Asia-Trip – AB,AZ,AF,NH,MU,KA,TG,RJ – Part 4 (J)

Read this report on Airliners.net.

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Hello and welcome to my 6th trip-report, part 4!

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This map and all other maps in this TR created with www.gcmap.com, copyright Karl L. Swartz.

Previous Parts:
6th TR: Asia-Trip – AB,AZ,AF,NH,MU,KA,TG,RJ – Part 1: Featuring the flights to SIN and back, departing from TXL, arriving two days later in BRI.
6th TR: Asia-Trip – AB,AZ,AF,NH,MU,KA,TG,RJ – Part 2: Featuring the flights to NRT and PVG, a 787-roundtrip and visits to the cities of Tokyo and Shanghai.
6th TR: Asia-Trip – AB,AZ,AF,NH,MU,KA,TG,RJ – Part 3: Featuring the flights to PEK, HKG and HKT, the cities of Beijing and Hongkong, holiday at Phuket and the TG A380.

This is Part 4:

— HKT-BKK —

PRE-FLIGHT:

After my week in Thailand (as described in Part 3) it was time to end this trip, to end these amazing and fantastic 25 days of flying, visiting new cities, new countries and cultures. And I wanted to finish this trip in style, so I had booked a business class trip with RJ back home. But being price-sensitive I had booked a TG roundtrip, between HKG and HKT, because the one-way fare being inapproriate high and me wanting to get some more flights under my belt. So my routing for the next two days was HKT-BKK-HKG-BKK-AMM-TXL. The second stop in BKK was just to refuel and pick up passengers, so I could not leave the aircraft there.

I got up at 6:00AM that day, packed my bags and went to the reception, where I checked out and got into my waiting, pre-ordered cab to the airport. I arrived at the airport at 7:50, a good time for the morning rush-hour. Before entering the terminal I had to go through a first security check, then could proceed to the TG check-in-desks. This is the main hall, in the left part of the photo the Transaero desks can be seen, there were waiting close to 1000 pax for the check-in of two 747 flights leaving within of one hour:

I continued to the TG desks, but there were long queues, too, as only two desks were open. Ridiculous!

After waiting 20 minutes in line another three desks were opened, what speeded things up a little. So after a full 40 minutes I could check-in for my flight:

I stopped at the local BK for some hamburger plain and a coke and used the free wifi checking facebook and a.net:

Afterwards I went straight through to the security checks for international departures. Quite crazy as I was heading for BKK first, but for TG or Thailand only the last stop of your journey counts:

The FIDS, showing four departures to SIN:

The waiting area at my gate, it was crowded due to the Transaero 747 leaving at the next gate, but I still got a seat:

Ten minutes prior to boarding a 30 minute delay was announced, not very surprising with the situation at the check-in desks. But it even took longer than announced, boarding finally started 40 minutes after the scheduled boarding-time and ten minutes after the scheduled pushback-/depature-time. When the boarding call came, everyone was running to the gate, despite the agents calling for exact seat rows. Oh these leasure-tourists! Before entering the jet bridge there was a crossing were pax from the international departures waiting-area and the domestic departures waiting-area were mixed together. Here I took this photo of my TG 747 that day:

Full airbridge:

FLIGHT HKT-BKK

Date: 16 December 2012
Airline: Thai Airways
Flight: TG 202
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Aircraft Reg: HS-TGO
Departure Airport: HKT / Phuket
Arrival Airport: BKK / Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:10 / 10:10 AM
Actual Departure Time: 10:10 / 10:10 AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 11:40 / 11:40 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 11:40 / 11:40 AM
Class: Economy
Seat: 49K (window)

Wingview from my seat 49K with a TG A330 at the next gate:

Pushback finally starting at 10:50, 40 minutes behind schedule. We were pushed back for a rather long distance as another aicraft directly pulled into our gate:

Passing a “Business Air” 767 on taxi-out, never heard of this airline:

Lining up in easternly direction, so no departure over the Maho beach of Thailand:

