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London Calling - Part - 1 – EK 538/EK 029

 
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me111993
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Location: MAA/AMD

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:30 am    Post subject: London Calling - Part - 1 – EK 538/EK 029 Reply with quote












Hi all,
I flew to London with my family for a holiday, this is part 1 of my TR, covering the outbound legs, we flew Emirates. Now, unlike Sumantra or Jasepl or Justbala, I’m not very good at the writing part, so I’ll let my photos do most of the talking, although, i’m not very good at that either, kindly bear with me, hope you like this TR. Smile

BACKGROUND
An international trip was long overdue, and several destinations were considered including South-Africa, China-HKG, and several multiple country tours in Europe, at the peak of all this confusion, my mother got an invitation for a joint research program in Bio-Diesel (she does research in Bio-Diesels in British Petroleum), in the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, which simply set it straight for us, a London-Scotland trip it was, since the coach tour started in London, and like every Ahmedabad resident, we had friends and relatives in London, the flight had to be to London. My mother would go to ABZ before us and we would head to London 15 days later where she would to join us.
We to cover (and did) London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Lake District and the Kent County. The Scotland part of the trip was to be done as a 4 day coach tour by a group called Star Tours. (anybody seeking more details on this part, please feel free to send a Private Message)
BOOKING
A little more than 2 odd months before when we were supposed to fly, we started considering options, directly from AMD, EK was 52k, QR was 46K, 9W was offering a 41K return ticket from AMD (49K from BOM!), EY ex-BOM was only 32K. AI wasn’t considered, Jet was chosen, as we could somewhat avoid the hassles of transiting via BOM ourselves, plus excessive luggage would always have been an issue. The day we actually decided to make the final booking, EK released an advertisement about cheap fares to the UK. So, just casually I gave a call to the EK office, and boom! We got a fare costing us 34K per head, we had the A380 outbound and the 773 inbound!
So, Emirates it was!

Because we of the A380 groundings, they postponed the 4th daily A380 flight on DXB-LHR to the 1st of June, the dates we were supposed to fly! Now till it lasted it was very exciting, because an A380 inaugural is a big deal but just 8 days before departure, they changed our flight to a 77W. This was disappointing in a way, but not a lot.

Flight – 1
EK 538
AMD-DXB
STD - 0425
ATD - 0450
STA – 0555
ATA – 0615
Duration – 2:45
A/C – A330-200
A6-EKR


Both pics, C - owner.

CHECK-IN -- BOARDING
On the morning of the 1st of June, we were at the airport at 1:40 am, typical commotion outside the airport where in a bus load of people dropping off 1 sole passenger is very typical to see. The new international terminal looked pretty decent from outside and was equally good from inside, but the FIRST thing you’re supposed to do in here is – yes, getting your bags X-Ray-ed. How dumb? New international terminal and no inline security?
Emirates had a very impressive TEN check-in counters open, and there were EK agents roaming all about the airport, QR and G9 were also checking in passengers, as was FZ who operates a 2 weekly service to AMD.
There was no line for check-in, don’t really know why, at the counter we encountered a rather emotionless looking woman, who gave us our pre-assigned seats, the entire process took about 10 mins.
Later, as the immigration form was being filled, i was observing the luggage tags on passengers who were queuing up for check-in and was really amazed at the number families heading to SFO and JFK.

There were 6 people on the immigration counters, so whatever line there was, it was pretty fast moving, immediately after immigration, we had the security check counter.
There was practically no line we encountered at all in the whole procedure, and we headed towards the boarding gates with ample time to spare.














AAI seem to have done a decent job!



A6-FDT to DXB, was running pretty full and pretty late!







A6-EKR arrived in from DXB, around 20 mins late at 0325 am.



About 5 mins to 4, they announced boarding for Business-Class Passengers, families with infants, etc, as expected the moment boarding was announced, the 60% of the people gathered around the gate area but 2 EK agents did a very good job of not only maintaining a zone wise boarding but keeping these people at a certain distance away from the gate, so that the people who were actually supposed to board could comfortably form a line.















THE FLIGHT

Hot towels were given along with a Lime juice before departure.

Decent legroom, honestly, the 2-4-2 configuration is just so good, that it well compensates for a slightly less pitch. The back support was a tad hard though, it basically protrudes outward which can make sitting onboard a little uncomfortable, particularly for longer flights.

The position of the IFE box didn’t bother me much.




Economy appeared to be full, 4-5 seats empty, MAX, business class was around 65% full.
We pushed back at around 4:50 am, 25 mins after the scheduled departure time, and took-off into the quite AMD skies at 4:55.

