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Sexta-feira, 16 de Janeiro de 2009
Macau and Hong Kong (January 2009)

Hong Kong




























Macau
















 

 

 



publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 13:22
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Quinta-feira, 15 de Janeiro de 2009
Air Macau (NX) and Macau International Airport (MFM)

 

The Airbus 321 of Air Macau (by Dickson Lau of jetphotos.net)

 

The Airbus 321 of Air Macau at the tarmac of Macau Airport. We can see here the sign  "Aeroporto" (Aeroporto de Macau as it's officially called). Being a lusophile, i find this amusing. Photo by: Guenter leonhard of jetphotos.net

 

Airbus 321 of Air Macau on its approach to Macau Airport. NIce view! Photo by: Dickson Lau

 

 

It's been more than a month or so that I haven't flown so I was itching to do it again. I thought of going to Vietnam or Malaysia but since I was travelling with my youngest sister, then I wanted to show her one of my favourite places in Asia: Macau!

Well, my interest in Macau has something to do with Lusofonia. When I am in Macau, I feel at home. Macau is one of the bastions of Lusofonia in Asia (the other 2 include East Timor and Goa in India). Although in Macau, only few people speak Portuguese as native language (few of them speak English too!), it's one of the official languages of the territory along with Chinese and they say more and more Macanese are learning Portuguese now. Especially for Asians, it is the place to go if you want to study Portuguese language and culture and can't afford Portugal or Brazil or any other Portuguese-speaking nation. When you go to the city centre, it has an old-world feel and some parts of it look like the northern Portuguese economic powerhouse, Porto. And since Hong Kong is near, so two territories in one trip. The price for a one-way ticket for the jetfoil costs 150 Macanese patacas amd the trip lasts for 95 minutes or so.

And more importantly, since I have been Macau and Hong Kong, this time it would be nice to know Macau Airport! And experience Air Macau too! Before we flew to Hong Kong first and then took the ferry to Macau. But this time, it's the other way around. So this means two firsts for me! Cool addition to my list! And again, flying just for the heck of it...

So two days before the trip, I went to buy the tickets from the Air Macau office in downtown Manila.

Let's get into details now.

NX851
Air Macau

Date: 10 January 2009
Dep: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
Gate: Gate 1
Dep Time:
Load: 30%
Seat: 23B
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 321
Weather during take off: Clear day
Arr: Macau Taipa International Airport (MFM)
Weather during landing: Clear but chilly weather





After an hour of just sitting at the waiting area, the counter finally opened. Not too many passengers today, I think. Most of them are migrant workers in Macau. The check-in agents were corteous and efficient.



The waiting lounge. The Airbus 321 of Air Macau can be seen from this angle. I actually took a couple of pictures near the aircraft but my camera disappointed me (or maybe I disappointed my camera).



The flight attendants with the routinary aircraft safety instructions.



During pushback, we saw this Airbus 340 of China Airlines bound for Taipei. Sometimes an Airbus 330 is used.



A minute before take off......2 Philippine Airlines aircraft are on the line too waiting for their turn.........



Seconds before take off..........



Seconds after rotation.....buildings of Makati City can be seen here..........



The pilot pulled up the aircraft so abruptly...was uncomfortable for the ears......but was exciting though..........



The legroom...not bad...and the safety card and inflight magazine and shopping magazine...The inflight magazine called Air Macau is actually cool.....



The interior of the aircraft...........it's actually clean!



Snack.....it's good for a 2-hour flight......good if you're full..otherwise, you might want to eat before you board



My sister looking out of the window..........



And we arrived in Macau!



Return flight to Manila

NX856
Air Macau

Date: 12 January 2009
Dep: Macau Taipa International Airport (MFM)
Gate: Gate 1
Dep Time: 12:35
Load: 50%
Seat: 14B
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 321
Weather during take off: Clear day
Arr: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
Weather during landing: Clear day



Some pictures of the Macau International Airport

 

 



Dramatic shot...of my self...lol



Lockheed and the control tower in the background......



Simple but nice airport.........



My signature airport shot................


Post-flight:


The Air Macau Inflight Magazine and the skyshopping magazine



Boarding passes, ticket, and luggae tags...


Impression:

I loved the experience. Too bad my camera ran out of battery and I was not able to cover my flying experience on my return flight to Manila.

The check-in process was a breeze although the agent took some time to do it as she had another issue with another passenger and she had to run and help her sort out the passenger's problem. To me she was very apologetic, corteous and was smiling sweet. Ah, that made up for it.

Air Macau is a good company. Both legs were fun. Especially for the return flight, the flight attendants were all corteous and good-looking. I was happy with the service that during the flight I took some time to complete the survey and I made some suggestions and praises for their service. My first time to do so. Not that my other flights in the past were bad, no. But it's just that most of the time, I am just right there in the plane enjoying every moment of the flight and don't bother to do other things. It happens also when I go visit some place. Sometimes I tend to forget to take pictures because I simply enjoy the sights. But anyways...

A note about flight entertainment. No movies nor documentary was shown. Maybe the flying time may not have permitted one...But the inflight magazine made up for it.

When we were leaving the plane, I gave the completed form to the stewardess and she just said thank you and looked kinda worried. Maybe she was uneasy that I could have written some bad reviews about the flight. She read it fast and then smiled and said thank you again but this time with so much enthusiasm and she asked for my seat number and wished me a good day. She's so happy to know that my comments were good.

