ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:18 am

Original picture taken by Sam Chui



I N T R O D U C T I O N
Fars Air Qeshm, Fars Air, Qeshm Air, Airline Fars Qeshm, Gheshm Airline, and Air Fars Qeshm all seem to be official names of the very same airline. Perhaps if I also mixed & matched the words in whichever way I desired -such as Gheshm Air Fars or Airline Qeshm Fars- I am sure the company's corporate branding guidelines, if existent, would be liberal enough to permit it. In any case, for today's sake let's just stick to Fars Air Qeshm, which seems to be the most commonly used alias.

A private airline based on Qeshm's Free-Zone Island in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Fars Air Qeshm offers scheduled passenger service in addition to what is supposedly an array of cargo operations across various domestic points such as Ahwaz, Asalouyeh, Chabahar, Mashad, Shiraz, Tehran, and Zahedan, in addition to international flights to and from Dubai. While minimal in quantity, Fars Air Qeshm's singular international route to Dubai is -maybe more so in the not too distant past- the bread and butter of the overall operation, all thanks to the UAE's infamous 'Visa Change' policy.

What really is nothing but an unnecessary wrap of fiery red-tape, this Visa Change policy has also opened the door to a wad of cash for any business that has the correct resources for it. Kish Air -as they are well known for it in this region- is the pioneering leader in this market, and in many cases the airline and its home base at Kish Island are almost instantaneously associated with the term 'Visa Change'. Fars Air Qeshm can easily be next in line on this front.

So what the hell is this 'Visa Change' thing anyways? Well, let's save that for later where it shall be explained in more detail. But for now, we can safely assume it to be some oddball policy that Fars Air Qeshm has capitalized on and turned into something that keeps its cash flowing.

But more importantly, Fars Air Qeshm has three Yak-42D aircraft, and thanks to Sam Chui who more or less invented this trip in the first place, it was discovered that these aircraft are plying this Visa Change shuttle on what seemed to be the most irregular and unpredictable flight schedule. It would be my
very first ride on any Russian jet hence, this opportunity was simply a must-be!

Back with another codeshare report for you, watch as Sam Chui and myself attack my first Yak, and venture deeper into the perimeters of mystery. Non-stop to Qeshm Free-Zone; a twilight of its kind where a return back home is more or less unknown…..




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ronerone
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:20 am





WELCOME TO MY 32nd TRIP REPORT
This TR will cover the following itinerary which involves flights on Fars Air Qeshm:

A] Dubai to Qeshm on the Yak-42D
B] Qeshm Island overnight stay
C] Qeshm to Dubai on the Yak-42D

Note: All pictures taken by Sam are identified accordingly. Unfortunately, my big camera was inoperable at the time and was in the shop while I embarked on this trip. Instead, my small point n shoot -simply set on an auto setting- did the trick, and coupled with Sam's super-pics, I think this TR is good to go!



B A C K G R O U N D
It was one long-weekend in February where all we needed was a public holiday to signal the strong likelihood of a quick getaway. Normally one could perhaps choose a weekend stay at a five-star resort in Oman, but in our case, it was most likely an aircraft to somewhere and back.

As most of us already know, new opportunities have resulted in Sam calling the UAE his new home. And as fruitful a potential as this is for him, I cannot even begin to describe what a concussive potion of spontaneous trips on aircraft to and from never-ever land this means for the two of us. Today, Sam has more or less settled down amidst the sweltering heat of the Gulf, and it was time well overdue to come out and play.

After countless surveys of a million ideas for a trip, Fars Air Qeshm seemed to be the most ideal one on such short notice. Not only did it offer my first Russian ride -the most important factor- but Qeshm Island's close proximity to Dubai and the fact that it is a visa-free zone made it all the more worthwhile.

Fars Air Qeshm's website provided just the details that we needed; all Dubai flights were operated by the Yak-42D, and there seemed to be a multi-daily schedule between Dubai and Qeshm, whereby only one flight was mysteriously bookable. Of course, just like other sub-par airlines, purchasing a ticket on Fars Air Qeshm requires a visit to the airline's GSA, which in Abu Dhabi's case is Kish Air's office.

Bustling with bookers and travel enquirers amidst the most random Etihad Airways 'B747-200' backdrop, Kish Travels is the heart of Kish Air's sales-force in Abu Dhabi. With a miniscule-weekly operation to and from the UAE capital, if the amount of customers at this office is anything to go by, I would say Kish Air is doing reasonably well here.

A friendly Christine from the Philippines attended to our enquiries and was able to make our bookings and issue our tickets.

"We will only be staying in Qeshm for one night, so we will require a booking on the flight back to Dubai the following day"
"But sir, you do not know when your visa will be issued"
"Oh, no we are not going for visa change. Just for holiday"
"Oh .. you are not going for visa change?"
"No we have our UAE visas .. see?"
"But I cannot book your return flight from here sir. You will have to do it once you reach Qeshm"
"But we need to guarantee that we are back by Saturday"
"Don't worry sir, there are plenty of seats available"
"Oh wait, they just changed the flight timing now. The flight will now leave at 5:50 instead of 8"
"How many flights per day are there to Dubai?"
"Only one flight sir"
"So why is there more than one flight on the schedule?"
"Because they decide on the time from there, and usually it is on the last minute"

We weren't really sure why we could only book our return flights upon arrival at Qeshm, but we didn't really care so long as the flight had seats available. Christine was kind enough to reassure us time and time again that we had no problem. For a return fare of AED585, it was even all the more reason to just go ahead with this and pay the cashier.

"What about hotels? Can we book a hotel room for our stay in Qeshm?"
"You can do all of that at the airport upon arrival"
"Thank you very much"

Tickets in hand, we left the office with a huge smile on our faces. It was time to Yak this Yak!



Ticket cover



Isn't it cool? My Arabic middle name is Osama!



My second paper ticket issued in 2011!







O U T B O U N D
Reaching the airport at 3PM, we parked the car at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 2 car park. Unlike Terminal 1 or 3, this car park is a simple walk across from the terminal building and does not involve any cocktail of elevators, escalators, and/or stairs.



Sam & his new car!



Terminal 2 car park



Dubai's Terminal 2 from a distance



T2 crowds



Sam is ready for his Yak already!





Before proceeding to the departures hall, the crowds gathered at the arrivals side of the building caught our attention. As my first time at this terminal, it was only my curiosity that had us head over there to explore. Expectedly, a plethora of flydubai arrivals along with a few others more on the dodgy off-radar types have arrived and their respective meeters and greeters were already piled up by the dozens at the landside area.



The arrivals curbside





Everyone is waiting!



You could sit and finger your toes while you waited if you liked



And we continued on to the departures hall



Departures entrance





Looking much more sophisticated than I had imagined, the departure hall of Terminal 2 wasn't all that bad. Apart from your typical LCC down-to-earth type of traffic flowing from each direction, the terminal was clean and was neatly setup with a few ticket sales counters and the like, one line of 40 or so counters equally split between flydubai and the unknown, a few vending machines, and seating areas enough for the purpose.



Terminal 2 departures hall







FIDS- Interesting to see DY operate from this terminal!





We looked for our flight on the FIDS, only to find that not only all of Fars Air Qeshm's flights -whether operating or not- were listed, but our flight was listed under the old departure time. Oddly enough, you'd expect the check-in counters to also be allocated on the FIDS too, but that was not the case for Qeshm Air!

Wrong STD!





With all this confusion, we asked a security officer what time Qeshm Air was operating, and he directed us to go to their office to enquire.



At Fars Air Qeshm's airport office

Picture by Sam Chui



Since we were at the airline office, we thought it wouldn’t hurt to try and see if we could get a confirmed booking for the return flight. A young Iranian lady, whom we can refer to as Zubaida (that's not her real name, but she looked like a Zubaida anyways), seemed to be leading things around the office. As it was a Friday afternoon, she definitely looked like she would have preferred to have the day off, but instead, she had no choice but to do her bare minimums and assist with our enquiry.

"Yes?"
"What time is the flight to Qeshm operating today?"
"No, we don't sell ticket here. This is operation office"
"Fair enough, but what time is the flight today? We have ticket!"
"5:50"
"Can you also please assist us with booking our return ticket?"
"We are not going to Qeshm for visa change, only for holiday, and we have to be back by tomorrow"
"No. I cannot do that here. Why you don't do it in town office before?"
"Because they said that we can only do this in Qeshm"
"So you do it in Qeshm!"
"But can you not assist in any way?"
"Sir. I tell you before. This is operation office. I can only check system. I cannot change"
"May I speak with the station manager please?"
"He is off today"
"He has a full flight today with what seems to be oversized baggage piled up outside and he is enjoying the long weekend instead?"
"Look sir. Even if station manager is here, he cannot book return flight for you"
"Can you at least check the load on tomorrow's flight please?"
"Only four seats left"

We almost secretly crapped in our pants when she had informed us that four seats were left. In a matter of a few days the forward bookings for this flight had gone from 'wide open' to 'only four seats left'. We were now faced with an intensely long few moments where we had to make a decision quick-smart. What is the likelihood that these four seats will be gone by tomorrow or whenever we reach a ticket office in Qeshm? We had to make a decision now, do we bite the bullet and proceed, or do we simply ditch the entire trip?

"What happens if the flight is full tomorrow and we don’t have seats?"
"You wait for next flight"
"But we need to return tomorrow"
"What you want me to do? Why you not book your flight at the office?"
"Uff!"

We tried and tried for almost another hour, but Zubaida would not budge one inch. We managed to get her to call the Iranian number listed on our tickets -in our last attempt- but of course, it turned out to be a dump of digits that lead to nowhere!



It was too overwhelming that I couldn’t stop laughing!

Picture by Sam Chui



We left the office dazed and confused, yet we continued to try our best to be as positive about the whole trip as can be. Back at the check-in hall, the FIDS were still a hopeless case as no check-in counters were listed for our flight. However, the security officer told us that we can check-in at counters 308-312.

It took a little more unnecessary time to find Fars Air Qeshm's check-in counters, but that was only because they were the only airline checking in that time that didn’t have their logo up on the overhead screens. Not sure if that would save them any cost on ground handling or what not, but it was just plain odd.

There was a long queue that had formed by the counters, and the DNATA agents were processing this flight ever so slowly, as we seemed like we were standing in line forever.



Checking in for our Fars Air Qeshm flight

Picture by Sam Chui

Picture by Sam Chui



Sam's ready for his millionth Yak!





All different types of passenger profiles were seen to be headed to Qeshm Island. Some returning back home for their first time in months or years, others leaving their beloved families and relatives in Dubai and going back home, some perhaps using Qeshm Air's network connectivity to connect into mainland Iran, and of course there was Sam and I who had not a single intention but to turn this entire scene into some theme park ride.

Back to reality, we really had to make a decision before arriving at the counters. So, it was Sam's idea to tackle this analytically and in a very constructive manner. I on the other hand was in panic mode which did not help very much. Nevertheless, we decided that the make or break point was 100 passengers. If out of the total 115 or so seats, 100 passengers had already checked in at our turn, we would ditch this trip. But if we were under 100 -even if it was 99- we would go ahead with it. Of course, me being in anxiety mode I decided that we should toss a coin during three stages of our queue -beginning, middle, and at the counter- and weigh out the results.

This at least, would give Sam and I an idea of the booking profile for a typical Fars Air Qeshm flight, so we could apply similar rules for the return flight. Whether it was accurate or not, I can at least say that it did take the edge off.



We tossed the coin 3 times!





We stood in line for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and all throughout, Sam kept going back and forth to the counter to enquire about the total load so far. At our turn for check-in, a total of 97 passengers checked in for the flight, and there were about 12 or so people on the standby list.



Shall we go or shall we stay???

Picture by Sam Chui



During the final round of debate, and after three tossed coins that signaled a go-ahead, the DNATA agent cracked a cheeky smile as he heard our conversation. For some reason that brought a little comfort to both Sam and myself, and we looked at each other, shook hands and said "let's just do it!"

Our boarding passes were printed, but Zubaida -like Hurricane Katrina- stormed towards our counter and grabbed the boarding passes from the agent.

"You must pay 30 Dirhams departure tax"
"Okay. So we pay here?"
"No you go to office and show ticket and pay them over there"



We paid and got a receipt

Picture by Sam Chui

Back at the counters where Zubaida handed me our boarding passes

Picture by Sam Chui

My boarding pass!





While we were both mentally drained after all that debacle, we had both stuck to our promise to take the risk and throw all anxiety out the window. It was time to enjoy this trip and our imminent ride on the Yak-42D.