Even for such a short flight, the A332 took a very long time to reach its’ cruising altitude of 37000 feet.







Right about here, above Pakistan, our meal service started.



As Ruvtij and Ameya were discussing on a separate thread, I too really look forward to the inflight meals!
The meal was above average, we’d chosen Asian Vegetarian meals for all of our flights, this one consisted of chana masala with puri along with baked potatoes. Fresh fruits were wonderful! There was a muffin and a bun. I ate it all! Very Happy
The drinks service was after the meal service, which meant that the meal trays weren’t collected for a while.
EK’s A332’s don’t have ICE, so no AVOD either, and the movie selection was pretty average, there was nothing that I really liked to I stuck to the airshow.


As the sun started rising, we got to witness some stunning wing-views!












And time flew!

Before we knew it, the FO came on the PA system and announced that we were already descending into DXB, and gave us some of the regular details.
After which the FA’s came in to collect the head-phones! Smart actually, considering the rate at which the files in which Spice-Jet keeps their Magazine and Safety cards disappear on AMD bound flights, EK would have found themselves with 80% of their headphones gone post landing, had they not collected them!













The massive C-3 under-construction!





We landed 0615, docked into a proper gate (aerobridge) and were out of the airplane within the next 10 odd minutes.









A6-EAI, our neighbor! I’ve flown this bird all over the globe on FS9! Smile




Once you’ve stopped awe-ing at how massive DXB really is, you start getting a decent grip of things, they’ve actually built it to be very efficient, the security check lines, for instance, there’s just so many machines, no manual frisking, simply take off all possible metallic items, if you’re fine, just walk along, I noticed this in LHR as well, but will talk about it in part 2.





The thing is, once you actually are in the terminal, you can well split the building (T3) into 2, one section is the centre one, one straight very long line of Duty Free Shops which has zero signs of planes, 0 views, and very well resembles a high end shopping mall, the 2nd part is the 2 long rows of departure gates either side of this long shopping mall type area, which has decent views of the gorgeous 777’s and A380’s but you just cannot photograph them because of the way the windows are.

Naturally, I was more interested in the so called airside part, but the 1 kg gold brick did grab my attention.



This was KWI bound.












Now, its obvious that DXB-LHR flights are flagship for EK, and I expected EK to deploy a newer 77W on that route, I’d been tracking EK 029’s plane used list and had noticed that it always had either the EC* or the EG* series planes deployed on that route, which is why I did get a jolt when I saw EBB waiting at gate 219!
I understand that operations are all messed up due to the A380 groundings, but I just saw that they’d deployed EGM on DXB-VIE!
They opened the gate over an hour before the departure time, the ‘Gate’ here referrers to a gate to a secluded area, basically, this is just the pre-boarding zone, you get into this zone a little more than an hour before departure, 2 operative counters (one for F/J and one for Y) checking your passports and boarding cards, so the final boarding procedure would go on without any delays.

Into the GATE!

A6-EBB
An orderly boarding procedure started, very few Indian’s on this completely full flight, I just noticed 1 more Indian family.



THE FLIGHT
Flight – 2
EK 029
DXB-LHR
STD - 0940
ATD - 0935
STA – 1420
ATA – 1415
Duration – 7:40 mins
A/C – B777-300ER
A6-EBB


Both Images C Owner.
A6-EBB or not, I was excited about flying the 77W!

The moment you step in an EK 77W, what you wonder is how bad can the 3-4-3 really be? Honestly, its not that bad, the good pitch basically covers up for most of the lost width, and unless one is morbidly obese, it shouldn’t be an issue. The only slight area of concern is the elbow room, but once again manageable.




The IFE was showing our flight path, flying time, and various other details.

Hot towels were distributed and then, we pushed-back, bang on schedule.




Once again, the IFE box, not much of an issue.






Soon, we absolutely roared into the skies, and once you’re on the ascent, you really start noting the difference between the tiny poorly powered A332 and the super-charged 77W!








Drinks were served, I asked if they had lemonade, the FA said yes and handed me a 7UP. Happens.


The best thing in having pre-ordered the Asian Veg Meal is that they serve you before anybody else! The meal tray was MASSIVE, lots to eat, the Chana is clearly visible, right. Frankly, like most Indian food, it tasted better than it looked. Smile
There was a small milk chocolate as well, nice!

I didn’t really explore the IFE till they had practically cleared out the meal trays.
The selection is through the roof, really is, you can never expect anything of a similar magnitude anywhere else, but because EBB is such an old plane, the IFE was really starting to show its age, the touch screen was non-responsive, and the movies as well as music played as though the sound was coming from an old scratched CD, impossible to watch absolutely impossible to watch anything, let alone a new movie, and this was the case with my father’s screen as well, who was beside me, and my brother infront of me faced the same issue.


