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A380 Really A Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The A380 - Really a Step Forward for Economy Class Passengers?
London - Dubai - Doha on Emirates



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Photo © Kim Vanvik






Intro
My latest trip report series starts with a review of the Economy Class product on Emirates' flagship, the Airbus A380. I will also try to answer the question whether the A380 is really a step forward in terms of comfort for Economy Class passengers. In addition, you'll also get an impression of the carrier's offerings on the short Dubai-Doha sector (operated by Airbus A330-200).
The return flights on Emirates Boeing 777s and the connecting flights on British Airways, bmi and Aer Lingus will be featured in separate reports.


Background
More than a year after the A380 entered commercial service it was time to consider all available options for getting a ride on the giant. Originally I had planned to fly on the A380 between Sydney and Auckland as part of a trip to Australia, but it won't be certain for a while when I'll be able to go Down Under again. Then in late December I noticed a Skywards special: Round trips between Europe and the Gulf were offered for only 36,000 miles instead of 40,000 miles - 10 percent off. I still had some 37,500 miles left, due to expire by the end of 2009. So I checked the available flight options and found out that it would be possible to go to Bahrain, Doha, Dubai, Muscat or Kuwait for only 36,000 miles - a flight on the A380 included. After considering all the different visa requirements, flying and connecting options as well as accommodation costs it was clear that Doha would be the most attractive destination for a short trip.
First of all, I booked a round trip LHR-DXB-DOH-DXB-LHR by using my Skywards miles, including EK002 on the A380. Taxes were only some 70 Euro, btw. EK001 - which would be a longer flight - wasn't available for my particular amount of miles. Now I needed to book connecting flights to and from LHR as well as hotels close to LHR. I decided to travel to LHR on the day before the A380 flight in order to minimize the risk of missing it. I also decided to go home one day after my return to LHR because EK003 wouldn't arrive earlier than 18:15 in the evening. So at first I added a MUC-LHR flight on British Airways. Apart from being quite boring, going back to MUC from LHR on either BA or LH turned out to be quite expensive. So I decided to fly LHR-DUB on bmi and DUB-MUC on Aer Lingus - the fares weren't bad and both carriers would be new ones for me.




Monday, 16 March 2009
London (LHR) - Dubai (DXB)
Emirates, EK002
13:43-00:23 (13:45-00:30)
Flying time: 06:16 (hrs)

Airbus A380-861
A6-EDB (MSN 013), delivered in 10/2008
Economy Class, Seat 85K



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Photo © Alejandro Espinoza




Quick Check-in
I had airport view from my room at the Jurys Inn Hotel, so I spent a few hours with spotting before leaving for Terminal 3 shortly after 11:00 in the morning. While waiting at the Hatton Cross bus station I could watch EK001 on approach to runway 27L - a perfect on-time arrival. After only waiting for a few minutes in queue I was asked to proceed to the First Class counter. The lady didn't grant me an upgrade, but she was very friendly, nevertheless.   "Oh, you are coming back in two days already", she said. I confirmed and told her about my intention to fly on the A380. She quickly handed out my boarding passes and wished me a pleasant flight on the bird. I had reserved seat 85K on the A380, located in one of the last few rows. According to the lady, the flight would be full. "The early afternoon flight is usually quite full", she explained.


Giant at the Gate
Passing security was only a matter of a few minutes and soon I arrived at gate G7 where the giant jet was being prepared for its journey back home to Dubai.



The plane was Emirates' second A380, A6-EDB, completed in March 2008 and delivered in October. Many passengers, no matter if old or young, took pictures of the bird - which wasn't easy because the window front was facing the sun.



No doubt, the plane is an impressing sight - but the nose section in particular can't be called exceptionally beautiful...  




Cabin Comfort
Boarding by zones was started about 45 minutes prior to departure. Seat 85K in the rear cabin belongs to zone F so I immediately hit the road. A very friendly flight attendant welcomed me aboard and even addressed me by my name - never experienced that before in Economy Class.   
Warm colors are dominating in the Y Class cabin:



The 18 inch wide recliner seats are quite hard cushioned and - believe it or not - my seat in particular was even creaking when I sat down. Don't blame my weight - that hasn't happened anytime before, at least not on such a young plane.  



Btw - the outward curved fuselage on the main deck prevents you from leaning against the wall, something which may be missed, particularly on long flights. The windows seem to be very large - but it's rather the window frames which make the windows appear larger. And the distance between the outer and the inner glass panels is quite large which makes it difficult to take clear pictures in certain situations.

Large 10.6-inch touch screen, integrated handset, double-foldable table, cupholder with auto-leveling feature, laptop power supply, USB port, coat hook - what else do you need on a seat back?



Seat pitch (between 32 and 33 inches) is quite generous:



That's what can be called technical progress: the IFE box has become slim and tiny:



On-time Departure
Parked next to us was the relatively new Boeing 777-300ER A6-ECN - which blocked the view of a Singapore Airlines A380.



