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Trip Reports

Here are some of my trip reports that I have written from some of my flights on 777 carriers.

 

Date: 23-Apr-06
Route: AUH-BKK
Distance: 3075mi
Flight:EY 401 Etihad
Flight Time: 5:26h
Dep. Time:8:59
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER 77W A6-ETB
Dep. Gate: 9
Seat: 20K
Movie: Derailed

Surprisingly, Etihadís ticket office was open at 0300 and I was told that there would be an earlier bus at 0430 so I decided to take that instead of the one at 0500 that I was scheduled for. We were about ten people on a bus that holds about 60-70 so there was plenty of room. Very nice bus and very comfortable, painted in Etihadís colors. I was very tired so I slept most of the way, waking up every now and then for a few seconds when the sun was up and the desert and the road.

The terminal at Abu Dhabi was very small, something like Lulea or Gotherburg in Sweden. Canít think of any other airports that I have been to that were this small. There were only about six check in counters but first I had to go and buy my ticket. Etihad does not have e-tickets so I had to purchase my paper ticket there at the counter. There was no specific airline counter just one counter for all carriers ticketing needs. The man was very helpful and I was able to pay with US dollars. After this, I was ready for check in and there was no line since I was there early. A Filipina girl checked me in before I went to the passport control. I then had breakfast and checked out the aircraft parked at the gates. There were not many people in the terminal and eventually they opened the gate where we had to go thru security again.

From the gate area there was a much better view of the aircraft at the terminal and it was great to see Qatar Airways and Kuwait Airways A320s up close. Most surprising was to see three (3!!) China Airlines 744F within an hour. I did not see any other Etihad 77Ws unfortunately. The small gate area got full and shortly thereafter boarding started.

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The interior was very nice and had the ďnew plane?smell. There was a great legroom with a leg rest and video screen the size of most carriers?tray table? (not kidding). Mostly western people boarded first and later a lot of local Arab families showed up with women completely covered except for their eyes. The doors closed and the flight was probably only about 40 % full so I had three seats for myself by the window. I sat just in front of the engine and I noted right away the size of these huge engines; first time for me on a 777NG aircraft.

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The Thai captain (!!!) welcomed us aboard and we were all given water as a preflight drink. Very nice! Along with the menu, the flight attendants handed out Bose-style head seats; it seemed as if Etihad uses the same headsets in Y class that others use in F class?We also got a nice amenity kit while taxing for take off. We had short wait before we started our take off roll so that Etihadís 763 could come in and land. The take off roll was surprisingly long considering the light load.

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Once up in the air, breakfeast was served and I had ďBreakfast Mixed Grill?with Grilled Chicken Steak and Veal Sausage. Very tasty and served along with Orange Juice and fruits and later tea. Interesting to see in the menu that drinks like Whisky, Gin, Vodka and Rum was offered for breakfast although I didnít take up on that offer? I watched Derailed and it was very good. I rested a bit and also watched the Airshow map. During the flight, flight attendants frequently came around with juice and water which was great. About two hours before our arrival, a light sandwich was served. Very nice with two meals on this relatively short flight.

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Routing was over Muscat, just south of Mumbai, over the Bay of Bengal, over Rangoon into Thailand and Bangkok. Cruising altitude was 39 000 ft. There was also WiFi internet service available but you need a laptop for that so no use for me since I donít have one. It was a really fantastic flight on a great, new airline.

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Immigration at Bangkok was reasonably quick and I hung around to spot in the viewing gallery before it got dark. I took a taxi to the Comfort Suites Hotel where I spent the night. I got up early the next morning and had a great Thai breakfast.

Before taking the shuttle back to the airport. I checked in and got a boarding pass right away and went thru immigration and security. I spent about an hour spotting before heading to the gate where boarding began shortly after I got there. Spotting highlights include Thai Air Asia (FD) 733s, Northwest (NW) 332, Condor (DE) 763 and Indian Airlines (IC) 320.

I was one of the last to board as I sat towards the front of the aircraft in a window seat. . The door closed and I had the seat next to me open with a man sitting in the aisle seat. After a quick taxi, we took off and even on this short flight we were offered a hot breakfast. There was no menu offered but I had an omelet with sausage along with fruit and tea. This is better than whatís offered for breakfast on most US carriers in First class? The crew was great and very friendly which is an unusual experience for me on Singapore Airlines. There was no movie offered on this short flight so I spent the time looking at the Airshow map and logging my aircraft sightings in my JP Fleets book. Soon we started our descent and landed from the northeast.

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Routing was pretty much straight from Bangkok to Singapore, cruising altitude was 37 000 ft. It was a great flight, probably the best I ever had on Singapore Airlines. I spent the day in Singapore in the transit area spotting and highlights include all five Tiger Airways (TR) 320s, Jet Airways (9W) 738s and many Singapore Airlines (SQ) 777s.

 

Date: 24-Apr-06
Route: SIN-AKL
Distance: 5225mi
Flight: NZ 82 Air New Zealand
Flight Time: 9:25h
Dep. Time: 20:24
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER 772 ZK-OKB
Dep. Gate: E20
Seat: 32H
Movie watched: Memoirs Of A Geisha

I had checked in as soon as I arrived at a transfer desk and was given the boarding pass right away. I got to the gate about 45 minutes before departure and most people were already on board by that time and I was glad I didnít miss the flight.

I had a window sea there was no one in the two seats next to me which meant I could probably get some sleep. The legroom was good and the seat was very comfortable. The PTV was more a regular size compared to the giant screen on Etihad. Doors closed, we pushed back and we were soon up in the air. The Airshow map was activated and it was the new detailed version like the one on PIA. Nice feature is that it shows where daytime/nighttime is on the planet.

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Meal service soon started and no menus were given which was too bad. I had chicken with rice, some red wine from New Zealand and Coca Cola. There was no salad but the food was great although the portions somewhat small or maybe I was just very hungry ?
I watched Memoirs Of A Geisha which is a great movie and nice to see Gong Li speaking English. A bit odd to see ethnic Chinese playing Japanese.

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I slept for about four hours and then looked thru Air New Zealandís inflight magazine before breakfast was served. I had French toast and it was very good. Descent was quick and we went from 39 000 ft to touchdown in about 30 minutes. The Airshow map was turned off during the descent which was disappointing.

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Routing was just north of Java, crossing Bali, across Australia entering the Tasman sea just north of Sydney and doing an almost 360 degree turn the last 10 minutes of the flight before we finally landed. To summerize, this was a nice flight, the flight crew were okay but not overly friendly. I had heard all these positive things about Air New Zealand, great legroom, really great service. The service was nice but not living up to my high expectations.

I went thru security after I arrived and a guy there asked if I was the guy who flies on all 777s. I guess my reputation proceeds me even in Auckland; perhaps another A.netter ? There were great views of the ramp and the runway from this one location in the transit area. I spent about four hours spotting before my next flight. Highlights include two more Air New Zealand (NZ) 777s, Air New Zealand (NZ) 733s and A320s and Jetconnect (QNZ) 733s.

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Date: 27-May-06
Rotue : GRU-MEX
Distance: 4613mi
Flight: AM 15 AeroMexico
Flight Time: 8:45h
Dep.Time: 22:36
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER 777
Registration: N746AM
Dep.Gate:12
Seat: 11J
Movie watched: Walk The Line

Having spent the spotting at GRU, I was very excited about this flight because the aircraft for tonightís flight would be N746AM, delivered about a month ago. It was also a new registration for me having seen N745AM flying overhead IAD on its first westbound transatlantic flight.

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Check in opened about four hours before departure and there was a long line so I waited another 30 minutes before I went back to the counter. The first agent didnít speak English that well but told me I wasnít listed for the flight and referred me to the ticket purchase counter. The agent there was very helpful and gave me a window seat. There was still another 3 and a half hours before departure and it was getting dark so I went thru security to try to do some spotting at night. Lots of flights were arriving and soon some were leaving as well. At about 22:10, boarding started and it was very organized. People had a number on their boarding passes and were arranged in groups according to this number. Each group was in roped off area and then each area boarded after each other. Very easy and stress free boarding process.

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The aircraft looked very new and smelt fresh and clean. There were some candies in the jet way just before getting on the airplane. I got two bags and it was very similar to tic tac but with different flavors. I guess this was to have something to suck on the relieve pressure during take off. I was in the last group to board since I was in the fourth row from the front. Legroom was great and the seat was VERY comfortable.

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The PTVs were similar in size to those on SQ and AF and legroom was very good. Interesting to note when looking at the magazines in the seat pocket that there was a catalogue with home delivery merchandise which included lots of appliances like vacuum cleaners. Also in the seat pocket a vacation catalogue which I had never seen there on any other airline but a good idea. On the other hand, by the time you are on the airplane you most likely already made your vacation plans. Doors closed and I had the center seat next to me open which was great. It took a while to start up the engines but it was a very short taxi to the runway since departures were from the terminal end of the runway towards the southeast.

After take off the flight attendants passed out menus and headsets along with an amenity kit. The Airshow map was already on since push back which is nice; something to look at while climbing out on take off. First there was a drink with nuts and right after that dinner was served. Appetizer was a ďLettuce Salad With Sliced Salami?which was very good. Main course was ďBeef Stew With Mashed Potatoes?and for desert ďChocolate-Banana Cake With Vanilla Sauce? The Beef Stew was excellent but a bit small portion and the desert was great too. The beer as great too although not as good as Corona?.

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The Airshow map was the newer version like on NZ and there were lots of other entertainment options with videogames and Audio and Video On Demand (AVOD). I watched Walk The Line and then slept for about four hours. Just before I went to sleept I had some water that the flight attendants came around with. About half hour after I got up, breakfast was served ďFresh Fruit Plate,ĒCheese And Ham crepes?with orange juice, sweet bread and tea. Really a great breakfast; again a lot bigger than most US carriers? on their flights in economy class.

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Routing was straight from GRU over Porto Velho, over Colombia, straight over Guatemala to Mexico City where we made a very smooth landing. Cruising altitude was first 36 000 ft and later 40 000 ft.

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Flight attendants were young mostly in their late 20s and very friendly and attentive. A bit strange that the pilots never said a word during the whole flight and that the seat belt sign never came off at all?. To sum things up, I had a fantastic flight with AeroMexicoís 777 and would highly recommend everyone to fly on it.


 

Date: 22-Oct-06
Route: BKK-TPE
Distance: 1547mi
Flight: BR 212 EVA Air
Flight Time: 3:08h
Dep. Time: 12:27
Aircraft: 777-300/ER 77W
Registration: B-16701
Dep. Gate: E 7
Seat: 50H


Checked in soon after the counter had opened and the wait wasnít long. Then went thru immigration and it was fairly quick for being Bangkok. The new airport had been open for about two weeks when I was there but a lot of things did not look finished. Also the layout is a bit confusing.

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I watched some arrivals from an area close to my gate. Finally, a bit late, the EVA Air 777-300/ER landed and soon made its way to the gate. I was surprised to see about 10 EVA Air agents at the gate. As I arrived at the gate, I realized that I had lost my boarding pass. I told one of the agents this and she wouldnít print a new one but went to look for it. She returned about 15 minutes later with my boarding pass?.Iím still not sure why they couldnít just reprint the boarding pass?

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The interior was still fresh and the seats were fairly comfortable. They had the leg rest even in Economy class just like some other carriers have (AF, EY, NZ). The legroom was good for me and Iím 180cm/5?1? The load factor was probably around 35 per cent so it was nice that it was too crowded. I had three seats for myself which makes it much more comfortable.

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Before after push pack, they came around with a hot towel which was nice but this one had an awful smell. Taxing was slow and it took about 15 minutes before we were ready for take off. We had a short take off roll due to the short flight to TPE. Always nice feeling when plane starts rolling.

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Soon after take off, lunch was served and the portion was somewhat small. Also surprising that they not give out any menus. The food was okay but not much more than that and Iím usually not that picky. Perhaps just getting a TG flight with their excellent food may have had an impact. The flight attendants were very friendly but didnít seem to speak that much English. They came around one more time offering more drinks.

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The PTV screen was nice size like on AM, AF etc and they had AVOD but selection seemed poor. Because of the selection of movies and the short flight I didnít watch any movie but explored the AVOD system and mostly watched the Airshow map.

I bought a Herpa Wings model of the 777-300/ER from the Duty Free catalogue and was happy to note that it had the same registration as the aircraft I was flying on.

I went to the bathroom and it was very nice with newer faucets than on other 777s that I have been on; sensors noticed your hands and water started flowing. Donít think I ever have experienced that on an aircraft before.

Routing was over Da Nang and then just to the west of MNL and straight to TPE. To sum things up, it was a nice flight but I would probably not fly BR on a longer flight eg Trans Pacific. .

 


Date: 11 May 2007
Route: Toronto YYZ %u2013 London LHR
Distance:
Flight: AC 856
Flight Time: 6:27h
Dep. Time: 18:20
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300/ER
Registration: C-FITU
Dep. Gate: 177
Seat: 33A

This is the first of three trip reports of 777 flights that I recently took. The other reports will be posted shortly.

I arrived early from IAD at around 1330 or so and went directly to the check in counter for Air Canada and there was just a short line. I had checked the load beforehand thru a fellow A.net friend and knew that it should be okay. This was important since I was flying on an ID95 ticket. Still, it was nice to hear the counter agent saying that the flight looked good.

I went thru the security checkpoint and did some spotting at first. Nice to see all different kinds of Air Canada (AC) aircraft but also a Sunwing 738 going to Varadero (VRA), Cuba.
I was a bit hungry and had a bison burger at a restaurant; very tasty and something that I have never tried before. Great Canadian dish along with great Canadian beer (Molson)!

I did see the first AC 77W land but I was in the wrong place to get a good picture. About an hour later or so it left for YUL and shortly thereafter, the aircraft for my flight arrived.

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Boarding started and there were four AC agents working the flight with one concentrating on seat changes and who also called standbys. When it was about 15 minutes left before departure, my name was called and I boarded quickly. Boarding was thru two jet bridges.

The aircraft was very new, only delivered about a week earlier so everything was very nice and fresh on board. My seat was very comfortable and I noticed the laptop power outlet. The PTV was average size nowadays but twice the size of the PTV on UA.

