Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
FCO Daytrip With SV And KU  
User currently offlineTR1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 265 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5198 times:

I am a collector of airlines. Many of my friends and Flight Attendant colleagues think I'm crazy, but there are times I will take a trip just to fly on a particular airline. While reading an article in Airways Magazine about fifth-freedom traffic rights I discovered that both Saudia and Kuwait Airways fly the CDG-FCO route with these rights. Further research revealed that it was possible to fly this route on both airlines as a day trip. Working for an airline made this endeavour a lot easier since we also just got ZED agreements with Saudia (including the ability to purchase Business Class passes) and Kuwait. I had some time off at the end of January, so I decided why not?

25 January 2007
SV164 CDG-FCO
HZ-AKA B-777-268ER
Seat 21A, Business Class
Skd departure 11:45, actual 11:48
Skd arrival 13:50, actual 13:43



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Zaninger Jonathan







I arrived at CDG Terminal 1 at 9:30a and quickly found the SV check-in counter. At two hours prior to departure I was surprised that it was not busy. Checked-in at the Business Class counter and was given another surprise--a seat assignment. Usually when one travels standby on a staff non-rev ticket one has to wait for the flight to be closed by the agents before being handed a seat assignment--if there are any available seats at all. Before proceeding to security I walked around the terminal looking for timetables for a friend. The only ones I found were from KU (whom I'd be flying back on later that day) and LO. While state-of-the-art when first opened, T1 now appears dated and lacking warmth. Hopefully the renovations now under way will help.



When I arrived at the gate at 10:30 the aircraft still had not arrived. Although the monitors still indicated an on-time departure I was starting to get concerned about the prospect of having to make a quick dash in Rome to make my return flight. The appearance of the outbound crew going through security was a welcome sight and shortly thereafter HZ-AKA pulled into the gate. Following a quick turnaround boarding commenced at 11:30.



Upon boarding I was warmly greeted by a friendly Flight Attendant who offered to hang my jacket. I declined since she also need to use my boarding pass as a coat tag (I wanted to keep it intact as a souvenir). Another Flight Attendant then came by with hot towels and menus, followed by that unmistakable symbol of Arab hospitality, coffee and dates. The doors were soon closed and we pushed back at 11:48, three minutes late. The safety demo video was then played on the main screen in Arabic, with English subtitles and a sign language video translation. After that, what sounded like a prayer was broadcast over the PA. Finally, after a 15 minute taxi we took off.



Saudia's 777 Business Class seats were an older design, but still very comfortable. Configured 2X3X2 they featured a manual seat recline with electronic controls for the footrest and lumbar support. The personal IFE screens were the small 6" monitors similar to what Northwest used on the DC-10 in their Business Class. No programs were shown during the flight, just the Airshow display interspersed with the directions pointing towards Mecca.



Once we reached cruising altitude the meal service began. This flight's offerings were:




LIGHT HOT SNACK

APPETIZERS
Fresh sliced fruit

ENTREES choice of:
Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli
or
Hot Snack Combo--sesame prawns, beef kebab, and vegetable frittata

DESSERT
Petit Fours



No beverages were offered before the meal. I chose the hot snack combo and for a "light hot snack" it seemed like a full lunch! I washed my meal down with several glasses of mango juice, since Saudia is a dry airline and does not serve alcohol. The Flight Attendants were very attentive during the service, but disappeared into the galley soon after. My meal tray was left on the adjacent tray table for awhile before I finally took it back to the galley myself. I think the crew appeared embarrassed by that.

After the meal service I took a walk around the cabin. Walking through the aircraft I discovered a total of six passengers in First Class, three in Business (including me), and only 25 in Economy, which explains the strange lack of passengers at the check-in counter and in the gate area before departure. This was one of the emptiest flights I have ever been on.

Soon after we started our descent into Rome. As the Flight Attendants were preparing the cabin for landing they asked for my menu back. I played dumb and told them I misplaced it (my apologies to them!). We arrived at the gate at 13:43, seven minutes early. Since we were at the satellite terminal, we had to take a train to reach customs and immigration. I was surprised to see an empty arrival hall which allowed me to clear immigration very quickly.

