I decided to fly Iran Air heading back from Dubai to Australia. It was one of the cheapest options and of course I couldn't miss the opportunity to fly on the B747SP and pass through Tehran airport once again. I purchased the ticket through Alternative Airlines, they emailed me straight after the purchase indicating that the Tehran to Bangkok segment of the ticket could not be issued as an e ticket and that it would be better if I could fly with another airline, I was offered Qatar Airways for the same price. I declined their offer and asked if there was any way possible that I could fly this routing, they replied saying it was possible only if I could pick up the ticket from Iran Air's Dubai office as it would have to be issued as a paper ticket. Total cost of the ticket was $280 USD. Unfortunately my memory of the flights are a bit sketchy so the pictures will have to do the talking.
Departure Apt: Dubai (DXB
Arrival Apt: Tehran (IKA
Airline: Iran Air
Flight #: IR
Date: February 21 2011
Scheduled Departure Time: 21:00
Scheduled Arrival Time: 23:00
I arrived at Dubai airport relatively early however there was still a line at the Iran Air check in desk. It seemed like each person had at least 2 large suit cases with them and the queue moved thorugh very slowly. Finally it was my turn to check in. The agent seemed to have problems with my ticket as she furiously typed on her computer, the manager was called. In the meantime the agent told me NEVER Ever to fly Iran Air lol. The manager then arrived and seemed to know what to do, he also asked me why I was flying Iran Air when I could fly Emirates or Thai Airways direct. My boarding pass was then issued and I was wished a pleasant flight.
I was welcomed on board by a pretty forlorn looking crew. I initially had a window seat however an Iranian couple had been split up so I moved into the row in front into the middle seat so that they could be together. My seat mate was a very friendly man from Tehran and despite his little English we had some interesting conversations about Iran etc. He mentioned several times that Iran is "not like on TV
" and Ahmadinejad "nice man who help poor people". He had lots of questions about Australia and why people don't like Iran
Leg room was quite good on this older A320.
Soon after reaching cruising altitude a drinks service was conducted with a range of soft drinks and juices all Iranian.
I had a Zam Zam Cola
My seat mate saw me snapping photos and gave me his Zam Zam Lemon
The members of crew serving my section weren't very friendly or interactive. They just handed the meal items over without looking at the passengers. The generous meal service consisted of:
Chicken breast with corn, peas and potatoes in a butter sauce, it was absolutely delicious, one of the best airline meals that I have had.
Eggplant dip, again very tasty.
Muesli bar and yogurt which I gave to my seat mate. This was followed by a hot tea service.
After landing we parked at a remote stand and were bussed to the airport terminal. I was the only passenger in transit. As opposed to my flight with Mahan Air one week previously, there was no Iran Air representative waiting for me. I made my own way to what seemed to be the transit area which was unstaffed and waited awkwardly until a securty guard approached me to find out what I was doing. He then took my passport and I had to sit there for 20 minutes or so. An Iran Air agent then came and apologised for the delay. He took me to the cafe and said "take some food". I'm not sure if this was because I had to wait or if everyone is entitled to free food in transit. The airport terminal is very modern with free internet however it is quite small and was totally deserted at this hour
Free food Iranian style
Comfortable seats were I waited for my flight to Bangkok. Wireless was available throughout the airport and Facebook was working.
Departure Apt: Tehran (IKA
Arrival Apt: Bangkok (BKK
Airline: Iran Air
Flight #: IR
Date: February 21 2011
Scheduled Departure Time: 02:30
Scheduled Arrival Time: 13:20
One hour prior to departure I made my way through a security screening and to the area of the airport where my gate was located.
I took many photos of the airport and of planes and no one seemed to care
Long Queue for boarding to Bangkok. The flight was to be pretty much full in all classes. I was the only non Iranian passenger in economy the crew would later tell me.
I was greeted by two very beautiful fa's and was directed to my seat which was an aisle seat right behind the galley. The aircraft was uncomfortably warm inside, slightly stifling, I was however too excited to care
Blanket and pillow were already waiting for me on my seat. I was very thankful for this later on in the flight as it was absolutely freezing inside the cabin.
Virtually unlimited legroom.
The plane has been kept in very good condition considering its age.
Prior to take off candies were handed out by the smiling crew members. Even with sucking on the lollies my ears were popping like crazy. The take off roll was one of the longest that I have ever experienced and the ascent one of the slowest. It seemed that we used most of the runway at Tehran Airport
My IFE for the flight
+ the airshow which was left on all the way to Bangkok
The captain made a detailed announcement after take off explaining the routing and that due to strong tail winds we would be arriving into Bangkok early.
The galley and toilet have an interesting design. Old school
Shortly after reaching cruising altitude the first meal service was conducted. The crew member serving my section of the plane was fantastic, she never once did not say "thank you, please, you're welcome, enjoy your meal etc".
The meal consisted of 2 rather stale pieces of bread and some fruit salad.
The prunes, olives and tomatoes were nice and fresh.
Drink service was conducted both before and after the meal as well as a hot tea service.
Unidentified piece of meat?
The meal was then promptly collected and the cabin lights were dimmed so that the passengers could get some sleep.
The crew made several runs through the cabin making sure everyone was ok. I was asked several times if I would like anything to drink or if I needed anything. The FA
spoke excellent English and was curious as to why I chose Iran Air, but she said that she had heard the same reason before. I guess some A Nutter has flown with her
The spacious cabin of the B747SP
Prayer room on the right
Generous leg room in economy (picture taken upon disembarkation)
Two hours prior to Bangkok a lunch service was carried out. I can't recall the second option but I went with the chicken. It was again absolutely delicious, as was the dessert. All in all one of the best meals that I have had on a plane in all classes.
Service began with a cold towel.
Cold salad accompanied with Zam Zam and Iranian yogurt.
Caramel cream dessert with almonds, yum
Chicken with melted cheese, potatoes, carrots and tomato sauce. Presentation looks terrible but it was so delicious and moist. The only bad aspect of the entire meal was the freezing rock hard bread roll. Well done Iran Air.
The meal was then collected and I spent the remainder of the flight talking with my seat mate. He could see me taking photos like a maniac lol and insisted on taking photos of me. Each of seat mates that I had on my 4 flights with Iranian airlines were so nice.
Frosty window views.
Unfortunately the flight was coming to an end. Prior to landing in Bangkok an envelope was handed to each passenger with a pamphlet on things to do in Bangkok as well as a phone card. The landing in Bangkok was exceptionally smoooth. Upon disembarking, I thanked the crew who smiled and said "look forward to seeing you again on Iran Air". All in all it was a fantastic flight one that I won't forget. Anyone with the opportunity to fly Iran Air do it!. I didn't want to bring politics into this trip report, but its disgusting what these people are put through by the international community, the fact that they have to fly on planes this age not to mention a million other things is terrible
Contents of the Envelope
Thanks everyone for reading
My other trip reports:
Singapore & Turkish Airlines SYD-SIN-IST-SKP (by tk747 Jun 21 2011 in Trip Reports)
Returning Home Part 1: Mahan Air IST-IKA-DXB (by tk747 Mar 3 2011 in Trip Reports)
3K: BKK-SIN, AK: SIN-KUL, MH: KUL-BKK (many Pics) (by tk747 Oct 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
EK:SYD-DXB-ZRH-BEG ZRH-DXB + TG, LX Meal Pics In C (by tk747 Aug 10 2010 in Trip Reports)