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Soon the door closed and we pushed back. All signs were in English and French and safety demo was done manually (not on a screen) and in the two languages as well. There was no duty free catalogue at my seat which I always enjoy looking thru.

Taxing out to the runway was VERY slow. Can't ever recall that slow taxing; it seems to me that pilots were very careful with this new and long aircraft. Interesting to hear that the day after my flight, one of the AC 777s had been damaged.

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Take off was powerful and quick and it climbed fast to cruising altitude. There were no Airshow map, news service or videogames working (feature to be added later). That's too bad; I really like the Airshow map which makes it easier to figure the route you are flying. Dinner was served 45 mins after take off and was very good; carrot slaw, Beef Bourgionne with pasta. Drink was served in a cup; the whole can was not offered. Portion size was okay and it was very good. I had some great tea afer and later, ice cream was later served for desert.

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Nice with the AVOD entertainement system but it didn't seem to be fully functional yet. I watched Letter From Iwo Jima and it was very, very good.

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We followed the St Lawrence river to its mouth and the continued across the Atlantic. Water was offered a few times during the night.

The mood lighting was on and was very soothing.

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A light breakfeast was served as well and it was also nice. We had to circle a few times before landing at Heathrow early in the morning.

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I took some more pictures of the cabin when everyone had deplaned and a flight attendant offered to take a picture of me, which was nice.

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To sum it up, a very nice and pleasant experience on Air Canadas 777 and I'm sure it will be even better with the entertainment system fully operational.

 

 Date: 17 May 2007
Route: Lisbon (LIS) ?Luanda (LAD)
Distance: 3879mi/6241km
Flight: DT 653
Flight Time: 6:58h
Dep. Time: 22:46
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Registration: D2-TED
Dep. Gate: 18
Seat: 32B

First some background information that may be of interest as this was the most complicated 777 trip to arrange for me so far.

I started to plan this in January 2007 and looked at different ways that this could work.
Every person visiting Angola needs a visa and from looking at Timatic, it looked like they were only giving those to people who were going there for work. So I checked their schedules very carefully on their website to look for possibilities to connect thru there. The website didnít get updated very often and same could be said for their schedule in the CRS. First I was thinking of flying Ethiopian Airlines to LAD and then connect to JNB and that could have worked on certain days, but what if DT had a last minute equipment change to a 743 on the LAD-JNB flight ? I was just going to have to fly LIS-LAD or vice versa. I did find that once a week per direction, they did have a schedule with a few hours in LAD so it would be possible to transit without a visa (TWOV). It would work perfect with a visit to Stockholm so I called TAAG in London and made reservations with them in late March. I like to get the tickets directly from the airline so I made a one day trip to London to pick up the tickets in early April. It would be a very expensive trip but sacrifices are sometimes necessary to fly on 777s.

I arrived in the morning from IAD and then went directly to their ticket office. They were very friendly and gave me some pens and other TAAG items. But they would not accept a credit card, only cash and directed me to a travel agency. My concern with getting the ticket thru the agency was that the agency would say the flights were confirmed but TAAG would say that they were not. Nonetheless, I got the tickets from the recommended agency of TAAG and flew back to IAD that afternoon.

Another worry was that TAAG would change their schedule so that my short transit in LAD would not be possible and so that I would need a visa or not be able to go at all (more likely). I called them about once a week to make sure. In late April, their website didnít show a flight LIS-LAD on the day I was scheduled so I called and they said not to worry, flight will go on that day. I did worry somewhat and even had to purchase a ticket on TAP from ARN to LIS in order to make sure I got there, since I was traveling at the beginning of a four day weekend in Europe and the flights were getting booked so flying standby ARN-LIS would have been difficult even with different connections.

Finally, it was time to leave ARN for LIS and the flight was delayed about an hour but I had about four hours in LIS so I should be okay and wasnít too worried.

I saw the TAAG 777 when we landed in LIS and it was reassuring that it was there and that it was not a 743. I went straight to their check in counter after we landed and it seemed tucked away in a corner of the airport. The check in area was roped off like for US carriers in Europe but they just checked that I had a ticket and did not ask any security questions. Just before I got to the counter, a man asked if I could check a bag for him and I was a bit surprised to hear this but I said no, not sure if he was trying to set me up (if he was with TAAG security). Checking bags for another person is a major security violation. The guy at counter checked me in and asked for my visa and then asked for a supervisor when he discovered that I didnít have one. The supervisor made me sign a paper (Declaration of Indemnity for Travel Documents). They wrote in Portuguese ďFaite visa transito paro Johannesburgo?which I figured meant that I didnít have a transit visa. They did check me in and gave a boarding pass for LIS-LAD but not for LAD-JNB. I asked if they could check me in the whole way but they said I had to check in again in LAD for that flight. Interesting to note that signage at their counter and on boarding pass was in the ďnew colors?of TAAG that had been rejected.

I did some spotting before heading to the gate and boarding started a bit late, at about 35 minutes before departure. Our plane was parked far away on a ramp so we had to take a bus there similar to what on used to take at Kai Tak in HKG a long time ago. We were dropped off at the rear of the aircraft and the stairs were very high and steep.

I was greeted at the door by a nice flight attendant and went straight to my seat. The configuration was 3-4-3 in economy class and I was hoping that the seat next to me would remain open. Someone did show up at the last minute but moved just as the shut the door to the aircraft. The flight was almost completely full in Economy class, not sure about Business or First class. The flight attendants were not all Black as expected but a mixture of Caucasians and Black, just like Angolans seemed to be as well. I just assumed that all Angolans were Black but thereís a big mixture similar to Brazil.

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Seat was comfortable, legroom was okay and had a foot rest and a normal size PTV. Oddly enough the jack for the head set was straight in front instead of in the armrest. They had big pillows and very nice, soft blanket at every seat. I was seated towards the back in row 32; last row was 38 on TAAGís 777. The seat also had the ďwinged?headrest to make for easier sleeping which is fairly standard there today. We pushed a few minutes late and the captain apologized a few times for this which was nice. Candy (honey) was given out at push back to help for the ears I guess and it was a nice gesture. We taxied out and took off towards the northeast I think and then started turning southeast right after take off.

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Fairly soon after take off, dinner was served and it came with a pasta salad and I had the beef option and given a full size can of Fanta. The tray with dinner also came with a toothpick which I appreciate a lot. During dinner the crew came around again with a second round of drinks including wine which was great. The crew in general was a bit reserved but friendly. There was the new mood lighting but only in F and C class.

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I tried their inflight entertainment system which is AVOD and it was okay. I hadnít that high expectations but was somewhat impressed. I watched Dreamgirls which was okay and otherwise watched the Airshow map which was a different verision and really cool; it showed the aircraft taking off and going towards the destination and the cities that we would pass and at the same time showed distance and time as we would pass each city. Routing of flight was rougly over Malaga, Oran, Zinder in Niger, Douala and then more or less straight to LAD.

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Water was offered once during the flight by the flight attendants. Breakfeast was served about hour and a half before arrival and was very small; smallest I have ever seen but very good. The breakfeast came with this great orange juice that I have also had on Varig, almost like a drink than juice in consistency and itís VERY good but not sure what brand it is.


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Decent was fast and we landed in LAD as daybreak began. I could see the city on approach and much of it seemed to be like shanty towns. We arrived very early despite leaving about 15 minutes late from LIS.

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We parked at a stand right next TAAGís other 777 and were bussed to the terminal which seemed very old and only had two stories. There was a staircase that had the sign ďTransito?but also a door that was locked. Another woman soon got there as well and about ten minutes later, a representative from TAAG brought us past immigration thru different corridors and customs to the check in counter and an agent there check us in for the flight to JNB. He then went back with us to the departure lounge. The whole process was very fast; less than 10 minutes.

I did some spotting before catching the next flight to JNB which ended being on the same aircraft, D2-TED.

To sum it up, TAAG was a very pleasant surprise, having heard of horror stories on Airlinequality.com and also since they donít really have a functioning website. TAAG was just as modern, comfortable as European carriers and it was a great experience. I was also very happy that everything worked.

I would highly recommend flying TAAG Angola Airlines!

Date: 21 May 2007
Route: Reunion (RUN) - Paris (CDG)
Distance: 5809mi/9347km
Flight: UU 975
Flight Time: 10:40h
Dep. Time: 20:28
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Registration: F-OMAY
Dep. Gate: 2
Seat: 21L

Since I was already down in JNB, it made a lot of sense to go back on Air Austral's 777 from Reunion (RUN). It was very easy to make reservations thru their website and I could also request seat assignment as well. Another ticket and a bit poorer but another 777 basically guaranteed.

I flew from JNB to Mauritius and spent an evening there before continuing to RUN the next day. I spent the day looking at the city and the following day went early to the airport for spotting before check in finally opened, about 6h before departure. UU was very restrictive with carry on allowance and required me to check my roll on bag. I had about six hours in CDG so I wasn't too worried but I never check bags.The terminal was very modern and had several restaurants and also a very nice viewing deck, facing the runways and it was also possible to see the maintenance area from there as well.

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The first day when I arrived F-ORUN was at the airport along with F-OMAY down at the maintenance area. The next day, F-OMAY was still in the same place but another 777 in farther down in the same area. I couldn't see the registration so I walk in the sweltering heat for about 30 mins each way to get that registration which turned out to be F-OPAR. About two hours before departure, F-OPAR was towed towards the terminal but continued past it and parked on the ramp right next to it. I figured we would fly on F-OPAR and was disappointed since I flew the same aircraft as EI-CRS when it was with AirEurope (PE). I was surprised that it was not at a gate and figured we would be bussed to the aircraft. Shortly thereafter, F-OMAY was towed and arrived at our gate about 90mins before our departure.

Boarding was supposed to start at 19:15 which seemed very early to me but and there were about 6 agents there. Boarding for some unknown reason didn't start until about 19:40 which wasn't much time for a 20:15 departure. Aircraft had been there for two days so surprising that they had to delay boarding. Boarding was done thru two jet bridges and was fairly quick. I was one of the first to board since I wanted to take pictures of the cabin before it got too crowded.

Very annoying was that the flight attendant HAD to look at my boarding pass to give me directions where to go. I knew perfectly well which aisle I was going to go to and so did most people. This also slows down the boarding process. The flight attendants had nice uniforms in with yellow jackets.

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The seat was comfortable but didn't have the winged headrest that makes for better sleep and the legroom was okay. The configuration is 3-4-3 but doesn't feel too cramped.There were very thick pillows, similar to what other carriers have in F or C class, at every seat along with a nice, soft blanket as well. There was no PTV which is too bad. A video was shown during boarding on the overhead TVs and main screen about the 777; preparing the aircraft for departure including different departments involved getting the aircraft ready and technical performance information as well. Very nice, their CEO is probably a big fan of the 777.

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A very nice amenities kit was handed out with socks, eyeshades and earplugs. The size of the bag is just the right size for my camera and that's what I use it for now. Nice souvenir! The headsets were handed out as well and they were the same as on AC; hang over the ear.

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Announcements and signs were made in French and English. An another annoying flight attendant told me I couldn't take pictures with flash so I had be discreet and therefore didn't take that many pictures on this flight.

Dinner was served about 30mins after take off and it was huge! Amazing the they can fit so much on a tray. The amount of food was more than on Emirates and a menu was rolled up with the knife and fork.

Menu:

Starter - Medallions of foie gras and fig chutney
Main course - Chicken supreme, lemon. Honey and pineapple sauce. Zamborian rice and
Baby vegetables

Cheese

Dessert - Almond tart.

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The starter was very good and the main course was excellent and size of the portions were large as well. I had a beer, Fanta and Coke to drink although the soda was served by glass instead of the whole can but with two glasses, I would not be thirsty. I had tea after dinner and it seemed to be very similar to what Air France serves; very good. The Airshow map was off and on and I noticed that even after 90 mins of flight, we were still only at 31 000 ft. Later, at 6h 40 min of flight, we were at 35 000 ft. Routing was roughly north of Madegascar, entering Africa over Kenya/Somali border and continuing over Ethiopia, Sudan and Libiya over the Mediterranean parallel to Italy and straight to Paris.

I watched Norbit and Edith (a movie about Edith Piaf) and they did have an English language track so it made it more enjoyable to watch. Neither movie was really good but helped to pass the time.

Breakfeast was served about 90 mins before arrival and it was huge as well; two pieces of bread with jam and exotic fruits, mostly pineapple.

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We started our decent about 40 mins before arrival and it was a smooth landing at CDG early in the morning. Arriving at CDG 1A and encountered long lines. CDG is just horrible for overseas arrivals there's no staff to direct people where to go. Not that LHR is much better....I got my bag and did some spotting before heading over to T1 to fly back to IAD on UA.

To sum it up, UU was a very nice experience, mostly due to the fantastic food. Intflight entertainment is not great without PTV but most people sleep most of the flight so it works for them. If I would go to RUN again, it would be a difficult choice between AF and UU but would probably chose AF due to the PTV.

 

Date: 17 October 2007
Route: Washington (IAD) %u2013 Vienna (VIE)
Distance: 4464mi/
Flight: OS 94
Flight Time: 8:00h
Dep. Time: 18:05
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Registration: OE-LPD
Dep. Gate: D 30
Seat: 17K

I arrived in the afternoon from Los Angeles on UA 946 and had been told by Austrian staff over the phone that I would have to go to their counter to check before I could go to the gate. My flight had arrived early and I was at the Austrian check in counter about three hours before departure and there was a very short wait of about two minutes before I was checked in. Since I was traveling standby, I was given a DM card to get thru security and was told that I would get my seat assigned at the gate. The guy also told me that the flight was open and that I should have no problem getting on.

I went thru the employee checking and met some old co-workers my way the gate. I was very pleased to see OE-LPD at the gate since that's the only 777 purposely built for Austrian, the other three having been built for Lauda Air. I flew on OE-LPA with Lauda in February 1998 Kuala Lumpur to Sydney and it was a very nice flight.

