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Venturing new land in Taiwan: to Taipei on the MD90!

 
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jbalonso777
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Location: Never, never land

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:41 am    Post subject: Venturing new land in Taiwan: to Taipei on the MD90! Reply with quote

The story so far:
We had arrived into Hong Kong after a 4 year gap on SQ's A330 and A380, which led to some unfortunate and unnecessary drama, due to positive vibes in Hong Kong.
It was now time to head for Taiwan.....

FLIGHT #3: BR1852 HONG KONG-TAIPEI 23RD AUGUST 2014
Once we got to the airport, it was time to search for the left luggage counter. A fair amount of people use this service. However, looking at the prices, we decided against keeping the suitcases there, and drag it along to Taipei. While having some coffee down at Starbucks, a person came and asked us: ‘Delhi or Mumbai?’ Asked him to rephrase, he asked if we were on the Jet Airways flight(s) to Delhi or Mumbai. Seriously? Just because we are Indian and sitting in Terminal 2, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re on the 9W flight to DEL or BOM! Rolling Eyes
Dad started watching Rush while Mum was doing something else…me? Well, I rushed towards SkyPlaza, Aviation Discovery Center, SkyDeck! Lightning outside was crisp with the sun setting in a bit. The end result was a fantastic spotting session, alongside others who had tablets and laptops with FR24 on, and massive lenses on, implying they’re serious spotters, obviously. Me? Well, my lens undermined by seriousness in aviation photography. Oh well, I got some decent-ish shots though.
Here they are, the snaps from the spotting session Smile: http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=13903

Terminal 2: this terminal is a check in only facility, a few airlines check their passengers in from here, including Jet Airways.




Walking to T1, just about 300-400m walk, signs well placed, completely idiot proof. Sorry about the picture quality though Sad


Just shows how early we were checking in Razz (Second last flight on the last Terminal 1 listing)

CHECK IN
I didn’t web check in for this flight, since the seats were already blocked anyways…and plus I seriously could not be bothered to do so. And really, it did not matter anyways, since most of the lines were empty, so this thankfully didn’t take too long. We joined in one of the Hello Kitty check in counters…really it does not matter. The friendly agent took her time in checking us in. She took a significant amount of that time dealing with the passports. She confirmed Mum’s seafood meal while also confirming the fact that 2 of us (Mum and Dad) are seated together while the third one is seated just behind in the window seat (me). There was some issue with the massive lens I was carrying - it wouldn’t be allowed through (despite me packing it brilliantly), so it would only be allowed in the cabin. Transferred it into one of the bags, the lady insisted we get the bag weighed - at 7.6 kgs. Too much, she said. So I removed it from the bag, and carried it separately. But that doesn’t make any sense, since I anyways put the lens back into that same bag…Well Rolling Eyes



For BR858... The Hello Kitty service


...And everyone else


Interesting view, innit? Wink

One thing - I didn’t give my Dad’s middle name while booking the tickets. And Somewhere I read that this is an issue with BR, therefore leading to quite a lot of drama. The heart in mouth minutes began when the agent took our boarding passes and handed it over to her supervisor. As a result, I was quite tensed: we just got our passports back after it got 'lost'…and now will this stop us from going to Taiwan? This grew worse when the supervisor looked our way and gave us a look. This was when the heartbeat was slowing down big time. A few anxious seconds later (felt like minutes!), all was okay, nothing to worry about. We gout our passports and boarding passes while she also handed out complimentary Taipei version of the Octopus Card, with about NT$30 preloaded. Good stuff, BR! The total check in process lasted nearly 15 minutes…which is obviously not very good. I asked the lady at the check about the loads for the flight. She asked me ‘Oh, you all want to sit together?’ I said: ‘No no, how many passengers on the flight?’ She said ‘2 window seats, one aisle seats…’ Well, I gave up. I just thanked her and walked away. Dad later gave me an advice - ‘Never ask these children anything outside their syllabus…’ Children…children…Of course!

PRE-BOARDING STUFF
Before security there is a boarding pass scan thing..the girl looked a bit bored at what she was doing.. I said a gentle hello to her, to which she was a bit startled and smiled at me. After she scanned my boarding pass, she wished me a great flight. I thanked her for that. Security was quick as usual, except the fact that I had to chug down about 0.5l of water to get rid of the bottle. Immigration was quick as well, I got one of the happier officials who greeted everyone.




