Welcome to my trip report!
Never having been to Asia before, I had made up my mind to make use of my spare time before courses at university were to start and visit this diverse continent, although I hadn't decided on a country yet. After consulting the flight search engine I found a good offer by Egyptair from Munich to Kuala Lumpur, with a change of planes in Cairo and a stop in Mumbai.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
scheduled departure time: 1555
scheduled arrival time: 2040
After a lengthy train ride I arrived at MUC
just in time. Lufthansa does the check-in for Egyptair at MUC
, Egyptair being part of Star Alliance now. Since the opening of the new terminal at CAI baggage is checked through to the final destination (at least in theory). I managed to secure window seats for the two following flights.
Egyptair flights depart from the Star Alliance terminal. Last time I flew from this terminal I remember some coffee machines set up after security where you could help yourself to some complimentary tea or coffee. This doesn't seem to be the case anymore, but one could choose from a wide range of newspapers.
-GCS, the Egyptair Star Alliance jet was waiting at a remote stand. This 737-800 is less than a year old.
Inside the plane was fitted with nice blue seats in economy and drop-down LC
-displays every few rows. I caught a glimpse of Egyptair's business class which offers 2+2 seating and PTVs.
A blanket, a pillow and earphones were provided for every passenger. After take-off the flight attendants went through the aisle with some Arabic or German newspapers and magazines to choose from. The male flight attendant was in a good mood, the two female ones seemed a bit indifferent.
Soon the scent of hot food became noticeable indicating the commencement of meal service.
Today's choice was beef or fish. I decided to give the beef a try. The meat was rather bland, but the vegetables were nice and spicy. I enjoyed the orange cream served as dessert.
All things considered, the meal tasted better than the picture might suggest but the portion was kind of small.
Egyptair unfortunately is a dry airline so I had to resort to the soft drinks and juices, all served from bottles and cartons. At least the assortment of juices was satisfactory, it consisted of guava, mango, apple, orange, tomato and pineapple juice. Tea and coffee were served shortly after the meal service. I must say that the coffee tasted terrible, but the tea wasn't bad.
On the screens a movie was shown in English with Arabic subtitles. This lead to the map not being displayed until shortly before landing. Whilst peering out the rather dirty window I recognized what I believe to be the greek island of Santorin (Thira).
About half way over the Mediterranean Sea, nightfall had submerged the world outside the aeroplane into darkness, rendering my camera useless for the remainder of the flight.
After a preposterous security check for connecting passengers and a swine flu check with an infrared camera I entered the new terminal at Cairo. My first impression was the freezing cold which hit me like an ice wall. It couldn't have been more than 15° C in that place. Luckily the temperature at the food court was more pleasant so I settled down there awaiting my next flight.
Monday, 13 July 2009
scheduled departure time: 0450
scheduled arrival time: 2205
Somewhere over the Arabian peninsula the next day dawned and the flight attendants asked the passengers to close the window shades which was okay with me, for I wanted to sleep like most of the other passengers. But before I was going to try to doze off, I first had to sample the breakfast Egyptair was about to serve shortly after take-off.
Everybody who felt like eating at 5:30 in the morning received two rolls, a small cake, a fried egg, a sausage, a potato scone and a rather doughy pasty filled with cream cheese, followed by the usual drink and tea or coffee service. Again the coffee wasn't really to my taste.
The amenity kit handed out is probably one of the nicest ones in economy class. The pouch contained socks, earphones, eye shades, tooth brush and a key chain. After a few hours most of the passengers had determined they had slept long enough and began opening their window shades.
Egyptair doesn't have PTVs in economy class, although their A330s are quite new. A few movies were shown on the screens but I didn't bother watching as I was sitting far away from the nearest screen and time somehow passed quickly even without decent in-flight entertainment.
Shortly before landing at Mumbai a cake was served, followed by a round of drinks. I had got out of my seat a few times prior to that and asked for something to drink at the rear galley, where most of the flight attendants were hanging about.
