Hello fellow A.netters,
The pyramids, the mummies, the Abu Simbel statues… one by one we got through. The next destination would be Luxor, our home base for visiting Valley of The Kings and The Queens and the temple of Hatshepsut.
We eventually have gone so far and gladly experienced the first encounter with LX on our outward journey on the segments of AMS-ZRH and ZRH-CAI.
It went even better with the first time domestic experience with MS on the segment ASW-ABS-ASW.
But before I continue, allow me to share you some impressions out of Luxor.
The Temple of Karnak
The entrance to the temple
Some of the many statues found inside
Valley of The Kings and The Queens
The Egyptian government has reinforced the prohibition of photography on both sites. Since last August it is totally forbidden to bring along your camera with you. Either you have to hand it over at the entrance or leave it behind inside your transportation.
The view before the entrance to Valley of The Kings
I must say that I was very excited to enter the tombs and behold the remarkable work of art hidden for many decades. A truly once in a lifetime experience.
The Temple of Hatshepsut
Horus, the gatekeeper
We got to Luxor by the evening train. Another local representative was already waiting for us. He brought us to our hotel and checked us in.
After the check in being organized, I inquired him our tickets to Cairo.
He showed us the E-ticket confirmation. We were booked with Egyptair. (What else? )
On browsing the details, the first thing I verified was the spelling of our names. They did manage to copy it this time. Then I looked forward to was the aircraft type flown. WHAT? A Boeing? No Embraer?
I was disappointed. But as the aircraft would be B737-500 and it was a missing type on my log, oh well, I could put up with it. By the way, the departure time was not that bad actually.
Later on, I found out that despite the correct spelling, our representative has mixed up our names. We had been registered on our first names instead of surnames. But I was not so worried about it after our flight experience to Abu Simbel. However, I did point it out when he arrived to collect us to the airport. He just said that he would be taking care of it. OK, that was fine with us!
AT THE AIRPORT
We got collected before nine o’clock in the morning and went straight to the airport.
Outside public view of the terminal
Luxor has upgraded its terminal building in 2005. I must say I like the interior.
Taken from inside our car
Just after getting off our car
Our representative directed us through the security towards the check in area. He then checked us in.
Inside view from the check in area after security
Check in area
Our check in desk
Our representative handed over our boarding passes and wished us a pleasant journey. We then proceeded through the security to the waiting room.
Past the security, I saw some interesting paintings on the wall.
One of the paintings
Our assigned gate
There were other crowds as well when we arrived. I presumed that they would be on the same plane with us.
Through the window I spotted this beauty on a distance
I was under the impression that the Embraer would fly elsewhere in Egypt until a boarding call was made for passengers of MS Express bound for……. CAI!
I was bewildered. I could have flown with the Embraer as she just departed forty five minutes earlier than our flight!
Bye bye sweetheart
I then joined my partner having a strong double espresso. At 10.10 our plane arrived.
Hey, it does not look like a B737-500
It is a B737 Next Generation with winglet
I thought, “Bummer, an aircraft swap!”
Date: 25 September 2009
ETD/ATD: 10.45 / 10.50
ETA/ATA: 11.45 / 11.54
Flight number: MS 073
Plane: Boeing 737-866
Delivered: 12 September 2007
Photo © David Roura - Iberian Spotters
The boarding call was made about twenty minutes before departure time.
Gathering before the boarding gate
We were bussed to the aircraft as she was parked at the far end of the terminal.
The winglet view
Actually, I was getting used to the fact that we were about to fly a Boeing 737 Next Generation. The winglet view gradually changed my mind. It was not bad after all.
The boarding scenes
The airside view of the terminal from the stairs
We were greeted by one male and one female cabin attendant. We then proceeded to the economy section. Apparently, this aircraft is equipped with Business Class cabin. It will not surprise me if MS deploys this bird abroad.
Business Class cabin
Waiting in line
Finally our seats 30J and K: the middle and the window seat
How about the surroundings?
