EgyptAir is a Star Alliance member and a good option for the African traveller, with connections to 25 main European destinations and 21 North African, West African and Middle Eastern destinations. New destinations the airline will offer this year include Manchester (UK) and Toronto (Canada). In this instance, my journey originated in London, and this was the final leg of my trip.
I had a connecting flight from London, so no check-in was necessary for this flight, which was obviously a relief, not having to go through that process again. Thanks to the generous baggage allowance, I was relieved that my two cases – weighing nearly 70 kilograms in total – had been checked right through. When you fly from London, you arrive and depart from the new Terminal 3 at Cairo International Airport, which I can only describe as slick and modern. It boasts an excellent variety of restaurants and shops, and caters to all tastes.
Lounge & Boarding
Due to a heavy schedule in London, it was an absolute pleasure to find the Business Class lounge in just a few minutes. What I really enjoyed was the privacy and soft lighting that it offered. There were no large open areas, as you find in other lounges, but more segmented rooms and cubicles with large comfortable seating. Although there was a pleasant selection of hot and cold snacks available, I wasn’t hungry, so after opting for a glass of fruit juice, I settled down to try out the complimentary Wi-Fi, which didn’t disappoint. It was speedy and easy to use. Before I knew it, it was time to board and we were set for an on-time departure.
Once on board the aircraft, a selection of fruit juices was offered as we waited for the Economy Class passengers to embark. A nice surprise was the toiletry bags given to Business Class passengers, and they contained much more than the standard earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. I particularly liked the unisex eau de toilette and the cotton tracksuit, which was very comfortable to sleep in. The Business Class configuration in this Airbus A330-200 was 2-2-2 and the seat pitch, 57 inches. There were 24 seats in Business Class and 244 in Economy. I’m not actually a fan of airline flat-beds, so I was just happy to find that the 20-inch-wide seat reclined by nearly 16 inches and was easy to adjust for a good night’s sleep. The service was fairly attentive, without being over-bearing, although I had to make enquiries to find out that EgyptAir does not offer alcohol on any of its flights, and all the food is halaal. That being said, I found the food selection exceptional and comparable with other top airlines. But at 30,000 feet, who really wants to eat anyway? I found the in-flight entertainment a little limiting, but this is not an important flying issue for me, although it may be for some people.
After a seven-hour flight and some good quality sleep, I arrived feeling refreshed, and we landed at O.R. Tambo International Airport right on schedule at 07h05. Disembarking was quick and the South African authorities at passport control were on their best behaviour, so it was great to be home!
Good service, value for money and excellent baggage allowance in Business Class. I have never grasped the concept of travelling light, so I would happily fly EgyptAir again just to be able to fill up my cases and not worry about being charged the earth!