Cairo stopover programme on Egypt Air?

Old May 14, 2010, 3:39 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 11
Hello Canuck_traveler,

I will also arrive at 6 Am in Cairo on a long stopover. Can I ask for a few clarifications?

1) Did you end up taking the tour? In that case, I wondered whether you waited a long time after arrival in Cairo until the start of the Pyramids tour?

2) For a 10 hour layover (6 Am to 4 Pm), would a 3 hour tour still leave plenty of free time afterwards (considering the time to travel to Pyramids, and the formalities upon leaving the airport and coming back in)?

Thank you...
capdail2006 is offline  
Old May 14, 2010, 6:25 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by capdail2006
Hello Canuck_traveler,

I will also arrive at 6 Am in Cairo on a long stopover. Can I ask for a few clarifications?

1) Did you end up taking the tour? In that case, I wondered whether you waited a long time after arrival in Cairo until the start of the Pyramids tour?

2) For a 10 hour layover (6 Am to 4 Pm), would a 3 hour tour still leave plenty of free time afterwards (considering the time to travel to Pyramids, and the formalities upon leaving the airport and coming back in)?

Thank you...
Cairo is a disorganized zoo, so be sure to pad in plenty of time for anything you plan to do outside the airport. Even the airport can be wacky - I came in on a flight two nights ago and we were stuck standing on the walkway for thirty minutes because somebody forgot to unlock the door into the terminal. Flight before that the airplane waited in the stand for thirty minutes before the walkway was pushed up against it.
DrPSB is offline  
Old May 15, 2010, 12:04 am
  #18  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London
Programs: Hilton, IHG - BA, GA, LH, QR, SV, TK
Posts: 17,105
Originally Posted by DrPSB
Cairo is a disorganized zoo, so be sure to pad in plenty of time for anything you plan to do outside the airport. Even the airport can be wacky - I came in on a flight two nights ago and we were stuck standing on the walkway for thirty minutes because somebody forgot to unlock the door into the terminal. Flight before that the airplane waited in the stand for thirty minutes before the walkway was pushed up against it.
Your MS and CAI rants are getting more and more jaundiced - IT'S EGYPT! I'm more struck be how well things work despite the seeming chaos. The CAI environment is immeasurably improved since T3 opened. My transfer to KUL last week was straightforward and stress-free. OK, the lounges are not industry benchmarks - but compared to those in the old terminal.....

I've had the stuck-on-an-airbridge in front of a locked access door at ZRH, a very long wait for the bus to arrive to transfer to the terminal at way too many places to list and last week we were stuck in BHX waiting for a ground agent to unlock the "valve" doors after getting through the airbridge. Cock ups happen everywhere.
IAN-UK is offline  
Old May 15, 2010, 3:42 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by IAN-UK
Your MS and CAI rants are getting more and more jaundiced - IT'S EGYPT! I'm more struck be how well things work despite the seeming chaos. The CAI environment is immeasurably improved since T3 opened. My transfer to KUL last week was straightforward and stress-free. OK, the lounges are not industry benchmarks - but compared to those in the old terminal.....

I've had the stuck-on-an-airbridge in front of a locked access door at ZRH, a very long wait for the bus to arrive to transfer to the terminal at way too many places to list and last week we were stuck in BHX waiting for a ground agent to unlock the "valve" doors after getting through the airbridge. Cock ups happen everywhere.
I report it as I see it. If you don't like my opinions you are welcome to block my posts. My opinions/experiences on Egyptair are broadly shared (see a myriad of posts on Flyertalk or check out Airlinequality.com). To encourage readers of flyertalk to have an erroneous impression of the situation here could result in them making bad decisions - for example, stating that it is only 10 minutes from the airport to Citystars as you have done in another post (perhaps on a Friday morning) could really screw up somebodies plans.

I have given Egyptair credit when due and pointed out faults as well. I have had more than 30 flights on this airline in the last 12 months. While cocks up do happen everywhere they occur with regularity on this airline and are usually the result of poor planning or disorganization. This is a state run airline with all the problems associated with this type of management scheme. You are certainly welcome to post your wonderful experiences with this airline to balance my 'rants' as you wish - it's a free forum.

