Review of MIAT Mongolian Airlines flight Frankfurt Ulan Bator in Business

Flight OM138
Class Business
Seat 12A
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 09:00
Take-off 22 May 24, 14:10
Arrival at 23 May 24, 05:10
OM 6 reviews
bldavid
By GOLD 1037
Published on 1st June 2024

Mongolia does not have a lot of direct international flights. MIAT Mongolian Airlines fly to Frankfurt, Istanbul, Tokyo, Seoul, Busan, Beijing, Hongkong, Guangzhou, Bangkok and Phuket. Other major airlines flying to Mongolia include Turkish from Istanbul, Korean and Asiana from Seoul and Air China from Beijing and Hohhot. I choose the direct MIAT flight Frankfurt; I wanted to try Mongolia’s national airline and the price was very reasonable for business class.

MIAT uses Terminal 2 at Frankfurt Airport. 


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The check-in area is not very nice but I was checked in quickly. 


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Let’s go to the lounge!


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MIAT uses Primeclass lounge at Frankfurt Airport.


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The lounge is small but it was not crowded. It’s simple but quite nice. 


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There’s a bar with a very small selection of alcoholic drinks.


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There’s also a fridge with beer and soft drinks.


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There was a small selection of food: tomato soup, salad, croquettes with meatballs, rice with grilled vegetables. 



There are toilets and showers inside the lounge.

The departure board shows a lot of interesting flights. Which one would you like to try?


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Security control was at the gate.


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Here’s our plane: a B787-900, registered in Ireland as EI-UBN, first delivered in 2019. The second part of the registration number is not UBN by accident: it’s Ulaanbaatar’s airport code. The plane entered service with MIAT Mongolian on 6th May 2024, only about two weeks before my flight.


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Boarding started very late at 14.20 which was the scheduled departure time. Boarding was by group: first people deported by the police, followed by passengers with disabilities, business class passengers and economy class passengers.

This was the view from the jet bridge:


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Business class has six rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. The cabin is nice, has pleasant neutral colours and is in very good condition.

The middle seats.


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The window seats.


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My seat 12A. Note that the seat behind it is 15A.


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A welcome drink of water or sparkling wine or orange juice was offered.


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Individual reading lamp.


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Seat controls.


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Charging ports.


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A view over Air Algérie’s 22 years old B737-600.


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Pillow and blanket.


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The screen is large enough.


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Push-back was at 14.55 for a scheduled departure time of 14.20. We took off at 15.07 from runway 25C

Amenity kits were distributed 25 minutes after take-off. 


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Headphones were offered a short time later.


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Then a large and very hot towel was offered.


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There’s in-flight entertainment but the choice is very limited. There are a total of five old Mongolian movies with no English subtitles. I started the watch a 1961 Mongolian socialist realist movie. It was interesting. 


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There are also full series of recent TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars, The Voice of Mongolia or Mongolia's Got Talents. 


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Music was currently unavailable.


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In-flight entertainment options are very limited but the reason behind this might be that the aircraft is new to MIAT. It’s possible that more options will be added soon or later.

Drink service started 50 minutes after take-off. I asked for a coke and a glass of white wine - Italian Pinot Grigio.


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Meal service started another 20 minutes later. There was no printed menu. Appetizers and main course were served at the same time:


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There were two appetizers (not a choice but both of them served): some sort of prawn salad and cold chicken breast with tomato. Both were good.


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There was a choice of lamb, beef or fish main course. I choose the lamb. It tasted very good.


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Different types of bread were also available. I choose a sort of brioche.


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Salt, pepper, butter and salad dressing.


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Tea (green or black) or coffee and one type of chocolate cake was offered from a cart after the meal.

The cabin crew was very friendly, efficient, professional and they all spoke excellent English.

I slept for about 2.5 hours after lunch. The seat turned into a bed was reasonably comfy for sleeping. The problem was jetleg: it was only late afternoon CET (Central European Time) when I was trying to sleep.

Lights were turned on about 90 minutes before arrival. It was only 21.00 European (departure) time and 03.00 Mongolian (arrival) time. A hot towel was offered and breakfast was served: pastry and fruit salad.


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We landed at Genghis Khan International Airport at 04.35 for a scheduled arrival time of 05.10 (local times).

The new Ulaanbaatar Airport, inaugurated in 2021, is nice, modern and efficient. It’s located at about 50 kms from downtown Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia has the lowest population density of all independent countries. It covers an area of 1.5 million square kms but has a population of just 3.3 million, half of which lives in Ulaanbaatar.