The captain announced that the flying time to Dubai would be six hours and seven minutes today. According to him, we would first cruise at an altitude of 39,000 feet and later climb to 41,000 feet. One of the four massive GP7270 engines under a massive wing:



After boarding was completed the flight attendants distributed hot towels - and it was time to stretch out, the middle seat would remain empty. Later in the flight I found out that the front and middle Economy Class sections were packed - in contrast to the rear section where numerous seats remained empty. Two minutes prior to the scheduled departure time A6-EDB was being pushed back:



Engine start-up followed immediately - and it was a really quiet start-up. I switched to the tail camera which I would rate as one of the most enjoyable features on EK's A380.



Slow right turn:




Quiet Take-off
Immediately after rolling onto runway 27L the engines started howling - or better said - they started "running faster" and quickly accelerated the giant aircraft. It was just amazing how quiet these engines were during take-off.



A6-EDB rolled down the runway almost without rattling and shaking and smoothly lifted off. How small these 747s appear nowadays...  



BA tails all over the place...



...would be fantastic if all those tails were still painted in different colors.



Shortly after lift-off A6-EDB turned left - which looked quite spectacular on the screen:




In-flight Entertainment
Emirates' ice in-flight entertainment system (i = information, c = communication, e = entertainment) has become famous since its introduction a few years ago, but the success hasn't stopped the airline from introducing an even more advanced version on the A380 and the newer 777s. It's called ice Digital Widescreen and offers a choice of more than 1000 channels of entertainment. "A wider choice of entertainment on a wider screen" is how Emirates describes it on its website. The new ice Navigator interface helps to click through the countless options easily and quickly - you don't need to go back to the main menu any more. You can also go straight to the desired movie or feature by simply entering the channel number (which can be found in the 70 pages strong entertainment guide). Main menu:



The high-quality handset also features a full qwerty keyboard on the other side, very helpful for sending SMS or emails.



The AVOD system offers a huge selection of entertainment options - actually not easy to count. These are the highlights:

  • - More than 200 movies, available in many different languages
  • - Hundreds of TV features (comedy, sports, drama, kids' programs, etc.)
  • - Nearly 10,000 music tracks on hundreds of albums (playlist builder)
  • - Hundreds of radio channels (podcasts, operas, etc.)
  • - More than 100 video games (including new games and all the classic ones)
  • - Advanced airshow (moving map with 3D aircraft model, external camera views)
  • - Regularly updated news
  • - Duty Free shopping
  • - Information about Emirates, Skywards, Dubai etc.
  • - SMS & Email
  • - Option to plug in a digital camera for viewing images

ice Digital Widescreen is easy to operate and I didn't notice any problems. Btw - the one and only feature exclusively available on the A380 is the tail camera view.


Snack
Forty minutes after take-off tasty biscuits and drinks were served. Of course you get ginger ale on Emirates - but I don't like these tiny cans.




Rear Cabin Views
Now it was time for a first round of cabin pictures - I decided to start in the rear section. The outward curved wall is clearly visible here:





The location of the crew rest compartment in the middle of the cabin is not bad from a passenger’s point of view - it helps to feel more private in the nearby window rows.



Spiral staircase:



It was a bit disappointing to see that the lavatories haven't become larger - but I liked the wood paneling (also fitted in the lavatories on EK's newer 777s).






Lunch
The flight attendants started to serve "lunch" almost 1,5 hours after take-off - quite late in the afternoon, but one has to consider that a pre-landing snack is not served on that flight. Menu cards had already been distributed shortly after take-off:





Appetizer
Classic Greek salad with marinated feta cheese, black olives and cucumber plus a seasonal salad with dressing
Main Course
- Yogurt chicken: tender chicken marinated and cooked in a yoghurt Zorbian sauce, with basmati rice, sautéed spinach and chickpeas
- Lamb medaillons coated in a demi-glace sauce, with pearl carrots, grilled zucchini and potato dumplings
- Pasta rustico: olive flavoured pasta tossed in a pesto cream sauce, topped with parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine seeds
Dessert
Strawberry cheesecake - fruity strawberry filling topped with a buttery biscuit crumble and encased in a cream cheese mousse


I decided to order the lamb, but that choice was already gone. However, the flight attendant promised to check whether a portion was left in the galley. She returned a few minutes later and didn't have good news. Then I ordered the chicken which she had to pick up in the galley. So some more minutes passed until I could finally start eating.



The presentation of the food in general was good as usual on Emirates, but the main course didn't look as attractive as on my former EK flights. However, everything was very tasty - and the portions were really filling. I finished the whole meal and also ate a part of the red chili pepper - which almost burned my mouth!    I like to eat hot stuff, but that was too much. There should have been a warning somewhere - because you cannot guess whether it's a mild or very hot one. My favorite was the strawberry cheesecake - it tasted excellent.