After the routine immigration and security, we had reached the airside section of this terminal at 5:20PM. My first impressions of this area are similar to those of the landside hall. Sure it was crowded, but the singular small building made everything faster and more efficient.

Apart from a reasonably-sized duty free store, two or so cafés, and seating areas all around the gate areas, there wasn’t much in this Terminal. But at the same time, many other main terminals out there do not even come close to this one so I can't really complain.



FIDS



Airside at DXB Terminal 2





Duty Free



Unmanned information booth



A snack bar in the middle of the terminal



Lots of seating



Crowds can make a mess!






While the boarding pass stated that the flight would be operating from Gate 4, nothing was listed on the FIDS however, we could see some familiar faces that checked in with us in the holding area.



By Gate 4





Will we ever come back?





It was almost 5:50PM -at exactly our retimed STD- and there was no sign of anything Qeshm-esque. For all we knew, the flight could have left and we wouldn’t have had a clue. And apart from the final calls coming from our gate for a flydubai flight bound for Baku, there was no sign of Fars Air Qeshm.



Picture by Sam Chui



"Maybe there is little delay?" a friendly agent responded to my query with a question. Of course, how would she know? But further investigation behind the desk did reveal that the flight would be boarding soon, from a gate at an airport somewhere!



Headed to the nearby Costa



Something to keep me cool and alert





Finally at 6:10PM, the doors of Gate 6 had opened and everyone at Gate 4 somehow knew that that it was for Fars Air Qeshm. Like a magnet, everyone flocked towards the gate right around the time the agents began yelling "Air Qeshm, Qeshm Air, boarding, yalla."

As with the check-in counters and the FIDS, nothing relating to Fars Air Qeshm was showing on the gate's overhead monitor. Seriously now, this airline really is off the radar!



This flight is now ready for boarding!



Picture by Sam Chui

Picture by Sam Chui

Let's queue up





With such bare minimums offered for Fars Air Qeshm, the last you'd expect is an "enjoy your flight" by the agents. Surely enough, exactly that happened, and even the pushing and shoving in this disorganized queue was the least of anyone's concern. Frankly, it wasn’t my concern for today either, and I just wanted to get this over with and hop on the bus already!



Inside the bus that will Yak us to our Yak!





After ten or so minutes, the bus doors closed and we began our journey across the apron and towards the aircraft. Sam and I must have really stood out in the crowd as everyone kept a fair share of distance from us. It was quite pleasant as we had a lot of space between us and the grinding crowds inside the bus.



This bus has sliding doors, and their opening revealed a sight for sore eyes!





Arriving at our Yak at 6:20PM, everyone got off the bus and headed to the mobile steps leading to the aircraft. We decided to wait a little for a few photos. However, as soon as the agents spotted our cameras, they began yelling "NO PHOTO SIR" "SIR I SAID NO PHOTO, PLEASE STOP NOW!"



What a cute tri-jet!

Picture by Sam Chui

Up the steps





Picture by Sam Chui

I'm off to Iran!





At Door 1L of this Yak, it was unclear as to who was standing at the door for the welcome as you had to bend over in order to hop into the aircraft. Once inside, I looked up to my left and found a older female cabin crew from Iran with a smiling middle-aged security officer -also from Iran- standing alongside her.

"Yes please, welcome"

It could be my only chance so I had to make it happen and maximize every opportunity. With this sudden rush of confidence, I went straight for the security officer.

"We are here just for this aircraft, I hope we can take pictures during the flight"
"Yes yes, welcome! Please!"



By 6:45PM, we were on board my first -and rather overdue- Russian jet.



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ronerone
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:22 am

OUTBOUND FLIGHT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FARS AIR QESHM Flight Information:

SCR
/QE/18FEB
W10
18FEB
DXB
KQE5651 31OCT27MAR 0000500 115YK4 DXBDXB1750 1755GSMGSM J
GI BRGDS


Registration: EP-QFA
Condition: Only 11 years old. Delivered to Fars Air Qeshm in 2006, and previously operated by Yakovlev Design Bureau, Aerolift, and Pecotox Air.

Remarks: Unconfirmed data

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



DUBAI TO QESHM
DXB - GSM
Scheduled Departure: 17:50
Actual Departure Time: 18:50 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: 17:55
Actual Arrival Time: 19:00 (Touchdown)



Welcome to Fars Air Qeshm





The cabin was already packed to its gills by the time we boarded. Preliminary glances only reminded me of a typical single aisle aircraft -perhaps an older 737 or so- but paying closer attention you can easily notice what is presumably the Russian flavors. The oddly shaped -but rather wide- windows, the prehistoric overhead controls, the fold-forward seating, and the disco-era tray tables. Studio-64 has risen from the dead!

Though I have been on aircraft that are much older than this one (if it is indeed only 11 years old), apart from the strange but modern mood-ish blue lighting above every other window, everything else was really from an age unknown to me. Many claim that this is the real essence of flight but I am definitely not the one to confirm this.

During my times it was more along the lines of the B747-100,200, and 300, the TriStar, the DC-10, the 727, and trickles of the 707 days as they came to an end. These types are my 70's Disco, but being onboard this Yak-42 I am happy to get a feel of a very significant part of aviation that happened to just skip over me completely. Not to forget, Sam is totally to blame for opening a door that I will never ever shut again as I am already on the hunt for the next Rusky Jet-set.



The cabin

Picture by Sam Chui



Back inside the cabin, Sam and I seemed to have had such an effect on everyone that they stopped whatever it was they were doing to obsessively stare at our every move. It almost felt like we were the main act at a circus, when at the same time, we felt we were the audience of another circus on the opposite side. I guess it only works both ways!



The seat





Sam was considerate enough to give me the window seat in spite of him suffocating in the middle. I wouldn't think that seating comfort (or lack thereof) is a brownie point opportunity for this flight, but the extremely tight legroom is too noticeable. I could not see my colored shoe laces until we arrived Qeshm, let alone find any other place for my backpack, apart from keeping it on my lap.

Surprisingly though, I unexpectedly found a Fars Air Qeshm barf bag and inflight magazine in my seat pocket which immediately found their way into my bag.



Leg space



Window







Last bunch of passengers to board





There were two each of female and male crew on board, all of which were Iranian apart from one lady which was from the CIS. Some crew members were seated amongst the passengers, but at completion of boarding and after the doors were shut, all crew got up to conduct all pre-departure preparations. Welcome service would be expected on any flight but Fars Air Qeshm I suppose, but I was pleasantly surprised that expectations had been exceeded when a basket of candy was passed around before pushback; this is too Alia inside a TriStar to me!



Candy





An announcement was made shortly after the doors were closed, and this was done in both Farsi and English, though I could not understand anything more than "we apologize for the delay."

Pushback occurred at 6:50PM, and initially it could have easily been quieter than an A320. However, a faint and high-pitched howl began from one side of the aircraft, that gradually vibrated through the fuselage as it got louder and louder. This happened a second time from another side, and by the time the aircraft screeched on its third attempt, I was already too high to pay close attention. It was truly an experience like no other! The engine spool was quite loud that I could barely hear the sounds that coordinated the manual safety demonstration that was happening.



Pushback video & announcement:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYR4Ws3oTnw



Manual safety demo

Picture by Sam Chui



Safety demonstration video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKU3jAcMc3I



Lights out during taxi





The three engines on this Yak continued to faintly howl as we strolled over the taxiway. After holding short for a brief moment, full power was applied to each engine as a cocktail of low and high pitches, along with pounding propeller strums cum rumbling jet blast altogether thundered the aircraft as it gradually pushed itself on the runway. A sudden depth of pure silence followed this as we commenced our takeoff; I expected more noise to be honest, but apparently you’d really need to be seated at the very back in order to absorb the disco sensations.

We lifted off at 6:55PM, in what seemed to be a dangerously low climb into the skies. I was quite surprised at how smooth and quiet this aircraft was, though the flight back was a totally different experience!



Takeoff video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYUgXMyVr0I



Almost instantaneously after takeoff, the crew was released before all heading to the galley in the back. I did not pay attention to the existence of any seatbelt sign, however we assumed that the crew’s release meant we could also get up and raid the cabin.

Holy cow, I’m on Qeshm Air!

Picture by Sam Chui


Seatbelt



Tray table



Inflight magazine and airsickness bag



Seat control



Overhead controls

Picture by Sam Chui

Cabin shots



Picture by Sam Chui

Picture by Sam Chui




Sam is yakking it!





Soon enough, a trolley appeared in the aisle, which was manned by the two male crew. Apparently, there is a meal service!



Meal service





The crew was fast, and smooth sailing at conducting this service, yet they smiled at everyone as they distributed the snack packs. Each pack contained a packet of chicken flavored chips, orange juice, and a chocolate filled cake, all of which were pure Iranian brands. A typical type of prepackaged generic snack, the meal offering was quite generous for this short flight, with no complaints about the taste and quality. Sam wasn’t hungry so we decided to hold on to his snack pack should we need it while on Qeshm Island; and boy did we need it later!



Meal contents







While the crew were collecting the leftovers from the meal service, we began our descent towards Qeshm Free Zone International Airport at 6:45PM Iranian local time.



Video of landing announcement by the crew:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ilukCXCk-o



A R R I V A L
With this short flight, and flying at what seemed to be a really low altitude, the descent to Qeshm lasted only 15 minutes. The moment that EP-QFA touched the runway, power was simply reduced to allow the aircraft to decelerate; no reverse thrust, no thunder, and no dramatic arrival whatsoever.



Landing video, and arrival announcement:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xrCBc8eRKQ



During the flight, Sam had made fast friends with anyone onboard that mattered; i.e. some of the crew, the security officer, and most definitely the cockpit crew. Thanks to that effort, taking pictures of the cabin, the crew, and the cockpit was just too easy after everyone had deplaned.



Everyone deplaned as we arrived at our parking position and the doors had opened



But we stayed back for the following



Fars Air Qeshm’s male crew seem to love having their picture taken



http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/GSM001/073_SC.jpg
Picture by Sam Chui

Look at that exit door!





Rusky airplane seats

Picture by Sam Chui





Overhead bin



Exit

Picture by Sam Chui




Next stop, was the cockpit. There were three cockpit crew –still seems to be the norm on Russian Jets- all of which were from the CIS (Ukraine I think). They definitely seemed like they were used to welcoming desperate plane-goers like us, and were happy to pose for a few shots and engage in a quick chat with us. They had informed us that they were to fly to Tehran next, and that they will be flying this same aircraft back the following day to Qeshm and then to Dubai. Normally, a ride on the same aircraft again would almost be a turn-off, but in this case, we needed anything to take us back.



Flight deck crew enjoying Sam's super-photography

Picture by Sam Chui

Picture by Sam Chui



Bidding farewell to the Qeshm Air crew, we were the last to deplane. The apron is within close proximity to the terminal which does not require any mobile transport for passengers. Instead, you simply walk to and from the aircraft at Qeshm. While there were a few security guards and ground staff, no one seemed to mind us taking any pictures. Or perhaps they just didn’t notice.



EP-QFA upon arrival at GSM

Picture by Sam Chui

Me after doing my first Yak

Picture by Sam Chui



Upon entering the main terminal building, we arrived at the main immigration hall stacked with several counters, two of which were manned for processing our arrival. Standing in the long queue that was moving reasonably quick, a gentlemen known as Shams, approached Sam and I –like he knew exactly who we were- and told us to follow him as he will guide us all the way through the arrival process.

I did not understand why he attended only to us while ignoring the rest of the passengers, but in our rather vulnerable state, we did not think twice to hesitate. True to his word, he handed us the arrival cards, helped us fill them out, and even took our passport to a side office for faster clearing. And it did not end here; he also escorted us landside and to the main arrivals curbside where we suddenly found ourselves inside a bus that was to take us somewhere. Looking at the logo on the bus, I assumed we were headed to the Diplomat Hotel. But do we not get a choice?

“Wait a minute. Before anything, can you take us to Qeshm Air’s office? We need to book our flight to Dubai for tomorrow”
“You cannot do that now. No office here. You try in hotel”
“Can we at least check how many seats are open on the flight?”
“The flight is full. No seat available”
“But you have to help us. We need to get back tomorrow”
“Don’t worry. Trust me, even if flight full, I get you on jumpseat”
“What if there are no seats available tomorrow?”
“I am telling you. You will go back to Dubai tomorrow. I will talk to the pilot tomorrow”
“How do I know you will be here tomorrow?”
“My name is Shams, and tomorrow I will be in your hotel from 8am”

And regardless of how much we tried to cure our consciousness, we could not get to a response that we wanted. Shams seemed far too confident about securing two seats for us on an already full flight, that it was too difficult to believe. What scared me even more was that he refused to accept any tip from us, which only made us think that he probably did not care whether we were staying or going, or whatever!

