Welcome to my round the world trip!
South Carolina to Thailand requires several long-haul flights and for our first we chose the only airline flying direct from the USA to Egypt…Egypt Air!
While business class on Egypt Air has a good reputation for hard product, the soft product…. comes with a "leaves a lot to be desired" warning. What better way to find out than a flight to an ancient land and one that is on my bucket list!
Thank you for coming on board!
So, this trip got off to a bumpy start. I had booked CLT-IAD-CAI using Air Canada Aeroplan points. When I got to Charlotte to check in, they had an issue checking me in. I was told this was an issue on Air Cananda's end and that United (the carrier for my CLT-IAD leg) needed me, yes me, to call Air Cananda to figure it out. Oh yea, it was like 4am. So, after frantic hour everything was sorted and after a mad dash through the airport, I made my first flight and thus the great adventure begins. Moral of the story, if you use points, give sufficient airport time as complex bookings sometimes cause issues.
We landed at gate D29 and had to make our way to the B gates. Dulles can be a bit of a pain to transfer in due to the layout. We had plenty of time, so we didn't have to rush. After around 20 minutes, we made it to the B gates where we decided to visit the Turkish Airways lounge as we had some time. Dulles has above ground "moonwalkers" and a underground tram system and we were lucky enough to have the "moonwalkers" today so the view from the D gates to the B gates was fantastic for spotting!
We had around 4 hours to kill, so we decided to hang out in the Turkish Airways Lounge. Being in Business Class on Egyptair awarded us these privileges. This is also a Priority Pass Lounge. Decent spot to hang out. 2 distinct areas with ample seating. 2 coffee stations as well as a hot/cold bar with limited options. The neatest thing was a robot, yes, a robot, going around and picking up your empty plates.
4 hours was about as much as one could stand here and luckily that's all we had. I loved the gold motif as it set the tone for next few stops in the Middle East and North Africa. The Turkish lounge is just across from our gate for Egyptair so you couldn't ask for a better set up.
Boarding was chaotic as some people did not know which line to be in. Sadly, my wife and I contributed to this as when it was our time to scan our boarding passes (online printed ones), we were told we had to go see the gate agent for passes on Egyptair cardstock. This caused a 10-minute delay for us but not too bad. After that we were able to board.
The plane did smell a bit but nothing too strong or powerful. It was fairly clean. A bit worn in places but nothing unusual.
the branding was great throughout. "Egyptair" or their logo seemed to be everywhere which is a nice touch in my book.
The amenity kit was top notch! I mean fantastic!! The kit had toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, hand sanitizer, pen, hand cream, lip balm, face spray, socks, shoehorn, ear plugs and an eye mask!
The flight got hot about halfway through and with no individual air nozzles, this was annoying to sleep through. The crew was nice, honestly better than expected. The only real sore spot was the bathrooms. They were nasty early and stayed that way. I tried to limit my times making that trip as best I could.
I slept for almost 6 hours on this flight so not much to report about what happened during that time.
The IFE screen was huge! Although, the selection of western movies was limited. It was not the worst I'd seen but far from the best either. WIFI was not available although it showed up on my phone as a selection. This was not a huge deal for me as I needed to sleep but as it's a daytime (from a US perspective) flight, some people may have benefited from it.
The USB plug at the seat was also kinda iffy, so I just used the plug and it was stable.
Decent hard product. My seat at had 2 windows and as someone who loves to stare out the window, I appreciated this. The seat was decent width. I am a smaller person but even someone a bit hefty would be ok. The seat came with a small pillow and blanket. These were rather standard but nice enough. Egyptair has a bad reputation, but the hard product is solid, but the pod was plenty big and had ample storage.
A glass of Lemongrass Juice was passed out during taxing. I love juice and Lemongrass did not disappoint. Egyptair has a bad reputation for food and drink but it's off to a great start! Also, Egyptair is dry so don't expect a champagne before takeoff :).
For lunch, you had the option of Chicken, Beef or Salmon. All three options were shown from a cart which while odd for business class was helpful because you could see your options. I chose the Chicken. While it was tasty, it was not business class standards in my opinion. All items were served on one tray which was nice if you wanted to go to sleep or rest but should not be the standard on a 10+ hour flight in business. Also, the lids to the items were still on which was expected based on my research but needs to be altered. This is where some small improvements could take place. Just a little more effort on presentation and quality and Egyptair would have a much better reputation.
Midway, a snack was served. This was packaged nuts and a sugar muffin. Both were solid. As I would have liked something a bit more substantial, I won't complain as the quality of this muffin was fantastic! I loved it! I ordered a glass of black tea with my snack, and it was standard, nothing to remember.
Breakfast was served about 1.5 hours from Cario. Again, this was served via a cart with Omelet or French Toast as an option. I chose the Omelet, and it was solid. It also, came with a fruit bowl and mozzarella and Yogurt. A few minor changes would have really made this special, but this is what Egyptair is.
Overall, a very nice flight! Egyptair is better than advertised but it has some improvements to make. If you are headed to Egypt from the US, I would highly recommend flying Egyptair and avoiding a layover in Europe!
Good report! Hope you've enjoyed your round-the-world trip
I've see many reports about EgyptAir and I've always had the sensation that some stuff are done to the half
The seat seems really good as the IFE, but in business I'd never expect food served in plastic cups...at least they should have remove the covers...
Enjoy your future flights :)
Thanks for sharing this rare look at MS.
Definitely the first B789 report I’ve seen, which just shows the stark contrast in hard products in their fleet since B77Ws still have the old angled seats in 2-3-2 configuration. The hard product looks good with nice cabin colors, so more than serviceable for the length of the flight and on par with their competitors now (TK/SV).
The TK Lounge is nice, but you didn’t want to use the Polaris Lounge as well during the long layover?It probably has better catering with the dining room. (Not very often you can say UA has better catering than TK…)
As you said, the meal service is done like a medium-haul flight with no coursing. The fruit plate was the “dessert”
for the first meal? I’m also surprised they didn’t lay a table cloth for the 2nd meal. The COVID plastic wrap should be gone by now, they are obviously not using them for the hot dishes so it’s clearly down to laziness by the crew not to take them off before serving the tray.
Overall, MS looks very average, which is consistent with your ratings. Thanks again for sharing!
Well this is exotic. I lived in DC for many years and totally forgot Egyptair flew to IAD! Yikes, sorry about the issues with the booking in CLT. Thank goodness it was worked out in time. It's pretty crappy for UA to make you all handle it; they should have direct help desk lines with their partners. But yeah, multi-carrier itineraries are always risky, especially with mileage redemptions.
I've always like the TK lounge in IAD, but it's true that it gets a little boring if there for too long, especially as it can get crowded between all the *A Gold passengers, Priority Pass holders, and J pax from multiple carriers. The TK lounge has always felt less spacious than the BA lounge to me as a result. But it is one of the better lounges at IAD and one of the better Priority Pass lounges in the US IMO.
Good hard product, as you mention, and ok soft product, though I'm not a fan of "dry" carriers. Though I guess the catering isn't really high end enough to warrant being paired with a good wine. Nonetheless, no alcohol makes any carrier feel less premium to me.
Thanks for sharing!
Login to post a comment.