I stumbled upon something that got me through a pretty good duration of the flight, the music section!




A little before this spot is where they started the tea service, you don’t really need another full hot meal service on a 7:30 minute flight.

Tea!

Above Germany is where the fun of being in an EU airspace started! 7 planes I counted at a point clearly visible from my window,

This EY A332 came rather close! Beautiful!

In a bit, the captain came on the PA, informed about the conditions in LHR.

We were put into a holding pattern for around 15 minutes before we went ahead with our landing!







We touched down 10 mins ahead of schedule, had a 2 minute taxi into the gate,where in we were accompanied by an EK A380 doing EK-2 and a VS 744.


Just magnificent, isn’t she!
EXIT
There was a resonably sized line in immigrations, but there were FOUR officers manning the Other Passports section! That’s it! And that’s exactly why we took over 100 mins to clear immigration.
AMD had more immigrations officials as work than LHR did! Downright shameful, I’d say!

The moment we walked out, we found our luggage going around, collected it and walked out of the terminal to find my mum waiting there, who’d just arrived from ABZ on a BMI flight.
VERDICT

I’m not gonna give a final verdict about EK now, but I have to say that even if in the actual TR, I havn’t emphasized enough, the IFE was a huge disappointment, whats the point of having a good selection if you can’t showcase it properly. The A332’s need to b worked upon but they’re on their way out anyways.
Other-wise, EK hit every nail exactly where they were supposed to, the crew was good on both legs, very professional, transfer through DXB was smooth, honestly, it really isn’t very difficult to imagine why people in India love EK.

PS- i'd like to dedicate this TR to Spiderguy252 and Sumantra, i've owed a TR to you guys for a long long time. Smile
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Last edited by me111993 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice example of photo journalism. I like the runway picture. The terminal at AMD looks gorgeous, it should be developed as a major international airport. Thanks for posting.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - awesome TR - thanks for posting! The pictures really made my day - gave me a feeling of the AMD airport and the flight as well. I think this forum is really blessed these days with so many awesome trip reports...

Questions that went through my (devious) mind as I read this:

1. Does the intl section at AMD (post immigration) offer alcohol? I noticed a port lounge there, how is it?
2. If EY ex-BOM was only 32K, was the advantage with 9W's transfers significant enough that you were willing to spend 41K ex-AMD? Sounds easier than done I suppose, but was taking the train to BOM and then connecting to EY an option to "optimize" costs? Of course the final 34K on EK is just a super sweet deal!
3. The Hindi FIDS screen seems to show "Ahmedabad" as the destination - what's with that?
4. The list of intl flights ex-AMD is mighty impressive. And consider the fact that until a few years ago - there were probably none. Truly something beneficial for India under the previous few ministers.
5. I noticed the QR 320 parked on a remote bay at AMD - is there already a paucity of gates at the "new" intl terminal? Quite a shame if true!
6. Man, the Y meal on EK seems like it's better than what 9W might serve in J!
7. No surprises about the large number of connections to NYC and SFO - both cities have so many Indians, it's not funny. And these are not 3rd or 4th generation Indians with no ties back with India, these are largely FOB (fresh off the boat) varieties who insist on coming to India every year, and having families visit them too. I wonder if the SFO bound traffic from AMD was more VFR or did it have a lot of business travelers too?
8. Each time I look at the terminal at DXB, I reminded of a huge anaconda lying on the ground with a few ants surrounding it Smile
9. Compare and contrast the transfer experience at DXB with the one at BOM. Quite a massive difference. And yet some guys insist that the transfer at BOM is decent now - it's not even remotely decent for any self-respecting chap.
10. You must be quite a brave guy, I would have been heartbroken if my 380 leg was replaced by a 77W with the nasty 3-4-3 seating Sad. I'm surprised though about the load disparity - did they have to rebook some pax originally booked on the 380?
11. I think the good thing about EK is that there's probably no "flag ship" route for them Smile. They treat each route with respect and keep upgrading their fleet so no one feels singled out. That being said, I hear their 332s are horribly dated, but I guess they're out of the fleet in a few years too.
12. The immigration at LHR is HORRIBLE, worse than the worst 3rd world country. Shame on them!

Waiting for the return sector. And it would be great if you can add a sentence against each photo, so we know what you were thinking or had experienced!
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jasepl
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report - thanks for sharing!

