Introduction: A Weekend In Mongolia
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Los Angeles Airport
Review: United Global First Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Air China First Class 747-8 San Francisco To Beijing
Review: Hilton Beijing Airport
Review: Air China First Class Lounge Beijing Airport
Review: Air China Business Class 737 Beijing To Ulaanbaatar
Review: Holiday Inn Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Review: Ulaanbaatar Airport Lounge
Review: MIAT Mongolian Business Class 767 Ulaanbaatar To Frankfurt
Review: United Business Class 777-200 Frankfurt To Houston
Review: United Club Houston Airport
Review: United First Class 737 Houston To Los Angeles
MIAT Mongolian 137
Ulaanbaatar (ULN) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Sunday, July 16
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 5E (Business Class)
I boarded through the forward door, where I was greeted by the crew and pointed towards my seat. Mongolian’s 767 business class cabin consists of a total of 25 seats, spread across five rows in a 2-1-2 configuration. It’s not too often you see configurations with just a single seat in the center like you do here.
Even though the 767 isn’t the most cutting edge plane, I have to say that the cabin felt fresh — it was in immaculate condition. It even had the new style overhead bins, which many 767s don’t. Aside from Air Astana, I’d say this is the second freshest-feeling 767 I’ve been on.
Since I was seated in the last row of business class, I took a picture of the economy section, which looked comfortable (as it usually is on the 767, given the 2-3-2 configuration).
While Mongolian’s 767 business class seats aren’t fully flat, they’re otherwise fairly comfortable, with plenty of legroom.
The entertainment is located on the seatback in front, and there are also several exposed storage options there.
I had originally assigned myself seat 5E, the center seat in the last row. Having a “throne” seat like this is pretty cool, even if it’s a bit awkward during boarding, as people board on both sides of you.
Underneath the seat and to the side was the power outlet, which functioned even on the ground.
The tray table folded out of the side armrest, and could be folded in half.
On the left were the seat controls, which were fairly easy to use.
Further back and underneath were the entertainment controls.
I found it interesting that Mongolian has sponsored seat covers, from TDB (Trade & Development Bank of Mongolia). I don’t think I’ve seen that before on another airline.
Waiting in the seatback pocket upon boarding were some headphones, which were reasonably decent, though I still used my Bose headphones.
There were also a pair of slippers.
Then there was a pillow and blanket. It’s so annoying to me when airlines completely drop the ball on bedding. The pillow was small, and the blanket not especially comfortable. C’mon airlines, don’t cut corners with business class pillows and blankets!
There was plenty of reading material in the seatback, including MIAT’s inflight magazine, duty free magazines, Forbes, and Business Traveller.
15 minutes after settling in a flight attendant came by my seat to offer me a pre-departure beverage, with the choice between water and orange juice. I selected the water.
MIAT had excellent Mongolian music during boarding. I always love when an airline adds some local flair to the experience, and the boarding music was a nice touch.
The boarding process was efficient, and by 9:50AM the main cabin door was closed. Business class was about two thirds full (I’d say economy was maybe 80% full), with almost all the business class passengers being German (it looked like there were two couples where the wife may have been Mongolian and the husband German).
Since the pair of seats to the left was empty, I decided to switch to seat 5A. That way I could look out the window while also having direct aisle access.
I had an interesting situation with the lady seated across from me, which I wrote about in a separate post, so I won’t rehash that here.
At 10AM we began our pushback, at which point the lead flight attendant announced our flight time of 8hr23min, and then screened the safety video.
Our taxi to the runway was quick, though views were somewhat limited due to the smog resulting from the fires in Mongolia.
By 10:10AM we were at the runway, though we held there for five minutes. I’m not sure what exactly was going on, but the pilots seemed to be playing with the engines power settings quite a bit.
By 10:15AM we were airborne.
Our climb out was smooth, and 10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off. Once airborne I checked out the lavatory, located at the front of the cabin. For a 767 it was in very good condition. It looked like there was another lavatory by the cockpit, though it seemed like they discouraged passengers from using it.
Once back at my seat I had a look at the airshow to see our route to Frankfurt.
I also browsed the entertainment selection. Unfortunately MIAT Mongolian doesn’t offer wifi and I didn’t bring any of my own entertainment, so I was reliant on their selection. It wasn’t great, unfortunately, but I’ve also seen worse. There were about a dozen “new release” movies, plus a limited number of TV shows.
I ended up watching the animated movie “Sing,” which was so good and cute and adorable and OMG I loved it.
