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Anonymous4 Jan 2011
Good morning and Happy New Year to you all.
While I’ve been to Egypt a couple of times, it has only ever been to Cairo. This year I have to visit Alexandria and hope some of you can give me advice.
As far as I can see, I have to travel via Cairo (there is a flight via Amman, but the timings are so bad I’m not going near it!). The question is:
Do I fly to Cairo and connect to Alexandria with Egypt Air? If so, which of the two airports in Alexandria is the best to fly into/out of?
What is the Egypt Air lounge like in both Cairo and Alexandria? (The generic BA one at Cairo was awful last time I was there. Is it still the same?)
Or do I fly BA or Egypt Air to Cairo and take the train to Alexandria? I believe there is an express service which takes a couple of hours.
Having never flown Egypt Air can anyone advise on their business class product?
Many thanks in advance.4 Jan 2011
I have taken the train several times from Cairo to Alex. It’s reasonably fast, clean and very pleasant. It’s certainly cheap, even in 1st Class at about £7 and there’s no hassle about seat reservations etc.
This link is very informative:
Have a good trip4 Jan 2011
The train sounds like a fun idea, though of course that is predicated on not having heavy – or valuable – luggage, and a good fixer to guide you from the air terminal to the train carriage.
I haven’t personally flown EgyptAir, but colleagues have and were scarred from the experience. Very tatty interiors (think 1970s 707 and you get the picture), and some considerable concerns about their approach to safety. Food was, apparently, quite good. Might have improved since they have now been with Star for a while. The new terminal they use is better, though.
The last time I was in BA’s (outsourced) Cairo lounge (great if you like green leather sofas) was two years ago.
They were playing the aviation disaster movie “ALIVE!” on the telly. I don’t think they saw the irony of it at all.5 Jan 2011
Dear All – Happy New Year
I have been flying EgyptAir many times on Business Class between Amsterdam and Cairo, and have to say that EgyptAir provides a wonderful package, real good value for money. The seats are not the latest model, but still very comfortable.
I have also done Brussels – Cairo, the service is the same, but the plane on this trip is an older model.
Cairo Airport – the Star Alliance Terminal – is a breeze. The other terminal require more effort and patience.5 Jan 2011
If you fly from Heathrow to Cairo, Egyptair will likely put up a 773 or 333, both of which will have flat, angled, bed seating and will be newish aircraft (1-2 years typically), with fresh interiors in a 6 across layout.
VK is wrong in his comments. I wonder how he would respond if someone posted misleading third party information about BA?
Some of the older A320s are not in great condition, but no worse than the BA 767s and the seat pitch is 38″ as opposed to whatever (lesser pitch) BA give now in CE. Anyway, these aircraft are not seen on the premium London route. The only ‘bad’ aircraft I have experienced are the A342’s, which are being ‘re-marketed’ as part of the fleet renewal process.
The cabin service is generally okay and the food is usually good, better than BA Club World, but remember that MS is a dry airline, so be sure to take a bottle of wine to enjoy (there is no problem with doing this.)
If you wish, there is also a bmi flight, using A321 equipment, with mid haul cradle seats.
Terminal 3 at Cairo is very modern and comparable to Terminal 5 at London (except for the minimal shopping ‘opportunities’, with high quality Star Alliance lounges in several places, making them convenient for boarding.
There is a limo service outside T3 (turn left) and this is recommended over the taxis (but then you have been to Cairo, so know this already!)5 Jan 2011
My comments were neither incorrect nor defamatory.
I clearly stated that my knowledge of the airline came from colleagues’ experiences; there were about the same time I went to Cairo (prior to the introduction of these new aircraft you speak of) and are exactly representative of their experience.
I was clear that their food and terminal is better than that used by alternative carriers; their approach safety was not dissimilar to that of Turkish airlines, and this was enough of a concern to my colleague to make it worthwhile highlighting to potential customers of the carrier. You may have a different perception, to which you are perfectly entitled.
Service standards do change, sometimes monthly, and obviously it is sensible to get first hand accounts and more recent experiences.
A wedgie bed is never a good option when compared to the fully flat http://www.newclubworld.com which BA always rosters on its Cairo service. Discussion of CE is irrelevant to this route, as it has never been used.
If you choose to fly a dry airline, then good luck to you.
BA has excellent value Club World fares to Cairo for £947 rtn, and no danger of being switched onto an EgyptAir plane with a dodgy interior.
As recently as 2009, EgyptAir was threatened with blacklisting from EU airspace as a consequence of numerous safty concerns, many of which are set out in this thread:5 Jan 2011
“I clearly stated that my knowledge of the airline came from colleagues’ experiences; there were about the same time I went to Cairo (prior to the introduction of these new aircraft you speak of) and are exactly representative of their experience.”
Did you or did you not fly Egyptair, yes or no?