Take-off, leaving one of earths paradises:


After take-off we turned West and flew along the Thai Westcoast until we were on one level with Kho Samui. Then we turned to the Northeast, overflying mainland Thailand straight in to BKK:


The cabin in-flight:

In-flight map:

Excellent legroom again, the TG 747 really seems to the aircraft to go for a huge legroom in Economy Class:

Over mainland Thailand:

There was the usual snack/drink-run in the first third of the flight, I did not touch it again and gave it to my neighbour, who was happy to get some more unnatural OJ and that muffin:


At least they did offer free OJ this time on their drink-run, which is far better than only coffee, tea and water.

IFE with PTV, but disabled AVOD function on this domestic flight (for whatever reason? probably rights?):

With the ocean to our right and about 45 minutes to go I decided to sleep a little bit:

I woke up at 5500 ft and had missed all announcements regarding our descent. The flaps were gradually lowered and we made a rather hard landing:




As soon as the aircraft had vacated the runway it got insanely hot again inside the cabin. It had been this at boarding, too, and if you read part 3, it had been the same on the inbound flight to HKT. Is the 744 a/c system this bad or is TG using it the wrong way? I have never noticed this before at another hot country.

We had a short way to our gate and I could view the process of taxiing and turning into our gate through the front-camera again:

At our parking position:

This time I was not allowed into the flightdeck, but could take this photo of the Business Class cabin (i like the oldschool video projector in the top-left):

POST-FLIGHT:

After disembarking the aircraft I had to walk forever from the last gate of the domestic terminal until reaching the exit for the transfer pax:

— BKK-HKG —

PRE-FLIGHT:

I had to pass another passport and baggage checkpoint, which made me ask myself why I had to pass passport control already at HKT? Weird setup. After 10-15 minutes I finally had passed the checkpoint and was inside the international terminal:

FIDS, my flight leaving from E3, a codeshare with NZ operated by TG:

I to reach the E-concourse, which is just on the opposite site from the domestic gates. The walk leads you right through the longest shopping mall I ever saw at an airport, some shops existed two or three times. And it is quite a long distance, too, about 900m/1000yard. I think I never walked this far inside an airport (that felt too hot, too):

I really swore to never transfer at BKK again when I finally reached the calm and not so crowded E-concourse:

I directly passed through another small checkpoint to reach my boarding area at gate E3. Here my aircraft, another A330:

The waiting/boarding area at gate E3:

FLIGHT BKK-HKG

Date: 16 December 2012
Airline: Thai Airways
Flight: TG 638
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300X
Aircraft Reg: HS-TBA
Departure Airport: BKK / Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Arrival Airport: HKG / Hongkong Chek Lap Kok
Scheduled Departure Time: 14:00 / 02:00 PM
Actual Departure Time: 14:00 / 02:00 PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 17:45 / 05:45 PM
Actual Arrival Time: 17:45 / 05:45 PM
Class: Economy
Seat: 58K (window)

I waited for 50 minutes and tried using the free wifi, but it did not work. Boarding began at 13:40/01:40PM, the agents announced boarding by rows and even enforced this, despite everyone storming to the gate. Firt action after boarding, activating the map:

The flight again had a loadfactor close to 100%, which is good for TG, not so good for me. Waiting for some bags to be loaded into our aircraft in the last minutes before pushback:

Pushback exactly on-time:

PSU without vents again:

The fantastic Thai retro scheme 747-400:

Passing a PR 744:

EK A380 lifting off, I was a little bit slow and pressed the shutter too late:

Saudi Arabian Cargo MD-11 on its’ take-off-roll:

Lining up, love the scenery and the airport building (from the outside):

Passing a TG A300 while taking off:

Take-off:


Passing the airport after a long turn to the right (Northeast):

Rigth after take-off I started watching The Bourne Legacy which was an okay action movie:

Very nice colours and an serpentine like river flowing through the whole photo:

Legroom was okay, but not as good as the excellent 744 legroom on the two flights before:

Seatback with PTV/AVOD-system, the controller, double-folding table and a small seat-pocket very low under my knees:

Not so long after take-off the crew served us a late lunch and drinks. The meal was excellent again!