With no solution that night, we hopped inside the bus, along with a fellow Algerian passenger who was also on our flight. I could not understand his North African Arabic, but it was safe to assume that he was a Visa Change raver. Almost not knowing where we were going, we continued to drive through pure darkness. No lights, and not a single living organism in sight. We continued deep into the unknown, with nothing but our fears of not being able to go back home. Zoned in my own thoughts, I turned dead-quiet throughout the bus ride, while Sam even felt a little sick that he needed to lay down.

If this was a horror movie, the next scene would have been when we would be viciously murdered without any sign of foul play leaking out to the outside world.


The next portion of this report details our overnight stay on Qeshm Island.



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ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:23 am

Picture by Sam Chui



QESHM FREE-ZONE
Qeshm Island -located a few kilometers off the Persian Gulf opposite Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir- hosts a 300 square kilometer free-zone jurisdiction in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This essentially means that the normal rules that are applicable to Iran, are more lenient in an effort to promote tourism and business in certain parts of the country. The island is barely 130 kilometers away from the UAE, and boasts a 40 kilometer width at its widest point.

Qeshm Island comprises 59 towns and villages, and is famous for its wide range of eco-tourist attractions such as the Hara marine forests. Did you know that 1.5% of the world's birds and 25% of Iran's native birds annually migrate to these forests? Did you also know that Qeshm's geo-park is a UNESCO World Heritage site?

Other Qeshm must-see's include the Portuguese castle, historically-rich mosques, and Bibi Maryam shrines. Not to forget, for us avio-geeks, Iran Air flight 655 was shot down just south of this Island in 1998. One can really bask in history and culture on Qeshm Island!

Of course, Sam and I, being Sam and I, our experience was anything but the above; though it was certainly a memorable one that we know we will remember for a very long time.



THE DIPLOMAT HOTEL
After 45 minutes of driving in pure darkness, we arrived at the hotel, but we drove right past the rather nice looking hotel entrance and were dropped off in a back yard where a large congregation of people -from many parts of the world as it seemed- had formed in anticipation of our arrival. Not sure who they were, but they sure were happy to see us!

We were surrounded by over 20 people, grouped by region, and all of which wanted to know where we were from. What added to our confusion, was that the scene felt like Sam and I were fresh arriving merchandise at a night market. I could hear calls along the lines of "Arab, Arab, I'm looking for Arab. Where you from? China? No, we have room for one more Arab" left and right, and it seemed like people were searching for others from a similar background. But why? We had absolutely no clue.

A young Chinese lady -leading her group of Chinese girls in the background- had approached Sam, and they quickly engaged in a conversation in Mandarin. I on the other hand, had dismissed an offer from a young Egyptian chap to share a room with him and his group. Apparently, and as Sam had learned, these people were all visa change profiles that were waiting for final approval of their new UAE work permits.

Many job seekers arrive the UAE on a visit visa, and those lucky ones that do land a job during their visit, must exit the country temporarily until their work permit is issued by their employer. This is normally done to 'reset the system' so to speak and seems to be the only way it can happen. While many people live far away from the UAE, and a ticket back to their home country is seen to be expensive by the employer for such a purpose, nearby islands like Kish and Qeshm have developed a range of dirt-cheap packages designed for this purpose.

Back in 2002, it was this that lead me to fly Malaysia Airlines' newly launched B777 service between Dubai and Beirut. But of course, for personal reasons I was lucky I had a choice. These people did not, and some were just hanging out here indefinitely not knowing what their fate was going to be; it normally takes a week, but it can go on for months apparently.

As Sam continued conversing with other fellow detainees, a smiling Iranian chap, known as Aziz, approached me to advise me that we needed to check-in soon before he closed the office for the night.

"You find room you want?"
"No, we just arrived. What do you mean we find room?"
"Where are you from?"
"Jordan"
"You can share room with Arabs, there is one group from Egypt that have extra bed"
"No, I am with my friend. We want to have one room to ourselves"
"No problem no problem, come with me"

After the normal check-in processing, we had asked Aziz about booking our return flights. Again, there was no hope and this time we were told to wait until the following morning. However, Aziz did confirm that Shams does make his daily morning rounds at the hotel, and that he will definitely be able to get us on the flight. But of course, there is always that 'what if' factor that drove Sam and I absolutely mad. In any case, we were told to find Shams at 8am the following day, and he will take us to the airport to sort us out.

Aziz took us to our room, which is a mini suite featuring three rooms, three bathrooms, and about 21 beds! One room was already occupied by the Egyptian group, another was empty but the main door leading outside did not lock. So we were left with the inner most room that was already occupied by two people.

"Your room inside there"
"But there are people there"
"Yes, one from Algeria and one from Djibouti"
"We asked for our own room"
"Not available. There is a new wing for Iranians, but its full tonight"



Our room





Picture by Sam Chui





We introduced ourselves to our roommate from Djibouti, and all he could tell us was that we better be ready to stick around here for a very long time. He was mildly surprised to know that we were here for 'holiday' while he was left stranded for two weeks as he waited for his new job opportunity as a bouncer at a club in Dubai. He also strongly warned us about the salty water running from the bathroom tap and shower which was not really suitable for a daily wash. With that in mind, I refrained from using the bathroom in Qeshm; period.

After the orientation session, he resumed watching television, while Sam and I just laid in our beds, looked at each other, and burst into uncontrollable laughter.



Room service

Picture by Sam Chui

Our roommates





We retired for the rest of the night, where Sam had used his shorts to cover the pillow, and his pants as his blanket. I on the other hand made it a little more simple and did not remove a single piece of clothing off me until I arrived back at Dubai. Sam passed out for most of the night, however, I was wide awake and very hungry several hours later.

In terms of features, the hotel has it all. All the rooms lead to a large outdoor patio which has some seating area and facilities such as clothes hangers, drinking water taps, a barbecue station, and what have you. There also is a mini convenience shop within the hotel boundary that sells packaged foods such as chips, biscuits, and instant noodles, and also houses an internet station of two computers. Inside the new-wing, everything is of a better standard, is air-conditioned and looks more like a 2 star hotel rather than a boot camp.



Outside the room







Patio



A cat queendom was around waiting for food





I woke up the next morning at 7:30AM, only to find that Sam had gone off somewhere. Sam has the ability to easily adapt to new surroundings, and similarly, he was casually surfing the web in the convenience store when I found him, as though he had established home around here for quite some time now.

I was still sleepy and groggy that I could only scratch my head with confusion when Sam was in his cheerful morning spirit as he surfed Air Tahiti Nui's website. I don’t know, but the idea of Air Tahiti Nui's A340 fiesta sensations on Qeshm Island was far too much information for my brain to process; I just could not put the two together in any way.

We all know that Sam has been everywhere, and has done everything. Risking his life -and also his health- in order to snag once in a lifetime opportunities is definitely something to write home about, and it would be hard to imagine what else there would be out there that can leave such an impact. However, my telling him that I saw a fox stroll by on the patio last night looking for food, had tipped him over the edge where he could not stop laughing. Apparently, this was something new for Sam!



Sam casually made his home at Qeshm for the day



Our fellow Qeshm-mates seated in the convenience store

Picture by Sam Chui

Hotel views during daylight



Full laundry facilities are available at the Diplomat Hotel

Picture by Sam Chui

Patio

Picture by Sam Chui

The visa change reception



The Iranian part of the hotel

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/GSM001/098.jpg


Which we were allowed to access from a back door

Picture by Sam Chui

Many nationalities use the hotel while in Qeshm



And of course, Emirates has to be part of this airline list doesn’t it?



The Filipina gang wanted to have their picture taken with me

Picture by Sam Chui

Before brunch was served

Picture by Sam Chui

Picture by Sam Chui


At 8AM, we collected our things from the room, and headed to find Shams in the hotel. The bus that brought us here the previous night was parked outside so it was safe to assume that he was already within the vicinity. As the UAE was still in a weekend, our fellow Qeshm-mates had no choice but to relax on that day as it was certain they were not going to receive any visa updates on a Saturday. But it was hard not to notice their melancholic expressions when seeing Sam and I bid farewell to everyone with sheer excitement.

"You are leaving already? How come so quick?"
"We are not here for visa change. Just holiday"
"….."


I felt quite bad for them, and we could only hope that they would get on with their lives sooner rather than later. But for now, it was seriously time to find Shams. We proceeded over to the Iranian side of the hotel, where both Aziz and Shams were at the reception desk.

"Salam alaikom"
"Wa alaikom al salam"
"So? We go to airport now yea?"
"No what now? Still 8 clock"
"But you said you will take us to the airport at 8AM"
"Now it's too early. Don't worry, we will go at noon"

After moping around for a few more hours, we headed back to Shams & Co at 11:45AM. Aziz asked us to wait while he fetched Shams, who had apparently gone out to the bank.



Aziz offered us coffee while we waited





Drinking coffee, coupled with the progressing anxiety levels as time approached closer to our scheduled departure, was definitely not a good mix, especially for Sam. He felt sick again and had to go out for some fresh air. I on the other hand, am quite chemical-friendly so I downed the coffee for a mildly distracting caffeine high; just in time for Shams's royal arrival.


It was time to head back to Dubai!



CONTINUED BELOW
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:25 am

I N B O U N D
At 12:30PM, our passports and tickets -which were kept by the hotel staff- were handed back to us. Our passports had a big Diplomat Hotel sticker on them, and our tickets were validated with a stamp; which could only be a positive sign. Our bus was ready, and it was time go head to the airport.



Our passports and tickets were handed back



We hopped on the bus, bound for GSM



Inside the bus



Sam & Shams inside the bus



Scenery along the way

Picture by Sam Chui







Half way to the airport, the driver pulled over next to a small grocery shop, where Shams wanted to fetch something. Surprisingly, he returned with some ice cream for us all so we could cool off in the glistening heat; a very nice and personal touch for sure.



Iranian-branded ice cream. Just like any other known brand!



Eventually arriving at the airport at 1:30PM

Picture by Sam Chui

Qeshm's departure terminal

Picture by Sam Chui



We followed Shams inside the terminal where he took our documents to check us in. The departure terminal at Qeshm Free-Zone was quite confusing and seemingly, nothing was set up according to a typical order of events at any airport. It was arrivals, immigration, departures, baggage claim, and check-in all in one, and all randomly mixed together.



Departure hall



Picture by Sam Chui

Random seating



Apparently this is the only check-in counter, located across the hall





A few moments later, Shams returned with our boarding passes, and with just the seats we had requested; down the very back of the plane. We were finally going home, we knew it, and we were so happy. We sincerely thanked Shams for his help and most importantly for his honesty all along. Though he still refused to accept a tip from us initially, we insisted on it. After all our constant nagging and whining, I think he deserved it.



Look at this boarding pass!

Picture by Sam Chui






At immigration, we joined a small queue where our passports were checked, and a stub was ripped from the boarding pass before proceeding to one of the immigration counters.



In queue for immigration

Picture by Sam Chui



"Al salamu alaikom"
"Wa alaikom al salam wa rahmatu Allah wa barakato"
"Urdon Hashemi?"
"Na'am, from Jordan"
"You Muslim ou Christian?"
"Christian"

Passport stamped, security check cleared, and we were finally airside at 1:50pm. The airside facility at Qeshm's airport is more or less the gate, the holding area, and an L-shaped counter for Duty Free and refreshments, all in one small area.



This is airside at Qeshm





At 2:10PM, the doors to the ramp were opened, and boarding was called for our flight. We rushed towards the gate, and followed everyone else on the ramp and towards the aircraft. I do not get many chances to walk to the aircraft -and in daytime- so I casually strolled and enjoyed it as much as I could.



My Yak is back!



Picture by Sam Chui



Meanwhile, Sam had veered off the pedestrian route to our Yak, probably to find a good spot to take a picture of the aircraft. However, he got caught and was asked to return inside the terminal building where several security officers began to interrogate him. I ran to the rescue when I realized that they were taking their time with Sam, and had a few words with them in Arabic that were basically along the lines of "oh we didn’t know that we aren't allowed to take pictures, we are so sorry and we will never do it again." It seemed to have hit the spot as they let us proceed after that.



But the pictures continued



Picture by Sam Chui

Picture by Sam Chui



Picture by Sam Chui





At the aircraft door, a middle-aged female cabin crew from the CIS was guiding the boarding passengers to their seats.

