(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.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Table of Contents
- Iranian Skies & Cities II: Exploring Iranian History (Tour Day 1 – 3)
- Flying an A340 Prototype: cn 002 with Iran Aseman
- Iranian Skies & Cities II: Flying the Classics (Tour Day 4 – 6)
- Mahan Air 747-300 in Business: Mashad to Tehran
- Mahan Air A300-600: Tehran to Mashad
- Iran Air Fokker 100: Mashad to Tehran
- (Coming Up) Iranian Skies & Cities II: Kish Airshow 2016 (Tour Day 6 – 8)
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.
Our boarding passes were scanned, and we got on the airplane as the last passengers of the completely full flight.
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.
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).
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.
In fact, I found it amazing that Mahan Air offered three choices of warm meal on such a short domestic hop!
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.
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.
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.