Friday, 18 February 2022

My Flight Review for 2019

 Welcome to my flight review for 2019


Introduction

This flight review should have been done earlier but as what they say, better late than never. In 2019, the start of Covid began at the last quarter of the year and spread through out the world. It has been ongoing with a different variant of it spreading like widefire affecting many people's lives. I was fortunate to be able to complete these flights just before the Covid virus kicked in. Since then, I was grounded by the pandemic but I am thankful to still be alive without health issue (Fingers crossed). After 2 years, I am going ahead with my flying adventure for 2022, of course will travel with precaution. 

Hope you enjoy this review! 

My flight review for 2019 


Flights: 21

Miles: Around 54,000

Type of Class: All Economy class 

Most flown aircraft type: Boeing 787-8 (4 times)

New aircraft types for 2019: Airbus A220-100 and Airbus A350-1000

Number of airlines flown for 2019: 9

Airlines and aircraft types: 

LOT Polish: 2 X Boeing 787-8, 1 ERJ-190 and 1 Boeing 737-800
Cathay Pacific: 1 Airbus A330-300 and 1 Airbus A350-1000
All Nippon Airways: 2 Boeing 787-10 
United Airlines: 1 Airbus A320, 1 Boeing 757-300 and 2 Boeing 777-300ER
Frontier: 1 Airbus A320 and 1 Airbus A321 
Delta Airlines: 2 Airbus A220-100
American Airlines: 1 Boeing 787-9
Ethiopian Airlines: 2 Airbus A350-900 and 2 Boeing 787-8

Airports visited in 2019

Warsaw (WAW)
London City Airport (LCY)
London Heathrow (LHR)
Bangkok (BKK)
Tokyo Narita (NRT)
San Francisco (SFO)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Denver (DEN)
Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW)
Detriot (DTW)
Addis Ababa (ADD)

New airports visited in 2019

Denver, Dallas Fort-Worth, Detriot and Addis Ababa 

Airline Review Summary 

1. All Nippon Airways


Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner JA900A (Click here for part 1 (SIN-NRT) and click here for part 2 (NRT-SIN)


Photo: Takayuki Kaneda 

Economy Class 


My thoughts:  This Economy Class product is an improvement over the airline's 787-8, it is not only comfortable, the legroom space is very good and this comes from someone who is 6 foot 4. The touchscreen IFE system is certainly large and easy to use, though limited in content and the foot rest is a bonus, not many airlines offer it. WiFi is available on this aircraft. For the cabin crew service, they were great on both flights, it is something you expect from the wonderful Japanese service. I am very glad to have flown the airline's 787-10 on this route because the aircraft was rescheduled to other routes few months later.

Overall rating: 4.4/5 stars (for both flights) 

In-flight service: 4/5 
In-flight meal: 4/5
Economy Class Seat: 5/5 
Cleanliness: 5/5 
IFE system: 4/5 

2. American Airlines 

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N834AA (Click here for the trip report) 
Route: DFW-LAX 


Photo by Mark A Harris 


My thoughts: The delay has caused a lot of inconvenience especially for the connecting passengers due to the late arrival of the aircraft and also the aircraft had to wait for a while for an available gate which added more time. Onboard flight service was average and the seat comfort was not good for me as the legroom space was very tight. By the end of the flight, I was relieved to get off the plane. On the bright side, the airline's IFE system was not bad and it kept me entertained for the short duration. By the end of the flight, I was surprised we were parked at the remote parking lot even though we arrived late and there were connecting passengers who had to rush to connect their flights which some of them were going to depart. I hope my next flight with them will be more pleasant. (JFK to BOS route in June 2022 on the airline's A321) 

Overall rating: 2.9/5

In-flight service: 2.5/5
In-flight meal: 3/5
Economy Class Seat: 2/5
Cleanliness: 3.5/5
IFE system: 3.5/5

3. Cathay Pacific 


Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 B-LBJ (Click here for the trip report) 
Route: SIN-BKK



Photo: Hin Volvo 

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 B-LXB (Click here for the trip report)


Photo: K.Y Yim (AHKGap)


My thoughts: 

As you know the situation in Hong Kong is in chaos, the airline is suffering tremendously. I won't go into details on the politics but whatever is happening is destroying the years of hard work in making Hong Kong and the national airline, Cathay Pacific airlines, one of the best in the world. I am glad that I flew with the airline just before the situation in Hong Kong deteriorate and also the spread of covid-19. The booming period for this airline has seen many profitable routes especially the 5th freedom routes, sadly most of these routes have stopped and right now, the borders of Hong Kong along with China is closed to the world for a indefinite period of time. The in-flight service and meals on this short hop was more than sufficent and I was delighted to add the A350-1000 into my flight logbook. The A350-1000 is certainly quieter than the Boeing 777-300ER and hopefully it maintains the 3-3-3 seating configuration for the A350 operators. 

