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The Air Seychelles experience: we rate them

Travel

What to expect when you fly Air Seychelles, here's my experience:


Economy class

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Air Seychelles launched a route in Durban last month.

Johannesburg to Seychelles:

Flying economy is a comfort.

The plane: Airbus A320 named Amirantes.

My seat:  27 A. I swopped with a friend for the window seat, she obliged. It was comfortable and roomy. The plane was not full, so the person next to me moved to another vacant seat.  I did not feel uncomfortable on the five hour journey.

On time: The plane left on time, and we landed a few minutes earlier at Seychelles International Airport.

How full: There were many empty seats.

Fellow passengers: There were many couples on board, some pensioners. Most of them slept during the flight or if they were awake, they were glued to the on board entertainment.

Entertainment: They have a wide selection of movies, television shows and news channels. There were new movie releases and some classics. I spent my time watching Chicago Med, a medical drama that I am now hooked on. There is a long genre of music on offer, including offerings from Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. I loved the Bastille album, which I played on repeat.

Service: The team was superb. Staff were friendly and prompt. Some of them even stopped by during the flight to talk to me and hear about South Africa.

Food and drink: The menu is Creole inspired. As a vegetarian, I had a creamy pasta. To be honest, I was not a fan and left most of it. They made for it with the strawberry dessert. It was fresh and flavoursome. I washed it down with some mango juice, so good I asked for seconds.

Toilets: Clean and tidy.

Airport experience: It would be biased to share my experience as crew of Air Seychelles gave us the VIP experience when we landed. However, Seychelles International Airport is very basic looking, unlike the one in Praslin that looks more like a hotel than an airport. It is the busiest airport in Seychelles.

Would I fly it again?  Definitely, comfort and a shorter international flight, what more can I ask for?

Business class

Seychelles to Durban:

Business class pleasures.

The plane: Airbus A330 named Aldabra

My seat:  2F. It was a window seat so I got to see all the small islands. It is a bit more spacious than economy with recliner seats. There was a comfortable footrest, adjustable headrest, lumbar support and built-in massage functions, which was amazing and made sleep so much better.

On time:  They were delayed by half an hour, but managed to reach Durban at the stipulated arrival time.

How full: Business class was full, most occupied by media as it was the first inaugural flight to Durban.

Fellow passengers: We travelled with the Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau Lalanne and the General Manager of Aero-political, Government Affairs, Revenue Management and Pricing for  Air Seychelles, Alan Renaud. Many media colleagues were on board, for some our first business class experience.

Entertainment: We had a personal 10.5-inch screen that offered 40 movies, 60 TV programmes, 7 radio channels and 50 CDs, similar to economy class. Movies include La La Land, Mancester Sea and Storks. If you love classic music, Michael Jackson’s Thriller will keep you occupied. I made a playlist that played while I dozed off.

Service: The cabin crew pulled out the red carpet for us. They were prompt and friendly. They even prepared cocktails right in front of us and graciously posed for photographs.

Food and drink: We were served brunch. The menu included appetisers of seasonal fruit and a selection of breakfast bread. I had a vegetable quiche that was served with roasted potatoes and sauted red beans.  They served a range of cocktails including a Bloody Maria, Between the Clouds and Caitalina. I had the mango colada with creamy mango and Seychelles’s famous Takamaka white and coco rum. Yum! I also enjoyed the savoury banana  chips that cabin crew brought to us.   

Toilets: Clean and tidy.

Would I fly it again?  Definitely.  World class service deserves to be used again.

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