Last edited by DrPSB; May 15, 2010 at 3:50 am
DrPSB is offline  
Old May 15, 2010, 5:58 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,897
Originally Posted by capdail2006
Hello Canuck_traveler,

I will also arrive at 6 Am in Cairo on a long stopover. Can I ask for a few clarifications?

1) Did you end up taking the tour? In that case, I wondered whether you waited a long time after arrival in Cairo until the start of the Pyramids tour?

2) For a 10 hour layover (6 Am to 4 Pm), would a 3 hour tour still leave plenty of free time afterwards (considering the time to travel to Pyramids, and the formalities upon leaving the airport and coming back in)?

Thank you...
Hello Capdail2006,

No I didn't end up taking the tour (they wanted payment in cash I didn't have my bank card with me for the ATM). But I do have some additional information:

The Karnak Tour agent told me that the tour would start at 7 am and they would get me back to the airport by 11am. My connecting flight left at 1:30 and he assured me that I would be back in time.
canuck_traveler is offline  
Old May 15, 2010, 3:24 pm
  #21  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London
Programs: Hilton, IHG - BA, GA, LH, QR, SV, TK
Posts: 17,105
Originally Posted by DrPSB
I report it as I see it. If you don't like my opinions you are welcome to block my posts. My opinions/experiences on Egyptair are broadly shared (see a myriad of posts on Flyertalk or check out Airlinequality.com). To encourage readers of flyertalk to have an erroneous impression of the situation here could result in them making bad decisions - for example, stating that it is only 10 minutes from the airport to Citystars as you have done in another post (perhaps on a Friday morning) could really screw up somebodies plans.

I have given Egyptair credit when due and pointed out faults as well. I have had more than 30 flights on this airline in the last 12 months. While cocks up do happen everywhere they occur with regularity on this airline and are usually the result of poor planning or disorganization. This is a state run airline with all the problems associated with this type of management scheme. You are certainly welcome to post your wonderful experiences with this airline to balance my 'rants' as you wish - it's a free forum.
I've had very few wonderful experiences to report on airlines. And none at all on Egyptair. Where such experiences have ocurred, it's usually been because of an entertaining seat companion rather than the efforts of any airline. I keep my expectations low and find pleasure when they are exceeded. Working from the other direction is a recipe for frustration, as you may be finding out.

Of course this is a free forum: indeed, I look foward to reading more of your adventures on MS.

I'm mortified to think I could have ruined somebody's trip by casually throwing out ten minutes as the drive time to Citystars. Thank you for correcting me. We keep an apartment in Nasr City and I budget fifteen minutes for the airport run - which goes some way to explain why I seem oblivious to Egyptair's time-keeping!
IAN-UK is offline  
Old May 15, 2010, 8:49 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 563
Many expats, myself included, who live in Egypt refer to the repeated nuisances and problems we encounter here as 'the Egypt factor'. While most of the time you can shrug them off every once in a while it gets too much and the inevitable rant ensues. When I see praise lavished on Egyptair and terminal 3 it may be the last straw that pushes me over - because I have seen that under the facade the basic attitudinal and management problems remain. It's rather sad to see the efforts to modernize their product tarnished with the never ending little problems that could easily be resolved if somebody would have just taken a little initiative.

That said I shall be on guard to try and prevent my general ambivalence about the place not overrule fairness. And there are times I really love it here, I even extended an assignment from 2 years to 3 1/2. I'm at this moment enjoying a Starbucks cappuccino and egg mcmuffin in terminal one while making use of the free internet - remarkably the little food court on the top floor is more comfortable and enjoyable than the business lounges. And the demise of terminal 2 is an excellent development - hopefully the renovations will take a long long time and the result be up to the other two terminals standards. No more nescafe in the business lounges ever again!

