Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Old Mar 21, 2024, 4:19 pm
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
Originally Posted by Fredrik74
I have a stay in Paris during the Olympics and have a booking at that very Holiday Inn Express. I'm convinced I will be paying more than you. However, it will hopefully be easier for me to find it since I've now seen a description how to find it.
Having now done it, its simple. Follow the signs to T1, Get on the CDGVAL free transit train, get off at Parking R, exit the building and look left.
Fredrik74 and daftboy like this.
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 21, 2024, 5:42 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: EXT
Posts: 477
I haven't checked in on this forum in ages so I feel lucky to have found some reports taking shape live! Baku has been on my shopping list for a while, so I'll be following this with interest.
DeathSlam and JapesUK like this.
TheFlyingDoctor is offline  
Old Mar 21, 2024, 6:53 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Denver CO
Programs: HHonors Gold, National Emerald Club, no airline affinity status
Posts: 3,378
Originally Posted by JapesUK
Having now done it, its simple. Follow the signs to T1, Get on the CDGVAL free transit train, get off at Parking R, exit the building and look left.
I will keep that in mind too. I am staying there in June on a layover to a flight back to the US. It looks so simple on the maps. Luckily I will have lots of time to look around and find it when I come off the RER station.
JapesUK likes this.
HawaiiTrvlr is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 12:20 am
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
My plan for an early night fell apart the moment I reached the room. As I was plugging things in to recharge and setting alarms on the phone a message popped up that the weekly quiz was starting. It’s not so much that I forgot about the quiz, more a case that I’d forgotten it was Thursday!

A couple of pleasant hours quizzing and then it was time for bed. Unfortunately sleep proved fleeting and fractured for no good reason. This may work in my favour in that today is an entire travel day. Thanks to the length of flight and the clock change of plus another three hours I expect to arrive at the hotel at 8pm. Maybe this will help in getting to sleep and switching time zone in the first night, maybe!

Down to breakfast and much as expected with a couple of wrinkles in the form of pancakes and french toast and a chilled yoghurt machine









Time for a plate of cold cuts and a few coffees before packing up the room and making tracks to the airport.
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 1:57 am
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
Leaving the hotel a few minutes earlier than planned I started the long march to the lounge. Here’s a photo diary of the nearly one hour long journey


Brutalist architecture






These times are complete rubbish







Weird bouncy underfoot people movers




Twice during the journey traffic flow was split with different signage only to merge again at the end






And finally to the lounge entrance
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 2:03 am
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
Originally Posted by hugolover
I didn't know Carlsberg Elephant as well, but it's either 7.2 or 10.5% on some websites, rocket fuel!

I assume you'll be in the Extime lounge at CDG, so looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that.
And so to the Extime lounge here in T1 and I like it, its rather plush, the seats are comfy, theres a decent buffet, and fizz on free pour.























JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 2:05 am
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
No great surprise to anyone what the opening salvo is



And now it is time to cool down from the incredibly hot terminal whilst enjoying the limited airside view



Roughly an hour until I need to make tracks to the gate
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 3:49 am
  #23  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
And so to the plane.. this Azerbaijan Airlines A319 for the 5+ hour trip to baku



Boarding opened at T-40 exactly as advertised and no fast path or group nonsense, purely one for all. There were less than twenty people at the gate when boarding commenced so no big deal

The Azerbaijan cabin layout has exactly two rows of 2x2 business class seating and the rest is 3x3 standard




Seat pre-stocked with pillow, blanket, slippers, and amenity kit



Little storage cubby perfect for a phone



And a pretty well stocked amenity kit. Love the stickers



Masses of knee and leg room




And a pre-departure beverage. A few choices but the result was obvious



With fifteen minutes left to departure there is nobody else appearing but I assume there are laggards as the seat map showed business as full yet half the seats are still empty.

Crew appear friendly, two ladies up front, two gents at the back.

And as I write this update the menus have been distributed, easy choices for me



Unless things go pear shaped, next update will be from Baku in around six hours time.
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 7:10 am
  #24  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 11,593
Did you notice if Extime was taking LOT pax? Maybe a sign up or something like that? I forgot to ask you before.
JapesUK likes this.
hugolover is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 10:07 am
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
Originally Posted by hugolover
Did you notice if Extime was taking LOT pax? Maybe a sign up or something like that? I forgot to ask you before.
No, sorry, the board only showed a few airlines and I had to check at the desk that Azerbaijan business had access
hugolover likes this.

Last edited by JapesUK; Mar 22, 2024 at 12:57 pm
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 10:15 am
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
Departing pretty much on time it was a really rattling take off but the plane quietened down once we were in the air.