Wing-shot:

We had already started our descend when I looked out the window again and realzied we were in a holding again doing one or two rounds in the classic racetrack-pattern. And when I looked out I saw another aircraft flying the same holding just two flightlevels (2000 ft) below:

Sunset changing the colour of the clouds and our wing as we leave the holding and continue our descent into HKG, the spoilers being deployed again to reduce speed:


Approaching HKG over a endless number of ships anchoring close to harbour:

My movie ending, just in time:

The map showing the full route flown:

Wonderful sunset approach into HKG:


A zoomed-in view of the map, showing the holding and approach into HKG:

Final approach and touchdown:



Parking next to the TK 777 with the special FC Barcelona scheme:

Atlas Air Cargo 747 climbing away while I wait for the other pax to disembark:

The Economny cabin:

The Business cabin:

And thanks again to the great cabin and flightdeck crew, the “cockpit” of our A330:


POST-FLIGHT:

I had a long walk again to the immigration:

Passing immigration took less than 5 minutes:

And so I could pick up my bag again, just to check it in again a few minutes later:

— HKG-BKK —

PRE-FLIGHT:

From the baggage carrousel I proceeded to the upper levels where the check-in area was located. The only area at HKG that really feels crowded, check-in-area at Terminal 1:

I checked the FIDS and realized that the check-in for my flight would be done in terminal 2 and surprisingly the flight was expected to leave 15 minutes earlier than scheduled:

I headed over to terminal 2, which is just a “check-in-terminal”. All flights still leave from terminal 1, but there is a direct airside airtrain connection between both terminals and the departure area. In fact both terminals are not really seperate terminals, you just have to cross the street seperating both buildings or take the undercrossing, what I did. The more calm feeling terminal 2:

I proceeded to the business class check-in at the RJ desks, but had to wait for quite a while, because of the group in front of me which was travelling with close to 20 bags, all in the classic Louis Vuitton design. I later realized why they had to many bags, they were travelling with wifes and kids, but only the men had seats in J class. When it was my time to check-in, the very friendly lady informed me that I would be checked in for all three flights up to my final destination Berlin-Tegel and I would not have re-check my bags in Ammann. Not really surprising, but nice to get a talkative and friendly agent there. She also handed me the boarding passes and the lounge invitation:

I proceeded to the passport control of terminal 2, what turned out to be a epic fail. There were multiple long, very slow moving queues, and it took me more than 20 minutes to reach the airtrain (after I already spent close to 15 minutes at check-in):

The train drove 5 minutes through dark tunnels until it reached the main departure hall:

From the departure hall I walked up to gate 1, where The Travelers’ Lounge was located:

I was welcomed to the lounge and was informed I had to wait about 20 minutes until a shower would be free. They also informed me that I should expect changing water temperatures as there was a malfunction with the boiler. The lounge felt rather dark, but at least it was not croweded and there were many seats available:


25 minutes later the agent came over to my place informing me that my shower was ready to use. I took my time taking my shower, the water was really changing temperatures from cold to hot and back, but it was acceptable. Nice design here, too:


I felt like a newly born and proceeded to the buffet, having chicken, rice, nuts and an apple. Overall the lounge offered excellent food and really was on par with the lounge at SIN:




I was still eating my last nuts when the boarding call for my flight was made. The nuts were so tasty that I packed them into a napkin and then left the lounge for a short walk of 2 minutes to my gate (no.16). Before boarding a quick shot of my airplane, I love the colours RJ had selected:

FLIGHT HKG-BKK

Date: 16 December 2012
Airline: Royal Jordanian
Flight: RJ 183
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Aircraft Reg: JY-AIG
Departure Airport: HKG / Hongkong Chek Lap Kok
Arrival Airport: BKK / Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Scheduled Departure Time: 21:25 / 09:25 PM
Actual Departure Time: 21:25 / 09:25 PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 23:25 / 11:25 PM
Actual Arrival Time: 23:25 / 11:25 PM
Class: Business
Seat: 01A (window)