Flying into the Night
The sun was slowly disappearing when we were cruising over Romania...



...and it was time to switch to the tail camera again - what an amazing view!



Of course the cabin is equipped with mood lighting:



Here's the new style airshow with 3D aircraft model and numerous flight details - including the plane's registration (also available on the newer 777s). What I find annoying is that the airshow is regularly interrupted by Emirates advertising - things haven't changed. So you may sometimes miss interesting places on the ground.



The ice Navigator is located on the lower left, news headlines can be found on the very top:




Front Cabin Views
Now it was time for a walk through the whole main deck cabin. The noise level was steadily decreasing on the way - and there wasn't much left once I arrived in the nose section. Lavatory access via stairs:





Numerous lights...



...above the main stairway. No access for the cattle class folks...



All you can see is the self-service bar:



All those who want to turn the heat on need to get an access code first.  




Air Brakes
Time passed quickly thanks to the excellent IFE system. When I switched back to the airshow some 1,5 hours prior to landing we were cruising over Iraq:





Due to a strong tail wind the speed was steadily increasing...



...and at a certain point of time I noticed a ground speed of 1079 km/h. After the approach to Dubai had been started the air brakes were used for a few moments - and for the first time during the flight the plane was really rattling. Only 23 minutes to go:



Pink and orange colors were now dominating in the cabin:




Bumpy Landing
After crossing Dubai's coastline it was time again to switch to the tail camera:



Inspired by a smooth take-off and smooth movements in the air I was also expecting a smooth landing - but quite the opposite happened. A6-EDB touched the ground hard, jumped up again and downright slammed onto the runway - Airbus test pilots couldn't have done that any better!  


Dubai Airport - Transfer at Terminal 3
Deboarding didn't take much longer than on other large aircraft and I soon set course for the departures level. However, I was stopped by two large queues after a while - some 100 people were waiting in front of two security checkpoints. The queues were growing and growing, but two other security checkpoints remained unused. Funky terminal, but endless queues.   It seemed to take forever until I could finally pass the checkpoint. You really have to wonder about certain people and all the stuff they carry around as hand luggage...  
Once I arrived at the departures level the situation didn't improve much - masses of transit passengers were moving through the corridors and I had to watch out all the time for bags, elbows and other dangerous stuff in my way...



Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Dubai (DXB) - Doha (DOH)
Emirates, EK847
02:23-02:27 (02:30-02:30)
Flying time: 00:41 (hrs)

Airbus A330-243
A6-EAJ (MSN 451), delivered in 01/2002
Economy Class, Seat 37A



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Photo © Charles Polidano - Touch The Skies




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Photo © Alfredo La Marca - SpotIT
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Photo © Christian Waser



Boarding
After a long walk I arrived at gate 128 and first had a look at the aircraft. The plane scheduled for EK847 was A6-EAJ, a three-class Airbus A330-200 delivered in early 2002. Boarding (by zones) was started about 40 minutes prior to departure, but many people didn't care about the announcements. Several people were then told to wait until their zone would be called - others were standing next to the entrance and almost blocking the way for those who wanted to go aboard.  


Cabin Comfort
Before sitting down I took a picture of the seat - and a friendly flight attendant immediately asked me whether he should take a picture of me.    Of course I agreed. I still knew these seats from my flight on A6-EAE in 2006 - they're simply too hard.



Old style seat back - at least compared to EK's latest models.



Seat pitch (32 inch) is sufficient, but the large IFE box takes away a lot of space:



Boarding was completed quickly, the load factor reached just about 50 percent. The captain soon announced that the flying time to Doha would be less than 40 minutes. After hot towels and sealed cups of water were offered the plane was being pushed back early. Exactly 20 minutes later A6-EAJ powerfully lifted off into the night sky.


Midnight Snack
As soon as the plane had climbed to its relatively low cruising altitude the flights attendants started serving a snack - and I was surprised to get a tray with beef and ham sandwich, a kind of wrap filled with meat and vegetables as well as a piece of coconut cake.



I guess it doesn't happen very often in these days that you get too much food on a plane. The cake was very sweet, but didn't taste bad. In contrast, the wrap was not to my taste at all. I packed the sandwich into my bag and ate it later - and it tasted still good a few hours later. Would be interesting to know how many passengers are actually hungry in the middle of the night. And I guess it must be very stressful for the flight attendants to serve and recollect everything when the plane is full on such a short hop.


In-flight Entertainment
The entertainment system on the A330 is Emirates' oldest, with a choice of 68 different movie & TV options, 26 radio channels and 50 games. You can't do much on a short hop anyway, so most of the time I watched the air show. Only some 25 minutes after take-off the plane was already leaving the cruise altitude again.



It was time again soon to switch to the front camera:



We touched down exactly 41 minutes after take-off and rolled to a parking position next to a Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F. Deboarding was just a matter of a few minutes and a bus took us to the terminal building.