"Hello .."
"Hi how are you?"
"Fine. Quickly please"



At 2:25pm, we were on board.



CONTINUED BELOW
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:26 am

INBOUND FLIGHT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FARS AIR QESHM Flight Information:

****SLOT INFORMATION UNAVAILABLE****


Registration: EP-QFA
Condition: Only 11 years old. Delivered to Fars Air Qeshm in 2006, and previously operated by Yakovlev Design Bureau, Aerolift, and Pecotox Air.

Remarks: Unconfirmed data

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



QESHM TO DUBAI
GSM - DXB
Scheduled Departure: N/A
Actual Departure Time: 14:35 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: N/A
Actual Arrival Time: 15:35 (Touchdown)



Back to Yak





While the cockpit crew operating the flight today were the same as those on the flight from Dubai previously, the cabin crew and security marshals were different. As such, the marshal firmly asked me to stop taking any photos as it wasn't allowed. I obeyed, but only while I walked down the aisle. Being seated in the last row on the aircraft, I can discreetly take all the pictures I wanted anyways; so no issue there at all.



The cabin





As with the flight from Dubai, this one was just as full as everyone was heading back to Dubai after the long weekend. With everyone everywhere all throughout the cabin, our assigned seats seemed to have been occupied by other people. However, there were several empty seats available so that wasn’t much of an issue; though Sam and I were unable to sit next to each other on this flight. Although my seat was unexpectedly window-less, I still wanted to sit right next to the engines.



The seat





The seating arrangement was as uncomfortable as on the previous flight, but the empty seat between me and my seatmate definitely offered a nice breather. A few rows ahead of me, Sam was seated at an aisle seat and halfway through making friends with his seatmate.



Leg-space



Overhead seat controls



Candy was distributed by the crew





Doors were closed at 2:20PM, when an announcement was made by the crew, both in Farsi and in English; again, the English portion was too fast for me to comprehend. This was then followed by the usual manual safety demonstration, again in both Farsi and English.



Departure announcement video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UFsNt9soVk

Safety demonstration video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAkOGwuS3E8



Cabin crew conducting final checks





Engine start-up was just as dramatic as experienced on the prior night, only with a little extra depth to the sound, that can only be heard when seated in the back. After the usual three queues of engine screeches, we taxied out of our parking position at 2:30PM.

A five minute taxi lead us right to the runway and a straight shot for takeoff at 2:35PM. Instead of reiterating the takeoff experience into words, it can be felt loud and clear in the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAgUWRCmVVY



Not sure whether it was the Yak experience, the window-less seat, the cramped seating area, or perhaps even the entire Qeshm drama, but I began to feel a little nauseated right after we began climbing out of Qeshm. If this is indeed airsickness, it was definitely my first time feeling it. Thankfully though, it did not get any worse than this.



Cabin after takeoff



Picture by Sam Chui



Approximately seven minutes after takeoff, we leveled out slightly and engine power was reduced, which signaled that we may have reached cruising altitude (supposedly 10,000 feet only!). The crew were then released from their seats, and quickly conducted a snack service similar to that on the previous flight.



Service







Two crew rolled a trolley out through the aisle and distributed snack packs to everyone. The packs on today's flight included a prawn flavored savory snack, a chocolate -filled cake, and apple-banana nectar to drink. At that point if I had to see or eat anymore pre-packaged chips, biscuits, or the like I was seriously going to kill someone! So instead, I took the pack and made it a new home in Dubai.



Snack pack on the Yak!







at 3:25PM UAE local time, we commenced our decent towards Dubai International Airport, when a landing announcement was made by crew. Final checks were conducted in the aisle, and after the galley was prepared for arrival.



Cabin before landing



I never thought I'd see this day! Dubai reappears!

Picture by Sam Chui



Landing video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF1vIA4uxWU



A R R I V A L
We touched down on Dubai property at 3:35PM, where the power was simply reduced to allow the aircraft to slow down. After exiting the runway, we taxied for a few moments before arriving at the parking stand and completely powering out.



Deplaning



DIG IN!





After everyone had deplaned, it seemed that we able to take some pictures of the cabin more freely. So we stayed back for a few more moments.



More views of the seat





More of the cabin






Stepping off the aircraft and heading down the steps, we found Zubaida standing close to the bus speaking with the ground staff. Boy did it seem like such a long time ago when it only was 24 hours since we were at her office trying to sort things out.

"Hey remember us? we made it back in time!" as we called for her attention with huge smiles on our faces. Her reaction was simple, she looked at us, rolled her eyes, and continued whatever it was she was doing. She is really something!



Bidding our final Yak to our Yak!

Picture by Sam Chui



C O N C L U S I O N
It was time well overdue for my first Russian jet experience, and I am quite glad that I did it. No one knows until when these jets will remain in service today, especially when the Russian jet era -a significant part of our aviation hobby- can easily pass for an untold story amongst the majority of us. The Yak-42D was definitely a good start for me, and I am almost certain there will be something even more raunchy in the not too distant future.

Having said this, such experiences almost always come with a risk, and in our case it was the uncertainty of whether we were going to return back in time for work. Apparently we discovered that we had purchased the wrong ticket when a more 'touristy' type of package was available that we didn’t know about. If only we had known about this, though in the end it did turn out perfectly positive, albeit with tons of drama. As they say, the higher the risk, the greater the return!


This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!

Regards,
Roni







E Q U I P M E N T
- Nikon D300
- Canon PowerShot G11
- Canon IXUS 110


PREVIOUS WORK
Hop-on Hop-off: The Air Mauritius A340 In 30 Mins (by ronerone Mar 28 2011 in Trip Reports)
Loisirs Avec Air Austral: Réunion-Sydney-Nouméa (by ronerone Feb 4 2011 in Trip Reports)
El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas (by ronerone Dec 19 2010 in Trip Reports)
Dancing In The Dark: An Emirates A380 Inaugural… (by ronerone Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
This Suite Has Sliding Doors: Emirates F DXB-JNB (by ronerone Sep 5 2010 in Trip Reports)
Transito!: A Connection On TAAG-Angola (B743/B772) (by ronerone Jul 31 2010 in Trip Reports)
Keeping Up With The JETs: 9W Première HKG-DEL-DXB (by ronerone Jul 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Petra Express!: On Royal Jordanian's A330-200 (by ronerone Jun 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Suite Redemptions: Cathay Pacific BKK-HKG In F (by ronerone May 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK (by ronerone Apr 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
In A Blink Of An Eye: AirAsia X’s A340 At AUH (by ronerone Feb 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
SriLankan Airlines: The Treasure Of Serendib! (by Ronerone Jan 9 2010 in Trip Reports)
Beijing Swire!: Cathay Pacific & Dragonair DXB-PEK (by Ronerone Dec 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
OpenSkies From British Airways: A New Era's End? (by Ronerone Oct 14 2009 in Trip Reports)
Revealing An Underdog: Royal Brunei Business Class (by Ronerone Sep 3 2009 in Trip Reports)
The Singapore Airlines Cliché (by Ronerone Jul 27 2009 in Trip Reports)
A380: Qantas Proper To SIN City (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
Welcome To Terminal 3: Etihad Airways AUH-SYD (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
5th Freedom Of The Air: Kenya Airways HKG-BKK-HKG (by Ronerone Mar 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Pacific: First Class On The Legacy Milk-Run (by Ronerone Jan 26 2009 in Trip Reports)
Inspirations On A Narrowbody: Etihad To Amman (by Ronerone Nov 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Boleh!: On The Malaysian Airline System (by Ronerone Oct 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways (by Ronerone Sep 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)



F L I C K R
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/collections/72157626486163187/



F A C E B O O K
Fly Roni
Please mention who you are when (and if) you want to add me as a friend



YOU TUBE
My channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ronerone?feature=mhum
I have a range of taxi, takeoff, landing, announcement, and safety videos posted. Feel free to view them!



THE END


[Edited 2011-04-29 19:00:32]
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
joe777
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:09 am

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:54 am

Hi Roni,

Again, another fantastic TR of yours! I always enjoy your TRs.

Its a very interesting trip that you actually had! And, quite an adventurous one too I might say!

All in all, a fascinating TR, great pics and lots of details!


Cheers,
Joe   

P.S: loved your comment about "Zubaidah" lol   
 
SpdBrdConcorde
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:33 am

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:31 am

Superbly composed report Roni.it was an delight to read.Thanks for sharing.This trip definitely has a very high exotic value and the way you both pulled it off is great.Congrats on the completion on a superb trip.

Vivek Kaul
 
initious
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:49 am

Heya Roni,

Did not expect such a unique TR at that moment when I managed to guess that your upcoming TR is on a Russian aircraft. It's great! I enjoyed each and every detail of it. That was sure a lot of drama going on in just a short span of 24 hours! The seat pitch was noticeably tight and I am not sure if I can stand it even for a short flight, but if I get the chance to fly the Yak 42 I guess it'll be worth it! Qeshm is a place that I have never heard before but it seems like the people there are very relaxed and helpful. The hotel is not something I would like to stay even a night in! How much was it for a night? The convenience store is a nice touch as you can purchase snacks anytime, suitable for a peckish person like me!

Your point-and-shoot takes pictures just as good as a DSLR. If you did not mention it, I would not have noticed that you are using a point-and-shoot camera. The snack box on both the flights look interesting. There's this black roll thing I noticed on both flights which I thought it looked quite similar to a Japanese California Roll. Indeed it takes some sort of adventurous spirit, which both you and Sam possess, to fly on an airline like this. I can't imagine myself being stuck in a situation like yours, not knowing when you can return to Dubai or getting stuck in the Diplomat Hotel.

Overall, it was definitely a unique experience that you can remember for the rest of your lives! The pictures of Dubai is making me miss Dubai now, hard to believe I already left Dubai for over a month.

Regards,
Daniel

P.S.: I notice you look quite similar to Shams!
One day I will fly around the world!
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6537
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:13 am

Hi Roni,

what a thrilling report, what an adventure! I read straight from beginning to end after discovering it! And, as usual, you posted masses of high-quality pictures! Compliments to Sam, too!

Good to get an impression of Fars Queshm Air and the Yak - however, I wouldn't want to make such a trip myself.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Instead, my small point n shoot -simply set on an auto setting- did the trick, and coupled with Sam's super-pics, I think this TR is good to go!

What an understatement...  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
For a return fare of AED585, it was even all the more reason to just go ahead with this and pay the cashier.

Very good deal!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
You could sit and finger your toes while you waited if you liked

  

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):

Since we were at the airline office, we thought it wouldn’t hurt to try and see if we could get a confirmed booking for the return flight. A young Iranian lady, whom we can refer to as Zubaida (that's not her real name, but she looked like a Zubaida anyways), seemed to be leading things around the office. As it was a Friday afternoon, she definitely looked like she would have preferred to have the day off, but instead, she had no choice but to do her bare minimums and assist with our enquiry.

"Yes?"
"What time is the flight to Qeshm operating today?"
"No, we don't sell ticket here. This is operation office"
"Fair enough, but what time is the flight today? We have ticket!"
"5:50"
"Can you also please assist us with booking our return ticket?"
"We are not going to Qeshm for visa change, only for holiday, and we have to be back by tomorrow"
"No. I cannot do that here. Why you don't do it in town office before?"
"Because they said that we can only do this in Qeshm"
"So you do it in Qeshm!"
"But can you not assist in any way?"
"Sir. I tell you before. This is operation office. I can only check system. I cannot change"
"May I speak with the station manager please?"
"He is off today"
"He has a full flight today with what seems to be oversized baggage piled up outside and he is enjoying the long weekend instead?"
"Look sir. Even if station manager is here, he cannot book return flight for you"
"Can you at least check the load on tomorrow's flight please?"
"Only four seats left"

We almost secretly crapped in our pants when she had informed us that four seats were left. In a matter of a few days the forward bookings for this flight had gone from 'wide open' to 'only four seats left'. We were now faced with an intensely long few moments where we had to make a decision quick-smart. What is the likelihood that these four seats will be gone by tomorrow or whenever we reach a ticket office in Qeshm? We had to make a decision now, do we bite the bullet and proceed, or do we simply ditch the entire trip?

"What happens if the flight is full tomorrow and we don’t have seats?"
"You wait for next flight"
"But we need to return tomorrow"
"What you want me to do? Why you not book your flight at the office?"
"Uff!"

We tried and tried for almost another hour, but Zubaida would not budge one inch. We managed to get her to call the Iranian number listed on our tickets -in our last attempt- but of course, it turned out to be a dump of digits that lead to nowhere!

