Flight Report: Mahan Air 747-300 from Mashad to Tehran in Business Class

Flight Review: Mahan Air 747-300 Mashad to Tehran in Business Class

(Flown on November 15, 2016)

While there are several rare types still flying around Iran, not many can compete with the Iran Aseman Airlines 727. One of those that can is the Mahan Air 747-300 – the last classic 747 flying in scheduled passenger service.

Table of Contents

A Close Call

As you could have read in the previous part of the report, due to a delay on our flight from Tehran to Mashad onboard the Iran Aseman 727, we nearly missed this flight.

Luckily, the Mahan Air staff in both Tehran and Mashad was very accommodating after some discussions, and so when we got out of the luggage claim area in Mashad, there was already a Mahan Air representative waiting for us with boarding passes in his hand.

He whisked us through the terminal, and security check, straight to gate 13 – the only gate at Mashad airport equipped with a jetbridge.

Mahan Air Office

After some convincing, the Tehran staff of Mahan Air got in touch with their Mashad colleagues.
Mashad Airport

It worked out – running to the gate with Mahan Air’s Mashad staff right after our arrival from Tehran.

Our boarding passes were scanned, and we got on the airplane as the last passengers of the completely full flight.

Boarding

It was a close call, but we made it.
Boarding

The last classic 747 in scheduled passenger service.

Boarding and Waiting for a ASU

After stepping onboard a classic 747 for the sixth time and a 747-300 for the first time in my life, I headed up the straight staircase into the business class cabin. When I settled into the comfortable leather seat, I was amazed by the seat pitch it offered. I suddenly wished we would be flying further on the historic aircraft than just a one hour hop to Tehran.

The seat pocket contained the obligatory in-flight magazine and safety card. There was also a bottle of water and a surprisingly extensive menu.

Seatback

By pulling the tag, a storage area opened.
Seat

The fairly comfortable business class seats.

Once all the business class passengers were settled in, the flight attendant came to offer a pre-departure drink and towel, as well as to take the dinner order (more about the meal later).

Welcome Drink

Welcome drink and towel.
Menu

Menu with three main choices.

Doors were armed at 5:07PM. Shortly after, the cockpit crew announced that the flight time would be about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and that we would be flying at an altitude of 36,000 feet.

About twenty minutes passed without any activity. Then, suddenly, the captain addressed the passengers over the PA. Of course, the first thing that crossed my mind was that we were having technical difficulties, and that we would not be able to fly to Tehran on what was meant to be the highlight of the trip.

Luckily, it was just a problem with the APU, and we had to wait for the ASU to come and help us start the engines. As the seatbelt sign was on, but there was no sign of us moving in the near future, I asked one of the crew members if I could go to the restroom.

No, Sir, because maybe when you are inside, the captain will say we are ready for take off.

I found her answer slightly amusing, but, of course, I complied. And sure enough, two minutes later, she came back saying “yes sir, you can go.”

The Short Flight to Tehran

We were finally pushed back at 5:45PM, and three minutes later, the engines were fired up one after another. This was followed by a short taxi to runway 31R from which we took off at 5:57PM.

About ten minutes after take-off, the seatbelt signs were turned off, and the meal service started.

Since the meal choices were taken before take-off, the service was fairly fast. In no time, my tray table was set up with a table cloth, and a tray with the meal placed on it.

My choice was chicken cordon bleu – fried chicken filled with cheese. It came with two pieces of bread, a salad, and a lemon cake on the side. All of the meal was tasty, and the portion was more than enough.

Meal

Chicken cordon bleu.
Meal

About to start enjoying the meal.

In fact, I found it amazing that Mahan Air offered three choices of warm meal on such a short domestic hop!

Meal

Lamb shank and rice.
Meal

Penne with meat and pomodoro sauce.

Also, throughout the meal, my drink – a traditional Iranian lemonade which was suggested to me by the cabin crew was being refilled.

Once the tray tables were cleared, I together with some of the other tour participants headed downstairs to take a look at the economy class. After we got back, just 40 minutes after they were switched off, the seatbelt signs were switched back on.

Upper Deck

Overview of the upper deck.
Staircase

Starting with the “-300,” the spiral staircase was replaced by a straight one.
Economy

Overview of the nose-section economy.
Screen

An LG LCD screen at the very front of the cabin.

Twenty minutes later, we landed in Tehran, and another ten minutes later, we arrived at our parking spot.

We hanged around for some more minutes to take photos of the cabin and cabin crew, and then disembarked. Some of the group that hanged around a bit longer than I did were also lucky enough to see the cockpit.

Business Class

No and maximum recline.
Cheetah

We parked next to the “cheetah.”
Emergency Equipment Map

Emergency equipment map.
Nose Section Economy

Economy class nose-section.
Deboarding

Deboarding in progress.
With Crew

A photo together with one of the cabin crew members.

On the apron, I took a couple more shots of the aircraft, and happy that I have added another rare type into my log, I stepped onto the bus that took me to the terminal.

Aircraft

A view from the airstairs.
Aircraft

…and a final view before the bus headed off to the terminal.

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