Review of Air Arabia Maroc flight Fes Amsterdam in Economy

Airline Air Arabia Maroc
Flight 3O125
Class Economy
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 03:20
Take-off 31 Mar 19, 16:00
Arrival at 31 Mar 19, 20:20
3O 15 reviews
guilhem
By GOLD 709
Published on 1st May 2019

I recently translated another trip from Fez to Strasbourg with Air Arabia Maroc. Actually, I tested a new cabin which was absolutely better than the old one. That's why I decided to translate this one too.

You can read the French version of this Flight Report by clicking here.


Temporary message : If you want me to translate another Flight Report, you can check the list of my Flight Report here and then ask me in the comment section below.


I am sharing with you my birthday trip to Amsterdam.

I have been hesitating for this destination for a long time, and it is a French Flight Report made by Nicobcn which inspire me. I planed to fly to Amsterdam this summer with KLM on a direct flight from Toulouse. Finally I decided to travel now because I had 2 holidays weeks during the out peak period.

Initially, I booked a different flight and I chose the Extra Y fare which include: a 30 kg checked luggage, a 10 kg cabin luggage, a hot meal, either seat you want, and 2 flexibilities on the ticket. You can change the route, and the date twice until 8 hours before the departure.

The routing for going back to Toulouse after a short stay of a few days in Amsterdam is the following.


Routing


Before departure


I checked my booking a few days before the departure. The flight is confirmed, the flight is well scheduled (day & time of departure).

I saw that I can check-in online, so I tried to use the web check-in. But it did not work because the Fès-Saïs does not provide this service for Air Arabia Maroc. So, I will make my check-in at the airport.


photo web-checkin

Then, I checked the cabin seat map. Few seats are booked, it is usual for a chargeable service. I also guess that will not be complete.


photo plan-de-la-cabine

This flight is also the opportunity to win 2,000 extra air rewards points because of my birthday. Air Arabia Maroc offer to their customers to win these points if they fly with us in the next 30 days after their birthday. These points could be

2 days after my flight I received a confirmation by mail that I get enough points and I can redeem its on my next booking.


photo programme-fidelite

The day before, I was on flightradar24 to track the same flight. I was really surpised to saw that I missed a Saudia Boeing 747, it is an exceptional event.

I learned some things about our flight plan, we will fly over Madrid, Poitiers and the north of Paris for going to Amsterdam with a direct approach.


photo b747-fes

This video is written in French but it is easy to understand, you should watch it!


Flight Report video



Fez-Saïss Airport


I leave my home 3 hours before the departure and I take the taxi to come to the airport located on a plateau at the south of the city. During the ride, it was raining and my driver said several times that it is good for the agriculture. And, of course he was right !


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My driver leave me at the drop off zone 2 hours and 45 minutes before departures.

The access rules has changed since my last visit. Now, everybody can enter inside the hall.


Air terminal entrance (check-in zone at the back)


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Something artistic but I do not understand this artwork.


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These Royal Air Maroc's check-in machines have been installed for a few months but I never saw them working.


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I consult the the flight information display system in order to know where I need to go for the check-in.


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Then, I go to the check-in counter 4 and 5. There were only one queue, in front of the counter 5, divided by 2 at the end.

The counter 4 is blocked because of a problem with a booking of a family.


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On the right side, there were also 2 check-in counters for an Air Arabia Maroc national flight to Marrakesh. It is a new route operated since October, 2018. This route is interesting for a passenger who want to go to Marrakesh, it is a good solution to replace the 8 hours of train.


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Just before my turn, a passenger tried to drop 47 kg of luggages between checked and cabin. She decided to paid the huge bill for the baggage supplement.

So, after few minutes of waiting, it was my turn. My checked luggage is weighed by the check-in agent, it weights 26.1 kg out of 30 kg, it is good. I put some heavy things inside my checked luggage, I will transfer its to my cabin luggage for my next flight with AIr France at CDG.


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The check-in agent give me my boarding card. I check that it is correct.

Yes, my seat is the one I chose !

I chose the 1A seat which is the better in this plane and for this flight. (EXPLAIN) I enjoy this short moment because I can not keep it after the flight because I must give it back before the boarding.


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I greet the agent, and now I need to go to the security controls.

