Flight:EY 401 Etihad
Flight Time: 5:26h
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER 77W A6-ETB
Dep. Gate: 9
Surprisingly, Etihad’s 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 Etihad’s 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. Can’t 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.
The interior was very nice and had the “new 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
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 Etihad’s 763 could come in
and land. The take off roll was surprisingly long
considering the light load.
Once up in the air, breakfeast was served and I had
“Breakfast 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 didn’t 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.
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 don’t have one. It was a really fantastic flight on
a great, new airline.
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
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)
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 what’s 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.
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.
NZ 82 Air New Zealand
Flight Time: 9:25h
Dep. Time: 20:24
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER 772
Dep. Gate: E20
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 didn’t miss
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.
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.
I slept for about four hours and then looked thru Air New
Zealand’s 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
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)
AM 15 AeroMexico
Flight Time: 8:45h
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER 777
Movie watched: Walk The Line
Having spent the spotting at
GRU, I was very excited about this flight because
the aircraft for tonight’s 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.
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 didn’t speak English
that well but told me I wasn’t 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
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
The PTVs were similar in size to those on
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 “Lettuce Salad With Sliced Salami” which was very
good. Main course was “Beef Stew With Mashed Potatoes” and
for desert “Chocolate-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…..
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 “Fresh Fruit Plate,”Cheese 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.
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
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 AeroMexico’s 777 and would highly
recommend everyone to fly on it.
BR 212 EVA Air
Flight Time: 3:08h
Dep. Time: 12:27
Aircraft: 777-300/ER 77W
Dep. Gate: E 7
Checked in soon after the counter had opened and the wait
wasn’t 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.
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 wouldn’t print a new one but went to
look for it. She returned about 15 minutes later with my
boarding pass…..I’m still not sure why they couldn’t just
reprint the boarding pass….
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,
NZ). The legroom was good for me and I’m
180cm/5’11”. 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.
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
TPE. Always nice feeling when plane starts
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 I’m
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
didn’t seem to speak that much English. They came around one
more time offering more drinks.
The PTV screen was nice size like on
AF etc and they had AVOD but selection seemed
poor. Because of the selection of movies and the short
flight I didn’t 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. Don’t 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
YYZ %u2013 London
Flight Time: 6:27h
Dep. Time: 18:20
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300/ER
Dep. Gate: 177
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),
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
17 May 2007
Route: Lisbon (LIS)
– Luanda (LAD)
Flight Time: 6:58h
Dep. Time: 22:46
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Dep. Gate: 18
First some background information that may be of interest as
this was the most complicated 777 trip to arrange for me so
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 didn’t get
updated very often and same could be said for their schedule
in the CRS. First I was thinking of flying Ethiopian
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
flight ? I was just going to have to fly
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 didn’t show a flight
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
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
would have been difficult even with different connections.
Finally, it was time to leave
LIS and the flight was delayed about an hour but I
had about four hours in
LIS so I should be okay and wasn’t 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 didn’t have one. The supervisor made me
sign a paper (Declaration of Indemnity for Travel
Documents). They wrote in Portuguese “Faite visa transito
paro Johannesburgo” which I figured meant that I didn’t have
a transit visa. They did check me in and gave a boarding
but not for
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
“new 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
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 there’s a big
mixture similar to Brazil.
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
TAAG’s 777. The seat also had the “winged” 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
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.
I tried their inflight entertainment system which is AVOD
and it was okay. I hadn’t 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
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 it’s VERY good but not sure
what brand it is.
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
We parked at a stand right next TAAG’s 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
“Transito” 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
I did some spotting before catching the next flight to
JNB which ended being on the same aircraft,
To sum it up, TAAG was a very pleasant surprise, having
heard of horror stories on Airlinequality.com and also since
they don’t 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
I would highly recommend flying TAAG Angola Airlines!
Date: 21 May 2007
Route: Reunion (RUN)
- Paris (CDG)
Flight Time: 10:40h
Dep. Time: 20:28
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Dep. Gate: 2
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
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
UU was very restrictive with carry on allowance
and required me to check my roll on bag. I had about six
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Starter - Medallions of foie gras and fig chutney
Main course - Chicken supreme, lemon. Honey and pineapple
sauce. Zamborian rice and
Dessert - Almond tart.
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
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.
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
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
UU but would probably chose
AF due to the PTV.
