It is good from time to pay a visit to Cairo, and enjoy its ancient building, and ancient living patterns. However, when vacation is off, it is time to fly back to your country. Flying to Beirut – Lebanon is always recommended on Middle East Airlines – Air Liban.
My flight for today will be one of the second daily rotations operated as ME307. My today’s aircraft is the airline’s Airbus A321 (OD-RMI) painted in the airline’s 60s retro livery. The aircraft is around 12 years old and will be replaced soon (Expected May 2016) along with its sister-ship (OD-RMJ) by two new planes delivered directly from Airbus Industries (A320 & A330). MEA has a fleet policy of disposing any aircraft exceeding 12 years of age.
The taxi ride from the hotel to the airport took me around 2 hours as there was a terrible traffic jam. I arrived at the airport at around 17:15 (my plane is at 20:15) so I was happy to have a three hours’ time in the airport’s lounge…. Well, I was wrong.
Cairo’s terminal 1 is known as the old airport. It is dedicated for international airlines. You can’t access the airport terminal without having your boarding pass and passport. Ok? Great so far! Passengers flying on MEA, Qatar Airways, Air France, Saudia Airlines, and Etihad have a special door to access. Also, it is great so far. However, all of the sudden, the airport officials decided to add 5 charter flights operated by Nile Air to this boarding gate, well here where the troubles started. All people travelling on these charter flights are from developed villages. They started fighting and clashing, while MEA passengers were stacked in the middle.
Only God’s mercy, had helped and I was able to enter the airport to reach MEA’s check-in counter. I took my boarding pass, and headed to passport control which also took 1 hour because they have only 3 counters that needs to serve the whole airport. HUH!!!!
After clearing the passport control area I headed to the lounge. Lounge staff barely smile, lounge servings are really disappointing. I though myself to be in the cafeteria of a cheep elemtary school.
It was time to start heading to departure area located at gate 3. Here are some shots inside the terminal
Our aircraft for the day is OD-RMI which is one of MEA’s remaining two A321 which are being gradually replaced by newer A320s. OD-RMI is repainted in the company’s retro colors which were the company’s livery during the 60s. An elegent lady indeed.
Inside the cabin. Some pictures for the inflight magazine and safety card.
Takeoff was from runway 05C. Soon we were flying over Cairo city
Service was initiated immediately 10 minutes after take-off. Since our flight is a short flight (1 hour) MEA served a really generous portion of snacks including three sandwiches (Tuna, roast beef, and chicken) accompanied with juice, water, coffee, tea, water, creamer, sugar, and choclate pudding. The presented cutely is metal unlike cheap plastic provided by other airlines. The cabin crew were extremely friendly, and offered several refilling for tea and coffee. After meal service, they started onboard sales service which offeres thousand of items at really discounted prices
Final cabin shot before gradual descent towards Beirut…
Landing was extremely smooth. Final shot for our plane
Another MEA A320 parking nearby
Inside Reffic Hariri International Airport – Beirut arrival haul. Some old pictures for Beirut are displayed. Immigration clearness, passport control, and baggage claim at Beirut are so fast as it takes less than 15 minutes.
Middle East Airlines
Independent Lounge - 1
Cairo - CAI
Beirut - BEY
Amazing flight with MEA, and amazing service at Beirut. Bad airport experiance at Cairo
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