Today, I am going to bring you with me on this round-trip in Morocco and Andalusia. Actually, this trip was unexpected because I did not plan anything for this period, but thanks to Ryanair it is possible to travel during this period for an exceptional fare.
This trip is a good opportunity to travel in Morocco before leaving this country in July. I will travel by train and admire the Moroccan landscapes. Then, I will fly to Seville and stay here for 48 hours. Finally, I will fly back to Tangier and then return to Fez by train and try the new high speed.
I already flew to Seville last year and I appreciated this airport and the city but I did not have the time to visit the city because I stayed in Córdoba, Spain.
Flight plan found on flightradar24 after the flight, as you can on the picture it was a short and direct flight.
Some data about the flight also found on flightradar24.
I made a video of this flight (taxiing, take-off, approach and landing + some pictures) in French (comments) but you can watch it, it is easy to understand.
I booked my flights 1 month before departure on Ryanair website, during Ramadan - important to understand the fares. Unfortunately, we can't book a multi-city trip, that's why I made 2 separated bookings.
The schedules were good, and the fare for the first flight was 86 MAD, which is outstanding! The flight might not be complete at all.
The fare for return flight was 7,99€.
Ryanair guarantee an exchange rate but it is not really interesting. Actually, I was charged 7.99€ by my bank, which means that Ryanair charge 6% for this sale.
I keeped standard cabin baggage allowance for the round-trip. This allows me to bring 40 x 20 x 25 cm without weight limit (I did not find anything about a limit for this choice).
Now, it is possible to check-in online 48 hours before departure, instead of 4 days before, for the passengers who did not buy a seat. I wanted a window seat but I did not want to pay if I can obtain it for free.
Tip : Ryanair give middle seats first in order to charge a maximum of customers, you should wait for the moment when all (or almost) middle seats have been given.
Finally, I obtained seat 20A which a window seat, you will see later that it is good seat in this aircraft!
I leave my home early in the morning, I planned to walk to the train station. Actually, I found some taxis on the way which bring me closer to the train station.
I arrived at Fez train station before sunrising and I took this picture as a reminder.
Train station is quite pretty but it was bad conceived. Actually, there are a lot of empty and unused spaces, and there are very few seating spaces. And the acoustics are so bad.
I take the train and normally I will be in Rabat 2 hours and half later. In Morocco, the trains are comfortable but they go very slow.
After my arrival at Rabat Ville's train station, I take a taxi going to the airport. The course takes about 20 minutes and costs 150 MAD (day fare from this train station). The taxi leaves me here at 9:30, I do not understand why he do not leave me at the drop-off.
There is also a bus leaving the train station 2 hours before each departure, the fare is 20 MAD. The disadventage of this solution is that you can not enjoy the lounge, and if you have any problem on the way you might miss your flight.
Unique passenger terminal at Rabat-Salé airport
Departure hall is located on the left of the terminal. The door on the left does not work, I in the terminal by the other door.
In Morocco, the Ryanair passengers must go to check-in counter before accessing to the boarding zone in order to check printed boarding passes because Moroccan airports are not equipped with barcode scanners. Check-in is not opened yet, that's why I can't access to the boarding zone and I need to wait for a stamp.
I consult Flight Information Display System (FIDS), and I note that only 5 flights remains today and it is less than 10 AM.
Check-in is planned for 10:20 PM, 3 hours before departure because it is an international flight. I sit here during the wait.
Today, the airport welcomes an ONDA and DGAC delegation of about fifty persons visiting the airport.
I go to check-in area when it is supposed to start but any counter open at this time.
Check-in clerks arrived delayed by 20 minutes with some coffee, no comments… Good surprise, we will check-in at Air France counters! And I am the first passenger in the queue.
Indeed, check-in was announced at counters 9, 10 and 11.
I shot this photography when I leaved, it is amazing because of the huge difference between the both companies!
Then, I try to access to the boarding zone but it was not possible because there were nobody at security and passport controls… This is unacceptable for an airport with so few flights.
After 15 minutes of wait a police officer announce that we might wait 30 minutes more because "police officers were in a meeting". Finally, I access to the boarding zone after a total of 45 minutes of wait, it was disappointing.
Boarding zone is located at first floor which is accessed via an escalator. Configuration at Rabat-Salé airport is strange because passport control is done before passport control.
After that, I go to Pearl Lounge where I am well welcomed. It seems that I am the first customer since a long time. I accessed to the lounge with my Priority Pass membership card but you can also buy an entrance online for 30$ or 26€.
The lounge is built on the parking side, unfortunately opposed to the runway. There is a space for kids, lunch, work, and relax.
There are some business areas in the lounge. It seems that a bad copy of what we can find on long-haul flights, it is kitschy!
Typically what we can find in the lounge.
The lounge provide a press offer to customers but it is not updated as excepted. For example the only francophone newspaper is dated by 2 days.
I ask to take a shower after this obstacle course from Fez and before eating lunch. The staff bring me to the bathroom and give me a towel kit.
The room is small, actually there were between 2 and 3 squared meters but well laid out.
After the shower, I decided to start my lunch before the boarding. A buffet is provided by the lounge, it is quite impressive for so few passengers in this airport.
There were a selection of hot & fresh drink and also some Moroccan pastries and some salads.
However, the choice is really limited for drinking.
Hot meals are good, but starters were not as expected, it missed freshness. I am a little bit disappointed with plastic tablewares.
Before leaving the lounge, I go to the toilets and usually I do not take pictures in this room but there were washlet toilets. Thanks to the speakers in the lavatory, I learn that it now time to board.