I was not able to quote my "Privileges" membership number (the frequent flyer program [FFP] of Air Macau and they claim that it's one of the most generous FFP in Asia). When I got home, I wrote them an e-mail and I got their response right away. Sent them several e-mails after that and they'd always respond quickly.

And Macau Airport? I loved it! It is an alternative to the more famous and bigger Hong Kong Airport. More and more low-cost airlines are flying to Macau and usually fares are cheaper. The staff at the airport are also corteous except the Macanese lady at the foreign exchange booth (so is she considered an airport staff??) at the arrival's area who was really rude and impatient. She looked like she didn't want to be there and didn't like her work at all. Poor girl...LOL.

But in general, all staff were corteous and nice. Special mention to the "information" staff and the lady at the parking booth because she was willing to change our bills into coins. The airport also employs Filipinos actually. There are security personel and check-in agents who are Filipinos. This is a nice touch especially for the Filipino travelling public.

I also love the grey-black-silver theme of the airport. And it's easy to navigate. It's a mid-sized airport comparable to or maybe even more beautiful than Gothenburg Landvetter Airport in Sweden (another favourite).

I would recommend Air Macau and without hesitation I would fly with them again.............



publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 13:10
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Sexta-feira, 27 de Junho de 2008
Cebu Pacific Hong Kong-Manila-Hong Kong

Airbus 319 of Cebu Pacific Airways (click on the picture for the name of the photographer)



Flight Details

5J110
Cebu Pacific

Date: 20 January 2007
Dep: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)
Gate: 1
Boarding Time: 0655
Dep Time: 0800
Load: 100%
Seat: 25A
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Weather during take off: Sunny
Arr: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Arr Time: 0945
Weather during landing: Broken clouds

My first trip abroad with my parents. My parents availed of Cathay Pacific travel package while I went for the cheaper Cebu Pacific (or is it really cheaper??). I only bought the airfare and stayed at the hotel where my parents stayed, lol.

We went to the airport early at around 3am because my parents' flight was scheduled to leave at 6am (although my flight with Cebu Pacific left at 8am). With Cathay Pacific, check in was a breeze though the outsourced check-in agent could have put some smile on her face even a little. She did not even key in the Finnair Plus numbers of my parents correctly. Apparently she was arguing with someone else before she sat at the check-in counter to attend to the passengers.

Anyway, check in at Cebu Pacific was OK; agent was cool.

The take off was smooth and we climbed up quite fast. It was a sunny day and the view from above was quite impressive. The pilot was a bit chatty (I like it this way actually) and he informed us about the places and interesting points that we saw such as Hundred Islands and the mountains near Manila before taking the route to China Sea direction.

The in-flight service was like any other budget airline; you have to buy your food. But there were games though and some prizes were model aircraft and some T-shirts. But one good thing happened when the plane arrived in Hong Kong airport: the 4 Embraer 170's of Hong Kong Express were parked near the runway and it was a sight to behold! It was my first time to spot some Embraer E-Jets (I was supposed to go to Laoag Airport simply to spot an E170 of Hong Kong Express but they no longer fly to this northern Philippine city so I had to see them in Hong Kong! And now, these E-Jets are now being operated by Air North in Australia and some went to Kenya and now operated by Kenya Airways).

My parents arrived at their hotel first and I met them (with another cousin who is working there) at the hotel room. I changed my clothes and we went to the harbour area of Kowloon; walked around for a while and bought some food to eat while exploring the other parts of the city.



Victoria Peak

We went to Macau in the afternoon and took the ferry. When we got there, we immediately went to the city centre, at the Largo do Senado. This plaza seemed to be transplanted from Portugal and the surrounding area was bustling with activities. Remember that Macau is a centre for gambling. Too bad, we were not there to gamble. No money, lol.

The weather was chilly and I liked it. I felt it was even more chilly in Macau than Hong Kong. And of course, Macau is a former Portuguese colony and some vestiges of Portuguese culture still can be seen and felt. Even the passport stamps were in Portuguese and Chinese, and English.

We went back to Hong Kong late evening. After hurdling the long immigration line in Macau, we got another 14-day stay in Hong Kong and another stamp in Portuguese, heehehehheeh.

The next day we explored Hong Kong and met up with some friends and former students of my mother who are now working in Hong Kong. Nice reunion.


5J143
Cebu Pacific

Date: 21 January 2007
Dep: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Gate: 42
Boarding Time: 2116
Dep Time: 2200
Load: 100%
Seat: 22F
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 319
Weather during take off: Rain showers
Arr: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)
Arr Time: 2345
Weather during landing: Hot

 


Check-in

Hong Kong International Airport is without doubt one of the best airports in the world. I always enjoy using it. It's the first airport I travelled to.

The check-in agents were nice and efficient. I requested for a window seat and they gave it to me. And when I was about to go to the designated gate, I was interviewed by chance by an airport staff asking me things such as my impression of the airport. Well, I said nice things about it which was actually true. I went to my gate and did some plane spotting. The boarding gates of HKG are good places to plane spot.

The flight

The equipment was an Airbus 319 which had surprisingly more legroom than Airbus 320. I just slept and had to be ready again during approach Manila. It was a night flight so there's not much to see. That's what I hate about flying at night.

I arrived first in Manila and I waited for my parents for some minutes. Taxi ride was expensive (made expensive by the drivers actually) so we took a bus to Cubao and a taxi going home.



publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 17:20
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