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This Suite Has Sliding Doors: Emirates F DXB-JNB  
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:




I N T R O D U C T I O N
It is always a fascinating mystery how Emirates manages to be the success story that it is today, and seemingly, I believe this will continue for longer than we think. I know that this topic is a favorite amongst some of us and also a favorite worst amongst an opposing bunch of others, but one can’t deny the measures this airline is willing to take to continue growing. And like fuel to fire, Emirates needs to grow in order to succeed. I on the other hand, am a moth to this burning flame, and my fascination for this airline is almost as overwhelming as the airline’s rather exorbitant strategy.

But what about Etihad? Many of you may ask. Sure, I still love them to bits as they still are my backyard carrier. But Etihad is more like a rebellious little girl that still needs her mother’s guidance. Emirates on the other hand, cannot even be remotely correlated to any human, let alone a female like Etihad. Perhaps a plant, if Emirates is to be that giant beanstalk that Jack decides to climb.

We all know that Emirates is not the leader in terms of software offering in-flight. Well, they aren’t bad at all –they are actually good on many levels- but the likes of many others such as Cathay, Etihad, Singapore, Malaysia, and SriLankan are claimed to offer something a trillion times more consistent.

An airline like Emirates –one that has defied almost all the generic theories that have taught the aviation that we currently know- has an understanding that others cannot seem to grasp. When Open Skies and deregulation damaged a countless number of our legacy predecessors’ business models, they have also formed the backbone of Emirates’ need for growth. When airlines and airports together found efficiencies in de-peaking away from a hub-and-spoke system, Emirates continues to grow three, and build even more traffic banks at its Dubai mega-hub. Today, in its own breed, Emirates has revolutionized the way an airline should be managed by adopting a low-cost carrier approach to capacity expansion, the need for sheer volume, and yield management; all of which form some of the pillars that support its purely classic legacy structure.

Many still ponder whether this airline is fully subsidized or not, and perhaps many like to believe that it is. But don’t you think this is a little out of style by now? Dubai is flat-broke and cannot source a dime to pay its own debt, yet Emirates continues to be its one and only crown jewel (and a profitable one at that too). But still, many are adamant to assume that the airline’s annual reports are favorably audited for a desired show –quite silly if you ask me.

And so, to me this is what makes Emirates, well, Emirates! Like they say at the airline’s corporate headquarters, “we don’t have to be number one to be the best.” On board, Emirates most certainly is not number one, nor is it the best. But at home, at work, on TV, the Internet, and the radio, they most certainly chime a rather fascinating tune. I may hate flying with them at times, but I cannot deny that I am ever so drawn to this airline in many of the strangest ways. What can I say? It’s a love-hate relationship for sure!


Today brings me on board an Emirates flight. With one out of about 400 others per day, chances are that this flight will depict a typical experience are probably slim. I’d like to think that there is no ‘typical’ within Emirates, and perhaps an experience could be as many as the airline has versions of its Business Class seat. However for today, my First Class Suite has sliding doors, so let’s take a look at what is revealed inside!



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
65 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:





WELCOME TO MY 27th TRIP REPORT
This TR will cover my flight on Emirates from Dubai to Johannesburg in First Class on the Boeing 777-300ER.



B A C K G R O U N D
Remember that whole TAAG-Angola 'Transito' ordeal from my previous Trip Report? Well in order to connect onto that flight, I needed a means of getting to Johannesburg, and hopefully with the least cost possible.

Well, First Class is anything but 'the least cost possible,' however my mileage bank with Emirates/Skywards had just enough miles for a one-way First Class redemption to Johannesburg, thanks to my epic A380 inaugural flight adventure a few years ago, and a more recent A380 hop to Toronto last year.

Of late, Emirates' frequent flyer program, now known as Emirates/Skywards, had received a rather extensive revamp. While I am not familiar with the deep mechanics that this has produced, many seem to have expressed complaints on the increased 'prices' for mileage redemption. For me, I try to make things a little more simpler, and if I have enough miles to spend, then it's done!