Wow, what a convesation!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
It was too overwhelming that I couldn’t stop laughing!

Amazing how you were still able to laugh in that situation...

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Will we ever come back?

Well, you could have ended in jail as alleged spies...which would have been a big loss for the aviation community!  

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
However, as soon as the agents spotted our cameras, they began yelling "NO PHOTO SIR" "SIR I SAID NO PHOTO, PLEASE STOP NOW!"

Haha, he wasn't really successfull with his attempts to stop you guys...

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):

Flight deck crew enjoying Sam's super-photography

Who wouldn't?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):

“Wait a minute. Before anything, can you take us to Qeshm Air’s office? We need to book our flight to Dubai for tomorrow”
“You cannot do that now. No office here. You try in hotel”
“Can we at least check how many seats are open on the flight?”
“The flight is full. No seat available”
“But you have to help us. We need to get back tomorrow”
“Don’t worry. Trust me, even if flight full, I get you on jumpseat”
“What if there are no seats available tomorrow?”
“I am telling you. You will go back to Dubai tomorrow. I will talk to the pilot tomorrow”
“How do I know you will be here tomorrow?”
“My name is Shams, and tomorrow I will be in your hotel from 8am”

Another priceless conversation!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"Your room inside there"
"But there are people there"
"Yes, one from Algeria and one from Djibouti"
"We asked for our own room"
"Not available. There is a new wing for Iranians, but its full tonight"

Uh, I would have been very frustrated....


Anyway, thanks again for posting this unique report!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
gardermoen
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:34 am

Hi, a cool report and fab pictures with a whole load of drama that I would never put myself through. Not even in the name of aviation!
This is an airlines and a city I have never heard of, so I thouroughly enjoyed this.
I also have never seen pictures of DXB terminal 2, so that was good. Funny how Norwegian use this terminal, the long haul cheapskates!

As for your "hotel room" in Qeshm, I would have cried if I had to spend a night in that place, ha ha!
 
TravelsUK
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:25 am

Thanks for a really entertaining read - fantastic!

Perhaps the airline should re-name themselves Farce Air Qeshm !!!
757 flights 1 378 350 km 34.4x around earth 2024 h 18 min 74.3 days 12.0 weeks
 
debonair
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:26 am

Fantastic TR- love to read from such exotic airlines...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
We weren't really sure why we could only book our return flights upon arrival at Qeshm,



True, travel to and in Iran is just horrible... Having been to Iran and collecting some nice a/c types, like B727 & B707, I know the discussions very well. Showing up at the local ticket desk or sales rep and getting only waitlisted tickets, no informations at all on the a/c type or confirmed departure times. Again, after purchasing tickets you have to call again and again to confirm the flights and fligt times. Very frustrating!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Aziz took us to our room, which is a mini suite featuring three rooms, three bathrooms, and about 21 beds!



How much did you paid for the room?

Maybe we will see more "drama" TR from you soon- what about DJIBOUTI AIR?   


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Photo © Josh May



ChriX
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:28 am

Another great report as usual.
But this time i would like to say one word about you and Sam *CRAZY*
Will never go anywhere without a hotel reservation, and in your case a confirmed and reconfirmed return reservation, you could have been stuck there for few days, but lady luck was with you.

Zubaidah, well if she is married i really feel sorry for her husband.

Hope to see you soon
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
BrusselsSouth
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:35 am

Hi Roni,

Excellent report and congrats for getting on your first Russian aircraft. Well written and great pictures by Sam and you.

It was quite an adventure, and your 'stay' at Qeshm gave me an interesting glimpse into this visa change affair. For sure a very enjoyable read.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"You Muslim ou Christian?"

Just out of curiosity, why did they ask that, and did they care about the answer ?

Regards
BrusselsSouth
 
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:08 am

SaaHib Roni,

I knew it! I knew there would be a sequel of Dancing In The Dark, and how! You got me mesmerized by the amazing thriller of yours!

Roni, you would undoubtedly make a blockbuster. Have you ever considered selling the story to, let say, Hollywood, with you and Sam being the superstars? Just look how you are posing on the photos, you are really talented!

I can tell you, there is no better way to spend the Dutch Queen’s Day like this!   

Ehm, where do I start…

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Unfortunately, my big camera was inoperable at the time and was in the shop while I embarked on this trip.

Pity. What happened?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Etihad Airways 'B747-200' backdrop

Perhaps I am too naïve, can you explain in to me?



Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
My Arabic middle name is Osama

You don’t say?  
Just from curiosity, why they put your middle name?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
My second paper ticket issued in 2011!

Congratulations! More to come, I assume?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Dubai's Terminal 2 from a distance

A glimpse of T2 inside out after a long time, or probably an A.net first? Thanks for sharing anyway.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
It was too overwhelming that I couldn’t stop laughing!

You are screwball comedy, Roni! That makes such stressful encounter more bearable.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Crowds can make a mess!

At least, the rubbish was not scattered all over the floor.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"NO PHOTO SIR" "SIR I SAID NO PHOTO, PLEASE STOP NOW!"

Why being so overactive? But thanks, now I know how to deal with it.   



Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"Yes yes, welcome! Please!"

What a hearty welcome!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I unexpectedly found a Fars Air Qeshm barf bag and inflight magazine in my seat pocket which immediately found their way into my bag.

I just love this poetic sentence.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Manual safety demo
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Fars Air Qeshm’s male crew seem to love having their picture taken

I think because they know they are good looking guys.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Did you also know that Qeshm's geo-park is a UNESCO World Heritage site?

No, I did not. Please tell me more about it. Since which year?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
1998.

You meant 1988, didn’t you?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
The Filipina gang wanted to have their picture taken with me

The picture is just priceless!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Though he still refused to accept a tip from us initially, we insisted on it. After all our constant nagging and whining, I think he deserved it.

Bravo!   



Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
security check cleared,

Please tell me more about the check. Did you have to put the liquids in a transparent bag like many other airports, for example?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
I ran to the rescue when I realized that they were taking their time with Sam, and had a few words with them in Arabic that were basically along the lines of "oh we didn’t know that we aren't allowed to take pictures, we are so sorry and we will never do it again

Thank God, you speak Arabic.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"Hey remember us? we made it back in time!" as we called for her attention with huge smiles on our faces. Her reaction was simple, she looked at us, rolled her eyes, and continued whatever it was she was doing. She is really something!
Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 13):
Zubaidah, well if she is married i really feel sorry for her husband.

  

Roni, you have really made my day! Thank you so much for sharing the uniquely adventurous weekend trip to a place I have never heard before.

Oops, I think I got too carried away. I hope you don’t mind my lengthy comment .

Cheers,
Suryo
There is no deity except You. Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
 
Luxair747SP
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:40 am

Hi Roni,
excellent TR of Sam and you.
A very different and interesting read of an airline and destination I never heard of before, but your experience there is surly amazing and very unusual.
The flights on the YAK looked not bad at all, and you can be lucky to have flown on one, before they are gone.
The meal service was still okay, when you compare it, to what you get on such a short flight in Europe.
May I ask how much this flight cost? Because I have no idea about the fare structures of such airlines.
And btw, did you sort out the problems with your DSLR?
Thank you a lot for sharing this outstanding report.
Cheers
Johannes
 
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:53 pm

Hi Roni!

Wow, this was a real treat to read! I rarely have the time to read TRs in full, but I did not miss a word of this one. Superb pictures and even better detail.

See you soon,

Globetraveller
 
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OA260
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:25 pm

Hey Roni ,
This is such a brilliant report , what an experience. Loved reading it so much I read it twice. Cool photos you guys had a fab time. Something very unique indeed.

Thanks for sharing the experience.

Regards

Philip  
 
signol
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:09 pm

Hi Roni, Sam

what a crazy trip! Worth it for the Yak, though, but still! Did you get to see anything of the island apart from the road to the airport? How much "baksheesh" was required to get on a "full" flight? And, what do the seats fold all the way forward for - so you can stretch your legs on top of the seat if there are plenty of spaces?

Thank you for the report!

signol
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caleb1
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:21 pm

What an immensely enjoyable read. I felt as though I was on an Indiana Jones type of adventure. Truly interesting and very off the beaten path. You've created another winner!
 
ojas
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:00 pm

Ahlan Roni, you never fail to surprise me, well job done once again.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
After countless surveys of a million ideas for a trip, Fars Air Qeshm seemed to be the most ideal one on such short notice. Not only did it offer my first Russian ride -the most important factor- but Qeshm Island's close proximity to Dubai and the fact that it is a visa-free zone made it all the more worthwhile.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"So why is there more than one flight on the schedule?"
"Because they decide on the time from there, and usually it is on the last minute"

Nothing can be as adenturous as that!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Isn't it cool? My Arabic middle name is Osama!

LOL.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Reaching the airport at 3PM, we parked the car at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 2 car park. Unlike Terminal 1 or 3, this car park is a simple walk across from the terminal building and does not involve any cocktail of elevators, escalators, and/or stairs.

Yes, plain super market entrance types .... boy I miss that.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Looking much more sophisticated than I had imagined, the departure hall of Terminal 2 wasn't all that bad. Apart from your typical LCC down-to-earth type of traffic flowing from each direction, the terminal was clean and was neatly setup with a few ticket sales counters and the like, one line of 40 or so counters equally split between flydubai and the unknown, a few vending machines, and seating areas enough for the purpose.

It is nice, btw I recommend you do some small time non A.net reported Indian airports. It would be fun.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"What happens if the flight is full tomorrow and we don’t have seats?"
"You wait for next flight"
"But we need to return tomorrow"
"What you want me to do? Why you not book your flight at the office?"
"Uff!"
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"Air Qeshm, Qeshm Air, boarding, yalla."

Priceless!!!

The plane pictures were superb and really takes back me into the retro mode. Overall it was a brilliant adventure I must say and for me this fact rates 10 on 10.

Thanks for sharing.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
globalflyer
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:20 pm

Hi Roni. Whilst I love adventure travel, you and Sam take the cake. I would not have the guts to do what all you did! Glad that you all are back safe and sound. That was an awesome TR. Cheers, William
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
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Yirina77
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:28 pm

Hi Roni and Sam,
finally I read completely this amazing trip report. First of all. It´s something absolutely excellent. I love the way, how is Roni writing (although english is not my native language, his witty style of writing is very very nice for me) and when completed with Sam´s artistic pictures, it´s like a symphony  
You both know, I´m admirer of everything Iranian (probably in my past life I was born as Iranian   ). I have few remarks and questions to your trip.
I have been in this country 4 times and Qeshm is on my list, where I´d like to go next. I´m very surprised by level of accommodation. I´m not spoiled lady, but when I saw your room, I was shocked. I know, there are some hotels which can not be called luxurious in any case, but where I have been (in Iran), was always a choice. Better hotels (often overpriced), but they was there. I don´t understand well from this report, if there was another hotels on island (except fully booked iranian part of hotel Diplomat)? If I would go there, I´d definitely need something better. Is there no possibility in UAE to book some hotels at Qeshm? No Iranian travel agency, which is able to do this? Or you just didn´t try to pre-arange (except question in Kish Air office)? I have been at Kish 2 times and always stayed in nice and clean hotel...I know, Kish is more tourist based and there is a lot of hotels, but I thought, it´s similar at Qeshm?
I´m also surprised, I see uncovered women on pictures. According Iranian law, all women (including foreigners) must have covered hair. Kish is more relaxed in this religious rules applications, but still every woman must have a minimally scarf over hair. I know, you have been there very shortly, but did you see more ladies without scarf? Is it normal at Qeshm?
Next comment which I have to write, is about Iranian paranoia with taking pictures of planes. I absolutely don´t understand, why they sometimes strictly forbid to take pictures of airplane and on other side, they open big aviation museum in Tehran, where you can freely see and take pics of everything. Every 2 years they hold Iran Air Show on Kish, where they allow everybody to access apron and all planes there...My experience is, sometimes they very very strictly warn before taking pictures and sometimes, they say " no problem, take your pictures as much you want". Very similar to circumstances in Russia. Extreme to extreme. One of sentences in Farsi which I´ve learned first was: "Aya aks bardaree endzhast azad ast?" (Is taking pictures here allowed?). And one of the most used sentences at the airports was: "I´m so sorry, I didnt know taking pictures is not allowed, I´ll never do it again"
My last remarks is related to UAE more than to Qeshm. As you mentioned exchange visa status and people staying at Qeshm for this reason, my thoughts moved to Dubai. I love this city and because actual situation when I´m working for one of gulf airline (although in Europe outstation), I became very close to this city. I had an opportunity to get know this city better than common tourist, I know some people living there, from different backgrounds...My feelings are very mixed up, about how different standards of living can be. At one side very very rich people on other poorest people I´ve ever see. And they are the luckiest ones in their own countries, because they got a work in UAE and may support their families in the countries of third world. When I´m staying in Dubai in appartment provided by company for me, I see from window into building, where poorest workers live. Their room is non-air conditioned, is smaller than my bathroon and there is accommodated more than 10 people...I´m from mid-Europe and of course, there are also rich and poor people as everywhere, but what I see in Dubai, is extreme, which can not let my heart and mind calm. I feel so guilty, when I see those people, living on borders of life, with no chance for education and better life...Of course, their life conditions is not a fault of UAE, contrary this country give them work which they would not get anywhere else...but it´s something what makes me think about very often...And now I feel much worse, when I know how those people are humuliated by exchange visa situation...
This trip report extended my horizons again (as all others before), but this one more. Thank you so much for it, I appreciate you shared with us.
And last thing...you should take me with you! I speak a little farsi, so I could be a bit useful on this trip and of course, I´d love to fly with Yak! So, next time, let me know please  
Thanks so much again and I´m looking forward your next trip report!