We headed for the food court next, and that place was full of people! Maybe the HKIA authority (and other airports around the world) should look into providing seating arrangements for passengers traveling alone: or else they take up a whole table where 4 people could’ve sat. And when asked if a chair can be borrowed; a) there is no table for the food to be kept on and b) usually, the occupants of the table would make a face..because he/she is busy doing work on their hand held devices….



Boarding pass - the extension, that extra bit, is so RARE today!

Oh well, we eventually found a table and three chairs, I had a McDonalds Quarter Pounder with cheese. Had to gobble that up, since an old couple were coming towards us, we offered our table to them and we headed for Cafe Deco. This restaurant is quite lively, and has an array of food, everything from Indian to Chinese to Western, and a wide selection of drinks. The QF A380 to SYD which I spotted a few hours ago was parked just below, at Gate 22. Plenty of Indians there…having the obvious Indian food. Why would you want to have Indian food out of India? Rolling Eyes



Nice tag!


Cafe Deco

I worked on editing some of the spotting pictures I took, while I kept refreshing the page to see the departure gate for our flight. I was so preoccupied here that I failed to notice the QF A380 depart: how can you lose such a massive thing instantly? Razz Plenty of refreshing later, I learnt that the departure gate for our flight would be Gate 513. Quite a strange number for a gate in Hong Kong, isn’t it? I later learnt that this might be a gate in the North Satellite Concourse, specifically built for the random narrow body flights to and from Hong Kong!

Gate 513?! Where the hell could that be?! Certainly not the usual HKG gate..

Coke on the rocks, editing pictures = BLISS!

We then began our long walk towards gate 513. It is located a level lower than the majority of departures (aerobridge). But then I realized: gate 513 is not a North Satellite Concourse gate, but it is in fact a bus boarding gate in Hong Kong. Strange, isn’t it? Bus boarding in Hong Kong. That made me think - so the aerobridges in Hong Kong cannot 'bend down’ so much for the MD90. Gate 513 was also used for BR870, which on the 23rd was an MD90 (B-17918).




Very out place gate - where are the people? And the shops? And the magnificent views of the planes? What's going on?!

There are 3 or 4 other bus-boarding gates in the vicinity of Gate 513, ours being tucked away in the corner. Looking at the number of people around, there barely were a 100 people, implying that the flight would be half full (or half empty? Neutral )


The screens over the gate read our flight number, while saying 'Boarding Soon'. 2 girls sitting behind me were taking selfies with a tablet. By chance I looked back, and unknowingly photo-bombed the picture. I apologized, but they took it as a joke, obviously. This, was a sign of what was to come in terms of people in Taipei Smile


Oh, you see me? That's being a bit stalker-ish, don't you think so EVA? Laughing

BOARDING
2135 came and went, I feared a delay. Obviously, being one of the last flights on this sector, a relatively low load, anything could go wrong with the flight! But it was just at 2138 when one of the people manning the counter (both check in and here) came around announcing boarding: first in Mandarin, then in Cantonese, and finally in English. Barely a few foreigners - just us 3, and a couple of others. The child who checked us in did some weird marking thing to everyone’s boarding pass while in line, on the stub which was later torn off after a scan. We boarded a bus from the rear, and by rear, I mean the center: this bus had the usual front door just behind the driver, and a second door (and another driver’s seat!) in the width of the bus, where the rear windshield would otherwise be. So this prompted a question: if the bus has 2 driver’s seat, front and back, does it have a reverse gear? Hmm...

I was on the bus by 2143, and it was about 7 or 8 minutes while we waited there. We were waiting for the agents (who checked us in, then did the boarding stuff, and now assisting with boarding while wearing the fluorescent jackets!). The bus then embarked on a rather long journey to the airplane. I was a bit scared; I didn’t check FR24, fearing it would be an equipment swap. In fact, ever since I booked the tickets, I feared that this flight might be an A321! Equipment swap: sometimes a delight, sometimes frightful. We passed by a few airplanes, for example a BA A380 (which took the QF A380’s gate, being pulled by a tug), a QR A332, a RJ A332 and a CX A343.