The new Amdavad terminal looks good (even if it does scream "designed by IAAI!"). The key though is how it is operated and whether it is convenient to use for the average traveller. Not having inline security screening is a big fail; hopefully that's the only one.

The FIDS and some other signs appear to be in Hindi and English only? Was there no Gujarati?

As for mandatory manual frisking for everyone, it's been the case in India since at least the early 80s; I haven't come across that anywhere else in the world.

The first meal looked appetising; the second one looks like it's feeling unwell !

Also, a cool listing of connecting flight information on the IFE screen. I wonder if it's just a common list, or like Cathay, lists only the connections that are relevant to the passengers on board. If the latter, then I'm impressed at the places Amdavadis are going!

What about the inflight announcements and menus? English / Hindi only? Or Gujarati as well?

As for Heathrow immigration, it's nothing new and abosolutely disgraceful, to the extent that I have read about people choosing to make a connection and fly to LCY or Birmingham or Gatwick or some other convenient-ish airport instead.


Nimish - I (thankfully) haven't done it myself, but international-to-international is, I am told, surprisingly painless, if only because Sahar is relatively tiny.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Nice TR! Quite surprising that there were so few Indians on your DXB-LHR leg.

One more thing. Do FZ- 438 and G9 482 connect AMD with AMD Question
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ameya
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
Very Nice TR! Quite surprising that there were so few Indians on your DXB-LHR leg.

One more thing. Do FZ- 438 and G9 482 connect AMD with AMD Question


I had the same question...after seeing the snap of FIDS
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rishul, thanks for a really nice trip report.
I am sure it is your humility - you write very well.
Thanks for the dedication - yes, this report took quite some time
in coming, but I am sure that the wait was well worth it.
It is nice to see the AAI maintain the new terminal at AMD well, though
as you write, the in-line luggage check-in is certainly not
rocket science, and could be done easily. The first picture of
the boarding screen - there is a blooper: FZ 438 and G9 482 have
`Ahmedabad' written beside them, in Devanagari! I guess members
The_Goat and ameya beat me to this, as I keyed this in.
The large number of pictures adds to the quality of the report.
The overwing pictures were superb!
I also liked the picture of Lady Gulliver standing right in
front of your EK 332 with a large red bad in her hand, and
Lilliputians on the tarmac. Very nice sense of observation, and timing!
Your descriptions and pictures of DXB were very nice.
When you say, ``...like most Indian food, it tasted better than
it looked,'' do you expect me to agree? I ended up having another
bowl of mangoes, milk and cereal just because hunger pangs struck
me on reading your report!
7 planes visible from your window over EU space - wow!
At LHR, looks like you also got delayed at the immigrations -
the wait is actually quite terrible. On my last trip, I changed
all the numbers on my cellphone to prefix them with a +91, and
still ended up waiting in the line. I missed my bus connection to
Bristol, too.
I really appreciate that you are have found time on a family
vacation to write about your trip. Now have the momentum - we
eagerly look forward to reading the other parts of this trip
report, along with so many others - domestic flights, AMD-MAA and
vice versa, that you have taken over the past many months.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: LONDON CALLING - PART - 1 – EK 538/EK 029 Reply with quote

Top TR. Some brilliant photography in there as well. Smile

That AMD terminal has a real touch of class in it. I suppose MAA is going to be similar, as its blueprints and proposed digital imagery resemble the above design somewhat, and it's obviously being carried out by the AAI as well.

me111993 wrote:


Good pic, this. If it's above the Arabian Sea, I bet you saw some aircraft zooming back and forth around here? Seems like a pretty busy area from what I keep noticing.

me111993 wrote:
This was KWI bound.


A 77L to KWI? Since when have they been doing that!? Surprised

me111993 wrote:
The selection is through the roof, really is, you can never expect anything of a similar magnitude anywhere else, but because EBB is such an old plane, the IFE was really starting to show its age, the touch screen was non-responsive, and the movies as well as music played as though the sound was coming from an old scratched CD, impossible to watch absolutely impossible to watch anything, let alone a new movie, and this was the case with my father’s screen as well, who was beside me, and my brother infront of me faced the same issue.


Yeah, a lot of folks don't get a hang of the system the first time they use it. I've never found the touch screen too operable as well - the idea is to use the arrow keys to guide the cursor around the screen. Over the course of many EK flights, I've never gotten the touchscreen to function typically so I presume this ain't a bug or sign of age on the IFE's part.

me111993 wrote:
We touched down 10 mins ahead of schedule, had a 2 minute taxi into the gate,where in we were accompanied by an EK A380 doing EK-2 and a VS 744.


