I slept through most of my journey from Cairo to London and enjoyed a much better meal than I had in business class on my preceding flight. While legroom in EgyptAir economy class onboard the Boeing 787-9 is tight, I still enjoyed a perfectly reasonable flight.
EgyptAir 787-9 Economy Class Review
This ticket was booked using miles as part of my extended journey from Los Angeles to Bangkok.
After a long layover in Cairo, I found the gate for my flight to London as well as a long line. In Cairo, security checks are conducted at the gates for each flight rather than at a central checkpoint.
Even though I was flying economy class, I was able to use the business class security line due to my Star Alliance Gold status.
My visa information was checked at the gate again (after a long ordeal at the transit desk) and once again the EgyptAir staff though I was crazy for traveling to Bangkok with so many stops, but once I showed them my UK transit form, they let me through.
Boarding was supposed to begin one hour prior to departure, but ended up not occurring until 8:45AM, about 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
Cairo (CAI) – London (LHR)
Wednesday, November 3
Duration: 05hr, 20min
Distance: 2,197 miles
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Seat: 32K (Economy Class)
Onboard, a flight attendant looked at my boarding pass and directed me through the galley and to the back.
Economy class on EgyptAir’s 787 includes 289 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. Legroom is 31 inches. With no premium economy product, the aircraft includes two large economy class sections, one from row 20 to 36 and one from row 37 to 52 with restrooms between sections.
The seat has an articulating seat pan, so when you recline the seat moves back slightly and the seat cushion moves forward to give you the illusion of greater recline (at the expense of knee room)
While the configuration is standard for a Dreamliner, I must warn you it is tight. What makes it even worse is a retractable footrest at each seat. I’m 6’1″ and have long legs. When the footrest was down, my knees hit the seatback in front of me. When the footrest was up, my shins hit the hard footrest. It is not ideal in any configuration. My footrest also had chewing gum stuck on it…
Power ports are available under each seat (the seat in front of you) and there is one for each passenger rather than three for every two.
Each seatback pocket also has an extra smaller pocket that can handle a mobile phone.
Window tinting is controlled by a button adjacent to your seat. Despite being a morning departure, flight attendants promptly dimmed the windows after takeoff but did not lock them.
Individual air vents were not available and the ventilation system appeared long overdue for a cleaning.
I didn’t have much of a view outside:
Seatbelts include the EgyptAir logo:
The flight was nearly full, with only a few seats left open from my vantage point. I was hoping the middle seat in my section would remain open, but a young man boarded at the last minute and took the seat. Thankfully he was quiet (and read on for how he “saved” the flight for me).
There were not pillows and blankets on every seat, but they were available upon request.
IFE + Wi-Fi
A modern in-flight-entertainment system with HD screens are available behind each seat. The screen size is 14 niches and includes a library of movies, TV shows, music, EgyptAir, and Islamic content. Duty free shopping was also available. I’m told the content is edited (sexual situations are removed, though violence is left in), but did not verify.
Complimentary headphones were distributed.
Wi-Fi is also available for purchase and too expensive to justify due to the data caps:
I simply put the moving map on and slept through most of the flight.
Food + Drink
After takeoff, flight attendants appeared and offered each passenger a packaged slice of cake and bottle of water.
I presumed (wrongly it turned out) that this was the only “meal” on the flight and boy did that make me mad. Despite all the lounge hopping I was hungry and had hoped for a decent meal onboard.
Instead, I went to sleep. But about 90 minutes prior to arrival, my seatmate shook me awake. The flight attendants were back, this time actually distributing meals. Each passenger received a blue plastic box with a salad, dessert, utensils, and condiments inside. Flight attendants also offered a choice between beef or chicken (no further disruption offered). I asked what kind of chicken and the flight attendant told me, “With potatoes.”
I unwrapped my meal and pleased at what I found: the chicken breast was lean and nicely spiced and turned out to be a far better lunch than the fish I had in business class from Washington to Cairo.
Orange juice and water was offered with lunch and coffee or tea afterwards. EgyptAir is a dry airline and offers no alcohol onboard, though you are allowed to bring your own.
EgyptAir is not the only airline that chooses to save the larger meal for prior to arrival, but I wish I had know in advance – it would have saved me some silent grumbling!
Neither of my seat mates got up once during the flight (at least while I was awake)…so I did not either. Thus, no new pictures of the lavatories, though this is what they looked like in business class from my previous flight:
I had three interactions with the crew. Once when I was handed the cake and water bottle, once when I was offered lunch, and once when lunch was collected. Not much to say other than announcements were kept to a minimum onboard.
We arrived on-time in Heathrow Terminal 2 and I was soon back through security and on my way to the Singapore Airlines Lounge.
The legroom in EgyptAir economy class is too tight for me to seek out Egypt’s flag carrier on future occasions, but overall the experience was fine, with a nice meal and nap. If not for my seatmate, I would have slept through lunch service, so I’m quite thankful to him for shaking me awake.