While boarding the aircraft I was welcomed by the crew and while getting seated the very friendly FA handling my aisle in the business class cabin was already offering me a drink. I opted for an OJ and then got into my seat. I had chosen 1A while booking the flight and got lucky that 1B remained empty:

OJ and left-over nuts from the lounge:

Just a minute later the friendly FA was back again at my seat. She handed me the ammenity kit and the menu for the “short hop” to Bangkok and informed me that there would be another menu for the next flight to Amman:





There also was a menu called “The Cellar” for the wines and alcoholic drinks, but as I am not drinking when flying, I did not read it:

The amenity kit:

Pushback started exactly on-time, with both jetbridges being removed from doors 1L and 2L:

Overhead PSU with no vents again:

China Airlines A330 parked at the gate to our left:

Lining up with the runway:

Sorry for the blurry pics, but I loved these shots after take-off: clouds over Hongkong, but thin enough to be lit up in all the different colours of Hongkong Island and Kowloon, it was one of the magic moments of flying:


The very good IFE system, I started to watch Red Lights right after take-off, which was a good movie:

Seat controls:

About half-time into the flight my FA was back at my seat, setting up the table for a cold dinner. I only ate the fruits and the chocolate muffin:

Reading light, power supply and USB slot:

Contents of the amenity kit:

When my movie finished we already had started our descent. I really have to say the HKG-BKK route has the perfect length for watching most movies:

My seat in the sleeping position:

Business Class cabin:

Dark Economy Class cabin:

When taking the photo of the Y cabin the seat-belt-signs were switched on, so I returned to my seat before visiting the rear Y cabin and the galley. The inflight map showing our approach path into BKK:

Blurry sea of lights on final approach to runway 01L:

From exiting the runway to our gate G3 it took less than one minute:

POST-FLIGHT:

No photos, as we had to stay on the aircraft.

— BKK-AMM —

PRE-FLIGHT:

No photos, as we had to stay on the aircraft.

FLIGHT BKK-AMM

Date: 17 December 2012
Airline: Royal Jordanian
Flight: RJ 183
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Aircraft Reg: JY-AIG
Departure Airport: BKK / Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Arrival Airport: AMM / Amman Queen Alia
Scheduled Departure Time: 00:30 / 12:30 AM
Actual Departure Time: 00:30 / 12:30 AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 06:15 / 06:15 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 06:15 / 06:15 AM
Class: Business
Seat: 01A (window)

After we had arrived at the gate it was announced that the technical stop would take about 45 minutes. Just after opening the doors the catering arrived and some trolleys were exchanged between the catering truck at door 1R and our galley. Soon after a cleaning crew came onboard and cleaned the seats of passengers who had disembarked the aircraft at BKK. That was very weird to see while being onboard, but not really disturbing, just something “special”. I could not take any photos as the chief of the cabin told everyone to switch of any electronics and stay at their seats while the aircraft was refueled.

When the refueling was done, some new passengers boarded our aircraft. Three of them were seated in the J cabin, thus raising the J loadfactor from 20 to 40 percent. After boarding was completed three ladies in Thai Airways uniforms came onboard and counted the passengers two or three times, comparing their numbers all the times. It seemed to me like something has gone wrong and they were not sure about the number of pax onboard. Perhaps someone who was only booked to BKK had not disembarked the aircraft or a scan of a boarding pass had gone wrong. Who knows?

After the counting was finished, the RJ crew got relieved by a new crew. The new crew was a little bit older on average (by their looks), but seemed more friendly and professional, at least this was my feeling. The last crew was a mixed bag, with only the lady in my aisle being vey friendly, while her older two colleagues were more reserved and just doing their job. The new crew was really outgoing, communicating a lot with the passengers and trying to impress with their service. Their first action onboard was to hand out the menus.

