Review: Biman Bangladesh Maslin Executive Class

Dec 27,2006 Bangkok - Dhaka BG085 A310-324(ET) S2-ADK, 152 POB

 

Trip Purpose: To fly the DC-10 on Biman, one of the last remain carriers still operating DC10s.

My interest of flying Biman DC10 stemmed from capturing a breath taking rotation of S2-ACP "City of Dhaka" back in June 06 at Manchester. The DC10 was a highlight of my trip to Manchester and weather cleared in time to allow the DC10 shine in front of many cameras like no other plane does! It was such a lovely sight to see the DC10 speed up, rotate and climb away with black smoke trails behind...... I made several enquiries by phone calls to Biman's Singapore and Bangkok office from home. After some schedule plannings and comparisions, I chose to fly from Bangkok to Rome via Dhaka and with a technical stop at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Check in at new Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport was easy in the late afternoon at Row W, the last row of the large single terminal building structure. The flight shows 30 mins delay with departure time at 1750, compare to schedule at 1720. I heard many horror stories about Biman's lateness up to a week so I am well prepared. Boarding started at 1730, after entering the plane the chief purser Ms Sonali took me to my Maslin Executive Class seat 3L, a window seat on the right. After seating down for 10 minutes and stowed my bags away, an announcement came asking all passenger to deplane without reasons! No one was taking it seriously and passengers continue to sit at their seats. A few following announcements was made later to ask all passengers to return to departure lounge because of fog in Dhaka was so heavy that the plane would not be able to land until the situation gets better! And it took a further 30 mins for all passenger to agree to leave the plane, an entertaining and interesting small riot was demonstrated by the Indian passengers who were connecting to Delhi and Kolkata. It wasn't an easy job to persuade all passenger to leave as cabin crew literally push the crowd to leave. After 30-40 mins of uncertainty whether we can takeoff on the same day, passengers were called to re-board the plane again. I was very glad that to be able to make it so I can meet my connection at Dhaka onwards to Rome on the DC-10. We took off at Bangkok at 1930, 2 hours behind schedule and flight time to Dhaka is 2hr 15 minutes at Flight Level 360. There were only 2 passengers in Business Class, USA Ambassador to Bangladesh and myself. Later some freeloaders attempted to seat in Business class.
Maslin Executive Class, nice soft seat with leg rest support, seat pitch is about 42".
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A310 front cabin view.

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A nice quick snack was served for the 2hr 15mins journey. Alcohol is available on request on Biman.

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Captain invited me to join them in cockpit when we overfly Myanmar.

Biman4   Biman5   Biman6   Landing in Dhaka Zia Int'l was smooth, a VOR DME Runway 14 approach was made. The fog have lifted considerably with 3 miles visibility showing. We taxied into gate 4.  

Transit at Dhaka

 
Since the Bangkok flight was 2 hours late, this cut short my transit time at Dhaka to about 4 hours. After deplane, I went to the transfer desk immediately to obtain the next sector's boardng pass but was given a Biman token and asked to check 1 hour before departure time. The staff also issued me a Maslin Executive Lounge pass but when I arrived there, the door was unlocked but no staff was in there and light were turned off. Instead the shabby Biman lounge, the manager at the Sheraton Hotel Airport lounge managed to accept me there to enjoy better amenties and service. SQ, MH, EK, KU also use this lounge in Dhaka.
I was later invited to join the delayed Hajj Saudi flight pilgrims to dine together in the dining hall at the airport. Quite an interesting experience.

Dhaka Airport Airside area

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Stairways to lounges at Dhaka.

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Sheraton Hotel Airport Lounge

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Delayed Hajj pilgrims dining.

Biman10 Joining the delayed pilgrims to have a complimentary meal! Biman11

Flight departure information screen.

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To be continued...