As usual I'm going to be honest and state facts as they are. Whether good or bad. Many may not agree with me but I think that if MEA listens to a few of the complaints that come their way, and maybe make the effort to change a few things, they might avoid a lot of the badmouthing that's been coming their way. I have personally been avoiding this airline, especially while traveling to Paris. The service is never guaranteed.
PS: This is a Business class review. I won't fly Economy onboard MEA whatever happens for many reasons I've already talked about in my previous articles.
Coming back from Paris, I had to fly via MEA as I booked an urgent flight just two hours before departure. Scheduled to leave from Terminal C at 10:30am on a rainy Sunday, we were transported to the plane the old fashioned way - on a bus. Unfortunately the Third World is not taken seriously. Fine, I accept, as long as the rest of the flight is fine.
"Remove the ipad from your hand for take-off and landing", in a brusque tone, said the hostess. If only she had said it with some finesse and a smile!
The minute I sat down on the fourth row of this huge plane, every other event that took place was surprisingly nice. A food that is correct, a generous choice, mouthwatering desserts, a large choice of French cheese, American coffee, Nespresso, three choices of red and white wines and a screen twice the size of that of Air France.
The cherry on top would have been a more smiling and welcoming staff mastering their jobs, wearing something other than those curtains for a uniform. Immature hostesses, who got their training by watching waiters at a restaurant. Serving is an art they don't know the basics of. The enjoyable pluses:
- Bigger screens than the ones on Air France
- The cutlery is just great. Silverware imprinted with MEA logo
- A choice of three different Chateaux (Kefraya, Ksara, Khoury) served with light glasses with the gold cedar logo on it...
- Personalized porcelain plates
- Cozy and soft blankets
Today's menu: (An international airline with a menu not written in English!)
- Bresaola au Parmesan ou Saumon Fume
- Tournedos sauce Poivre Vert (haricots verts sautes, pommes lyonnaises persillées)
- Crevettes Sautée Sauce au Curry (riz sauvage, poêlée de légumes)
- Poulet Rôti Sauce Crème Epinards (tagliatelles, carottes et brocolis)
- Cheesecake aux fruits rouges
Lunch started with a proposition of drinks served with Castania nuts which I prefer to Rifai. They are diversified and lighter.
- Choosing the salmon for starters, I received two generous slices served with a piece of triangular bread, rockets and coleslaw salad accompanied by a quarter piece of lemon.
- A salad in a porcelain bowl had iceberg lettuce, two different colors of bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, served with a tiny little bottle of olive balsamic sauce. All plates looked clean and fresh.
- Isigny French Butter and Monbana dark chocolate made the lunch platter complete.
- Afterwards, a hot plate of meat smelled delicious. It was correct and I fully enjoyed it. The mini potatoes and green beans accompanying the piece of meat are prepared meticulously.
My favorite part in the business class is what comes after lunch. A wide selection of French cheese, a tasty dessert and some crackers make me happy. Enjoying a hot Nespresso at the end adds a smile on my face. Premium French cheese selection that I savored while watching my movie. I couldn't resist trying their raspberry cheesecake which I found perfect: better than all the ones I have tried during the last week in Paris. You don't feel the taste of cheese, a thick crunchy biscuit layer and a light sweetness provided by the raspberry couli and pieces.
More is yet to come... Digestives, coffee and tea are part of the experience too. A welcome drink, appetizers, the main platter, cheese, desserts, coffee make two hours of the time pass very quickly. Between us, after trying all of that, I had to have a Perrier that was served in a small can and a cup of ice and lemon followed by a real Nestlé Nespresso.
For the ones who don't like MEA, here's the verdict:
- Food is as good as it should be and even better than my experience with Emirates
- Silver cutlery enough for every plate on the tray. No two pieces of cutlery is used twice
- I like the individual sealed salt and pepper pourers
- A business class that has only six chairs per row making the cabin look and feel vast and relaxed. Air France's cabin and chairs are smaller and the cabin claustrophobic. They definitely need to fit more passengers to generate a higher profit.
- More space round the chair that is relaxing
I'm happy to see Virgin Radio handling the music on board, as opposed to the prior station, MixFM, which play dance music and the annoying voice of this guy who speaks with his throat were hitting on my nerves.
MEA problems are easily solved: It is a promising company...
- Clear! Their hostesses.
- They don't smile
- They don't feel welcoming
- They are here just to get paid. You don't feel any passion whatsoever
- They serve when they feel like it, while hoping they got the orders right
- They are brusque
- Just have a sustainable and efficient quality. It's a 50/50 chance to enjoy or hate a MEA experience, because as I said, things happen just by chance.
- Why should MEA's prices be that expensive and non competitive?
- English! AN international language and a must to be used for the food menu
- Pay more attention to customers' complaints. I didn't hear one person talking about MEA customers service. When a client posts a message of distress on their Facebook page, all what they do is erase it. Proving it, you will see that nobody will even reply to this article :)
If only the staff were more welcoming and the old generation is thanked for its services and replaced with a younger more dynamic crew. We are proud of our national airline and happy to see the Lebanese cedar in many international airports... It would have been great only if its prices are lower and the hostesses are better trained. It's a promising company with perfect pilots the world talks about ... Even though the company is making huge profits, those important details in our demanding world can make a difference.