航空公司：衣索比亞航空 Ethiopian Airlines
表訂時間：23:40─04:50+1 (ADD 05:50) (6 hr 10 min)
訂位艙等：Economy (O)/ 23A
This time we stayed at Ambassador Hotel which is only a few kilometers away from the airport.
飯店感覺比上次的Top Ten Hotel高級一點
It seemed fancier than Top Ten Hotel I stayed last time.
You may choose two single rooms for you and your friend or a double room for you two. The price is all the same, 50 US Dollar each. We chose a double room which was really big, with a living room and a kitchen.
The beds were quite hard, but comfortable enough to sleep.
You can see some Ethiopian Airlines aircrafts when you walk to the balcony.
After lunch we hired a cab to explore Addis Ababa. This is the National Museum of Ethiopia. Actually, there is only a few things to see in the museum. I felt so sleepy as the museum was relatively boring.
Though Addis Ababa is one of the most modern city in Africa, you can still see many trashes on the streets. I am wondering if those Ethiopian flight attendants live here and what their way of life is.
a very big market but I already forgot the name of the market
The advertisement of Ethiopian new destination, Manila. I thought the Pearl of Orient is Shanghai instead of Manila. This square was the last tourist spot on that day. We lost our willingness to explore more part of the city because a man blackmailed us there. He claimed that we needed to pay 30 Birr each to enter the square. The cab driver would not leave until we paid the money. So, we could only pay......
A short introduction about Addis Ababa tour ends here and the trip report begins here
We arrived Terminal 2 of Bole International Airport at 20:15. This airport was the same comparing to my last visit two years ago. Still a mess
The very right is the entrance for business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members .Nobody checked your itinenary or gold tier card here, so everyone can be a Star Alliance Gold member for about three minutes. Before entering the terminal, we need to take off our shoes and pass the security check for the first time.
Basically, the only row of check-in desks are all for Ethiopian Airlines, for there are only a few foreign airlines in ADD. The center is the priority check-in path, with a fancy 787 model.
A beautiful Ethiopian flight attendant board is placed here to greet the passengers. The green carpet lead you all the way the the counter, but it was quite dirty.
After the customs, we arrived the departure hall directly without any baggage security check. This airport provides free wi-fi, but it is almost impossible to link to it.
There is a Chinese temple-like counter for Chinese service since the major of passengers in ADD is Chinese people.
I don't know if this area is for some specific group of passengers or anybody can take a rest there. And to my surprise, the toilet became portable toilets. It was really weird for an international airport. Was I in a park or something?
The Cloud Nine Lounge looked like this two years ago. I remember I said my gold tier would expire before the next visit in ADD, but I never expected I would come back ADD that soon.
如今的Cloud Nine Lounge改頭換面重新拉皮一番，內部變成衣索比亞航空的紅黃綠色元素裝潢，但還是進不去！
This is the appearance of the lounge after a decoration. It is decorated with the colors of Ethiopian Airlines, red, yellow and green. Star Alliance gold members are not allowed to use this lounge because this is for Cloud Nine Business Class passengers. The lounge for us is next to the Chinese service counter. To be honest, I did not notice a lounge was there.
走回去看還真的有個STAR ALLIANCE GOLD LOUNGE，也太不起眼了！就像是組合屋式的方式臨時搭建圍成的貴賓室，看起來就很狹窄
除了新加坡航空弄了一個還好的Krisflyer Gold Lounge給星盟卡客外，衣索比亞航空也採取相同的作法，算是對自家顧客的一種保障
We looked around the STAR ALLIANCE GOLD LOUNGE. It seems extremely narrow as they use this kind of white board to make an area for the lounge. I hope this is only a temporary lounge. The entrance was small and crowded. I could not see any queue there as all the passengers just handed their card to the receptionists when they finished. Maybe some people who didn't have gold tier just walked into the lounge directly because the receptionists were too busy to monitor.
After I stepped into the seating area, I thought the some light must be out of work or there wasn't enough light in the lounge at all. The whole lounge was incredibly dark. In addition to the lack of light, the seats capacity was also overloaded. A lot of passengers dragging their baggage including us couldn't find a seat to take a rest. The couches and tables were moved and arranged by passengers themselves, so you can imagine the chaos in this Star Alliance Gold Lounge.
The lounge itself was small. People still came into the lounge continuously. My friend and I found one seat after ten minutes. Yes, only one, so we had to share the seat. I feel the world is full of Star Alliance Gold members now, maybe due to previous generous A3 loyalty program.
The end of the lounge was supposed to be a relaxing room, I think. But people moved some tables and chairs into the room and dined there. It was hard to tell what this area was really for.
I guess that Ethiopian Airlines originally wanted to make an exquisite lounge for us, so they decorated the lounge with some traditional Ethiopian handcrafts. But the lounge was seriously overloaded, then it became what we saw on that day. I am curious if the lounge is such as mess when there is no passenger.
