Review: MIAT Mongolian Business Class 767 Ulaanbaatar To Frankfurt

Filed Under: Other Airlines

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
Depart: 10:00AM
Arrive: 1:00PM
Duration: 9hr
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.

MIAT Mongolian 767 business class cabin

MIAT Mongolian 767 business class cabin

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.

MIAT Mongolian 767 new overhead bins

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).

MIAT Mongolian 767 economy class cabin

While Mongolian’s 767 business class seats aren’t fully flat, they’re otherwise fairly comfortable, with plenty of legroom.

MIAT Mongolian 767 business class seats

The entertainment is located on the seatback in front, and there are also several exposed storage options there.

MIAT Mongolian 767 business class seats

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.

MIAT Mongolian 767 business class single seat

MIAT Mongolian 767 business class single seat

Underneath the seat and to the side was the power outlet, which functioned even on the ground.

MIAT Mongolian business class seat power outlet

The tray table folded out of the side armrest, and could be folded in half.

MIAT Mongolian business class seat tray table

On the left were the seat controls, which were fairly easy to use.

MIAT Mongolian business class seat controls

Further back and underneath were the entertainment controls.

MIAT Mongolian business class 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.

MIAT Mongolian business class sponsored cover

Waiting in the seatback pocket upon boarding were some headphones, which were reasonably decent, though I still used my Bose headphones.

MIAT Mongolian business class headphones

There were also a pair of slippers.

MIAT Mongolian business class seat 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!

MIAT Mongolian business class pillow & blanket

There was plenty of reading material in the seatback, including MIAT’s inflight magazine, duty free magazines, Forbes, and Business Traveller.

MIAT Mongolian business class reading material

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 Mongolian business class pre-departure 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.

Pushing back Ulaanbaatar Airport

Pushing back Ulaanbaatar Airport

Our taxi to the runway was quick, though views were somewhat limited due to the smog resulting from the fires in Mongolia.

Aero Mongolia plan Ulaanbaatar Airport

MIAT Mongolia 737 Ulaanbaatar Airport

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.

Taking off from Ulaanbaatar AIrport

View after takeoff from Ulaanbaatar

View after takeoff from Ulaanbaatar

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class lavatory

Once back at my seat I had a look at the airshow to see our route to Frankfurt.

Airshow enroute to Frankfurt

Airshow enroute to Frankfurt

Airshow enroute 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.

MIAT Mongolian entertainment selection

MIAT Mongolian entertainment selection

I ended up watching the animated movie “Sing,” which was so good and cute and adorable and OMG I loved it.

MIAT Mongolian entertainment selection

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class amenity 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.

MIAT Mongolian business class warm towel

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.

Start of service in MIAT Mongolian business class

I ordered a glass of champagne. Mongolian serves Charles Roux Brut, which was reasonably drinkable for the price point.

MIAT Mongolian business class champagne

I also ordered a glass of water, and was offered a package of nuts with fruit.

MIAT Mongolian business class pre-lunch drinks

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class lunch

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class coffee

Bottles of water were also passed out.

MIAT Mongolian business class bottled water

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.

Airshow enroute to Frankfurt

View enroute to Frankfurt

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class seat reclined

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class privacy partition

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.

MIAT Mongolian entertainment selection

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.

MIAT Mongolian entertainment selection

I worked for a bit, and before I knew it we were 3hr30min from Frankfurt, at which point the second meal service began.

Airshow enroute to Frankfurt

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class dinner

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class coffee & dessert

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.

Airshow enroute to Frankfurt

Airshow enroute to Frankfurt

The seatbelt sign was turned on 15 minutes before arrival. The views on descent were beautiful.

View approaching Frankfurt

View approaching Frankfurt

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.

View approaching Frankfurt Airport

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.

Taxiing Frankfurt Airport

Ukraine 737 Frankfurt Airport

During our taxi to the gate we passed Terminal 1, including a bunch of Lufthansa planes.

Lufthansa A340 Frankfurt Airport

Taxiing Frankfurt Airport

Then we made it to Terminal 2, where most non-Star Alliance airlines are based.

Vietnam Airlines 787 Frankfurt Airport

WOW Air A321 Frankfurt Airport

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!

China Eastern A330 Frankfurt Airport

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.

MIAT Mongolian business class bottom line

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.

  1. Tip: The Vietnam A350 that you “saw” at FRA is actually a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, and it says Dreamliner on the livery. Also got ThePointsGuy saying a China Airlines Boeing 747 as “China Southern” and as with the number of good champagnes on your CZ flight, that is the number of passenger 747s CZ has

  2. If MIAT was disappointing, well, the only way to get out of Mongolia is flying Korean Air to Incheon using SKYPASS miles (transfer them from Chase UR or SPG, come on!!!)