Overall rating: 4.2/5

In-flight service: 4/5
In-flight meal: 4/5
Economy Class Seat: 3.5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
IFE system: 4.5/5

4. Delta Airlines 


Delta Airlines Airbus A220-100 N101DU (Click here for the trip report)
Route: DFW-DTW


Photo: Nick Sheeder

Delta Airlines Airbus A220-100 N117DU (Click here for the trip report)
Route: DTW-DFW


Photo: Daniel Gorun 


My thoughts: 

What can I say about the A220, it is an absolute fantastic regional jet. To be able to fly on it twice makes me want to fly on this aircraft even more. At where I am, the nearest A220 operator would have to be Seoul, Korean Air, so that would cost quite a bit of money to go there just to fly this plane, glad to be able to do it then. Now Delta Airlines is operating both the -100 and -300 series. As for the in-flight meal, for the time duration at least at my part of the world, a hot meal would have been served and also considering the price, it is a bit of a let-down. However the entertainment system is good, it fills you in with details such as the aircraft registration number and other info of the plane. As for the in-flight service, both flights were served with good set of crew and lastly the seats are comfortable and I love the 2-3 seating configuration. Thumbs up to this plane.

Overall rating: 3.8/5

In-flight service: 4/5
In-flight meal: 2/5 (More of snack)
Economy Class Seat: 4/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
IFE system: 4/5 


5. Ethiopian Airlines 


Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-AOQ (Click here for the trip report)
Route: SIN-ADD


Photo: Jamie Chang (MilAirOps)

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-AOO (Click here for the trip report)
Route: ADD-SIN


Photo: William Verguet 


Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900 ET-ATQ (Click here for the trip report)
Route: ADD-LHR 


Photo: Jason Xu 

Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900 ET-AWN (Click here for the trip report)
Route: LHR-ADD 


Photo: T.Laurant 


My thoughts: 

At that time, the airline was recovering from the loss of an aircraft, the 737 MAX. I didn't have any thoughts of cancelling the flights as I wasn't flying on the affected aircraft type. I choose these airline to London for several reasons, to fly to Africa for the first time, to try out the airline's A350 and B787 and also to take advantage of the hotel free stay during the long layover at ADD airport. For the hotel stay, the airline will arrange a temporary visa for transit passengers for flights longer than 12 hours and I am glad I did it. Everything went well, I got to make some new friends over there. Spending just a brief period in Africa gives me an eye-opener to the city as the airport hotel van took us from the airport to the hotel which gave me a glimpse of the city. As for the flights, nothing spectacular. The A350 has better in-flight entertainment system than the 787 and other than that, everything else is similar. 

Overall rating: 3.4/5

In-flight service: 3/5
In-flight meal: 3.5/5
Economy Class Seat: 3.5/5
Cleanliness: 3/5
IFE system: 4/5

6. Frontier Airlines 

Frontier Airlines Airbus A321 N717FR (Click here for the trip report)
Route: LAX - DEN 


Photo: Jason Whitebird 


Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 N230FR (Click here for the trip report)
Route: DEN - DFW 


Photo: Szabo Gabor


My thoughts: 

My 90th airline got me very excited with the fantastic tail liveries but the in-flight experience couldn't it match it. This was a typical U.S Low Cost Carrier service, with a couple of rude crew especially from the 1st flight, fortunately the crew on the 2nd flight was better. I was disappointed to miss out flying the Airbus A319 or the A320NEO but it was still a great experience and to visit Frontier's home base, catching the sight of the airline's fleet and the airport. Luckily for me, both flights went ahead but landed late. Would I fly again with this airline? I don't see why not. 

Overall rating: 2.25/4  (For Low Cost Carriers)

In-flight service: 2/4
Punctuality: 1/4
Economy Class Seat: 3/4 (Extra legroom seat)
Cleanliness: 3/4

7. LOT Polish 


LOT Polish Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner SP-LRA (Click here for the trip report)
Route: SIN-WAW 


Photo: Jorge Meneses

LOT Polish Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner SP-LRG (Click here for the trip report)
Route: WAW-SIN


Photo: Dong An 


LOT Polish Boeing 737-800 SP-LWA (Click here for the trip report)
Route: LHR-WAW 


Photo: Simone Previdi 


LOT Polish ERJ-190 SP-LMA (Click here for the trip report)
Route: WAW-LCY



My thoughts: 

I always wanted to fly with this airline for a while and when I decided to fly to London, I look at the list of airlines to choose, this was my first choice. I wanted to fly on the airline's 737 MAX but as you know the aircraft was grounded worldwide so my scheduled aircraft was changed to the 737-800. For the in-flight services on all the flights, nothing to shout about. I would rate the service slightly above average. The IFE system on SP-LRA (SIN-WAW flight) was in a dire condition and the selection of movies were limited. In-flight meals were average and seats on the 787 wasn't comfortable. 737-800 and ERJ-190's seats were ok. Considering the price I paid, it was value for money. I won't hestiate to fly with this airline in the near future. 