Yirina
 
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:36 pm

Hi Roni,

congratulations for your Yak ride, I guess that being given the chance of looking out of those round windows was really worth it. And congratulations to Sam for his pictures as well, they were absolutely beautiful and gave an extra touch of perfection to the whole TR.

Your vivid descriptions made me think quite a lot about this new globalized world we're all living in: full of possibilities it might be, as for those Ukrainian pilots, but also with a sad hidden side of the coin, that is the humanity lying waiting at the Diplomat hotel. I read once a book from an Italian journalist, unfortunately not available in English, which explains in detail the whole ordeal that African immigrants go through in order to reach the Med and to get on a boat to Sicily: your description of the hotel at Qeshm island gave me back memories of those people caught between borders. Thanks for sharing, it has been a nice - but also a deeply informative - read.
 
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aerdingus
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:43 pm

I loved this TR! The hotel experience reminded me of Fawlty towers, but seems you both handled it like pros & even made a few friends. thanks for the effort put into this report, makes for a brilliant read. Your excitement about flying the Yak really permeates off the computer screen! Id'love to fly on a Yak some day  

Aoife
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:59 pm

Hi Roni!

WOW, what an adventure!! everything was just surreal specially the hotel and the whole stuff, luckily you came across some honest people and at the end you´ve got an experience that will last a while!

I would have certainly been scared by being taken in a bus to dunnowhere by dunnowho specially in Iran... and the ¨Hotel¨ LOL!

MIAspotter.
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falstaff
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sun May 01, 2011 1:58 am

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
A cat queendom was around waiting for food

I like that black & white cat, he looks like mine

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Up the steps

That flag is so cracked it looks like it is about to fall off.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Our room

I love the TV on top of the bed. It reminds me of a dump I stayed in Geneva on the Lake, Ohio.

Fantastic TR!
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
Quokka
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sun May 01, 2011 6:36 am

Hi Roni,
What an amazing story. So did you end up paying to stay at the "hotel"? Clearly everyone thought you were only there for the visa change and you were funnelled into the system. It's seems lucky that you escaped.

The old terminal 2 is a big contrast to terminals 1 and 3 but has improved on what it was a few years ago. I note the number of boxes on the carts being checked in.

The aircraft itself looks as if it has seen better days but it seems adequate to the job. Some of the seats have some rather questionable stains on them.

Glad you made it back safely and thanks for sharing the drama.
 
amax1977
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sun May 01, 2011 5:12 pm

Wow! You really did it, man! This TR was one of a kind!
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sun May 01, 2011 5:58 pm

Thank you so much for the excellent read. So well written and illustrated, for a moment there, I felt like I was there with you. Wonderful trip report of a true modern-day adventure.

Soren   
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
BAViscount
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Mon May 02, 2011 1:01 am

A rare and fantastic report that held my attention from start to finish! It sounds like you guys have a lot of fun when you travel together...travel as it should be!

Thanks for posting.

Andy.
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barbados
 
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Mon May 02, 2011 9:34 am

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
You could sit and finger your toes while you waited if you liked

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh you are sounding like me these days huh?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
We almost secretly crapped in our pants when she had informed us that four seats were left.

Hahahahaha... See what I mean? I hope they were disposables though. Wet farts do leave behind a residue.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
At Door 1L of this Yak, it was unclear as to who was standing at the door for the welcome as you had to bend over in order to hop into the aircraft.

This is sooooooo exciting, almost like a theme park ride.


Uncle seems mighty happy with his bag of vadai to last him through his journey...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
An announcement was made shortly after the doors were closed, and this was done in both Farsi and English, though I could not understand anything more than "we apologize for the delay."

Come on... I understood when she mumbled "Ladies and Gentlemen...."! Although everything in between sounded like Farsi.


Look at that exit door, it sure looks like it is going to blow out in flight.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
If this was a horror movie, the next scene would have been when we would be viciously murdered without any sign of foul play leaking out to the outside world.

There has to be some semi naked girls running around before being viciously slashed to bits first by her killer who always seem to catch up (while walking in a lumbering fashion) despite her running (and falling). Wait... Before all these, it always has to be the white chick who MUST investigate a sound in the darkness.

"Hello, anybody there? Cory, if this is you it isn't funny..."

You almost never see any Asians or black people hanging around to find out if there is "anybody there". By then we are all long gone, down the road in our cars far far away from these stupid people asking to be slashed. Hahahahaha...


OMFG! Remind me - if i come to Dubai to see you, to steer clear of Sam Chui! LOL!!! All jokes aside, I am sure this is one hell of an adventure to tell your kids in the future. How often do you experience this type of refugee-camp-type of hotels?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"Hello .."
"Hi how are you?"
"Fine. Quickly please"

LOL... Nice welcome you had there.

Quoting JOE777 (Reply 6):
DIG IN!

I am sure with the dry weather at Qeshm , he would have struck gold in there.


Oh hotness personified! Psssssssss ouch!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Mon May 02, 2011 5:39 pm

Hi Roni (&Sam)

fantastic report. Well written like it made me feel to be on this trip with you. I can understand the hassle and you being unsure about 'what now?'. But the people are usually so happy to assist you and are kind, helpful.
So, the Yak42 is off the list now, which type is next?

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
ronerone
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Mon May 02, 2011 6:51 pm

Dear All,

Many thanks for all your comments. They are much appreciated  
Quoting JOE777 (Reply 6):
Hi Roni,

Again, another fantastic TR of yours! I always enjoy your TRs.

Its a very interesting trip that you actually had! And, quite an adventurous one too I might say!

All in all, a fascinating TR, great pics and lots of details!


Cheers,
Joe   

P.S: loved your comment about "Zubaidah" lol   

Thanks Joe   .. Zubaidah needs a new job big time!

Quoting SpdBrdConcorde (Reply 7):
Superbly composed report Roni.it was an delight to read.Thanks for sharing.This trip definitely has a very high exotic value and the way you both pulled it off is great.Congrats on the completion on a superb trip.

Vivek Kaul

Hahaha Vivek Kaul? Is that you? I didn't know you were registered on a.net! hahah  
Quoting initious (Reply 8):
Did not expect such a unique TR at that moment when I managed to guess that your upcoming TR is on a Russian aircraft. It's great! I enjoyed each and every detail of it.

Thanks Daniel   Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting initious (Reply 8):
but if I get the chance to fly the Yak 42 I guess it'll be worth it!

Really? But you don't like Russian Jets? haha

Quoting initious (Reply 8):
The convenience store is a nice touch as you can purchase snacks anytime, suitable for a peckish person like me!

It was definitely a necessity!

Quoting initious (Reply 8):
The snack box on both the flights look interesting. There's this black roll thing I noticed on both flights which I thought it looked quite similar to a Japanese California Roll.

Haha .. That must have been the chocolate-filled cake.

Quoting initious (Reply 8):
The pictures of Dubai is making me miss Dubai now, hard to believe I already left Dubai for over a month.

Do return for another visit!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
what a thrilling report, what an adventure! I read straight from beginning to end after discovering it! And, as usual, you posted masses of high-quality pictures! Compliments to Sam, too!

Many thanks PH!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
Good to get an impression of Fars Queshm Air and the Yak - however, I wouldn't want to make such a trip myself.

LOL .. it was worth the risk for sure.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
Amazing how you were still able to laugh in that situation...

Yes! We had to find a way to take the edge off.

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 10):
Hi, a cool report and fab pictures with a whole load of drama that I would never put myself through. Not even in the name of aviation!

Thanks gardermoen   .. Hope all is well!

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 10):
I also have never seen pictures of DXB terminal 2, so that was good. Funny how Norwegian use this terminal, the long haul cheapskates!

It is indeed strange how they use T2, when other dodgy carriers are now using T1!

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 10):
As for your "hotel room" in Qeshm, I would have cried if I had to spend a night in that place, ha ha!

LOL .. The room wasn't all that bad if only you saw -and smelt- the bathroom.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 11):
Thanks for a really entertaining read - fantastic!

Perhaps the airline should re-name themselves Farce Air Qeshm !!!

Hi TravelsUK

LOL .. So very true!

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
Fantastic TR- love to read from such exotic airlines...

Thanks debonair!

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
True, travel to and in Iran is just horrible... Having been to Iran and collecting some nice a/c types, like B727 & B707, I know the discussions very well. Showing up at the local ticket desk or sales rep and getting only waitlisted tickets, no informations at all on the a/c type or confirmed departure times. Again, after purchasing tickets you have to call again and again to confirm the flights and fligt times. Very frustrating!

Sam did mention the same thing. And the issue with Fars Qeshm was just too frustrating. I could understand why they won't confirm the return flight because of this visa change policy, but for for other airlines too? that's just odd.

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
Maybe we will see more "drama" TR from you soon- what about DJIBOUTI AIR?  

LOL .. i have seen this bird several times as it taxied by on the ramp. In their defense, they have been quite punctual   haha

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 13):
Another great report as usual.
But this time i would like to say one word about you and Sam *CRAZY*

Hi Sobhi  

Thanks! haha

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 13):
Will never go anywhere without a hotel reservation, and in your case a confirmed and reconfirmed return reservation, you could have been stuck there for few days, but lady luck was with you.

Seriously. I wouldn't usually do it either, and especially if i had just one day to play with before going back to work. But sometimes i also like to break my own rules haha.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 13):
Zubaidah, well if she is married i really feel sorry for her husband.

ROFL.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 13):
Hope to see you soon

For sure!

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 14):
Hi Roni,

Excellent report and congrats for getting on your first Russian aircraft. Well written and great pictures by Sam and you.

Thanks BrusselsSouth  
Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 14):
Just out of curiosity, why did they ask that, and did they care about the answer ?

My Arabic name is not strictly a Muslim one, and it can be for Christians too. So this may have thrown them off a little so a lot of them simply ask me  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
SaaHib Roni,

I knew it! I knew there would be a sequel of Dancing In The Dark, and how! You got me mesmerized by the amazing thriller of yours!

Hi Suryo!  

Thanks for your kind words!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
Pity. What happened?

The shutter wasn't working. I only managed to snap one photo while i was in Jakarta, and my camera died on me right before boarding my Saudia flight  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
Perhaps I am too naïve, can you explain in to me?

And that is exactly the reaction Sam and i had after we saw it! But it really was there! A HUGE picture of an Etihad Airways B747-200!!! LOL ...

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
You don’t say?  
Just from curiosity, why they put your middle name?

They entered it exactly as it was on my Jordanian passport.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
Congratulations! More to come, I assume?

I most certainly hope so  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
You meant 1988, didn’t you?

Well spotted Suryo! I am just terrible with numbers! haha

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
Please tell me more about the check. Did you have to put the liquids in a transparent bag like many other airports, for example?

Nope. LAG rules are not in effect at Qeshm. But it was more or less the old fashioned way where a secondary manual screening is conducted almost every time.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
Oops, I think I got too carried away. I hope you don’t mind my lengthy comment .

Not at all Suryo. Thanks so much as always  
Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 16):
Hi Roni,
excellent TR of Sam and you.
A very different and interesting read of an airline and destination I never heard of before, but your experience there is surly amazing and very unusual.

Thanks Johannes.  
Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 16):
The meal service was still okay, when you compare it, to what you get on such a short flight in Europe.