Doha Airport in the Middle of the Night...
Ten minutes later I joined a long queue of passengers waiting in front of the immigration counters. It seems many of them were guest workers, most of them already equipped with visas. It took about 20 minutes until a friendly female officer welcomed me at her counter. She asked for a credit card and issued a tourist visa for 100 riyal (20 Euro). I picked up my luggage, passed customs and walked to the arrivals hall.
The guys at my booked hotel, the Al Mourouj Inn, hadn't been very communicative prior to the trip. After repeatedly asking some questions about the check-in time and mentioning my arrival time via email I had been told the following: "check-in time accepted as per your mail. your room will be ready on arrival." So I hoped the hotel would send the free shuttle to pick me up - but they didn't. Then I tried to change money, but the counters were closed. I found that quite strange because numerous flights arrive in the middle of the night. Telephones could be used with calling cards only, so I called the hotel by using my mobile phone. Now I was told that the shuttle wouldn't be available at this point of time and that I should take a taxi.  
I mentioned the fact that I wouldn't be able to get any Qatari money, but the receptionist simply said it wouldn't be a problem for taking a taxi to the hotel...a guy responsible for allocating people to the taxis said exactly the same, but 20 minutes later in front of the hotel the driver asked for Euro or US dollar. I'm not sure whether he wasn't able to or didn't want to understand my offer to change money first at the hotel. The meter showed 29 riyal (= 6 Euro), but he asked for 8 Euro. I wanted to give him a 5 Euro bill plus a few coins, but he shook his head: "No change!" Great. So I finally handed out a 10 Euro bill so that I would finally be able to leave the taxi and get some sleep...story to be continued.



Conclusion
Flying on the A380 was an exciting experience - mostly because it is partly completely different from other aircraft in terms of size, sounds and movements. It's amazing how quiet it is in the cabin during take-off and cruise - but the question is whether that's such a big advantage in every respect. I know that numerous people prefer a quiet cabin, but personally I don't mind about the noise level on aircraft such as the Boeing 777. Dozens of people sitting in close vicinity produce a variety of sounds, by talking, laughing or snoring (just to name a few) - and the lower the noise level of the plane is, the more you get to hear - which is not desirable in my opinion.
As for the smooth take-off and smooth movements - nice, but not revolutionary different from other large widebodies. And additional space is not necessarily available to passengers sitting in Economy Class. If you compare seat width and seat pitch on certain websites you'll notice that the A380s currently in service aren't really outstanding. I flew back on one of EK's 77Ws which are equipped with slightly narrower seats - and I didn't feel much more cramped. The technical gimmicks such as advanced IFE and mood lighting are also available on other aircraft. In Emirates' case you get the same IFE and the same type of seats on both the A380 and the newer 777s. Yes - it's a pleasure to fly on the A380 for a number of reasons, especially as an enthusiast, but for Economy Class passengers in particular the introduction of the A380 itself is not a step forward in terms of comfort - IF you don't mind about the noise issue, of course.

Emirates' Economy Class product in general can still be rated as superb. Ground staff and most flight attendants were friendly and motivated, the cabins were clean and the ice IFE is excellent. It was a bit disappointing that my preferred meal choice was already gone on EK002, but the quality of the food in general is outstanding. Portions are more than sufficient (especially on short hops), food presentation is great in most cases. Seating comfort is not bad - pitch is actually very good - but the seats are too hard. Nevertheless, Emirates' Economy Class product still belongs to the best on the market. Transferring at Dubai has become more convenient after the opening of Terminal 3 - but it's still not a pleasure during peak hours.

Next report: DOH-DXB-LHR on Emirates 773 and 77W


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2009-03-25 15:36:52]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17545 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And additional space is not necessarily available to passengers sitting in Economy Class.

Or in J, which has seats that aren't much wider than Y  duck 



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17067 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR

Glad you enjoyed your flights with EK.

I have yet to try EK one day.

Looking forward for the next TR

Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4271 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,
thanks for the interesting read. Also Y class needs to be tried out of course.
I must say, I don't like the shape of the A380, but inside, I think it's a good plane to travel on. I liked the A346 (VS), so the A380 would suit fine for me too  Wink
Meal looked very good and picture quality, as always, almost perfect!

Gruß
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 1):
Or in J, which has seats that aren't much wider than Y

Half an inch, to be exact...  Wink

Quoting B747forever (Reply 2):
Great TR

Glad you enjoyed your flights with EK.

I have yet to try EK one day.

Thanks, Gabriel. Yes, you should give EK a try.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):
Hi PH,
thanks for the interesting read. Also Y class needs to be tried out of course.



Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):
Meal looked very good and picture quality, as always, almost perfect!