Date: 17 October 2007
Route: Washington (IAD)
%u2013 Vienna (VIE)
Flight Time: 8:00h
Dep. Time: 18:05
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Dep. Gate: D 30
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
Date: 8 November 2007
Route: New York (JFK)
%u2013 Mumbai (BOM)
Flight Time: 13:43h
Dep. Time: 21:30
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/LR
Dep. Gate: A 4 (T4)
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
DEL and ATQ). The people collecting passport
information also tagged the carry on with tags saying
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
Flight Time: 9:25h
Dep. Time: 02:33
Dep. Gate: 6
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
AI who has the capsule seats in J like
PK to name a few.
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.
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
AI 310s. Just before us was another
9W 77W to Brussels and Newark but I couldn’t 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.
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. It’s 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 didn’t look appetizing so I didn’t 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
Singapore…The beer was given to me without even offering a
glass…..The meal was good as a refreshment but left me a
The Airshow map was on and was the new system called iExplor
which is very nice. The headsets were more regular (cheaper)
AI but still okay. The control for the
entertainment system was much easier to navigate than
AI’s. 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
I was watching Mr Bean’s 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
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.
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)
Flight Time: 7:37h
Dep. Time: 18:49
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/ER
Dep. Gate: 404
I made my way to Terminal 4 as soon as I arrived from
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
Boarding started at about 40 minutes before departure but it
didn’t 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.
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.
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.
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.
Roue: Doha (DOH) – Dubai (DXB)
Flight Time: 0:39h
Dep. Time: 7:53
Dep. Gate: 4
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 couldn’t change them to later. Besides since I was
flying stand by, I couldn’t 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
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 “Go 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.
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 United’s 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
QR and for this aircraft. Most people on the
flight were European but there were some Arab people as
well, probably mostly from Doha.
The safety video started but there was no sound…They
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
A340-600…We 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
As soon as the fasten seat belt sign came off, the flight
attendants were busy handing breakfast. It wasn’t 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
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.
AC 034 Air Canada
Flight Time: 13:24h
Dep. Time: 10:28
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/LR
Dep. Gate: 60
Movies: Valkyrie, Babine, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Let
The Right Come In
I wanted to try
AC’s 777-200/LR and the easiest way for me to do
that was to fly to
SYD and then fly
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 wasn’t long but it wasn’t 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 don’t have to deal with that at the gate.
(I’m flying as a non-rev). I had some information from a
AC that I should have no problem getting on so I
wasn’t 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.
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.
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.
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
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 that’s 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.
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.
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.
All in all a nice flight on Air Canada!
Date: 2 September 2009
Route: Los Angeles – Sydney
DL 017 Dellta Air Lines
Flight Tine: 14:34h
Dep. Time: 22:35
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200/LR
Dep. Gate: 58A
Movies: Gran Torino, Body Of Lies, Rachel Getting Married,
This is the first trip report in Y on
DL’s 77L from what I can recall.
Ever since this route was announced, I have wanted to try
this route. Even though I’m not quite well, I figured that I
can still fly there and fly right back so I wouldn’t 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 couldn’t go due to school at Berkeley.
The check in line for
DL wasn’t too long and even though I wasn’t 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
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
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)
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
“no, he has a ticket in Economy so that’s where he’ll be
sitting”. I asked there where any window seats and was told
there wasn’t any left. I got my boarding pass back and
boarded the flight. The flight went out with 4 empty seats
in Business Elite.
The aircraft still had the “new 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.
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.
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
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 didn’t see the dressing for it
at first and only found the dressing after I had finished
the salad…….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
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.
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
I tried to sleep a little bit later and managed to get an
hour or two at the most.
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. It’s one of my
favorite movies of all time.
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
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
Date : 29Sep09
Route : Dubai to Los Angeles
Distance : 8339 Miles
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
The crew was very friendly and much nicer than my previous
experiences on Emirates. Most of them seemed young; under
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.
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.
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
All in all a great flight with a fascinating routing and my
longest flight to date.
Thanks for reading!
Route: Los Angeles – Sydney
Distance: 7488 miles
Flight: VA 2
Flight Time: 14:30h
Dep. Time: 22:17
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3ZG/ER
Dep. Gate: 38
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. I’m not sure why I have waited so long to take
this trip. Seeing VA’s 77Ws here at
LAX every day was being a bit frustrating after a
while since I hadn’t 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
Purchased the ticket online on V Australia’s 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
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 America’s check in area
was right next to VA’s but they had rock music playing…..