I stayed overnight at Best Western Premier Tusshin Hotel, right next to the main square. Best Western hotels are usually mid-range in the US but this hotel in Ulaanbaataar is five-star yet it was very reasonably priced.

Most of the buildings in Ulaanbaataar come from the socialist period but there are also quite a few modern constructions. The main sights are around the Sukhbaatar Square within walking distance: the National Museum, the Genghis Khan Museum and the Choijin Lama Temple Museum. There also some other sights further from the centre worth to see such as the railway station or the huge market.

The city’s main problem is getting around: it took us once 40 minutes to drive 400 meters. Traffic jams are a nightmare and parking is chaotic. Public transportation is only by buses; a metro system would be really essential.

Ulaanbaatar has very good hotels and restaurants; an excellent three-course dinner costs around $17.

There are strong inequalities in Mongolian society: you can see both poor and rich people but the middle-class is quite large and it’s obvious that a huge economic development has happened since the socialist period ended in 1990.

Mongolia is located between Russia and China. Most of the food is imported from these two countries but otherwise neither Russian or Chinese influences are very strong. Most of the cars are second hand Japanese cars, many of them older luxury SUVs. Korean influence is the strongest culturally and there are many Korean restaurants. Teenagers dress in a western style. A few things are reminiscent of the Soviet times such as some state celebrations and some of the uniforms. Ulaanbaatar is a mix of all these, yet the countryside remains truly Mongolian with its large grassland, many gers (yurts), horses and the traditional way of life of most of its inhabitants.

I was very lucky when I started my sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar: it was the Order of Glorious Mother Celebrations on Sukhbaatar Square. Women who have four or more children get a state medal.


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Ulaanbaatar is a mix of old and new: the Choijin Lama Temple from 1908 has modern skyscrapers around it.


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The State Opera and Ballet Academic Theatre was built in 1963 and shows a clear Soviet-Russian influence.


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The Zaisan Monument is another example of Soviet influence.


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This is some nice decoration on the very modern Gengish Khan Museum


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Ulaanbaatar railway station has been renovated but still feels like time travel. The signs are not in Russian: Mongolian also uses Cyrillic script.


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Traditional Mongolian hats for sale at the market.


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Camels, yaks and horses has been part of life in rural Mongolia for thousands of years.


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Traditional Mongolian dairy products in a ger.


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There are very few proper hotels in the countryside; most of the tourist accommodation is in gers (yurts).


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Kharkhorin (360 kms from Ulaanbaatar), called Karakorum back then, was the capital city of the Mongolian Empire between 1235 and 1260. The Erdene Zuu Monastery was built later, in 1585 in the same area. It’s the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, although most of it was destroyed in 1939 during the Stalinist purges. The walls and some buildings remain and are a very impressive sight.


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Lavrin Temple


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Buddhist monks calling for prayer


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Mahakala


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Tibetan script inside the temple


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Typical Mongolian landscapes around Kharkhorin.


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Thank you for reading my flight report. 

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Verdict

MIAT Mongolian Airlines

9.0/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering9.0

Primeclass Lounge - 2

8.8/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Services8.0

Frankfurt - FRA

7.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Ulan Bator - UBN

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

MIAT Mongolian Airlines offer comfortable seats, good catering, excellent service by the cabin crew and a very reasonable price in business class. With the exception of the in-flight entertainment this is an excellent product.

Information on the route Frankfurt (FRA) Ulan Bator (UBN)

4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 652440 by
    02022001 GOLD 4448 Comments
    Really interesting to see what is offered in this airlines in Business. 2 months ago, there were mistakes fares on MIAT on this section, were you able to benefit from them? I hesitated myself because of the price. In the end, given the service, I'm not particularly disappointed that I didn't take the plunge.
    See you ;)
  • Comment 652441 by
    bldavid GOLD AUTHOR 313 Comments
    Hello, I paid the regular fares but the price was very competitve; much cheaper than flying to most other Asian destinations. I was very happy about the service on tis flight.
  • Comment 652580 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6858 Comments
    Always enjoy your exotic reports! So cool to see a review on the new MIAT 787

    The ex-Hainan Group 787s (and 737 MAX) have really brought MIAT in the modern age with a great product in all cabins. I've always wanted to try their 767 Business class, which seems fun and retro.

    All amenities look great, minus the lack of IFE options, and the catering looks tasty.

    Thanks for sharing!
  • Comment 652667 by
    bldavid GOLD AUTHOR 313 Comments
    Thank you for your comment! Yes, this product of MIAT is the one offered by some of the best careers.

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