The coffee machine at the corner seemed to be a bit not clean.
One good thing is that they use china plates as Cloud Nine Business Class does. Despite the fancy china plates, they provided economy spoons packs in the lounge which is an good souvenir for aviation fan. But they changed the plastic ones to metal spoons and forks after a few minutes.
They have plenty choices for food, vegetables, salad, fish, meats, rice. None of them is missing in this lounge. I dared not to try these dishes because I was afraid that they were very Ethiopian. Thank god I ate a lot at the hotel.
These were not traditional Ethiopian food because I didn't see raw meat which surprised me when visiting Addis Ababa last time. I took only the fish on top left to taste and it was not delicious as it looked.
I could tell that Ethiopian Airlines didn't put much effort into this lounge from these empty containers. Besides, there were some stains on the table.
Poor soft drinks area with Fanta, Coke, Sprite and water only
Alcohol area seemed a lot better, right? Although the choices were still less than other airlines lounge, at least they covered the empty place with colorful petals making the "bar" level higher. It's unbelievable that none of these petals did not fall on the floor.
I did not take any photo about the toilet because the toilet was totally not like a lounge level toilet, more like a public toilet in the park. So there is no something we call "shower room". I still couldn't forget what I saw and what I experienced after five months. I have been to many Star Alliance lounges and some of them don't provide shower room neither or less food. But not one lounge surprised me as Ethiopian Airlines Lounge did.
Before entering the boarding area, we needed to take off our shoes and passed the security check for the second time. This was the long waiting line of economy passengers. It took at least half hour to finish the check.
There is an entrance for Star Alliance Gold members and business class passengers across the lounge. The ground staff checked our membership carefully here, but we still spent 10 minutes waiting.
The boarding gate of ET849 was 1A which was indicated "down" by the sign. It meant we failed to walk into the cabin from the terminal directly.
We got onto the shuttle bus after five minutes. Ethiopian Airlines provided one exclusive bus for priority boarding passengers. I did not expect they have priority boarding since the boarding in ADD is always chaos. Despite the fact that it was "priority boarding" bus, we departured after the economy passengers settled down on the aircraft.
We drove through many Ethiopian 787, 777, 767 and 737 fleets. Ethiopian Airlines now has the largest fleets in Africa.
還好不是上次搭過的ET-AOB，今天ET849使用機齡三年的 B737-800 Next Gen ET-APO來執飛，這架飛機在衣航737機隊裡面算是中等歲數
I was glad that the aircraft of ET849 was not ET-AOB which flew me from Kuwait to Addis Ababa. The aircraft today was a three-year-old Boeing 737-800 Next Gen, ET-APO.
It looked like A340-600 from this angle.
The friendly purser welcomed every passenger with Ethiopian smile at the door. The hair style of Ethiopian Airlines flight attendants varies a lot. We never saw the "hair bun" like ANA or Asiana Airlines on Ethiopian. Most of them let their hair hang down naturally.
Cabin layout of ET-APO 16C+138Y
The Cloud Nine Business Class was almost full that day. This flight attendant's hair style was very Ethiopian Airlines, African freestyle.
Ethiopian business classes are all equipped with the same seats regardless of the different aircraft type.
The cabin light was different from the yellow, old light appearing on most Boeing aircrafts. Maybe it is because it is a Next Gen 738.
The ceiling was also different, but they didn't install individual screen, AVOD on their 737.
The overhead bin was still very empty after boarding completed due to the light loading on ET849 which was approximately 50~60% only. Many passengers was able to occupy three seats to get a good sleep. This flight, ET849 is bound for Cape Town via Johannesburg. Most passengers traveling to South Africa choose the morning flight, ET809 which is operated by B777-200LR or B777-300ER.
My friend and I shared three seats today, and you can see the recline of Ethiopian 737 is quite good.
But the pitch is not acceptable. Last time when I flew ET621, I couldn't get out from the window seat without touching other passengers' knees.
In addition to the reading light, there are adjustable air conditioners for each seat. But only one flight attendant call to reduce the service frequency, maybe.
My friend said that there were lifeboats inside the ceiling.
ET849 is a 6-hour medium haul flight, so each seats was provided with blanket and pillow. It was my first time to be onboard a narrow body aircraft for such a long time. Thanks to the loading, it should not be that painful for the next few hours.
Ethiopian Airlines in flight magazine and B737-800 safety card
It's weird that iPhone camera takes better pictures than my own camera. The 737 next to us had already departured for some place on the earth.
Ethiopian doesn't film a real-person version safety demonstration. The woman is trying to kill the man. She looks so mean!!!
ET-APO was pushed back soon after boarding complete and taxi at a high speed.
The aircraft took off from Runway 07R at 00:01. Addis Ababa Bole International locates on a plateau and the air is thinner. The engine efficiency decreases, so even an empty 737 still rolled for a long time to take off.