I checked at the gate twice before they gave my boarding pass and I was happy that I got a window seat and forward in the cabin. Boarding was supposed to start about 55 minutes before departure, 10 minutes earlier than on a UA international flight. First a call for Business class was called and about five minutes boarding for Economy Class and it was done by row numbers, higher row numbers first. I was in the last batch to board. When I got on board I noticed that my window seat was mostly windowless, just a wall with the actual window missing. I could see a little bit forward thru that window and a little bit behind me as well but this was very disappointing.

I was seat next to an older American couple and also noticed that there were very few empty seat on the flight. I thought there would be 50 or more open seat this late in the season but there were probably less than 10 open seats on the whole aircraft. Most passengers were either older Americans traveling with a tour group or East Europeans going back to visit family, very few Austrians on the flight.

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The seat was comfortable and legroom was okay although the box for the in flight entertainment system took up a lot of space. There was also a leg rest along with the winged head rest and the video screen was very large; larger than UA and AF for comparison. There were pillows and blankets at every seat along with a headset, same type as on Air Canada, the type where you hang it over the ear. Push back was a few minutes late but we would make up that lost time in flight and I was in no hurry. The safety video was played and it was very funny. It was done like a cartoon with a guy checking out a single mom and her child with his tie getting stuck in the tray table etc. Very good!

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Take off was short and it was great to feel the power of those GE90 engines. Soon after take off, a beverage service started which included a snack mix.

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Shortly there after, the entertainment system was turned on and I started to watch my first movie, Irina Palm which was a British movie and it was good. Soon after the trash had been collected, dinner was served and there were two choices; Thai chicken curry or grilled salmon. I had the Thai chicken curry which also came with salade Nicoise and profiteroles as desert. The food was very good and the portions were slightly larger than normal. I asked for a can of coke and the flight attendant gave it to me. I had a Bailey's after the dinner which is great to sip on.

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Other entertainment options included videogames and gambling but I did't try eirher, I watched another film instead, Georgia Rule which was a nice film. The Airshow map was on as well and there were also bird's eye view and nose view cameras. A lot of people went to sleep after dinner but I stayed up. The flight attendants were friendly and efficient and came back every hour offering drinks to keep us from getting too dehydrated. They offered mostly water but also apple and orange juice. Very nice!

Towels were giving out in the morning right before breakfast was served about 90 minutes before arrival. Breakfast was an assortment of cold cut ham and cheese along with yoghurt and a muffin.

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One I took note of during the flight was that the overhead bins in the center section of the aircraft were about 25 % longer than the overhead bins on the side. I have never noticed that before and may be a feature on newer 777s, this aircraft having been delivered in Feb07.

Routing was a normal Transatlantic routing from Washington over Boston over New Foundland, Northern Ireland, Birmingham, straight over Amsterdam past Dresden, east of Prague before turning south for descent and later landing at Vienna.

All in All, a very nice experience with Austrian and it reminded me a lot of my experience with Lauda Air from Feb98. Austrian in 2007 had the same entertainment system as Lauda had in 1998; not sure if that says more great things about Lauda in 1998 or less good things about Austrian in 2007.......


Date: 8 November 2007
Route: New York (JFK) %u2013 Mumbai (BOM)
Distance: 7799mi
Flight: AI 140
Flight Time: 13:43h
Dep. Time: 21:30
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/LR
Registration: VT-ALB
Dep. Gate: A 4 (T4)
Seat: 26H

I arrived from Washington around 13:00 and did some spotting mostly at Terminal 1 before heading to Terminal 4 to check in with Air India. I got there at about 16:25 and was told that check in for AI 140 would be open in about five minutes. All the signs were with the new AI logo and separate counters for the two flights (the other being a flight to LHR, DEL and ATQ). The people collecting passport information also tagged the carry on with tags saying Nonstop.

The line for check in was short but the agents at the front had to deal with issues for the other flight so it took about 30 minutes to check in. The agent gave me a choice of seats which is always nice when flying stand by and I got a window seat. I went thru security and headed to the gate right way. I did some spotting from the end of the concourse by gate A6. Even though it was dark I was able to get some interesting numbers like EuroFly 332 and Emirates 77W.

Boarding started already at 20:00, about 90 minutes before departure (!!) which is very early. Most airlines board not more than 45-60 minutes before departure and I decided to board early. There were not many people on board and boarding even after boarding was completed at about 21:10. Even though the door closed at about 21:15, we sat and waited for push back until departure time.

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The aircraft was very nice; nice legroom with foot rest, seat was comfortable. The PTV screen was large. There was also a bag at with a water bottle at every seat. The flight attendants distributed amenity kits containing socks, shades, ear plugs and mouth wash. Later, a small flashlight was passed out as well to each passenger as an extra amenity. A bit odd but nice to have when the plane would be darkened most of the flight and not to many lights so that people can sleep. Menus were also handed out and a drink service started as well before we pushed back. I had three seats for myself and there were sadly not more than 40-50 people in Economy class on this flight. Very nice for me with three seats for myself which meant I could get some nice sleep later. The safety demonstration was done by the flight attendants in person; not on a video.

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There were still a lot of departures at JFK at time of night so we did not take off until 22:15. While taxing the flight attendants gave us a cold refreshing towel; most airlines give a hot towel but nice nonetheless. The outside forward camera were also on at this time which was nice. The flight attendants were mostly young and were beautiful, not the old women that I heard are so common on AI. They were very friendly and had nice saris on in different colors. Very nice.

Take off was very powerful with the engines of the -300/ER but only the length of a -200. Our light load helped as well and we were soon in the air. The airshow map only showed metric scale and were a 9300m in 20 minutes after take off. Dinner was served 30 minutes after take off with the drinks offered after the meal, not during. I had Hydrabadi Gosht Korma (succulent pieces of lamb cooked in spicy gravy served with Navratan Pulao) which also came with a salad, rice, yoghurt, paratha and papad. For desert Semiya Malai (vermicelli cooked in a sweetened milk and garnished with nuts) and tea. The dinner was excellent; perfect spicy and very nice bread, a bit sweeter than a regular bun. Mood lightning was on shortly after dinner.

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I started to watch explore the entertainment options and they were many. The headsets were great; what you get in C or F on other airlines, great sound. I watched A Good Year, Catch & Release before I decided to sleep. Air India has a separate entertainment magazine entitled Non-stop entertainment and they showcase very well the different movies, TV programs, music and games. The system has AVOD (Audio Video On Demand) and was okay to operate but could be a bit more user friendly. Audio selection was lacking a bit in my opinion but they do have a lot of Indian music but I don't really care for that since I'm not Indian.

I slept for about four-five hours before I woke up and watched Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, one of my favorite movies. It's nice that some airlines offer classic movies as well as the newer ones. Soon after there was time for breakfeast and which came with fruit juice, oven fresh breads and fresh fruit. Very nice. We had made it to 11300m at this time.

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I slept some more and about 90 minutes before arrival lunch was served and I had Roast Sliced Leg of Lamb with Red Wine and Mushroom sauce. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture before I ate...It came with roast potatoes, yoghurt and papad as well as a fruit tartlet for desert. This lunch was almost better than the dinner and again the drink service was about ten minutes before the meal but with water offered during the meal.

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Service was excellent and at one time during the flight, a middle aged Indian man shouted to the purser: This is excellent service!! This is really excellent service!! I couldn't agree more.

The flight attendants came around several times during the flight offering water which was nice. We circled Mumbai for about 15 minutes due to traffic and later saw fireworks just before we touched down, this due to the Devali (??) holiday. Cabin was sprayed before arrival. We had a smooth landing and a quick taxi to the gate.

Routing was over Boston, south of Iceland, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Timisoara, Constanza, Trabzon, north of Tehran, Zahedi, Karachi straight to Mumbai.

 

Date: 10 November 2007
Route: Mumbai (BOM) ?London (LHR)
Distance: 4487mi
Flight: 9W 120
Flight Time: 9:25h
Dep. Time: 02:33
Aircraft: Boeing777-300/ER
Registration: VT-JEG
Dep. Gate: 6
Seat: 39K

As soon as I arrived from New York, I looked for the transfer desk for Jet Airways. It took me about five minutes to get there but there was no on there. I asked an airport official and he pointed out a supervisor for Jet who helped me. I showed him my e-ticket receipt and passport and after looking that over he called on his cellphone and 10 minutes later I had a boarding pass in my hand. The transit area in BOM is not great but there were some souvenir shops and a two or three restaurants. Every gate has a lounge with darkened windows with secured access and it was dark so no possibilities for spotting. I did manage to see a Kenya Airways 777 arriving.

Boarding was very orderly and started about an hour before departure. I was among the last to board because of being towards the front in Y class. The flights was perhaps 70-80 percent full but I still managed to get three seats for myself with me in the window. Very nice! I should be able to get some sleep on this flight as well.

It was very impressive stepping on board a teak floor rather than the usual carpet. This was a stand up bar for business class and I walked past the business class section to my seat. The business class section was in a 2-4-2 fishbone pattern like on AC and NZ unlike AI who has the capsule seats in J like AZ, PK to name a few.

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The seat was very comfortable and leg room was similar to AI. No leg rest though. Staff was friendly and efficient and with very striking uniforms with yellow long jackets. The uniform seemed more western but still nice. I also noted that some of the flight attendants were not Indian but probably from the Philippines. Even the Indian flight attendants were not as attractive as the ones on AI. The aircraft was brand new; delivered about a week earlier on 2 November 2007 which was very nice.

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I was given a cold towel before we pushed back just like on AI. Perhaps an Indian specialty ? We were also given candy and a bottle of lemon juice. An amenity kit was also handed out along with a menu when we had pushed back. The amenity kit had socks, shades, earplugs, toothpaste and toothbrush. It came in a rectangular hard plastic case which was different but nice; I can probably make use of the case for carrying something now.

I did see an AI 77W while were taxing to depart and a few other more AI 310s. Just before us was another 9W 77W to Brussels and Newark but I couldnít get the registration of that. I tried the lemon juice during taxi it was absolutely awful; what I imagine dishwater would taste like when you have used lemons scented soap.

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Take off was impressive as always with those GE90-115s and we climbed fast as well. There was no outside camera on 9W which is too bad. Itís a feature that I enjoy particularly during taxing and on approach. The menu said we would have a refreshment rather than a dinner and about 30 minutes after take off, this refreshment was served. I had Awadhi Chicken Croissant (Tender morsels of chicken cooked in enclosed container with crean, encased in rich croissant dough and baked, served warm). It also came with desert, Fruit Kheer, which didnít look appetizing so I didnít try it. The meal also came with a thicker napkin like on UU and that was nice. Also included were after meal mints seeds which was different but oaky. Drinks served after the meal and I asked for an Indian beer but like on AI, got a Tiger beer which seems to come from SingaporeÖThe beer was given to me without even offering a glass?.The meal was good as a refreshment but left me a little hungry?br>
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The Airshow map was on and was the new system called iExplor which is very nice. The headsets were more regular (cheaper) than on AI but still okay. The control for the entertainment system was much easier to navigate than AIís. The entertainment options were less on 9W than on AI though. There was theme called The Greatest Heists and I watched The Italian Job which was good. By this time we had made it up to 34 000 feet with mood lightning on and we would late make it up to 36 000 feet before we started our descent.

I decided to sleep for a few hours and was happy that the pillows were slightly thinker on AI. I slept for about three hours which was nice. The seats recline a lot but thankfully not as much as on EK. I woke up and watched the Airshow map and was waiting for drinks to be offered but to no avail. I then went to the galley where there was a stand up bar and got some water.

I was watching Mr Beanís Holiday when breakfast was served about 90 minutes before arrival. I had a Spanish Omelette (Open faced omelette topped with mushrooms, peppers and potatoes served with barbecued chicken patty and spicy potato wedges). It also came with a croissant and tea. The omelette was good particularly the chicken patty which is very tasty. The croissant was too dry and fell apart a few times.

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Soon descent into LHR started and we landed about 30 minutes early. Cabin again was spayed about 10 minutes before landing. Routing was over Karachi, Tehran, Trabzon, Varna, Prague, Antwerp to London.

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All in all a nice trip. Too bad with not a full meal service but probably because of the hour of departure.

 

Date: 10 November 2007
Route: London (LHR) ?Nairobi (NBO)
Distance: 4243mi
Flight: KQ 101
Flight Time: 7:37h
Dep. Time: 18:49
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Registration: 5Y-KQT
Dep. Gate: 404
Seat: 29J

I made my way to Terminal 4 as soon as I arrived from BOM on 9W (see separate trip report). I had purchased a ticket online but was told I had to pick up a paper ticket in person at the counter at LHR so I went directly to the transfer desk for Kenya Airways and is handled by KLM. The guy there told me it was too early and to be back at about 13:00. I did a lot of spotting and eventually got my boarding pass at around 15:00, about four hours before the flight. The ticket would actually be given to me at boarding time. I did some more spotting before heading to the gate about 90 minutes before departure.

Boarding started at about 40 minutes before departure but it didnít seem very crowded and was fairly orderly. The flight was little over half full about 65 % or so with only a few center seats open. I had a person next to me but the aisle seat was open. Even when the door had closed, I had ask the guy to move to the aisle to give us both more space?

All signs were in English and Swahili. The seat was comfortable and had nice legroom. The screen was a bit small but about the same as Air France or British Airways. The seat pocket was much larger than normal which was nice. We pushed back about ten minutes early and had a short taxi for departure. During taxi the safety video played and it was an animation and it was a bit different. Fireworks could also be seen here and there while taxing, I guess a lot of Indians live near Heathrow (celebrating Devali) ? I also noted that most passengers on the flight were not from Africa but mostly British and Americans.

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Take off was to the west and a drink service started about 30 minutes after take off. Most off the flight attendants were male and were very easy going. Their uniforms were okay and had some African color combinations in them. I tried a Kenyan beer called Tusker and asked for Coca Cola and got two small bottles to go with the mixed nuts. No menus were given out but shortly thereafter, dinner was served and I had lamb curry with steamed rice and it was very, very good.

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The inflight entertainment options were a bit limited and not AVOD. There were ten channels and the movies started every ten minutes and you could request to be reminded when the movie started next. Very nice feature! There was an Airshow map but no videogames or outside camera. There was no remote control and all controls for the system was in the armrest. Very simple but okay. Lights were not dimmed for at least an hour or so after dinner even though most people were trying to sleep. Lights were dimmed eventually but no mood lightning; just dimmed lights.

