short hop across to Oman whilst in Dubai. My decision was also helped along by not only seeing PalmJets photos, but also somebody from work having recently returned from there and sharing a few pictures and stories of his own. Booking was made via the Oman Air website for the relatively cheap price of around £100. The 737 operated nearly all flights, however one departure from MCT in the evening was operated by the E175. This was the most tempting option as if I chose this, it would mean I would have logged all variants of the E-Jet in just 14 months. The main downside being that it wouldn’t leave me a huge amount of time in Muscat. But an A.netter has to do what an A.netter has to do!

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Muscat/wyschedule.png
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http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Muscat/wyseats.png
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http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Muscat/wybookingconf.png


Sorted.

But first of all, I needed to get back from Bangkok to Dubai. This was achieved via the LHR-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR ticket I booked back in November 2012. I was also hoping that this day trip would go a lot more smoothly than the first I had booked down to Phuket! If you missed that part of the story, or indeed the first part, you can catch up via these links:

Arabia & Thailand 2013 1: LHR-DXB-BKK EK A380/77W (by jwhite9185 Jul 9 2013 in Trip Reports)
Arabia & Thailand 2013 2: Two TG Classic's To HKT (by jwhite9185 Jul 20 2013 in Trip Reports)

Check in for the Emirates sector was made via the EK website pretty much as soon as I arrived back from Phuket, late on Tuesday night.

According to the online check in, the originally scheduled vanilla 777-300 had now been switched for the –ER version. Annoying! Although admittedly, it wasn’t completely un expected.


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The morning’s journey started much like the last - alarm off at 6AM, down for breakfast, probably the blandest cheese omelet I’ve eaten, and then onto the train to the airport.


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Arrival was around 50 minutes later.

FID in Thai…


…And English


I wonder if TG205 will go to plan today?


It was through to zone T today to get my boarding pass. I asked the check in agent if the flight was busy, and she replied it wasn't. Yet the check in seat map showed something different? So who was right?


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After this, it was a brief look landside.


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Before heading through security and passport control. Again, it was painless and I was through both in seconds.



After this I went for a walk airside - very big airport with plenty to look at!


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I happened to look up at the FID and noticed my flight was boarding - some twenty minutes earlier than advertised, which was a first. So I made my way down to gate E1 to find A6-EGA waiting, delivered in March 2010 and in service with Emirates throughout - confirmation that the originally planned -300 had been subbed for the -300ER.


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Upon entering the gate area, it was only around five minutes before boarding was called - all very early again.


A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9075 times:


EK375
BKK-DXB
8th May 2013
777-31HER / A6-EGA
Seat: 40A / Economy
Scheduled: 09:55/13:00
Off Stand: 09:49
On Stand: 13:14




Once onboard, I made my way down the aisle, being welcomed by a very attractive blonde flight attendant along the way, and took my assigned seat of 40A.


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It turned out the flight was pretty busy - so I guess the EK seat map at check in was right! Most of the rear section of economy seemed to be German. Or at least speaking German. However despite OLCI showing I had a seatmate, only the aisle seat was occupied.

This aircraft had the newer style ICE system, as found on the A380.



The hot towels were then distributed. Still not used to getting these in economy - they disappeared from the cheap seats on UK airlines a long time ago!



Slowly but surely the flow of people on to the aircraft stopped, and the middle seat of row 40 remained free.


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It was still half an hour until our departure time though. During which time, the menus were handed out.


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BKK-DXBMENU.png" border="0" alt=" photo BKK-DXBMENU.png"/>


I was more than happy to sit and wait on this jet, unlike yesterday. I had some IFE to look at, more elbow room due to not having a seat mate, and these made things much more comfortable:



Shortly before departure, the captain was over the PA saying that we had a flight time of six hours and ten minutes and a cruising altitude of 36,000ft. He also mentioned he would speak to us again before descent into 'The beautiful Emirate of Dubai'.



Pushback was a good few minutes ahead of schedule, and we made our way over to the runway.


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Although we were held up a little by a Shanghai Airlines 737 pulling out in front of us and then going pretty slowly.


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We made it into the air at 10:10. After departure, we made a 180-degree turn, heading out over the city.


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Just after departure, I watched a bit of TV.


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Followed shortly after by the drinks service



Around ninety minutes after departure, lunch was served. I chose the chicken.


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I also watched a film during lunch - Searching for Sugar Man. Well worth a watch – a true story about a musician who released two albums in the US, neither sold all that well so he went back to being a builder. Unknown to him however, he sold millions in South Africa and because he had retired from the music business, everybody assumed he was dead!


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During which time, we crossed into India


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As I watched the film, the stars came out almost unnoticed.


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And a bit later, we passed out of India again.



I noticed on both my flights to and from Bangkok the cabin crew coming around the cabin and taking Polaroid pictures of certain passengers, putting them into cards and presenting them to the passengers. Seemed to only be certain passengers though? At first I thought it was just for kids, but then noticed adults getting the same thing. Not sure what the requirements for this? I hadn't seen it before either.