The Cellar:




The Art of Dining (the RJ menu):



I opted for my standard OJ again before pushback which started on-time, with a KQ aircraft to our left:

I did not manage to get any good photos from the take-off as it was a really dark night with low clouds on that day, but I took a video:

The flight-time to AMM was close to 9 hours on that day, leaving me enough time to sleep after dinner. When the FA in my aisle reached my seat to hand out the warm towel (I was the last one in J getting it) she asked me why I was taking all these photos. I told her about airliners.net and the trip-reports. That is how we came to the topic “787”. She told me how she loved aviation and that she hoped to be one of the first FAs to get on the 787 at RJ. She loved the 787 and really looked forward to RJ getting theirs. We ended our talk with her telling me she would love to have me onboard again and perhaps it would be onboard a 787. Nice to find a FA who loves aviation, too.


Warm towel, coke, nuts:

From now on every time “my FA” was back at my seat we exchanged some words about RJ, the 787 or aviation in general, so soon after she was back setting up my table for the appetizer. Too bad I ate nothing except for the bun with some butter:

Soon after the appetizer the FA was back asking me about my dinner choice. I opted for the beef tenderloin, removed the sauce and had an really excellent onboard dinner with a perfectly medium-well cooked piece of meat:




While eating I opted to use the IFE and listen to some good music:

The little chocolate-cake was a perfect finish for a really good dinner:

When I had finished the little cake my FA came back asking me if she should take a photo of my, to which I agreed:

I had one last OJ and then moved my seat into the sleeping position. I could sleep about 5 hours, woke up about 5-6 times, but could go back to sleep everytime in no time. In my opinion much to early the cabin lights were switched on again in preperation for breakfast. We still had 1 hour and 40 minutes to go, why this early???!!!

Just 5 minutes later breakfast was served, which was very good. I even got another strawberry yoghurt:

15-20 minutes later everyone in the biz class cabin had finished their breakfast and apperently I was not the only one feeling this had been much to early in the flight. Multiple people went back to sleep, so did I. The crew even switched out the lights again. Really stupid timing. About 50 minutes later I woke up to an announcement by the crew that our descend had started and we should return our seats into a upright position. The sky outside was totally clear, stars visible all around. On the ground no lights could be seen, it was just dark. AMM was built very far away from the city, in the Southeast of Amman.

Landing video:

I asked my FA if I could visit the flightdeck and after a few words with the pilot and his first officer I was allowed to take my photos up front. Upon entering the flightdeck the captain saw my cheap entry-level-DSLR and announced “Oh, a profession camera, lets switch all the lights on, so it looks sexy”. The FO and I laughed about his comment and I could take my pics. Don’t know why, but they turned out a little bit blurry.

POST-FLIGHT:

After I had taken my photos I thanked the cockpit and cabin crew. I disembarked the aircraft after a really good flight on RJ. They should just exchange the angled lie-flat-seats to real lie-flat-seats.

The old terminal of AMM is really looking shabby and you could really feel that everyone was just waiting for the new terminal to open (what happened four month later in April 2013):

After going through the transfer-exit the looks got better, but it still felt worn down and like a construction area at some places (look at the ceiling):


— AMM-TXL —

PRE-FLIGHT:

I had more than four hours until boarding for my flight to TXL should start, so I headed for the RJ Crown Lounge:

If you wanted to shower there, that would cost 15 USD. Not really logical for a business class lounge. Luckily I was not feeling the need for shower, so I could relax in the very spacious lounge. Billiard/Pool and kicker table:

Lounging area 1 and TV/movie area to the right:

FIDS, flight to TXL on RJ metal on-time at 11:20 AM:

Buffet (with breakfats being on offer at this time of the day):



My airplane at the gate, still completely dark at 6:30 in the morning:

I had chosen a seat at the large window front in the back of the lounge and watched the sun rise a half hour later, always an amazing experience:

One window was facing the area where the new terminal was built:

The sun still rising, but not visible:

Another aircraft arriving, an E-Jet:

Breakfast, these little chocolate croissants were really good and I had multiple rounds of breakfast that day:

Finally, the sun appearing at the horizon, what a sight:

Another breakfast round:

An hour later I switched to couch in a more shadowy area and starting reading a Jordanian magazine named JO. Quite an interesting read, mostly covering luxury cars and houses, sports cars, but also new stories about the refugee crisis at the Jordanian border to Syria.