I watched The Contract with Morgan Freeman and after that decided to get some sleep. The pillows were very thin and having to sleep upright made it difficult to sleep but I still managed get about 90 minutes of shut eye.

Breakfast was served about 90 minutes before arrival and I was a bit hungry so I managed to finish most of it before I took the picure?The tea was way too strong and not great. It also took a long time, 30 minutes or more before the flight attendants had collected the trays which was a bit too long in my opinion.

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We eventually made it up to 37 000 feet and descent started only about 20 minutes before arrival. Ir had rained in the morning before our arrival it was only about 60 F outside, probably because of the high altitude. Also to note that even though the terminal had jet bridges, we parked right next to one but deplaned thru stairs and walked a few feet to go up stairs in to the terminal. I noticed later in the day that this was a common practice for the Kenya Airways flights but Virgin Atlantic and British Airways used the jet bridges. Only on KQ flight (from AMS) used jet bridge and only to deplane. For departure at the same gate later, stairs were again used?

To sum it up, it was a nice flight and the flight attendants were nice and offered nice service.
 

Date: 5Dec07
Roue: Doha (DOH) ?Dubai (DXB)
Distance: 238mi
Flight: QR 100
Flight Time: 0:39h
Dep. Time: 7:53
Aircraft: 777-300/ER
Registration: A7-BAA
Dep. Gate: 4
Seat: 36K

I had planned to fly on Qatar Airways?new 777-300/ER for about two months. The schedules first showed it starting service on 1Dec07 but about two weeks before, the first flight was changed to 5Dec07. I had planned days off from work and couldnít change them to later. Besides since I was flying stand by, I couldnít travel much closer to Christmas anyway. So I decided to give it a try anyway. I was relieved when I saw that QR had taken delivery of the aircraft on 28Nov07. A first flight for the aircraft for 5Dec07 seemed reasonable but I knew that things can change very quickly. I set out this journey hoping that things would work out and that I would be on the first ever scheduled 777 flight for QR as well as the first revenue flight for that aircraft.

As soon as I arrived I went to the transit counter for Qatar Airways and checked in for the flight. The flight was very open and the agent gave me a seat right away. I asked if the aircraft was a 777 and he said probably not since it did not fly yesterday but the seat map for this flight seemed a bit different. I told him that I had come a very long way just to go on the 777 and asked if he could check with someone. He did and came back three minutes later confirming that this flight would be flown by the 77W. I noticed that I had gotten an aisle seat and asked to change to a window which he did. Very nice!

I went and got something to eat at A & W and then did some spotting before the monitors showed ďGo To Gate? There were a few people there already but we had to wait another ten minutes before the first bus showed up. I had expected a ribbon cutting ceremony or at least some sort of announcement to mark this special occasion but nothing was said or done that normal. I got on and still not quite sure if this was going to be on the 77W but the bus went the right way and drove around the aircraft just as the stairs were put up to door 5L. I climbed the stairs and headed to my seat on the right hand side on A7-BAA.

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First impression was very nice; very comfortable seat, nice big screen and great legroom.
The seat does not have the winged headrest common on so many airlines and also not footrests. The entertainment screen looked different from their A340-600 that I had arrived on and the 77W features a new improved entertainment system. The remote control looks the same as Unitedís new system and also same as Jet Airways. Also note the location of the remote control in the seat in front. Every seat also had a USB port and what looked like a phone jack. Also different was an extra seat pocket in net where one can put a water bottle or something small. More people boarded but the flight was probably only about 70 % full by the time they closed the doors. There was someone in the aisle seat but the center seat between us was empty. The person behind me remarked to his colleague that a flight attendant had told him that this was the very first revenue flight for a 777 for QR and for this aircraft. Most people on the flight were European but there were some Arab people as well, probably mostly from Doha.

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The safety video started but there was no soundÖThey restarted the video a few times but still no sound so the F/As made a manual safety demo. From the short part of the safety video there was, it looked like the video for the A340-600ÖWe pushed back two minutes early and was told by the captain that we would have about a ten minutes taxi before take off and to expect good weather en route.

I started to explore the entertainment system and noticed that the air show map was similar to the one previously experienced on TAAG Angola, which was very nice and detailed. The take off was very amazing since one could really feel the power of those GE90-115 engines for this short and light flight to Dubai. We had a very short take off roll before we were in the air, perhaps only 10-15 seconds.

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As soon as the fasten seat belt sign came off, the flight attendants were busy handing breakfast. It wasnít very much still very nice to be served something on such a short flight. The flight attendants were mostly European on this flight but some South Asians as well (Philippinas, Malaysians). They were very nice and friendly and very pleasant to be flying with. They were also more personal and approachable than my experiences on EK or SQ.

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We leveled off for about two minutes before we started our descent into Dubai. I had planned on watching something on the screen but just played around with the system until we were on the ground. We made a smooth touch down and a fairly quick taxi to the gate.

I was very happy that this had actually worked and that the 77W did fly as scheduled. Extra bonus to be on the very first 777 flight for QR and for that aircraft as well. It was understandable with the confusion of safety video since this was the first flight. I really like Qatar Airways a lot and hope to fly them a lot more in the future. I really hope that they will fly their 777-200/LRs to Los Angeles eventually so that I can try that nonstop to/from Doha.
 

Date: 20Apr09
Route: Sydney-Vancouver
Distance: 7757mi
Flight: AC 034 Air Canada
Flight Time: 13:24h
Dep. Time: 10:28
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/LR
Registration: C-FIVK
Dep. Gate: 60
Seat: 24C
Movies: Valkyrie, Babine, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Let The Right Come In

I wanted to try ACís 777-200/LR and the easiest way for me to do that was to fly to SYD and then fly SYD-YVR on the AC -200/LR.

I apologize for the quality of my pictures since they were taken with my iPhone but my regular camera is broken and it looks like I may have to get a new one?.

I did some spotting at the airport and went to the check in counters at about 8am which was a bit more than 2h before departure. The line wasnít long but it wasnít moving very fast. It probably took 20 minutes or more before I got to the counter. The nice agent gave me a seat right away which was nice since I donít have to deal with that at the gate. (Iím flying as a non-rev). I had some information from a friend at AC that I should have no problem getting on so I wasnít very worried.

It took awhile to get thru passport control and security but finally I got thru after about 20 minutes wait. I went directly to the gate and there were some nice views from there but also very crowded as EK had their A380 ready to start boarding for Auckland. I was surprised when I looked at the boarding pass to see that boarding was supposed to start 1h before departure which seems like a lot. That time came and went and another 20 minutes later, an announcement was made saying that boarding was delayed to to late arriving crew.

Boarding eventually started at around 10am and I was one of the last to board. Boarding was very quick and the flight was only three minutes late in push back.

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First impression was very good; nice legroom and nice big screens. Flight was probably 90 % full. I noticed an open aisle with an open center seat next to it and I switched to that when the door closed. All announcements were made both in English and in French since Air Canada is a bi-lingual airline. People were encouraged to use their own headsets for the sake of the environment. I have never heard of that before but I have a really good headset so I used mine.

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Take off was powerful as usual on a -200/LR even on this long flight, just slight shorter (in distance) than my longest 777 so far, (JFK-BOM). Soon after take off, a snack was served which was nice. Great to get the whole can of soda as opposed to some other carriers. I was busy checking out the entertainment system and it was very good. It was easy to navigate and the screen was of good size. The airshow maps was the newer version and you could zoom in and out plus get information on the flight eg altitude etc. Moodlighting was on as well.

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I started to watch a movie and about 20 minutes after the drink service, a lunch was served. No menus were given out but the purser made an announcement what the options were. I had beef with pasta and it was okay. I usually try the local beer and I had a Molson which was pretty good. I had tea afterwards.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ACSYD-YVR010.jpg


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Most of the crew were older (in their fifties) but there was one younger asian flight attendant and she looked VERY nice. The movie selection was good and I decided to try a movie from Quebec thatís probably less likely to be watched in Los Angeles. It was some period piece about the village idiot and it was okay. Later under World Cinema, I found a Swedish movie called something like, Let The Right Come In. It took place in Stockholm in the late 1970s and was some sort of a thriller but with kids at about 12 years old, the age that I had been at that time. Very neat to see clothes and things in a movie from when and where I was a kid! It ran with English subtitles. It was pretty good.

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The crew came around with water about every two hours or so which was nice. There was also a snack midflight which was a sandwich. It was packaged very nice. I was getting tired and managed to get a little bit of sleep for and hour or so towards the end of the flight.

About an hour before our arrival in Vancouver, breakfast was served. I had an omelet with sausage and it was tasty.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ACSYD-YVR017.jpg

Initial altitude was 33 000 feet, later up to 37 000 and at the end 39 000 feet. Routing was basically over New Caledonia, western tip of Oahu to Vancouver where we landed straight in to the east.

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All in all a nice flight on Air Canada!


 

Date: 2 September 2009
Route: Los Angeles ?Sydney
Distance: 7488mi
Flight: DL 017 Dellta Air Lines
Flight Tine: 14:34h
Dep. Time: 22:35
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/LR
Registration: N706DN
Dep. Gate: 58A
Seat: 31F
Movies: Gran Torino, Body Of Lies, Rachel Getting Married, Casablanca

This is the first trip report in Y on DLís 77L from what I can recall.

Ever since this route was announced, I have wanted to try this route. Even though Iím not quite well, I figured that I can still fly there and fly right back so I wouldnít have to stay away that long. I decided to go in early September since most of the northern summer travel season would be over by that time and the loads would be lighter. Originally, I was supposed to have gone with my friend DeltaSFO but he couldnít go due to school at Berkeley.

The check in line for DL wasnít too long and even though I wasnít quite sure of where to go, a DL agent quickly pointed me in the right direction. I waited less than five minutes before I was called up to the counter. He checked me in after asking me if I had an ETA (Electronic Visa) for Australia. I got my seat request card showing YJ for class so I had some hopes of getting Business Elite on this flight. Last time I flew DL, about ten years ago, the agent at the gate in ATL gave me a seat in Business Elite in the then month old 777-200/ER.

I headed upstairs to the gates and there was long line thru security. Even worse, it moved very slowly. After about 15 minutes, two more lanes thru security were opened and about five minutes later, I got thru. I was at the airport about two hours before departure so I still had lots of time before boarding.

I looked around the terminal for a few minutes before I took a seat very close to the podium for my flight to SYD. Shortly thereafter, the aircraft came in from ATL and as usual was towed to the gate from the taxiway.

Delta Air Lines have screens in the gate area giving information about the flight and also how many seats that are left in each class of service. I noticed that Business Elite was less than 25 % full and Y was about 2/3 full. I also noted my name on the waiting list and that I was second from last. I also noted the boarding time to be at 22:05, only 30 minutes
before departure. That seemed like a very short time to board the aircraft, most airlines board international widebody aircraft 45 minutes before (Air India 90 minutes) before departure.

About 15 minutes before boarding the waiting list for seats changed and next to each name was a seat number. I noticed quickly that I was the only one out of about 25 to have a seat in Economy class. I went to the podium to ask for my boarding pass since the seat was assigned but the agernt told me to wait for my name to be called. Boarding actually started a few minutes early at about 40 minutes before departure. The lead agent for the flight made a phone call to load planning at about 20 minutes before departure and got the okay that all standbys would be able to go. At this time, the two agents started to call names and I was one of the last to approach the podium. I mentioned my name the man gave me my boarding pass. I asked him if I could possibly upgrade to J and he checked with the lead agent who said ďno, he has a ticket in Economy so thatís where heíll be sitting? I asked there where any window seats and was told there wasnít any left. I got my boarding pass back and boarded the flight. The flight went out with 4 empty seats in Business Elite.

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The aircraft still had the ďnew aircraft smell?and looked very nice on the inside. Even though I was in seat 31F, that ended up being the row behind the first bulkhead in Economy class. The seat next to me was empty which was nice but almost expected when the flight is only two thirds full. A bit odd that the bulkhead was completely white without any logo or company colors at all.

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Seats were leather or probably fake leather and seemed very comfortable at first. Legroom was good and a nice big screen in front of me. There was a blanket and pillow on every seat. Flight attendants were giving out headsets but I had my own form my iPhone that works really well. A nice feature was that the volume control for the inflight entertainment system was done thru a pop up touch screen on the video screen. Same for the overhead light and flight attendant call button. Very smart! So the only thing in the arm rest was the audio jack.

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A person in front of me had some small talk with a flight attendant and it gave some interesting information; there were 10 F/As on the flight and they all had about 24-25 years of seniority and they all looked like they were close to 50. Not sure if they all had started with DL or if some of them had started with Western or other airlines.

We pushed on time and then a fairly quick tasi to 25R for departure. We had a fairly long take off roll due to the long flight ahead. Probably about ten miles out we turned south. Orginally the Airshow map showed a flight time of 16h but that changed after perhaps 45 minutes of flight. The person in front of me soon reclined so I had to do the same to keep my personal space and the recline was nice and it pushes the seat cushion forward as well to keep you comfortable. A see-through curtain separated Business Elite from the Economy cabin.

About 45 minutes after take off, dinner was served and they started with the first row in economy which was just in front of me. Beef, chicken or pasta were the three choices and I chose beef. I also asked what beer the had and the F/A mentioned several brands but nothing too exciting but I noticed a can on the trolley that looked different and asked if I could have that. She said sure and I also got a glass of Coca-Cola. The beer turned out to be Antartica which apparently is a Brazilian beer and it turned out to be very good. Beer and wine were available at no cost, stronger liquor cost 7.00 dollars. One feature that was not so good with the seat is that the tray table does not move back/forward at all. That makes it a bit inconvenient when you eat. Salad was good but I didnít see the dressing for it at first and only found the dressing after I had finished the saladÖÖ.The beef was actually Beef Bourginone with steamed rice and was very good! It was also a good size portion. Desert was a chocolate chip cookie which was tasty. Later, they came around with a coffee service and I had some tea.

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I started watching the first movie, Gran Torino, which was very good. After dinner the cabin lights were turned off and there was no mood lighting, surprising for a new aircraft like this one.