25 January 2007
KU165 FCO-CDG
A300-605R 9K-AMC
Skd departure 16:20, actual 16:18
Skd arrival 18:35, actual 18:35
Seat 21E, Economy Class, later switched to 20K


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alessandro Savarese - SpotIT



There was no line at the Kuwait Airways counter. After presenting my travel documents I was immediately given a seat assignment--sign of another light flight. I then had time to explore the terminal, hunting again for timetables (alas nothing) and stopping at the tourist information counter to obtain some brochures on Rome for a friend. Passed quickly through security and back on the train to the satellite terminal. As soon as I finished looking around the duty-free shop 9K-AMC taxied in. Boarding started at 16:05, all 15 of us joining the 45 already onboard in Economy. I spotted a pair of vacant seats next to the window and immediately grabbed them. Packages of wet towelettes were then distributed by the Flight Attendants, the doors were closed, and we were on our way.



The safety demo video was presented first in Arabic, then again in English, followed by a translation over the PA in French and Italian. As on Saudia, the main screen had the airshow display along with the compass reading towards Mecca. After takeoff we were treated to a spectacular view of the Italian coast and a beautiful sunset.




This A300, while well maintained, was starting to show its age.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/IMG_0014.jpg


A snack was offered consisting of a cold tuna baguette sandwich and a hot casserole containing a mini pizza, a meat stuffed pastry puff and an meat stuffed croissant. A chocolate bar and a small container of water rounded out the meal. Menus were not distributed on this sector (they were from Kuwait to Rome as I found one in my seat pocket), nor was a beverage cart following the meals. Instead, the Flight Attendants walked through the cabin with trays of cola, orange juice and water, followed by coffee and tea. Like Saudia, Kuwait is also a dry airline, with no alcohol being served. The Flight Attendants were very pleasant, with smiles on their faces and appearing to enjoy their jobs and interacting with the passengers.



I was pleasantly surprised by the presernce of PTVs in Economy Class on this flight. Five video programs were offered (no audio progams however), but the picture quality was only fair. After playing around with this for several minutes we started our descent into Paris. After a smooth landing we arrived at the gate on time at 18:35. When we stopped short for a moment before reaching the gate several passengers got up and started to collect their belongings. The crew to their credit had them return to their seats, something I often do not see enforced outside North America and Europe.

Even though these were extensions of longer journeys, having a full service on these short flights was welcomed in this age of diminished service standards and expectations. Would I do this type of excursion again? Definitely! There still are more airlines and aircraft types to add to my log book. Anyone for a ride on an Air Zimbabwe MA-60 or Yemenia A330?

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8506 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 6 days ago) and read 5159 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report & pictures, many thanks.

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
As the Flight Attendants were preparing the cabin for landing they asked for my menu back. I played dumb and told them I misplaced it

- Well done!  Smile

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
Anyone for a ride on an Air Zimbabwe MA-60 or Yemenia A330?

- Sounds like a great idea.

The KU sector was of particulat interest, don't recall reading one before.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 6 days ago) and read 5129 times:

I enjoyed your trip report, thanks for posting it!

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
I am a collector of airlines. Many of my friends and Flight Attendant colleagues think I'm crazy, but there are times I will take a trip just to fly on a particular airline.

Same here. I love to "collect" airlines and also, I love to do 5th freedoms. I did both SV 772 and KU AB6 (exactly the same registrations HZ-AKA and 9K-AMC) last fall. SV was FRA-GVA and KU was GVA-CDG. Enjoyed it hugely! I travelled in Y on both sectors. I found KU to be much better than SV in terms of cabin service and aircraft appearance.

I can share my 5th freedom flight experiences here, I hope you don't mind.

I found the prayer on SV quite interesting. Also, I was sitting in the 2nd last row in Y, just close to the prayer room. There was someone praying in there before we pushed back. After take-off, the male cabin crew members went to the prayer room, realigned the carpet and started to pray. The female crew members (Asians) did the inflight service which consisted of water or juice. There was no meal, but I don't know if that was due to the fact that it was during Ramadan or because of the short sector. Even though it was a daylight flight, the cabin crew closed all window blinds after take-off. The load was very light. I was the only one to get off at GVA. Apparently, it's very unusual for SV to have passengers on this sector, even the check-in staff did at first not want to accept me on the flight. I had a confirmed Y-class ticket booked over E-Bookers. They first said they didn't think SV had traffic rights on this route, but the SV rep who was then called confirmed it was ok and I got a seat.

