(Flown on November 16, 2016)
It’s been a while since I posted the previous part of the November 2016 Iranian Skies & Cities tour. Better late than never, though, and so here is another instalment – this time about our flight to Mashad onboard a Mahan Air A300-600. In the previous report, I reviewed the same route in reverse direction in business class. This time, we flew economy.
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 Swap from an A310 to an A300-600
After a quick check-in, we headed through the security. The scheduled departure time of the flight was 7:50PM. However, in reality, that was the time around which boarding started.
With our boarding passes checked by the gate staff, it was only a quick bus ride from gate 6 to the aircraft, EP-MNH – an A300-600.
Even though the flight was originally supposed to be an A310, we did not mind it being an A300-600. After all, there are still some airlines outside of Iran operating the A310 while the A300 in passenger version is only operated by Iranian airlines.
Once onboard, I settled into seat 36H, giving one of the other tour participants my originally assigned window seat.
During boarding, I spent some time flipping through the onboard magazine. One of the things that caught my attention was a dot next to Tokyo on the route map saying “planned destinations.” It sure would be great if Mahan started flying to Japan!
Delay Due to Congestion at Mehrabad
Boarding was finished at 8PM, and at 8:06PM the crew closed the doors. Another couple of minutes later, the engines were started and we were pushed back.
At that point, the captain announced that we would be delayed due to congestion at Mehrabad airport. While I am used to similar announcements on domestic flights to and from Tokyo Haneda, this was the first time I heard such announcement in Iran.
We spent quite some minutes waiting in the take-off queue. In fact, we only took off at 8:50PM – almost 40 minutes after push back.
Mahan Air Domestic In-Flight Meal
As soon, as the seatbelt signs were switched off, the crew sprung into action.
Just as with all other Iranian domestic flights, a fairly substantial meal was served even on this short one hour domestic hop.
The cold meal tray consisted of chicken cuts, dill bread, and some sides.
While it was, understandably, incomparable with the business class choice of three hot meals, it was still more than enough for the short segment. And it was more than pretty much any European, American or even Asian airline would offer on a similar segment.
Modern Cabin of the Mahan Air A300-600
Several minutes after the meal trays were collected, at 9:31PM, the seatbelt signs were switched back on. Another fifteen or so minutes later, the landing gear was lowered.
We touched down on Mashad’s runway at 9:51PM, and after braking hard, we exited the runway. As we taxied to the terminal, an announcement was made saying: “We know you had a choice, and we thank you for choosing Mahan Air.”
At 10:00PM sharp, we reached our parking position.
We had a quick look at the business class section – which featured newer seats than the 747-300 the day before.
Finally, before getting of, we had a quick peek into the cockpit.
After that, we bid a farewell to the crew, and headed into the terminal where the driver from our hotel was already waiting.