Well, we have got these seat features:
Seat control unit
The seat pitch, enough for a short flight
These seat views:
View of the left side
Retractable in flight screen with an Google Earth like display
In the magazine rack there were the same Horus in flight magazine as showed on my previous report to Abu Simbel and the following things:
The safety card
In the meantime boarding was still in progress.
Our flight was only half full. There were a lot of empty places to be found including the emergency exit rows. Some passengers were moving there after the door closed. We did not bother it this time since it was a short flight.
Among us were two groups of foreign tourists travelling together with their guides. One guide has however decided to move to the empty row right before us. When he was tossing his belongings on the seats, I started to think aloud, “Don’t you dare….”
Even it would be a short flight, I hate having other’s seat lying on my lap. Thank God, the guide took the aisle seat!
We experienced an interesting feature in this aircraft, when the engines were started, they were saying some prayers . Then, we started moving.
Leaving the apron
Entering the runway
The engines spooled up and soon we were rocketed to the air.
Leaving the beautiful green landscape in the dessert…
IN THE AIR
About ten minutes after takeoff, the beverage service was started. They have got water, juices and soft drinks on offer.
Just orange juice for me
The in flight screens started broadcasting some comedies, like Just For Laughs and a Mister Bean episode.
Flying above the desert
The nature called. So, it was time for an obligatory visit to the toilet.
MS did a good job on this flight by maintain the toilets properly clean.
Since I did not pay any attention to the pre flight announcement. I did not get the name of the captain. So, I asked one of the flight attendant on duty for his name. She smiled broadly by seeing me taking out my notebook and then hanged on the telephone for further inquiry. At the end, she told me that Captain Mohammed Issem was in charge for this flight.
Twenty minutes after takeoff the attendants started collecting the rubbish. About ten minutes later, we experienced some turbulences. Everyone was requested to return to his seat and keep the seat belt on.
Then I saw a couple sitting on the slanting opposite row getting up and gathering their belongings. To other passengers’ astonishment, they went up and down several times from their former seats to an empty emergency exit row. Apparently, they wished to secure the last empty emergency exit row. Well, be my guest!
After forty minutes into flight, Captain Issem announced through the intercom that we were approaching the airport of CAI.
The view of pyramid. It is neither Giza nor Sakkara, anybody help?
The pyramids of Sakkara
Someone has left his footprints on the wing!
This time, we approached CAI from another side than the one with LX on the outward journey. I noticed a lot of straight street blocks. Perhaps some new built up areas?
A moment before touchdown
And finally the touchdown.
AT THE AIRPORT
We vacated the runway towards Terminal 3. I have captured some interesting shots on the way:
The construction of a new control tower in progress
Sad view of Midwest A313
Photo © Konstantin Von Wedelstaedt
Photo © PRM
Saudia B743 and Etihad A332 at Terminal 2
Etihad A332, Alitalia A321 and Emirates B777
We were approaching Terminal 3:
Sistership Boeing ready for her next assignment
SQ B773 right after pushback
Star Alliance gathering
Embraers’ nursery with a babysitting Airbus
And finally our gate:
Back in CAI! Thank you, MS!
It has been a pleasure, MS!
We were disembarking through the domestic terminal. Allow me sharing some impressions on our way to the baggage claim hall.
Last shot from the aerobridge
Through the corridor
I just love the interior
Just follow the sign
The baggage claim hall
The assigned conveyor belt was located behind the glass wall in the background.
Our luggage was delivered on belt 6
Upon leaving the baggage hall, we were met again by the local CAI agent. We were guided to the departure hall on the third floor from where we would get onboard LX for our return journey to AMS.
Again, Egyptair was a satisfactory. Friendly and efficient service on board of a newer plane. I would not hesitate flying MS domestically, even if there is no alternative.
I hope that you enjoy reading my trip report. This is the last part of my Egyptian domestic experience. I am working now at the final report of this holiday, the C experience with LX. In the meantime, please feel free to leave some comments and suggestions.