One thing that I found to be quite favorable in this revamp, is the ability to redeem flights on one-way travel. In the past, this was possible only with Etihad in the UAE, but now I see that Emirates has followed suit. Similarly, Emirates has also introduced a Flex Rewards scheme that offers redemption options on high demand periods and flights; again similar to Etihad (since when does EK copy other airlines?). I am sure that this revamp features more quirks, but I will leave that for others to figure out.

The decision to purchase this redemption was rather straight forward, and similarly, the action to do so on the Emirates/Skywards website was equally the same. A few clicks here and there, bish-bash-bosh, and my itinerary is confirmed. I was to travel to Johannesburg on Emirates, one night before catching my, then confirmed, Hellenic Imperial Airways flight, which was then converted to TAAG The Great!



D E P A R T U R E
Four and a half hours before my scheduled departure time, I was ready to head to the airport. My private chauffer transfer -an Emirates branded black Chevrolet Caprice- had already arrived at my building at 5:30am. At exactly 5:45am, and as per the time I had requested for the pick-up, I received a call from the driver to inform me that my ride had arrived.

Hopping into the car, and after a twenty minute drive I arrived at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 at 5:10am. I was dropped off at Emirates' premium passenger departure curbside area, which is a small area that is relative to the airline's rather small intentions for Dubai's O&D market. Nonetheless, the area was already filling up with Emirates transfers dropping off passengers for their Emirates flights. At Terminal 3, it is the home of Emirates and as such, the branding was loud and clear.



DXB Terminal 3 premium curbside



I saw this as I was pulling into the terminal, and had to walk back out for a picture





Inside the check-in hall at 6:20am, I am faced with everything Emirates, all branded within a semi-art techno-deco ambience that is Terminal 3. It is indeed an impressive building, but I felt that it is lacking a certain 'something' to it which I could not lay a finger on. However, what makes the traveling experience through this landside departures hall most impressive is the amount of free space that you have around you. There certainly is a lot more than you need in terms of counters, seating, baggage claim carousels and what not. However, this forward thinking in the construction of this building comes very handy today as I can enjoy this spaciousness until things become more congested a few years down the line.



The Emirates FIDS at DXB are practically a temple in which I must regularly pay my respects to





At the First Class check-in counters, the queues are a non-issue. Several counters dedicated to First Class customers were adequately staffed yet not too busy. As with all other check-in counters in this terminal, they are open for all Emirates flights, minus those bound for the USA. Of course, this is common practice usually, but it is still a relatively new concept in the Middle East.



Emirates First Class check-in counters







Now, as all the major GCC carriers are known to offer their bells and whistles on board their flights, they seem to overlook their offering on the ground which is quite the horrific contrary. However, I have never found this to be the case with Emirates. As inconsistent as they may be up in the air, they certainly have a rather pleasing bunch down on Earth, and it is no different in my experience today.

As I was approaching the agent at the check-in counter, another fellow passenger travelling on one of Emirates' 100+ destinations today, figured he could cut through the queue and snag my turn. Without any effort on my part, the Filipina agent took her action immediately.

"Hi sir, I am so sorry, but this kind gentleman has been waiting in line several moments before you, I will be with you as soon as I check him in."

As the usual affair was taking place during my check-in process, I was asked several unusual questions about whether I was a resident in South Africa, or if I had another passport that showed proof of residency there. Apparently, non-residents of South Africa must show proof of an itinerary outbound from the country in order to enter in the first place. However, this was all settled when I flashed the agent my TAAG itinerary that was to take me out of Jo'Burg the following day. As soon as that was cleared, my boarding pass was produced and I was wished a pleasant flight.



My boarding pass cum lounge invitation for DXB-JNB



A more crowded set of Business Class counters



Carrying on to secure myself airside







Passing through immigration and security, I was airside at 6:50am. Since the main landside area is located underground, several elevators and escalators are located right after security that transport passengers to the main terminal building.