The main cabin light was turned off during climbing, but the cabin was lit by reading lights, screens and the blue light in the ceiling.
It was my first time to experience a light show on narrow jet.
Most passengers never opened their eyes after they took their seats for it was a red eye flight. This flight was not provided with entertainment material, not even my favorite show, flight information.
The only meal service began 40 minutes after takeoff. It was amazingly quickly for a 6-hour Ethiopian Airlines flight. Although this meal was a whole set, they served this meal with a small size tray.
The tray was full of food, one main course, two dishes, a bun and a pack of cracker.
We had two choices on ET849 today. I chose the fish meal. The fish was stewed with my favorite tomatoes and ketchup. It tasted not bad, but a little bit dry. As for the rice, it was totally different from the familiar rice we have in Eastern Asia. The rice was very African, Middle Eastern, not sticky at all so that you could actually count how many rices there were.
The drinks are what you expect on airplanes, so I was quite satisfied.
Another main course was also given some beans that I hate.
Very salty cream chicken with dry potato mash. Both of the main courses were not satisfying. Addis Ababa catering service always disappoints passengers.
This salad did not look like a normal salad at all. It was just like the first main course without fish being served as the second dish. Not so creative. These insect eggs-like things were not rice. I couldn't know what I ate after I finished them.
Surprise Surprise! This salad or something else was totally beyond my expectation. I thought it would be tasteless or a little bit sweet, but actually it was sour as if it was rotten.
We had chocolate pudding for dessert on ET849？ Wrong again. It was neither chocolate nor pudding. It was something between pudding and drinks and coffee flavor. It was like glue so you could drink it.
That's why Ethiopian Airlines always surprises me, sometimes positive impression, sometimes negative. You never guess what flavor you are going to taste even you see the food. You definitely need adventurer spirit to try Ethiopian Airlines meal.
After the flight attendants collected the tray, my friend arranged a fake afternoon tea for us to kill time on ET849.
Soon, they dimmed the cabin and put us in a dormant mode.
We slept at 38000 feet high sky.
Another 90 minutes passed and now we were above Zambia. The flying path was over many countries that I could hardly pay a visit to, such as Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. I might only have chance to visit Kenya since I want to try Kenya Airways very much.
Thanks my friend, Kevin, blogger from Singapore, captured screenshot of the flight for me！He has very good trip reports.
How mysterious TIME it is. The cabin light show was turned off at some moment.
The toilet was cleaner than I expected. Last time I was scared by the toilet of Egyptair and Ethiopian Airlines.
I had no idea where I was then. I only knew the sun was about to rise.
As I was about to fall asleep for another two hours, the cabin light was suddenly turned on and the purser made an announcement that we were about to arrive at Johannesburg. The five hour flight was just like a Taipei to Hong Kong flight, for time really flew when we were asleep. I hope that office or classroom could have this magic power as the cabin, too.
South Africa is one of the most developed African countries, so many street lights.
I didn't notice that we made a 180 degree turn before landing. Johannesburg airport is also on a plateau of 5773 feet.
We touched down on Runway 3L. It 's SOUTH AFRICA！
ET-APO almost used the whole runway to brake
The terminal design of Johannesburg Airport is quite special, at least better than our TPE. Rwandair and Air Namibia, two airlines I had never seen with my own eyes parked next to us.
Most passengers disembarked at JNB, and only 20 to 30 people remained seated to continue their flight to Cape Town. You can move freely on most Ethiopian Airlines transit flights and do not need to leave the plane.
Even though I stepped on South African airport, I still felt very nervous because I took only ten more days from planning, visa applying to departure, and we didn't prepare the international certificate of vaccination. We were afraid that we would be denied at the border. But the custom officer just randomly flipped through our flight itinerary and asked a few question. Then, we entered South Africa.
We could not claim our baggage after the last piece of baggage was taken away. OH NO！Ethiopian Airlines did not send my baggage AGAIN. A female security guard took us to South African Airways baggage service desk. The ground staff handled our cases patiently. After he checked the profile, he told us that our baggage was delivered to JNB on the previous flight ET809. Thank god the baggage arrived earlier, not later because we had a domestic flight to connect. Therefore, the female security guard led us to a place to collect our baggage.
We walked out the terminal and it was dark outside the terminal. We walked for about five minutes and finally we arrived another office.
OHD(On Hand Baggage)意思是沒人拿的行李
OHD(On Hand Baggage) means the baggage that nobody claims
When the employee took out the familiar luggage, I felt that life was full of hope again. But a bad new was not we missed the arrival lounge of South African Airways and it was impossible to get back there. Hence, we just started a small JNB terminal tour directly.
The arrival hall of JNB Airport
表定飛行時間 23:40─04:50+1 (ADD 05:50) (6 hr 10 min)
實際飛行時間 00:01─04:23+1 (ADD 05:23) (5 hr 22 min)
Scheduled Flying Time 6 hr 10 min
Actual Flying Time 5 hr 22 min