The lavatory is good-looking and clean.
There are other facilities in the lavatory.
Boarding is announced at gate number 2 on the FIDS inside the lounge but the display is deformed, it does not look like professional.
I am going to gate number 2, the terminal is quite empty at this time there are only the passenger for my flight and some Air France passengers going to Paris-Roissy CDG later in the afternoon.
There are some shops on the way to the gate.
There is also a Duty Free store but I did not visit it.
I joined the queue for the boarding at gate number 2, priority passengers are invited to board first.
Now, it is my turn to pre-board, an airport agent take half of the boarding pass.
We are placed in a corridor during the wait for the plane to be ready for welcome us onboard.
The first passengers coming from Seville leave the plane.
On ground operations start, checked luggages are unloaded, water is renewed and the fuelling is going to start.
The fuelling starts with a tanker.
I catch sight of a Royal Aifr Maroc Boeing 747 at the background which is stocked here since the removal of the fleet.
In 9 minutes, the aircraft is completely empty, our boarding will start soon.
The queue move forward slowly and we arrive in a room with a big window.
Refuelling is now finished and all the cheeked luggages were loaded in the aircraft during the wait.
One of the advantage of Rabat-Salé airport is the fact that it welcomes business aviation jets like Le Bourget in Paris.
The enchanted harp
Our aircraft is registered as EI-FTN, it is a little bit more than 2 years old, which means that it could be equipped by the new Ryanair cabin.
This display confirms that this aircraft is equipped with a Boeing Sky Interior cabin.
Boarding is slow, cabin crew helps passengers to fit their baggage in the overhead storages.
I join the seat given by Ryanair at online check-in which is seat 20A. This seat is located just behind the wing and it get 2 windows, so nice!
Legroom is descent and it have been a little bit improved on this new cabin thanks to the thinner seats.
Boarding is finishing and I get a good news for me!
Yes, middle seat is free, I can put my bug under the other seat and enjoy the space.
The delegation visiting the airport is now on the tarmac.
Safety instructions are given in English an then there are translated to Spanish and safety instructions card are glued on the ahead seats.
We are pushed back at 13:16 earlier than planned, it is a good point.
We just took off from Rabat-Salé airport at 13:26 and we are climbing over the Atlantic Ocean.
Bye bye Morocco!
A steward cross the cabin to distribute a catalogue for on-board sales. On the front page I discover bolognese pasta recently tested by a french member of our community, you can read the review by clicking here but it is written in french.
This catalogue is really good-looking and make people want to eat these meals. But I am not sure that the value is interesting and I am not hungry because I was in the lounge before.
While we are flying over the Atlantic Ocean.
I enjoy a Moroccan pastry taken from the lounge when I was in the airport.
Now, we are flying over Spain.
We start our descent to Seville San Pablo airport, we are slowing down and the flaps are deployed.
We are aligning on the runway to land directly.
"Cabin crew prepare for landing"
Airbus Seville might bring me back to Seville another time to Seville. Actually, it is possible to visit the Final Assembly Line (FAL) but only on Saturday and Monday.
While we are touching the ground, we can see that there some works in progress near the runway.
We park near to an ATR 72 from TAP Air Portugal, it reminds me a flight between Lisbon and Fez operated by this airway company.
We arrived at Seville San Pablo airport, as this sign can proves it.
While leaving the aircraft; as one of the last passenger onboard, I ask for a cabin visit. Granted, captain welcome me in the cockpit. Yeah, it is my first time in a Boeing aircraft cockpit.
We have been chating for a few seconds, our captain worked on the line Montpellier - Charleroi operated by Ryanair. I need to leave the aircraft because it is already ready to welcome new passengers for the next flight.
I leave the aircraft as the last passenger and I am a little bit lost because because ground staff do not guide me and all the passenger leaved the tarmac before.
The disadvantage to dawdle in the cockpit is that I need to wait in the queue now. There are 4 opened counters (2 for European citizens + Swiss and 2 others for everybody).
After a few minutes of wait, I am on the other side. Luggage delivery is not announced yet but I did not check any bags, so I leave this zone without waiting.
I leave arrivals without shooting some pictures becaus there were some work. Before leaving the airport I need to withdraw somme cash in order to pay the bus.
At arrivals ATM charges 3€. That's why I go to departures, here the charge is only 2€.
I take EA bus to leave the airport, this bus bring the passengers to the city every 15-20 minutes. And the fare is 4€ for a one-way ticket and 6€ for a round-trip ticket. To my mind, it is a good-value service.
I hope you enjoyed this Flight Report, you can leave a comment in the section below if you want. See you soon for the return flight!
Rabat-Salé airport is a shame for a Morocco airport especially for a capital, even if Casablanca airport is bigger, it does not represent well this country. Anybody was at his position on the time, for this reason I lose a lot of time for nothing. When everybody do its job, it works well but I need to take my experience into consideration.
The lounge is good for a North Africa lounge and in a small airport, it is comfortable and the shower is a good point. I might return to this lounge another time.
Onboard, the Spanish cabin crew was better than expected. Actually, they helped passenger during the boarding and the flight and they did not harass passenger for making onboard sales. The cabin is the new Ryanair cabin, spacier than the old one but less comfortable to my mind, for a short flight it is okay.
San Pablo airport of Seville is a nice airport and well conceived for the amount of passenger. This airport is pleasurable and clean but there is some work in progress. The access is good thanks to the efficient bus going to the city.