You’d think that they could coordinate the music; it was a
bit annoying hearing that cacophony, as my friend Plane
Hunter would say.
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 haven’t been there since my last flight as
a TWA employee in May 1994. I’ve read a lot about how poor
shape the terminal is in but after walking around for about
20 minutes to check things out, I don’t think it’s that much
worse than terminal 6 or 7 that I’m 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 Gladstone’s.
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.
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.
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,
DL on the 77L and
UA’s new system. Screen was clearly wider though
DL’s on the 77L. Also noted was the “Electronic
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 ?
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
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 there’s 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 weren’t
operational yet like duty free items and books to read, They
also mentioned that “soon” 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.
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 I’ve
had in economy class, along with the meals on
AI. Coffee and teas was served later but I didn’t
have any. One thing I look for is to see if there’s a tooth
pick which I think is a nice, necessary utensil but no tooth
pick on VA.
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. It’s the most I’ve slept on a flight since I flew in
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.
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.
All in all, a great flight on V Australia and I highly
recommend flying them if you have a chance. It’s probably
one of the better long haul flights on a 777 carrier that I
have had, similar to
Next 777 carrier for me? Probably TAM Brasil, perhaps
already in July.
Date: 4 July 2010
Route: Santiago De Chile (SCL) – Sao Paulo (GRU)
Flight: JJ 8027
Flight Time: 3:29h
Dep. Time: 13:45
Aircraft: Boeing 777-32W/ER
Dep. Gate: 10
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 TAM’s
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 couldn’t 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
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 couldn’t fit
the large 777-300/ER at that gate but there had been a
Iberia A340-300 there earlier so not sure about that.
So the plane got to the gate at about 1240 so a 1250
departure wasn’t 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
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.
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
couldn’t 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
We finally left at 13:45 and then had a long taxi where we
taxied past the Chilean Air Force’s 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
Take off was to the south and we passed downtown Santiago on
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.
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.
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.
A nice flight on TAM and I highly recommend them.
Route: Los Angeles – Tokyo-Haneda
Distance: 5488 mi
Flight Time: 11h 53mins
Dep. Time: 00:44
Aircraft: Boeing 777-281/ER
Dep. Gate: 138 (bus gate)
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
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 “aircraft servicing’ which is a bit odd since
the aircraft sits for about 7h at
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.
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 that’s 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 carrier’s own
country when possible. Some of those films are difficult to
find in the USA.
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
didn’t have any due my liquid restrictions.
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.
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.
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
To sum it up, a nice trip on ANA’s 777. Next trip very soon
with a trip report to follow.
Date: 9 January 2011
IAD – Addis Ababa
Flight Time: 12:13h
Dep. Time: 13:15
Aircraft: Boeing 777-260/LR
ET-ANN “The Blue Nile”
Dep. Gate: B 41
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
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 it’s
a go. I decide to give it a try since I’m already off.
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.
There were a lot of people in line to check in with many
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
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
Boarding was supposed to start at 11:00 and at about 1145,
an announcement was made that “due 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.
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
ADD. My seat was taken when I got there by a mom
with her infant and her mother. I took the grandmother’s
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.
Seat was very comfortable and legroom was great! Colors in
the cabin were nice with brown and green .
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.
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.
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 didn’t work on the whole flight
which was really too bad since that’s a feature that I
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.
Hot towels were handed out after take off and shortly
thereafter a soft drink or juice with snack was offered.
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.
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.
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
“service 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.
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
I’m 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
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 I’m sure it’s
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
ET’s new 77L.
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
Next 777 carrier for me will probably be Turkish Airlines
IST when they start service in March 2011.
Route: Los Angeles
LAX – Istanbul
Flight Time: 12:08h
Dep. Time: 17:59
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3F2/ER
Dep. Gate: 105
Movie: Valentine’s 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
but she could not give a boarding pass for that flight.
Security was much more stringent than usual in the US but
there wasn’t 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.
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.
Amenity kits were handed out by friendly flight attendants.
The one thing I didn’t 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Routing was basically over Idaho, straight over Hudson bay,
over Iceland, Stavanger, Wroclaw, Bourgas and over the Black
Sea to Istanbul.
All in all, a great flight on Turkish Airlines especially
the meal service which was fantastic.
I appologize for the bad picture quality since I’m 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. I’ll make sure to have the
camera charged the next time.