CX, RJ and QR Airbii

Also, I saw a UA B73H. Dad was surprised to see that one there, wondering how the tiny 737 made it this far! I told him that this probably is a flight to Guam (I was right! SGN-HKG-GUM). I saw a rather large aircraft with stripes on the fuselage, probably the same as EVA Air. That was it…my hopes of an MD90 went into thin air. But NOPE! False alarm Laughing That was an Air China A330-200. The bus took a turn and there she was! A beautiful MD90 in the dim lights of the tarmac in Hong Kong Airport! I was elated! My doubts of an equipment swap was no more (okay, I had 2 more flights after this which potentially could be swapped…) and I enjoyed the moment of boarding yet another unique aircraft….albeit of a smaller scale this time around.
I tried taking some photos, not only was it dark, it was the child who checked us in who asked me to keep the camera away. Certified: CHILD! Evil or Very Mad

Its the best I could, sorry Crying or Very sad

It was nearly 2200 hours. Yet, this did not stop the entire crew from smiling all along Smile An all female crew, everyone greeted most of the passengers who boarded the plane. The plane was in pretty good condition, I mean despite the fact that it smelled a bit old (and the lady who carried onboard some of the McDonalds fries made it worse…eugh!) the seats did not look old while the walls and all made it feel like boarding a usual B737. There some pretty decent Chinese music playing in the background, this sounded very nice. I saw that seat 23H is a crew seat. I was on 22K, so the FA would be right behind me. This would probably give her a chance to ask me to keep the camera away. For once, I chickened out and swapped with Mum, so I took 21K, Dad on 21H while Mum on 22K. The FA came by and asked me if I had ordered a sea food meal...true in a way, since I was the one who booked it for Mum Razz But then I told her that it was for Mum who is seated behind me. She apologized to me and said 'Sorry to disturb you..' with a smile. Oh, come on lady! Embarassed I was just taking pictures!

View from my seat


Pretty OK legroom, manageable for a domestic flight in India. A bit more than that, OR if the pitch was an inch lesser, CRISIS!



Hello there! All loaded, have we? Smile


Ash trays. That just gives you an insight into the age of this bird - still young at 17.8 years Smile


Cabin...clearly narrower than the average narrow body!

Immigration cards for the Republic of China were given out, and so were blankets. Just when I raised my hand for a blanket, the last one was given, while it looked like the FA barely acknowledged my existence. Barely 20 seconds later, the FA remembers me and gives me a blanket. How very nice! Very Happy


DEPARTURE
Doors armed at 2201, pushback commenced at 2203 hours, just 3 minutes after departure time. Both of the IAE V2500 engines were brought into life as the crew secured the cabin, and this included one of them putting on the reading light for Dad. Little touches, they count towards a lot. However, there was a point where all 4 of the crew members converged at row 15, and they seemed confused as to who will secure the cabin..that I guess, was their only flaw throughout the flight.


EVA Air MD-90 pushback and start up in Hong Kong

One thing I noticed: a rather unique thing on this MD90 bird was the fact that as the engines were powered up, the AC blast would increase accordingly. Quite cool! Mr. Green The safety video was played. Yes, video. This bird actually had IFE! This was through overhead screens (every 4 rows had a screen).

!!!


Perhaps the third most common airline in HKG, after CX and KA, of course..


That looks nice to me Smile


Cabin while taxiing

A long taxi followed as we went all the way to the runway for departure. The SQ B77W from SIN (later to SFO) arrived: I still feel the B77W looks great! The UA bird to GUM departed, while I think there was a 772 in the vicinity. Along the long taxi, I also saw plenty of construction going on, part of HKIA's expansion plan. Looking at their progress, they might just about make the end-of-2015 deadline.
Taxied onto the runway, lined up and waited a bit. The pilots then applied full power to the IAE V2500 engines, as the sound of the AC blast eventually overpowered the engines, and then the plane quite literally rocketed into the skies: thank you light loads! Soon, we were overflying Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, and being one of those planes I spotted just about 24 hours ago Smile
EVA Air MD-90 take off from Hong Kong

IN FLIGHT
Quite soon, all the lights were turned on as the welcome announcement was finally made, high above in the flight (welcome onboard EVA Airways flight BR eighteen fifty two to Taipei...). But they were barely audible. It wasn't long before the meal service started, as the crew put on light green and pink aprons. As expected, special meals were distributed first. I found plenty of empty seats close by, so I asked Dad to move over a bit so that I can go sit in one of the three seaters.. row 24 it was, and oh with fantastic legroom! A Taiwanese passenger took the other half (rather, 2/5ths) of row 24. 2 trolleys were used to serve the passengers, one pulled right to the front and another serving passengers from the rear.
First, the cutlery pack (included plastic stuff, toothpick, tissue, wet towel) and a tetra pack juice was placed on the tray table, before the entire (albeit tiny) tray is placed before me. The crew spoke mostly in Mandarin, bar the few occasions when they spoke to the three of us in English. 'Chicken rice..' is what she said to me.






