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Summer 2018: 777, 330, MA60, AF1, F16, TK, TG, AI, 9W, UK...

 
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:25 am    Post subject: Summer 2018: 777, 330, MA60, AF1, F16, TK, TG, AI, 9W, UK... Reply with quote

Now where do I even start!
As unfortunate as it is, my trip reports are all quite delayed, but after several mundane USA domestic flights (DL JFK-MSP-GFK, UA FAR-ORD-EWR vv) it was time to go international. Several flights happened during this trip, new countries were visited, new airlines were tried out, interesting planes on flights were flown on....

Starting off with an Envoy Air/American Eagle ERJ-175, my anxiety is tested thanks to past experiences. I needed this flight to make it on time in order to catch my connection onwards.

This is a Fargo (ND) to Dallas (TX) flight, one of 2 daily flights on the relatively new sector:

Trip report link: AA3418 FAR-DFW
Video trip report: AA3418 video trip report #88

BONUS: Air Force One, and the F-16 Thunderbirds! Smile



Look, it's me flying a plane!

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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part 2 puts me on a Boeing 777-200ER of American Airlines following a nervous 45 minute layover at Dallas. I made it, and with a lot of time to spare. I was quite impressed by the hard product, and I will say this put's AA in a great spot against the MEB3 to compete against on the international scale. Soft product is always an unknown... but anyway, I enjoyed my time on this quick hope to Miami:

AA1195 DFW-MIA
#89: AA1195 DFW MIA video trip report



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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite logging my first American Airlines wide body flight in the previous part, part 3 is where things get serious. The Turkish Airlines B777-300ER from Miami to Istanbul! Barring the one strange breakfast, I loved everything about this flight: dinner, IFE, seat, empty seat, legroom, etc (who doesn't love 3-3-3 in Economy on a 777!)... I knew Istanbul Ataturk is/was a bit of a sh*! show, but little did I know I was in for a tough layover, a contrast to the flight that was...

Turkish Airlines TK78 Miami to Istanbul
Video Trip Report: Click here!!!
Text Trip Report: Click here!!!




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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JB: nothing is mundane with you. Your pictures and descriptions light up any day, or night. To start with a picture of you up in the sky (behind the controls) is nice Smile
And what a sweet picture of Dobby, with his hand in yours. We will all miss him.
What a nice collection of photos: AF1, the Fedex exotics (A300 included!), a B-25 Mitchell, and an A-10. Lovely!
Nice wing pics...especially the one with the shadow!
The second one had a nice one on a refurbished domestic B777 experience: this is something on my TODO list. It is nice that you made the tight connection!
Chilli's. Hmm Smile
You did capture some exotics at MIA!
An amenity kit in Y: that is something.
Synthetic omelette: ha ha, apart from that and the potatoes, the food looks nice. I look forward to the next leg, now.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JB: nothing is mundane with you. Your pictures and descriptions light up any day, or night. To start with a picture of you up in the sky (behind the controls) is nice Smile
And what a sweet picture of Dobby, with his hand in yours. We will all miss him.
What a nice collection of photos: AF1, the Fedex exotics (A300 included!), a B-25 Mitchell, and an A-10. Lovely!
Nice wing pics...especially the one with the shadow!
The second one had a nice one on a refurbished domestic B777 experience: this is something on my TODO list. It is nice that you made the tight connection!
Chilli's. Hmm Smile
You did capture some exotics at MIA!
An amenity kit in Y: that is something.
Synthetic omelette: ha ha, apart from that and the potatoes, the food looks nice. I look forward to the next leg, now.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
JB: nothing is mundane with you. Your pictures and descriptions light up any day, or night. To start with a picture of you up in the sky (behind the controls) is nice Smile

Thank you again, sir! It has been quite the turnaround over the year in terms of flight training, and hopefully new & great things to come Smile

sumantra wrote:
And what a sweet picture of Dobby, with his hand in yours. We will all miss him.

Ahhh, once again, it is getting close to the one year mark.. Sad

sumantra wrote:
What a nice collection of photos: AF1, the Fedex exotics (A300 included!), a B-25 Mitchell, and an A-10. Lovely!

Hoping to go to Duluth again this year for some F-35 action, I am surprised I did not include any pictures of the C-17s that were at Fargo...

sumantra wrote:
Nice wing pics...especially the one with the shadow!
The second one had a nice one on a refurbished domestic B777 experience: this is something on my TODO list. It is nice that you made the tight connection!

Like I said, AA have a real ace up their sleeve if they can fix up their soft product, and soon.

sumantra wrote:
You did capture some exotics at MIA!
An amenity kit in Y: that is something.
Synthetic omelette: ha ha, apart from that and the potatoes, the food looks nice. I look forward to the next leg, now.
Cheers, Sumantra.