Thanks, Eric! Good to see you enjoyed reading.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):
I liked the A346 (VS), so the A380 would suit fine for me too

I'm sure it would. I still need to get the A346...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Interesting take on the A380. After all that hype, it was indeed a matter of time before someone had to bring it down to a thumping reality, cattle class is still cattle class after all!


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineEICVD From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2166 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Planehunter
Excellent report, one of the best ive read. Looking forward to reading the follow up reports.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...would be fantastic if all those tails were still painted in different colors

 thumbsup 


User currently offlineBW424 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2008, 1434 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I immensely enjoyed your report! EK's Y product is till right up there.

Thanks for posting.



It is what we think we know already that prevents us from learning.......
User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6577 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report as always !

I really hope you try QR some day for comparison; I much prefer them over EK.

Looking forward to the next part.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi there PlaneHunter!

A great trip report with some very nice pictures. It turns out that your experience on the A380 was very similar to mine...  Smile I guess this is yet another piece of evidence that EK can be consistent - just as my upcoming TR will show as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had airport view from my room at the Jurys Inn Hotel, so I spent a few hours with spotting before leaving for Terminal 3 shortly after 11:00 in the morning.

I stayed there a few years ago. Great value and some rooms have some nice views of LHR.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
very friendly flight attendant welcomed me aboard and even addressed me by my name - never experienced that before in Economy Class.

I agree with you... I think this is part of EK's service, because it happened to me too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Later in the flight I found out that the front and middle Economy Class sections were packed - in contrast to the rear section where numerous seats remained empty.

It appears that EK always does this on their A380 flights if they are not sold out. The front section is always filled and the others are not.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My favorite was the strawberry cheesecake - it tasted excellent.

Yes! It is good! I know exactly what you mean...  Smile

Thank you for your wonderful TR. It brought back some great memories of my recent EK flights and I hope I will be able to give you the same experience when I post mine in the middle of next week.

Globetraveller


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6433 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Brilliant TR! You've managed to comment on a lot of little things - things that I missed! So well done on that, it complements my TR quite well  Wink

Thanks for the perspective from the rear of the aircraft. I'm heading back to SYD return in November and I'm wondering where I should sit for this period. I should have a fair idea after spending the majority of the flight standing up and roaming around the cabin! On my flight, I felt as though that rear part of the cabin got a bit congested..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The 18 inch wide recliner seats are quite hard cushioned and - believe it or not - my seat in particular was even creaking when I sat down. Don't blame my weight - that hasn't happened anytime before, at least not on such a young plane.

Yeah. Completely different opinion on that one!! I'm sure I'll write another TR on that journey too and I'll bear seat comfort in mind. At least it wasn't creaking when I sat down!  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw - the outward curved fuselage on the main deck prevents you from leaning against the wall, something which may be missed, particularly on long flights

I don't usually lean on the wall but I did notice it was a little bit further. I like using the wings.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
That's what can be called technical progress: the IFE box has become slim and tiny:

Wow, didn't notice that that thing was the IFE box! Too bad they can't make every plane like that!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Large 10.6-inch touch screen, integrated handset, double-foldable table, cupholder with auto-leveling feature, laptop power supply, USB port, coat hook - what else do you need on a seat back?

I found that cupholder to be rather pathetic. Couldn't hold anything larger than EK's small cups to hold whatever capacity that was in the cans.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A6-EDB rolled down the runway almost without rattling and shaking and smoothly lifted off.

Just like it should be! I can picture it clearly.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Of course you get ginger ale on Emirates - but I don't like these tiny cans.

I think they're rather cute! I'm more disappointed at the fact that they don't seem to stock Coke anymore. On my 77W flight, they had Pepsi down one aisle and Coke down the other!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It was a bit disappointing to see that the lavatories haven't become larger - but I liked the wood paneling (also fitted in the lavatories on EK's newer 777s).

You should have read my TR before!! I was amazed at the size of the toilet at the very front.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Lavatory access via stairs:

That toilet up the left stairs was the big one. I believe the right hand side toilet up the right stairs would be the same.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
All those who want to turn the heat on need to get an access code first.

I was very tempted to try and fiddle with that!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Inspired by a smooth take-off and smooth movements in the air I was also expecting a smooth landing

Oh well. I'm glad my landing was smooth.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
As soon as the plane had climbed to its relatively low cruising altitude the flights attendants started serving a snack - and I was surprised to get a tray with beef and ham sandwich, a kind of wrap filled with meat and vegetables as well as a piece of coconut cake.

Woah. That's impressive for such a short flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Emirates' Economy Class product in general can still be rated as superb. Ground staff and most flight attendants were friendly and motivated, the cabins were clean and the ice IFE is excellent. It was a bit disappointing that my preferred meal choice was already gone on EK002, but the quality of the food in general is outstanding. Portions are more than sufficient (especially on short hops), food presentation is great in most cases. Seating comfort is not bad - pitch is actually very good - but the seats are too hard. Nevertheless, Emirates' Economy Class product still belongs to the best on the market.