With KU, I also had an interesting experience. The flight was operating KWI-GVA-CDG. I arrived at GVA early with an LX flight from ZRH, then tried to check-in at the transfer desk in GVA. When I told them I would like to check-in on KU to CDG, they said such a flight didn't exist. They didn't even check their systems. And, they said, even if it existed, all flights from GVA to France would be handled in the French sector (a small part of GVA airport accessible directly from France without any customs/immigration). I then had to explain how this flight operated and that it would be an international flight (as opposed to a French domestic flight departing from the French sector) coming in from KWI. I kindly asked her to please just type the flight number in her system and after much discussion with her colleague she did so. And bingo! - the flight was there and I was on the passenger list and she issued me a boarding pass... As I was early, I decided to leave the transfer area and went to arrivals to check if my flight would be coming in on-time from KWI. Indeed, it would be arriving more than 30 minutes early from KWI. Scheduled departure was 17:45 (if I remember it correctly) and the flight was already estimated to land at 16:32 instead of the scheduled 17:00. I then knew I would have to go to the gate early because they would just off-load the passengers from KWI and then depart as soon as possible to CDG. I was at the gate at 16:45 and the whole area was deserted. The gate was correctly labeled but nobody was there. Also, absolutely no other passengers were in this particular gate area (C gates). The only person was a cleaner. So I sat there for about 10 min when suddenly the PA system goes on and says: "Passenger LXM83 traveling on KU177 to Paris CDG is requested to process to gate C3 for immediate boarding." It was quite funny, as I was at the gate already and nobody was there. I was hoping they would not forget to board me.... and I already had a plan to pick up the phone at the gate trying to dial some number. After about 15 minutes, a gate agent arrived. The didn't say a word and just sat behind the gate. After about a further 10 minutes later, she asked me if I was "the passenger" to CDG. I was indeed the only one joining the flight in GVA! I then boarded (quite funny to walk the long aisle to the aircraft all on my own - it's a long way there in GVA). The flight left about 30 min early to CDG. About 40 transit passengers from KWI to CDG were on board. The in-flight service consisted of a cold meal, but with metal cutlery. A water labeled in Arabic was on the tray. Quite funny for a flight going from GVA to CDG!

I'd do it again if I could. Unfortunately, 5th freedoms become increasingly rare, especially in Europe.


User currently offlineAH332 From Algeria, joined Mar 2007, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5076 times:

Hi,

Awesome trip report and pictures!  Smile

Just out of curiosity, how much did this little excursion cost you? I would love to try something like this sometime.

Cheers,
Imad



Bledi Heya Al Djazaeer! // Next Flights: AB MIA-DUS-ORY, AF ORY-MRS-ALG
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4993 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report!

767747


User currently offlineAF Cabin Crew From French Polynesia, joined Sep 1999, 1040 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4883 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi TR1 !

I am also a collector of airlines and aircrafts... I try to fly on every airlines possible and every aircraft they operate. I did albums here on airliners.net with every single airline and airrafts I too.
When I plan my vacation I plan all the flights according to the airline and the aircraft type used on the route... for instance I did a DPS-BKK-NRT on TG and NH just to fly on TG MD11. Next month I will fly LAX-SIN nonstop on SQ because I have to get on that aircraft and the I bought QR tickets to CGK when I could have gone to CGK with SQ. The return flights to LAX is as such : DPS-CGK on GA B734 (never flew on it just the A330) than SQ B773 to SIN and then SQ B772ER to LAX via TPE.
I sometimes do day trips as well when I am in the USA just to get on a couple of new airlines or aircrafts !
Maybe we'll bump into each other on a trip !
I will make sure that I get to try these 2 !

Thanks for the great idea and excellent trip report !

Happy Flying,

AF Cabin Crew



Ia Maitai to tatou tere !
User currently offlineAleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3236 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4809 times:

Very interesting trip report. At first, title surprised me a little bit, but then I really enjoyed it. Now, which one do you prefer? SV or KU?


R-E-S-P-E-C-T
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4506 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4768 times:

Cool report! So how would you compare these two Gulf Arab carriers (even though you were in C on one and Y in the other...not to mention the star of the fleet on one and the black sheep of the fleet on the other as well...)?


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4589 times:

Hi I would love to do SV sometime but I dont want to go to Saudi Arabia so this would be a good option. I flew LHR to JFK on a KU 747 , the one that got hijacked years back. I flew First class and it was amazing.

What other interesting airlines have 5th freedom rights in Europe???


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4545 times:

I flew SV FCO-CDG in 1999 in Y class and it was a great excpericence. Saudi Arabian has really great service. I hope that this trip report means more people will try this service as well.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4495 times:

Does anyone sell these tickets cheap??? In my system it shows up as the only fare is J class at €532 one way!!! I guess you must have to apply for a industry discount to make it anyway affordable. That might explain why the check in agents though you couldnt fly that sector!!! No one can afford to do it .