Coming right up! Very Happy
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part 4 takes us from Istanbul's now closed Ataturk Airport to New Delhi one of three 777-300ERs leased from Kenya Airways, almost like a sub-fleet to operate these short flights with density configuration.

Ataturk was also a source of big delays on quite a regular basis, and so was experienced on this flight. It got real tight with the next connection...

I did, however, finally manage to live a (childhood...?) dream by snagging a seat in front of the monstrous GE90-115B engine! And that too in Y, thanks to the high density configuration. Enjoy!

Turkish Airlines TK716 IST-DEL 777-300ER text report

As always, the YouTube video trip report, the 91st of mine on YouTube!

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[/url]IMG_4313
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Last edited by jbalonso777 on Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
Turkish Airlines TK716 DEL-IST 777-300ER text report
Sir, thank you! For once, I managed to read this TR well in time, from the moment you posted the link on the WhatsApp group.
Yes, I was looking forward to it, and waiting with bated breath, just as beautifully you put the tension in your mind, as to whether you would make it on time. I have gone through some similar experiences, and can completely associate with that feeling.
The title surprised me a bit before I realised that it was just a typo. Sorry, no, I do not wish to nitpick on trifles. The link to the actual TR has it obviously correct, IST-DEL. It is nice to see perhaps the last TR from the Ataturk airport: thank you for describing an airport I have heard of from many people including a cousin, but never got a chance to visit. A lot of people have quite a bit of affection for this airport, in spite of its obvious deficiencies. Thank you for the photographs of the exotics: I love those!
I remember being mesmerised by your GE-90 first description, the Mooo...sound. You have captured the beauty of the Bosphorus bridge in all its lighted glory. Amenity kits in Y, flimsy headphones, nice food, Metal Disney, and the lovely sunrise: I am now looking forward to the next intra-India TR!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Sir, thank you! For once, I managed to read this TR well in time, from the moment you posted the link on the WhatsApp group.

And the same goes for what's coming up as well Smile

sumantra wrote:
Yes, I was looking forward to it, and waiting with bated breath, just as beautifully you put the tension in your mind, as to whether you would make it on time. I have gone through some similar experiences, and can completely associate with that feeling.

It wasn't the first time it had happened, but definitely wasn't the last: hint, the same rush of adrenaline happened on the same day, several hours later! This time however, with the less desirable impact. Sad

sumantra wrote:
The title surprised me a bit before I realised that it was just a typo. Sorry, no, I do not wish to nitpick on trifles. The link to the actual TR has it obviously correct, IST-DEL.

Oops. Embarassed Fixed!!

sumantra wrote:
It is nice to see perhaps the last TR from the Ataturk airport: thank you for describing an airport I have heard of from many people including a cousin, but never got a chance to visit. A lot of people have quite a bit of affection for this airport, in spite of its obvious deficiencies. Thank you for the photographs of the exotics: I love those!

Ataturk was an interesting one. There are 2 more reports from my end that'll be from this airport. I am glad my layover on the way back was a whole 2 hours shorter, and I knew what to expect so it wasn't as bad on the way back. If anything, I am glad they're out of Ataturk once and for all, from a personal view.

sumantra wrote:
I remember being mesmerised by your GE-90 first description, the Mooo...sound. You have captured the beauty of the Bosphorus bridge in all its lighted glory. Amenity kits in Y, flimsy headphones, nice food, Metal Disney, and the lovely sunrise: I am now looking forward to the next intra-India TR!
Cheers, Sumantra.

The GE90s never get old, and I wait for my next opportunity to fly on the 777-300ER! I am glad you enjoyed the rest of the report, and the first domestic leg is up & running! Smile
Thank you so much for giving this a read, I appreciate it.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:34 am    Post subject: (5) 9W336 A330-200 DEL-BOM Reply with quote

Making it in the nick of time, I headed right back up to the domestic check in for flight 9W336, the 8am departure from Delhi to Mumbai, one of thirteen during the day. In addition, this was one of three Airbus A330 flights during the day which made me want to take this flight ever so more! It did change back to a B737-800, which made me contemplate changing over from the 737-800 flight to the following one operated on a 737 MAX - this proved to be pretty expensive, and that staying on with 9W336 was the best choice, since it was back to being an A330 anyway.

A sentimental flight - given Jet gave me my first ever wide body flight (that I can remember...), and it was only a fortnight after that the first report of Jet running out of cash made for several emotions - did I just have my last ever Jet Airways flight...?
Jet Airways flight 9W336 DEL-BOM VT-JWP A330-200 Economy Jul '18
As always, the video trip report, my 92nd on YouTube!