After the security controls I met a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 Next Generation registered as EI-EGB coming from Memmingen.


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Then I go though the passport controls. There is a specific queue for the passengers going to Marrakech but there is only one international zone.


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I arrive in the boarding zone. There is a children's playground on the left, I appreciate it because there isn't any children runing in the airside.


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While the Ryanair passengers left the plane under the rain.


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If you want to see more about the loung, you should read this Flight Report.

Since January the 1st, Royal Air Maroc's business passengers can not access to the lounges operated by NAS Aero (named Pearl Lounge) in Morocco because of the contract was not renew.


Pearl Lounge


I am going to the unique lounge of this airport, it is the Pearl Lounge (departures) operated by the Kuwaiti society NAS Aero. I use my Priority Pass subscription to go into the lounge, in order to order to not pay the entrance fee.

Today, there is a lot of people unlike my last visits. Now, it is time to have a lunch and I am hungry because I do not eat before going to the airport.

There are some little savoury pies made with tuna, different choices of sandwich. I try a sandwich made with turkey meat but it is not good as excepted and the meat is to cooked. I choose to drink some sparkling water but I do not appreciate this brand because I feel the bubbles too thin. I also try another sandwich with cheese and it was not good like the first one, actually the cheese was disgusting.


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Then I decide to try the desserts, or rather the only one dessert because there is only one left. It is a verrine, and finally it is a good surprise. Nevertheless, it not enough to compensate this bad experience.

Then, all the member of the staff disappeared. Actually, then were gathered quietly at the back of the passengers, in the corridor. And they are taking a lunch together, and they are eating something they cooked. I am horrified to discover that what they are eating is certainly better than what is served in the lounge.

Later, I see that my flight is boarding, I prepare my belongings before leaving the lounge.

Obviously, before leaving the lounge #jefaismescoursesausalon, I take some bottles of water (mineral & sparkling) for my trip.


Boarding


The boarding is starting and passengers are preparing themself for the boarding arround the gate. And it confirms what I was thinking before, the flight will not be complete.

I prefer to board with the last passenger, so I leave the lounge and join the queue at the end of the boarding. On board, I will find my seat easily.

After a few minutes of waiting, it is my turn and I must give my boarding pass before I embark, I can only keep the stub. I do not appreciate this boarding method but Air Arabia Maroc operates like this in this airport.


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At the forefront, there is our plane which will carry us to Amsterdam. It is an Airbus A320 with the new Air Arabia livery.

Behind our plane, we can see another A320 with the old livery, it came from Marrakesh and will fly back to Marrakesh.

And at the background, there is a Bulgarian charter plane which operates some flights for Royal Air Maroc (RAM).


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Our plane saw from the stairs, the new Air Arabia livery is wonderful.


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Noise shot


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Fuselage shot


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I am welcomed by a cabin crew at the door who give me the way to find my seat. Then, I discover that the cabin was also renewed and now it is very nice !

This seat will be my seat for the next 3 hours, I try it and I feel it more confortable than the older ones.


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This new cabin is a success, it changes from the old one.


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The software of the common In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) was also renewed.


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The legroom is huge at the first row.


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While the boarding continues, I do a cleanliness inspection but I do not find anything.

Our boarding is completed and there is nobody on the top rows. I decide to try the 2 CHARLIE seat.


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The legroom is good, and I feel that it was improved.


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Comme nous décollerons pas tout de suite et que l'embarquement est presque terminé, j'en profite pour demander à la cheffe de cabine de visiter le cockpit. Aucun problème, c'est possible quand le commandant de bord sera revenu de la visite pré-vol et s'il est d'accord bien entendu.

The documents (safety instructions and a magazine) are stowed in the headrest.


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As well as the boarding is completed, I ask to the purser if I can visit the cockpit before the take off. She answers that it will be possible if the captain agree but actually he is doing a pre-flight visit.

After a few minutes of waiting, the captain is back onboard. I greet him, then he invites me to enter inside of the cockpit and to take his seat. Oh my god, I am seating in the captain seat !!

I also greet the first officer. He started his career on Tunisair and now he have been flying for Air Arabia Maroc for 4 years. I would like to thanks many times this 2 pilots even if I can't remember there names.

While, the passengers going to Marrakesh are boarding.


