MH722 Boeing 777 200 9M-M ?E
23 august 03
Sched Dep : 1830
Sched Arr : 2130
Arrived at Jakarta Airport Cangkareng (Soekarno-Hatta) well before 1600 local time. I went straight to the MH
desks for check in. There were people waiting there already but the counters did not actually open until 1600. I was second in line for one of the counters behind pax with way too many bags. The MH
ground personnel was very nice to them though and checked their bags for free I think after consulting her superior. I checked in and got my seats for this flight as well as the connecting flight. For this flight I got seat 14K.
I walked outside the terminal to smoke a couple of cigarettes before going in again and passed immigration. Thanks to a discussion here, I looked for the smoking room that is supposed to be behind the duty free shops. Indeed there was one, but it was a cafe and not a smoking room per se.
I went to gate D6
from where MH
722 was supposed to depart. Boarding was indicated to be 1745. I arrived there on time but ended up having to wait as boarding did not commence until 1805.
I expected this flight to be operated by an A330, but surprise it was a Boeing 777 200. So now I have flown A330 300, B747 400 and B777 200 of MH
Boarding was quick as there were not many pax. Got my window seat and looked around the interior of the aircraft. It reminds me of their 747 400, very colorful (different rows and ranges have different seat colors) and PTV. The ptv was on for flight information and later for Charlie Chaplin. We did not get any head set or menu however. The seat was comfortable with footrest and the generous pitch of MH
At the airport I saw a Qatar A300 as well as Thai 777 300 to SIN
, JAL 747 400, LH
747 400 arriving ( a bit late or does it always arrive at this late hour ?) and numerous Garuda Indonesia including 737s 747 400s and DC10s.
18H15 i was seated on board. Pushback was at exactly 1830 and taxi was completed and take roll started at 1841 . Take off roll lasted only 31 seconds. The route was over Palembang and Malaka among others, and the weather condition cloudy. Indeed it was pretty bumpy. The flying time was estimated for one hour and 40 minutes. AT
1904 dinner was served and included a choice of fish and noodles or chicken fried rice (nasi goreng). There were still turbulence during the dinner service and the seat belt sign was turned on again. I chose the chicken fried rice and was given OJ with it as well as coffee. The tray included a noodle salad, a pudding and WARM bread which was a nice touch. The food was quite tasty. Cruising along at a speed of 565 mph at an altitude of 37000 feet, pax were enjoying their dinner. The pudding was OK
without it being really good or bad (missed those wonderful desserts at EK
!). The crew as always were very friendly and helpful. The couple in front of me had an awkwardly shaped hand baggage which a crew stored for them, and all the crew passing actually said to them to ask one of the crew for their hand luggage when we get to KL
. We descended from cruising altitude 119 miles of KL
for an early arrival. Still pretty bumpy weather which pleased me a lot. The ptvs did not play anything except for Chaplin and the route map. AT
time, an hour ahead of jakarta, we touched down at KLIA and 6 minutes later were at gate (satellite B). My connecting flight was to depart from C3
, took the sky train and made a beeline towards the smoking room near gate C1. Holly molly, the room was literally filled with smoke I instantly lost the need to smoke a cigarette. But I braved myself, entered the room and smoked a cigarette while watching MH
planes parked at nearby gates.
20 KUL CDG
747 400 KUANTAN ( ?)
Sched dep. 2320
Sched arr. 0620
Now, I originally was booked on seat 28H which looked very comfortable as it is a bulkhead seat. But since I thought the seats there would be narrower, I rerequested 61D. The flight was fully booked but the last rows of the two seats on the right and left hand sides were sealed for crew seat.
I got out of the smoking room feeling rather light headed from all the second hand and first hand smoke I inhaled. But this was going to be a long flight. Went to check the toilets near the smoking room which was quite nice and clean (better than Jakarta airport !).
I made my way to gate C3
, and the line for security check was not that long. I knew why when I looked at the boarding lounge : packed bodies to bodies everywhere. Sat on the floor and watched our aircraft being prepared.
Boarding was called at just before 2300 KL
time by rows which went smoothly and quickly. Found my seat and got settled by 2311 and given how full the flight was I did not hope for an empty seat next to mine (it was not !). Flight crew again were very friendly, especially the malaysian man of Pakistani origin who worked my section (but the others were very friendly too). Everyone finally settled down and the crew passed hot towels while still connected to gate and waiting. 2320 doors closed nd 2 minutes later pushback and taxi. The captain was Cpt Nazir Abdulgani (spelling ?) and flying time estimate at close to 12 hours.The route was over Langkawi, India, Afghanistan, Russia and Prague. AT
2337 take off roll began and lasted a considerable 48 seconds given how heavy we were. Crew distributed then menu (which they collected again at the end of the flight, though I of course kept mine) and head sets. This followed by a bag of peanuts (kacang masin ?). After, the passed again with drinks. Supper was served, consisting of a choice comprised of steak, chicken or lasagna. I chose the steak but the meat was a bit hard to cut even with metal knives. The dessert was a banana strawberry cake that was quite good. . The bread was I think warmed as in the flight from JKT. The dinner included smoked chicken and potato salad, but no cheese that I can remember. The seats again have very decent pitch though the foot rest I did not find very useful. The annoying thing was the entertainment box which was located under the seat in front of me (all D seats as well as A seats on the left hand side of the aircraft???don't know on the other side). Plus the little person in front of me who needed for some reason to recline the seat all the way back (a problem solved by reclining your seat too forcing the person behind you to recline also and so the whole line of fully reclined seats !). The entertainment included a choice of 7 films (eg How to lose a guy in 10 days, Xmen) and included a World cinema channel (Fureur, a french film). The comedy channel showed suddenly susan as well as some series involving a talking baby). The sports channel was quite good as were the games (nitendo and pc). The entertainment guide helped in choosing the film but you have to be vigilant as to the cycles of when the movies start. The airplane was darkened and I slept most through the night and noticed crews passing with drinks frequently. Duty free was also offered.
Two hours before arrival, breakfast was served. A choice of omelette or nasi lemak was normally available though only nasi lemak was available when the crew got to my row. Very tasty though felt a bit weird eating rice for breakfast ! They also served warmed croissant with jam, a banana smoothie in a small yoghurt like cup, and cut fruits. Estimated arrival in Paris was at 540 local time and the temperature in Paris a nice 17 degrees ! Seatbelts sign was turned on for landing at 530 paris time. Music was played over the speakers ! Crew was asked to be seated and we landed in Paris at 541. Ten minutes later we were at gate at satelite 4 of Terminal 1. I did not get a chance to say good bye to the nice Malay Pakistani flight attendant as he was busy helping pax. Sorry and thanks to him.
It tends to take forever for the bags to come out in Terminal 1, so I took my time to look around and smoke a cigarette. I made my way to baggage claim and had to walk a long way to find passport control as many were still closed ! Found one and passed quickly and waited and waited and waited for my bag to come out.
Overall : Again MH
has very nice crew and the ground crew were also friendly and helpful. The seats are much nicer compared to other top notch airlines. The food was OK
, though I must say the EK
still has the best dessert.