So there was an EK 380 in LHR after all? I haven't kept up to date with the story - what exactly were the groundings all about actually?


Nimish wrote:
1. Does the intl section at AMD (post immigration) offer alcohol? I noticed a port lounge there, how is it?


Seen it at GOI, HYD and MAA as well. Ridiculously overpriced food and beverages. A slice of cake for Rs. 85/-. Quite atrocious. Of course, in the airports they have a monopoly in (GOI and MAA from my experiences), it doesn't take too long for the coffers to fill.

Nimish wrote:
5. I noticed the QR 320 parked on a remote bay at AMD - is there already a paucity of gates at the "new" intl terminal? Quite a shame if true!


That's a 321. Smile

Nimish wrote:
9. Compare and contrast the transfer experience at DXB with the one at BOM. Quite a massive difference. And yet some guys insist that the transfer at BOM is decent now - it's not even remotely decent for any self-respecting chap.


Decent compared to 20th century Indian standards? Maybe. Decent compared to today's global standards? Not a chance. Smile

jasepl wrote:
Also, a cool listing of connecting flight information on the IFE screen. I wonder if it's just a common list, or like Cathay, lists only the connections that are relevant to the passengers on board. If the latter, then I'm impressed at the places Amdavadis are going!


No that list just picks off from the current departures board at DXB T3. Filtering the passenger manifest for that kind of thing seems a bit too tedious imo.

Heck, I can't wait to write a TR of my own now. It's been a long time since my last one, and my next flight is on July 2 - SpiceJet on MAA-BOM and then on July 9 on the return sector. It's going to be the most generic, boring TR ever but I guess I'll still write it for the sake of it. Smile
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me111993
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Nice example of photo journalism. I like the runway picture. The terminal at AMD looks gorgeous, it should be developed as a major international airport. Thanks for posting


Thanks Sabya99! AMD does have a lot of potential, and can really be a decent international destination in India in the forth coming years.

Quote:
Wow - awesome TR - thanks for posting! The pictures really made my day - gave me a feeling of the AMD airport and the flight as well. I think this forum is really blessed these days with so many awesome trip reports...

Questions that went through my (devious) mind as I read this:

1. Does the intl section at AMD (post immigration) offer alcohol? I noticed a port lounge there, how is it?
2. If EY ex-BOM was only 32K, was the advantage with 9W's transfers significant enough that you were willing to spend 41K ex-AMD? Sounds easier than done I suppose, but was taking the train to BOM and then connecting to EY an option to "optimize" costs? Of course the final 34K on EK is just a super sweet deal!
3. The Hindi FIDS screen seems to show "Ahmedabad" as the destination - what's with that?
4. The list of intl flights ex-AMD is mighty impressive. And consider the fact that until a few years ago - there were probably none. Truly something beneficial for India under the previous few ministers.
5. I noticed the QR 320 parked on a remote bay at AMD - is there already a paucity of gates at the "new" intl terminal? Quite a shame if true!
6. Man, the Y meal on EK seems like it's better than what 9W might serve in J!
7. No surprises about the large number of connections to NYC and SFO - both cities have so many Indians, it's not funny. And these are not 3rd or 4th generation Indians with no ties back with India, these are largely FOB (fresh off the boat) varieties who insist on coming to India every year, and having families visit them too. I wonder if the SFO bound traffic from AMD was more VFR or did it have a lot of business travelers too?
8. Each time I look at the terminal at DXB, I reminded of a huge anaconda lying on the ground with a few ants surrounding it
9. Compare and contrast the transfer experience at DXB with the one at BOM. Quite a massive difference. And yet some guys insist that the transfer at BOM is decent now - it's not even remotely decent for any self-respecting chap.
10. You must be quite a brave guy, I would have been heartbroken if my 380 leg was replaced by a 77W with the nasty 3-4-3 seating . I'm surprised though about the load disparity - did they have to rebook some pax originally booked on the 380?
11. I think the good thing about EK is that there's probably no "flag ship" route for them . They treat each route with respect and keep upgrading their fleet so no one feels singled out. That being said, I hear their 332s are horribly dated, but I guess they're out of the fleet in a few years too.
12. The immigration at LHR is HORRIBLE, worse than the worst 3rd world country. Shame on them!

Waiting for the return sector. And it would be great if you can add a sentence against each photo, so we know what you were thinking or had experienced!


Firstly, thankyou so much Nimish, really appreciate the comment! Yeah, the forum really is going through a purple patch with all the TR's, unfortunately, for whatever reason,i'm blocked, and unable to comment using my phone, but some absolutely excellent TR's coming through as well!