FIFA branded elevators to main terminal building





As with Terminal 1, I was released into the large shopping mall of a Duty Free hall in Terminal 3. But this alone was not the astonishing part. It was the sheer thousands upon thousands of Emirates passengers parading from each and every corner of the building as they filtered between gates during their respective transits. Like a slap in the face that woke me up, it was one sight to see. I was a mere singleton amongst a gazillion others that formed part of an Emirates connecting bank, and it was truly amazing!



This does not justify the real thing!





Minus the décor and the funky smells, for a moment I thought I was at the fish market on a Friday morning. It was noisy, people were pushing their ways through, and it was quite uncomfortable. For once, I actually could not wait to reach the lounge.



One level above, I arrived at the Emirates First Class Lounge





At the lounge, I was immediately greeted by the friendly agents at the reception. After taking a quick look at my boarding pass, I was welcomed inside with a smile.



Inside the Emirates First Class lounge at DXB





By all means, this lounge is an absolute jaw-dropper. There is nothing here that you would not find in the lobby of one of the best 5-star hotels. Moreover, the space is massive, and it offers everything from showers, a spa, a business center, bedrooms, a library, a wine cellar, several café's each offering a selection of food, a full restaurant-style dining area, a few bars here and there, children's playrooms, more than ample seating areas, and a very elegant smoking lounge.

It is rare that I enjoy a lounge for it's very purpose however, this one is definitely the best I have ever been to. All in all, a truly classy mass-produced outfit!



Seating area







Library, Business Center, & Showers are on this corridoor



Fountain



A bar / café offering a selection of food and a full range of all types of beverages

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/EKJNB/IMG_7988.jpg


More seating





Another bar / café



Food offering at this station



The main dining room offering a full breakfast buffet in addition to a la carte dining



Food offering at the main buffet















My choice for breakfast



Even more seating areas









At 7:45am when I was finished with my breakfast, I left the lounge to explore the terminal. However, I was again faced with the connecting bank parade that it was quite discouraging to stick around. Oddly enough, after a quick walk-around, I found myself back at the lounge for a quick smoke before heading to the gate.

While I was exploring the terminal, I found it to remind me of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi, only on a more beastly scale. Similar to BKK, spotting of aircraft is considered non-existent with those heavily designed giant triangular windows. However, the terminal's ambience is far less dark and threatening than that of BKK - perhaps it's less of that industrial warehouse feel.



Another customary visit at the EK FIDS temple



Airport signage



Duty Free







Inside the belly of the beast lies a seafood bar



…and also a Changi-styled garden/pond



More of T3





Back at the lounge, this is the smoking area!





Ok, I may have broken my 'lounges get boring after 20 minutes' rule today, but by 9:20am I figured I've done this place and it was time to go back to an atmosphere that resembles more of an airport; the gate.



Ay 9:30am I arrived at Gate 221



The gate area





A queue had already formed at Gate 221, signaling that we were allowed to go inside the holding area. It was interesting to find two podiums staffed with Emirates Group Security employees -those associated with the pre-requisite for USA flights- conducting a document check on all passengers. As such, my passport was briefly checked, and I was allowed to proceed to the entrance to the gate, where my boarding pass was scanned and stubbed.



After document check



And down the escalator to the holding area



I was inside the holding area at 9:35am





As with flights to London, New York, Dubai, and Bangkok, this flight to Johannesburg featured a similar passenger profile; a little bit of everything. A quick scan revealed fellow passengers from Asia, India, Europe, and the Middle East, and also that my flight today was showing a healthy load factor in Economy Class.

Moments after, boarding had commenced for the premiums, and high-status FFP elites. While a small bunch of us made our ways towards the gate, others prepared a queue for their upcoming turn to board the aircraft.



Operating as EK763 non-stop to Johannesburg



Through the aerobridge





Arriving at Door 1L of the aircraft, I was greeted by a rather laid-back Mladen from Serbia, who was also the purser for today's flight.

