(Traveled on February 19, 2016)
After a week in Iran, it was time to head back to Kuala Lumpur onboard Iran Air’s flight 814. Before that, however, we found time to do some shopping in a bazaar and some more spotting at Mehrabad airport.
Nuts & Dry Fruits
Once again, we took the morning fairly slow, and well-rested we went to one of Tehran’s bazaars aiming to buy some gifts.
We did not find any suitable gifts there, but some of us ended up buying pistachios and raisins. While shopping at the dry fruits story, I got full just from trying all the different types of products they had there!
A Syrian Surprise
With the shopping done and the weather sunny, we headed once again to Mehrabad airport’s famous spotting point.
A disclaimer here: the hobby of aviation photography is not widely understood in Iran, and oftentimes the local people call the police. It can result in being held for several hours. As such it is not really recommended, and if you decide to do it, don’t do it on the day of your departure as you might miss your flight.
During the couple of hours we stayed at the location, we were able to photograph many domestic movements including the Iran Aseman 727 and Iranian Revolutionary Guards An-74.
What was the biggest surprise though, was a Syrian Air Il-76 arriving from Damascus. We never expected to photograph that one during our short stay there!
As it was getting cloudy and as we got warned by a police officer, we decided to call it a day and went back to the hotel.
Onboard Iran Air 747-200 in the Seat of Homa
After some time spent relaxing in the hotel lobby, we headed out to meet a van my friend had booked for us to take us to Imam Khomeini airport and a good hour later, we arrived at the CIP terminal dedicated to business class passengers.
We tried to check-in there together with two of our participants that were traveling in business class, but we were told we would need to pay almost 100EUR per person to do so. As such, the group of us that was flying economy walked back to the main terminal where we checked in after spending some time in the line.
As we still had some time before our departure, after getting through passport control, some of us had a quick dinner and did some souvenir shopping. With the time of our departure getting closer, we headed through security to gate 25 where our flight would be departing from.
Soon, we boarded a Boeing 747-200 – EP-IAI. Once again, as we had found out during the previous days, we were hit with an equipment change and missed the 747SP.
Onboard, we settled into our seats, and I asked the crew to let Cpt. Kaviani know we had arrived.
In a couple of minutes, he came down and besides a quick chat, he arranged for us to be allowed to sit in the Homa Class cabin. He also agreed to call us into the cockpit during sunrise before heading back to the upper deck.
While the meals we meals we received during the flight were economy class meals, we were served pre-departure drink together with the “real” business class passengers. I chose orange juice from the selection of juices.
At half past ten, the aircraft doors were closed. About five minutes later, we started taxiing towards runway 29R of Imam Khomeini airport, and another ten minutes later we took off into the dark Iranian skies.
With the seat belt sign off, nothing was in the way of the crew serving dinner. While business class passengers enjoyed multiple courses, we were served economy class meal. In spite of that, the chicken with rice was quite tasty and the meal was more than enough given that it was later than 11PM.
After dinner, I started working on this report while sipping tea, and after some time I fell asleep only to wake up during sunrise. And indeed, right after waking up, I headed into the cockpit on the upper deck to enjoy the beautiful view as well as a chat with the crew.
The rest of the flight, we mainly spent chatting with the crew, taking pictures and just enjoying being onboard a Boeing 747-200 in 2016.
About two hours before landing, a cold plate breakfast was served. The breakfast was followed by tea service, this time in the business class glassware even for us.
Unfortunately, the time went by very quickly, and at 10:14AM Malaysia time, the seat belt sign was switched on and we started our descend towards Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
We overflew KL giving us a nice view of the city including the Petronas Towers, and at 10:35AM we lowered our landing gear in final preparations for landing.
Five minutes later, we touched down on runway 32L of KLIA, and less than ten minutes later we reached our parking spot – C12.
After disembarking and picking up our luggage, we entered the arrivals lobby where we bid each other a farewell, bringing the unforgettable tour to an end.