EgyptAir 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from Cairo! I’ve been wanting to fly EgyptAir business class for quite a while now, and just had the chance to fly them from Toronto to Cairo. The inbound flight from Cairo was over six hours late (ouch!), though fortunately we were only delayed by about three hours, thanks to the amount of time the plane was supposed to spend on the ground in Toronto.

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Last year a lot of airlines that I tried for the first time surprised me, which is to say that they were either much better or much worse than I was expecting.

In the case of EgyptAir, it was exactly what I was expecting. That’s to say that it’s a perfectly serviceable product, the flight attendants were well intentioned but not especially professional, and the food was edible, but that’s about it.

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EgyptAir’s 777 business class is in a 2-3-2 configuration, which isn’t ideal. There are a total of 42 seats as the forward cabin has four rows, and the rear cabin has three rows.

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I’ve seen a lot of conflicting reports as to whether or not the EgyptAir business class seats on the 777 are fully flat or not, and now I see why. In terms of the bed, EgyptAir’s business class seat is virtually identical to Emirates’ 777 business class seat. That’s to say that it’s technically not quite fully flat, but damn close. However, given that planes are at a nose-up angle at cruise, I’d say it’s fully flat, for all practical purposes. 

I’m someone who is very sensitive to angled seats, but I found it very comfortable in the reclined position.

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The food on the flight was edible, though that’s about all I can say. Nothing tasted good, but nothing made me want to throw up either. My one major frustration was the lack of Egyptian dishes. You’d think they could serve some good regional cuisine, but instead everything on the menu was a bad attempt at a western dish.

There was a starter with marinated shrimp, smoked salmon, and mango salsa. That was also served with a salad and cheese plate.

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Then for the main course I selected the cod fillet and shrimp, which tasted worse than it looks (which is saying quite a bit).

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Next there was a fruit course.

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Then finally there was dessert. Even as someone who perpetually has a sweet tooth, the cake was dry and borderline hard. On the plus side, I loved the EgyptAir tea cup and saucer.

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EgyptAir is a dry airline, so you’ll be stuck drinking soft drinks, and oddly they didn’t even have things like sparkling water.

As far as the amenities go, there was a really cheap amenity bag with some basic amenities. The headphones EgyptAir provides in business class are super cheap and flimsy.

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The blanket was one of the worse ones I’ve had in business class (but gets points for the branding — EgyptAir manages to brand everything — kudos!), though the pillow was comfortable.

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There were a few other things that stood out to me about the flight:

  • They screened the safety video for the A330, even though we were on a 777 (“this A330 is equipped with eight emergency exits”). How is it that the A330 safety video is even programmed on the 777? That doesn’t sound like a crew error to me, but rather just the wrong video being stored altogether.
  • The lady seated next to me was in the fully reclined mode during takeoff, and no one said anything.
  • I had two empty seats to the right of me, which were empty for takeoff and landing, though for the rest of the flight two men in suits traded sitting in the aisle seat. They both watched movies but didn’t really sleep. They were in the same uniform-style suit, but didn’t seem to have wings, stripes, etc. Anyone know who they were? My first thought was some sort of Egyptian air marshals, but I didn’t think they had those.
  • My seat stopped working altogether twice during the flight. When I informed the crew they didn’t even seem surprised, and just told me to move seats.
  • I’ve heard that EgyptAir crews smoke even more than China Eastern crews, though that wasn’t my experience. While there was a faint smoke smell shortly after takeoff, I didn’t smell anything for the rest of the journey.

All that being said, my experience was pleasant enough overall. EgyptAir has some really cheap business class fares between North America and the Middle East, and at a good price I wouldn’t hesitate to fly them again (unlike Ukraine International Airlines, for example). EgyptAir offers comfortable beds, which ultimately is the most important amenity in business class.

If they put a bit more effort into the soft product — having proper bedding, serving better Egyptian meals, having a better drink selection, etc. — they could actually be a pretty competitive global carrier, in my opinion.

Stay tuned for the full report!

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Comments

  1. On a recent EgyptAir flight the cabin crew was so busy pampering Egyptian VIPs that they forgot to do the safety announcement before takeoff.
    When they realised about 40 minutes into the flight they simply did the announcements then… quite strange.
    Of course the crew smoked in the cockpit and galley. When I complained I was told it is not smoke but Arabian herbs I must be smelling (FA with cigarette still in her hand).
    I would assume the two gentlemen in suits were indeed MS air marshalls.

