Review of TAAG Angola Airlines flight Luanda Maputo in Economy

Flight DT 581
Class Economy
Seat 16D
Aircraft Boeing 777-200
Flight time 04:00
Take-off 15 Dec 17, 09:50
Arrival at 15 Dec 17, 14:50
DT 5 reviews
Davidu
By 1340
Published on 15th December 2017
It's been about a month since my last holiday to cape town on the TAAG 777-300ER, on which I also made a flight report. For the Christmas holidays, I have decided to visit Mozambique, South Africa, and Namibia in that order while being in Luanda for Christmas. The fare to Mozambique was reasonably priced and I've never visited so I decided to give it a try. I will stay for one night in Maputo before taking a domestic flight to Inhambane in northern Mozambique for some well-deserved rest.

Given that I was out until about 2 in the morning the previous day I thought it would be impossible to wake up on time, but I woke up at 7:30, and was on my way to the airport at 8:00, giving me plenty of time to make the 9:50 departure.

photo img_0421

The national assembly, early in the morning


I arrived at Quatro de Fevereiro at about 8:20, an oh boy it was bad. people were pushing each other and the whole check-in was so disorganized (this always happens here). thankfully the agent that handled me was very competent so I was through in very little time. taking photos during security is a no-no here so I didn't even try.

photo img_0425

A very crowded and disorganized check in

After I got through security I checked what aircraft I will be taking on my way to Maputo. Most of my friends who flew the flight mentioned on flying the 737-700, (if you read my report on my flight from Luanda to Sao Tome you'd know that the three and a half hours would not be very pleasant) However as I checked on FlightAware, I noticed that the route will be serviced by the 777-200, one of the older triple sevens that TAAG owns. I was certain that it would be an upgrade to the very shabby and uncomfortable 737.

photo img_0427

As I was waiting I checked out some planes on the tarmac. keep in mind that the terminal is really far away from the tarmac so the pictures aren't that great.

photo img_0426

A TAP A340-300


photo img_0430

A TAAG 777-300ER lining up on runway 25, heading to Johannesburg


At about 9:20 boarding was called. I knew that this meant it would still be a while so I turned up to the gate 15 minutes later, with boarding about halfway through. I hopped on the next bus and was on my way to the board that would take me to Maputo.

photo img_0436

A TAAG 777-200 and 777-3000ER on the tarmac while on the bus to my bird.


After a roughly 5 minute ride, we pulled up to our aircraft that would be taking us to Maputo. I'm not sure why but I prefer the -200 series to the -300 series visually.

photo img_0440

A beatiful GE90

photo img_0441

The wing of our 777

I got onto the aircraft by steps (yes boarding a 777 by steps is a strange experience) where I was greeted by a friendly flight attendant.

Flight Information

Departure: Luanda (FNLU)

Arrival: Maputo (FQMA)

Aircraft: A Boeing 777-200, registered D2-TEF, aged 10 years at the time of the flight

Flight Duration: 3:30 hours (scheduled) 3:10 hours (actual)

As I entered the aircraft I could already tell that it would be a bit antique. the paint on the outside was starting to fade and chip in some places. I walked through a business class cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration. it didn't look appealing.

photo img_0446

The business class cabin

I then got to my seat 16D located in the small economy cabin consisting of about 40 seats (dang it I forgot to be asked to change to a window seat), an aisle seat in the middle.

photo img_0447

The cabin behind me

photo img_0444

The View from my seat

After a few minutes of sitting down, I realized that these seats were really uncomfortable. it wasn't as bad as on the 737, but it was still pretty bad. The seats were very hard and the legroom, which was excellent on both the 737 and the 77W was quite bad on the 772. the cabin was in a bit of a pitiful condition as well. As I sat down the cover to my armrest popped off.

photo img_0460

Is this meant to happen?

The state of the other armrest was also quite questionable.

photo img_0448

Hmmmmmm

Anywho, we were slightly delayed because some people who're luggage was on the plane did not turn up (it's sad how often this happens). We then took off at about 10:15, with a 25-minute delay, however, the captain (who was female which I find quite rare on African airlines) anticipated that we'd make up the time without any issues.

We rocketed off very powerfully, I felt like we took off with full throttle and then had a VERY steep climb angle.