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Flight experience


I return to my seat before the take off while the door is closed and stairs are removed.


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Now, Air Arabia uses a common In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) to display the safety demonstrations.


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I read the safety instructions before the take off.


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We are pushed back to the taxiway.


You can watch the take off which is included in the flight video. I might add some screenshots later.

We are flying just over the clouds.


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After 30 minutes, we are flying over the sea.


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I discover the onboard magazine named Nawras. And this month, it deals with Amsterdam which is currently my destination. At the end of the magasine there is a Buy on Board (BoB) part called Sky Mall. The prices are honest, you can buy a menu with a hot meal for 7€ but it is withoud beverages.


The common IFE was also renewed. Some cartoons and mini-reports are broadcasted during the flight, there is also a flight animation.


While I prefer use my smartphone as a personal IFE. I downloaded some videos when I was at the lounge.


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At 17:49 (time at destination) a cabin crew  bring my hot meal menu on a tray. It is a little bit early but the food at the lounge was absolutely disgusting, that's why I was hungry.


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As a starter, there is a fresh crudités salad with mozzarella. It was fresh but it miss some seasoning.

The main course is a beef tagine with peas and artichokes. The combination looks strange but, actually it was a good mix of savours. I appreciate this meal.

The dessert was not good as expected but it was not bad as long as.


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After slightly less than 3 hours of flight, the Amsterdam approach began. I did not take more pictures during the approach and landing because I shot a video, you can see it at the top of this Flight Report.


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Amsterdam-Schipol Airport


After the landing and the deployement of the gangway, the door is opened by the purser. The top of the cabin was half empty, and any passenger in the rest of the cabin was ready so I am the first passenger to leave the plane.


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Unfortunately, the gangway is blind.


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I follow the signs in order to go to the passport control.


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The passport control is automated for European and Swiss citizens. Nevertheless, the machine does not work well, I insert my passport in the gap but the machine does not recognize me. However, I was blocked between the 2 barriers, my passport was blocked too and I needed the help of a police officer.

Then a police officer ask me to show my passport which was unlocked and he said "Humh, same guy", he releases me and he said to me "Bon voyage !". I appreciate this personal attention, it is pleasant.


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Then, I go the baggage hall in order to pick up my checked baggage.


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I consult the Baggage Information Display System (maybe the BIDS), I need to go the belt n°25 which is on the left.


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I arrive to the belt and I note that there is a discretion line. The passengers need to wait at distance from the belt, to my mind it is the good conduct to adopt.


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We will be joined by some Easyjet passenger coming from London Stansted and Luton. These passengers were split between 2 aiports in London and they will meet at the belt.

The delivery is announced for 20:43, and we land just after 20 o'clock, the waiting will be very long…


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Even if the rule was clear and simple, when the belt starts to turn a lot of passenger do not respect the rule. I am disappointed with these passengers who do not respect the rule.

I can not pick up my baggage because someone went in front of me. I need to go away to get my baggage.


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After this disappointing event, I leave the baggage hall and I am going to the airport's train station.


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I am in the train station, I buy a train ticket to Lelylaan. Then, I will take the subway to join my hotel at Overamstel.


When I arrived at the hotel, I get the Iamsterdam Citycard I ordered online. To my mind, it is the best solution for your trip in Amsterdam, you can access all the museums you want (except some museums like Anne Franck's House). You can save time and money thanks to this pass.


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I hope you enjoy my Flight Report, you can leave a comment in the section below.


Bonus : Click here display
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Verdict

Air Arabia Maroc

8.9/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Buy-on-board menu8.5

Pearl Lounge

4.1/10
Comfort6.5
Meal/catering1.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services4.0

Fes - FEZ

6.6/10
Efficiency7.5
Access5.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness8.0

Amsterdam - AMS

7.8/10
Efficiency5.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Fez-Saïss airport is nice and works well in general. The only bad points are that there is no decent public transport and that it miss some services.

The unique lounge in the airport, is disturbing. I used to get a better quality of service during my last trip. It was not perfect but it was acceptable but now it is not. The food offer is very limited and it was not good at all. While the staff prepared a meal for themselves. I do not recommend this lounge if you need to pay the access.