  3. Would love a report on what you think is the worst business class products available. You always end with “if it was the only non-stop option, I wouldn’t avoid them” or something along those lines. Are there any you would avoid completely? Say every airline flew LAX-HKG direct, which business class would rank at the bottom.

  4. @patrick HKG-LAX is a duopoly between Cathay Pacific and AA, and there’s not really a difference because both airline belongs to oneworld and each other complement their service elements.
    Cathay Pacific provides real Premium Economy, better service, food (sometimes) and economy class (32″ 3-3-3 vs AA’s 31″ 3-4-3), while AA has pajamas, wifi and elite member recognition. Let alone Cathay Pacific often has 5+ award seat per flight bookable with Alaska miles.

  5. Not many countries can afford the high standard of hard products on their airlines. At least the crew are good and friendly.

  6. @A – I was just using that route as an example. Say every airline (MIAT, SATA, BA, etc…) flew LAX-HKG, which airline would Lucky rate as the worst overall business class.

  7. @ patrick – Not to stand up for him or anything, but I think that one would be slightly hard for Lucky. The business class industry is simply evolving too quickly for Lucky, one person, to keep up with. I’m sure his flight in Ethiopian business class was one of his worst flights in business class ever. Never mind, they have a new business class product now that will soon render their old recliners obsolete. Terrible service on a Saudia 777-300 with lie-flat seats? Sike, the company won the “most improved” of 2017, and likely features much better service.

    IMHO, though, I think it would be fun for Lucky to take a break with intriguing airlines, and review some of the emerging/bigger business class players in the industry. For example, Aer Lingus’ A330, Malaysia Airlines’ A330, Vietnam’s A350, Asiana’s A350, KLM’s 787, ANA’s 787 (we’re still waiting for his full review), etc.. Most of these airlines are airlines that he has reviewed 2-3 years ago, though meanwhile they’ve come up with their own industry leading products. A “top 10/15 business class” list from Lucky would be amazing…just my two cents, though, Uzbekistan Airways reviews are fun. 🙂

  8. United also has their 2-class 767s in a 2-1-2 configuration. I just love sitting in that central single seat!

  9. How much did you pay for 8h business class if it’s not a secret? I usually think about the value proposition. I know you fly a lot on miles so value is not often mentioned but I am guessing this was on rev?

  10. @Alvin I’ll drink to that. The last thing I want to do is read another bloody review of Lufthansa or Cathay Pacific.

  11. +Lucky Dito on the Dreamliner, not an a350.

    Anyways, is there an ANA business class review in the works? I flew them a year ago, and it was a great experience.

  12. $9.99 price point champagne seems cheap in business class.
    But I guess it goes with the very cheap, meager-looking meals.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the review though. Interesting to see these obscure carriers…and the ones to avoid if you can. 😉

  13. @Leo – flown China Southern last week from Guangzhou to JFK, they even have seat cover ad in 777-300ER business class now.

  14. Oh so she was German, that old biddy who tried to make you swap with her husband in economy…ruthless lol

  15. Lol, at least you knew what to expect, when you booked this flight. The seat looks exactly like the one I got on two AirBerlin flights in May. But I expected a nice AB fully flat seat with aisle access and ended in a wetleased PrivilegeStyle old 777…

  16. @ Seamus – Wasn’t exactly my point. I was just saying that if Lucky’s going to go out of his way to fly airlines like Uzbekistan and Tunisair, he could prioritise reviewing potentially industry leading products or products that have stepped up their game since he’d last reviewed them, such as Asiana’s A350 or Turkish’s business class.

  17. What you comparing this airline too? SQ, QF, EK, don’t you realize the small airlines are short of foreign cash reserves where these countries still find commercial success differcult in a competitive market on main trunk routes. If you want more bang for your buck or miles why don’t you ask your local congress person to accept bribes so these airlines can get newest airliners get a sweet deal from the import export bank. Then you have finest food , amenities , fancy lounges.. gives these ex soviet satellites terrorties a break , drop the elitist only concord is good for me attitude.

  18. Hahahahahahaha! You know… adding a good food in the airline would just make the tax worse. And I flew by MIAT quite a few times. You flew thw most luxirious way possible in Mongolian Airlines. Soo…just be grateful!

  19. @Mongolian local
    What an embarrassment you are.
    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why progress in Mongolia is so slow.

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