After about 10 minutes the seatbelt sign was turned off, so I decided to do some work. I got some done in about 45 minutes before lunch was served.

photo img_0454

An image of the beverage cart


photo img_0455

The meal

On my past TAAG flight, i have found the food to be quite good. Today was no exception. the chili with rice, tuna salad, focaccia and Christmas bread were all very good. Quite a meal for a three-hour flight in economy. the beverage selection was large too, with many alcoholic drinks as well as soft ones. The meal was not cleared for about 40 minutes, which seems a bit too long.

After that, i decided to browse the in-flight entertainment which was both ancient (it reminded me of what BA have on their 747's) and broken.

photo img_0449

The "entertainment"

Since the entertainment on board wasn't an option I just watched some movies on my mac. I settled for the book thief which I enjoyed, I then decided to pay a visit to the bathroom, which was clean but nothing special.

photo img_0457photo img_0459

The Bathroom


I also peeked out of a window, at this point we were flying over Botswana, near the South African border with about an hour left till landing in Maputo.

photo img_0450

Botswana from 37000 feet

photo img_0456

The cabin in Flight


Another thing that seemed off was the arrangement of the seats, it was just erratic. there were rows in a 3-4-3 configuration, in a 3-3-3 configuration, and in a 2-4-2 configuration placed randomly throughout the aircraft just very strange.

About 20 minutes out we started our descent into Maputo and the cabin crew started to prepare the cabin for landing. Strangely i was told to take my headphones off for the descent (probably some new revolutionary saftey measure). the approach was quite beautiful with lakes and rivers being visible from out of the windows.

As we were just seconds from landing I noticed that the flaps were still in the 15 position, the flight crew started to deploy them to the desired 25 or 30 position but it was too late. We landed very hard, jumped up before coming down again after a few seconds in the air. Definitely one of the most violent landings I ever witnessed two as even some latched overhead bins opened.

photo img_0462

As we parked our neighbor was a beautiful THY A330-300, which would be flying to Istanbul in the evening.

photo img_0464

The last look of our 777-200

Maputo airport was actually very modern and well kept.

photo img_0467photo img_0465

That's it for me for now, see you soon with my domestic flight on the Q400 from Maputo to Inhambane on LAM.
See more

Verdict

TAAG Angola Airlines

4.9/10
Cabin4.0
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi3.0
Meal/catering6.5

Luanda - LAD

4.5/10
Efficiency3.5
Access7.0
Services4.5
Cleanliness3.0

Maputo - MPM

6.1/10
Efficiency6.5
Access5.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Overall this was not the best flight I took with TAAG. the plane was old and dirty, the entertainment was unusable and I was uncomfortable for most of the flight. TAAG, this 777 is just 10 years old and has at least 12 years of service ahead of it but you cannot expect the interior to last this long without being refurbished or even maintained.

Related

4 Comments

  • Comment 422929 by
    AK SILVER 542 Comments

    Hi ! Thank you for posting. This looks so exotic to me ! I have seen TAAG Airplanes only once, in Lisbon. The only good thing is the food, it looks good. I hope you enjoyed you holiday.

  • Comment 423000 by
    Davidu AUTHOR 17 Comments

    Hey AK I'm glad you enjoyed the report. The livery of TAAG is really quite beautiful, yes the food was good but pretty much everything else was bad. I'm on my holiday now in Inhambane, having arrived with a Dash 8 this morning after a night in Maputo so my vacation has just started!

  • Comment 423556 by
    East African 1490 Comments

    Another gem of report here, thank you very much for sharing!

    Overall, LAD looks like an organized chaos, as you always manage to go through quickly ;-)
    Nice you can see the city from the airport, how far is it?
    The only good experience concerns the food, if you did not change seat, does it mean the flight was full?

    "At about 9:20 boarding was called. I knew that this meant it would still be a while so I turned up to the gate 15 minutes later, with boarding about halfway through." => agree with you, nothing more fustrating than to go to the gate and stand still for a while!

    "there were rows in a 3-4-3 configuration, in a 3-3-3 configuration, and in a 2-4-2 configuration placed randomly throughout the aircraft just very strange." => That's a unique case indeed, have you asked the crew the reason why?

    Looking forward to the domestic ride with an eventual bonus, Mozambique is on the to do list!

    • Comment 423571 by
      Davidu AUTHOR 17 Comments

      I personally live quite close to the airport (about 15 minutes away with moderate traffic), but many people live in Talatona a sort of suburb from which it takes a good 35 minutes. Sadly yes, the flight was full so changing my seat was not possible. I asked the crew about the seats but they just shrugged... It was really a strange sight. I just flew in on my domestic flight and oh boy it was an experience...

Login to post a comment.