The meal was pretty decent, the main course. Chicken was cooked perfectly in the soya sauce, while the sticky rice had a bit of salt in it, just the way I like it and the boiled vegetables in butter were pretty standard. The french fries were a good snack addition, but no where close to the normal french fries, obviously. Laughing The dessert was a massive let down, I don't even know what it was! There were the chocolate chips on top, I ate those. The cake was...cinnamon? There was barely any taste, very bland to be honest! While I ate my meal, the guy in 24K asked for another meal...which he got! I too wanted to try and see if it worked, but frankly I was quite full anyways. Couple of drinks were being served, I asked for the usual Coke.







The first officer finally came over the PA system to give us details of the flight, first in Mandarin, then in English. Pretty standard stuff, he announced that decent would begin in the next 10 minutes (just 45 minutes into the flight!) from our altitude of 32000 feet. I quickly went to the washroom. And yep, as you'd expect, It kept getting louder and louder as I walked towards the back...and then eventually, once I shut myself in the washroom, the engines sounded like proper jet engines Smile Oh, the strange feeling of peeing right next to the engine, just barely a quarter of a meter away! WinkLaughingRazz
Decent was just about to start when I had a look at the magazines and all in the seat pocket, which were not in a particularly good state! I later ask for a blanket (gave my first one to Mum), a request which was once again greeted with a smile. I then noticed the PTV screens: same show showing, but 8 different screens in 8 different color contrast. A pretty peculiar sight! Laughing


Lavatory pics...


Flush is where...?


Cabin, that's the galley on the left


Emergency exit Smile

Loner seat Razz

737 esque windows...



Cabin.....


Thoughtful and convenient!


Oh, so old school! Never have I seen these before!


Standard X position of seat belts being arranged in


With great leg room comes great responsibility

Different contrasts!


Helpful!






Ah ha! Very Happy

DRAMATIC ARRIVAL IN TAIWAN!
Well...nothing dramatic until the plane touches down, but read on..
2321 hours, the plane fell a bit. Decent into Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport had begun. As I was seated in a seat with great legroom, there came great responsibility. The FA asked me if I was willing to help open the door if indeed it is an emergency landing, to which I was delighted to say yes Smile
She asked me to read one of the safety cards, which I did. Pretty basic stuff on how to open the door, that card. The guy on 24K did not volunteer, and as a result, he went and sat somewhere else.



Smallest passenger aircraft in BR's fleet is..... Wink


More seat pocket stuff


Headphones, again, had to put the padding on our own..



Slightly extreme way to photograph the jack, hahaha


These instructions could get overwhelming, who knows..?



One other airline had branded seat belt buckles...we all know what happen to that one Sad



Quite rapidly, the MD90 was brought closer and closer to the ground. The FA who told me the stuff sat right behind; I was wary of taking a video of the arrival.
A computerised announcement was played in Mandarin and English, informing us of Taiwanese immigration, and warnings about illegal stuff such as the usuals and animal meat, plants, etc. An extremely weird video was played informing us of the temperature scans and detection for infection and etcetera...I do not want to talk about it Shocked
We were low enough for me to have a first glimpse of the city of Taipei...it was very well lit, with lights on on every street, while a few traffic lights changed colors. But then...not a single car on the road. Not even one. Perhaps the first ground vehicle I saw was ground equipment at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport! This..for some reason..gave it an overly communist feel. But that's just me!
Glided down on the runway and made a smooth touch down at 2349. The MD90 experience had come to an end, and I must say, I was pretty pleased by it all Smile The sounds of the slats though...is the exact same as a vacuum flush toilet on the plane! Rolling Eyes. You'll hear it in the video...

Shot up the ISO for this one!


'Taiwan.'

EVA Air MD-90 landing in Taipei

We taxied by Terminal 1, plenty of China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines birds there, but then once we turned around towards Terminal 2...it was only EVA Air. Plenty of A333s and A332s, some of them the Hello Kitty Birds, 2 77Ws all set to depart and our MD90 taxiing in. As we passed by one of the 77Ws, pushback for the first began, and once that had left, the second 77W was pushed back.
The first of the dramas began here. While we made it at gate (C4) a few minutes after 2350, it was only at 0010 on the 24th of August when we actually got off the plane, since it took quite a while for the BR ground staff to attach the aero-bridge! I think one set of ground staff decided to come from one of the 77W occupied gates due to the lack of staff at this time, which is why it took so long!