“their approach safety was not dissimilar to that of Turkish airlines, and this was enough of a concern to my colleague to make it worthwhile highlighting to potential customers of the carrier”
Please will you cite your colleague’s and your professional qualifications to make this judgment?
“A wedgie bed is never a good option when compared to the fully flat http://www.newclubworld.com which BA always rosters on its Cairo service “
In your opinion; having flown many miles on angled lie flat seats and having slept many hours on them, there is little practical difference and both have their pros and cons.
“Discussion of CE is irrelevant to this route, as it has never been used.”
i was not discussing CE, but responding to your inaccurate comments “Very tatty interiors (think 1970s 707 and you get the picture)”, by providing a view across my personal (as in I have flown on, not my mate knows a guy whose sister did) experiences of the MS fleet.
The food is a matter of opinion, but I would say that MS on the London run reminds me of Club World about 10 years ago.5 Jan 2011
EgyptAir warned to improve safety or face EU blacklisting
David Kaminski-Morrow, London (17Jul09, 15:48 GMT, 217 words)
EgyptAir has been warned that it risks inclusion on the European Commission’s blacklist of banned airlines unless it addresses serious concerns in several areas of its operation.
In a detailed assessment of its recent blacklist revision, the Commission states that 75 inspections since January last year turned up 240 individual safety findings, including 69 in the highest of the three classifying categories.
The Commission expressed “serious concern” to the Egyptian civil aviation authority in May, regarding “systemic safety deficiencies” at the flag-carrier.
It says the “persistence of serious findings” in areas such as airworthiness, maintenance, operations and the safety of cargo on board has prompted a request for monthly reports, from Egyptian authorities, on implementation of a corrective action plan.
EgyptAir submitted extensive documentation detailing remedial action during June, says the Commission, and made a presentation to the European air safety committee two weeks ago.
As a result the Commission says it is not blacklisting the carrier “at this stage”.
But it adds that it has “urged” EgyptAir to provide “without delay” for the sustainable resolution of the various findings, “failing which, appropriate measures will have to be taken”.
Inspections of the airline are to be intensified and the air safety committee will review the carrier’s position in November. EgyptAir could not immediately be reached for comment.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news5 Jan 2011
Please answer my question, what are your qualifications for making a safety judgment?
We can all post links to articles, it does not qualify us to make a judgment
Both the above raise safety concerns about British Airways, does that mean we should not fly with the carrier?5 Jan 2011
The first link you posted referenced a problem encountered with all 777s, and not specific to BA.
The other article your trudge around google picked up referenced isolated incidents as far back as 2003. With one of the largest fleets in commercial aviation, BA is bound to have the occasional incident; that doesn’t change its reputation as an airline with (and I am quoting your link here) “one of the best maintained fleets in the world”.
If you are seriously trying to pitch an EgyptAir as a safer option than BA, then I think the only think which needs questioning is your sanity.
Enjoy your flight on EgyptAir, BABenji. Should you pull through, please do let us know how it went!5 Jan 2011
who said anything about me actually booking my flight with Egypt Air?
I might go freestyle and take the, until now, unconsidered option of BMI. Their timings are better than BA and Egypt Air, it must be said.5 Jan 2011
I have always been surprised that Egyptair were allowed to join Star Alliance. I have flown them several times a few years ago without mishap. Tatty planes but nice friendly service. However I would not fly them again unless I absolutely had to. I cannot criticize them as such but it is a matter of perception and until that changes I will not fly with them.
Regarding the train – the original thread – it really is very simple and very safe. If you have a lot of baggage there are porter services available at each end. Cairo station is really quite safe but as at any railway station be aware of your surroundings and don’t take help from any “fixer” who just turns up.
If you have just hand luggage, it is really a breeze, taxi, ticket, train. If you are staying one night in Cairo then the hotel concierge can arrange absolutely everything for you.
Let us know how you get on.5 Jan 2011
“If you are seriously trying to pitch an EgyptAir as a safer option than BA, then I think the only think which needs questioning is your sanity.”
But I have not expressed as much as an opinion about the safety of any airline and certainly have not made a judgment.
My postings merely show that there are a lot of articles on the web that criticise airline safety, apparently with authoratative voices. As you well know from this forum, I am a regular user of British Airways, so obviously I do not worry about them, which is why I posted the links.
But I think that we now know that you are completely professionally unqualified to make a judgement about airline safety.
And in that light, your comments about Egyptair safety are biased, since they are made from a position of prejudice, not qualified expert opinion.
This is obvious from your comment that “The first link you posted referenced a problem encountered with all 777s, and not specific to BA.”
If you understood the report, it is specific only to RR engines and as BA operates a mixed fleet of GE and RR powerplants, their exposure is less than for carriers with all RR power.5 Jan 2011