SkyteamLAX From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 30 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
I've been wanting to do a trip report for a while now, and so I finally decided to get my butt to sit down and write it. Part of the reason I wanted to write it at this time is because I want to share the experience of BEY prior to the mid-July conflict that forced the closure of Beirut Airport. I just hope flights like the one in this trip report will once again be possible soon
This segment, BEY-CDG, was part of my LAX-ATL-DUB-CDG-BEY-CDG-DUB-LAX itinerary (the last segment, DUB-LAX, was on Aer Lingus 145, the only non-skyteam segment) in March of 2006. I went to Lebanon to visit family and friends. I also spent St. Patrick's in Dublin and visited some friends of mine in Paris on the return leg. All in all, a great trip.
Some facts for this trip report:
Date: March 25, 2006
Airline: Air France
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Departure City: BEY - Beirut Rafik Hariri International
Departure Time: 3:45pm
Destination: CDG - Paris Charles De Gaulle
Arrival Time: 7:30pm
Class: L'Espace Affaires (Business)
Having arrived a bit late to the airport, I had only 20 minutes left before boarding by the time I got through Passport Control. Given the time constraint, I skipped the Duty Free Shops and headed for the MEA Cedar Lounge. The Lounge is quite impressive, has a very airy feel with a nice glass ceiling and is quite large. .
I was a bit embarrassed taking pics in the lounge, so I hid behind a tree and took this shot
View from the lounge:
Finally, it was time to head to the gate and board. Our plane was parked at gate 23 I believe, the one that should be able to accommodate the Airbus A380 I hear, not sure if it is true:
On board, a very friendly Air France crew greets me and walks me to my seat. The seats were the new Espace NEV (I believe that's what they're called), and the seat next to me remained empty, which was great for me!
A quick glance outside the window - Oh! look at the shadow of the raked wingtip!! Far in the distance, an MEA A 321 is in the maintenance hangars, and nearer are some Cessnas - 152, 172 and 310 of the Aero Club of Lebanon:
Flight attendants quickly came with a drink service, and I opted for the
Push-back from gate:
Alitalia and Syrianair A320s at the gate:
Etihad 767 and Qatar 320:
Some old TMA 707s and an L1011 (I don't know who is the operator):
Scenery around the airport:
Ready for Take-Off:
V1, V2, Rotate!
Last glance of the Lebanese shoreline, looking south:
Will overfly Cyprus in a few minutes:
Cyprus' Turkish controlled Karpasia Peninsula:
Snowy mountains over Turkey:
Flight attendants came by for a second drink service, which I opted for the Bordeaux, and a gave out a box of Gaufrette au Sel de Guerande from Fauchon:
They also passed out the menus. The details of what they offered:
Choice of Hors D'oeuvre Smoked salmon, marinated celery and fresh salad
or Swiss air-dried beef accompanied by smoked breast of duck with foie gras and fresh salad
Choice of Main Courses Filet of Salmon served with leek fondue, parslied butter sauce and duchesse potatoes
or Breast of duck with bigarade sauce served with spinach, turned carrots and anna potatoes
or Plat Du Jour: Chicken and Beef Brochettes (Shish Kebab): Chicken and fillet of beef marinated and skewered with bell peppers. This dish is served with ratatouille
Our Special Selection of Cheeses
Assortment of Desserts Chocolate cake, seasonal fruit tablet, sherbet served with cookies, choice of fresh fruit
Espresso is served at our Bar Espresso
Wine List Champagne: Deutz Brut Classic White Languedoc: Limoux Terroir Haute Vallee 2001 Sieur D'Arques Red Burgundy: Mercurey 1er Cru Clos du Paradis 2003 Michel Picard Red Bordeaux: Graves Chateau Le Bonnat 2000
along with a Beverage List including Beer, Aperitif, Brandy and Liqueurs, Soft Drinks, Water etc...
I opted for the Foie Gras as my Hors D'oeuvre and the Shish Kebab as my main course - they were both very good:
Not a very good shot of the seat, but anyway here it is:
Over the alps:
Charles De Gaulle - Terminal 2F:
An Air France A320:
And finally a pic of the Eiffel Tower!
All I have to say is the Air France business class is awesome. Any comments/criticisms about this trip report are welcome. Thanks for reading, I hope it was not boring!