She doesn't look prepared for departure...but she departed even before we could step outside the aircraft.


Wow...very uninspiring J class seat...barely any legroom!

I thanked the crew for the flight, while they wished me a good day ahead. I walked into the terminal, couldn't get a decent pic of the MD90 since half of the nose is eaten up by the aerobridge itself! Terminal was empty as a cave! All shops closed, just a transit passenger or two around. Some lights flickering. Floor design just like in CMB, signs just like in HKG. Rolex watches keeping the time. This wasn't a shabby airport at all, despite it being half closed at this point of the day (night). The walk to immigration was quite long. Along the way, there was the temperature scan..I looked back the screen, it looked quite cool, the thermal imaging of the people walking by!



The second drama began here. Immigration lines were mostly empty as the Taiwanese residents entered their home rather soon. Only a few people in the visitor lines. So the immigration girl called me over. She had a smile on her face, young and very pretty. But despite these, she looked at the photo in my passport and asked me if that was me, since the ‘real’ me (standing there) looked much different to the one in the passport. This took her some convincing, as I told her I grew my hair a lot and the beard had grown as well. Then she went onto the visa page. She called over her supervisor, who looked the annoying kind (and was the annoying kind). She asked me for another identification of me, negative. She asked for the return ticket..Dad, who had completed immigration was there watching, gave them the ticket. The older lady found out the return flight details, pointed it out, AND STILL ASKED DAD WHERE THE DETAILS ARE! Shocked Seriously annoying.
Furthermore, they started doubting the validity of visa, wondering whether its fraud or not. While the young girl has chirpy, the other one was just turning into plain rude, that’s all. They did a microscope check of my visa. Convinced, they let me through. Wow, dramatic arrival into Taiwan. In contrast, Mum and Dad’s immigration barely took a few seconds, while plenty of minutes for me. Yay.





The bags were already there on the carousel, so this didn’t take too long. Finding a taxi was next. We had absolutely no clue what to expect. The old man did our stuff, we were still a bit iffy about the cabs. Once we got out, the cabs were a pleasant surprise! Much newer than the HKG cabs, radio controlled, drivers in uniform, comfortable, and new Toyota Auris estates, curtains inside, safe. The taxi ride was quite long, and there were some interesting airport things along the way: so there’s the lower-than-waist level highway shoulder barricade, jump over than, you’re on the airport tarmac. Walk about 7 or 8 meters, you’re standing just below a United Boeing 777! There were plenty of aircraft parked like this, oh so close! The drive into Taipei took about 40 odd minutes, costed 1040NT$ (roughly INR2080). The East Dragon Hotel is located in Ximending, a very significant part of Taipei city. Lights were on, glazing the skies, but it all felt dead because no one was around. Not one soul.
Check in was quick, as we settled into a triple room with extra bed (yeah, 4 beds!) and crashed into bed, with rather early alarms, for the next day’s activities.

In the next part: usually unseen by Indians as a tourist destination; the city of Taipei!

Till then!

Regards
Jish
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Last edited by jbalonso777 on Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ameya
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jishnu for another wonderful TR. I agree with you about the single traveler food plaza seating. Singapore did have some seating, which was like a common seating and made perfect sense for a single traveler to sit there, but then people kept on occupying the larger tables.

After reading your TR I am looking forward to my flight on the MD-83 (AA) this Saturday !!

Great ! Keep them coming !
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Theairplaneguy4ever
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've finally got some time to sit down and read the TRs on airliners-india. I did take a peek at your HK experience, but didn't get enough time for a proper read and on seeing this TR, I accidentally read the whole thing instead of going through your HK one first. I promise to get back to you on your HK experience; can't miss a TR on my fav city!

Stellar trip report there, Jishnu! Your TRs are always interesting and never have me bored at any part.

Good to see you got the MD90 as planned. I've only flown on the AA MD82, in terms of the MD8/9 series.

Quote:
‘Delhi or Mumbai?’ Asked him to rephrase, he asked if we were on the Jet Airways flight(s) to Delhi or Mumbai. Seriously? Just because we are Indian and sitting in Terminal 2, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re on the 9W flight to DEL or BOM!


The same thing happened when I was checking in out of the airport express station for my HKG-BKK-BLR. The agent couldn't believe that an Indian passenger was flying to any city apart from DEL or BOM, and that too via BKK. He was pretty polite about it though.

Quote:
Why would you want to have Indian food out of India?


