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Emirates 384 - BKK-HKG Trip Report  
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 8490 times:

I flew Emirates 384 from BKK-HKG on 5 July, 2007 in Y class, seat 12A on board a 777-300 which did not feature the updated interior with new J and ICE IFE system. I had relatively high expectations for Emirates service, many of which were disappointed by this flight.

Check in was smooth. The agents were pleasant, efficient, and spoke English proficiently and clearly. They did however demand I put a tag on my carry-on. I wasn't so sure what that was about. I had checked in very early and so I had plenty of time to wander Suvarnabhumi's extensive duty frees and to eat lunch.

The aircraft was about 35-40 minutes late arriving from DXB. That wasn't so bad. What was, however, was the boarding process. The volume on the PA system was barely audible and the gate agent spoke in English which was very hard to understand. Almost no one in the gate area understood the boarding announcement, leaving everyone confused. A few people got up and just randomly got in line, and then everyone did. The gate agents attempted to tell people to sit back down and just board by row, but quickly gave up. Boarding took forever, as it was total mayhem, people in the front were blocking the way for people seated in the back and the queue backed up almost all the way up the jet bridge. In any event, when finally this all settled, the flight departed, now more than an hour behind schedule.

Emirates 777-300 aircraft are configured in a 10 abreast Y class (3-4-3). I found the seat width to be adequate in every way. It was not the most spacious long haul Y seat I'd ever been in, but it felt about par for the course when compared to most 747 or A330/340 Y seats. Emirates offers 34" pitch, which as someone 6'4" (1'94m) is nice. The shape of the seats also seems to offer a little more leg room. My flight was only perhaps 80% full, and no one was in the two seats between me and the aisle.

The IFE system on my flight, emirates old system, was alright. It did have a good number of channels with a good diversity of programming. On the music video channel the choice language was not censored at all, something I appreciated. That said, it was not AVOD.

Once in flight a menu was distributed. Offering a menu in Y class is something I always appreciate as a very nice touch. The choices were a fish fillet with chinese noodles and greens or a curry duck. Perhaps this is just my taste as an American, but I found it odd to see neither chicken nor beef offered. Not being a fan of curry, I went for the fish fillet. The fish was predictably disappointing (expecting great fish on an airplane seems deluded in my mind), however the salad offered with the meal was fresh and pleasant, the noodles accompanying the fish were pretty decent. The cheesecake offered for dessert was too spungey, but otherwise was fine. Emirates did offer metal cutlery which was a nice touch. The tray they served lunch on was too packed and it made eating very tricky. I appreciate offering a nice spread for lunch, but it was simply too cluttered.

One completely unacceptable thing about the service was that in the 3 hour flight there was only one full drink service. It was followed by a service of coffee or tea. Before landing coffee was offered again. Perhaps it is just me but in a 3 hour flight I expect at least 2 full drink services.

The cabin crew was pleasant, most were proficient in their english. They were always polite, however they did not go the extra mile the way crews do on Singapore or Cathay, for instance. I suppose this was to be expected on a flight that is overwhelming coach heavy and short haul.

A final note is that in HKG I waited approximately half an hour for my bag after I got through immigration and down to the baggage claim for my luggage. This was the slowest I'd seen in a dozen flights in Asia in the past month.

Having just flown on a number of UA 777 aircraft with PW engines, the unique sound of RR Trents on EK's 777-300 was very noticeable. They sounded more grating and mechanical than the muted roar of PW4000s or the high whine of GE90s. While EK's fairly comfortable 10 abreast layout shows the great flexibility of 777, I would really prefer they offered the cabin in 9 abreast instead.

Ultimately, EK's disorganized boarding process, single drink service, slow baggage service, 10 abreast Y, and simply sufficient cabin service did not wow me, and in some ways left me unsatisfied, especially compared with some of the over a dozen other flights I'd just flown in the past month.


"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN178UA From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1655 posts, RR: 66
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 8409 times:
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On EK's old B777-300 they do not offer ICE. On EK386/387 BKK-HKG-BKK flight, it is a B777-300/ER with nicer J class (42 Seats) and ICE AVOD. The older 773 are used daily on high desnity route with low yield, to BKK , BNE, FCO... I, too found BKK boarding process a little chaotic, No doubt you will have a better onboard experience if you fly from another EK station with a better A/C. I still think EK have one of the most generous meal portion one can ever get in all classes.