Definitely. The flight was barely 30 or so minutes in total, so this service was more than substantial!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 16):
May I ask how much this flight cost? Because I have no idea about the fare structures of such airlines.

It was AED585 + AED30 for 'departure tax'

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 16):
And btw, did you sort out the problems with your DSLR?

Yes! It is back in action, thanks   It will be re-featured in the next TR  
Quoting globetraveller (Reply 17):
Hi Roni!

Wow, this was a real treat to read! I rarely have the time to read TRs in full, but I did not miss a word of this one. Superb pictures and even better detail.

See you soon,

Globetraveller

Heya Globetraveller! Thanks for stopping by  
Quoting oa260 (Reply 18):
Hey Roni ,
This is such a brilliant report , what an experience. Loved reading it so much I read it twice. Cool photos you guys had a fab time. Something very unique indeed.

Thanks for sharing the experience.

Regards

Philip  

Thanks Phil   Enjoy those maamoul for me please!  
Quoting signol (Reply 19):
Did you get to see anything of the island apart from the road to the airport? How much "baksheesh" was required to get on a "full" flight?

Hi signol,

Going out in the city was definitely an idea we toyed with while we planned this trip out. But with all that drama, the last thing we wanted to do was venture out into the city and get lost.

Besides, we spent HOURS scheming and coming up with over a thousand backup plans for almost every scenario we came up with, in case we did not get on that darn flight   So we were kept pretty busy haha.

With regards to the bakhseesh, that is what surprised me. Both Shams and Aziz refused it! I had to put my foot down and shove the money in Shams's pocket in the end.

Quoting signol (Reply 19):
And, what do the seats fold all the way forward for - so you can stretch your legs on top of the seat if there are plenty of spaces?

Now that i do not know. Anyone can shed some light?  
Quoting caleb1 (Reply 20):
What an immensely enjoyable read. I felt as though I was on an Indiana Jones type of adventure. Truly interesting and very off the beaten path. You've created another winner!

Thanks caleb1  
Quoting ojas (Reply 21):
Ahlan Roni, you never fail to surprise me, well job done once again.

Salam ojas  
Quoting ojas (Reply 21):
It is nice, btw I recommend you do some small time non A.net reported Indian airports. It would be fun.

I would love to! Transiting through DEL, and on 9W just wasn't enough for sure   I think india needs my undivided attention for sure.

Quoting ojas (Reply 21):
The plane pictures were superb and really takes back me into the retro mode. Overall it was a brilliant adventure I must say and for me this fact rates 10 on 10.

Thanks! Does they make you wanna say 'wow wow wow' ?  
Quoting globalflyer (Reply 22):
Hi Roni. Whilst I love adventure travel, you and Sam take the cake.

LOL!

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 22):
Glad that you all are back safe and sound. That was an awesome TR. Cheers, William

Thanks globalflyer !

Quoting Yirina77 (Reply 23):
Hi Roni and Sam,
finally I read completely this amazing trip report. First of all. It´s something absolutely excellent. I love the way, how is Roni writing (although english is not my native language, his witty style of writing is very very nice for me) and when completed with Sam´s artistic pictures, it´s like a symphony  

Yirina! Thanks a ton for your comments!

Not only do we get a Yirina response, but a very long one too!  
Quoting Yirina77 (Reply 23):
I have been in this country 4 times and Qeshm is on my list, where I´d like to go next. I´m very surprised by level of accommodation. I´m not spoiled lady, but when I saw your room, I was shocked. I know, there are some hotels which can not be called luxurious in any case, but where I have been (in Iran), was always a choice. Better hotels (often overpriced), but they was there. I don´t understand well from this report, if there was another hotels on island (except fully booked iranian part of hotel Diplomat)? If I would go there, I´d definitely need something better. Is there no possibility in UAE to book some hotels at Qeshm? No Iranian travel agency, which is able to do this? Or you just didn´t try to pre-arange (except question in Kish Air office)? I have been at Kish 2 times and always stayed in nice and clean hotel...I know, Kish is more tourist based and there is a lot of hotels, but I thought, it´s similar at Qeshm?

Well this is one thing that confused me. There ARE other hotels in Qeshm, and there was another one right adjacent to ours. But at the airport, the Diplomat seemed to be the only one that was available, perhaps others were full that night so there was no need to send out their bus or something?

There also was one 5-star hotel in Qeshm, and i forgot what it was called, but when we asked about it, we were told that it was closed for renovation.

With regards to the Diplomat hotel, the Iranian part of it was definitely better looking.

Quoting Yirina77 (Reply 23):
I´m also surprised, I see uncovered women on pictures. According Iranian law, all women (including foreigners) must have covered hair. Kish is more relaxed in this religious rules applications, but still every woman must have a minimally scarf over hair. I know, you have been there very shortly, but did you see more ladies without scarf? Is it normal at Qeshm?

In the 'visa change' area, men could wear shorts, and women could pass for a few incidents where they are not veiled. But in order to get to the Iranian part of the hotel (for e.g. for breakfast at the restaurant there), you'd need to cover up.

Quoting Yirina77 (Reply 23):
Next comment which I have to write, is about Iranian paranoia with taking pictures of planes. I absolutely don´t understand, why they sometimes strictly forbid to take pictures of airplane and on other side, they open big aviation museum in Tehran, where you can freely see and take pics of everything. Every 2 years they hold Iran Air Show on Kish, where they allow everybody to access apron and all planes there...My experience is, sometimes they very very strictly warn before taking pictures and sometimes, they say " no problem, take your pictures as much you want". Very similar to circumstances in Russia. Extreme to extreme. One of sentences in Farsi which I´ve learned first was: "Aya aks bardaree endzhast azad ast?" (Is taking pictures here allowed?). And one of the most used sentences at the airports was: "I´m so sorry, I didnt know taking pictures is not allowed, I´ll never do it again"

It was definitely a mixed bag for us. The first night after we arrived, it seemed okay to take pictures at the airport. But it was the complete opposite the next day, and the same applied to each of our fights; though in general they were more liberal with picture-taking once on board and especially when no other passengers were there.

Quoting Yirina77 (Reply 23):
My last remarks is related to UAE more than to Qeshm. As you mentioned exchange visa status and people staying at Qeshm for this reason, my thoughts moved to Dubai. I love this city and because actual situation when I´m working for one of gulf airline (although in Europe outstation), I became very close to this city. I had an opportunity to get know this city better than common tourist, I know some people living there, from different backgrounds...My feelings are very mixed up, about how different standards of living can be. At one side very very rich people on other poorest people I´ve ever see. And they are the luckiest ones in their own countries, because they got a work in UAE and may support their families in the countries of third world. When I´m staying in Dubai in appartment provided by company for me, I see from window into building, where poorest workers live. Their room is non-air conditioned, is smaller than my bathroon and there is accommodated more than 10 people...I´m from mid-Europe and of course, there are also rich and poor people as everywhere, but what I see in Dubai, is extreme, which can not let my heart and mind calm. I feel so guilty, when I see those people, living on borders of life, with no chance for education and better life...Of course, their life conditions is not a fault of UAE, contrary this country give them work which they would not get anywhere else...but it´s something what makes me think about very often...And now I feel much worse, when I know how those people are humuliated by exchange visa situation...
This trip report extended my horizons again (as all others before), but this one more. Thank you so much for it, I appreciate you shared with us.

Hehe ... this is indeed a very controversial topic. No doubt that how these laborers are treated is totally unacceptable, and it is also saddening to know that they need the money so bad, that they are willing to take up this job.

Quoting Yirina77 (Reply 23):
And last thing...you should take me with you! I speak a little farsi, so I could be a bit useful on this trip and of course, I´d love to fly with Yak! So, next time, let me know please  
Thanks so much again and I´m looking forward your next trip report!

Think it is you that needs to take us to Iran Yirina. You can show us around   haha.

We definitely need to fly something crazy sometime!

Quoting JL418 (Reply 24):
congratulations for your Yak ride, I guess that being given the chance of looking out of those round windows was really worth it. And congratulations to Sam for his pictures as well, they were absolutely beautiful and gave an extra touch of perfection to the whole TR.

Thanks JL418  
Quoting aerdingus (Reply 25):
I loved this TR! The hotel experience reminded me of Fawlty towers, but seems you both handled it like pros & even made a few friends. thanks for the effort put into this report, makes for a brilliant read. Your excitement about flying the Yak really permeates off the computer screen! Id'love to fly on a Yak some day  

Aoife

Hi Aoife. thanks for your comments  
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 26):
Hi Roni!

WOW, what an adventure!! everything was just surreal specially the hotel and the whole stuff, luckily you came across some honest people and at the end you´ve got an experience that will last a while!

I would have certainly been scared by being taken in a bus to dunnowhere by dunnowho specially in Iran... and the ¨Hotel¨ LOL!

Hi MIAspotter,

I am also glad that the people we came across were indeed honest. It was a risk for sure, but in the end it worked out perfectly! haha

Quoting falstaff (Reply 27):
I like that black & white cat, he looks like mine

Hi falstaff,

Mine is much more furry then those! haha

Quoting falstaff (Reply 27):
That flag is so cracked it looks like it is about to fall off.

Yes, thats Qeshm Air for ya  
Quoting falstaff (Reply 27):
I love the TV on top of the bed. It reminds me of a dump I stayed in Geneva on the Lake, Ohio.

ROFL

Quoting Quokka (Reply 28):
Hi Roni,
What an amazing story.

Many thanks Quokka  
Quoting Quokka (Reply 28):
The old terminal 2 is a big contrast to terminals 1 and 3 but has improved on what it was a few years ago. I note the number of boxes on the carts being checked in.

It doesn't offer half the amenities as T1 and 3, but it's so easy to get in and out of.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 28):
The aircraft itself looks as if it has seen better days but it seems adequate to the job. Some of the seats have some rather questionable stains on them.

I am still not believing that it was just 11 years old!

Quoting amax1977 (Reply 29):
Wow! You really did it, man! This TR was one of a kind!

Thanks amax1977  
Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 30):
Thank you so much for the excellent read. So well written and illustrated, for a moment there, I felt like I was there with you. Wonderful trip report of a true modern-day adventure.

Soren   

Hi Soren,

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed it  
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 31):
A rare and fantastic report that held my attention from start to finish! It sounds like you guys have a lot of fun when you travel together...travel as it should be!

Hi BAViscount,

Yes indeed we do, and it tends to work quite well during a trip like this   haha

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh you are sounding like me these days huh?

Well well well ... what have we here  
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
Hahahahaha... See what I mean? I hope they were disposables though. Wet farts do leave behind a residue.

Am i becoming more toilet on a.net?  
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
Uncle seems mighty happy with his bag of vadai to last him through his journey...
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
Look at that exit door, it sure looks like it is going to blow out in flight.
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
There has to be some semi naked girls running around before being viciously slashed to bits first by her killer who always seem to catch up (while walking in a lumbering fashion) despite her running (and falling). Wait... Before all these, it always has to be the white chick who MUST investigate a sound in the darkness.

"Hello, anybody there? Cory, if this is you it isn't funny..."

You almost never see any Asians or black people hanging around to find out if there is "anybody there". By then we are all long gone, down the road in our cars far far away from these stupid people asking to be slashed. Hahahahaha...
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
OMFG! Remind me - if i come to Dubai to see you, to steer clear of Sam Chui! LOL!!! All jokes aside, I am sure this is one hell of an adventure to tell your kids in the future. How often do you experience this type of refugee-camp-type of hotels?
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
I am sure with the dry weather at Qeshm , he would have struck gold in there.

   I love your comments Ryan!!!!

Quoting initious (Reply 8):
How much was it for a night?
Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
How much did you paid for the room?
Quoting Quokka (Reply 28):
So did you end up paying to stay at the "hotel"?

Remember that AED 30 departure tax that we each had to pay? .. Well, that was the hotel rate, ALL inclusive! Not sure why we only had to pay it at the airport though.


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Mon May 02, 2011 6:53 pm

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 33):
Hi Roni (&Sam)

fantastic report. Well written like it made me feel to be on this trip with you. I can understand the hassle and you being unsure about 'what now?'. But the people are usually so happy to assist you and are kind, helpful.
So, the Yak42 is off the list now, which type is next?

Regards
Eric

Thank you Eric!  

Sam has been on them all, but now that the Yak is off my list, i am afraid to know which Russian would be next!   haha


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Mon May 02, 2011 10:54 pm

You can't make this stuff up! They say the truth is stranger then fiction. To bad you were in a dry country as I am sure you could have used a drink or two during or after this trip.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
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capicua
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Mon May 02, 2011 11:20 pm

Hi Roni,

I knew your conspicuous absence from the forum last week and the one before would lead to something great! What an interesting report with some insight into a really exotic airline and place. A fantastic read!