Now off I go on my 'civilized' British Airways flight. No doubt I shall be ranting on the BA forums shortly about volcanoes and striking cabin crew.

Last edited by DrPSB; May 15, 2010 at 10:20 pm
DrPSB is offline  
Old May 16, 2010, 2:36 am
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London
Programs: Hilton, IHG - BA, GA, LH, QR, SV, TK
Posts: 17,105
Originally Posted by DrPSB
It's rather sad to see the efforts to modernize their product tarnished with the never ending little problems that could easily be resolved if somebody would have just taken a little initiative.
Expat dinner tables the world over buzz with such complaints. If it's not the maid's refusal to use a steam iron properly in Conakry, it's the way tickets are sold on the Cairo metro, or the impossibility of getting Cambodian restaurants to fully understand what vegetarians eat.

Egyptian air transport operates in, and responds to, an environment which is profoundly different to the one key industry-benchmarks operate in. The social, economic and political environment shapes priorities among employers, employees and customers quite at odds to those of an outsider. What is a tooth-grinding irritation to you and me could pass as something sublimely irrelevant to most of Egyptair's customers, and to the staff.

I'll shut up there - the text might read as patronising to you, and/or to Egyptians. Neither outcome is intended. And we are way off thread
IAN-UK is offline  
Old May 16, 2010, 5:34 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by IAN-UK
What is a tooth-grinding irritation to you and me could pass as something sublimely irrelevant to most of Egyptair's customers, and to the staff.
I can pretty much assure you having seen several near riots at the airport that expats aren't alone in being frustrated.... my recent experience being locked out of the airport after we arrived was remarkable for watching the locals pounding their fist on the glass doors and adding some new words to my Arabic vocabulary. Then there was the time at immigration at the business class line (one of the few times I've seen it open) when some expeditor cut in front with a stack of ten passports from dignitaries they'd waived through. The Egyptian businessmen went wild and I thought we were looking at the start of a revolution. In the end the immigration officer got so angry he stood up and walked away from the counter leading to even more confusion.

No, I don't think the Egyptians, particularly those educated and well traveled, have much more tolerance either.

And that is all I have to say about that.
DrPSB is offline  
Old May 16, 2010, 7:06 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Programs: BMI Diamond Club
Posts: 104
Beautiful thread, as an Egyptian, I must say, I'm honored
FlyingPharaoh is offline  
Old Jul 13, 2010, 2:40 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: AGB, MUC, FKB
Programs: US *G (AF, BA)
Posts: 282
I just have a "short" layover of about 5 hours in CAI connecting in T3 on my way from PEK to MUC arriving round 7am and leaving round 11:45.

Are there any options than hanging at the lounge. Any imaginable tour schedule seems quite tight to me?!

Staying in the transit area, I assume I won't need a visa


JN ;-}

Last edited by Jack Napier; Jul 16, 2010 at 3:55 am Reason: Added terminal information
Jack Napier is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2010, 2:34 am
  #27  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London
Programs: Hilton, IHG - BA, GA, LH, QR, SV, TK
Posts: 17,105
Originally Posted by Jack Napier
I just have a "short" layover of about 5 hours in CAI connecting on my way from PEK to MUC arriving round 7am and leaving round 11:45.

Are there any options than hanging at the lounge. Any imaginable tour schedule seems quite tight to me?!
You won't need a visa to stay airside, and I have often been assured you don't need one to go landside during a connection interval. I've never needed to do that, and I have no idea how you might go about it.

In any case, with the faffing about getting to the departure level etc etc your five hours will be whittled away. If you have access to a lounge, there's your answer. Otherwise there are bars and cafes, shops and some quiet areas you can sit and read.