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About half-way thru the flight, a snack was served which was a sandwhich and it was very tasty. I had a glass of Coca-Cola again and was not offered the can this time either.
I tried to sleep a little bit later and managed to get an hour or two at the most.

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About two hours before landing, a breakfast was served and it was tasty as well. I had French toast with syrup. I checked the time and found that I would be able to watch Casablanca before we landed which I did. Itís one of my favorite movies of all time.

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It started to turn daylight at this time but it was overcast. We started the descent and flew straight in from the ocean rather than over land like the last time I was there in April. A smooth landing and a short taxi to the gate concluded my longest flight to date.

Cruising altitude was only 32 000 feet initially and that only changed about after the midflight snack and gradually we eventually made it up to 36 000 feet before we started our descent.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/DL77LTRIP015.jpg

Routing was east of Hawaii, west of Samoa and straight over New Caledonia to Sydney.

I did some spotting from the excellent observation deck before I checked in for my return flight home to Los Angeles.
 

Date : 29Sep09
Route : Dubai to Los Angeles
Distance : 8339 Miles
Flight : EK 215 Emirates
Flight Time : 16:08h
Dep. Time : 9:05
Aircraft : Boeing 777-200/LR
Registration : A6-EWG
Dep. Gate : 223
Seat : 27K
Movies : New In Town, The Proposal

This is another route that I have wanted to try since it was launched about a year ago.

I made it to Dubai and stayed in the transit area all night until I was able to check in for the flight at about 6: 00 in the morning. There were a lot of people arriving at that time and there were only two agents trying to take care of about 50-100 passengers. There were no clear lines and it was very chaotic. About twenty minutes later, the lines were shorter and more agents finally arrived. I finally got to talk to an agent who checked me in and told me that I would my boarding pass at the gate. The gate had also just changed to 223 from 120. This was important as 120 is in terminal 1 and 223 about 15 minutes away in terminal 3. At this time I discovered that the battery for my camera was almost dead. I tried to buy new batteries but was told that batteries are not sold at Dubai Airport. That's the reason I didn't take that many pictures for this trip report.

I did some more spotting before heading to the gate at about 7: 30. Boarding started a few minutes later into the gate room. When there was no line about 20 minutes later I approached the first podium for my seat assignment which I got from another agent. All the fellow passengers were still in the gate room and this was a 8:20 departure. No announcements were made and exactly at 8:20, people were allowed to board the aircraft.

I had a window seat and was one of the first 30 people to board. Emirates configures their 777s with 3-4-3 in Economy class but compensates this with more legroom. The seat was also very comfortable. Legroom was really good and I looked at the contents of the seatpocket while people were boarding. The inflight magazine was very thin; about half the size of the Duty Free catalogue. There was also the ICE booklet which was very informative.

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I also discovered that the jack for the headphones was double pin jack and that my excellent iPhone headseat would not work well. I therefore had to use the ones Emirates provided. Not so great in my opinion. A nice feature is that you can play your iPhone content on ICE just by using a USB port. Very good!

The flight attendants were coming around with thick, hot towels which was very nice. They also handed out amenity kits which were very nice. It does not have any EK logo on it so it's easy to use for something after the flight. Just before we pushed back, the captain made an announcement explaing the delay. He said that the aircraft got to the gate late and that was the reason for the delay. He also apologized. The seat next to me remained open which made for a much more pleasant experience than if it had been taken.

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We finally pushed at 9:05; 45 minutes late and then a quick taxi to the runway where we took off towards the desert. It was a very long take off roll as could be expected for such a long flight. Soon afterwards, we turned left and followed the coast of the UAE before crossing the Strait of Hormuz, over Bandar Abbas and Kerman northwards.

Breakfast was served which was great. I had the Breakfast Grill which included grilled chicken, turkey bacon, potato hash brown and baked beans. It also came with seasoned fruit and croissant. I had some tea with that and a Seven Up (large can).

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I mostly looked at the Airshow map in the beginning and it was fascinating with the route we were taking. We continued northward over Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, over Chelyabinsk and Yekatrinburg, Russia. I watched two movies while we continued north to the Arctic Sea.

I was very tired since I didn't sleep the night before and managed to sleep for about 8 h on this 16h flight. We flew over the North Pole and made landfall close to Barrow, Alaska. We continued south past Mount McKinley and into the Gulf of Alaska by Cordova. We continued south over the Pacific ocean and made land fall again over Santa Cruz California. We continued towards Los Angeles where we arrived from the north and landed towards to west, on 24R.

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Initial cruising altitude was at 31 000 ft, later going up to 37 000 ft. Most people including me, closed their window shades after a few hours. As the cabin got darker, I noticed that there was no mood lighting but there was a "starry sky"!! Yes, small lights in the ceiling that even formed constellations! Very nice! It was not possible to see these small lights in broad daylight. Very clever!

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The crew was very friendly and much nicer than my previous experiences on Emirates. Most of them seemed young; under 25.

There was a mid-flight snack which was a Chicken Tikka wrap but I was asleep when it was served. There were also snacks in the galley in between the regular meal times.

A pre-lunch snack was served.

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About an hour before arrival, lunch was served. I didn't feel that well at that time but chose the Lamb curry. I just took a bit and it was a bit spicy so I decided that it was probably a good idea for me not to finish it. The lunch also came with Salad Nicoise and a desert; Green Apple and Almond Dream. I had a piece of bread and asked for a Pepsi and was given a small can......I also had a small piece of chocolate that came with the meal.

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About 30 minutes before arrival, they showed a very detailed video of how to fill out the US immigration forms and the customs form. Very good with such detailed video!

Passengers on the flight were in four different catagories; families connecting from India and Pakistan, people connecting from Iran, people connecting from Ethiopia and very few American-born passengers.

Many of the kids were roaming around the cabin freely and it's worth noting that two out of six lavatories were closed down in economy class. I thought that only happened on Air India or PIA (which actually did not happen on my flights on AI or PK.)

All in all a great flight with a fascinating routing and my longest flight to date.

Thanks for reading!


Date: 8May10
Route: Los Angeles ?Sydney
Distance: 7488 miles
Flight: VA 2
Flight Time: 14:30h
Dep. Time: 22:17
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3ZG/ER
Registration: VH-VPF
Dep. Gate: 38
Seat: 43A
Movies: The Hurt Locker, Amelia, Leap Year

173rd flight on a 777
9th flight on 777-300/ER
First flight on V Australia
43rd 777 carrier flown

I finally took the plunge and purchased a ticket on V Australia. Iím not sure why I have waited so long to take this trip. Seeing VAís 77Ws here at LAX every day was being a bit frustrating after a while since I hadnít flown them yet. Due to medical reasons, I can only be away from Saturday at noon until 9 in the morning on Tuesday. Therefore, this was a very easy trip for me since I could leave Saturday night and be back Monday morning.

Purchased the ticket online on V Australiaís website about ten days before departure and it was very easy. It was not possible to assign a seat but a quick call to VA took care of that.

I arrived at Terminal 3 about two and half hours before departure and the lobby was very nice and cozy. The lights were somewhat dimmed and dance music was playing. My wait was about ten minutes so not too long. The counters were also much lower than regular check in counters. The check in agents had a nice casual uniform with khaki pants and a white shirt with a VA pin. Virgin Americaís check in area was right next to VAís but they had rock music playing?. Youíd think that they could coordinate the music; it was a bit annoying hearing that cacophony, as my friend Plane Hunter would say.

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I went thru security and the wait was short; less than five minutes. Once thru, I decided to have a look around the terminal since I havenít been there since my last flight as a TWA employee in May 1994. Iíve read a lot about how poor shape the terminal is in but after walking around for about 20 minutes to check things out, I donít think itís that much worse than terminal 6 or 7 that Iím more accustomed to. The rotunda area for VX and VA is a bit old but very nice that they have a really nice sit down restaurant like Gladstoneís.

I sat down by a window and watched arriving and departing traffic on 24R/L. Impressive that AF had three 777s on the ground at the same time; one departing and one had just arrived.

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Boarding started at 40 minutes before departure, first with passengers in Business class and then people travelling with young children. After that, boarding was done by row numbers and as I suspected, my row was in the first group to be called. I wanted to board early so that I could take some pictures undisturbed. I was greeted by a male and a female flight attendant. The flight attendants had the same nice casual uniform as the ground staff. To note was that ALL female flight attendants had skirts. Interior was nice and bright and there was a headset, eye shades, pillow and blanket on each seat. Mood lightning was also on and pop music playing while I made my way to my seat.

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The seat was very comfortable and had a winged headrest. There was a large, wide screen in front of me with the remote under the screen. Next to the screen was a USB port. I could tell from the remote that the system was Panasonic, just like DL on the 77L and UAís new system. Screen was clearly wider though than DLís on the 77L. Also noted was the ďElectronic Devices Off?sign seen next to the fasten seat belt sign from the overhead bins. This is the first time that I have seen this but it makes much more sense rather than having the non-smoking sign in the same place since almost all carriers are non-smoking these days. Legroom was very good but not sure on what seat pitch they have, perhaps 32 in ?

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We pushed back a few minutes early and I was very happy since both the seats next to me remained unoccupied. To me, having empty seats next to me makes a huge difference in comfort during the flight. The safety video was shown and it was a cartoon and a bit funny with one character looking very much like Richard Branson. Load factor was probably about 70 % in J but only about 40 % in Y. This also meant I would be able to get some good sleep lying down on all three seats.

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There was a very short taxi and then a powerful take off, as always on a 777, from 24L. Surprisingly, the seat belt sign came off after only about five minutes (!!!), by far the earliest I ever experienced. Time to explore the seat pocket and there was a entertainment guide but no in-flight magazine; I guess they have so few routes that thereís no point but still a first for me. The audio jack was a double prong jack which is not so good when one wants to use ones own headset. It sorted of worked anyway by not inserting the prong all the way. Water bottles were passed out to each passenger after take off which was nice although I have to be very strict with my intake of fluids.

The entertainment system is called Red, is AVOD and I assume is the same (similar?) that VX has. The system has a nice selection of movies including classic movies from the 1930s like Gone WithThe Wind. There are also music videos available to watch from different decades. Some parts of the system werenít operational yet like duty free items and books to read, They also mentioned that ďsoon?you will be able to use cell phones on VA flights thru special new technology. There were also video games available along with info on different destinations and about VA. Air show map was of course available and was the newer version where you can zoom in. I put the air show map on at the seat next to me so that I could glance while I watched the movies.

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Dinner was served about an hour after take off and there were three choices; beef, chicken and pasta. No menus were given out but I had the chicken curry with steamed rice which came in a good size portion along with a pasta salad, bread and apple cake for desert. I had a Coca-Cola with the meal and it was about two-thirds the size of a regular bottle at about 22cl and about twice as large as the mini-cans you get on a lot of European carriers. The meal was a bit perfectly spicy and is one of the best meals Iíve had in economy class, along with the meals on NG, AF, UU and AI. Coffee and teas was served later but I didnít have any. One thing I look for is to see if thereís a tooth pick which I think is a nice, necessary utensil but no tooth pick on VA.

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I started to watch the first movie which was very intensive but very good. A change of pace with the second movie and then I was tired and decided to sleep. After about a 5 h sleep (!!!) I woke up and started the third movie, which was okay. Itís the most Iíve slept on a flight since I flew in First PEK-ORD on UA in Oct01.

Breakfast was served about 2h before arrival in SYD and I had scrambled eggs with ham, potatoes and a croissant. It was very tasty and I had half a cup of tea to go with which was great too.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/VAtripLAX-SYDMay10028.jpg

Routing was basically east of Hawaii, over Tonga and Fiji, then over New Caledonia and into Sydney. We landed from the ocean straight in to the airport. First we stayed at an altitude of 32 000 feet, later climbing to 36 000 feet. There were slight turbulence a few times but nothing major. Crew was nice and was in the background to make you relax rather than in your face. They did come by with water several times, probably about every 90 minutes. There was a also a snack bar with potato chips and candy bars along with a pitcher of water where one could go and help one self during the flight between meals.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/VAtripLAX-SYDMay10022.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/VAtripLAX-SYDMay10029.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/VAtripLAX-SYDMay10034.jpg

All in all, a great flight on V Australia and I highly recommend flying them if you have a chance. Itís probably one of the better long haul flights on a 777 carrier that I have had, similar to AI and RG.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/VAtripLAX-SYDMay10039.jpg

Next 777 carrier for me? Probably TAM Brasil, perhaps already in July.

Date: 4 July 2010
Route: Santiago De Chile (SCL) ?Sao Paulo (GRU)
Distance: 1626mi
Flight: JJ 8027
Flight Time: 3:29h
Dep. Time: 13:45
Aircraft: Boeing 777-32W/ER
Registration: PT-MUD
Dep. Gate: 10
Seat: 37A
Movie: The Notebook

175th flight on a Boeing 777
10th flight on a Boeing 777-300/ER
First flight on TAM Linhas Aereas
44th 777 carrier flown

Fresh from my trip on V Australia, I started to look at fares to fly on TAM from Satntiago De Chile to Sao Paulo. There was a great round trip fare which came to USD 315.00 including all taxes. I basically picked days that I could get the low fare and this route would be the cheapest and easiest way to fly TAM. Ticket was purchased on TAMís website and it was very easy to navigate.

I had arrived in the morning via DFW on American Airlines and did some spotting. About two hours before departure, I started to look for a transfer desk where I could check in but I couldnít find one. I walked to the gate and about 30 minutes later, I found a TAM agent at the adjacent gate. I gave her my e-ticket receipts and passport and after a minute or two, she gave me everything back along with my boarding pass.

