The ATR 72-500 for my airline friends

Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Oct 17, 2008

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This is for all my airline friends, especially my ATR buds (and, yes you ATR haters can look, too).  I flew on an ATR 72-500 tonight from Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  It was Bangkok Air flight 909 scheduled to leave at 1920.  We pushed back ten minutes early after all 14 of us took a bus out to the plane.  We got in 20 minutes early,too which was nice after the 50 minute flight.   So few people meant no wait either getting a visa and clearing customs in Siem Reap.  

Rather than use a tug in Bangkok, the plane was powered back using its own reverse and it was awesome.  I think it was actually safer and quicker than the service our rampers in ATL provide half the time.  After a mach 2 taxi we were airborne in about 5 minutes.  The safety demo was done in English and Thai and all the commands from the cockpit to flight attendants like "cabin crew take your takeoff stations" were done in English.  

Even in the humid heat the plane was not a sweatshop like what we are used to.  It was actually chilly in there on the gound even though it was 92 and very humid. We got a meal enroute and all you could drink beer that was chilled nicely. I wasn't able to take a look at the cockpit because Thai rules forbid it.  I told the flight attendants I fly the ATR and we talked about our jobs and schedules.  They said they are overworked and underpaid. That seems to be a constant around the world.

The plane was IMMACULATE.  I mean there was not a single thing out of place and when we boarded the seatbelts were all crossed identically in every seat.  The lav door was open and I peaked in and there was no horrific odor like ours or pee stains all over the floor and area where the toilet is installed.  There was even one of those sanitized for your protection wrappers around it so someone must have actually cleaned it before we boarded.  Can we send our cleaners and lav service people to Thailand (or anywhere overseas) to see how it's done?  

This one had 70 seats that were a bluish green cloth.  Every single seat looked to be in perfect condition with no stains anywhere.  I felt like I was flying around in a Mercedes it was so nice.  I took some pics for everyone to look at.  They aren't the best but I was trying to be halfway discreet inside the cabin.  Outside everyone was walking around the plane taking their pics and no one seemed to mind if you went forward of the wing to do it.   

The flight attendants gave me a deck of cards, a Bangkok Airways pen, and some toys and puzzles for my nephew.  It was one of my best flights servicewise so far. All this on a little ole ATR 72.

The day after tomorrow I fly a Lao Airways one to Vientiane, Laos so I will let you know how that goes.Sorry if this is boring to all you non ATR people out there but I have to keep my buddies informed you know!!
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