Overall rating: 3.3/5

In-flight service: 3/5
In-flight meal: 2.5/5
Economy Class Seat: 3/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
IFE system: 3/5 

8. United Airlines 

United Airlines Boeing 777-300ER N2142U (Click here for the trip report) 

Route: NRT-SFO 


Photo by Kobayashi

United Airlines Boeing 777-300ER N2645U (Click here for the trip report)

Route: SFO-NRT

Photo by TaoHang Zhou


United Airlines Airbus A320 N468UA (Click here for the trip report)

Route: SFO-LAX 

Photo by Sebastian Sowa


United Airlines Boeing 757-300 N57870 (Click here for the trip report)

Route: LAX-SFO 

Photo: Bastian Ding


My thoughts: 

I had bad experience flying with this airline about 20 years ago and I thought its time to give the airline a 2nd chance and I glad I did. Not only I get to experience the latest products from the airline, I also get to add the Boeing 757-300 to my logbook. The seats were comfortable but the legroom space was tight. As for the inflight service, the Asian crew on my transpacific flights were great while for the domestic flights, overall the crew were ok. As for the in-flight entertainment system, the Boeing 777-300ER had the personal tv entertainment system which offers good variety of shows, enough for the duration. For the A320 and 757-300, wifi was offered but it was not free, so I didn't use it, so for the duration of the flight, the window view was my only source of entertainment. This is an area which Delta Airlines win. Overall, I enjoyed my flights with United but won't be flying with them this summer (2022). 

Overall rating: 3.9/5

In-flight service: 3/5
Punctuality: 5/5
Economy Class Seat: 3.5/5
Cleanliness: 4/5
Cabin ambiance: 4/5 

Charles Ryan's Award for 2019 

Best Premium airline flown: All Nippon Airways 


The great Japanese hospitality plus the very comfortable Y class seats with the new IFE system has made this the best premium airline in my short list of airlines, easy decision really. 

Best Economy Class: All Nippon Airways


The improved Y class on the airline's 787-10 Dreamliner has definitely won me. The impressive legroom space and the comfortable seats is the bigger winner for me. If you get a chance to try out ANA's 787-10, please do so. 

Best In-Flight Meal: All Nippon Airways 


This meal is from the catering in Tokyo, and as expected, it was quite tasty. I had this meal on board ANA's flight from NRT to SIN. Comparing with the others, this one is the clear winner. 

Best In-Flight Entertainment System: Delta Airlines


It was a difficult decision between ANA and Delta Airlines as both have their strong points, but for this case I got to vote for Delta Airlines because they have also included the aircraft information, live TV and the food option and drink available on the flight which ANA doesn't offer. However ANA's in-flight entertainment is impressive with a good amount of movie contents in it and have a great interactive map.  

Earliest arrival: UA471 (LAX-SFO) United Airlines Boeing 757-300 (N57870) - 34 mins ahead of schedule! 


Most enjoyable ride: United Airlines Boeing 757-300


Sometimes old is gold, this is one example. Even though the cabin looks dated and the cabin noise during flight was more noisy than the newer aircraft, the ride was enjoyable. Every minute of the short flight was spent looking out of the window, wishing the flight would not end so soon. You be amazed with the length of the plane when looking from the back of the aircraft.

Most interesting livery: Frontier Airlines


Every aircraft of Frontier has a different animal livery on the tail and they have names of them, that makes the airline very unique compared to others. For plane spotters, it would be a delight to catch them as there are hundreds of animal tails to photograph. This airline is the clear winner for this category. 

Most interesting airport: DFW (Dallas- Fort Worth Airport)


The good old Maddog, MD-83 which has since been retired. I photographed this on the train. 


The layout of the terminal

Thanks to the skylink, I took it to all the terminals to have tour around the airport during my layover, very easily accessible and I did a lot of plane spotting, spotted some special livery aircraft. For someone coming from Asia, this was a delight! Even Changi Airport can't match up to this in terms of plane spotting. 

Best Airport Experience (Excluding Singapore): Tokyo Narita Airport


It was a nice and pleasant airport to transit with the wonderful Japanese hospitality and photography opportunity to snap photos of planes at the gates. For plane spotters like myself, this keep us busy. I enjoy every visit at this airport and Tokyo Haneda Airport. 

Conclusion

I am glad that my trip went without a hitch. I am looking forward to doing a similar trip this coming summer. The joy of flying and taking the longest way to get to your destination just to fly on the desired aircraft types, that's what aviation enthusiasts love doing. My only regret was not starting this earlier as I have missed the chances of flying the exotic types such as the Boeing 747SP, IL-62, IL-96 ..etc That's why this summer (2022), I would be returning to the U.S to fly the Boeing 757-200 so stay tuned for that. 

ANA gets the majority of the votes as it is certainly more outstanding than the other airlines. American Airlines and LOT Polish, I would certainly fly them again, no issues with any of the airlines above but I like to see better service recovery especially if the flight gets delayed due to the airline's fault. Making my first ever trip to the African continent is also another highlight and yes, I would like to return there perhaps to stay longer and take a tour around, but it won't be happened that soon. 

I hope you enjoy this long awaited flight review (3 years late) of 2019! As I didn't fly in 2020 and 2021, the next flight review will take place in 2022 and it will be published most probably 1st quarter of 2023. 

What's my next flying adventure? Click here to find out.

Take care and thanks for reading!
Charles 

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