"Welcome on board Mr. Hawi, your seat is right this way"
"Thanks"
"Enjoy your flight"



By 9:40am I was on board.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

F L I G H T
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Emirates Flight Information:

SCR
/EK/26JUN
S10
26JUN
DXB
KEK763 27MAR31OCT 1234567 35877W DXBDXB1015 1625JNBJNB J
GI BRGDS

Actual Departure Time: 10:24 (Pushback)
Actual Arrival Time: 16:03 (Touchdown)

Registration: A6-EBW
Condition: 3.6 years old, delivered to Emirates in 2006, and currently on lease from GECAS

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Welcome to Emirates First Class





As we all know, Emirates is the revolutionary 'founder' of the First Class suite. As such, my experience with this was well overdue, but my first impressions were quite positive.

The cabin, as depicted in all pictures we have seen, looks rather futuristic and the absolute lack of overhead bins emphasizes the contour of the aircraft's fuselage. This makes it feel like I was inside something that was about to embark on a mission to outer space, and not necessarily a routine Triple 7 to Johannesburg. It was great for taking pictures, but not too favorable if you wished to stand and stretch in the narrow aisles. Naturally, the focus is not the spaciousness of the aisles, but the enclosure of the suites, which may require some aisle space for that extra little notch of additional comfort.



The cabin





At my suite, I am seated in my large leather bulkhead at 1A. Minus the usual overkill woodwork designs that we all know about, the seat is extremely comfortable, and the confines of my space do not have me feeling claustrophobic at all. I do however prefer my Cathay's more openness feel to her First Class design, but this Emirates offering is almost just as excellent!



The seat











The surroundings within the Suite are decked out with frills that make you feel like you have just been overstuffed with a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

A large and perfectly laundered white pillow is placed on every seat, while a set of linens and duvet blankets are placed in a corner right behind you. On your side lies the infamous mini-bar, all stacked with an empty glass, soft drinks, water, and juice, in addition to the usual in-seat controller. At the mini 'desk' in front of the seat is a pop-out vanity mirror with a personal kit that includes the usual lotions and lip balms, and to your right is a small drawer specifically for your very own writing kit. Not only could I make myself comfortable on this long-haul flight, but I think I may manage living here for good!

But if we look at the bigger picture, this First Class cabin is one out of five other configurations that I could think of, that are within Emirates' offerings. Correct me if I am wrong, but the ones I have come up with are the following:

A) First Class Suite on the B777-300ER (featuring additional storage space under the IFE screen)
B) First Class Suite on the A340-500 (the original)
C) First Class Suite on the A380 (featuring the Digital Widescreen IFE, and new meal-wares)
D) Lie-Flat First Class Seat on the B777-300ER
E) Recliner First Class seat on the A330/A340

There's something for everyone!



The mini-bar



Seat controls





Vanity



Writing kit



Headset





On board this flight, was a set of 15 cabin crew, and two flight crew. Apart from the purser, two other crew were assigned for First Class, one of which was predominantly the galley operator who would make an occasional inspection around the cabin. There are two Senior Flight Stewards (or 'esses') on board -one for the premium cabins and the other for Economy- both of which are senior crew that supervise the service delivery on board, and report directly to the purser.

Out of this bunch, Jurgen from the Netherlands -seeming a little shy and dry at first impression- appeared with a tray of welcome drinks.

"Can I offer you something to drink? I have champagne, orange juice, and water"



This must be my first time having Dom Pérignon



A few gulps, and it went down beautifully!





At 9:50am the seatbelt sign was switched on, and Door 1L was closed 10 minutes afterwards when all First Class passengers were confirmed to be on board.

Captain Anil Abraham then made an announcement to welcome us on board, and to conduct the usual pre-flight briefing on our flight. He also informed us that our flight to Johannesburg today was to be 7 hours and 39 minutes.