User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4376 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
No one can afford to do it .

Actually, the ticket prices were quite low when I booked. Booked them on E-Bookers and Opodo. They even had cheap one-ways.


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7086 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

Nice reports man. Not often we get reports from these airlines. Thanks for sharing

User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4231 times:

very interesting reading here! You're giving me a great idea for a trip someday!  Smile

Thanks



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineEGBJ From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 498 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4188 times:

Nice report!...hope to read more of yours in the future Big grin

User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4141 times:

Do you have a logbook of flights? I'm also an 'airline' collector and take much pride in my logbook (basically an excel spreadsheet)...

Happy to email to anyone who is interested - email me (via link on my profile) - and would love to look at anyone else's examples.

Nice TR report by the way - SV and KU are both missing from my logbook too, so I am mighty jealous! LOL


User currently offlineTR1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 18 hours ago) and read 3917 times:

Hi everyone!

Thanks for the nice comments. I was away for the last week so I can now reply back.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 2):
I can share my 5th freedom flight experiences here, I hope you don't mind.

No I don't. I enjoy hearing about others experiences. Thanks for sharing.

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 6):
Very interesting trip report. At first, title surprised me a little bit, but then I really enjoyed it. Now, which one do you prefer? SV or KU?[/quote



[quote=AirxLiban,reply=7]Cool report! So how would you compare these two Gulf Arab carriers (even though you were in C on one and Y in the other...not to mention the star of the fleet on one and the black sheep of the fleet on the other as well...)?

I liked them both--The crew on Saudia was a bit more formal and polished while the crew on Kuwait was more relaxed and jovial. Both would be roughly equal in terms of quality. I haven't been on EY/EK/GF/QR to compare (I would love to fly on all of them though!)

Quoting AH332 (Reply 3):
Just out of curiosity, how much did this little excursion cost you? I would love to try something like this sometime.

I work for an airline so I was able to fly for a greatly reduced cost. CDG-FCO was about $90 USD in Business Class and FCO-CDG was about $56 in Economy Class (both include taxes). Keep in mind that this is for space-available travel so often one doesn't know if he/she has a seat until the last minute.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
What other interesting airlines have 5th freedom rights in Europe???

I believe Ethiopian has fifth-freedom rights between ARN and FCO. I can't think of any others on the top of my head.

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 15):
Do you have a logbook of flights? I'm also an 'airline' collector and take much pride in my logbook (basically an excel spreadsheet)...

Yes, I do. Mine is hand-written in one of those Buch-Air travel logs. I also include the flights I've worked on.

Quoting AF Cabin Crew (Reply 5):
Maybe we'll bump into each other on a trip

It could happen! Were you able to fly on one of the final NWA DC-10 flights?

Best regards to all!

Steve


User currently offlineAF Cabin Crew From French Polynesia, joined Sep 1999, 1040 posts, RR: 34
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3757 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Steve !

I wish I did fly on a NWA DC10 but didn't get to do it... I should try to ride on the 742 now... need to go to NRT !
I think that you should do like me and post a pic of all the different airlines and aircraft you flew on in an album here on airliners. Go on ! do it !

Happy Flying,

AF Cabin Crew



Ia Maitai to tatou tere !
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic FCO Daytrip With SV And KU
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


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

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


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Finnair HEL-OUL-LPA-OUL-HEL (with Pics And Videos) posted Sat Mar 17 2007 17:28:50 by EFHK
AMS-LBA On KLM With Pics And Video posted Thu Feb 1 2007 23:55:14 by Jet2Leeds
LIS/MUC/SXB/FRA/LIS With LH And TP. posted Sat Dec 9 2006 12:25:29 by CV990
ADL-CNS-ADL With Jetstar And Pics Part 2 posted Sun Nov 19 2006 00:10:15 by Ryan h
Seoul To Osaka With KE And Back (Many Pics) Long! posted Mon Oct 23 2006 21:54:18 by KE086
New England With BA And Jetblue posted Mon Sep 25 2006 00:41:38 by Trekster
LHR-SVO-LED-SVO-LHR With SU And 5N posted Sun Sep 24 2006 12:31:01 by ReverseThrust
BA Connect STR-BHX-STR, With Pics And Vids posted Mon Sep 18 2006 16:38:14 by Ndebele
FRA-IST-EDO/ADB-IST-FRA With LH And Atlasjet (KK) posted Fri Sep 15 2006 18:58:30 by Stylo777
CWL-AGP With XLA And Return posted Sun Sep 3 2006 13:51:13 by Christa

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format