I noticed on the departure screens that there was a Aerolineas Argentienas flight leaving from the same gate as the TAM flight and that the AR flight was running late. The TAM flight arrived about 20 minutes late at about 1210 and had to wait for about 30 minutes before the gate was available.. The gate next door was available but for some reason, TAM did not switch gates. Perhaps they couldnít fit the large 777-300/ER at that gate but there had been a Iberia A340-300 there earlier so not sure about that.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip004.jpg

So the plane got to the gate at about 1240 so a 1250 departure wasnít going to happen. First people had to get off and then the aircraft had to be serviced. Servicing took a while and boarding finally commenced at about 1310. The gate area was so crowded so it was very difficult for the gate agents to be heard. There was a huge line of about a hundred people trying to board but they started with families with children first and then boarded from the rear of the aircraft. Since I was towards the back, I boarded early which is what I prefer. As I was about to sep onto the aircraft, I noticed that the captain was in the jet bridge greeting all the passengers. That was a nice gesture and I have never noticed that on any other airline that I have flown. I was two rows behind door 4 so that I would have nice view.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip021.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip009.jpg

Seat was comfortable and legroom was okay. There was also a foot rest which was nice. Seating is 3-4-3 on TAM but did not feel cramped on my short flight.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip008.jpg

The flight attendants were all around 25 and looked absolutely gorgeous! Almost all of them looked like models. All flight attendants in economy class were female but a few in business class were male. Flight was completely full and most people seemed to be Brazilians returning from a shopping weekend by judging all the shopping bags. I couldnít see any empty seats. I started to explore the entertainment system and it was very extensive; lots of movies under different categories, outside camera, air show and videogames.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip007.jpg

We finally left at 13:45 and then had a long taxi where we taxied past the Chilean Air Forceís 707s and sole 763. The safety video was a cartoon which seems to be very common these days. The flight attendants passed out candy during the taxi.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip010.jpg

Take off was to the south and we passed downtown Santiago on climb out.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip011.jpg

We continued straight for about 20 minutes before we finally turned to cross the Andes. Shortly thereafter the lunch service started. There were two options; pasta and chicken with rice; I had the chicken and it was really good. The portion was of good size as well. To drink, I had a glass of Coca-cola and a glass of Guarana which is a Brazilian soft drink. Each glass had one huge piece of ice, never seen such big ice cubes before. Salad was good and so was the chocolate cake for dessert.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip012.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip013.jpg

I watched The Notebook and it was very good. Later, I listened to some Brazilian Samba music on one of the audio channels, which I find very relaxing.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip014.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip016.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip017.jpg

Rest of flight was uneventful and on approach we flew past the airport and landed from the northwest. I was one of the last to get off the airplane so that I could take some more pictures of the cabin.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip022.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip023.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip024.jpg

A nice flight on TAM and I highly recommend them.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TAM%2077W/TAM77Wtrip019.jpg

Date: 28Nov10
Route: Los Angeles ?Tokyo-Haneda
Distance: 5488 mi
Flight: NH 1005
Flight Time: 11h 53mins
Dep. Time: 00:44
Aircraft: Boeing 777-281/ER
Registration: JA716A
Dep. Gate: 138 (bus gate)
Seat: 25J
Movies: Inception, Here Comes The Bride My Mom

Fifth flight on ANA
180th flight on a Boeing 777
105th Boeing 777 aircraft flown

ANA recently started new international routes out of Tokyo-Haneda so I thought it would be interesting to try it. I would also be able to do some spotting at HND and NRT before returning home. I chose to go on a Sunday morning to get to HND on a Monday morning. This is not a new 777 carrier for me having my first ANA 777 flight in early Sep97, but since it was a new route not yet covered in a trip report, I figured that I should write one.

I got to the ticket counter at about 22:40 for a 00:05 departure and there were very few people in line. I was told to come back at 23:00 since I was flying stand-by. The agent told me to be back at 23:00. I returned and waited and waited. First they said the said that the flight was weight restricted and that they would not take any more passengers but that I should wait. At 23:45, they announced that they would take all standbys and told us to rush to security to get to the gate very quickly. There was no line at security so I was thru in no time. When I got to the gate, an announcement was made that the flight was delayed about 30 minutes due to ďaircraft servicing?which is a bit odd since the aircraft sits for about 7h at LAXÖÖ

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda004.jpg

We were boarding from Gate 138 which is a bus gate so our plane was parked on the western end at the remote gates. Everyone boarded quickly and soon the door closed and we were ready for pushback. I was one of the first to board from the second bus. I was met by young gorgeous flight attendants who were very helpful. Once I get settled into my center seat, the seat was very comfortable and legroom was sufficient. There was also a foot rest and a adjustable head rest with every seat. I was in the second row in the second cabin in Economy class. The screen was medium size and there was a pillow and a blanket on every seat. The entertainment system is AVOD but does not have the selection like EK or even VA. A hot towel was handed out to each passenger as we taxied all the w.ay to 25R and had a long take off roll as expected for such a long flight.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda006.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda007.jpg

We made a turn over Ventura and continued north to San Francisco before heading straight across the Pacific to Tokyo. No menu was giving out but thatís common these days unfortunately. But I was a bit surprised when we got a sandwich along with a choice of drinks instead of a dinner. I had a South of The Border chicken sandwich along with orange juice. It was very tasty and I started to watch the first movie, Inception. I managed to sleep on and off for about five hours while glancing at the airshow map, before I started to watch the second movie which was from Japan. It started out as a comedy but ended up being a big time drama movie. I always try to watch movies from the carrierís own country when possible. Some of those films are difficult to find in the USA.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda008.jpg

Breakfast was served about three hours before arrival and was more like a dinner size meal. I had Fried Chicken, Miso soup, steamed rice and orange juice. It was very tasty, especially the soup. Tea was served as well although I didnít have any due my liquid restrictions.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda010.jpg

For some reason, it took the crew about 45 minutes before they came around to collect the trays, which is way too long time in my opinion. Shortly thereafter, the airshow map was turned off and we started our descent into Haneda where we landed from the ocean on the northern runway turning off just after Terminal 2 which is used mostly by ANA.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda024.jpg

The route was very far south for a route from the USA to Asia and the cruising altitude was only 30 000 feet which make it my lowest altitude ever for an oceanic crossing. Speed was very slow as well at 459 mph.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda019.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda015.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda017.jpg

I did some spotting at HND for about four hours before taking the limousine bus to Narita where I also spotted for about three hours before going home.

Some pictures from my spotting at HND:

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda027.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda029.jpg

Spotting at NRT:

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoHaneda032.jpg

To sum it up, a nice trip on ANAís 777. Next trip very soon with a trip report to follow.
 

Date: 9 January 2011
Route: Washington IAD ?Addis Ababa ADD
Distance: 7193mi
Flight: ET 501
Flight Time: 12:13h
Dep. Time: 13:15
Aircraft: Boeing 777-260/LR
Registration: ET-ANN ďThe Blue Nile?br> Dep. Gate: B 41
Seat: 36F
Movies: The Social Network, Eat Pray Love, Never Let Me Go

First flight on Ethiopian Airlines
6th flight on a 777-200/LR
182nd flight on a 777
106th 777 aircraft flown
45th 777 carrier flown


introduction

I had planned this trip a few months in advance and had made sure that I had t ime off, got my tickets and so on. Then four days before the trip, I read a post on Airliners.net that an Emirates aircraft has hit an ET 77L and that the ET 77L is out of service. I keep checking the flight tracker websites and on Friday 7 Jan 11, I find out that the aircraft was back in service so it looks like itís a go. I decide to give it a try since Iím already off.

Report

I got to the airport early and as I walked towards the ET check in counter, I could see the ET 77L in the distance at a gate at the terminal.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip006.jpg

There were a lot of people in line to check in with many huge bags.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip005.jpg

One of the agents saw that I had no bags and waived me thru so my wait thru to an agent so I had a wait time of less than five minutes. They said the flight was full but to check at the gate. I went thru security and headed to the gate. ET now leaves from B concourse at IAD and they used to leave from gate D 27 in the D concourse, so a welcome switch to the much nicer B concourse.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip010.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip007.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip009.jpg

Boarding was supposed to start at 11:00 and at about 1145, an announcement was made that ďdue to a TSA walkthrough and late arriving aircraft, boarding will start in about 15 minutes? Not great to be delayed but I had a two hour connection in Addis Ababa so it should still be okay. Shortly thereafter an announcement was made that people in rows 37 and higher were to approach the podium at the gate. No further announcements were made and boarding finally started about 1245. The boarding process was a bit different; they were boarding by the color of a stiicker on the boarding pass eg blue, red, green etc. It was at this time that I approached the podium and finally got my boarding pass.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip011.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip013.jpg

Many people had large carry ons and some of them were checked at the gate. I was a bit worried but figured we would leave soon and I should still have enough time to connect at ADD. My seat was taken when I got there by a mom with her infant and her mother. I took the grandmotherís seat instead which was another center seat but next to the window. Good switch for me! I managed to find room in the overhead bin space for my bag although they were very full. I also noticed that the last seven rows were empty and blocked off, from row 37 and onwards. I later learned that this was because of weight. Still a bit strange to block a whole section of rows like that, never seen anything like that before on over 700 flights. We finally pushed back at 13:15 so little over an hour late but still figured we could make up some time in flight and that I would still have enough time to connect.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip016.jpg

Seat was very comfortable and legroom was great! Colors in the cabin were nice with brown and green .

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip023.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip024.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip047.jpg

The PTV screen was a big size screen and there were footrests as well. The seat also had the common winged head rest to make it easier to fall asleep. There was also a USB port at every seat.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip017.jpg

One flight attendant had traditional Ethiopian garments but the rest were all wearing modern/western clothes. The were a pillow, a blanket and an amenity kit at every seat.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip014.jpg

Announcements were made in English and Amharic. I sat next to an Ethiopian man and a Nigerian man who had terrible bad breath, like old chewing tobacco. Very bad! About 50 % of passengers were Ethiopian, 40 % other Africans and 10% were American or Canadian born Caucasian people. The Airshow map looked to be very nice but didnít work on the whole flight which was really too bad since thatís a feature that I really like.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip020.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip025.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip026.jpg

Movies, TV programs and Music was also offered and even audio books as well as videogames. Movie selection was bit limited, perhaps 40 movies in total to choose from including some Nigerian ones.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip035.jpg

Hot towels were handed out after take off and shortly thereafter a soft drink or juice with snack was offered.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip027.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip048.jpg

The snack was Ethiopian Jets which were shaped as jets, very original! 20 minutes later or so, lunch was offered. No menus were handed out but options were fish or chicken with rice. Utensils were plastic and as a nice touch, a toothpick was offered as well. I had the chicken and it was very good. Coffee and tea was offered afterwards.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip032.jpg

I started to watch the first twp movies and then later tried to sleep a little bit. A sandwich was offered as a snack in the galley and I later went to try one.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip039.jpg

It was very tasty. Flight attendants would do drink runs every two hours or so with water. I kept trying to see if the airshow map was working but the screen just showed ďservice unavailable? I asked a flight attendant and she had heard that the airshow map had not been available on the way over from Addis Ababa.

With about three hours left of the flight, I went to the restroom and some of them were very messy and disgusting and there were also trash scattered everywhere in the cabin. When I returned to my seat, the flight attendants were coming around with hot towels and a few minutes later, breakfast was ! served.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip041.jpg

Breakfast consisted of a croissant, a piece of bread, yoghurt and bowl of mixed fruit and it was okay. Eventually, we started out descent but did not land until 950. It was a bit different to land at an airport that is at 7625 ft above sea level.

Iím not sure of the exact routing since the airshow map did not work but I did see an ACARS report of the flight and it was from Spain so it seems we flew over Spain at some point and that correlates with the great circle routing between IAD and ADD.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip038.jpg

The cockpit crew made no reference to routing and hardly made any announcemts. The crew was okay but not too friendly. I had a nice flight on Ethiopian and Iím sure itís a great improvement over their flights on the Boeing 767-300/ER. Legr room was great and the seat was comfortable, entertainment options lacking a bit but still fairly good compared to other carriers like QR and EKn. I would recommend flying on ETís new 77L.

Epilogue

We landed at 950 and my connecting flight to Dubai was scheduled to leave at 1015.....As soon as I got
off the airplane, at about 1000, I asked ET ground personnel for the gate for the flight Dubai.One of them said follow me which I did. We met up met up with another agent she gave me a boarding that was handwritten with my name on it. We actuallly went to a bus where we boarded a 763 thru stairs. The flight to DXB left about 15mins late but I had made my connecting flight.I had been in Ethiopia about 40 minutes......

Next 777 carrier for me will probably be Turkish Airlines from LAX to IST when they start service in March 2011.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/ET77Ltrip050.jpg

Date: 5Mar11
Route: Los Angeles LAX ?Istanbul IST
Distance: 6871mi
Flight: TK 10
Flight Time: 12:08h
Dep. Time: 17:59
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3F2/ER
Registration: TC-JJH ďRumeli?br> Dep. Gate: 105
Seat: 41K
Movie: Valentineís Day

I arrived at the check in counter at about 1600 for a 1755 departure. There was no line and I was called right away to a counter used for Business Class check in. The agent was very friendly but new and not too familiar with people flying stand by so she had to get some help. After about 10 minutes I was checked in for the flight to Istanbul and had a boarding pass in my hand. She also had checked me in for my connecting flight IST-MUC but she could not give a boarding pass for that flight.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK012.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK015.jpg

Security was much more stringent than usual in the US but there wasnít a long line and I was thru in about five minutes. I went directly to the gate and looked for the registration of the aircraft I was about to fly. Boarding started at 17:10 for the 17:55 departure and was done by row numbers after people with small children had been offered to board. Business Class could board at any time and there were two lanes for boarding.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK017.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK021.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK022.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK026.jpg

I was one of the first 10 people to board which is great which means I can take pictures of the cabin for this report. First impressions were very good; good legroom, foot rest, winged head rest, large PTV and USB port. There was a pillow and blanket at every seat.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK028.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK029.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK030.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK031.jpg

Amenity kits were handed out by friendly flight attendants. The one thing I didnít like was the two-prong outlet for the headset which it would be more difficult for me to use my own headset. A lot of airlines seem to do this which to me does not make any sense; just have the one-prong outlet so people can use their own headsets.

