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Egypt Air: Underrated but one of the best airlines?

Mumbai-Cairo-Mumbai
Rs.27000

Fight for the skies, the abstract motto which every major airline has is evidently reflected in some of the low cost carriers. I would rather give an edge to Egypt Air, a budding airline in the Middle Eastern aviation market. With all its swanky competitors dominating the market, Egypt Air has silently developed into an airline serving a segment of loyal and budget conscious travellers. My experience with Egypt Air rests until my return flight from Cairo to Mumbai.
Ground Services
Egypt air provided full-fledged on ground assistance with adequate staff. Check in was smooth, thanks to the courteous staff who allowed me to carry 3 kg over-weight baggage. Return journey was marked by even more friendly ground staff. However, I wished they allowed passengers to upgrade to bulkhead seats despite having them being vacant. Ignoring the under-provisioned facilities at Cairo airport, the process was commendable on both the journeys. 
Rating
7/10
Aircraft Cabin  
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Egyptair Cabin- B737

 

Egyptair provided full-fledged on ground assistance with adequate staff. Check in was smooth, thanks to the courteous staff who allowed me to carry 3 kg over-weight baggage. Return journey was marked by even more friendly ground staff. However, I wished they allowed passengers to upgrade to bulkhead seats despite having them being vacant. Ignoring the under-provisioned facilities at Cairo airport, the process was commendable on both the journeys.

 

Rating
8/10
Seat Quality
There is nothing to complain about the seat. They are adequately spaced, offer great leg room and a generous recline. Unlike other international carriers, these seats are made up of rexine which are good fit for the purpose for a short haul flight, unlike mine which was almost 7 hours long. Hence, wear and tear could be seen, but it was minimal to be noticed by a naked eye. The adjustable headrest was a delight which made me dump my comfy neck pillow. A couple of magazines were placed in the pocket below, but I paid no heed to have a glance at them. The most striking part of my journey, the amenity kit that Egypt Air provides is awesome. Many big carriers ditch this for the economy section, but Egypt Air keeps their travellers satisfied. A cute little pouch containing earphones, socks, toiletries and some wipes are handed out to everyone. This is my favourite part of the entire journey.

Rating
9/10
Inflight Entertainment
It was surprising to see in-flight entertainment in a narrow body B737, thus kudos to Egypt Air for that. But, to my disappointment some of the systems are flawed as the earphones do not work on them. Hence there is no sound. The touch interface is laggy and there is no physical remote control to navigate across the menus. The ones who are able to log into their systems are left frustrated with limited options for movies and audio selections. Most of which are regional programs in Arabic. I will repeat, this must not be a deal breaker since it is rare to find inflight entertainment in a narrow body aircraft.
Rating
3/10
Meals
There is complimentary meal service included in the cost of the ticket. As soon as the plane takes off, the drink service is started. Please note that Egypt Air does not serve alcoholic beverages, which might be a big let-down for certain passengers. Beverages mainly included, soft drinks, fruit juices and malt soda. The main course is served along with tea or coffee. Nothing fancy, but just simple airplane food. On both the legs, I was served plain rice with boiled vegetables. Although it was flavourless, it was fine to justify the price I paid for the ticket. There were no extra servings for drinks allowed which was a setback. Pre-landing meal was a piece of plum cake which looked stale.
Rating
5/10
The Hub: Cairo International Airport
Egypt Air’s main hub is at Cairo International Airport. The airport is large by area, spanning across 3 main passenger terminals. The interiors are uninviting and just ordinary. The brown rusty walls and the metallic machines are unpleasing to look at. Cairo Airport still does not have post check in baggage checking facilities. General staff at the airport seemed very normal. When it comes to duty free and food outlets, Cairo International airports scores terribly. There are virtually no branded outlets or coffee shops. As a major disappointment most shops have a fixed menu consisting of overpriced stale sandwiches and soda. The gates are accessible via a travelator. Not to forget, Cairo International Airport can be ridiculously bad when it comes to washrooms. Unclean, unhygienic and unattended these washrooms are filthy!
Rating
4/10
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Overall my experience with particularly Egypt Air has been decent enough for the price which I have paid. It needs a few amendments to match up with the premium competition, but on this airline offers great value for your money and is indeed underrated. I will not hesitate flying, if I get a good fare and a SHORT transit time at Cairo Airport. Out of 10 stars I will give this airline a rating of 6 stars.
Overall Rating
6/10