Egypt Air - business/first class

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Old Jul 26, 08, 3:31 pm
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Egypt Air - business/first class

I will be flying AMM-PEK shortly. Egypt Air have dirt cheap fares in business- and first class, respectively USD 1300 and USD 2000. How are these classes compared to other "normal" airlines?? I have heard that Egypt Air is a 3rd world airline, and not very comfortable. But I am very tempted by the low fares - and also full earnings on miles on Star Alliance.

I will also have to do a transfer on the international terminal. I think I have a connection time of 90 minutes. I have been to Cairo once, and it's one of the crappiest airports I have been to. Will I be fine with this amount of time?
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Old Jul 27, 08, 2:07 am
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First of all, let me say that Egypt Air isn't a third world airline in the same sense-that would be the likes of Nigeria Airways (defunct), Somalia Air etc...
The airline is constantly improving which is a good sign-but it will be years before it can compete with larger airlines. The airline shrinks in comparison to other regional airlines, even MEA (which is a smaller airline and STILL has IFE)
Egypt Air's First and Business product isn't exactly appetizing, especially for a long-haul like CAI-BKK-PEK. Old-fashioned seats, no amenities etc.
The 90-minute connection time is risky, but so long as you are travelling on one ticket then no problem. Double check though.
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Old Aug 19, 08, 4:39 pm
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Upgrade Chances at Counter??

I will be traveling with a tour group on September 8th from JFK to Cairo and back on September 17th on Egypt Air. This is what is called a FAM tour for people who have led tours with this company so we are getting a full 10 day tour of Egypt, Luxor, Asswan with inner air on Air Egypt and round trip Economy Air to and from Cairo for around $ 2,200 including hotels, Nile River cruise, meals, etc. The tour agency is sending us our paper tickets and details in the mail this week. I have already called MS EgyptAir and spoken to "reservations" who was able to find my name on their computer. I asked if I could upgrade to Business Class or First and they sent me over to Ticketing (a separate number in their New York City office). When I called the New York City office, the lady in ticketing couldn't find my name. (This was a week or two ago). The people at the Tour Company tell me that this might be due to the fact that she didn't know where to look. They suggested I try again this week now that the tickets have been actually issued. I will actually arrive in JFK four or so hours before the plane for Cairo departs and I wonder: should I wait at the gate in International Departures for the gate counter to open or should I head out of security and go to the Egypt Air Ticket Counter and try my luck at upgrading? Should I keep calling the Ticket Office and try and buy my "way up" to Business or even First Class? I have bad sciatica and fear sitting in Coach for 12 hours. The lady in ticketing did tell me that upgrades were possible for $ 500 on the day of departure. So I am hoping for the best. The bad news is that the travel company sent us an email and warned us that Egypt Air is STILL a dry airline and that no alcohol will be served on board at all. They didn't say a thing about us bringing anything on board however.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Aug 19, 08, 9:24 pm
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  • where from do you arrive in JFK? I am not 100% sure, but I would suspect you have to clear security at some point again, where you need also boarding pass anyway.
  • regardless, since you really seem eager on not flying Y, try calling them again, now that your tix are issued. day on departure upgrades are a bit of a gamble as you have to rely on avail. EF shows C4 D4 J0 for both your flights...
  • yes, MS is a dry airline. since all other airlines I know who serve alc even don't allow you to consume alc you brought on board yourself, i highly doubt MS would be fine with that. Does anybody know if he can bring DutyFree alc on board and not open the bottle (or get caught )

Last edited by sebastian746; Aug 19, 08 at 9:26 pm Reason: add EF
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Old Aug 20, 08, 1:32 am
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I took a half bottle of wine with me on a Brunei flight. But this was back before the restrictions on carrying liquids airside: I suppose now you'd be limited to full bottles of wine or spirits from duty-free: a bit OTT.

It's not something I'd try on Saudia, but I can't see a major problem with MS crew. But it would be polite to ask the purser.
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Old Aug 20, 08, 1:49 am
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Business class seats on the B777 are old style, very limited recline, and not very comfortable. BYOB not possible, how would you get it through security?? Being a "dry" airline, unless you drank it in the lav, I doubt it practical.
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Old Aug 20, 08, 2:00 am
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He can purchase alcohol at JFK and bring it to Egypt, but preferrebly without opening it. There's an Egypt Air Duty Free on arrivals at CAI which sells alcoholic drinks (I can't say if the selection is good or not because I have no experience).
However-and this is basically an educated guess-since this flight is coming from JFK, then the crew might possibly bend the rules on alcohol, if you ask the right person at the right moment. So it's definately worth a try for you to bring alcohol from JFK on the flight, ask. If permission is granted, drink. If not, save it for later and you can always check out the aformentioned Duty Free for more drinks
Be warned that MS does not have IFE in Y on any aircraft. So bring a few good books and/or deprive yourself of sleep 2 days beforehand so that you pass out instantly and the 12-hour flight goes by like a breeze.
It's going to be Ramadan in Egypt so people are going to be a) crankier and will make life difficult or b) sheepish from malnutrition and you can get them to do anything for you.
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Old Aug 20, 08, 4:19 am
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Cool Connecting from IAD