I was able to catch some fresh air through the open rear door of the Airbus. A friendly cleaning crew came through the aisles with a loud and somewhat outmoded vacuum cleaner. A few passengers disembarked at Mumbai, I couldn't tell whether anyone boarded. After about one hour on the ground, the plane took of into the hazy sky for its final leg to Kuala Lumpur.
Another meal service followed with a choice of chicken or fish. I opted for the chicken which was prepared Indian style. It was tasty and spicy. I wasn't too happy with the dessert which was some kind of cloyingly sweet dumplings soaked in sugar syrup.
The rest of the flight was smooth and eventful and I consulted my guidebook (I actually hate using guidebooks) what my first destination in Malaysia was going to be.
Shortly before landing peanuts were handed out. The first attempt at landing was aborted and we went around due to another plane not clearing the runway in due time.
At the baggage carousel at KLIA, which is quite a nice airport, I was approached by some airport staff who informed me that my luggage was still in Cairo and was going to be delivered to me with the next flight.
Good thing I hadn't made any plans yet.
So I could finally pick up my luggage the next day and was set on exploring Malaysia.
Welcome to the jungle!
Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Pulau Perhentian Kecil
the jungle train
Malaysia was a blast! It's not too touristy and it's easy to get around with English. I met lots of cool people and the food is absolutely delicious and low-priced. Vacationing in Malaysia is cheaper than staying at home! Keep in mind though that it's rather hot and humid there.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
scheduled departure time: 2345
scheduled arrival time: 0650
In the late afternoon I took the KLIA transit train back to the airport and proceeded to check-in which was done by Malaysia Airlines. There I received the equivalent of about 30 Euro for my luggage being delayed on the way to Malaysia, which is better than nothing these days I guess.
Luckily airport security at KLIA doesn't give a hoot about the liquids ban although there were some placards referencing it so I could take a bottle of water onboard.
Soon after leaving behind the Malaysian mainland and nothing beneath us as the dark vastness of the Indian Ocean it was time for the same amenity kit in a different color and it was also time for dinner with a choice of chicken or beef.
The beef was a little tough and the whole meal bland, but a healthy dose of salt and pepper made it eatable.
The delicious chocolate mousse on a sponge cake and the smoked salmon salad made up for the rather disappointing main dish.
Leg room is quite generous on Egyptair's A330s and the seat next to me wasn't occupied so I managed to rest up a bit.
On this flight I encountered an extremely unfriendly male flight attendant. Fortunately he left the plane at Mumbai where the whole crew was exchanged.
Breakfast was a lot better this time with a choice of a mushroom omelette or fried rice. Having had more than enough rice to eat in Malaysia I selected the omelette which was accompanied by a tomato, a sausage, spinach, a roll and a croissant. I had tea as I wasn't going to try my luck with Egyptair's coffee one more time.
Back in Cairo I noticed that most of the lounges were still under construction, light fixtures were missing and telephones weren't installed yet.
The food court offers a good view of the apron. Some planes are carrying Egyptair's new livery, which is certainly an improvement in my opinion.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
scheduled departure time: 1145
scheduled arrival time:1455
This plane is the newest in Egyptair's fleet. It was delivered in march 2009 and still was in mint condition.
Pre take-off some candy was offered which I thought was a nice touch.
After leaving the African continent behind the blue of the sky just seemed to be flowing into the sea and it was also time to eat. Three choices were on offer. I don't think I've ever experienced this in Y.
By the time the food trolley reached my seat the original choice of chicken, beef or fish had been narrowed down to chicken or beef, of which I settled for the quite palatable beef. Again the dessert was the best part of the meal.
This time my luggage made it to the destination along with me and I could board the train home.
There are better airlines out there than Egyptair, but for the price I paid only two weeks before flying I can't really complain (530 Euro). Quality and quantity of catering could be improved, along with the coffee and the attitude of some of the flight attendants. The new terminal at CAI is a little chaotic and there's not much to do on long layovers. Overall, though, a positive experience.
If you enjoyed my trip report have a look at my other ones:
STR-LHR-SFO-DEN-PHL-LHR-STR W/ BA & F9 In Y, Pics
STR-ZRH-ATH, MLO-ATH-ZRH-STR On LX & OA In Y, Pics