ORLY TO ST. DENIS
Just over 23 years old, previously owned by United Airlines and delivered to Corsair in July 2005
Bienvenue à Corsair International
The passengers were hoarded inside the plane, and in no time did the cabins fill up to the very last seat. I was quite impressed with the speed and efficiency here, but it also helps when the passenger on the receiving end is cooperative.
The cabin crew was welcoming, but very minimalist and laid back. Requests were assisted at every call, and passengers were helped as required in order to settle in. Do not expect a subservient Standard Operating Procedure here, because we were far from it on this flight. For a nice change, the vibe was so chill that the crew would casually engage in some form of rapport with each other across aisles and galleys whilst they did their do's in the cabins. Everyone was happy, because La Réunion was calling at the finish line!
Corsair International's cabins are so dense that no empty space is wasted without being used for some form of seating arrangement. Taking the nose section for instance, there are 52 Horizon Class seats located in exactly the same area where Cathay Pacific has lavishly installed just nine suites. And at my seat at 17G, I am sat at the very front of the middle section -the throne seat facing the nose- which contains three pairs of seats lined up in front of each other (as opposed to just one suite on CX
located in the same area).
Needless to say, the seat itself is very comfortable for its kind and is the same style as one of the older generation Emirates seats. On my seat, a prepackaged blanket and headsets were placed over the seatbelts, and the duty free magazine and safety card were shoved to the side since there was no seat pocket being in the front row.
More cabin shots
TAXI & TAKEOFF
As the doors closed, the seatbelt sign quickly turned on while the cabin crew mildly trotted across the aisles just to ensure that things were manageable. Announcements began to chime through the speakers when our Captain finally came on to welcome us on board and advise us of the usuals, including our 10 hour and 30 minute flight time to Saint-Denis de la Réunion.
Ready to depart
Cabin lights dimmed for takeoff
After a powerful 747-style takeoff, we were up in the air and on our way to the Indian Ocean.
At cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was switched off and the crew was released to prepare for service. Tonight, dinner shall be served, and a continental breakfast will be offered prior to arrival, as indicated by the digital menu on the IFE screen.
Headsets & inflight literature
The must-visit lavatory scene
IFE on Corsair International is quite modern, and features iPad-like screens loaded with a variety of films -French and International- documentaries, music, games, and a route map. In addition, it contains the menu for the flight, and various corporate information about the airline and its network.
Inflight entertainment on Corsair International
As always, I kept this screen on for the rest of the flight
The meal service commenced when the crew rolled out a couple of trolleys in the cabin, first to distribute the special meals, followed by everything else. My meal tray was served separately, and my drink order was promptly taken as soon as my tray was placed on my table.
Smoked salmon starter
Main course of grilled chicken with risotto
Cocolates, butter, salt & pepper
This meal was from Classe Grand Large
Minus the salmon -which I never eat- the rest of the meal was of great quality. The risotto was especially flavorful and very much like that at a restaurant.
After dinner, meal trays were collected and the lights were dimmed. Given that I had been traveling from Tokyo, I was exhausted and ended up sleeping for most of the uneventful part of the flight.
Cabin after the meal service
Waking up already over the Indian Ocean
I woke up with two hours left for the flight, and while the cabins were still pitch dark, the crew was busying in the galleys preparing for breakfast.
The lights were then switched on, and the trolleys were brought out to serve breakfast.
Two trolleys and four cabin crew were suddenly present in the nose section and were casually serving everyone in the most laid back manner. They all engaged in a conversation and as breakfast boxes and drinks were flying across the aisle from trolley to trolley, they were laughing and chatting amongst themselves and with the passengers as well. Maybe it wasn't professional by standard, but it seemed to work, and everyone was happy in the end!
Breakfast snack box
Served with coffee and water
Yoghurt, butter and preserve
Breakfast was very basic. While I did not mind the portion, the offer was quite limited to dry bread and preserves more or less. I remember French breakfasts to be a feast of interesting pastries with condiments like Nutella and what not, so I believe a bit more could have been done here.
Cabin shots after breakfast
The crew were intrigued by my interest in taking photos during the flight so they pulled me into the galley for a chat. Once they discovered where I was from, one of them -originally from Algeria- switched to Arabic language which really took me by surprise. Maybe I wasn't the only Arabic speaker on board after all! And of course, they were all in for a picture session!
Corsair International rocks!
DESCENT & ARRIVAL
At initial descent, the seatbelt sign was switched on and the cabin was readied for arrival.
Cabin before landing
And like a beached whale dumped on the shoreline, our 747 suddenly roared into this small island bringing with it an additional hoard of 500+ passengers.
The aircraft parked at Aéroport Roland Garros de la Réunion
Same plane arriving the following day
The arrivals formalities were almost non-existent. As this flight was treated like a domestic arrival, no immigration check was required and we sailed right through to baggage claim.
C O N C L U S I O N
The Corsair International 747 was a real treat to fly on, mainly due to the sheer volume of passengers it carries in one go, and the exotic destinations it flies to. On the service front, Corsair International offers a typical Economy Class product similar to any other airline, and whilst the 747s come in a high-density layout, the seating is fairly comfortable and does not feel cramped. In terms of meals, the Business Class meal was of good quality, but was more like a Singapore Airlines Economy Class offer, whilst there is definitely more room for improvement on the breakfast side. Finally, the crew was very laid back, but that was charm in it all, because they kept the passengers content during the whole flight.
A few goodies from the flight
This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!
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