Dates and Arabic coffee were offered -in which I declined- in addition to hot towels, and the cabin was then sprayed with a disinfectant.

The captain then made another PA to inform us of a slight delay that was due to airspace congestion in Oman. We would be waiting for clearance from Oman before making our way towards Jo'Burg. Naturally, this makes sense with all of the Gulfy airlines' morning banks up in the air, the remaining flights that are at the shoulders of these peaks would have to suffer a little more time incorporated into their time-blocks.

We finally pushed back at 10:24am and began our taxi to the runway.



Company B77W (A6-EBZ) soon to LHR



A6-EBB soon to somewhere else!



The shoulder of EK's morning bank



Company A380 (A6-EDB) operating EK412 to Sydney, and late as always!





11 minutes later, we thundered down the runway in typical triple-7 noise and thunder, and at 10:35am we were up in the air and on our way to Africa!

Five minutes after we lifted off, when we were almost at cruising altitude, the crew got up to prepare for the service, in which Mladen began by distributing the menus.

"Hi sir, how are you?"
"Good thanks and yourself?"
"I am very well too"
"I'd like to offer you the menu for today's flight"
"Thank you"
"Would you also care to see the wine list?"
"Yes please"



Menu













Wine list













Next in line with the in-flight service delivery, was Jurgen, who distributed slippers and eyeshades. Unfortunately, it was at that moment when I learned that no amenity kits in Emirates First Class are offered on daytime flights of this length! Sure enough, many airlines had subscribed to the 'no amenity kits in Business Class' club -and I am just beginning to adapt to this new concept- however since when was First Class on the chops too? Ouch!



Kitless slippers & eyeshades



I really like this suite!





The purser passed around the cabin to personally take everyone's meal orders. At my turn, Mladen smiled as he kneeled down on the floor. He did not seem too keen to be on this flight as he did not make any effort to personalize the service. Nevertheless, his bare minimums aren't really so bad, and at least he smiled; besides, I am sat on a First Class seat, so I shouldn't complain much!

"Can I offer you something to drink?"
"I'll have a Bloody Mary please"
"Would you like to have some canapés with that?"
"Yes please"
"Anything to eat?"
"I'll have the Arabic Mezzeh to start, the chicken breast for the main course, and we'll see later for dessert"

Service on this flight is dine-on-demand. Naturally, this is very easy on the crew and from what I hear, many First Class crew on Emirates do not wish for any further promotion; they remain in this cabin for years. While many First Class passengers do not wish to be disturbed while others may wish to eat whenever they wished. The passenger is happy, so is the crew, and costs can be saved.

Looking at the bigger picture again, the following are also some differences in services on different Emirates flights in First Class:

A) Dine-on-demand on the main fleet (featured on Suites, and with the old meal-wares)
B) Dine-on-demand on the A380 (featuring the new meal-wares)
C) Classic trolley service (featured on the rest)



An empty seat in-flight



Cabin during the flight





While my Bloody Mary was brewing, Jurgen appeared from the galley to place the infamous snack basket in each occupied suite. On offer in this basket were some crisps, chocolates, biscuits, and dried fruit.



Snack basket





"Sir, this is your Bloody Mary"
"Thank you"
"Can I offer you a bowl of nuts while you wait for your canapés?"
"Sure"



Bloody Mary & bowl of nuts





I have tried the Emirates Bloody Mary in Economy Class before, and I have judged the airline's ability in that area since then; it was horrible. But today, my opinion has changed for the more positive. It was spiced with a more balanced amount of ingredients, and most importantly, the vodka was not overkill (too much vodka covers the 'salt-ish-tomato-ish' flavor that makes this drink so great!).

Sipping on my drink, I began to further explore the offerings of my seat. After all, hardware is the specialty of Emirates, and technologically, this seat has got it all. The huge IFE screen offering the world-renown ICE, power-port, telephones, and USB ports, it's all here!