Quote:
Look at that exit door!

I don't know if I'd want to fork over any surcharge money to get that window seat in the exit row, no matter how promising the added legroom.

Cheers
C.
"The greatest sight to see is the world - look at it!" (Kurt Tucholsky),
and getting there is half the fun!
 
aflyingkiwi
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 12:29 am

Hi Roni

Fantastic report as always complimented by your's & Sam's amazing pictures. I'm quite surprised that this was your first flight on a Russian aircraft but it sure was one to remember. I don't think that I would be able to handle the stress of the situation, I'm glad that in the end everything was all well.

Fars Air Qeshm's service looks pretty good especially the snacks.It always seems that these little obscure airlines usually do well on the catering front. Also interesting to see the little differences between Russian & Western planes like the fold-down seats and larger windows.

Thanks for writing this up and looking forward to reading some more of your masterpieces  

Regards,
aflyingkiwi
 
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 6:58 am

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 32):
Hahahahaha... See what I mean? I hope they were disposables though. Wet farts do leave behind a residue

LOL

Quoting ronerone (Reply 34):
I would love to! Transiting through DEL, and on 9W just wasn't enough for sure   I think india needs my undivided attention for sure.

Come on, DEL has a new airport now!

Besides, DXB is connected to 17 airports in India (the highest from DXB?) by various airlines. You an totally avoid the metros if you don't like them.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
The777Man
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 9:57 am

Hi Roni! .

Fantastic report with very nice pictures! What an amaizng adventure! Going without knowing if you have a seat on the return is very brave; don't think I could do that....

The Yak-42D looks much older than 11 years and looks VERY cramped. You must have been happy that it was not a long flight......

The hotel looks VERY rundown but better than sleeping on the beach, probably....

Looking forward very much to your next report!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 10:43 am

Hi Roni,

Your joint venture with fellow a-netter Sam resulted in a wonderful story, thank you for that! Now Fars Air is no longer a stranger to me although chances are very very very low I will have the oppurtunity to try them out one day. And that Yak is a very intriguing aircraft...

Thanks again,
(Sulta)Nils
In thrust we trust.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 11:04 am

Hey Roni!

Fantastic report on a rare airline, aircraft and destination! It looks like a place which isn't for the faint hearted! What an adventure.. Just the place to get an Iranian stamp in your passport!  

Extremely interesting flights. Good to know the crew was friendly!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Perhaps if I also mixed & matched the words in whichever way I desired -such as Gheshm Air Fars or Airline Qeshm Fars- I am sure the company's corporate branding guidelines, if existent, would be liberal enough to permit it.

How farcical!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Look at that exit door!

Ouch.. Just imagine reserving a bulkhead seat and having your width hugely chopped off by the fat door..


An adventure like no other I've read.. That sounds pretty daunting! I'm not too sure if I'd want to do it but it just looks so tempting! And having a guy like Shams.. It's great he remained true to his word! Just the man to see if one was to visit!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Sam was in his cheerful morning spirit as he surfed Air Tahiti Nui's website.

You go to Iran to check out an island airline from the other side of the world!? Hahaha.. Yes, it must be calling you back down this way, Roni!


Some part is telling me that 30 mins per flight isn't long enough.. But another part is saying how I wouldn't want to be onboard for very long at all! I wonder what other routes I could try!


Thanks for this interesting report!

Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
ronerone
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 6:00 pm

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 36):
You can't make this stuff up! They say the truth is stranger then fiction. To bad you were in a dry country as I am sure you could have used a drink or two during or after this trip.

Hi luv2fly,

It would be extremely difficult to make this stuff up haha  

And several drinks -after a HUGE meal at P.F. Chang's- was exactly what had happened the evening i had arrived  
Quoting capicua (Reply 37):
Hi Roni,

I knew your conspicuous absence from the forum last week and the one before would lead to something great! What an interesting report with some insight into a really exotic airline and place. A fantastic read!

Haha Thanks capicua  

It did take me a little longer to crunch this one up, and that is because of all the information!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 38):
Hi Roni

Fantastic report as always complimented by your's & Sam's amazing pictures.

Thanks as always aflyingkiwi  
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 38):
I'm quite surprised that this was your first flight on a Russian aircraft but it sure was one to remember. I don't think that I would be able to handle the stress of the situation, I'm glad that in the end everything was all well.

Indeed i am a little surprised too. But when flying turned into the obsessive hobby that it is now, it became much more difficult to find a classic Russian jet to fly.

Quoting ojas (Reply 39):
Come on, DEL has a new airport now!

Besides, DXB is connected to 17 airports in India (the highest from DXB?) by various airlines. You an totally avoid the metros if you don't like them.

I think i would prefer the old DEL since it has a retro feel to it  

But as you said, i should try a smaller low-key airport in India. The ideal would be one with a widebody service  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 40):
Hi Roni! .

Fantastic report with very nice pictures! What an amaizng adventure! Going without knowing if you have a seat on the return is very brave; don't think I could do that....

Thanks Lars   ... the entire experience was definitely a thrill so new to me! haha.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 40):
The Yak-42D looks much older than 11 years and looks VERY cramped. You must have been happy that it was not a long flight......

Totally agree! I do not believe it to be just 11 years old! And i think this short 30 minute flight was more than enough to sit in that configuration.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 41):
Your joint venture with fellow a-netter Sam resulted in a wonderful story, thank you for that! Now Fars Air is no longer a stranger to me although chances are very very very low I will have the oppurtunity to try them out one day. And that Yak is a very intriguing aircraft...

Thanks again,
(Sulta)Nils

Hi Sultanils  

The trips with Sam are always a fun adventure haha  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 42):
Fantastic report on a rare airline, aircraft and destination! It looks like a place which isn't for the faint hearted! What an adventure.. Just the place to get an Iranian stamp in your passport!  

Heya Nicholas   Thanks for stopping by my friend.

I am so glad to get that Iranian stamp. But most definitely on my Jordanian passport! haha

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 42):
That sounds pretty daunting! I'm not too sure if I'd want to do it but it just looks so tempting!

You, out of all people, would absolutely love it! I am so sure of it  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 42):
You go to Iran to check out an island airline from the other side of the world!? Hahaha.. Yes, it must be calling you back down this way, Roni!

LOL Yes! TN is most likely happening this year!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 42):
Some part is telling me that 30 mins per flight isn't long enough.. But another part is saying how I wouldn't want to be onboard for very long at all!

I know that feeling. But i think 30 minutes is just about right. The seating was too cramped, and coupled with the lack of windows on the return flight, it could have very well been why i felt a little sick.


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
SpdBrdConcorde
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RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Quoting ronerone (Reply 34):
Hahaha Vivek Kaul? Is that you? I didn't know you were registered on a.net! hahah

With you posting such brilliantly composed T-reports..I could not register.
 
User avatar
NZ107
Posts: 4946
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:51 pm

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Tue May 03, 2011 10:58 pm

Quoting ronerone (Reply 43):
I am so glad to get that Iranian stamp. But most definitely on my Jordanian passport! haha

Haha, I think I'd rather go to Kish to get it! But then again, I don't think Sam has been questioned upon entering USA?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 43):
You, out of all people, would absolutely love it! I am so sure of it

Haha. You keen on a repeat journey then?  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 43):
LOL Yes! TN is most likely happening this year!

I cordially invite you back to this country, seeing that you could be quite close. 
Quoting ronerone (Reply 43):
I know that feeling. But i think 30 minutes is just about right. The seating was too cramped, and coupled with the lack of windows on the return flight, it could have very well been why i felt a little sick.

Yep, fair enough. I don't think it'll be long before you begin the hunt for an Ilyushin or Tupolev though!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
Burj
Posts: 747
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:46 am

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Wed May 04, 2011 10:42 am

Oh. Em. Ge.... This trip report was AWE! SOME!

It is really great that you have a kindred spirit in Sam to share an adventure with!

I have to admit that the pictures of the crowds outside of Terminal 2 made me think you had mixed up pictures from a Pakistani airport by mistake!

That aircraft is just too much! The thing that gets me the most are the tiny doors...if there is an emergency NOBODY is getting out of there!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Surprisingly though, I unexpectedly found a Fars Air Qeshm barf bag and inflight magazine in my seat pocket which immediately found their way into my bag.

This cracked me up..."liberating" items is a must for any trip...but "barf bag"...I had no idea other places called it that..I thought that was just an American thing!

I also loved how they used the English word "Stewardess" for the call button...so perhaps "Sterwadess" is now a Russian word too!

The hotel photos totally rule and it was great that you and Sam were such great sports about hanging out there!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
The picture is just priceless!

I'm not surprised akhmad liked the photo with you and the Filipina gang...it reminded me of all the photos that he has...right down to the fact that you towered above them! 
Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"Hey remember us? we made it back in time!" as we called for her attention with huge smiles on our faces. Her reaction was simple, she looked at us, rolled her eyes, and continued whatever it was she was doing. She is really something!

Funny you wrote this because I just read a job report on airportworker.net from a "Ms. talk to the hand" about how she had to deal with a Lebanese and Chinese couple who kept pestering her to do something as stupid as fly somewhere and come right back just to see a plane....and weren't smart enough to book the return ticket at the local office but tried to buy the return ticket at the airport! And then the same jokers made the other passengers uncomfortable by taking lots of photos and to top it off...the in flight magazine and air sickness bags were missing from their seats delaying the onward flight to Tehran!

 
 
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vivekman2006
Posts: 414
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:19 pm

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Thu May 05, 2011 4:44 am

OMG what a fantastic adventure Roni! The TR was really an enthralling read.

Congratulations to Sam and you for succesfully completing this trip and making it back to DXB on time. The pictures of Qeshm Island and of the Yak-42 are brilliant.

Interesting that PNQ airport is listed as "Lohegaon" on the FIDS at DXB! Lohegaon is the name of the village situated just on the outskirts of Pune city where the airport is located.

Wonder if this causes some confusion!



Cheers,
Vivek
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Fri May 06, 2011 6:28 pm

Quoting SpdBrdConcorde (Reply 44):
With you posting such brilliantly composed T-reports..I could not register.

LOL. Thanks Vivek  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 45):
Haha. You keen on a repeat journey then?

Well, if you do come visit one day, we will definitely have to show you around  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 45):
I cordially invite you back to this country, seeing that you could be quite close.

Thanks Nicholas. TN will have to begin in AKL for sure  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 45):
Yep, fair enough. I don't think it'll be long before you begin the hunt for an Ilyushin or Tupolev though!

The hunt has already begun   Not sure if this is a good or a bad thing!

Quoting Burj (Reply 46):
Oh. Em. Ge.... This trip report was AWE! SOME!

Hi Burj! Thanks for stopping by  
Quoting Burj (Reply 46):
That aircraft is just too much! The thing that gets me the most are the tiny doors...if there is an emergency NOBODY is getting out of there!

LOL

Quoting Burj (Reply 46):
but "barf bag"...I had no idea other places called it that..I thought that was just an American thing!

It is an American thing. That's where i got it from  
Quoting Burj (Reply 46):
The hotel photos totally rule and it was great that you and Sam were such great sports about hanging out there!

The hotel stay was tolerable overall.

Quoting Burj (Reply 46):
I'm not surprised akhmad liked the photo with you and the Filipina gang...it reminded me of all the photos that he has...right down to the fact that you towered above them!

  

Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 47):
OMG what a fantastic adventure Roni! The TR was really an enthralling read.

Hi Vivek!

Glad you enjoyed  
Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 47):
Interesting that PNQ airport is listed as "Lohegaon" on the FIDS at DXB! Lohegaon is the name of the village situated just on the outskirts of Pune city where the airport is located.

Yeah, i was wondering about that destination as i had not recognised it. Perhaps the majority of the traffic to PNQ ex DXB is from Lohegaon?


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D

Sat May 07, 2011 7:47 am

Hi Roni!

What a mad trip, and looking quite dangerous too!

It's amazing to think thay YAK is younger than an A320, just goes to show how long production lasted despite the low number of units built.

The whole Shams thing was quite a worry whilst reading this, glad it turned out ok - who does he work for, the hotel?

Speaking of the 'hotel', OMG! - I don't know where to start, I think you know what I mean  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
My second paper ticket issued in 2011!

- Not had one of those for as long as I can remember.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"What you want me to do? Why you not book your flight at the office?"

- That woman is a real piece of work for sure!

Loved it, looking forward to more.

Best Wishes

Mark
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