User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 8399 times:

Interesting comments. Yes, other than their Gulf and trans-Tasman services, 3 hours would be short haul for EK - the shortest I've flown with them is DXB-VIE ( Perth-Dubai-Vienna-Budapest (EK/OS) (by PerthGloryFan Jul 9 2007 in Trip Reports) ) .

The on-board service you experienced BKK-HKG seems to be about the same I've experienced on SIN-HKG with SQ in a 747-400. The longer haul flights I've had with EK have generally been good - the section cabin crew seem to make some effort to personalise their service with individual pax even in Y - ok, after the flight you're forgotten but at least during that time in the air I found them personable and friendly, unlike the excellent but very formal SQ service.

You are right about the EK's B777 3-4-3 seating. The legroom is ok but the elbow room is not that good, especially, as you noted, when they load up the meal tray and you have someone sitting next to you. Fortunately you had room to spread your "wings".

I don't think you can blame the Suvarnabhumi boarding chaos totally on EK though. I flew back to Perth from Bangkok with Thai on 29 July and it was exactly the same. There was some mumbled barely audible announcement at the gate that no-one understood. Being a terminal designed for form and not function the gate areas are useless acoustically.

75% of the pax were Aussie tourists returning home - most were hungover, peeved that they couldn't take any duty free booze back with them and generally grumpy knowing their vacation was over. And although I was not hungover I was tired after 3 days of givning training presentations so I was probably in no better mood than they were. So we looked at each other, shrugged and made our way to the gate. Rows weren't an issue at this stage because we were being bussed to a remote stand. But when we got to the aircraft it was chaos. Knowing where my seat was I boarded by the second stairs but half the pax who boarded at the front had to move to the back, and half who boarded at the second door had to move forward. And this not helped by the TG connections from Phuket being late so connecting pax were still boarding after we were seated.

Similarly I would think the luggage service at HKG would a result of the efforts of local handling contractors - still if performance is a criterion for having that contract then it was not good. My arrival experience at Suvarnabhumi was the opposite - because it took 90 minutes to clear immigration my luggage had been offloaded from the belt, which had been since used for 2 subsequent flights, and was with all the other bags stacked up against a pillar waiting for me.

PGF


User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8344 times:

Quoting PerthGloryFan (Reply 2):
flew back to Perth from Bangkok with Thai on 29 July and it was exactly the same.

doh! That should of course be June  Yeah sure

PGF


User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8306 times:

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
I still think EK have one of the most generous meal portion one can ever get in all classes.

I would agree, they put a lot of food in front of you and for the most part, it was decent too.

Quoting PerthGloryFan (Reply 2):

I don't think you can blame the Suvarnabhumi boarding chaos totally on EK though.

Perhaps, but I had a Bangkok airways flight 2 weeks prior that was much more orderly and the announcement was audible. perhaps this is an issue that differs gate to gate? i have fairly limited experience with Suvarnabhumi.

Quoting PerthGloryFan (Reply 2):

The on-board service you experienced BKK-HKG seems to be about the same I've experienced on SIN-HKG with SQ in a 747-400. The longer haul flights I've had with EK have generally been good - the section cabin crew seem to make some effort to personalise their service with individual pax even in Y

i figured that EK must have better service on their longer flights. I could tell my flight was a total low yield cattle haul route. the plane hardly even had a business class section.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8059 times:
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Good report thanks.

I've not flown EK yet and don't really plan to, unless it was to get on a 345, the service levels seem pretty inconsistent from the number EK TR's posted on A.NET.

The EK bubble has burst and service appears not to be what it once was.

Regards

Mark



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User currently offlineFlyEmirates From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7602 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
One completely unacceptable thing about the service was that in the 3 hour flight there was only one full drink service. It was followed by a service of coffee or tea. Before landing coffee was offered again. Perhaps it is just me but in a 3 hour flight I expect at least 2 full drink services.

UNACHIEVABLE - 2 class cattle ships with 400 seats in Y class frequently depart with total of 8 crew in economy. There are 3 galleys which need to be manned also by these 8 crew, this leaves maybe 25 special meals to be given out plus 15 carts to go out in the cabin with wine/soft drinks ontop. Recently with a flight time of 2hrs 9 mins BKK-HKG we didnt even have time to serve tea or coffee once all passenger demands had been met.

You get what you pay for EK isnt what it once was.

Fly TG/CX for 2 times the price and enjoy a much higher crew to passenger ratio, where they are able to offer a separate bar service and less rushed service.