About 15 minutes after takeoff amenity kits were distributed, which included a second pair of (lower quality) slippers, a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, eyeshades, and Acca Kappa lip balm and body lotion. Overall it was a pretty basic kit.
20 minutes after takeoff the lunch service began, starting with warm towels being distributed. These were among the biggest towels I’ve seen in business class, and they had a great scent as well.
About 20 minutes after takeoff the crew offered a drink service. There was one flight attendant working each aisle, and they’d roll their carts down the aisle around the same time.
I ordered a glass of champagne. Mongolian serves Charles Roux Brut, which was reasonably drinkable for the price point.
I also ordered a glass of water, and was offered a package of nuts with fruit.
Once the drink service was complete, a cart was rolled down the aisle with the meal. The entire meal was served on a single tray, and there were no menus. The choices were either lamb or duck. I chose the former.
There was a plate with appetizers — I’m not sure what exactly everything was, but maybe someone can tell me based on the below. The lamb was served with penne, as well as some carrots and broccoli. The lamb was overcooked and fairly tasteless. Then there was a small fruit and cheese plate.
There was no dessert, though after the meal there was a tea and coffee service. I ordered a coffee, and at least that tasted decent.
Bottles of water were also passed out.
What a disappointing meal service. Mongolia has some incredible food, though unfortunately MIAT Mongolian serves bland food on the plane that lacks any sort of a theme. On top of that, the main course was overcooked and tasteless, and there was no dessert. This has to be one of the more disappointing business class meals I’ve had in a long time.
On the plus side, the crew was friendly and well intentioned, even if they didn’t have much to work with. The meal service was done about 80 minutes into the flight.
After finishing “Sing,” I decided to try and get some sleep. Unfortunately MIAT Mongolian has a horribly uncomfortable angled dentist chair as their business class seat. Add in the lack of decent bedding, and this wasn’t a great setup for sleeping. If I had been super tired I may have been able to sleep, though given that it was morning, I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to, and figured I should entertain myself otherwise.
For what it’s worth, there’s a very small privacy partition that can be extended between seats, though even that doesn’t get you much in the way of privacy.
After finishing the movie I decided to get some work done while watching a few episodes of “Just For Laughs.” If I lived in Quebec City I’d probably live in constant fear of being featured on that show.
Then I watched two episodes of “Guinness World Records: Unleashed,” which I hadn’t seen before. I liked the concept, but I felt like the show was a bit overdone.
I worked for a bit, and before I knew it we were 3hr30min from Frankfurt, at which point the second meal service began.
The second service took a similar format to the first. A cart was rolled down the aisle with all the food served on a single tray. This time around the main course choices were between fish and pork. I selected the salmon, which was pretty decent. It was a bit on the dry side, but was the best thing I was served on this flight.
There was also a plate with cheese and cold cuts, as well as two pieces of bread.
This time around there was also a small dessert, consisting of a macaron and some sort of small cherry cake. The dessert was tiny, but more than was offered during the first service. I also had a coffee to go along with it.
I worked for most of the rest of the flight, and two hours out we hit some moderate chop, so the crew had to stay seated for about 30 minutes.
About 45 minutes before landing the captain made his first announcement of the flight, informing us that we’d be landing at around 12:30PM. About 15 minutes later we began our descent.
The seatbelt sign was turned on 15 minutes before arrival. The views on descent were beautiful.
We touched down in Frankfurt on runway 25R, which meant that we flew past most of the airport at a pretty high altitude. I always love the views on this approach.
We had a smooth touchdown at 12:35PM, and from there a very long taxi to the gate, as is the norm when landing on this runway and taxiing to Terminal 2.
During our taxi to the gate we passed Terminal 1, including a bunch of Lufthansa planes.
Then we made it to Terminal 2, where most non-Star Alliance airlines are based.
We pulled into our gate just minutes before 1PM, right next to a China Eastern A330. At least we got a gate rather than a remote stand!
I bid farewell to the crew and headed to the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport, where I’d be spending the night, before connecting back to the US the next day.
Overall MIAT disappointed me. The cabin itself exceeded my expectations. I knew what the seat would be like before the flight, and while it’s not ideal, at least the cabin felt fresh. Furthermore, the crew was generally friendly, even if they weren’t that attentive between meals.
However, what disappointed me was the quality of food and amenities. An airline like MIAT should integrate their culture into the product as much as possible, and aside from the boarding music, I feel like they failed to do that. On top of that, the lack of decent bedding was disappointing.
So if you’re flying to Mongolia they’re the only airline operating nonstop flights from many markets, so I wouldn’t go so far as suggesting to avoid them. However, I was hoping they’d be better.