Monday, May 21, 2012

Last BMI Hoorah: Seychelles to Dubai via Addis Ababa


Our flight was scheduled to depart at 4.30pm and we tried to get a late checkout but the hotel was fully booked with guests already waiting for their rooms in the morning. It wasn't such a big deal as we enjoyed a slow lunch while enjoying the last wonderful views. We didn't take up the offer nonetheless, it was a nice gesture by the hotel to inquire whether we needed a shower to freshen up before we left the resort.

We got to the airport about two hours before departure. There was a group of ladies in front of us in the business class line and it took more than 15 fifteen minutes to check them in at which point, I was sweating thanks to the heat.

Ethiopia Airlines uses the Air Seychelles lounge which surprisingly was really nice. There was also a shower in the lounge that was much needed after sweating during check-in. The lounge was empty except for us as we were the only flight leaving around that time. I killed the remaining time tasting some of the local alcohol rum and whiskey on offer in the lounge.

Economy class was almost done with boarding when they announced for boarding in the lounge. There are no aerobridges in Seychelles airport which allowed for pictures of the 737-800 taking us to Addis Ababa.

The Departure Gate

After our earlier disappointment with Ethiopia, Lydia and I did not have high expectations. This flight turned out much better than expected. The pursuer or supervisor was friendly when welcoming us on-board and showed us to our seats. The also came around during meal time and asked whether the meals were okay and if we needed anything else. The captain even came on the PA giving us information that it would be a couple of minutes longer before we departed as they were still waiting for paperwork to be completed. The stewardess serving us made sure our drinks were constantly topped up during the flight.

Menus were available on this flight. Looks like the food is catered from Addis Ababa with the chicken option being the same meal as the Addis Ababa to Seychelles flight.

Instead of the chaos during our first transit in Addis Ababa, we were picked up at our remote stand by a dedicated van for business class passengers. We did a walk around the terminal with nothing interesting to see and spent the next hour or so in the lounge. The lounge did get packed this time around with several long haul flights to US and Frankfurt leaving around the same time. Being dinner time, there was more food on offer this time but we weren't particularly hungry. I nibbled on some local Ethiopian food of bread and a "curry dish" figuring this might be as close to visiting Ethiopia for a while.

Boarding again was chaotic for our flight to Dubai. The gate area was completely packed with 2 flights assigned to the same gate. Our flight was departing from a remote stand and there was a pile of people making their way to the bus once boarding was announced. Thankfully, they eventually pulled out the business class passengers onto the business class vans.

Our flight to Dubai was operated by a long haul 777LR. The seats were angled lie flat but could have used a bit more padding.

We were extremely tired even before the plane took off. The menu on this flight was exactly the same as the earlier Seychelles to Addis Ababa flight. We skipped the appetizers and dessert and instead nibbled on a mediocre seafood pasta dish which we had not try. Both of us conked out soon after..

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