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sumantra
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: (5) 9W336 A330-200 DEL-BOM Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
Making it in the nick of time, I headed right back up to the domestic check in for flight 9W336, the 8am departure from Delhi to Mumbai, one of thirteen during the day.
As I had mentioned earlier, this was an exception: I had managed to read your TR much before you had posted a link and precis here! A poignant memory. As I had written, it was sometime after this while (Oct'1Cool that I was planning a trip via BOM to CJB, I had wanted to do a WB trip to BOM. This was after 9W had withdrawn the DEL-CJB red-eye via PNQ (9W 363). I had wanted to encash my upgrade voucher on a DEL-BOM WB, but by this time, 9W only had an occassional WB on the route. The regular ones had gone out of the published schedules, at least. It also brought back memories of my only 9W A332 domestic flight, a DEL-MAA one. The interior pictures brought back memories for me. Superb winglet pics, as always!
Thank you for being regular in sharing your TRs with us!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:38 pm    Post subject: UK944 BOM-DEL A20N Reply with quote

And now *this* is where things get insane: Mumbai to Kolkata would of course make most sense on a direct flight, with the myriad of airlines operating several direct flights.

The motive: get on an Airbus A320-200NEO: IndiGo being the only realistic option, became unrealistic with their unfavorable baggage allowances, overpriced & appalling food, and just being meh in general. GoAir had a terribly timed A320-200neo option, while Air India was A319s all day long. Jet wasn't MAX'ed out as of yet.

It came down to Vistara. No direct flights to Kolkata, so back to New Delhi it was! The ticket was pretty cheap as well, taking advantage of student discounts, monsoon discounts, and upgrading to Premium Economy with miles. A pretty inspired move by me, for once.

Find the text trip report, here!
And the YouTube link but of course.





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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and I managed to read this delightful TR on A.net before you posted the link and precis here, again. Delightful! Wow, Delhi again!
Your first NEO flight was made even more memorable with a nice Y+ experience.
Plan(e)s and ulterior motives: ha ha! As long as they are no UL-terior, I guess that is taking a bad pun too far. I still look forward to my first Y+ experience. The food looks really nice! UK's service levels cannot be faulted: you got transferred to the next CCU flight, and also got a KFC voucher. I guess you would have got lounge access as well, had you flown J. Thank you for a lovely read, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:49 am    Post subject: UK719 DEL - CCU A320 Reply with quote

Finally, finally finally!

The last flight home, 54 hours after leaving Fargo. What a trip, perhaps even pushing myself a little too far.

Text Trip Report
Video Trip Report


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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Sir: 54 hours after leaving Fargo! That is one hell of a long trip.
I also find it rather ironic that you sent me the message on WhatsApp of this part of the report being up on AI.net, when I was boarding A32S VT-EXB operating AI 701 CCU-DEL. It is ironic that you captured two airlines to stop operations, in the same frame. The giant Jet Airways, and the midget Zoom Air.
The tired interiors and the lack of a `premium' feel do not bode well for UK.
UK are ticking all boxes otherwise, with decent food, and a vast array of code-shares from *A and other airlines as well, in OW for instance.
Being addressed by name in Economy, and as you put it so beautifully, ``on e a flight I wasn't even supposed to take,'' is a very nice gesture.
The baggage coming out very soon is also a big thumbs up for Vistara. CCU and PNQ are not known for efficiency in baggage handling...so Vistara turning things around speaks well of them.
``An adventure, like never before,'' I am waiting eagerly to read about this!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:13 am    Post subject: Thai Airways CCU-BKK A330 Reply with quote

First time onboard Thai Airways - and the first ever proper equipment change (from the rare 777-200 to the A330-300). My brother and I headed to Cambodia last summer, and Thai was our airline of choice...

Text trip report
Video trip report on YouTube





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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: Thai Airways CCU-BKK A330 Reply with quote

Cambodia! After reading about the Joshis' visit, I have been eagerly looking for some time to read this one. Once again, a nice preamble, to choosing the flight, and bad luck with not getting the elusive B772. I enjoyed the part about getting TG'ed, but not ending up with the A333 in place of at least the B77W Sad
I still have my notes from your TRs about CCU Int'l departures: I have not been able to make one, myself. It has been only Int'l arrivals for me thus far (read, AI 020). It is interesting that you spotted ABO's remains in the dark.
The `swing' gates: in addition to 16/17 now-a-days, 14-15 are used for AI 020-AI 701. The domestic demand has shot up, while the international one lags behind. Your TG notes match ones that my colleagues have given me. Colours, service, food. The rotations are interesting! Very nice BKK pictures.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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