Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

May 2007 : Flight Log : CE664

CE664 Port Elizabeth (PLZ) - Cape Town (CPT)

When planning our PLZ-CPT flight, we had a choice between a one-class SAA Canadair Regional Jet and two-class service on an elderly 737-200 with Nationwide Airlines. We decided to forego our Star Alliance miles in the interests of trying out a new carrier and, being slightly precious frequent flyers , avoiding being stuck in Y on a tiny RJ   Interestingly, a fully-flexible J ticket on Nationwide cost approximately the same as the cheapest available Y ticket on SAA.

The dedicated Business Class cabin consisted of two rows of chunky seats in 2+2 format, more reminiscent of Domestic First in the USA than any intra-European business class product. We marvelled at the 'retro' fittings on the elderly aircraft - a real nostalgia trip! Bruce was tempted to pick at one of the Nationwide stickers to see whose logo lurked underneath, but a disapproving look from Yours Truly made him think better of it

The doors were closed at 1620, but five minutes elapsed before we pushed back. A further six minutes had us airborne and thinking of the noise we must be making for those on the ground! I noticed that Nationwide seem to make a selling point of offering service in both English and Afrikaans. There was a hot towels service soon after take-off, from a nice metal tray.

I was amazed by the size of the in-flight meal - another retro feature! It consisted of a large salad, chicken curry main course, a bread roll, small dessert and crackers & cheese. I washed all this down with some white wine.

Later on in the flight, it became quite bumpy and the seat belt signs were switched on early. There were some good views on our approach into CPT. We touched down at 1732 and were parked within five minutes. Almost unbelievably, a car was provided to ferry the four Business Class passengers the short distance to the Terminal Building, while everyone else had to slum it in the bus

A very positive experience with this not-so-well-known carrier!


Date: Fri 25 May 2007
Aircraft : B737-200
Scheduled dep : 1620
Actual departure : 1625
Scheduled arrival : 1735
Actual arrival : 1737
Cabin : Business Class

Seat : 2A

Flight History 2007