One thing to note, is that I found that personal storage space was quite adequate. Many in the past have complained about the lack of space to store things like a carry-on, but I believe that this problem was addressed after the First Class suite was implemented on a reduced 8-suite cabin on the B777 rather than the original 12-suite one on the A345. The removal of one row of the suites made way for additional storage room under the IFE screen, where my carry-on and laptop bag perfectly fit.



IFE controller & telephone



Power port



USB



Mobile phone storage?



Another storage compartment



Large IFE screen





My canapés arrived, and they consisted of a small plate with a vegetable skewer, grilled beef fillet with salsa verde, and prawn dumplings. They vegetables were perfectly cooked and their flavor went very well with the beef which was also quite tender. But the prawn dumplings were the best out of the bunch; all in all a delicious canapé!



Canapé







Jurgen, who was shy at first sight, appeared to have loosened up a little after noticing my excessive picturesque behavior. On each flight of late, someone has to ask!

"The pictures you're taking, are these for a magazine or for yourself?"
"For myself. This is a hobby of mine"
"Fair enough. Please enjoy your Canapé"

Once through with my drink, my glass and plate were cleared, and I was offered seconds on the Bloody Mary. My table was also set with all the necessary items such as the linen covering, a bread basket, plates, silverware, napkin, shakers, butter, and oil & vinegar. A nice little touch was incorporated into this setting when I found that the butter was shaped like half a football, given the current FIFA World Cup goings-on.

While Jurgen was busy setting this up, I decided to ask him a few questions. By then, the thoughts of a Luanda transit were haunting me, and I figured Emirates flies there so perhaps he could give me an insight on anything Luanda!

"I have a question. Have you been to Luanda by any chance? Since you guys fly there and all"
"Not me personally, but I will ask the rest of the crew and get back to you if that's okay?"
"Yes please. I am transiting through Luanda tomorrow, and I would like to have some idea about it before I arrive there"

He then returned back to the galley and then immediately reappeared with my Mezzeh plate, which included shanklish, moutabbal, stuffed vine leaves, pickles, and bamia fil zeit (stewed okra with a tomato sauce and olive oil).



Table set-up





FIFA Butter







Mezzeh plate





The Mezzeh platter was quite delicious. Stuffed vine leaves (the cold ones) are my absolute favorite Arabic food, and this one by Emirates Flight Catering was excellent. Even the Moutabal, which I am not a big fan of usually, was quite a tasty as well.



My main course was served soon after I was through with my starter







The main course was a fusion between east and west. It consisted of a chicken breast with a tomato and coriander sauce, over a small bed of biryani rice and a vegetable korma on the side. The chicken was not pink, which was great, and the coriander sauce gave it a lot of flavor. However, the rice was too oily, and the korma a little on the creamy side.

"Sir, I have asked all the crew on board this flight, and no one has gone to Luanda yet. But I am sure we will eventually"
"Ok. Thanks for that"
"I hope you will not face any trouble there! But good luck with that anyways!"
"I hope so too"

I requested to have my table cleared after the meal, and decided to skip dessert and convert it into a second meal which I will have prior to landing. Instead, I opted to convert my seat into a flat position, and convert it into a bed.

Jurgen noticed my efforts in making my own bed, and he immediately offered to do it for me. "I can help you with that sir," he said, offering to place the sheet and the blanket on my seat. "Here you go, now you can take a picture of it while it looks nice."

But before making landfall on my bed, a quick trip to the Emirates First Class lavatory was necessary. "Taking pictures of the lavatory even? haha", Jurgen said in quite a surprise when he saw me whisk past the galley.

Hovering around my bed











At this point, I laid in my bed, and closed the doors of my suite. It felt very private, and not as cramped as I thought. The doors while opened, definitely gave more space to the ambience, but the enclosed privacy is also quite unique; it was actually comfortable and snuggly!



Lavatory







Back in my suite, it was time to doze off for most of the remaining flight time. The bed just the way it is at home, and I fell asleep straight away.