The crew on this sector was pretty good with the Juice runs.



Following this, it was another film – Parental Guidance, a bit of iPod (listening to Rodriguez' album after watching the film earlier) and watching the minutes tick down on the sky map. It was around this time I could have done with a toilet break and a visit to the galley for a chat, but as the guy in the aisle was fast asleep this was a no go, so settled for a bit of Family Guy instead.


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Once I finally was released, we had started our descent so no way to have a chat really.


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Once our descent had started it got a little bumpy, and the seatbelt sign was turned on a little earlier than expected.


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Shortly afterwards the arrival video was played.



During descent, I noticed on the skymap that we appeared to be heading back to Bangkok - so figured we were probably in a hold, although it wasn't actually announced.


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On approach, the Frank Sinatra song was played – I noticed this on both approaches to DXB, but not to the foreign destinations. Although considering the lyrics, I guess it wouldn’t make all that much sense if they played it on the outward flights.


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We touched down and made our way over to the new terminal, arriving a few moments later, and a few minutes behind schedule.


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I disembarked a few moments later.


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After this, it was out through to arrivals. It seemed that the rest of the arriving passengers were connecting, so therefore I was the only person for quite a while - a bit of a strange experience in such a big international airport! Guessing around midday is the quiet time at DXB.


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Where is everybody?!



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Eventually, some more people did turn up, at passport control. Again, it took quite a while to get through. And again, I couldn't seem open my eyes wide enough for the automated gates to work – or indeed for the manual system to work all that well either. How wide do you have to open them exactly??



Once through to baggage claim, I headed off to the duty free shop to change my remaining Thai Baht into UAE Dirhams and to return the headphone adaptor I'd brought previously. Although this wasn't possible due to the departures and arrivals shops being different companies, despite having the same name, logo etc. Confusing.



Then heading through customs, I was stopped asked if I had any drugs, alcohol or tobacco – I responded no, but he decided to search me anyway. Well why ask if you were just going to search me anyway? Just say you want to search me! The officer found it easy enough to unpack my bag, however packing it up seemed more difficult and he just wandered off without really saying all that much. Told you I didn’t have anything suspicious…

After this it was upstairs to the metro, and on to Al Rigga station, just a couple of stops down to where my hotel, the Flora Grand, was just a short walk away,


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Upon arrival, I was welcomed, given a glass of apple juice, told all about the services the hotel offered and given the key to my room. And it turned out to be a pretty spacious room – if a little dated. But good enough.


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Once at the hotel, I used the free Wi-Fi to check in for tomorrow's flight.


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Later that evening, I headed down to the mall of the Emirates to grab some dinner and a bit of a window shop. There were a few hiccups along the way – first off I inadvertently got on to the female only carriage on the train. Now I’m used to women being a bit cheesed off with me, but managing to upset a whole train carriage’s worth in one go was an achievement even for me. Secondly, upon making a hasty exit from said carriage on the train and jumping on to the regular one, one of the other passengers said that I’m likely to get a 2000 Dirham fine for that… although upon leaving the next stop nothing had happened, he then said I had probably gotten away with it and I was lucky. And finally upon reaching the mall, I went to go through one of the automated barriers only for it to flash up saying my ticket was invalid. Apparently I needed to buy a ticket for all zones rather than just two. Although in my book the difference between the zone I boarded, five, and the zone I left, seven, was two. Luckily the trains are pretty cheap out there so my faux pas only cost me about a pound.


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Looks like your standard UK shopping center with those shops!



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Ticket stand for the Abu Dhabi GP


Skiing anybody?


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Pretty decent selection of guitars in the Virgin megastore – I don’t play though, I just think they look cool.


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Followed up by an easy dinner.



Despite having major chain shops from both the UK and the US, there were still a couple of more traditional shops.



On my way back to the metro, I grabbed an ice cream from Cold Stone creamery. I’d had one on my recent trip to Washington, so figured I’d try the UAE version too! The style points go to the UAE version – the guy making it scooping it out of the trough, tossing the ball of ice cream high in the air many times before a final flick up and catching it in the cup behind his back. Wish I could have filmed it!


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Back at the hotel – overview from outside my room.




A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9039 times:

The following morning, after a very good sleep, I left the hotel at around 09:30 and made the short journey to DXB terminal 1.


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Upon arrival, it was obvious that T1 is nowhere near as impressive as T3 - at least not landside anyway. I headed over to grab my boarding pass from an empty Oman Air desk.



Followed by a couple of pictures – although I had heard a rumor that this sort of thing could be a little troublesome, so I only managed a couple, at least in this smaller part of the terminal. A member of the public seeing me take a pic of the check in area earlier and warning me that there was a police officer nearby didn’t help this.