Originally Posted by sebastian746 View Post
  • where from do you arrive in JFK? I am not 100% sure, but I would suspect you have to clear security at some point again, where you need also boarding pass anyway.
  • regardless, since you really seem eager on not flying Y, try calling them again, now that your tix are issued. day on departure upgrades are a bit of a gamble as you have to rely on avail. EF shows C4 D4 J0 for both your flights...
  • yes, MS is a dry airline. since all other airlines I know who serve alc even don't allow you to consume alc you brought on board yourself, i highly doubt MS would be fine with that. Does anybody know if he can bring DutyFree alc on board and not open the bottle (or get caught )
I'll be connecting through IAD to JFK on United. I suppose I'll be changing terminals from Domestic to International since the United Flight is one of those small planes but I am not sure about having to go through TSA again. Having read through the next few posts, especially the one about no InFlight Entertainment in Y on Air Egypt, one wonders about the advantages of upgrading other than the seat comfort??
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Old Aug 20, 08, 5:30 am
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well, the missing IFE in Y is once of the reasons to ug to C
and, yes, you will certainly have to through security again.
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Old Sep 19, 08, 4:04 pm
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2 Wonderful Flights (JFK-CAI; CAI-JFK)

I just completed two wonderful Egypt Air (MS) flights from JFK-Cairo and Cairo-JFK on Sept 8 and Sept 17th on 777-200 (I believe) in First Class. I originally was booked in a low fare Economy Ticket with a Tour Group but in both cases I walked up to the First Class ticket counter on the day of travel and was able to upgrade at JFK and Cairo airport respectively on the day of travel and pay $ 770 for a Y to F upgrade. I was given a Pass to the Swiss Air Club in NY's JFK Airport (my bags were already checked from my domestic location via United all the way to Cairo), so I spent 4 hours enjoying the beverages and meals in the Club. But I had heard about MS Air's "dry policy" so I stopped at the Duty Free shop at JFK and bought 4 mini bottles (An American Whiskey Sampler) and inquired if anyone in the Duty Free Shop knew about MS Air's on board delivery policy. All I was told was that it would be brought to me on board. On the flight OVER to Cairo, the package was delivered to me on board. The flight over was very, very nice. There were only five paying passengers in First Class. I had two middle seats to myself and there was another lady to my right by the window who had also been in the Duty Free Shop and had made a similar purchase. Throughout the flight, we were able to use our bottles and the Flight Attendant paid no attention to us. She even asked us if we needed "ice" for our drinks. The meals were served buffet style on a cart and we got to pick and choose what we wanted. We were then able to sleep for several hours, although the seats did not lay flat on the way over to Cairo. Then we were served a hot breakfast. The inflight entertainment system was a plus and it worked well. We were given hot towels several times during the flight. What amazed me was that as often as I got up to use the rest room which was near the flight deck, how often the flight deck door was being opened and closed and the flight crew was being rotated. There wasn't nearly the concern that there was on US flights about the flight deck door being open.

On the flight back, I followed the same procedure in Cairo and walked right up to the Cairo desk and did the same upgrade procedure for the same price. The Cairo lounge for 1st Class was not nearly as nice and no free alcohol. However, I did buy a fifth of alcohol and was able to bring it on the flight myself without it being delivered. There were only 3 first class passengers in a cabin of 6 seats. The other 3 seats were empty. When it came time to take a nap on the 12 hour flight, one of the relief pilots happened to be nearby and he showed me how to get the seat to lay completely 180 degrees flat (amazing!) by having me push the recline button while he stood in the rear and pushed another (hidden) button. It made all the difference in the world. I didn't even know the seat could do that. I asked him how he did that and he told me "pilot secret" and smiled. I was certainly glad he showed me that. He did that to the lady to my right as well and we were certainly pleased he did. I slept like a log for 6 hours. The meal service for the first meal was breakfast and after stuffing us with a cold and warm course, I thought I was done and then they brought out more hot food! Unfortunately, the next meal service, a very good but hot lunch was served too soon after the first meal service. It should have been served a few hours later, in my humble opinion. I was able to pour my drinks at will without a problem. Service was as good if not better than the first flight with very attentive flight attendants -- perhaps too attentive as it was daytime and some of us wanted to sleep more due to the longer flight.

All in all I found Egypt Air to be very attentive in First Class and was glad I spent the extra money rather than being stuffed in Coach and was glad I had the full flat seat on the return flight to sleep for a good six hours.
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Old Sep 19, 08, 8:59 pm
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Very odd review when you read all other reviews about this airline.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 3:10 am
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Glad you had a nice experience with Egyptair. You also answered a few questions several had (if MS actually enforces its alcohol policy). Also refreshing to see a reviewer who managed to look on the bright side of things and not whine about everything.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 3:51 am
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Originally Posted by andrewjv View Post
... to get the seat to lay completely 180 degrees flat (amazing!) by having me push the recline button while he stood in the rear and pushed another (hidden) button.
thanks for the cool trip report

can you let us know which row you were in for the seat to go completely flat? I guessing row 1?

regards

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Old Sep 20, 08, 5:49 am
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When the seat became fully flat...is there enough seat pitch such that the person behind you wouldn't be affected?
I'm guessing they could've done the fully flat option because no one was sitting behind?
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Old Sep 20, 08, 6:54 am
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Fully Flat Seat

I was in Row 1 A by the Window; there was no one in Row 2 A OR B either Window or Aisle directly behind me on that flight. (Cairo -- New York).
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