I concur. Great product. Good to see that the FAs seem to be getting consistently better from the last TRs I've read. Food - great as always. It's really making me hungry looking at that meal!

Thanks again for a great read! Can't wait for the return TR and comparison between the 77W and A380 (if you're willing to add a little bit about that somewhere down the end).

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineEKFly3r From New Zealand, joined Dec 2008, 54 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter

Great Trip Report !  thumbsup 


Good service always makes flying a pleasure and it's great than EK is looking after it's pax well  bigthumbsup 



Thanks for sharing & looking forward to your next leg  Smile

Cheers mate


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 5):
After all that hype, it was indeed a matter of time before someone had to bring it down to a thumping reality, cattle class is still cattle class after all!

Yes, cattle class hasn't been reinvented. I have noticed that many people, especially those not too familiar with aviation, automatically assume there's more space on the A380 for anyone. Well done, marketing guys...  Wink

Quoting EICVD (Reply 6):
Excellent report, one of the best ive read.

Thanks Mark, nice to hear!

Quoting EICVD (Reply 6):
Looking forward to reading the follow up reports.

I will start working on part two soon.

Quoting BW424 (Reply 7):
I immensely enjoyed your report! EK's Y product is till right up there.

Thanks, BW424!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Nice report as always !

Hi Lars, thanks for your comments!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
I really hope you try QR some day for comparison; I much prefer them over EK.

I know, you have always told me. QR is a priority.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Looking forward to the next part.

Not surprising considering it will be a 777-only report...  Wink

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
A great trip report with some very nice pictures.

Servus Globetraveller, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
It turns out that your experience on the A380 was very similar to mine...

That's good to hear. I had wondered how your flights would be in comparison.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
I guess this is yet another piece of evidence that EK can be consistent - just as my upcoming TR will show as well.

Yes, they can. EK doesn't deserve all the negative feedback in my opinion.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
I stayed there a few years ago. Great value and some rooms have some nice views of LHR.

No doubts, it's a great hotel. I will write a bit more about it in part three. I got a room with airport view during my first stay and could log many registrations.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
I agree with you... I think this is part of EK's service, because it happened to me too!

Good to hear. Did it happen on all your EK flights? I noticed it on EK002 and EK003. When I traveled to Australia in 2006 I wasn't addressed by my name.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
It appears that EK always does this on their A380 flights if they are not sold out. The front section is always filled and the others are not.

I had checked the seat map two days prior to departure and most seats in the front section had already been occupied. I guess many people prefer to sit in the front section.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
Thank you for your wonderful TR. It brought back some great memories of my recent EK flights and I hope I will be able to give you the same experience when I post mine in the middle of next week.

I'm really looking forward to your reports.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
Brilliant TR! You've managed to comment on a lot of little things - things that I missed! So well done on that, it complements my TR quite well

Hi Nicholas, thanks for your comments!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):

Thanks for the perspective from the rear of the aircraft. I'm heading back to SYD return in November and I'm wondering where I should sit for this period.

I'd recommend to try the rear section.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
Too bad they can't make every plane like that!

It's the same on the newer 777s. And other airlines will follow - but it will take some time until it's a standard feature.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
Couldn't hold anything larger than EK's small cups to hold whatever capacity that was in the cans.

Good argument!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
You should have read my TR before!! I was amazed at the size of the toilet at the very front.

Would be interesting to know why that particular toilet is so much larger.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
Can't wait for the return TR and comparison between the 77W and A380 (if you're willing to add a little bit about that somewhere down the end).

Yes, there will be some more comments in addition to what I have already mentioned.

Quoting EKFly3r (Reply 11):
Great Trip Report !

Hi EKFly3r, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting EKFly3r (Reply 11):
Good service always makes flying a pleasure

Indeed - it's such a difference to switch from Emirates or a similar carrier to one of the numerous operators with their low-cost approach...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

Great stuff, good read and pix!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
That's what can be called technical progress: the IFE box has become slim and tiny:

- Yes, thouse used to be huge!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It was just amazing how quiet these engines were during take-off

- They are & I think the RR ones are even quieter, at least that's my feeling.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The flight attendants started to serve "lunch" almost 1,5 hours after take-off - quite late in the afternoon, but one has to consider that a pre-landing snack is not served on that flight

- Interesting, I just assumed they would give you a snack prior to arrival, however given the arrival time, who would want it?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The presentation of the food in general was good as usual on Emirates, but the main course didn't look as attractive as on my former EK flights. However, everything was very tasty - and the portions were really filling

- Looks good as always, shame the lamb was gone, would have been my choice too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What I find annoying is that the airshow is regularly interrupted by Emirates advertising - things haven't changed. So you may sometimes miss interesting places on the ground.

