Review of Middle East Airlines flight Cairo Beirut in Economy

Flight ME305
Class Economy
Seat 25A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 30 Nov 14, 11:15
Arrival at 30 Nov 14, 12:15
ME   #1 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 48 reviews
Jamil_Itani
By 3330
Published on 27th December 2014
After spending three days in Egypt transferring between Cairo and Mansoura (North East of Nile Delta), it is now time to go back to the Land of the Cedars i.e. Lebanon.

I arrived at Cairo International Airport old terminal 1 at 8:00 a.m i.e. three hours before the plane departure time. In fact, I have so memories with this airport terminal as me and my mother used to travel through this terminal during the late 80s and early 90s and the terminal despite being renovated in 2004, it stills maintains too much of its old spirit.

photo 003

My flight for today will be operated by MEA old but elegant A321 (OD-RMJ). The aircraft was delivered new to MEA in 2003 and stills with the operation along with sister-ship OD-RMI. However, I knew from MEA officials that since 2011, MEA policy is to sell all planes aged above 10 years and these two A321 are about to be phased out of service soon.

Now back to my flight, its details are as follows:
Flight Number : ME305
STD/ATD : 11:00 / 11:15
STA/ATA : 12:15 / 12:15

After quick counter check-in and passport controls processing, I headed to the VIP lounges located at the first floor above the duty free. These lounges are used by Air France, KLM and other SKYTEAM partners including MEA and Alitalia. The lounge service is very basic and presented in a really cheap way. Tasteless croissants are offered along with basic drinking service. I opted to have an espresso coffee as other options are tasteless. Huh and they call this a VIP lounge
:(… Very disappointing….



Soon, MEA A321 OD-RMJ arrived from Beirut to pick us back to Beirut. We were bussed to the plane which had parked at gate 33 (same where MEA B720s and B707s used to park during the 80s and 90s).



Boarding the plane, you can see how neat and clean the cabin is. J class seats offers ultimate comfort (compared to J class on various European Airlines). I took my seat 25A and snapped several pictures for the cabin before we started our push back.




The airplane started push-back right as scheduled, but on that day runway 5L was unserviceable so all traffic arrival and departure had to be made via runway 5C. We kept holding in our position for 15 minutes before taking off 15 minutes behind schedule, yet arrived Beirut right on time due to favorable winds.

Take-off was smooth, due to the short of this flight, the TV monitors showed several commercial ads promoting for the Lebanese tourism.




Now it is time for the meal service. We were offered light brunch comprising of cheese assortments served with chicken salad along with baklava (Lebanese sweets), arabic bread, juice and tea. As MEA promotes itself as an hospital airline, service was offered with silver forks and knifes which is a real nice touch from the airline regardless of the one hour flight duration.



Soon we commenced our descent to Beirut and arrived via runway 16. In the arrival hall at Beirut Raffic Harriri International Airport, there are a lot of old nostalgic pictures for the golden era of the 60s for Beirut.


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Verdict

Middle East Airlines

9.6/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi9.5
Meal/catering9.5

EAS (Egyptian Aviation Services First Class Lounge)

5.0/10
Comfort5.0
Meal/catering5.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services5.0

Cairo - CAI

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Beirut - BEY

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Another good experiance with MEA, low quality facilities at Cairo

Information on the route Cairo (CAI) Beirut (BEY)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Cairo (CAI) → Beirut (BEY).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Middle East Airlines with 8.9/10.

The average flight time is 6 hours and 47 minutes.

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3 Comments

  • Comment 125236 by
    SKYTEAMCHC TEAM GOLD 7568 Comments

    Thanks for your report. Another good short flight with MEA. The breakfast looks good and is big enough for the duration of the flight.
    The cabin looks rather empty on this flight , I just hope it's not true for all flight between the two cities.
    As you mentioned the lounge is not good in CAI and in my memory there was no windows and it was rapidly crowded ( but maybe not when it's not a widebody flight back to europe)

    • Comment 307490 by
      Jamil_Itani AUTHOR 10 Comments

      Hello Sir,

      Thank you for continously replying for my flight reports.

      MEA operates two daily flights between Beirut and Cairo and it is one of the company's old and frequent routes since 1945. The load factor on that day was 100% in J class and 40% in Y, i.e 31 J/31 J and 50 Y/118 Y.

      Lounges at Cairo are awefull.

      Thank you again for your reply on my report, i will travel in mid January to Dubai, so expect a juicy report.

      Best Regards,

  • Comment 125327 by
    semsem 10 Comments

    When my uncle died 20 years ago I found a picture of him with the Egyptian basketball team in front of an Air Liban DC-3 taken at the King Farouk Airport in 1950. He was their coach and they were going to Beirut for a match.

    I stupidly tore it up and I regret it to this day. I think I did it because I was sad and felt it would make me sad looking at it.

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