Date: 11 July 2011
MNL – Vancouver
Flight Time: 11:35h
Dep. Time: 19:18
Aircraft: Boeing 777-36N/ER
Dep. Gate: N05 (T2)
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)
I had originally planned to attend the trip reporters
FRA on 9 July but I would have had to change my
dialysis and go four days between dialysis’s 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 can’t 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
PR flying the 77W
on Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays with a connection to
LAX the same evening on
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
DL. I would spend about 24h there before going on
PR flight to
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
NRT in First on a 777, N217UA and no problem
getting on JA607A, a 763 to
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
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
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 café 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.
Unfortunately, I was in a windowless window seat. I did have
about half a window slightly behinds me but not so great
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.
The seats, screen and entertainment system seems to be
almost exactly as on
DL’s new 77Ls and
UA’s refurbished 777s. There’s also a USB port
which comes in handy to charge an iPhone or IPod.
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
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 wasn’t good at all and the beef wasn’t that good
either. I had some tea afterwards.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
PR was actually more memorable with friendlier FAs
and better food.
I started to fly on different carriers’s 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,
I dedicate this report to him.
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
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
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 Boeing’s 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 :
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 Café in downtown Seattle
to get a pin and then continued to Everett.
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 don’t get to go as a
visitor on the tour of the Boeing Everett plant.
We were told to go to the VIP area just behind the nose
wheel and I followed along but I didn’t 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
There was a banner with the event logo that Boeing employees
There were also water bottles with the event logo and I
grabbed one as I was leaving.
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
Date: 15 March 2012
MNL – Hong Kong
Flight Time: 1:39h
Dep. Time: 11:19
Aircraft: Boeing 777-367/ER
Dep. Gate: 4 (T1)
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 Pacific’s 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
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.
I first noticed that the seat belts were of a different kind
than I’ve seen before. I guess it’s some sort of an airbag
but not sure how that would work. Perhaps someone can
There were also power outlets at the seat and leg room was
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.
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.
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.
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. I’ve always
had great flights on them and they did not disappoint at
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 I’ve flown 777s on many different carriers from all
over the world and on many different routes. I’ve 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
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 wasn’t 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
I checked in for the flight from Singapore and then said
goodbye to PlaneHunter and went to the gate. After a
somewhat “interesting” flight from Singapore I was in Dhaka.
T H E T R I P
Date : 9 May 2012
Route : Dhaka – London
Flight : BG015
Flight Time: 9:54h
Dep. Time: 10:06
Aircraft : Boeing 777-3E9/ER
S2-AFO “The Palki”
Dep. Gate : 5
Seat : 9A
Movies : Chariots Of Fire, Water For Elephants, The King’s
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 wasn’t 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;
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.
Did some spotting;
S2-AEH of United Airways.
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.
My recent accquired roll on bag had a pattern that fit right
Each gate has it’s 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
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
economy section. Business Class is only
between door 1 and 2 and the rest of the aircraft is Economy
I saw down and first noticed the big screen
Legroom was also good and the seat was comfortable.
There was also a leg rest and a winged head rest to make
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.
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
View from my window before pushback
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.
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.
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..
For people who already had fallen asleep, they were rudely
awakend and told, “here, 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 didn’t 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 “new 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 couldn’t find any with English
subtitles so I settled for the English language options.
Second meal was served about two hours before arrival. I’m
not really sure what it was but it was too spicy for me so I
didn’t eat very much. Only water was offered to drink this
time but coffee and tea after the meal.
In the beginning, we were at 32 000 feet and later we
climbed up to 34 000. Routing was over
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.
Spot the error.
The crew was not so friendly and was very much acting in a
command style; do this, do that.
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.
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
service either. It’s also nice to compare the experience
from nine years ago to now.
T H E T R I P
Route: Los Angeles
LAX – Rome
Distance: 6354 miles
Flight Time: 11:29h
Dep. Time: 15:19
Aircraft: Boeing 777-243/ER
Dep. Gate: 27
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
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
wasn’t 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
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 wasn’t 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.
TV screen looked exactly the same as nine years
ago but think the seats are different.
I also saw the HUGE IFE box underneath but it wasn’t too bad
as it was mostly under the seat next to me.
The seat was also very comfortable.
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.
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
After about an hour a drink service started and I tried an
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
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
TV shows on there, Inspector Montalbano (Italian
TV-series). I watched Montalbano first and soon
the dinner was served.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
All in all, a great flight with Alitalia. The crew was also