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After this it was through to a busy passport control – mainly full of people heading for the VS and BA flights it seemed. I noticed a young couple stood to the side with a VS ground staff member and a few members of immigration.

Once through, it was then the long walk underneath the apron over to the much more impressive airside area. Once here I felt a little more comfortable taking pics as I could blend in a bit better, and if I had any problems I could just say I was impressed with the architecture – an excuse that definitely couldn’t be used landside!


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This was much more impressive! First port of call was to change my headphone adaptor - which was finally granted, and then off for a wander.



Stopping for some breakfast when I reached my assigned gate, C28.


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After this I went to walk off breakfast, seeing the VS flight about to depart back to LHR. VS seem to use a mix of all their Airbus fleet on the DXB route. In the last year they have used the A346, the new A333 and now it seems the much unloved (at least by VS frequent fliers) A343. As I passed through the food court, I noticed the young couple having issues at immigration earlier casually sat eating a McDonalds, despite the fact the VS holding pen was now completely empty and the final call for boarding had gone out. Admittedly I don’t know any of the story, but the fact they were with VS staff (identified by the bright red uniform), and were now airside meant surely they should be on that flight? I guess some people are just always late.

The one and only VS A343 with AVOD.


I then walked a little further, taking in the impressive terminal.



I also saw a QR Dreamliner about to head back to Doha, but getting a picture was pretty impossible.

Once reaching the end of the terminal, I headed back down to the gate. It said it was open, yet there wasn't anybody around.



At 11:25, the gate was opened and I was the first into the holding pen - being welcomed with a "thank you Mr. James".



At 11:40 a 738 pulled on to stand, however I was unable to see the reg at this point. Boarding was then called at 12:05.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9027 times:


WY606
DXB-MCT
9th Mat 2013
737-86N / OK-TVU
Seat: 27F / Economy
Scheduled: 12:35/13:30
Off Stand: 12:23
On Stand: 13:30


Once heading down the jet way, I could finally see the reg - and noticed that the flight would be operated by OK-TVU - on lease from Smart Wings, delivered new to them in early 2012 before heading out on lease to Oman Air in early 2013. I'm assuming it is a wet lease due to the Eastern European crew.


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This aircraft also had Boeings latest sky interior - the first time I had experienced this.


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Pushback came a couple of minutes ahead of schedule and we made the long taxi over to the runway.


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The newly returned to service 787 heading back to DOH



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Departure came at around 12:40, and we were then into some pretty murky skies and across the desert.


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The entertainment was similar to what I had experienced on TAP back in February - a TV show was playing – the same one by the look of it, but nowhere to plug in any headphones - so a skymap throughout would have been better. What we got was still better than nothing though.


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After this the meal service began - much better than expected actually. Improvement over the European, US and even the Thai offerings from the previous day trip.


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The captain was also on briefly, stating that we were due to arrive at 13:30.


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A few moments later - just as descent started actually, we passed through some pretty heavy turbulence - so much so that the captain came on and asked the crew to suspend service and to remain seated for the rest of the flight.

More clues to this jets real identity


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There wasn't too much to be seen on descent due to the haze and the fact most of the approach was over the sea.


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Touchdown was at 13:25, and we made the quick taxi over to the parking position.


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The new MCT taking shape



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There aren't any jetways at MCT, so it was on to a bus.


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Once at arrivals, nobody seemed sure if I needed a visa. The guy selling them at the Travelex stand said no (as I had come from Dubai), but the immigration officers seemed to think that everybody needed one regardless. In the end they gave in and let everybody pass without one – which I thought was a little bit of an odd way of doing things, but it suited me. It still wasted a few minutes that I was pretty short of as it was.


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It was then to the taxi stand to buy a ticket for a brief visit to Muttrah Corniche, arriving around thirty minutes later. I was glad that at least one of my day excursions on this trip had gone to plan!


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Phew!





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Muttrah Fort


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Pretty unimpressive really…

And that's pretty much where I'll leave things for now – my return to Dubai, again with Oman Air, will be covered in part 4!