- Never noted that, though did not use it that much on my flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
All you can see is the self-service bar

- Ah, on EDA that was a water feature, guess they decided to use the space differently.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the flights attendants started serving a snack - and I was surprised to get a tray with beef and ham sandwich, a kind of wrap filled with meat and vegetables as well as a piece of coconut cake.

- Not bad for such a short flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
for Economy Class passengers in particular the introduction of the A380 itself is not a step forward in terms of comfort - IF you don't mind about the noise issue, of course.

- This is the truth, bigger plane, quieter but at the end of the day economy is still economy. I know the leg room is good, but I'd not want to do a long flight on that plane in EK economy if it was full, no fun at all!

Look forward to the return report.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineJfklucky777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
All you can see is the self-service bar

- Ah, on EDA that was a water feature, guess they decided to use the space differently.

All of EK's 380's (EDA/B/C/D) are the same. The sides of the water feature get opened up inward mid-flight and block the water feature. They then fill the shelves with liquor/snacks etc.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6433 posts, RR: 39
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
I'd recommend to try the rear section.

I'll bear that in mind. Did you particularly like the section where there were 3 seats and then the wall? The only problem with that is like it seems you get served last! But yeah, with less people wandering around the cabin, I think that the rear would be a nice place.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Would be interesting to know why that particular toilet is so much larger.

I believe that that space would be wasted anyway. Could have been a F lav, only for EK to place premium upstairs. But for it to be the biggest in Y, you would have assumed that it could be accessible for those who really need the space! Guess not! That's going to be the only toilet I'll use on the EK A380 due to its sheer space - a luxury in Y.


One more thing about that cup holder - I thought that I was about to break it when it took some effort to come out!



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
Great stuff, good read and pix!

Hi Mark, thanks for your comments!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
- They are & I think the RR ones are even quieter, at least that's my feeling.

I'll listen carefully when I fly on a RR bird in the future...

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
Interesting, I just assumed they would give you a snack prior to arrival, however given the arrival time, who would want it?

That's it - I guess the number of hungry passengers is limited at that time.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
Looks good as always, shame the lamb was gone, would have been my choice too.

Believe it or not - the lamb was also gone on the return flight...

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
I know the leg room is good, but I'd not want to do a long flight on that plane in EK economy if it was full, no fun at all!

Especially in the middle seat!

Quoting Jfklucky777 (Reply 14):
All of EK's 380's (EDA/B/C/D) are the same. The sides of the water feature get opened up inward mid-flight and block the water feature. They then fill the shelves with liquor/snacks etc.

Interesting to know.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 15):
Did you particularly like the section where there were 3 seats and then the wall? The only problem with that is like it seems you get served last!

Yes, the section is nice. But it's more likely to get the desired meal choice in the front section.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 15):
That's going to be the only toilet I'll use on the EK A380 due to its sheer space - a luxury in Y.

I'll definitely have a look next time on the EK A380.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineCgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1157 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH
Great report and excellent photos. The A380 is still so new any trip report is a pleasure to read. I've yet to experiece an EK flight and it looks like their product is outstanding even in economy; however, I was very surprised to see they use plastic cutlery in economy. Is that standard for their economy service? Or Could it have to do with the flight originating in LHR and the "Britericans" thinking metal cutlery is a "threat to security"?

looking forward to the other reports.

Cheers from Cologne!



A330 man.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Jfklucky777 (Reply 14):
All of EK's 380's (EDA/B/C/D) are the same. The sides of the water feature get opened up inward mid-flight and block the water feature. They then fill the shelves with liquor/snacks etc.

- Thanks, never knew that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Believe it or not - the lamb was also gone on the return flight...

- Sounds like everybody wants the lamb!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 17):
Great report and excellent photos. The A380 is still so new any trip report is a pleasure to read.

Hi Cgnnrw, thanks for your comments!

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 17):
I was very surprised to see they use plastic cutlery in economy. Is that standard for their economy service? Or Could it have to do with the flight originating in LHR and the "Britericans" thinking metal cutlery is a "threat to security"?

Yes, LHR is the key here. I got metal cutlery on the DXB-DOH and DOH-DXB sectors as well as on the EK flights to and from Germany/Australia in 2006.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 18):
- Sounds like everybody wants the lamb!

Indeed - so EK should react to the demand!  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5171 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello, PH,

I know from your latest replys that there will be something ´80 style coming up.
Really worth to read, checking the big bus from an eco point of view.

Well done, interesting pictures.
I like also your DXB airport and Doha reflections.
So let me follow closely what happens further.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineTravellerPlus From New Zealand, joined Nov 2008, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

In answer to your thread-leading question, the answer has to be no. From a passenger's experiece perspective, at least, the A380 is not revolutionary. Very, very few passenger aircraft can make the passenger comfort revolutionary claim and they were types like the 747, Vickers Viscount, Shorts Empire Flying Boats and DC3. I'd even count the Hindenburg as revolutionary from a passenger comfort perspective.