The flight with Air Arabia Maroc was cool, I am very happy for the opportunity to test the new cabin which is one of the most successful I tested with Joon's cabin. The crew was friendly and professional, I also appreciate the cockpit visit before the take off. The entertainment offer is good between the common IFE and the on-board magazine. And the hot meal is a good thing for a 3 hours flight, and it was good.

Amsterdam-Schipol airport is not bad but I did not appreciate the waiting time for the baggage delivering. I wait 45 minutes, it is too long. Other European airports do better. The servicing with public transport is good even if it is complicated to understand Dutch.

Related

5 Comments

  • Comment 500814 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 385 Comments

    Amsterdam-Schipol airport is not bad but I did not appreciate the waiting time for the baggage delivering. I wait 45 minutes, it is too long. Other European airports do better. The servicing with public transport is good even if it is complicated to understand Dutch.

    The funny part about this is that Amsterdam is very proud to announce that their belt system is fully automatized. Yet the point from where it is loaded on the belt to the actual belt to deliver it to you is way tooo far apart from each other. Pretty much the majority of Dutch people complain about the long wait too here.

    • Comment 500825 by
      guilhem GOLD AUTHOR 355 Comments

      Hello ThomasDutch,
      I am happy to see you here because I saw on the airport meetup tool that you arrived at Amsterdam when I was leaving.
      I would like to thanks you for your comment and the information about the baggages delivery. Now, I understand why it was so long but I did not understand why the system was made as well.
      Do you mean that every baggages arriving in the airport is loaded in a central baggages system which dispatch them to the different points ? I think that it will be more efficient to bring all the baggages directly to the belt.
      See you soon 😉

  • Comment 500824 by
    guilhem GOLD AUTHOR 355 Comments

    Hello ThomasDutch,
    I am happy to see you here because I saw on the airport meetup tool that you arrived at Amsterdam when I was leaving.
    I would like to thanks you for your comment and the information about the baggages delivery. Now, I understand why it was so long but I did not understand why the system was made as well.
    Do you mean that every baggages arriving in the airport is loaded in a central baggages system which dispatch them to the different points ? I think that it will be more efficient to bring all the baggages directly to the belt.
    See you soon 😉

  • Comment 501224 by
    Shisdu SILVER 670 Comments

    Hi, Guilhem!

    I am sharing with you my birthday trip to Amsterdam.

    Happy belated birthday! :D

    a 30 kg checked luggage

    That's a lot!

    Something artistic but I do not understand this artwork.

    Nor do I!! XD

    My checked luggage is weighed by the check-in agent, it weights 26.1 kg

    I can't blame you. If I ever visit Fez I'll need a big big bag for my visit to those bazaars!!

    This new cabin is a success

    It looks great!

    Oh my god, I am seating in the captain seat !!

    You're really lucky!!! I go green with envy.

    While, the passengers going to Marrakesh are boarding.

    Great photo from the captain's seat!

    I read the safety instructions before the take off.

    I think that's one of the best safety cards I have ever seen. Instructions are clear and well designed.

    Wonderful bonus pictures!

    Thank you very much for translating and sharing this very interesting report, Guilhem!

    • Comment 501227 by
      guilhem GOLD AUTHOR 355 Comments

      Dear Nechus,
      Thank you for your beautiful comment and wishing to me an happy birthday.

      That's a lot!

      Of course, it is a lot but the fare which include this luggage allowance is really interesting and I prefer to bring more than 20 kg, so it is a good option.
      I can't blame you. If I ever visit Fez I'll need a big big bag for my visit to those bazaars!!

      I can imagine that, there is a lot of things you can bring at home in the old city of Fez.
      It looks great!

      Yeah, it is one of my favourite at this moment.
      You're really lucky!!! I go green with envy.

      I know that, there were a window between the end of the boarding and the stairs retirement and we were not delayed. So, I did not hesitate to ask for it !
      I think that's one of the best safety cards I have ever seen. Instructions are clear and well designed.

      I agree with you, this safety card is clear.
      Thank you very much for translating and sharing this very interesting report, Guilhem!

      You're welcome. I might translate another one, maybe the return to Toulouse with the lounge at CDG.
      Se you soon 👍

  • Comment 512294 by
    Hamzarom26 GOLD 363 Comments

    nice cabin ! thanks for sharing

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