In bed with Emirates!





Waking up approximately three hours before landing, I hopped out of my bed and into the galley for a stretch. Looking a little crumpled still, Ratana from Thailand -the SFS overseeing the premium cabins- must have noticed my rather messy state.

"Can I offer you something to drink sir?"
"A Diet Coke please"
"With ice and lemon?"



My Diet Coke



My seat after 5 hours of flight



More cabin & seat shots









I was not in a mood for IFE, and frankly, almost every Trip Report compares the IFE with ICE; there really is not much more one can say about how great it is. However, let me brag about one more thing. During the FIFA World Cup, Emirates passengers are able to watch a recoded playing of the most recent matches on the ICE onboard entertainment system.



On today's flight, Brazil vs Portugal resulted in a 0-0 draw





In the mood for that dessert I decided to skip earlier, I stopped Ratana as she was conducting a look around the aisle.

"Excuse me. May I have a cup of tea please?"
"Certainly. What would you like? May I show you the selection?"
"Actually, I'll have some green tea if it's available"
"Sure. Anything else with that?"
"May I also have the raspberry crumble cake?"
"Of course. Cinnamon sauce with that?"
"Yes please"



My table was immediately set up for the meal









I usually have a craving for something sweet when I take a nap during the daytime hence, this raspberry crumble was the perfect solution for that. The cake was warm and moist, and the ice cream provided a little 'kick and cool' to the flavor -as is always the case with a crumble dessert!

After I was through and my table was cleared, it was time for a quick visit to 'How The Other Half Lives.'



Business Class





Economy Class





At 3:35pm local time in Johannesburg, Captain Anil made an announcement to inform us that we were to begin initial descent soon, and that we were expected to land in 30 minutes.

While all preparations were being made for landing, a hot towel service was conducted as the grand finale that concluded the in-flight service on board this flight. As we neared final approach at around 3:50pm, the seatbelt sign was switched on and the crew were eventually requested to take their seats for landing.



One final picture inside the suite





A R R I V A L
We touched down at Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport at 4:03pm, bringing this flight to an end. Taxiing past several South African birds, we eventually docked at a gate adjacent to Air France's A380 - a regular visitor here.

I thanked the crew for their efforts and proceeded to exit the aircraft and make my way into the terminal. Immigration was rather effortless, and so was customs, and I eventually found myself landside in the arrivals hall.

I had a limousine service booked on arrival, to transport me to the Southern Sun OR Tambo Airport Hotel, which is barely several meters away from the terminal building. However, it was a little difficult at first to find where I could find anyone responsible for this Emirates' service, and the information desk proved to be of very little help.

However, in no time, a group of uniformed drivers appeared in the arrivals hall, and holding a large sign that had the Emirates logo on it, and it was an easy breeze from then on.



C O N C L U S I O N
Overall, I had quite a pleasant experience with Emirates in First Class. The suite was very comfortable, the food was of good quality, and you are given total privacy away from the hustle and bustle that is usually associated with traveling. The crew was also reasonably good, and especially Jurgen who was the absolute best out of the bunch on this flight.

What Emirates seems to lack however, is a personalized touch to all these frills that you are offered. The purser for example, spent most of the flight writing notes in the galley. Sure enough, this is the purser's job, but very little effort was made on addressing a passenger by name, or striking a meaningless conversation with a passenger about something that makes them feel like they are taken care of. It is one thing to be quite formal and professional, but today's style of service is about that extra personal touch. Or, maybe this is the Emirates First Class experience where you are given total unobtrusive privacy to match with that of what is offered by the suite itself.

Emirates overall has a decent product, and it really does depend on the flight you are on. This is just how we have to look at it. One thing is for sure, and that Emirates offers one of the best on-the-ground products I have experienced. From ground handling and all the way to their lounges, everything to me is absolutely perfect.