In any case (two) there's really nowhere you can go within your available time, given the uncertainty of travel times. Although if you like shops you could go to a mall like Citystars, there are a bunch of restaurants there as well. Probably EGP50 taxi there, EGP20-30 back.
IAN-UK is offline  
Old Aug 2, 2010, 3:09 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Programs: UA Gold; US TIB; Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 248
We'll be arriving in CAI on TK692 from IST at 2:00a. Our connection to JNB on MS839 ins't until 00:30a the following morning. That's a 22.5 hour layover - more than enough time to see the pyramids, ride a felucca & tour the spice market, I think. I'm perfectly happy to arrange this on my own, but given the early hour of the arrival, I think I might like to rest a few hours before venturing out. Some questions:

1. Will I be able to (have to?) obtain a visa for only 22.5 hours (transit or tourist would be fine, and I don't mind paying the fee)?
2. Will MS provide a hotel for a very long layover - even if the inbound flight is on TK?
3. If they provide the hotel will I be locked in a designated "airside" section of the hotel, or will I be free to come and go?
4. If MS won't provide a hotel and I decide not to get one on my own, where should I go on a Sunday to watch the city wake up & come alive?
5. Any other suggestions to make this first-timer's transit less stressful?
kopflyer is offline  
Old Aug 2, 2010, 4:15 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: MAN
Programs: FB, OK+, MS, TK, Le Club, HH
Posts: 154
Originally Posted by kopflyer
We'll be arriving in CAI on TK692 from IST at 2:00a. Our connection to JNB on MS839 ins't until 00:30a the following morning. That's a 22.5 hour layover - more than enough time to see the pyramids, ride a felucca & tour the spice market, I think. I'm perfectly happy to arrange this on my own, but given the early hour of the arrival, I think I might like to rest a few hours before venturing out. Some questions:

1. Will I be able to (have to?) obtain a visa for only 22.5 hours (transit or tourist would be fine, and I don't mind paying the fee)?
2. Will MS provide a hotel for a very long layover - even if the inbound flight is on TK?
3. If they provide the hotel will I be locked in a designated "airside" section of the hotel, or will I be free to come and go?
4. If MS won't provide a hotel and I decide not to get one on my own, where should I go on a Sunday to watch the city wake up & come alive?
5. Any other suggestions to make this first-timer's transit less stressful?
Assuming from your FFP memberships that you are US based (& are therefore most likely to have a US passport which must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your trip to SA) you can obtain a single entry tourist visa airside, when you reach CAI.

I've not been through T3 International arrivals yet (later this month when I'll be catching an MS/TK codeshare fromm IST), but going off the setup in the older terminals, you should see a series of bank kiosks, normally on your left, as you approach the immigration counters. Enter any of these, present them with US$ 15 and your passport & they'll stick the visa on a blank page for you. Simple as that.

It could even be that approaching a member of MS ground staff, regarding hotel accommodation & a tour could lead to them fast tracking you & carrying out this formality on your behalf.

Sorry, but I''ve never had a long enough stop over in CAI transit to partake of any hotel room, etc., but I have got deplaned from a CAI - ASW MS domestic flight, many years ago (sand storms in ASW) & the MS staff couldn't do enough for us: immediately providing drinks, upon entering the arrivals hall, taking everyone off to the Sheraton for a proper meal & even organising a tour of Luxor & Karnak Temples, to while away the 7 hour delay (It was actually quite disappointing that ASW cleared just as wwe reached the first temple & so the tour didn't come off in the end).
GlenP is offline  
Old Aug 2, 2010, 10:02 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Programs: UA Gold; US TIB; Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 248
Originally Posted by GlenP
Enter any of these, present them with US$ 15 and your passport & they'll stick the visa on a blank page for you. Simple as that.

It could even be that approaching a member of MS ground staff, regarding hotel accommodation & a tour could lead to them fast tracking you & carrying out this formality on your behalf.
Thanks for the tips, GlenP. I do hold an American passport, and I am aware of the passport expiration clauses. I should be good till late 2012.

Sorry to hear you didn't get much of a tour - I'm personally more interested in the complimentary hotel. Since our layover is so long I figure we can do a better self-tour than a prescribed itinerary would offer. I'm still not sure if MS will offer based on the fact that we arrive on TK, but I'll certainly try to find a member of the ground crew before dealing with Customs.
kopflyer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.