Your points about the extra space in the A380 being adsent from the Y class cabin are interesting. Although I am not a great fan of Qantas, and many have maligned their conservative design philosophy, they do make a point that they offer more personal seat space in every class of travel than any other A380 operator. This highlights that now-a-days the airline rather than airframe is more influential in determining comfort.

A wonderful, informative report as always.Thanks!  Smile



What goes around comes around....unless your luggage is not on the carousel...
User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter

Thanks for your report on Emirates; I haven't flown them for years so it's great to read they're still offering great service, as they did in the old days when I flew on their A310s and A300s!

I'd just like to correct you; there is no issue with metal cutlery on LHR flights .... I work as cabin crew based at LHR and can confirm we offer metal cutley on all flights ex-LHR and ex-US. As far as I know, the only flights I have operated where we are unable to provide metal cutlery are flights to SYD; perhaps this has now changed too.

Secondly, and this is directed to another poster, the term Britericans is offensive to me apart from being very ignorant; I am British and not American, or even a mixture ....

Thanks again for sharing your experiences with Emirates. I look forward to your future reports.

[Edited 2009-03-27 15:27:49]

User currently offlineKimberlyrj From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 22):
Secondly, and this is directed to another poster, the term Britericans is offensive to me apart from being very ignorant; I am British and not American, or even a mixture ....

I quite agree. My Dad is American but I am still British - not American - but such a term even meant light heartedly is offensive.

As for the aircraft I can see ‘PlaneHunter’ point, I have only flown in First class and Business class and was so taken with those cabins I did not venture into Economy but it seems that some improvements could be made.

In connection to the size of the window, they are very small!

Kimberly RJ


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4836 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

What! You didn't get a picture of the onboard bowling alley?!  duck 

Great TR! thanks for putting what must have been considerable time and effort into it!  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

The location of the crew rest compartment in the middle of the cabin is not bad from a passenger’s point of view - it helps to feel more private in the nearby window rows.

Interesting, do you know why they chose to put the crewrest in the cabin rather than underfloor?



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
25 PlaneHunter : Servus Markus, thanks for your comments. More to come in part two. Thanks a lot! Interesting point of view. According to seat guru, QF's seat pitch i
26 Cgnnrw : Unfortunately my sarcasm didn't come through clearly. What I was aiming at was most US carriers no longer use metal cutlery in any class and the Brit
27 Hoons90 : Fantastic trip report! Simply breathtaking! I love how both the map and the flight info is on the same screen. I don't really like it when the screen
28 FCA767 : You mention about the A380...Why not try Singapore Airlines? I went on their A380 9V-SKA the first in service...in economy on main deck... I was perfe
29 Ojas : Nice TR and loved the elaborate pictures! Are we getting glimpses of DXB's T3 in the next part ? Well done.
30 OA260 : Very nice report and pics. I love the interior of the EK A380. Its still on my to do list. The offerings look decent enough as does the IFE. Thanks fo
31 Contact Air : Hi PH, Fantastic report with lots of details and great pictures! That's why I always prefer sitting in the back (like many others here on A.Net): if t
32 PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot! That's true. Now they should just eliminate these annoying ads on the aishow channel. What exactly was perfect? Noise level, seats, IFE
33 Abrelosojos : PH, Thanks for another great TR. One question - did Y class have in-flight magazines? I heard that they were being rid of due to weight issues - but y
34 NZ107 : They still do (February still had one). I thought they were going to take them out too. I'm pretty sure they're much thinner than in previous years t
35 DL752 : Excellent! Fantastic pictures and informative report! I can't wait to try out EK some day soon. DL752
36 PlaneHunter : Thanks, Abrelosojos! I was indeed surprised to find an in-flight magazine and the thick IFE guide - I also remember reports about a decison to get ri
37 Ronerone : Hey PH! Another fantastic TR from you. Of course, i am always on the lookout for reports on a non-inaugural EK A380 flight. You are right about Econom
38 PlaneHunter : Hi Roni, thanks a lot for your comments! Most 772s and 773s should be equipped with ice now (not the digital widescreen version, though). The A330s'
39 OHLHD : Hi PH! Great report as usual! Having been to DOH a few times I know about the problem to get some Riyals! The only chance is to get some from the Cash
40 PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot, OHLHD! Yes, just for fun. I met a friend who showed me some interesting places. I'll include pictures from Doha in part 2. PH
41 Linglesou : Fantastic report! You really get the impression of what it was like being onboard and what great pictures! You can imagine my shock when I was greeted
42 Pe@rson : Great trip report! Incidentally, were there any views in Dubai's Terminal 3 in the gate area? If so, how good? Thanks.
43 PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot, Linglesou! Yes, indeed! The sandwich was really good - and the cake wasn't bad, either. Ok, let's hope to see those features on the A35
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