20 minutes prior boarding time I left the lounge and proceeded through the shopping area to the other wing of the old terminal.

The boarding area of my gate:

As there were no signs indicating the gate numbers (very strange) I just went to the area were the most pax had gathered. This turned out to be gate 7a, which was the right gate. The pax at 7b and 7c came over when boarding was announced. On-time boarding was announced, we passed a boarding pass control and could take an escalator down to the ground level where a bus should wait. But there was no bus. So we ended up on the apron, with no official person or a bus to be seen.

After one minute a RJ gate agent came running down and told us to wait inside, made a hectic call and 5 minutes later the bus arrived. It took is over to the new terminal where our aircraft was parked at one of the new gates. Apperently they were using the jet bridges there instead of stairs on the apron, why not? We still had to walk of the stairs inside the jetway-building:

FLIGHT AMM-TXL

Date: 17 December 2012
Airline: Royal Jordanian
Flight: RJ 121
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Aircraft Reg: JY-AYQ
Departure Airport: AMM / Amman Queen Alia
Arrival Airport: TXL / Berlin Tegel
Scheduled Departure Time: 11:20 / 11:20 AM
Actual Departure Time: 11:20 / 11:20 AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 13:55 / 01:55 PM
Actual Arrival Time: 13:55 / 01:55 PM
Class: Business
Seat: 03A (window)

I was welcomed onboard and took my seat, number 3A today:

The crew on this flight was more of the “professional” type, not unfriendly, but not like the perfect crew on the BKK-AMM sector. As a welcome drink I opted for an AJ and OJ combination:

The last passengers boarding:

“The Art of Dining”:



“The Cellar” and the Nespresso Menu (interesting, this was not offered on the longhaul flights):

More simple headseat on this narrowbody aircraft:

Smaller amenity kit:

Pushback could not start on time as two German-sounding (judging by their names) pax had not boarded the flight and their baggage had to be offloaded. But after a few minutes we could start up the engines and were good to go. Egyptair E-Jet:

RJ narrowbody fleet:

RJ Cargo A310:

LUZair L1011:


More parked aircraft:





Rich International L1011:

Lining up:

Take-off:


Shortly after take-off the cabin announced that the Dead Sea would be visible to the left, perfect for me:

The IFE was a little bit older, but still perfect for a narrowbody and much better compared to comparable aircraft on European airlines.

I started watching “The Watch”, which really was a funny movie, typical Ben Stiller style:

Contents of my ammenity kit:

The seat in the fully reclined position:

Inflight view of this sunny winter sky:

Legroom and seatback:

20 minutes after take-off the flight attendant came through the J cabin and noted which drinks and snacks we liked to get:

Getting a Coke and nuts as a starter, I even got a second round of nuts:

Appetizer being served next:

While the eating the appetizer the captain announced it seemed like we would arrive a little bit late and would not make up the 10 minutes delay at AMM. Soon after the crew cleaned our tables and came back with the lunch trolley. I really liked this better than having to choose the food from the menu like on the last flight. This time the FA came up to our row and I could choose what to get on my plate from her trolley. PERFECT! I just opted for beef and rice:


Very tasty:

A chocolate cake for dessert, perfect, too:

After lunch I closed my eyes and slept for an hour. When I woke up we were close to Thessaloniki, Greece:

The J cabin:

Just when I got back in my seat, the captain appeared in the cabin, talking to a person at 4C and D. He went away and came back 5 minutes later and talked to these people again. When he wanted to return to the flight deck I asked him if I could take some photos of the flightdeck after landing and he told me I could visit the flightdeck any time. I asked: “Anytime? Now, too?”, to which he replied “Yeah sure, just come with me.” So I followed him. The FO welcomed me to the flightdeck and we talked a bit before I took my photos. Both put the flowers from their meal-tray on the dashboard “to make it look nicer”. Haha! Just too bad the sun was so strong that day, everything looked too yellow:




Soon after the captain asked me if I wanted a photo from myself in the flightdeck. I said yed and he said we should take a picture all together. He called the J class FA and she had to take the picture:

After our photo session I thanked the crew and returned to my seat, very happy after my first inflight flightdeck-visit since 1994 (on AF). As you might have seen on the flightdeck pics we had just passed LOWW, which is the 4-letter identifier for VIE. the landscape had changed and the ground was covered in snow in this very long winter which covered Germany and the surrounding countries in snow up until the first days of April:

What I found interesting on all my flights with RJ is that I never saw one person pray. A lot of TRs here on a.net describe the praying pax on airlines from the Middle East and some even show the prayer room. RJ also showed the direction of Mekka all the time on their IFE-airshow. Perhaps people from Jordan aren’t that strict about that matter? Anyone know this?

It did not took long and we overflew the Czech-German-border and started our descent into TXL:

While descending the FA offered us a last drink, i opted for a last OJ. Overall you could say she was very, very active. Looking around all the time if she could do anything for the pax. Passing the sea of clouds:


We approached Berlin from the East, passing Berlins’ Autobahn (highway) ring and the boroughs of Marzahn and Hellersdorf with their old GDR-style high-rise buildings:




Over the borough of Mitte, the “Fernsehturm” (tv tower) to our left:



Passing the bus depot at Müllerstraße:

Landing:


I wondered why we were deccelerating very slowly that day and did not take one of the early exits to the terminals. Instead we continued on to the end of the runway and around the end of the parallel runway. It turned out an inspection being done at the runway 08R/26L:

AB heavies waiting for their next flights to warmer destinations:

Approaching Terminal 1:

Gate 13 today:

POST-FLIGHT:

While disembarking I thanked the Captain again, then passed passport control. My aircraft seen from the terminal:

My bag arrrived as one of the last bags, despite the priority tag. Bad work by the rampers at HKG, AMM or TXL. Who knows? But it had made it back home, YEAH!

FINAL WORDS:

What a trip! This were amazing three weeks. It all started out was a crazy fueldump-fare to SIN and NRT. It ended with Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Hongkong and Phuket. Flying, sightseeing, relaxing, scuba-diving and my first flights in J class since 1994 IIRC. All in one trip.

The airlines:
TG: A mixed bag again. The service at HKT was absymal. The service on domestic flights is close to LCCs. On international flights the stars shine brightly for TG, great service, great food and excellent legroom. A top-notch hard-product on both flights.
RJ: I was totally happy with their service, the hard product, the soft product, the flights, the lounge, I can’t really say anything bad about them. The food was excellen, too. They could improve a little bit with a true lie-flat seat in longhaul J-class. But this aside, I would fly them any day in J.

The airports:
HKT: Actually, an okay airport. But the service of TG, the long waiting times at the counters and security. Not really modern, just acceptable for a typical holiday destination. I know some better airports.
BKK: Modern? Yes. Efficient and relaxing to pass through? No! Too hot, more of a shopping mall than an airport, long lines at security, missing signs. I say again: I know some better airports.
HKG: HKG is one of these better airports, in fact one of the best out there I know, beside SIN and MUC. Efficient, not too crowded, just much too long lines at security/passport control.
AMM: AMM is efficient, not too crowded, not too much shopping, just too old. I guess the new terminal changed a lot and that is a good thing. Otherwise an airport I would not mind visiting again.
TXL: Not much can be said, what I haven’t said before. Old, but in good shape, efficient and working fine if you start or end your journey there in Terminal A.

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