I explored the inflight entertainment options and I was happy to note that the airshow was the newer version where you can zoom in. I was also very happy to see that Turkish Airlines have the outside camera where you can see forward or downward. Movie selection was okay with about 50 movies but not as impressive as on Emirates.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK035.jpg

Push-back was a few minutes after scheduled departure time and I noticed that the flight was about 30 % full. This was the second flight from LAX to IST since TK started service on the route. There were quite a few Turkish people but also some people from India and Pakistan on board as well. Shortly after take-off, flight attendants came around with menus for the meal service and a drink service began. Hazel nuts were handed out and interestingly, both Coca Cola and Pepsi were offered. Due to my liquid restrictions, I did not have anything to drink at this time but enjoyed the hazel nuts.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK039.jpg

Shortly after the drink service the main meal service began. I had the beef option which was prime beef burger herbed butter, ratatouille and potato gratin. It also came with green salad with mozzarella, yoghurt with cucumbers and peach cake for desert. The flight attendants also came around with bread. The salad was okay but not my favorite kind of salad. The main course was fantastic and the meals are provided on TK by Do&Co which is an Austrian company that also used to provide meals for Lauda Air. They have a very good reputation and did not disappoint. The peach cake was okay but again not quite what I like. Beer and Turkish wine was offered and I tried the Turkish beer Efes which was very good. A bit unusual for a muslim country like Turkey produce both beer and wine. A pet peeve of mine is to provide a tooth pick but unfortunately, TK does not provide one. Water bottles were handed out after the meal service to each passenger.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK040.jpg

I started to watch the movie and then went to sleep. I had three seats for myself and I was able to stretch out and get some good sleep. I slept for about five hours and missed the mid-flight sandwich.

Breakfast was served about two hours before arrival and came with a fresh fruit salad, assorted cheese, mushroom omelette with fried potatoes and bread with jam. It was nice and flight attendants also came around with drinks and I had a lemonade which was very good.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK041.jpg

Routing was basically over Idaho, straight over Hudson bay, over Iceland, Stavanger, Wroclaw, Bourgas and over the Black Sea to Istanbul.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK036.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriponTK038.jpg

All in all, a great flight on Turkish Airlines especially the meal service which was fantastic.

I appologize for the bad picture quality since Iím still getting used to my fairly new camera. Also the battery in my camera died while in flight so not possible to try to retake pictures to get better pictures. Iíll make sure to have the camera charged the next time.

Date: 11 July 2011
Route: Manila MNL ?Vancouver YVR
Distance: 6567mi
Flight : PR 116
Flight Time: 11:35h
Dep. Time: 19:18
Aircraft: Boeing 777-36N/ER
Registration: RP-C7776
Dep. Gate: N05 (T2)
Seat: 33A
Movies: The Adjustment Bureau, Unknown

189th flight on a 777, 12th on a 777-300/ER

Flown on 111 different 777 frames

47th 777 carrier flown (now flown on all 777 carriers with direct delivery from Boeing)


Hi !

Background

I had originally planned to attend the trip reporters meeting in FRA on 9 July but I would have had to change my dialysis and go four days between dialysisís sessions and I thought that was a bit too risky. Since I had the weekend off , why not try for another trip that would fit my schedule ? Monday 11 July was still open for vacation at work so I put in for it and started thinking. I still missed Philippine Airlines 77W and with the possibility of a transplant perhaps soon, it would just be very nice to complete my 777 carriers flown for now since I canít go anywhere for a while later. I also have a good friend who lives there but was moving soon so it was prefect time to now rather than later.

Schedule actually worked very well even with my restrictions, PR flying the 77W MNL-YVR on Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays with a connection to LAX the same evening on OO or AC. This meant I could be back in time for dialysis for Tuesday morning. I just had to leave LAX on Saturday after dialysis and connect thru NRT to MNL on NH or DL. I would spend about 24h there before going on the PR flight to YVR.

I get no discount on PR so had to purchase the ticket as a regular passenger. I went to their website and it was very easy to book it. I booked about 10 days before I travelled and unfortunately, the fare had gone up since I first had started planning the trip. It was also possible to select seats thru the website and I got the last window seat available,33A. This was over the wing and not what I would have preferred but at least it was a window. The seat next to me was open as well.

I had a nice flight on UA to NRT in First on a 777, N217UA and no problem getting on JA607A, a 763 to MNL on NH. I got picked up by my good friend Rich Strollo and I spent the night at his house. Next morning we went spotting for a few hours but it was raining so not really ideal. Later we had lunch and after a while later, he dropped me off at Terminal 2 at MNL.

Trip

Check in was a specifically designated check in areas for each flight rather than having one economy check in area for all destinations. The latter concept seems to have less wait and less lines so I had to wait for about 20 minutes for the available agent. There were only two check in agents available for economy class to Vancouver. Agent was friendly and efficient so soon I had my boarding pass in hand for 33A.

Not much to do in the terminal land side just a small convenience store. Very barren actually. I had to pay my departure tax before going thru passport control and then security. Not much wait at any of these lines and I was thru all of them in about 15 minutes.

Not much at air side either except of a smaller convenience store and small caf?that also sold sandwiches. I did some spotting before heading to my gate. I had half a can of something that very closely resembled Fanta but I forgot what it was called. There was an extra security check at the gate for the flight including going thru x-ray machine again. No problem for me and I was thru in no time.

Boarding started about 45 minutes before departure and started with Business calls first and then by row numbers from the back forward. Since I was in the third row from the front, I was in the last group to board which is not what I prefer. I like to board early to get pictures of the cabin before it gets too crowded.

First impressions of the seat was nice; a pillow and a blanket at every seat along with an amenity kit.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011006.jpg


http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011009.jpg

Unfortunately, I was in a windowless window seat. I did have about half a window slightly behinds me but not so great nonetheless.

Soothing colors in the cabin as well although they do not match the colors of the flight attendants uniform at all which are khaki-colored and a bit dated. I flew Philippine Airlines on my first Trans Pacific flight in Feb94 and they had the same uniforms back then. Flight attendants were not very friendly this time and just did their job. Nice to see the footrest as well and legroom was good.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011031.jpg

 

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011033.jpg

The seats, screen and entertainment system seems to be almost exactly as on DLís new 77Ls and UAís refurbished 777s. Thereís also a USB port which comes in handy to charge an iPhone or IPod.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011007.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011008.jpg

We pushed back a few minutes early and soon had a powerful but long take off. It was dark at this time and raining again so not too much too see except for the lights of Manila.

About 30 minutes after take off dinner service started and they started at the front of the cabin so I was served quickly. No menu was given out but the made an announcement about the two choices which I think were chicken or beef. I chose beef which came with rice, vegetables, bread and a pasta salad. I had a glass of Coca Cola to drink. The pasta salad wasnít good at all and the beef wasnít that good either. I had some tea afterwards.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011021.jpg

I started the Airshow map and it was a new generation which is very good. Interestingly enough, it also displayed the direction to Mecca which is a bit odd considering most Filipinos are Catholic but there is a large Muslim minority.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011010.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011014.jpg

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http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011019.jpg

I started watching movies; The Adjustment Bureau before I got tired and went to sleep. The selection of movies was not that great and a bit too limited in my opinion. From what I could see, the offered about 80 movies but a lot of them were older or a whole series ie all Harry Potter movies (except the last one). I must have been very tired as I slept about five hours or so . After I woke up, I watched Unknown and shortly after that breakfast service started about 90 minutes before arrival.

I had chicken with rice and it also came with a pastry, bread and some fruit. The chicken was better than the dinner and the pastry was very tasty. I had a glass of orange juice along with a cup of tea. A pet peeve of mine is to get a toothpick with the meal and it did come with breakfast but not with dinner which is a bit odd.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011024.jpg

I started watching movies; The Adjustment Bureau before I got tired and went to sleep. The selection of movies was not that great and a bit too limited in my opinion. From what I could see, the offered about 80 movies but a lot of them were older or a whole series ie all Harry Potter movies (except the last one). I must have been very tired as I slept about five hours or so . After I woke up, I watched Unknown and shortly after that breakfast service started about 90 minutes before arrival.

I had chicken with rice and it also came with a pastry, bread and some fruit. The chicken was better than the dinner and the pastry was very tasty. I had a glass of orange juice along with a cup of tea. A pet peeve of mine is to get a toothpick with the meal and it did come with breakfast but not with dinner which is a bit odd.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011024.jpg

Even though most passengers were born in the Philippines and most likely spoke Tagalog, all announcements including from the cockpit were only in English except for a brief arrival announcement in Vancouver. All conversations during meal service with flight attendants were in English only that I could hear.

We had a scenic approach to Vancouver and had smooth landing towards the west. A short taxi followed and my latest 777 adventure was over. Routing was close to the coast of Japan and then straight across the Pacific to Vancouver. We eventually got up to 38 000 feet.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011028.jpg

 

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011029.jpg

Epilogue

I still had to fly home to Los Angeles and I was the only passenger heading for US immigration and Customs from the PR flight. I was actually called in for secondary inspection at Customs as they were curios why I had no bags and that my trip was very short. I was cleared in about 30 minutes and got to the gate for the UAX/OO flight but it tunred out that the flight was full so I could not get on. I then tried my luck with AC and that worked out fine so I had my first flight on a EMB-190 which is a great airplane. The PTV was working including the airshow map and I watched The Fighter all the way to LAX.

Flying on PR was okay but nothing special. It was nice to complete my 777 carriers flying for now but the flight itself was not that special. Food could be better as well as FAs along with the entertainment. My first Trans Pacific flight with PR was actually more memorable with friendlier FAs and better food.
 

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011048.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011049.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011050.jpg

I started to fly on different carriersís 777 in May 1997 with my friend Rich Strollo so very fitting to complete it for now with a visit to see him in MNL and to fly the last carrier for now, PR.

I dedicate this report to him.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/PR%2077W/PRflight2011004.jpg


There are currently three more carriers scheduled to take delivery of 777s direct from Boeing, Biman Bangladesh, Garuda Indonesia and Royal Brunei (although still listed as unidentified customer) and I hope to fly on these as they take delivery. Next one for me probably early next year on Garuda.
 

A Non flying Trip Report; Attending the roll-out of the 1000th 777 by invitation of The Boeing Company


Disclaimer: This is report is from an event on Boeing property and there were many signs saying cameras not allowed. Because of this I did not want to risk using my own camera but used my phone to take pictures. Sadly the picturec quality is not too good. I do sincerely appologize for that.

Thanks to fellow Airliners.net user and friend, Abrelosojos, Boeing found out about my 777 flying hobby and my website about the 777 aircraft. I got an email from the person running Boeingís Commercial Airplanes website in early January and he said he was very impressed with my 777 flying and that many others at Boeing were too. He wanted my phone number and a few days later he called and we talked for perhaps 30 minutes. He said he would be in touch again but time passed and I did not hear from him for a while. About two weeks ago, I received this email :

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/009.jpg

I was very surprised and very happy but I was in class that week at work and was not sure if I could get it off. I actually forwarded the email to the person who could give me the day off and it worked; I was off and ready to go. I emailed my contact from Boeing Commercial News, Tristan, and he wanted to meet me since I was in the area. I flew Alaska there since that would get me in earlier and get me plenty of time to get to Everett. AS was a new airline and I was even lucky that they had plane change so I had my first flight on a 737-900!

I briefly stopped by the Hard Rock Caf?in downtown Seattle to get a pin and then continued to Everett.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle006.jpg

I arrived very early and first stopped by the meeting place to see how I would get there. Next stop was the Future of Flight building where I bought some Boeing souvenirs. Then I drove around the perimeter of the field to see the different aircraft up close and get the registration numbers.

I took my time and called Tristan who told me to call back once I got inside. I got to the lobby early and met the person responsible for us VIPs. He gave me my badges and we waited for more people to show up. Everyone except me were dressed up in a suit and I felt a little bit out of place but considering I had my branded The777Man hat and sweatshirt on, I still felt good about myself and about going to this special event.

When everyone was there we took a bus to the building where the event was taking place and we went inside. It was part of the huge Boeing assembly building and it was great to be there on the floor where you normally donít get to go as a visitor on the tour of the Boeing Everett plant.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle024.jpg

We were told to go to the VIP area just behind the nose wheel and I followed along but I didnít go inside that area. Instead I called Tristan and he came right over with another co-worker and we talked for perhaps three minutes before he had to go. I went inside the VIP area then but right away we were told to take our seats as the event was about to start.

There was a big stage with some chairs on the stage. I got a seat in the fifth row from the front and I had a great view of the stage, a screen and of course the aircraft.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle009.jpg

There were two banners above and behind the aircraft; one showed the logos of all airlines that have fly the 777 but also leasing companies. The other had the branded banner for the event just like the one in my email.
At the left hand side of the stage was a tail on which was projected the different tail colors of the different airlines flying the 777. It was difficult to get a good picture of it. There were many people standing behind us and most of them were Boeing workers assembling aircraft.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle008.jpg

An Emirates flight attendant led a group of people onto the stage. We were soon welcomed by someone which name I sadly forgot. He introduced the people on the stage which included Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates, Maurice Flannigan, Managing Director of Emirates, the head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and the 777 Program Manager.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle013.jpg

The 777 Program Manager was introduced and he said a few words and then a video was shown. He introduced the Manager of Boeing Commercial Airplanes who gave a speech. Then another video and then Al Maktoum from Emirates was introduced and he gave a speech as well.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle015.jpg

Another video and then about six employees of Boeing came up on stage and talked about their experience on the 777 program. That was the end of the program and I took some more pictures of the aircraft and was trying to get someone to get a picture of me in front of the engine but it was time to go already and I had to leave.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle017.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle019.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle022.jpg

There was a banner with the event logo that Boeing employees were signing.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle023.jpg

There were also water bottles with the event logo and I grabbed one as I was leaving.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/TripToSeattle025.jpg

I was almost the last one to get on the bus back to the parking lot. There must have been a shift change about the same time we left since there was a lot of traffic so it took us a while to get back to the visitors lobby. I drove back to Sea-Tac and got on another AS flight home to Los Angeles.

All in all, a very special day and really great to be a part of this milestone!

Many special thanks for Abrelosojos, people at my job for giving me the day off and Boeing for making me be able to attend this special event.