User currently offlineStarGuy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7430 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
One completely unacceptable thing about the service was that in the 3 hour flight there was only one full drink service. It was followed by a service of coffee or tea. Before landing coffee was offered again. Perhaps it is just me but in a 3 hour flight I expect at least 2 full drink services.

I'm very surprised that you are surprised by this. In a world of cost cutting, one full drinks service is normal, especially on a short haul 773 flight. As an F/A, I am aware that the drinks are round tripped by many airlines, so to offer a second full drinks service would not only require the airline to carry more bars, but would also require the passengers to pay more for their tickets.

Thanks for a good report, sounds like a very typical flight with emirates to me. Good without being amazing


User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7329 times:

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
I've not flown EK yet and don't really plan to, unless it was to get on a 345, the service levels seem pretty inconsistent from the number EK TR's posted on A.NET.

The EK bubble has burst and service appears not to be what it once was.

Well at least with inconsistent it's not all bad - unlike a couple of carriers known for their consistently bad service.

But as others have said, and from my experience, there's clearly a distinction between longhaul service and what can be achieved on shorter flights.

Personally the factors I consider to be my priorities are:
(1) Do they fly to where I want to go and when I want to?
(2) What is the price and what do I get for that price (baggage allowance, inflight VoD, FF, online check-in, etc)?
(3) Aircraft type, age and safety reputation of operator.
(4) Cabin service - number of hot towels, type and choice of food, number of drink services, stewardess's phone number, etc.

But another factor that impacts whether I enjoy the flight is the pre and post experience in the terminal. If I struggle I can sort of remember the pleasant attentive cabin service and nice food and the fact there was no seatback video system on a recent Thai flight from Perth to Bangkok; but what sticks in my mind are the fact that their online check-in does not work ex PER, (despite their website saying it does), the 20 minute bus ride from the plane to the terminal at Suvarnabhumi, and then the 90 minutes it took to clear immigration with hundreds of others!

None of which, as I posted previously, has anything to do with the inflight experince with the airline, but it is what I remember.

PGF


User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7136 times:

Quoting FlyEmirates (Reply 6):
Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
One completely unacceptable thing about the service was that in the 3 hour flight there was only one full drink service. It was followed by a service of coffee or tea. Before landing coffee was offered again. Perhaps it is just me but in a 3 hour flight I expect at least 2 full drink services.

UNACHIEVABLE - 2 class cattle ships with 400 seats in Y class frequently depart with total of 8 crew in economy. There are 3 galleys which need to be manned also by these 8 crew, this leaves maybe 25 special meals to be given out plus 15 carts to go out in the cabin with wine/soft drinks ontop. Recently with a flight time of 2hrs 9 mins BKK-HKG we didnt even have time to serve tea or coffee once all passenger demands had been met.



Quoting StarGuy (Reply 7):
Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
One completely unacceptable thing about the service was that in the 3 hour flight there was only one full drink service. It was followed by a service of coffee or tea. Before landing coffee was offered again. Perhaps it is just me but in a 3 hour flight I expect at least 2 full drink services.

I'm very surprised that you are surprised by this. In a world of cost cutting, one full drinks service is normal, especially on a short haul 773 flight. As an F/A, I am aware that the drinks are round tripped by many airlines, so to offer a second full drinks service would not only require the airline to carry more bars, but would also require the passengers to pay more for their tickets.

Let me tell you why I am surprised. On my Swiss flight from SIN-BKK, which was shorter yet, and cost less, I got 2 full drink services and a meal, plus a coffee/tea service. My flight from HKG-SIN on UA likewise had much more service, and per mile, that flight was cheaper too. I just don't believe it is unachievable. EK could put more crew on the flight, they choose not to. I'm not disagreeing that it is a cattle hauler, I'm just saying that the service was a disappointment when compared to Swiss and United flights I had within a week of it, and if that's what EK is going for, service which is wildly inconsistent, then fine, so be it. I'm just saying for less money other airlines do a better job, and if the only other 2 airlines competing with EK for price on BKK-HKG for the day and time I wanted to go weren't Air India and Ethiopian, I think next time I'd fly someone else.

Also, EK gave me a 150ml bottle of Pepsi. That was probably the most offensively cheap thing I've seen in a long time. I got one drink service and it was a 150mL pepsi can. If UA, the big, messed up American airline can afford to give me a 330mL can and round trip the beverage service on their 348 seat aircraft from HKG-SIN and Swiss can do it on their 1hr 56 minute SIN-BKK, EK could do it BKK-HKG... they just don't.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
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