Previous trip reports

Arabia & Thailand 2013 2: Two TG Classic's To HKT (by jwhite9185 Jul 20 2013 in Trip Reports)
Arabia & Thailand 2013 1: LHR-DXB-BKK EK A380/77W (by jwhite9185 Jul 9 2013 in Trip Reports)
USA 2013 Pt 5: AA & BA's New WTP MCO-MIA-ATL-LHR (by jwhite9185 Jun 25 2013 in Trip Reports)
USA 2013 Pt 4: Heading South On A Mad Dog ORD-MCO (by jwhite9185 Jun 13 2013 in Trip Reports)
USA 2013 Pt 3: Almost A Disaster With AA DCA-ORD (by jwhite9185 May 29 2013 in Trip Reports)
USA 2013 Pt 2: BA A320/744 WTP CDG-LHR-IAD (by jwhite9185 May 14 2013 in Trip Reports)
USA 2013 Pt 1: The Beginning BA LHR-ORY (by jwhite9185 Apr 20 2013 in Trip Reports)
Comparing The Competition: BA/VS Inaugural MAN-LHR (by jwhite9185 Mar 31 2013 in Trip Reports)
Taking TAP To Portugal: LGW-OPO-LIS-LHR Feb. 2013 (by jwhite9185 Mar 10 2013 in Trip Reports)
Poland On The Dream)liner - LOT LHR-WAW-LHR In C/Y (by jwhite9185 Jan 1 2013 in Trip Reports)
A Speedbird & Titan 767 – LHR-LCA-LHR In C…ish (by jwhite9185 Feb 1 2013 in Trip Reports)
British Airways LGW-AGP-LCY 737/E190 Nov. 2012 (by jwhite9185 Dec 1 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part 2: 5 Flights 3 Airlines MXP-ZRH-DUS-LHR LX/LH (by jwhite9185 Nov 14 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part 1: 5 Flights 3 Airlines LHR-BRU-MXP In Theory (by jwhite9185 Oct 29 2012 in Trip Reports)
Cancellations, Widebodies And Iberia LHR-MAD-LHR (by jwhite9185 Oct 17 2012 in Trip Reports)
Virgin Atlantic's New A330 LHR-JFK-LHR (by jwhite9185 Sep 21 2012 in Trip Reports)
A Night In Amsterdam - KLM F70/738 LHR-AMS-LHR (by jwhite9185 Aug 28 2012 in Trip Reports)
Trying Out Flybe - LGW-BHD-GLA-BHD-LGW (by jwhite9185 Jul 11 2012 in Trip Reports)
A Day Trip To MAN (by jwhite9185 Jun 21 2012 in Trip Reports)
Nice, Monaco And The Great British Lounge With BMI (by jwhite9185 May 13 2012 in Trip Reports)
EI237/182 LGW-DUB-LHR And 2 Lounges (by jwhite9185 Apr 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
LGW-FRA-BRU-LHR With LH And SN (by jwhite9185 Mar 27 2012 in Trip Reports)
BA906/8735 LHR-FRA-LCY (by jwhite9185 Mar 13 2012 in Trip Reports)
VS015/016 LGW-MCO-LGW June 2010 (by jwhite9185 Jan 20 2012 in Trip Reports)
VS006 MIA-LHR A340-642 June 2008 (by jwhite9185 Feb 10 2012 in Trip Reports)
Virgin Atlantic 747 To BGI - October 2007 (by jwhite9185 Aug 3 2012 in Trip Reports)



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineYtraveller From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8532 times:

Great work on the trip report.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):

The hot towels were then distributed. Still not used to getting these in economy - they disappeared from the cheap seats on UK airlines a long time ago!

Me too... Menus being distributed was also a new thing for me in Economy, when I flew with Emirates last month. The nose cameras on most Emirates aircraft is great, too.

Muscat looks like a pretty nice city to visit. Usually when I think of the Middle East, it's either the violence and gore of Syria and Egypt, or the luxuriousness of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, never Muscat. The Muttra Corniche and that blue mosque next to the sea looks beautiful.

Looking forward to the next parts of your journey. I wonder how you can manage with all those long flights, time zone differences, the occasional language problems, jetlag, changing currencies.....  

[Edited 2013-08-06 17:20:13]

User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (8 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8187 times:

Hello James

Nice to see the continuation of your Asia report, great to read.
EK's seats look pretty ok despite having 3-4-3. I 'm also glad you had the newer IFE system, was there nose camera?
Oman Air looks nice as well with comfy seats.
Awesome pics on the MCT and DXB approaches.

Thanks for putting in some Dubai and Muscat pics as well.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1576 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (8 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7893 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good day jwhite9185,

Interesting story with many nice photographs! Suvarna-whatever airport always amazes me, by it’s vastness and architecture. I’d love to go there a day! EK looks fine as expected, good to see the newer ICE on your vessel and the meals look decent also. As for Oman Air, what a nice niche riche carrier! Funny to see the plane being partially branded Oman Air/Smart Wings!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
But an A.netter has to do what an A.netter has to do!

You were clearly a ‘man with a mission’!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Not sure what the requirements for this?

Looking good on a photo? Would exclude me in any way...  

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Where is everybody?!

Ha ha, you deliberately held everyone before taking those pics, didn’t you?

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Now I’m used to women being a bit cheesed off with me, but managing to upset a whole train carriage’s worth in one go was an achievement even for me

Hilarious   

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Phew!

That clearly must be a mistake  Wow!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinetheobcman From UK - England, joined Nov 2010, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7551 times:

Hello James - have followed & enjoyed all your reports. Just a question - what hotel did you overnight at in Dubai on this trip ? I'm heading over there soon and need something for the night

Cheers TheOBCman


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (8 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7524 times:

Hi James !

Thanks for a very nice report with very nice pictures !