Souvenirs from this very special day

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/1000th%20777%20rollout%20event/Stufffromtheevent004.jpg

Date: 15 March 2012
Route: Manila MNL ?Hong Kong HKG
Distance: 711mi
Flight: CX 906
Flight Time: 1:39h
Dep. Time: 11:19
Aircraft: Boeing 777-367/ER
Registration: B-KPB
Dep. Gate: 4 (T1)
Seat: 39K

1st flight on B-KPB
5th flight on Cathay Pacific
13th flight on a 777-300/ER
114th 777 airframe flown
195th flight on a 777

As I was about to sit down in my seat, I realized that I had not written a trip report on Cathay Pacificís 777. I first flew on a Cathay Pacific 777 on 8Sep97 and had my second flight on 13 Oct99 but I had not started to write trip reports yet so this was a good opportunity to do a Cathay report.

I had been given a seat in Business class but just as I was putting away my things in the overhead bins, a flight attendant approached me and told me to move to 39J. Since I was on a stand by ticket, I had no problem with moving although I had looked forward to Business class even on this short flight. There was no one there when I got to that row so I had plenty of time to get settled in.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12001.jpg

I first noticed that the seat belts were of a different kind than Iíve seen before. I guess itís some sort of an airbag but not sure how that would work. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12007.jpg

There were also power outlets at the seat and leg room was good.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12008.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12005.jpg

I would have no problem to fly long haul on this aircraft. The seat was also very comfortable to sit in except after a while the lumbar support was a bit strange and annoying. It was like a plate that was attached to the seatback and it would have been better to not have that at all. There were no adjustable air vents at every seat which seems to be standard on newer aircraft these days. Blankets were available upon request which made sense since this was a short day time flight.

A lady showed up for 39H and said her husband got upgraded from 39K so I could move to that seat. Great to get a window seat and even better with no one in the middle seat.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12006.jpg

Boarding had started late so we did not leave on time at 1100. The flight was almost full except for a few center seats. We finally pushed back close to 20 minutes late and the safety video was played. Most of the flight attendants were from Hong Kong which surprised me a bit since CX has a lot of Filippina flight attandants and I thought there would be many of them on this flight.

After a powerful take off we were in the air and climbing fast to cruising altitude. Shortly thereafter the flight attendants brought out carts and handed out a cheese and ham sandwich along with a beverage, which was very tasty.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12013.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12015.jpg

I explored the entertainment system but quickly settled for the moving map which is always great. We were flying over the city of Bagiuo and then turned left towards Hong Kong over the South China Sea.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12004.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12003.jpg

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http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12012.jpg

We reached a cruising altitude of 34 000 feet and started our descent after 1h and 10 minutes of flight and landed at Chek Lap Kok after a flight of 1h and 39 minutes.

It was a great short flight on Cathay Pacific. Iíve always had great flights on them and they did not disappoint at this time.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/CX77WtripMar12017.jpg


B A C K G R O U N D



In late March 1997, I decided to fly on all 777 carriers with direct delivery from Boeing. I first started with Korean Air and Thai Airways International in May 97. Since then Iíve flown 777s on many different carriers from all over the world and on many different routes. Iíve completed my 777 flying a few times already after flying AirEurope in 2002, after flying Qatar Airways in 2007 and most recently after having flown on Philippine Airlines last year.

Things got more difficult after having to start dialysis in September 2008 but then a miracle happened; on 11 October 2012 I had a kidney transplant. Just a few weeks later, Biman Bangladesh took delivery of their first Boeing 777 and the planning to get on one of those started. I got well right away but needed time get my strength back. I first planned to do a short flight on Biman as part of a longer trip together with my good friend PlaneHunter. Early in the planning stages, he suddenly told me he had found a great fare SIN-DAC-LHR on BG and suggested we do that route instead. It sounded like a great idea to me so we started looking at exact dates and how to get the schedules work out.

I met up with PlaneHunter in Singapore at around 1300 on 9 May and he had just finished lunch with fellow A.net users Initious and Yapple. He told me he wasnít feeling well and that he had been seeing a Doctor in Singapore to try to get well. We did some great spotting for about four hours or so but PlaneHunter mostly spent his time at the pharmacy and making phone calls. I was still hoping that he would come along but later as we said good bye to Initious and Yapple, it was clear that he was not well enough to travel. I had really been looking forward to making this tip together with PlaneHunter but realized that I had to do this on my own, something that I have been doing on all my 777 trips expect for the first one on Korean Air when I went with my friend Rich.

I checked in for the flight from Singapore and then said goodbye to PlaneHunter and went to the gate. After a somewhat ďinteresting?flight from Singapore I was in Dhaka.

T H E T R I P

Date : 9 May 2012
Route : Dhaka ?London
Distance :
Flight : BG015
Flight Time: 9:54h
Dep. Time: 10:06
Aircraft : Boeing 777-3E9/ER
Registration : S2-AFO ďThe Palki?br> Dep. Gate : 5
Seat : 9A
Movies : Chariots Of Fire, Water For Elephants, The Kingís Speech
199th flight on a 777, 14th flight on a 777-300/ER
Flown on 115 777 frames
48th 777 carrier flown (flown on all 777 carriers with direct delivery from Boeing, for now)

As soon as I arrived in Dhaka, I went to the transfer desk and there was no there but someone showed up after a few minutes. There were only two more people also in transit so not very busy there?.

I explored the terminal and there wasnít much there some to see or do. There were only seven gates and the terminal was old from the early 1970. It reminded me of smaller version of the old Kai Tak terminal in HKG. There were some departures; GF to BAH, EY to AUH and QR to DOH. It was still dark outside so it was difficult to do spotting. I sat down and rested a bit. When daylight arrived, I went around the gates to see what was there and was happy to see a 77W at gate 5 and I guessed that would be the aircraft for my flight.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/bg77w017.jpg

Some FIDS

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/bg77w020.jpg

Did some spotting; S2-AEH of United Airways.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP005.jpg

A lot of advertising had a tiger pattern on it probably because of the known Bengal tigers. Here and ad for the cellphone company Banglalink.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP009.jpg

My recent accquired roll on bag had a pattern that fit right in.



Each gate has itís own gate lounge and you have to go thru security to get in there. As I was walking thru the terminal I was noticing that the gate lounge was open for my flight at gate 5 at 8:20 for a 10:00 departure so I went in. I was only the fifth person thru and it was great not to be a in a very long line. I did some spotting from the gate as more and more people got thru as it got closer and closer to departure.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP010.jpg

At about 9:30 the door to the jet bridge opened and people started to board. No announcements of any kind were made, just a mass of people got up and moved towards the door.

I was welcomed aboard by a middle aged flight attendant and made my way to my seat.I was in the third row from the front in the economy section. Business Class is only between door 1 and 2 and the rest of the aircraft is Economy class.
I saw down and first noticed the big screen .

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP014.jpg

Legroom was also good and the seat was comfortable.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP016.jpg

There was also a leg rest and a winged head rest to make sleep easier.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP019.jpg

There was a single jack for the headphones which I prefer compared to the double jacks you find on some other carriers. Seat color was green and had some red dots on them just like the Bangladeshi flag. A pillow was placed on every seat but no blanket.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP018.jpg

The only item in the seat pocket was the safety card; no inflight magazine or airsickness bag.



The aircraft was clean and still had the feel of being a new airplane. No air vent at every seat but that seems to be the norm on newer aircraft. Notice the No computer, no cellphone signs overhead.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP023.jpg

Bulkhead decorations

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP022.jpg

View from my window before pushback

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP021.jpg

Some chewing gum ?



Boarding was completed but people were still changing seats which delayed pushed back for a few minutes. Safety announcements were made in Bengali and English and started with a very short muslim prayer.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP029.jpg

The guy behind me was still talking on his cell phone as we were taxing out. The seat next to me remained open which was not surprising as that was where PlaneHunter was to supposed to have been sitting. Otherwise the plane was almost full. I would say a 95% load factor.

After a powerful take off, a drink service was started where they only offered apple juice in a glass along with peanuts.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP030.jpg

Half of the flights attendants were female and the other half male. About an hour after take off the meal service started and again no choice was offered; chicken with rice, cucumber salad and rice pudding. Only Coca-cola and Sprite was offered to drink, again only in a glass..

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP034.jpg

For people who already had fallen asleep, they were rudely awakend and told, ďhere, your meal? The meal was very spicy to me but was otherwise okay. Extra bonus: a toothpick was provided which is a pet peeve of mine. Water was offered as well in a second round of drinks which was much appreciated and later coffee or tea. After the service items had been collected the crew ordered everyone to close their window shades to give people a chance to sleep. I didnít really like that and thought that was a bit odd since this was a day time flight, but there no other option than to comply. The crew also went around the whole cabin to make sure all window shades were closed.

After the meal service I started to explore the entertainment options and soon discovered that they were very limited. Airshow was available and I had it on for a while. I then looked at the movie options and for English language movies there were four movies in the ďnew releases? category and the newest of those was about a year old?.There were another 8 other English language movies and I did watch some movies. I first tried to watch some Bangladeshi movies but I couldnít find any with English subtitles so I settled for the English language options.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP037.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP038.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP039.jpg

Second meal was served about two hours before arrival. Iím not really sure what it was but it was too spicy for me so I didnít eat very much. Only water was offered to drink this time but coffee and tea after the meal.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP047.jpg

In the beginning, we were at 32 000 feet and later we climbed up to 34 000. Routing was over DEL, LHE, KBL, the Aral Sea, Donetsk and more or less straight to London from there. The whole IFE system was turned off an hour before departure including the airshow map. This was very annoying and I have never experienced that before on any carrier.

Safety card.



Spot the error.



The crew was not so friendly and was very much acting in a command style; do this, do that.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/BG77WTRIP058.jpg

Biman Bangladesh caters basically only the people from Bangladesh and does not seem to have any ambition to get any other type of passengers. For those people Biman Bangladesh probably serves its purposes well but for other people, it may be a bit different experience.

At least now they a big improvement in service with their new Boeing 777-300/ERs.

This whole trip was vey good and I reached some great milestones; 200th flight on a 777 (LHR-LAX), 900 777 frames seen and 50th UA 777 flown.

I dedicate this report my good friend PlaneHunter who missed out on this unique experince.


http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/The777Man/TriptoEuropeJune2012003.jpg

B A C K G R O U N D

I first flew on a Alitalia 777 on 1Mar03 and wrote a trip report but with no pictures. So when I was going to Italy to see my friends there, this was a good opportunity to AZ and their 777 again. I could then write another report and it would also be great to fly nonstop to Rome. There are not many reports on AZ on their LAX-FCO service either. Itís also nice to compare the experience from nine years ago to now.

T H E T R I P
Date: 29May12
Route: Los Angeles LAX ?Rome FCO
Distance: 6354 miles
Flight: AZ 621
Flight Time: 11:29h
Dep. Time: 15:19
Aircraft: Boeing 777-243/ER
Registration: EI-ISB ďPorto Rotondo?br> Dep. Gate: 27
Seat: 29D
Movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
202nd flight on a Boeing 777, 103rd flight on a -200/ER
Flown on 117 different 777 aircraft (frames)

I arrived at the check in counter about 90 minutes before departure and there was a line of about 10 people. Most people had a few large bags to check in except me. The wait wasnít too bad; about 15 minutes. It was finally my turn and it was a quick process. The agent gave me 29D which I figured was an aisle and I asked her about a window and she said that there were no windows for now but to check at the gate.

Security was fairly quick and I was thru in about 10 minutes. There were not that many people at the gate so I figured that the flight wasnít that full. I looked for the registration of the aircraft and was happy to see that it was a different aircraft than what I flew on in 2003. Boarding started about 45 minutes before departure and first was Classe Magnifica and then was done by row numbers. I checked again for a window seat but still no window available. A lot people were still crowding the gate reader so I waited until only a few people were there.

I noticed once I got on board that the configuration was 3-4-3 rather than the 3-3-3 that I had expected. There was also a small Premium Economy class section of 3 rows (2-4-2) which I think is fairly new. I sat down and could tell right away that legroom was good.

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The TV screen looked exactly the same as nine years ago but think the seats are different.

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I also saw the HUGE IFE box underneath but it wasnít too bad as it was mostly under the seat next to me.

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The seat was also very comfortable.

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There was also a blanket and a pillow at every seat and in the seat pocket an inflight magazine along with safety card and duty free catalogue.

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The door closed and the seat next to me remained open which was great. The second center seat was also open but there was someone in the other aisle seat. The cabin was clean and fresh. There was no legrest which was featured on my previous flight. Safety video was played and cabin crew did safety checks. Surprisingly, the cabin crew were still walking around the airplane checking on other things even when the aircraft had turned onto the runway!! We sat a there for about a minute and then started a powerful take off roll.

After about an hour a drink service started and I tried an Italian beer.

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They gave me Castello which I had never heard of along with pretzels. I also found an unopened snack in the seat pocket in front of me. The beer was good and I start to watch the airshow map and then looked at the Ulisse magazine. I also started to explore the InFlight Entertainment system and was very happy to see one of my current favorite TV shows on there, Inspector Montalbano (Italian TV-series). I watched Montalbano first and soon the dinner was served.

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Options were beef or fish and I had the beef. It also came with a ham appetizer, pasta and honey dew melon along with grape for dessert. There was also a piece of bread but no salad. I still preferred the pasta instead of a salad so still a fairly large meal. It was very tasty. I had Coca-cola and blood-orange juice to drink which was served in cups and I had two of those with the meal. I had tea afterwards.

I watched the first movie and noticed that he IFE controller is not very easy to use and I could see my fellow passengers struggle with it as well. The controller as well as the IFE menu screen were the same as in 2003.

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I slept for about two hours and had something to drink when I woke up. The crew were doing drink runs about every hour and it was good to see that it was not only water but also juice, milk and Coca-cola as well.

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Breakfast was served about 1h 45mins before landing which seemed a bit early but it gives time for people to go to the bathroom and prepare for landing in plenty of time before the seat belt sign is turnd on back again. Breakfast was croissant, bread, ham, some cheese and yoghurt. I had tea to go with it as well.

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Routing was over Denver, Milwaukee, Montreal, New Foundland, Lorient, Limoges, Torino and Pisa to Rome. Cruising altitude was first about 34 000 and later we made it up to 39 000 feet.

All in all, a great flight with Alitalia. The crew was also very friendly.