I'm gonna answer your questions in order now, Smile

1) The lounge is pretty decent actually, 9W's BOM Domestic lounge comes to mind, just a smaller size of it, and no, they don't offer Alcohol, but it is sold packed as NRI's can carry alcohol in and out of this Dry State.

2) It's not as big a hassle travelling ex-BOM, but I had a certain amount of influence on booking 9W, my dad is JP-Plat, mum is JP-Gold, timings with Jet were better, you get the option of a 7-am arrival as well, all factors combined, Jet did emerge as a good candidate.

3) Its' goofed up. Expecting a fully functional and accurate FIDS in AMD is much like expecting your average chicken to deliver golden eggs 17 times a day.

4) haha, about 7 odd hours before the pic was clicked, the screen would've included SQ to SIN, AI to EWR and KWI as well.

AI had their Gujarat Express service for a long time, over a decade, I assume, the AMD-BOM-CDG/LHR/FRA-EWR service was mighty popular! Later they replaced it with a nonstop to FRA.

5) Yeah, its a remote bay, there are 2 aerobridges and 2 more slots for aerobridges here, which will be installed some time in the next year, I presume.

6) haha, it was pretty good, but no paneer really broke my heart!

7) VFR, primarily, but there's phenomenal amount of VFR traffic from here!

Cool Interesting ! Very Happy

9) Oh, there's no way you can compare DXB with domestic-intl in BOM! but, BOM is terribly restricted DXB is not at all!

10) I was a little bit, but honestly, some of the 77W's you get just come in from these exotic destinations flying 16 hours nonstop, it just gives me agood feeling being on such a plane.

EBB here, had done BOM-DXB twice before this flight, but ECQ, the plane I got on the return had followed the following - DXB-GRU-DXB-LHR-DXB and was heading to LAX in a few hours! How awesome!

About the load disparity, EK 001 at 0745 is also an A380, I don't think they will have chock-a-block A380 flights with-in 2 hours of each other so soon. But this flight was almost 100% full.

11) Yeah, the A332's are very dated, but as long as you're on a tiny 3 hour flight, its quite managable, really.

Quote:
Waiting for the return sector. And it would be great if you can add a sentence against each photo, so we know what you were thinking or had experienced!


Will do so in the return leg? Smile

Quote:
Great report - thanks for sharing!



Thanks jasepl!

Quote:
The FIDS and some other signs appear to be in Hindi and English only? Was there no Gujarati?


There was Gujarati aswell!

Quote:
Also, a cool listing of connecting flight information on the IFE screen. I wonder if it's just a common list, or like Cathay, lists only the connections that are relevant to the passengers on board. If the latter, then I'm impressed at the places Amdavadis are going!


As spiderguy has answered, this is just what they pick up from the FIDS in DXB.

Quote:
What about the inflight announcements and menus? English / Hindi only? Or Gujarati as well?


English and arabic only, no hindi either.

Quote:
As for Heathrow immigration, it's nothing new and abosolutely disgraceful, to the extent that I have read about people choosing to make a connection and fly to LCY or Birmingham or Gatwick or some other convenient-ish airport instead.


LGW/LCY make a lot more sense than LHR, if you get decent fares!

Quote:
Very Nice TR! Quite surprising that there were so few Indians on your DXB-LHR leg.


Thanks a lot! There were 3-4 families on the return leg, so not many there either.

Quote:
Rishul, thanks for a really nice trip report.
I am sure it is your humility - you write very well.
Thanks for the dedication - yes, this report took quite some time
in coming, but I am sure that the wait was well worth it.
It is nice to see the AAI maintain the new terminal at AMD well, though
as you write, the in-line luggage check-in is certainly not
rocket science, and could be done easily. The first picture of
the boarding screen - there is a blooper: FZ 438 and G9 482 have
`Ahmedabad' written beside them, in Devanagari! I guess members
The_Goat and ameya beat me to this, as I keyed this in.
The large number of pictures adds to the quality of the report.
The overwing pictures were superb!


Thankyou so very much Sumantra!

Quote:
I also liked the picture of Lady Gulliver standing right in
front of your EK 332 with a large red bad in her hand, and
Lilliputians on the tarmac. Very nice sense of observation, and timing!


When you say, ``...like most Indian food, it tasted better than
it looked,'' do you expect me to agree? I ended up having another
bowl of mangoes, milk and cereal just because hunger pangs struck
me on reading your report!


hahah Laughing

Quote:
7 planes visible from your window over EU space - wow!


Its really brilliant! The corntails blow your mind away!

