Across the Gulf of Thailand on Egypt Air’s flying carpet

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While considering my options flying to Thailand – I thought about a stop over in Cairo but alas it was more expensive than the airline I eventually chose. Strangely when looking at airlines covering this trip the last one I expected to find was Egypt Air! Fast forward a few weeks and I’m back at Suvarnabumi for the short hop to Kuala Lumpur. A code share with Malaysian Airlines it is according to check in staff a relatively new route, six months and counting. Herein is my verdict.

The plane, a 777 was well turned out and fresh considering it was on its final leg from Cairo. The seats were nice and comfy BUT as is the norm these days – don’t bother pressing the attention button cause no-one’s coming. Three times I tried, each ignored. Where are they training these people? The stewardess meets Stepford wife seemed to be on auto-pilot: ‘Chicken or Fish sir’ with a dazed flight by numbers look. Food OK, Orange Juice might have been nicer chilled. Tea good. In Flight entertainment again crashed – this really shouldn’t be happening with new jets. Just as well my seat neighbours were pleasant to chat to. I can’t say I’ve met Ethiopian tax inspectors before or why they were being flown thousands of miles to attend training! I don’t think they knew either.

The flight’s trajectory was pretty straight forward – arching across the Gulf of Thailand to the Malaysian peninsular and in doing so the sky shifted from bright blue to an unearthly tropical storm grey, a bit like a Dr Who backdrop. And here is where things get scary. As we’re descending we enter a cloud; no big surprise there save an unsuspecting ‘air pocket’ eg sudden drop to cause concern – enough to induce prayer in my neighbours and me to grab the arm rests! To his merit though the captain got us down faster than normal due to the impending storm and what an electrical light show it turned out to be. Verdict, so so.

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