This needs to be on a signboard at every city outside India. Very Happy

Quote:
tried taking some photos, not only was it dark, it was the child who checked us in who asked me to keep the camera away.


I've seen many anet TR writers having the same issue at the HKG tarmac. Perhaps they have a restriction as with DXB and India as well?

Quote:
EVA Air MD-90 pushback and start up in Hong Kong


What airline is the one in the picture right above this? It looks like an A320, but I am loving that livery!

Quote:
Perhaps the third most common airline in HKG, after CX and KA, of course..


And perhaps the best airline of Hong Kong? It's strange that I've had some of my best flights on board unknown airlines such as HX and FY in Malaysia, meanwhile being disappointed by the famous ones like <in> as well as you, with CX.

Quote:
'Chicken rice..' is what she said to me.


Looks more like a western influenced chicken rice than an Asian one. Glad to hear it tasted great.

Quote:
Wow, dramatic arrival into Taiwan.


Indeed. Glad to hear you got through though.

Quote:
INR2080


Isn't that a lot for a 40 min hop?

Quote:
In the next part: usually unseen by Indians as a tourist destination; the city of Taipei!


Can't wait for this one.

Aditya

Theairplaneguy4ever

PS: Great Takeoff video. The increasing AC vent thing is really cool. Are you shooting with something like a 50 mm lens? Seemed quite zoomed in, but it didn't get in my way of enjoying the video.
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR Jishnu and thanks for posting.

EVA Air is one of Asia's hidden gems and now with membership into Star Alliance they pretty much have a good networks.

I was actually booked to go to New York on EVA Air but a last minute change meant I had to cancel my trip. EVA is one of the few airlines that serve "Dom Perignon" Champagne in business class although I am sure you are not of legal age to drink yet Smile

Overall in spite of this being a short flight based on your report they seem to have done a good job. Although the aircraft needs to be replaced as it is showing its age or needs to be refurbished, but hey we aviation geeks are not complaining as it is very rare to step into a MD airplane these days.

They used to fly to India (Bombay) till some time ago but they did not have enough load and pulled out.

I have been to Taipei once last year (will try to post some pictures) but I found the people are quite friendly and helpful unlike Hong Kong where everyone seems to be in a rush.

Not sure if you know this but if you have an existing US,UK, Canada, Shengen States, Japan, New Zealand or Australia Visa you can enter Taiwan for 30 days on visa exempt with just completing an online form and taking a print out.

Thanks for posting this report.

Sri_Bom
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jishnu - sounded like a fun flight on a unique a/c type! Luckily the loads were light which really adds to the relaxation levels on board... Immigration woes - luckily I've not had any so far, but can be quite stressful I'm sure!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With this TR, I guess I will finish my backlog to to-read TRs.
And what a lovely TR to finish my backlog with!
Nice HKG T2 pics: I haven't ventured there myself, so I got a lot to look forward to, on my next HKG visit.
My nebulous memories again, and a stupid question, Sir: the Aviation Discovery Centre is land-side, right? Is there anything air-side? I do not think so. I guess most spotting galleries today are land-side, and for good reason, too!
A complementary version of the Taipei Octopus card: wow!
Nice comment from your Papa, `do not ask them...outside the syllabus' Very Happy
Interesting screen-shots from your MacBook!
I have memories of the bus gates to the Satellite Terminal: yes, the cobuses are certainly interesting with both-way propulsion possible! Yes, they have reverse gears as well Smile
HKG also seems to frown on tarmac photography.
The MD-90 experience: one word, wow!
I always get confused with the DC-10 Super 80 series, and its myriad variations: the MD-80/81/82/83/87/88/90/95-B717: I have travelled on a few, but never an MD-90!
Lovely videos as well.
A question: when waiting for take-off, do all lights go off inside the MD-90? I have seen this on older models, such as the MD-83. All modern aircraft have a lower level of lighting inside the cabin, but some older aircraft have this interesting all-dark feel, I guess.
Sorry to hear about the irritating Immigration supervisor at Taipei, I guess we all have our share of these hiccups.
I look forward to seeing the Taipei pictures, now!
Thanks for a lovely report, once again.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
Thanks Jishnu for another wonderful TR. I agree with you about the single traveler food plaza seating. Singapore did have some seating, which was like a common seating and made perfect sense for a single traveler to sit there, but then people kept on occupying the larger tables.