Quote:
Now have the momentum - we
eagerly look forward to reading the other parts of this trip
report, along with so many others - domestic flights, AMD-MAA and
vice versa, that you have taken over the past many months.
Cheers, Sumantra.


Momentum is the most important word here! Smile Already started working towards P-2, but I'm travelling to my cousin sister's engagement next week, so will post it the week after. Smile
Quote:

Top TR. Some brilliant photography in there as well.


Thankyou so much Varun!

Quote:
That AMD terminal has a real touch of class in it. I suppose MAA is going to be similar, as its blueprints and proposed digital imagery resemble the above design somewhat, and it's obviously being carried out by the AAI as well.


AMD does look very good, but they have to maintain it though, something in which the people need to contribute, unfortunately, the sense of ownership is seriously lacking in people here.

Quote:
Good pic, this. If it's above the Arabian Sea, I bet you saw some aircraft zooming back and forth around here? Seems like a pretty busy area from what I keep noticing.


Thanks, and yeah, pretty busy!
Quote:

A 77L to KWI? Since when have they been doing that!?


The comment was for the pic above the 77L's pic, the 773 was KWI bound, the 77L was LAX bound.


Quote:
Yeah, a lot of folks don't get a hang of the system the first time they use it. I've never found the touch screen too operable as well - the idea is to use the arrow keys to guide the cursor around the screen. Over the course of many EK flights, I've never gotten the touchscreen to function typically so I presume this ain't a bug or sign of age on the IFE's part.


I used the cursor on the remote as well, but on the return leg, the touch screen was pretty responsive. Selection was wider than this tool!

Quote:
So there was an EK 380 in LHR after all? I haven't kept up to date with the story - what exactly were the groundings all about actually?


The EK A380 was active, it had operated EK-001, and was running late for the return.

The A380's are being grounded to perform some checks and repairs on wing-cracks discovered some time ago. These groundings are costing EK almost $30 million a month!

Quote:
Heck, I can't wait to write a TR of my own now. It's been a long time since my last one, and my next flight is on July 2 - SpiceJet on MAA-BOM and then on July 9 on the return sector. It's going to be the most generic, boring TR ever but I guess I'll still write it for the sake of it.


We're all waiting!

Once again, Nimish, Jasepl, Sabya99, Sumantra, Varun, The_Goat, thankyou so much for the comments!
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G-BYGB
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR Rishul! Glad you had nice flight on EK. Hope to see more TRs from you in coming days.. Smile
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me111993
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G-BYGB wrote:
Great TR Rishul! Glad you had nice flight on EK. Hope to see more TRs from you in coming days.. Smile


Thank-you so much!
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jasepl
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: LONDON CALLING - PART - 1 – EK 538/EK 029 Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
No that list just picks off from the current departures board at DXB T3. Filtering the passenger manifest for that kind of thing seems a bit too tedious imo.

Well it's not like they have to do it manually (not that that would be an impediment; they could just get a dozen more slaves from Kerala to exploit).

me111993 wrote:
English and arabic only, no hindi either.

Negative.

Do EK have desi (or desi-speaking) FAs?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Negative.

Do EK have desi (or desi-speaking) FAs?


I'm sure they do, but they had none on our flight.

The crew knew 12 other languages though, but what difference does it make really?

Although, on an international flight one can understand, about an year ago, on a 6E MAA-AMD flight, the crew proudly announced that they knew punjabi, nepali and marathi. Very smart. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

me111993 wrote:
I'm sure they do, but they had none on our flight.

The crew knew 12 other languages though, but what difference does it make really?

Although, on an international flight one can understand, about an year ago, on a 6E MAA-AMD flight, the crew proudly announced that they knew punjabi, nepali and marathi. Very smart. Rolling Eyes


Gujarati nathee chhey ? O maaraa bapaa ! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent TR and thanks for sharing ... liked the pictures.

EK is EK, whatever with little ups and downs. A332 to AMD maynot be appetizing however not many airlines can take you from AMD to DUR/BHX/SEA et al in one stop.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

avbuff wrote:
Excellent TR and thanks for sharing ... liked the pictures.

EK is EK, whatever with little ups and downs. A332 to AMD maynot be appetizing however not many airlines can take you from AMD to DUR/BHX/SEA et al in one stop.


Thanks a lot.

And, agreed with the second part of your comment, no one can ever fathom to offer connections of such a magnitude 1 stop from a place like AMD.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thoroughly enjoyed your TR and excellent pictures to go with it. Also your TR may be first one here that gave a fairly good idea about AMD (with nice pictures). And AMD is much more impressive than I thought to be.