Within five minutes the crew were closing the curtains and taking dinner orders at which point we had our first humorous moment. When asked if they had wine the answer was ‘yes, red or white’ when asked which whites the answer was ‘local and… not local’. At this point I decided specifics were not going to be a thing and ordered ‘local’




Food order was taken at the same time and I chose the beef main.

There is no USB power on the plane and no wi-fi but luckily I’d stocked up the iPad with entertainment and also brought along a second power brick so there is no issue in keeping myself amused and the tech charged.

A few minutes later a goodly sized and steaming hot towel was delivered and was very gratefully received as it has been a hot morning in the Terminal 1 sweat box. Next was the tablecloth and some nuts and almost immediately after that the local wine arrived which is actually not bad if a bit dry.





The two crew are splitting the duties with the elder lady running the galley and the younger one running the food and drinks to the table. The younger one has the better English so this works to my advantage. She also has a very cheery smile that is deployed into each language gap . She asked if I wanted the food in order and I told her that whatever was easiest would be perfect. She took me at my word and next to arrive was the raspberry desert and a large bowl of sugar and chocolates to go with the coffee. This was closely followed by the bread bowl






Shortly thereafter came one entire tray of main course, starter and sides. By the time she’d finished delivering things it covered two entire tray tables. The couple in 2A/C had it stacked two high in places! One thing is for sure, you are not going to go hungry on Azerbaijan Airlines!





The food was very good, no complaints from me with the exception of the cheese where the air had clearly gotten to it and it had become a bit dry and crusty around the edges.

The meal service and consumption of same was an excellent way to kill the first two hours of the flight. Once the debris was all cleared away small tablets and headphones were delivered. The tablets were pre-loaded with films and music. I didn’t use the headphones as I had my own. There were not many films on offer and most I’d seen before and ultimately I returned the tablet and headphones after a few minutes playing around.








Roughly at the half way point priority vouchers for the arrivals passport control were distributed which feels extremely low tech but I’ll take it!




Shortly thereafter Mr 1L decided to go to full recline and I switched to 2H. These seats recline a really long way and if I reclined then whomever is on row 3 behind me would have had a really miserable rest of flight.





For the remainder of the flight it was reading my kindle books on the iPad accompanied by a couple of wines, and then a coffee and cognac for the last hour to arrival.





The cabin crew member that has served us today has been excellent and the Azerbaijan Airlines soft product is pretty good, the hard product is definitely showing its age.

Disappointingly cloudy for most of the trip so limited photo opportunities, and solid cloud coming into Baku. Maybe better luck on the return.



JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 10:24 am
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
We arrived on time and passport control was straight through, the arrivals and baggage reclaim was almost deserted.

My driver was waiting for me and thankfully I have a different company for the return because he was a maniac! 120kph and more and he is tailgating the cars ahead to push them out of the lane. A very uncomfortable trip to the Intercontinental Hotel albeit blissfully short!

The intercontinental is all that you might expect and a little bit more.




I’ve had another status upgrade to a suite and club access and as it was ten minutes before cocktail hour ended I dropped my bags and headed straight to the club lounge.





View from the club terrace

Flame towers in the distance shrouded in the low cloud


Still pretty replete from the feeding in flight I settled for a coffee and beer and I am never going to pass over a few baklava!



And that catches me up to date. I am going to laze her for a little while before I head down to the pretty impressive room, stay tuned.
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:16 am
  #28  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Newcastle, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, IHG Platinum, FlyingBlue Gold, Hilton Diamond, Mucci des repas d'enfant
Posts: 3,152
And so to the room which has been upgraded a level or three…



















This suite is massive, two bathrooms, two of pretty much everything as the lounge is clearly switchable to a bedroom in its own right when needed.

The two nights in the Radisson are going to be a big downgrade
JapesUK is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:24 am
  #29  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 11,593
Welcome to Baku, the taxi experience is terrible, most recently was a guy with some local rap blasting away, blue flashing lights in the pax footwell and he used not only his headlights and horn but also the hazard lights to get people to move out of the way.

I would say that not even His Most Supreme Excellency Mr Aliyev has the roads cleared for him quite like I did, and all for 5!
SFO777 and JapesUK like this.
hugolover is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:28 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: Der 5* FTL
Posts: 8,406
Originally Posted by hugolover
Welcome to Baku, the taxi experience is terrible, most recently was a guy with some local rap blasting away, blue flashing lights in the pax footwell and he used not only his headlights and horn but the hazard lights to get people to move out of the way.

I would say that not even His Most Supreme Excellency Mr Aliyev has the roads cleared for him quite like I did, and all for 5!
Mediocre. The microbus driver we had in Turkey once driving us from Antalya airport to Side had blue flashing lights on the outside and was cosplaying an ambulance from afar whenever the traffic didn't show signs of parting to make way for him
​​​​​​
Fabo.sk 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.