WELCOME TO MY 31st TRIP REPORT
will cover my flight on Air Mauritius from MRU
in Economy Class on the A340-300.
B A C K G R O U N D
As seen in my previous report, the idea of finding myself in Mauritius was far from the typical touristy norm that one would expect. Well, what other reason can it be apart from one that relates to a self-connection to a flight to God knows where?
In any case, I would not be lurking the depths of the Indian Ocean had it not been for the sole purpose to get myself to Réunion and catch my long awaited Air Austral flight to New Caledonia. For those of us who have not seen that TR
, please feel free to take a look right here:
Loisirs Avec Air Austral: Réunion-Sydney-Nouméa (by ronerone Feb 4 2011 in Trip Reports)
I had no plans to overnight in Mauritius, as I had that on the agenda for Réunion. As such, my options were more or less limited to nonstops on either Air Austral or Air Mauritius, both of which seem to offer competing shuttle services between the two islands.
While Air Austral was a flight-to-be tomorrow, why not give Air Mauritius a tick off my list today? And so, a visit to the Air Mauritius website was all that was required to get this sorted out.
The airline’s website –while looking rather basic- does offer just the right features that one would expect in order to facilitate today’s techno-needs. Apart from the company’s usual background info, which seems fairly updated, the Air Mauritius website also features an extensive online booking system that allows you to purchase your ticket, select seats and meals, and check-in for your flight online.
Given all that, my ticket was issued with a fair bit of ease, albeit the website did seem to hang up on me a few times. Of course, the choice for today’s flight was definitely Economy Class, as Business Class for a 30-minute flight would be a tad OTT don’t you think?
Ticket in hand, and Air Austral on the horizon, it was time to go. Air Mauritius here I come!
D E P A R T U R E
Today’s journey had commenced in Dubai, and on an itinerary that had already began to exhaust my energy upon arriving at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius. However, a fully decked out Emirates B777-300ER featuring private suites in First Class, lie-flat seats in Business Class, and New Generation Economy Class seats was a serious way to get to a leisurely destination such as Mauritius. So who’s to say that even my seat in cattle class was not comfortable?
An Emirates flight brings me to MRU
For those who are interested, the only documentation on that flight that I have apart from the picture above, is the following video:
Upon arrival at MRU
at 9:30am, I proceeded to the transfer desk that is located right before the immigration counters that all other 300+ deplaning passengers that were on my flight had proceeded towards. The friendly Air Mauritius branded agents took to my request immediately, and upon the usual passport and document checks, my boarding pass for my 15:10 MK292 flight was issued in no time.
My Air Mauritius boarding pass
Adjacent to the transfer desk was a security checkpoint that I had to go through before arriving at the airport’s single –and very humble- airside terminal building which very much follows a similar concept to that of its neighbor in Réunion. However, before exploring my immediate surroundings, a visit to one of the airport’s premium lounges was on my agenda.
Does Air Mauritius offer lounge access to its Economy Class passengers? Of course not! But as a Priority Pass member, I am allowed lounge access to many worldwide airport lounges, and in the case of Mauritius, this will be the ‘Amedee Maingard’ Lounge.
Located towards a far end of the terminal building, the lounge is in a hidden location far away from the main terminal bustle. A professional agent welcomes me inside after checking my membership validity and boarding pass.
The Amedee Maingard Lounge at MRU
Dim and tranquil, the lounge instantly put me into a feeling of absolute Zhen. The ambience was rather soothing, and the peaceful sounds of the running water from the central fountain could have easily put me right to sleep. It almost felt like I was in the waiting room of a mid-range spa, but I did not mind especially as I was the only person using the lounge at that time.
With ultra-basic amenities, the lounge does not offer much apart from finger foods and some beverages, a couple of outdated computers, a flat-screen television, and inadequate seating. It is definitely not a lounge designed for long waiting times, but there was something about the vibe that was rather seductive; I did not mind hanging around here for a few more moments.
More of Amedee
Very ambient central fountain
Seating area around the fountain
I had figured I could grab a bite to eat at the lounge, but the small selection between mini-quiches, pesto sandwiches, and sliced cheese was not too interesting. So after checking my emails and taking the necessary pictures, it was time to move to the main terminal area.
Main airside area at MRU
As with Réunion’s airport, this Mauritian terminal is small and consists of one hallway that houses three gates, ample seating, a reasonable amount of duty free and souvenir-type offerings, one F&B outlet, and two premium lounges.
I settled for a nice chicken wrap
Gate assignments at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport follow a similar etiquette as the likes of London’s airports whereby gates are ‘published’ on the FIDS relatively closer to the scheduled time of any given flight. As such, at 2:05pm, Gate 2 had been allocated to my flight.
People gathered around Gate 2
At 2:30pm, a general boarding announcement was called, and everyone instantly responded by queuing in front of the podium.
MK292 is now ready for boarding
Handing my boarding pass to an Air Mauritius ground staff, I was wished a friendly ‘enjoy your flight’ as soon as the boarding card reader’s beep signaled that I was legal to board. And off I go!
Down the aerobridge
At Door 2L of the aircraft, I am met with what seemed to be the purser on today’s flight. She smiles as she greets the enplaning passengers, but there isn’t much more to be expected beyond this on today’s short island hopper service. Simple and to the point, so let’s all just relax, shall we?
“Hi, welcome on board! This way ..”
By 2:35pm, I was on board.
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