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Air Mauritius Business Class Flight Review Hong Kong to Mauritius

CABIN FLOWN

Business Class

ROUTE FLOWN

Hong Kong to Mauritius

DATE

17 November 2010

REVIEWER

Michael Dupree

FLIGHT RATING :

Air Mauritius Air Mauritius customer 2010
3.0 Star Rating: Average
 

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Air Mauritius flight review

Flight Review of Air Mauritius
Business Class : Hong Kong to Mauritius





Flight Review of Air Mauritius Business Class : Hong Kong to Mauritius


DEPARTURE SERVICE

Arrived for check-in early (approx. 3-hours before departure) and was met with long queues for all three Business Class check-in desks. Only one of these desks was dedicated solely to Premium passengers with the other two also allowing use by Elite / Kestrel frequent flyers. Over 30 passengers queuing at this time - at most there could be only 24 J Class passengers (load was 18/24). I assume MK must offer a generous extra baggage allowance to FF or is making a healthy profit on excess baggage fees, as it seemed that every passenger had 3 or 4 large items to check-in! After around 20-minutes of waiting was eventually picked from the queue (only travelling with carry-on) with this 'remote' check-in taking a further 5-minutes. There is no Fastrack immigration or security in HKG, queues were fairly short and I reached the lounge after approx. 15-minutes.

Air Mauritius use the CNAC lounge in Hong Kong, this was conveniently located next to Gate 16 used for the flight (not sure if this was luck or planned by the airline?) The lounge is basic but offers showers, WiFi and a small selection of food / beverages. It is quite clear that this is the last flight of the day as staff switched of the main lights and began tidying around passengers immediately after the first boarding call!

Onboard, the cabin staff did not offer any service to passengers until the aircraft door had closed and a head count completed (15 to 20-minutes after boarding). Whilst the aircraft was taxiing boarding drinks (Orange Juice / Champagne) were served from a tray, a hot towel and the amenity kit were also offered. The staff then disappeared until after take-off - this seemed to set the tone for the remainder of the flight!


CABIN APPEARANCE

24 seats across 4-rows in Business Class 2x2x2 - the orange seat covers are quite bright but this seemed to be the theme across this A330 aircraft, I noticed an attractive lime green / yellow used for Economy seats! Two standard size washrooms available with Economy Class style amenities available - cabin did look a bit worn with marks etc around seat trims / casings and central console could have done with a wipe as this had ring marks from previous flight.


SEATING COMFORT

The seats were the older style angled lie flat - whilst not as good as a flatbed product this seat was quite comfortable in a semi-reclined mode and managed about 5-hours sleep. In the upright seated position the legrest / footrest did not extend far enough to sit comfortably - I am not overly tall (5, 11) and this was a problem. The footrest itself was an extremely uncomfortable metal bar that did not provide any comfort enhancement and I kept this folded up during the flight.

For sleep a large pillow with a cotton cover is available but the blankets are small and the quality / size is similar to most airlines Economy Class - static seemed to build up very easily and this was not pleasant when waking up for breakfast.


ONBOARD CATERING

A menu was available in the seat pocket and included both food and beverages - the range of meals was adequate but is not meeting the better Premium standards available on airlines such as Qatar Airways or Etihad. The staff service for the meal was at best functional with little effort to offer any chat or genuine feelings of hospitality at the various points of contact. Additional items such as bread, wine and water seemed to land on the meal tray from height - I have experienced better service finesse in Economy Class on other airlines. There was no proper table service available - all courses except the main were served on a single tray which to be honest was far too small and cramped for this purpose.

The food quality was largely forgettable and I was served with the wrong main course - I didn't bother to change this, as I was just happy to get the entrée at this point. The breakfast served prior to arrival in MRU was quite bizarre - the scrambled eggs were both overcooked and undercooked and the additional bread selection was rather dry and tasteless. The coffee was undrinkable - I'm not sure what the staff had done to it but I have never tasted anything so bitter!

Overall, the most disappointing aspect of the onboard catering was the staff service which I would rate 2 out of 10 - 1 point for turning up and 1 point for managing to serve the meal.


INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

AVOD was available with a choice of about 30 movies - the selection of English language programming was limited to about a third of the content, which was pretty weak by 2010 standards. The screen size was also fairly small compared to the larger 15-inch monitors I have seen on other carriers but it did the job.


CABIN STAFF SERVICE

The biggest disappointment on this Air Mauritius flight was the quality of cabin staff service - having spent time on the island, the attitude of these staff could not have been further from the friendly, polite and welcoming people I have encountered whilst doing Business in Mauritius. The cabin staff did just what they had to with the service lacking any Premium luxury or finesse - this was the type of service that I would normally expect to receive travelling with Air France or United.


FLIGHT ARRIVAL

The flight arrived on time into Mauritius and Business Class passengers received priority deplaning. Anyone that has arrived into MRU will know that the immigration area is very cramped and if more than one widebody aircraft has arrived there is likely to be long queues. There is fast track immigration for Premium passengers but again the waiting times can be quite long at peak periods.


CUSTOMER TRIP VERDICT

The flight ran to schedule and Air Mauritius was the most convenient and fastest link between HKG-MRU when I booked. The staff service was the real failing on this trip and it would have been easier to forget the weak catering and product standards if the staff had displayed any level of hospitality and genuine service.

In future I would be willing to forgo a direct flight to ensure a better inflight experience if I could travel with an airline like Qatar Airways or Etihad. Emirates already operate DXB-MRU and I would be quite happy to try this routing in the future.



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