I went to South Africa with my family for the New Year holidays. I had little flexibility in the dates and this is not the period for great discounts. The only reasonable business class rate I had was with EgyptAir. Yes, EgyptAir does not have a great reputation for punctuality, customer service or onboard service and Cairo Airport is certainly not considered to be the best airport in the world yet I was looking forward to my trip.
Our flight from Johannesburg arrived at 05.10 and the departure for our flight to London was scheduled for 09.10, so we had plenty of time in the lounge. The lounge was empty at this time.
Early morning view from the lounge.
Food was plentiful but not very appetizing.
The staff was more friendly than during our previous visit (there seemed to be some kind of boss or supervisor visiting the lounge). The main issue was however that it was very cold in the lounge. The staff was aware of the problem but was unable to solve it.
We left the lounge at about 08.30. Security was at the gate as always in Cairo, and priority security was available and so was priority boarding. The view of our aircraft:
Finally a nice welcome with a big smile at the door! Are we really boarding an Egyptair plane?
The view from seat 9A during boarding.
Business class has 4 rows in a 2+3+2 configuration in the front cabin, and there's a smaller cabin with three rows behind the galley. Yes, having three seats in the middle in business class is certainly not the most advanced but the cabin still looked spacious.
The two seats on the left side.
Legroom is huge.
A hot towel was offered after boarding followed by a welcome drink: a choice of two fruit juices. The view from seat 9A with the welcome drink.
Egyptian newspapers and magazines were offered (unlike on the Cairo to Johannesburg route).
The amenity kit was the same.
An expected flight time of four hours and 40 minutes was announced.
Push-back was at 9.35 for a scheduled departure time of 9.10. Taxiing usually takes a long time at Cairo Airport. We took off only at 09.55 from runway 23C. Views during taxi:
And after take-off:
I don't know which river it is. Can you help me? (joke)
The cabin manager came to me, introduced himself, wished me a nice flight and asked me to let him know if I needed anything.
The headphones were the same low quality.
Beautiful views as we reached the shores of the Mediterranean.
Canapés were served 25 minutes after take-off.
Relaxing view from my seat.
Lunch was served at 12.00, about two hours after take-off. A printed menu! Note the choice of four different main courses.
The drink menu. I'm sure most of you know that Egyptair is a dry line and therefore does not serve alcohol.
Appetizer, salad and cheese were served on a tray.
I selected seafood which was good.
Nice views above the Balkans during the meal.
Dessert and fruit were also offered and were nicely presented.
A tea to finish my meal.
I have to note that the cabin crew member on my side of the business class cabin was friendly, professional and smiling during the entire flight.
I was watching a movie during the remaining time. More about Egyptair's new in-flight entertainment here in my previous flight report about the Johannesburg to Cairo flight.
We were on a holding pattern above London for quite a long time.
We landed at 12.35 for a scheduled arrival time of 12.35, so on time.
MS Alioth Lounge - 3
Cairo - CAI
London - LHR
I flew EgyptAir three times in a short time before this flight - Budapest to Cairo in economy and Cairo to Johannesburg to Cairo in business - and all three of them offered uncomfortable seats, poor catering and an unmotivated cabin crew. Needless to say, I didn't have high expectations for this Cairo to London flight. But miracles do happen: the cabin crew was welcoming, the seat was very comfortable with a huge legroom, and food was varied, plentiful and of good quality. Only one question remains: if EgyptAir is able to offer such good services to London, why can't it do it to Johannesburg?
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