Officially this is my first TR as I spent too much time enjoying reading others TR's and never got around to posting any of mine. I have traveled extensively in my time (not as frequently as some a.netters who seem to be flying off somewhere at least once a week) but either I never thought of posting a proper TR or the internet wasn't in existence at the time but I do remember alot from most of my past trips and only started taking pics and making vids of my trips since the past 4-5 years. I have nothing before that other than memories in my mind. Here is a list of all the airlines/aircraft I have flown on to date, not in any particular order:
PIA: F-27, B707, B720B, B733, B742, B74M, B743, DC-10, A300B4, A310-300, B772ER, B773ER.
Air Blue: A319, A320, A321.
Shaheen Air: A320, B734.
Air India: B742.
BA: L-1011-200, B744, B763, B772ER.
Aer Lingus: A320.
Virgin Atlantic: A343, B744.
Cathay Pacific: B742.
China Airlines: A300-600, B742, B744.
Eva Air: B744.
Lufthansa: A300-600, A310-300.
KLM: B734, B743, B763.
Air France: A300B2, B74M.
Emirates: A300-600, A310-300, A332, B772, B773, B773ER.
Gulf Air: L-1011-200, A320, B763.
Kuwait Airways: A300-600, A310-300, A343, B742.
Royal Jordanian: A310-300, L-1011-500.
Onur Air: A320, A321.
Air Canada: B744, B762.
Continental: DC-10, B727, B735.
Qatar Airways: A320, A321, A332, A333, A346, B773ER.
Oman Air: A332, A333, B737-700, B738.
I think that just about covers all the airlines I have traveled on. I like to try out different airlines and it wasn't until I started flying QR to and from LHR that my travel agent (without my knowledge) made me a member of their Privilege Club FF program and I logged up enough air miles (not to mention free gifts such as key rings, calendars, aircraft models etc QR sent me) to bring me upto silver status and I got my first free J class ticket soon thereafter and once I had utilized that, I was suddenly downgraded to burgundy status and soon after that I received a simple beige FF card with no status. By then I decided to divorce QR and started flirting with Oman Air who was a small new comer among the regional Godzillas such as EK, EY and QR and who's J class offering was by far one of the cheapest going. I tried out Oman and was hooked. I signed up with their Sindbad FF program and soon enough achieved silver status which is where I am now. Oman's J class product is by far the best I have ever experienced on any airline, at par with QR's F class product and while I have flown Oman Air on the KHI-MCT-LHR (and vice versa) sector many times (I have family in London so I try to visit them as much as possible) this covers my most recent trip taken about 2 weeks ago to LHR.
Check in and Departure from Karachi (KHI):
Oman Air's winter schedule has their flight to MCT departing from KHI at 6.10am. KHI airport is not very large with 2 round satellites (1 for Intl and 1 for Dom) each parking around 6 a/c at each. This morning there were flights of PIA, Air Blue, EK, EY, GF, QR, BG and WY (Oman) all departing within 2 hours of each other so I was expecting a nightmare scenario at Immigration when my Taxi came to pick me up at 3.30am but surprisingly it was fairly calm but still pretty crowded. The WY J class check in (handled by Dnata who also do EK and EY) was processing a few Y class pax as there were only 3 of us in the J cabin and Y was almost full so I had to wait a good 15 mins before I was called forward. A porter tagged my bag as priority while the check in guy had to have my boarding passes and baggage labels printed out from another desk as his computer suddenly had a problem. It took about 10 mins of waiting and I was handed back my e-ticket, passport, 2 boarding passes, CIP lounge pass and baggage tags with an apology for the wait. My porter then took my suitcase for secondary screening where it passed through the x-ray and disappeared from sight to be loaded on board. Immigration also took about 10 mins as each pax have their pic taken by a webcam type device but the immigration officer was more intrigued by my 10 year UK visa as he had never seen one before so it was quite the novelty for him.
Post immigration, I went through the duty free shops which were those typical 'walk through to get to the gate' types which could best be described as boring and dreary. Taking pics inside the airport terminal is not allowed (and I didn't want to risk it as it was still dark outside being 4.30am) so there are none to see till I was on the plane itself. I by-passed the airline lounges and went through secondary security screening into the common departure area (thankfully not a mile long walk) which was full to capacity, not that I minded. I love the hustle and bustle of a busy airport. I met a friend of mine who was flying to YYZ with EY so we sat together till his flight to AUH was called. The gate where my plane was to depart from had an Air Blue A320 sitting there doing nothing with the cabin crew sitting in the lounge. It was time for my flight to land from MCT and park at the designated gate but the ED (Air Blue) A320 didn't budge and I couldn't see my WY 738. By 5.15am the ED A320 was pushed back and the crew who were sitting in the lounge got up and walked off somewhere. What, why, where I have no clue. By 5.30am boarding for my flight was called and were going to be bussed to the plane from a different gate. This was new to me so I didn't mind. I love planes, I love flying, I don't mind anything. 3 of us J pax boarded a bus from where my WY 738 could be clearly seen. I pulled out my phone and sneaked a pic.
I was the first J pax to board and a female crew member directed me to my seat 2A. The other 2 women J pax also settled into their seats. The cabins on board WY's 737-800's (at least the ones I've been on) seem to be from the period of WY's red/green livery days with dark blue leather seats and not much recline but a nice dagger motif on the bulkhead panels and looking very clean and tidy. Hot/cold towels were offered alongwith a selection of juices and arabic coffee and newspapers. I had a glass of water and juice with a hot towel which were soon cleared away and the doors closed at 6am sharp.
Biman 738 to DAC:
We pushed back at 6.05am and taxied to the runway at a startling speed. I thought only QR used to race to/from the runway but WY beat them to it. A manual safety demonstration was carried out by the crew followed by an animated video. As it was still dark, it was not possible for me to take any pics of the outside so I commenced with my camera from inside once the breakfast service started. Flight time to MCT was 1hr 40mins. Breakfast consisted of an Omelet with vegetables which was pretty much the same identical breakfast they served me on the same flight 5 months before but not bad.
Following the breakfast and another hot/cold towel service I tried to nap for a while but soon we commenced our descent into MCT. Landing was smooth and fast with lots of reverse thrust applied. We disembarked via stairs (the norm at MCT till the new terminal building is completed) and I alongwith the 2 other women J class pax were bussed to the terminal. On the ride there, the 2 women were discussing and complaining how uncomfortable the seats in the 737 were and were hoping the seats on the LHR flight (like me they were also flying to LHR) would be better. We now had a 6 hour transit till WY101 to LHR. Again I did not mind as the WY J class lounge at MCT is beautiful and MCT airport while small is well stocked with duty free shops and restaurants.
Below are some more pics.