Flight on EK seems pretty standard and nice to have the middle seat open, that makes a big difference for comfort.

Hotel in Dubai looks good and nice to see pictures from Mall of the Emirates; I went to Dubai Mall when I was there about a month ago.

Great to do a short day trip to MCT ! Nice to try a new airline and also to see the city which looks scenic and very genuine!

Looking forward to part 4!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7481 times:

Ytraveller,

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 4):
Great work on the trip report.

Thanks,

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 4):
Menus being distributed was also a new thing for me in Economy, when I flew with Emirates last month.

I got one on VS last year, but pretty sure they are in the minority.

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 4):
Muscat looks like a pretty nice city to visit.

It was very nice - a bit spread out though.

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 4):
I wonder how you can manage with all those long flights, time zone differences, the occasional language problems, jetlag, changing currencies.....

Long flights - IFE, time zone differences - sleep when its dark outside, language problems - none, jet lag - none, changing currencies - all done before I left and what I had left over from the previous country was exchanged at DXB.

Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
Nice to see the continuation of your Asia report, great to read.

Thanks,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
EK's seats look pretty ok despite having 3-4-3.

Yeah, although if I had somebody sat right next to me, I wonder if it would have been as comfortable?

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
I 'm also glad you had the newer IFE system, was there nose camera?

To be honest there isn a huge amount of difference in the content between the two systems. The screen was the main one.

There was a nose camera - thats how I knew our taxi had slowed down due to a Shanghai Airlines 737 pulling out in front of us.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
Oman Air looks nice as well with comfy seats.

They were, but they weren't WY seats!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
Awesome pics on the MCT and DXB approaches.

Not bad considering they were taken on a video camera! Hence the difference in colour between a few of them. The sharper, more vivid coloured ones were on the SLR once I had finished filming.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
Thanks for putting in some Dubai and Muscat pics as well.

Gotta include the whole trip!

Nils,

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Interesting story with many nice photographs!

Cheers!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Suvarna-whatever airport always amazes me, by it’s vastness and architecture. I’d love to go there a day!

Survasnn.... yeah wasn't so impressive on arrival, or indeed domestic departures I had gone through the previous day, so a bit of a surprise to see such an impressive concourse on this visit.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
EK looks fine as expected, good to see the newer ICE on your vessel

A good airline, although I'm led to believe their Airbuses or 777-300's aren't all that great. Would have been good to try the -300 out.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Funny to see the plane being partially branded Oman Air/Smart Wings!

More Smart Wings than Oman Air. Only things Oman about it were the pant scheme and the meal. The crew, seats etc. were all Smart Wings. Guessing its a pretty long term lease though considering they went to the trouble of painting it.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
You were clearly a ‘man with a mission’!

And my mission was accomplished... Guess thats given the game away for part 4 though.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Looking good on a photo? Would exclude me in any way...  

Probably why they didn't choose me either,

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Ha ha, you deliberately held everyone before taking those pics, didn’t you?

I was a man on a mission.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
That clearly must be a mistake

It wasn't... luckily it wasn't all that humid so although it was pretty warm, it wasn't uncomfortable - and it was pretty easy to cool off in the shade. Same in Dubai also, although the overall temperature wasn't quite that high - that was only in the high 30's.

theobcman,

Quoting theobcman (Reply 7):
Hello James - have followed & enjoyed all your reports

Glad to provide a bit of entertainment!

Quoting theobcman (Reply 7):
Just a question - what hotel did you overnight at in Dubai on this trip ?

The first night on the way to BKK? That was the Premier Inn at DXB. The hotel featured in this report was the Flora Grand - a little cheaper, but not at the airport. Although it was only a ten minute or so train ride away, which was about as long as the shuttle bus took to/from the Premier Inn. Probably more frequent too.

Quoting theobcman (Reply 7):
I'm heading over there soon and need something for the night

Cant go wrong with either really.

Lars,

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Thanks for a very nice report with very nice pictures !

No problem!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Flight on EK seems pretty standard and nice to have the middle seat open, that makes a big difference for comfort.

It really does. On the A380 that I returned to London on, somebody sat in the middle seat before moving just after boarding was complete. Makes such a difference.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Hotel in Dubai looks good and nice to see pictures from Mall of the Emirates; I went to Dubai Mall when I was there about a month ago.

Also a good place to spend a few hours - more of that coming up in part 4!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Great to do a short day trip to MCT ! Nice to try a new airline and also to see the city which looks scenic and very genuine!

Yeah, although its a city thats growing up fast. Glad I got there when I did as there is an awful lot of building work going on. along the main road between the airport and Muttrah, it seems to be getting quite commercialised. No doubt it'll be just like Dubai in a few years.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3037 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6985 times:

Very nice continuation report James! Looking forward to your final installment.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
The main downside being that it wouldn%u2019t leave me a huge amount of time in Muscat. But an A.netter has to do what an A.netter has to do!