Love it or hate it, EK will grab your business...part of my upcoming trip to CCU this december, I have to include EK since my other option would be QR. EK beats QR for me because I will get a chance to fly 380 (DXB-LHR sector) and also allows me to connect from LGW to CCU on my outbound sector. Which other airline will offer you that flexibility?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Pal - we look forward to some goodies from you on this forum, in December! If all goes well, you may get to use the new integrated terminal in CCU, too.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR, lots of nice pics.
Going against the flow, I actually though AMD international terminal looked big and airy but rather dull, looks a bit empty and lifeless. Do you think they need to do something with the interiors or are the pics deceptive? Is it run/going to be run by AAI?

As you rightly mentioned the 330 cabins are outdated, i guess EK are gonna get rid of them so cant justify spending on upgrades. We just have to put up with them in the meanwhile unfortunately...... The newest aircrafts have an even better system (12" HD screens in Y, which i believe are the biggest Y screens out there).
Fly on any aircraft delivered in the last few years and the ICE system is one of the best.

I flew DXB-LHR-DXB on the 380 a few weeks ago in Y + J. No issues with the IFE coz it was a newish aircraft. I should have taken more pics and done a TR Confused
me111993 wrote:
About the load disparity, EK 001 at 0745 is also an A380, I don't think they will have chock-a-block A380 flights with-in 2 hours of each other so soon. But this flight was almost 100% full.

Those 380s to London go pretty much full, which is why it'll be 5 daily 380s to LHR by Feb '13.
jasepl wrote:
Do EK have desi (or desi-speaking) FAs?

Yup quite a lot.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thoroughly enjoyed your TR and excellent pictures to go with it. Also your TR may be first one here that gave a fairly good idea about AMD (with nice pictures). And AMD is much more impressive than I thought to be.



Thanks a lot!

Quote:
Love it or hate it, EK will grab your business...part of my upcoming trip to CCU this december, I have to include EK since my other option would be QR. EK beats QR for me because I will get a chance to fly 380 (DXB-LHR sector) and also allows me to connect from LGW to CCU on my outbound sector. Which other airline will offer you that flexibility?


Precisely, the rate at which they're growing, their network itself will become so dominating that people will just simply have to choose EK to get where-ever they wanna get, if they wanna get their conveniently.

Flying into LGW should be wayy better than flying into LHR.

Quote:
Great TR, lots of nice pics.
Going against the flow, I actually though AMD international terminal looked big and airy but rather dull, looks a bit empty and lifeless. Do you think they need to do something with the interiors or are the pics deceptive? Is it run/going to be run by AAI?



Thanks a lot Nikhil.
AMD is the same glass steel structure that you'll find in every nook and corner of the country, but it used to be an absolute bus-stop, the trashiest place one can imagine, its become pretty, efficient and usable, which is why the positive reviews.


Quote:
As you rightly mentioned the 330 cabins are outdated, i guess EK are gonna get rid of them so cant justify spending on upgrades. We just have to put up with them in the meanwhile unfortunately...... The newest aircrafts have an even better system (12" HD screens in Y, which i believe are the biggest Y screens out there).
Fly on any aircraft delivered in the last few years and the ICE system is one of the best.


Oh absolutely, even if the A332's weren't outdated, if you're on them for 2 odd hours, then why bother at all, passengers sit on cramped 737's a lot longer.

The IFE is mind boggling on the newer planes!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great trip report. AMD airport looks pretty good. I guess the new private airports have upped the ante, and AAI is trying to keep up. Nothing like a bit of competition to make even the slovenliest babu sit up and take notice, but then I bet Gujarati business houses and the CM's office wanted an airport they wouldn't be ashamed of.

Btw, the A332 is not an underpowered aircraft if we're talking about underpowered in the sense of the gentler climb rate that A343s are infamous for. In fact, the 332 is designed to operate out of hot and high airports with short runways, but many operators see no reason to take off at a higher thrust if not required.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaysit wrote:
Great trip report. AMD airport looks pretty good. I guess the new private airports have upped the ante, and AAI is trying to keep up. Nothing like a bit of competition to make even the slovenliest babu sit up and take notice, but then I bet Gujarati business houses and the CM's office wanted an airport they wouldn't be ashamed of.

Btw, the A332 is not an underpowered aircraft if we're talking about underpowered in the sense of the gentler climb rate that A343s are infamous for. In fact, the 332 is designed to operate out of hot and high airports with short runways, but many operators see no reason to take off at a higher thrust if not required.


Thanks a lot for the kind words!

Lets see how the authorities maintain the airport.

Thanks for the info on the A332!
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