  2. I just did a turn (1/2) in Cairo on Royal Jordanian to take advantage of the cheap fares ex Cairo. I read all the Ft forums on how easy this was. My experience was a nightmare including missing my flight, threatened imprisonment, being forced to buy and Egyptian vida and eventually “fees” payable only in cash (aka Bribe). I strongly recommend anyone going through Cairo on a mileage run do a hell of a lot of research. I’m very experienced and for once I felt completely out of my league.

  3. Those are -indeed- Egyptian air marshalls. I’m quite sad you were in disappointed in EgyptAir. It is really a hit or miss airline and sometimes they’re just marvellous.

  4. Those seats look very similar to what Qatar flies on it’s 777 too. I agree that while they are technically slight angled, they are definitely not “angled” on the traditional sense and were very comfortable, no angling issues.

  5. I flew MS years ago and it sounds like the experience is very similar. In the older days, MS would have a wine cart at the aircraft door upon boarding (at least at JFK) should you choose to drink wine with your dinner. Smoking flight attendants, no safety video, standing in the galley on landing, fully reclined passengers upon landing/takeoff, all similar experiences to my flights years ago.

    Working for MS was (and might still be) a very prestigious job in Egypt. Pilots are gods and FAs do a pretty minimal amount of work to just get the job done.

    It’s a shame since I absolutely love Egypt and the Egyptian people. I lived in Cairo for 4 months and found MS staff to be more like dealing with the staff in the Mogamma building in Tahrir Square, and quite a contradiction to the rest of the Egyptian people.

  6. The wrong safety video, the lady allowed to stay in reclined position during take off are signs of very lax safety procedures and exactly the reason I will not set my foot on their planes or in Cairo airport. It is a shame, really.

  7. I’d agree with previous comments, your experience sounds like a typical Egyptair flight. Flown them many times, only had excellent service once or twice, only had dreadful service once or twice. Otherwise average service, average food (although at least on flights from Cairo you can usually get nice desserts), average entertainment, average seats.
    Shame the amenities are so poor, used to get far better amenity kits, even on European flights.

    Just be careful which aircraft is scheduled. The A333 have the same seats but with a steeper angle when reclined. A332 have awful old school cradle seats, not much better than what you got on UIA. And the A332 does occasionally fly long haul, including YYZ, JNB, or BKK if demand is low.

  8. @Worldtraveler303

    Would you mind elaborating on what exactly happened to you? Are you a US national? I can’t imagine how you could have been threatened with imprisonment for simply attempting to transit, but obviously I was not there and you were. Any advice you can share would surely be appreciated by others…

  9. just flew into cairofrom bkk on royal Jordanian nice biz class and will do jan 9th following your tips – I’m flying Qatar to Miami in biz bought ticket 1st Egyptian pound when to 15.50 so ticket was 920 rt and I’m crediting the miles to American – thanks for the heads up

  10. Regarding CaIro transit, I connected a couple of months ago from Oman air to Royal Jordanian – from an older arrival terminal to the brand new (days old then) one that RJ used. Problem was there was no transfer desk staff at the time so had to importune until a driver arrived who took me on a 10 minute ride to the new facility. Luckily I had several hours so it worked out..and the driver did ask for a tip, which I gave willingly.

    After QR biz, I agree Egypt Air is no. five star airline. More like two? Did manage to BMOB (dispensed furtively) on the flight

  11. It looks like Lucky will be doing a posting on his transit… but for those reading…

    1) I am a US citizen with a US passport. I was previous in Jordan and Israel. No israeli stamp.
    2) I arrived on RJ505 and was going out on RJ506. This seemed to be the heart of the problem. Why was I coming to Cairo, simply to return to Amman? The officers could not understand it and said it was “suspicious behavior.”
    3) The flights were the last of the evening so the transfer desk was closed. This is also part of the major problem. I was dealing directly with immigration. By the time they were done being confused… RJ ticket counter closed. While I had a mobile boarding pass. I did not have a printed pass. They would not print the pass for me in Amman before I left.
    4) I am one world emerald and was on a paid business class ticket. Seemed to make no difference for anyone.
    5) At no point did I get threatening or argumentative.
    6) I was not alone in my horrors… I met an egyptian traveling from Saudia Arabia to Moscow. He got denied transit because they wanted him to be on the same airline round trip instead of RJ one way and a different airline the other. He ended up finally getting through with a $250 cash “fee” and booking a refundable ticket on RJ online that he then showed. That airport is full of insane rules and corruption.

  12. Hello Ben,

    Thank you for the review and for the great blog! It’s one of my favourites.
    I was considering to fly long-haul Egyptair in J not for the product but mainly for earning miles and bonus miles (230%). After reading the review it sounds like I’d better get more value for money and sacrifice the miles.

    Would you please do us a favour and email Egyptair customer service a copy of your review?

