Middle East Airlines: From Lebanon To The World
Founded in 1945, Middle East Airlines is the national flag carrier of Lebanon and the largest of the country's airlines. When operations began, the airline owned a modest fleet of three De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapides and operated flights between Beirut and Nicosia. Within a year of the airline's inception, however, two Douglas DC-3s were added to its fleet and operations were expanded to include the destinations of Iraq, Syria and Egypt.
By 1963, the airline has acquired Lebanese International Airlines and, subsequently, three Sud Aviation Caravelles, three Boeing 720Bs, a Vickers VC10 and several Boeing 707-320Cs were added. The airline's fortunes increasedd dramatically and within a few years, it was making a substantial profit.
Today, Middle East Airlines flies to more than 30 destinations worldwide, operates a fleet of 18 aircraft and has officially joined the Skyteam airline alliance. The company headquarters is based in Beirut and the official hub is located at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport.
Flying With Middle East Airlines
The airline offers two classes of fare; Cedar Class, which is comparable to Business Class, and Economy Class. Cedar Class ticket holders can expect private cabins, very attentive in-flight service, gourmet cuisine, complimentary drinks including champagne, in-flight entertainment, priority check-in, boarding and a very generous baggage allowance. Economy Class Ticket holders can also expect in-flight entertainment, a generous baggage allowance, complimentary meals and drinks and excellent customer service. In addition, passengers with particular dietary requirements, irrespective of their class, can pre-order meals to suit their requirements. All meals consist of Lebanese or European fare.
The company also rewards repeat customers with their frequent flyer initiative, known as Cedar Miles. In addition to rewarding valued customers with air miles, the initiative also guarantees Economy Class seats on sold-out flights, provides the option to choose seats and meals and gives access to airport lounges at selected airports.
Check-in: Passengers, irrespective of fare, have the option to check-in online, between 24 and three hours prior to departure. Equally, passengers are able to cancel their flight should they wish, up to three hours prior to departure. Passengers are also able to use the kiosk at the airport to check-in, should they prefer, which opens three hours prior to departure and closes one hour prior to departure.
Irrespective of class fare, all passengers are permitted one item of carry-on baggage which must not exceed 10 kg. The dimensions of the bag (H x W x D) must not exceed 115 cm in total.
Cedar Class (Business Class) passengers are permitted two pieces of checked baggage which must not weigh more than 35 kg per bag- or 70 kg in total.
Economy Class ticket holders are permitted one item of checked baggage which must not exceed 35 kgs.
Infants are permitted, irrespective of fare, one piece of checked baggage which must not exceed 10 kg.
For more information on baggage rules, see here