CXtra From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Really good report, thanks!! I love the night photos with light reflecting onto the tarmac. Also, a great impression of BEY and AF's new product, which I haven't seen too much of. Looks really good actually, but kind of surprising that they use the 773 er on that route. maybe it's between long-haul rotations??
VinnieWinnie From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 803 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Really liked your report!
It was brief concise not too much text (which is quit often very nice since sometimes you really can't be bothered to read everything) and gave a nice overview of what Beyrouth looked like and how good Air france is.
Do really share you shame of taking pics in airports I really don't feel comfortable myself doing that.
Big equipment for such a relative short route did the aircraft seem full?
Tbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Welcome aboard, or should I say "Bienvenue a bord!"
Short, sweet, and to the point. Excellent photographs showing great attention to detail. You hit all the important points of a good trip report. Since you wrote this one so well, how about entertaining all of us with more of the same trip?
It's been many years since I've been to Beirut (then the Paris of the Mediterranean) and, of course, Paris. The photo of the Tour Eiffel touched a deep spot in my heart. And the Gallic touch of AF is always special to me.
Merci et, encore, bienvenue a bord a.net. You are a most welcome contributor!
SkyteamLAX From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 30 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting CXtra (Reply 1): Looks really good actually, but kind of surprising that they use the 773 er on that route. maybe it's between long-haul rotations??
The 773ER was used on a daily basis as of spring of this year and they planned to keep it that way I believe.
Quoting VinnieWinnie (Reply 2): Big equipment for such a relative short route did the aircraft seem full?
The aircraft did not seem that full - maybe 60-70%. But from what I understand, demand is (or was) definitely there, especially during the summer season and around the major holidays. I believe MEA/Air France attract most of the high yield passengers from Beirut to Paris and beyond, hence the improved product for this route.
Quoting MH017 (Reply 9): Nice looking MEA Lounge; how were the catering/drinks there ?
Drinks and catering in the lounge were great. Lots and lots of appetizers, canapés, desserts (very tasty too) from what I recall. I was pretty much full when I boarded the plane! Booze was plenty too: beers, whiskey, selection of Lebanese wines etc...
Quoting MH017 (Reply 9): Wonder how your CDG-DUB trip was (on Bae146 ?): care to share also ?
Yes, the CDG-DUB (and vice versa) was on the BAe 146s (I like how Crossair used to call them "Jumbolinos") and it was a nice experience since I had never been on one. But the business class product is nothing to write home about. The seats were pretty much Economy Class with no extra legroom. The biz cabin was separated by a hanging curtain, and there were 3 seats on each side, but for Business Class, they left the middle seats empty. The breakfasts the served were cheese and cold cuts and a few rounds of fresh breads/croissants, along with a side of fruit salad (did not take a photo). I don't remember if they served any alcoholic drinks as I only drank coffee and tea (both were morning flights).
This leg was in Economy, and I believe I had one of the worst seats in the plane... 30J I think it was, limited recline, right next to the lavs. Anyway, I was too tired and did not take a lot of pics, nevertheless here is a couple! Also, I was surprised that they did not assign one of their PTV installed A330-200s for their longest flight in the network (LAX). It was a looong 11 hours, but generally the crew was friendly and provided good service.
MEA310 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2002, 660 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Fantastic reports and pictures, thank you for sharing.
Air France is definitely my second favourite airline at BEY, it's such a wonderful sight to see the mighty B773ER land in BEY daily. Hope it won't be too long before such experience can be possible.
Goldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1872 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting MEA310 (Reply 23): Air France is definitely my second favourite airline at BEY, it's such a wonderful sight to see the mighty B773ER land in BEY daily. Hope it won't be too long before such experience can be possible.
AF-B773 was back at BEY today. What a great news to see BEY reoperating almost normally.
Quoting CXtra (Reply 1): but kind of surprising that they use the 773 er on that route. maybe it's between long-haul rotations??
It has always surprised me also but they are using this aircraft for BEY since they received their first B773 and it seemed to work quite well before last summer's events. AF restarts today CDG-BEY with 4 weekly flights and I heard all flights are very heavily booked for the coming weeks. I hope they will rapidly come back to full (normal) schedule rapidly
: entertaining report. thanks for sharing. regards: DALelite
: Great insights over BEY. Lebanon always has a special place in my heart.
: Hey there 9MMAR, Wonderful trip report. Thanks for taking the time to do it. The food (especially the cheese plate) looked so wonderful. Beautiful air
: A great report. Very interesting with some great pics thanks for sharing