Right? Great to know I'm not the only one with that thought all the time! Very Happy
True about the space though..I carry a bag pack and a camera bag always, no more, no less. And at times, this might be get tricky to handle when reorganizing in a small space!

ameya wrote:
After reading your TR I am looking forward to my flight on the MD-83 (AA) this Saturday !!

And I see a WhatsApp update that the plane's APU failed? Razz That's a Mad Dog experience for you! Twisted Evil (Un)Luckily, it didn't happen for me on this flight, though...

ameya wrote:
Great ! Keep them coming !

Thank you, sir! Very Happy

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
I accidentally read the whole thing instead of going through your HK one first. I promise to get back to you on your HK experience; can't miss a TR on my fav city!

That's great to know, Aditya! I look forward to your detailed replies there! Very Happy

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Stellar trip report there, Jishnu! Your TRs are always interesting and never have me bored at any part.

Smile Thank you so much! Very Happy

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Good to see you got the MD90 as planned. I've only flown on the AA MD82, in terms of the MD8/9 series.

Oh yes. Abhijeeth warned about an equipment swap (to an A321, since they have similar capacity..), but that didn't happen...tension was high, though! Shocked

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
The same thing happened when I was checking in out of the airport express station for my HKG-BKK-BLR. The agent couldn't believe that an Indian passenger was flying to any city apart from DEL or BOM, and that too via BKK. He was pretty polite about it though.

Hmm, that's interesting! And yeah, he, too was pretty polite Smile

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
This needs to be on a signboard at every city outside India. Very Happy

Laughing Hahaha! True that!

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
I've seen many anet TR writers having the same issue at the HKG tarmac. Perhaps they have a restriction as with DXB and India as well?

ME country airports are still understandable...but HKG? That came as a huge surprise to me though... Even in India when I've been ballsy to take pictures, making it obvious...no one said anything to me...

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
What airline is the one in the picture right above this? It looks like an A320, but I am loving that livery!

That'll be HK Express. A Hong Kong LCC...too bad another renowned LCC (AirAsia? JetStar?) arm might not be there to compete with HK Express...

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
And perhaps the best airline of Hong Kong? It's strange that I've had some of my best flights on board unknown airlines such as HX and FY in Malaysia, meanwhile being disappointed by the famous ones like <in> as well as you, with CX.

True that! Its really strange how things like this happen even to the 'best' !

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Isn't that a lot for a 40 min hop?

A hell lot. I will be putting up the comparison in the next part.

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Can't wait for this one.

Will be up soon! Thanks for your reply Very Happy

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
PS: Great Takeoff video. The increasing AC vent thing is really cool. Are you shooting with something like a 50 mm lens? Seemed quite zoomed in, but it didn't get in my way of enjoying the video.

Ah, someone's caught me red handed! No, what I did was something experimental...I wondered what difference would it make if I used the 1.3x crop feature while shooting the video...and the result, well, I'm not too happy about it. I will revert to the usual setting of videos.

sri_bom wrote:
Great TR Jishnu and thanks for posting.

Hello there Sri! Thanks for your reply! Smile

sri_bom wrote:
EVA Air is one of Asia's hidden gems and now with membership into Star Alliance they pretty much have a good networks.

Agreed, just like UL in OW, albeit to a lesser extent.

sri_bom wrote:
EVA is one of the few airlines that serve "Dom Perignon" Champagne in business class although I am sure you are not of legal age to drink yet Smile

Sad to hear about the NYC trip cancellation! I'm sure a decent experience was awaiting you! And yeah, I'll be in the legal drinking age in exactly 12 days' time! Very Happy

sri_bom wrote:
Overall in spite of this being a short flight based on your report they seem to have done a good job. Although the aircraft needs to be replaced as it is showing its age or needs to be refurbished, but hey we aviation geeks are not complaining as it is very rare to step into a MD airplane these days.

+1. Anything for a MD flight! I think the MDs will be replaced soon, once more A321s come in....the inevitable end!

sri_bom wrote:
They used to fly to India (Bombay) till some time ago but they did not have enough load and pulled out.

I've seen a few pics. In fact, I remember a BR MD-11F landing into BOM! The only direct flight from India to Taiwan is a twice weekly CA flight from DEL, I think...

sri_bom wrote:
I have been to Taipei once last year (will try to post some pictures) but I found the people are quite friendly and helpful unlike Hong Kong where everyone seems to be in a rush.

Agreed again! More on this in the non-av TR Smile

sri_bom wrote:
Not sure if you know this but if you have an existing US,UK, Canada, Shengen States, Japan, New Zealand or Australia Visa you can enter Taiwan for 30 days on visa exempt with just completing an online form and taking a print out.

