Egyptair A330-300 BusinessBack to Forum
AnonymousGuest1 Apr 2014
Flew Paris CDG – Cairo and CAI – London LHR with Egyptair, both flights on A330-300.
Booked online using Egyptair’s website, quick, simple, and advance seat selection was available and complimentary.
Online and mobile check-in is available for most flights, but not yet for flights departing CDG, although I did check in using their mobile app prior to departing CAI.
At the airports:
Check-in at CDG was quick and friendly. Star Alliance lounge is undergoing refurbishment and is currently awful – overcrowded until a Thai A380 began boarding, with a tiny selection of refreshments. Drinks consisted of water, fruit juices, coke or diet coke, two beers, one white wine, and a selection of spirits. Food was no better – breads, salad, cold cuts, soup, and the only hot option was sausages. Only a small number of seats had power sockets available. On a more positive note the Wi-Fi was fast and a reasonable selection of international newspapers was available.
The inbound flight was late, so boarding was delayed slightly. Once it commenced, business class and frequent fliers were boarded separately and swiftly.
Bag drop at CAI was a bit slow, but still friendly. Egyptair operates four small lounges and there is no real difference between them, except one permits smoking. The lounges feel a little old and could do with a refurbishment, especially the toilets. A good range of fruit juices and soft drinks were offered, and in the morning a choice of cereals, sandwiches, salads, pastries, biscuits and cakes were available. Hot options were sausages, eggs, and beans. The seats are comfortable, and almost all have power sockets beside them. Wi-Fi was a little slow. Work stations were available.
Boarding at CAI was somewhat chaotic, although a separate priority lane is available (but isn’t obvious).
Business class consists of six rows in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are very similar to those found on Emirates and Qatar 777 aircraft, and the same as those on Egyptair’s own 777s, except the seat pitch is shorter. This isn’t an issue in seat mode; I’m tall and could still stretch my legs out without touching the end of the foot-well. The seat is highly adjustable and includes a basic massage function. Once you recline in to bed mode the seat pitch becomes more of an issue. Firstly, because of the lack of space the bed is angled rather steeply, although is flat with no obvious ridges between the cushions and is still rather comfortable. Far superior to the angled beds on Lufthansa, for example. Secondly, your feet are tucked deep in the foot-well, which makes getting out of a window seat very difficult if the passenger beside you has fully reclined. Window seats in the front row are the best option, far easier to get out. Avoid the last row, it only has one window (all other rows have three), and the overhead bins are occupied with emergency equipment and extra bedding.
Each seat comes with a blanket and pillow. A small storage tray is located under one of the armrests. A net basket is located under the entertainment screen, a slot for newspapers and magazines is next to the screen, and the foot-wells of neighbouring seats are separated by storage space for shoes.
Each seat features a power point and USB charging point, which can also be used to connect media devices to the 15 inch touchscreen, which was slow and unresponsive, better just using the handset to control the IFE. The selection of movies is changed every couple of weeks, and features 5-10 new releases, plus around 15 other western films featuring a mix of less recent blockbusters, kids’ films, and classics. Most were available with subtitles in a wide range of languages. Several Arabic films and one or two Asian films were also available. A small selection of music and a tiny choice of TV shows were also available. Screens located at the front of the cabin display a moving map. Wi-Fi and mobile networks are available in flight, although the Wi-Fi was expensive.
Two toilets, one at the front left and the other at the right rear of the cabin are available – very basic, but kept clean throughout the flights.
Warmly welcomed on-board, directed to my seat at CDG, shown to my seat at CAI. Coats are taken and hung. Before take-off a hot towel and welcome drink of orange, apple, or guava juices; or water were offered. Next headphones were distributed (good by economy standards, but poor for business class, best bring your own), and a good range of newspapers and magazines offered. Stickers to attach to your seat reading ‘do not disturb’, ‘please wake me for meals’, and ‘please wake me for duty free’ were also distributed – simple but a good idea.
After take-off bottles of water and amenity kits were provided. The kit was a small blue wash bag containing an eye-mask, socks, earplugs, comb, toothbrush and paste, nail file, shoe horn, moisturiser, and cologne.
Next a drink service began. No alcohol – Egyptair is a dry airline – but a good choice of fruit and soft drinks, as well as teas, coffee, and still, sparkling and soda waters.
I only ate on the CDG – CAI flight. The meal service started with a tray containing a salad, and a prawn and rice starter (nothing special), along with condiments, salad dressings, and another face towel. A choice of warm breads was offered. There is no menu; instead you choose your main course from a trolley. I went for chicken, served with potatoes and vegetables. Beef or shrimp dishes were also available. Vegetarian meals must be pre ordered. The chicken was excellent, but the vegetables were overcooked and the potatoes mushy. Deserts, again chosen from a trolley, were next. I had a chocolate pudding with raspberry sauce, which was superb. To finish, chocolates and coffee were served.
Apart from the meal service just after take-off and a drink and snack service just before landing the flight attendants remained in the galley for the duration of the flight, but were only too happy to serve further drinks if you pushed the call button. Overall the service was a little rushed and impersonal, but polite and smiley.
A duty free trolley makes its way through the cabin about mid-way through the flight, mainly offering cigarettes and perfume.
Arrived at a remote stand at CAI, business class passengers were provided with a separate bus to take us to the terminal. No issues purchasing a visa on arrival, bags already on the belt once I got to the baggage hall.
Quickly disembarked at LHR, short wait at immigration in T3, and amazingly for Heathrow the luggage priority tags worked.
Egyptair is far from the best airline in the world, but offered a very good value fare and are more than adequate for Europe to Egypt. Transiting on to another flight at CAI terminal 3 is very easy based on my previous experiences, but the average food and entertainment means they are only worth considering for flights to the Far East or southern Africa if you can get a very cheap fare.1 Apr 2014