You're not kidding, less than 4 hours on the ground, it's just not enough for lovely Oman!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
According to the online check in, the originally scheduled vanilla 777-300 had now been switched for the %u2013ER version. Annoying! Although admittedly, it wasn%u2019t completely un expected.

Head down to SQland for a better chance of getting a non-ER version. Or do some Japanese domestics, that's where I picked up my first 777 (a high density non-ER to boot).

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
As I watched the film, the stars came out almost unnoticed.

Cool feature

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
I noticed on both my flights to and from Bangkok the cabin crew coming around the cabin and taking Polaroid pictures of certain passengers, putting them into cards and presenting them to the passengers. Seemed to only be certain passengers though? At first I thought it was just for kids, but then noticed adults getting the same thing. Not sure what the requirements for this? I hadn't seen it before either.

Nice. I remember flying MH LHR-KUL 744 around 1995 and the crew came around with a polaroid taking photos...nice souvenir, shame the photo has vanished

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
I also saw a QR Dreamliner about to head back to Doha, but getting a picture was pretty impossible.

I was booked on that recently. but was subbed for an A321  
Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Once at arrivals, nobody seemed sure if I needed a visa. The guy selling them at the Travelex stand said no (as I had come from Dubai), but the immigration officers seemed to think that everybody needed one regardless. In the end they gave in and let everybody pass without one %u2013 which I thought was a little bit of an odd way of doing things, but it suited me. It still wasted a few minutes that I was pretty short of as it was.

Yeah, there's a funny visa loophole for pax from DXB - none needed, but I think only if you are just coming from DXB (no transfer pax). When I went a few years ago, my aunt flew in on EK from DXB and got a free visa, I flew in from Sharjah (a few miles from DXB) and had to pay.  



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-JMK,JTR-LHR-WAW,MSQ-FRA-EZE,IGR-EZE-CUN,MEX-FRA-LCY,LHR-TXL-LHR
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6851 times:

Hi Gab,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Very nice continuation report James!

Cheers,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Looking forward to your final installment.

Still another two parts to come yet!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
You're not kidding, less than 4 hours on the ground, it's just not enough for lovely Oman!

Admittedly, I wish I had a little longer there. Still, its an excuse to go back.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Head down to SQland for a better chance of getting a non-ER version. Or do some Japanese domestics, that's where I picked up my first 777 (a high density non-ER to boot).

Hmmm is there really much difference apart from the wing tips and the engines?! I was more interested to see the cabin differences. Although the 77W I had on the DXB-BKK sector had a pretty old cabin, so probably similar to that I'd imagine.

Still hoping for something other than the 763 on my NRT-KUL sector in a few weeks.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Cool feature

Something I thought was exclusive to the A380

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
I remember flying MH LHR-KUL 744 around 1995 and the crew came around with a polaroid taking photos

Doing that flight in a few weeks, so I'll have to keep an eye out to see if they still do it... Just for research purposes of course!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
I was booked on that recently. but was subbed for an A321

Guessing it was just to get the crew re acquainted after a long lay off.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Yeah, there's a funny visa loophole for pax from DXB - none needed, but I think only if you are just coming from DXB (no transfer pax). When I went a few years ago, my aunt flew in on EK from DXB and got a free visa, I flew in from Sharjah (a few miles from DXB) and had to pay.

The best bit was how none of the immigration staff seemed to know what was going on, yet the guy who worked in the Travelex counter knew exactly what the rules were! I would have thought it would be the other way around. Its not like we were the only flight to ever come from DXB!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6770 times:

Great report here James  , interesting pictures too  . I dont know much about Oman, other than always seeing Air India and Indian Airlines flights heading off to MCT whenever i was in India. Ek looks as good as ever and seeing the food made me hungry lol. I just wish their fares would come down back to earth...its gotten bloody expensive with them ex LAX to India...

User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5012 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (8 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6770 times:

Hi, J.,

great pictures and for sure a surprise to fly an Czech registered plane between the UAE and Oman.
Also the Emirates flight and the stay in DXB lolks like ok.
A good reminder to my stay last year in Muscat, thanx for that.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Is there something new for the new countries?.
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6466 times:

CaliAtenza,

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 12):
Great report here James

Thanks,

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 12):
I dont know much about Oman, other than always seeing Air India and Indian Airlines flights heading off to MCT whenever i was in India.

Never knew Air India flew there - always assumed the only major foreign carriers that flew there were LH, BA and EK.

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 12):
I just wish their fares would come down back to earth...its gotten bloody expensive with them ex LAX to India...

As I mentioned in the first part, they were a little pricey compared to BA/VS, however you get what you pay for I guess.

Markus,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
great pictures

Thanks,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
for sure a surprise to fly an Czech registered plane between the UAE and Oman.

It was - I couldn't see the whole reg from the jetbridge so I assumed it was A4O-TVU - until I saw OK-TVU painted on the wing. Then I noticed the Smart Wings branding on the sky map.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
A good reminder to my stay last year in Muscat, thanx for that.