  13. I use Egyptair for to and from European cities and find them just fine in respect of service and food…almost always in Y, 2 or 3 hours, no problem. Safety maybe another matter. Sometimes I think I should use KLM , BA or Lufthansa for some of these sectors….but the timing is often poor: 3am departures, don’t like them.

  14. Flew CAI to BKK last month. We commented on how much we loved the cup and saucer and the FA asked us if we wanted them. We said absolutely and am now drinking my coffee from the lovely cup and saucer!
    On another note, I also remember seeing a man who was reclined during takeoff. I saw the FA go to say something but seemingly stopped when she came in front of the man. Pretty sure he was a pilot.

  15. Does anyone know if the airlines now allow you to travel to/from Cairo with checked baggage? They stopped for a while after the plane was blown up, most likely by explosives in a checked bag, if I recall correctly.

    Some of these third-world countries have the most gorgeous female flight attendants, as it’s a prestigious job. Just like a PanAm flight attendant in the 1960s. I bet they would provide extra service for a good tip.

    Can one bring their own wine onto an Egypt Air flight?

  16. @worldtraveler303

    The famous cash on the spot visa. I remember landing in CAI and was requested to pay for a visa. I only had pounds sterling, euros, and Hong Kong dollars. I had to go to the ATM, pull out Egyptian pounds, then head to the currency exchange, convert everything to USD, then walk two steps to pay the visa fee. Can’t use Egyptian currency in their own country?

    To be honest, Chile was the same way. $100, and USD only

  17. So EgyptAir’s crews smoke more than China Eastern’s, yet it was “pleasant enough overall” yet China Eastern’s superior hard product made it “Delta should be embarrassed of their “strategic partnership” and ownership stake in China Eastern.”

    Please make your hatred for China less obvious in future.

  18. I think, Lucky, your prelim review is based on expectations. You expected hell and got, well, somewhere in between so it seemed “ok.” How this airline is aligned or even considered by anyone is a mystery. Why anyone would even consider using them to transit or connect when Turkish or others offer similar fares (Mileage runs? My god, is status that worth it now?) is lunacy. I commend you for taking one for the team but, honestly, they don’t deserve the attention.

  19. Why was I not surprised to see FISH as your main course! LOL. Maybe if you’d try something other than fish or pasta you wouldn’t end up with dried out cod or overcooked salmon all the time.
    Otherwise, everything else looked decent enough.
    The “dry” part is the real deal breaker though.

  20. I think this is a largely fair review except I’ve never seen or smelled someone smoke on EgyptAir and I fly with them constantly. They do have a dedicated business lounge for smokers. The drawbacks of EgyptAir are as mentioned, regular delays, mediocre food and no alcohol. Their lounges are nothing to write home about either. If you’re on a newly refitted plane the entertainment system in economy isn’t bad and allows you to charge with a USB. Old planes are another story. Customer service is very unresponsive as well.

    That said their rewards program is generous. It’s very easy to achieve star alliance gold status with EgyptAir. They give you two years to collect miles to reach gold status from silver and let you keep it for two years at a time. Their luggage allowance is some of the most generous I’ve seen and they’re pretty easygoing if your bag is a few kilos overweight if you’re flying out of Cairo. Also they have incredibly cheap fees for changing your ticket or cancelling your ticket. The flight attendants are usually very helpful. One time I was flying on a delayed domestic flight with a friend and we were starving. Our flight attendant gave us sandwiches which were meant for the crew.

  21. As one of EgyptAir crew for 20 years let me give you a different angel of the company and the crew …we’re 85 years experience and7th company established all over the world..so we have a great experience in this field..what does that mean?! A professional crew that knows when to move ,when to serve and how..how to make the flight smooth and calm and for sure safe…I think it’s the big issue of a flight..there’s agreat different between spotting on mistakes as it’s frequent habits or it’s just a mistake rarely happens like playing the wrong video safety film …a noughty passenger reclined his seat after he had been instructed by the crew and when crew give him his back he reclined the seat again …who’s mistaken?! The meal you had from YYZ supplied by one of the world biggest catering companies LSG sky chefs!!!!..usually the flight Marshals sets in economy first raw and behind the cockpit but since latest accident we increased the safety awareness and the marshals set in unusual positions……as a cabin crew I used most of the big brands of air carriers in The world ..with a professional eye and as a specialist in this field I found Egyptair is better than famous carriers in both Saftey and Services. No body’s perfect…we have mistakes but past five years we faced agreat threats to our existence due to political issues but we struggled we survived….I promise your next flight will be ranked amazing …we’ve honered for being on board with Egyptair

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