Indians with a valid resident visa of US or EU countries come under this category, too Very Happy

sri_bom wrote:
Thanks for posting this report.

Not at all, always a pleasure! Very Happy

Nimish wrote:
Hi Jishnu - sounded like a fun flight on a unique a/c type! Luckily the loads were light which really adds to the relaxation levels on board... Immigration woes - luckily I've not had any so far, but can be quite stressful I'm sure!

Hello there Nimish! Yes, new aircraft type, less passengers, enough time to explore = BLISS! Thank your lucky stars about the immigration stuff so far...I do hope you do not encounter any of these situations!

sumantra wrote:
And what a lovely TR to finish my backlog with!

Thank you, sir! Now to complete your writing backlog....

sumantra wrote:
My nebulous memories again, and a stupid question, Sir: the Aviation Discovery Centre is land-side, right? Is there anything air-side? I do not think so. I guess most spotting galleries today are land-side, and for good reason, too!

Land side. The glass around the terminals are large enough for air-side photography...although the glass might reflect some non-sense lighting at times...

sumantra wrote:
I have memories of the bus gates to the Satellite Terminal: yes, the cobuses are certainly interesting with both-way propulsion possible! Yes, they have reverse gears as well Smile

My life is now complete Laughing
Thanks for the clarification! Razz

sumantra wrote:
I always get confused with the DC-10 Super 80 series, and its myriad variations: the MD-80/81/82/83/87/88/90/95-B717: I have travelled on a few, but never an MD-90!

The fact that EVA listed this a Boeing MD-90 made it hard enough for me to get my head around the MD8/9/B717 series of aircraft! All I know is, there are some differences in length, the MD90 has A320 IAE V2500 engines, while the MD8s have something else....wow, this is worse than Jet's JetKonnect Jetlite confusion.... Shocked

sumantra wrote:
A question: when waiting for take-off, do all lights go off inside the MD-90? I have seen this on older models, such as the MD-83. All modern aircraft have a lower level of lighting inside the cabin, but some older aircraft have this interesting all-dark feel, I guess.

Complete darkness, sir.
A rather eerie one, that too.

sumantra wrote:
I look forward to seeing the Taipei pictures, now!

It'll be up very soon! Smile
Thank you for reading! Very Happy

Regards
Jish
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dad was bewildered with this type of gate in HKG, so he took a pic too Razz



Also, I found the MD90 which took me to TPE in HKG on the day I was heading back to SIN on the A380...glad to have taken a picture of B-17926! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
Dad was bewildered with this type of gate in HKG, so he took a pic too Razz
Yes, I remember the bus gates well, too! It is a strange feeling for those used to the other more prevalent type, in HKG!
I now look forward to the spotting pics treat you have in store for us.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Yes, I remember the bus gates well, too! It is a strange feeling for those used to the other more prevalent type, in HKG!

Haha! Looks more like an organized version of the BOM bus gates in the old T2, but that's just me!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Jishnu,
Finally I have caught up with all the backlog that I had as far as your TRs posted here!
Wow what a transformation in a short period of time. I clearly remember your early TRs, those were mainly trips to India from CMB but there was always an urge to spread wings even further.

And here I am reading your immaculate TRs with so much of details that clearly shows how passionate you are as a traveler. Paris, Hong Kong, Taipei with exotic airlines and innovative routings..

In you we found a competent TR writer who will enthrall us for a long period. Keep up the good work!

BTW, which University you will be attending?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAL@YWG wrote:
Hello Jishnu,
Finally I have caught up with all the backlog that I had as far as your TRs posted here!
Wow what a transformation in a short period of time. I clearly remember your early TRs, those were mainly trips to India from CMB but there was always an urge to spread wings even further.

And here I am reading your immaculate TRs with so much of details that clearly shows how passionate you are as a traveler. Paris, Hong Kong, Taipei with exotic airlines and innovative routings..

In you we found a competent TR writer who will enthrall us for a long period. Keep up the good work!

BTW, which University you will be attending?

Sir, its an absolute honor to know that you've taken all the time to go through my long TRs! It gives me great encouragement Smile

Yes, from the prominent India-Sri Lanka traveler, big things have happened to me and I'm thankful for it all, its a huge turnaround for me, and I cannot be happier! I have some crazy things lined up for next year, so I hope to make announcements sometime, but it won't be anytime soon sadly, I'll make sure you all know Smile

Regards
Jish
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