I remember reading about it. Always good to see a different point of view from somewhere you've visited.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6363 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 14):

Never knew Air India flew there - always assumed the only major foreign carriers that flew there were LH, BA and EK.

Both Air India and Indian Airlines (IC) flew there...Air India still does i think. I remember always standing around the airport in Bangalore and watching the boards, i would always see one of the two carriers off to Muscat.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 14):
As I mentioned in the first part, they were a little pricey compared to BA/VS, however you get what you pay for I guess.

it seems like you had a good flight with them  . Every flight with them has been a great expierence for me...i know lately they havent been doing so well with the soft product due to route expansion and maybe less time to train up the new hires and what not.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26502 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (8 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5867 times:

Hey James  

Nice report . EK pretty normal as usual. Nice pics from Dubai alot of it I recognise. Nice to see Bath and Body works has landed in Dubai too ! Great place.

Oman Air pretty decent and nice offering .

Look forward to the next part.

Regards

Philip  



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (8 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5853 times:

CaliAtenza,

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 15):
Both Air India and Indian Airlines (IC) flew there...Air India still does i think. I remember always standing around the airport in Bangalore and watching the boards, i would always see one of the two carriers off to Muscat.

Interesting to know.

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 15):
Every flight with them has been a great expierence for me...i know lately they havent been doing so well with the soft product due to route expansion and maybe less time to train up the new hires and what not.

I found they were generally pretty good - apart from a minor issue on my first flight - nothing really though.

Philip,

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
Nice report .

Thanks,

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
Nice to see Bath and Body works has landed in Dubai too ! Great place.

Seemed to me like Dubai was a mix of the US and UK! I loved it.

Look out for part 4 - plenty more pics to come when I was able to get out and see a bit more of it.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
Oman Air pretty decent and nice offering .

True... even though this wasn't the proper Oman Air!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 5765 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 17):
I found they were generally pretty good - apart from a minor issue on my first flight - nothing really though.

thats good to hear  . I am really eager to try EK again soon, hopefully i will get the chance. The only less than stellar expierence i had with them is with their vegetarian meals; the indian bread was very hard and the curry was not very good. After that i decided i would just stick to the non veg or pasta meals.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 17):
Interesting to know.

I was a kid then, i didnt know where Muscat was lol, i just assumed it was somewhere in the Gulf.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6643 posts, RR: 78
Reply 19, posted (8 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5358 times:

Hi James,

very nice report with many good pictures. EK looks fine as usual, especially the catering. I have never seen a bad EK meal. Quite cool you got the Travel Service bird, but that also means you missed the "real" Oman Air. I recommend to try their A330 one day.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Then heading through customs, I was stopped asked if I had any drugs, alcohol or tobacco – I responded no, but he decided to search me anyway. Well why ask if you were just going to search me anyway? Just say you want to search me! The officer found it easy enough to unpack my bag, however packing it up seemed more difficult and he just wandered off without really saying all that much. Told you I didn’t have anything suspicious…

If you say "no" after being asked about alcohol etc. and they find something above the limit, you not only have to pay tax, but also get a fine. At least that's what happens in Germany and many other countries.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
On my way back to the metro, I grabbed an ice cream from Cold Stone creamery. I’d had one on my recent trip to Washington, so figured I’d try the UAE version too! The style points go to the UAE version – the guy making it scooping it out of the trough, tossing the ball of ice cream high in the air many times before a final flick up and catching it in the cup behind his back. Wish I could have filmed it!

I visited the Cold Stone at the Atlantis hotel - awesome!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
There were a few hiccups along the way – first off I inadvertently got on to the female only carriage on the train. Now I’m used to women being a bit cheesed off with me, but managing to upset a whole train carriage’s worth in one go was an achievement even for me. Secondly, upon making a hasty exit from said carriage on the train and jumping on to the regular one, one of the other passengers said that I’m likely to get a 2000 Dirham fine for that… although upon leaving the next stop nothing had happened, he then said I had probably gotten away with it and I was lucky.

That also happened to me, not a big deal IMO. I really doubt many tourists get fined - probably only if they show additional misbehavior.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Once heading down the jet way, I could finally see the reg - and noticed that the flight would be operated by OK-TVU - on lease from Smart Wings

Travel Service is the operator, Smart Wings is more or less a low-cost brand (e.g. like Kulula by Comair).


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5252 times:

CaliAtenza,

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 18):
The only less than stellar expierence i had with them is with their vegetarian meals

I found it interesting that they didn't offer a vegetarian option onboard actually - I guess you need to pre order one. Guess its too bad if you don't!

PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
very nice report with many good pictures.

Thanks,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
I have never seen a bad EK meal.

No, the only one I didn't enjoy was more down to personal preference rather than it being bad as such.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Quite cool you got the Travel Service bird, but that also means you missed the "real" Oman Air.

Yeah, I thought the sky interior was great. Would have been good to get a proper WY 737, although I did get a real WY E175 on the return.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
If you say "no" after being asked about alcohol etc. and they find something above the limit, you not only have to pay tax, but also get a fine. At least that's what happens in Germany and many other countries.

Ahh ok. I figured I only really got stopped as I was pretty much the only person there, and a young (ish) male solo traveller with no luggage coming from Bangkok- so looked a little suspicious.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
That also happened to me, not a big deal IMO. I really doubt many tourists get fined - probably only if they show additional misbehavior.

One thing I noticed about the locals actually - with this, and the guy at DXB the following day mentioning about me taking a picture and the police bing nearby - they seem quite keen to tell visitors where they're going wrong! Although it was all meant in a friendly, helpful way rather than a lecture, so I didn't take too much offence to it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Travel Service is the operator, Smart Wings is more or less a low-cost brand (e.g. like Kulula by Comair).

Ah right. Much like the BA/Go thing a few years back? Seemed to have both brands on the sky map, and airfleets had the original operator down as Travel Service, so thats the one I went with! Although it down as leased from Gecas so maybe a sub lease?



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 5155 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 20):

I found it interesting that they didn't offer a vegetarian option onboard actually - I guess you need to pre order one. Guess its too bad if you don't!

they offered one once, on the DXB-LAX segment...it was not nice, to say the least  . Hmmn, didnt know you cant take pictures at DXB in certain areas.


User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2074 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 4946 times:

Hi James

Nice report once again! Pretty cool you got to fly a 737 with the sky interior, I was hoping to fly one with AA a little over a year ago, but unfortunately I got one with the old interior. EK looks good as well, one of these days ill try them.

Looking forward to the next part  



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4880 times:

CaliAtenza,

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 21):
Hmmn, didnt know you cant take pictures at DXB in certain areas.

I dont know for sure - just rumours I've read.

Yvan,

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 22):
Nice report once again!

Thanks,

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 22):
Pretty cool you got to fly a 737 with the sky interior, I was hoping to fly one with AA a little over a year ago, but unfortunately I got one with the old interior.

Yeah, I was hoping to get an AA one earlier in the year but got an older one instead. The sky interior is much better. Bigger step up than the new A320 series cabins.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 22):
EK looks good as well, one of these days ill try them.

Ha, I've got a long list of airlines I want to try too!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1110 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 months 1 week ago) and read 4804 times:
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Hi James,

Nice to see part 3! Another good one with many nice pictures  
What a good idea to add a little side trip to Oman and try Oman air out, at least everything went to plan this time!
Both EK and WY look nice here, pretty nice to get an OK registered aircraft  
Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
probably the blandest cheese omelet I’ve eaten

That's a cheese omelet?

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Guessing around midday is the quiet time at DXB.

Which is why you were in an holding pattern before landing? :P

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
I was stopped asked if I had any drugs, alcohol or tobacco – I responded no, but he decided to search me anyway. Well why ask if you were just going to search me anyway? Just say you want to search me!

Well if you would have said yes he wouldn't need to search you! 
Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Now I’m used to women being a bit cheesed off with me, but managing to upset a whole train carriage’s worth in one go was an achievement even for me.

Hahaha...

Thanks for another great report and looking forward to the next part!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 25, posted (8 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4545 times:

Hi Brendan,

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 24):
Nice to see part 3! Another good one with many nice pictures

Thanks,

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 24):
What a good idea to add a little side trip to Oman and try Oman air out, at least everything went to plan this time!

Yeah, this was the one that really had to go well with only a couple of hours in Oman.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 24):
pretty nice to get an OK registered aircraft

It was, even more so with the sky interior.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 24):
That's a cheese omelet?

Its what I asked for... tasted like a lump of rubber though. Not that I've ever eaten a lump of rubber.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 24):
Which is why you were in an holding pattern before landing? :P

It seemed that way. Wouldn't make sense for us to be heading towards the airport, do a 180 degree turn and then head back again. There were quite a few passengers around initially, although they all headed for the connections - I was the only one actually stopping in Dubai it seemed.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 24):
Well if you would have said yes he wouldn't need to search you! 

I'd be lying though!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 24):
Thanks for another great report and looking forward to the next part!

No problem - hopefully I should get round to putting the next part together sometime this weekend.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4311 times:

Excellent report James, thanks for posting. A a decent performance by EK it seems and congrats on logging WY. Nice meal for such a short hop. Pictures of Oman look good too!

User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 4
Reply 27, posted (8 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4091 times:

Hi Robert,

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 26):
Excellent report James, thanks for posting.

Thanks, no problem.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 26):
A a decent performance by EK it seems and congrats on logging WY.

Yeah EK were good, as were WY.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 26):
Nice meal for such a short hop.

Compared to European standards, definitely!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 26):
Pictures of Oman look good too!

Nice place actually. I'd recommend it!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
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