After all, a network carrier the size of Emirates, and one that offers the hardware that it does will not need to focus as much on a 5-star Asian airline style of service. Your everyday traveler -the public masses- only care about passing time while in an airplane. And for this, Emirates has that covered.



This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!

Regards,
Roni







E Q U I P M E N T
- Camera:
- Canon 50D

- Lenses:
- Sigma 10-20mm Wide Angle
- Sigma 10mm Fisheye
- Canon 18-55mm



PREVIOUS WORK
Transito!: A Connection On TAAG-Angola (B743/B772) (by ronerone Jul 31 2010 in Trip Reports)
Keeping Up With The JETs: 9W Première HKG-DEL-DXB (by ronerone Jul 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Petra Express!: On Royal Jordanian's A330-200 (by ronerone Jun 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Suite Redemptions: Cathay Pacific BKK-HKG In F (by ronerone May 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK (by ronerone Apr 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
In A Blink Of An Eye: AirAsia X’s A340 At AUH (by ronerone Feb 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
SriLankan Airlines: The Treasure Of Serendib! (by Ronerone Jan 9 2010 in Trip Reports)
Beijing Swire!: Cathay Pacific & Dragonair DXB-PEK (by Ronerone Dec 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
OpenSkies From British Airways: A New Era's End? (by Ronerone Oct 14 2009 in Trip Reports)
Revealing An Underdog: Royal Brunei Business Class (by Ronerone Sep 3 2009 in Trip Reports)
The Singapore Airlines Cliché (by Ronerone Jul 27 2009 in Trip Reports)
A380: Qantas Proper To SIN City (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
Welcome To Terminal 3: Etihad Airways AUH-SYD (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
5th Freedom Of The Air: Kenya Airways HKG-BKK-HKG (by Ronerone Mar 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Pacific: First Class On The Legacy Milk-Run (by Ronerone Jan 26 2009 in Trip Reports)
Inspirations On A Narrowbody: Etihad To Amman (by Ronerone Nov 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Boleh!: On The Malaysian Airline System (by Ronerone Oct 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways (by Ronerone Sep 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)



F L I C K R
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/sets/72157624843638394/

F A C E B O O K
R. Wadei Hawi
Please mention who you are when (and if) you want to add me as a friend


YOU TUBE
Username: ronerone
I have a range of taxi, takeoff, landing, announcement, and safety videos posted. Feel free to view them!



THE END



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinedirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1668 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome piece of work Roni. Impeccable, entertaining and well thought out, as usual. Beautiful presentation. I like how you theorize that EK's style of service perhaps isn't a shortcoming, but intentional, to give the passenger the ultimate in privacy and comfort.
Well done!
Happy Eid,
DG/Omar


User currently offlineEkA380 From Egypt, joined Aug 2008, 120 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

Mr. Roni
You have did it again !Well I just had quick browse and I am stunned as usual the text is wonderful and you very much portray my view of Emirates , It is certainly a love-hate relationship .
The pictures are superb and I love Emirates Branding , you know its so bold and thats the way to do it. Emirates certainly isn't the best out there but its my personal favorite.

Thanks for the effort , you know how much I just love indulging in your trip reports and this certainly is no exception , be assured that when I regain my senses I will be commenting again as there is lots to be argued about 

Cheers
Islam Darwish



Always go the extra mile , its worth it ;)
User currently offlinercaq From Austria, joined Aug 2009, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

I'm speechless. Terrific TR, thanks for sharing. I came across the pics on flickr - Now ended up cross-posting. ^^
While anything from aircraft interior to lounge services can be amazing w/ EK, esp. @DXB, the only thing that looks weird to me is the F Check-In design - It kinda reminds me of Silver/Metal themed kitchens for some reason...

+1 on the EK success statement - On the other hand, part of me is still fascinated by the EK expansion path & strategies. Looks like I need to delve deeper ...

Thanks for sharing!


User currently offlinejfklucky777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

Roni,

That 1st picture you took that starts your TR is absolutely amazing! You should definitely try and sent that to EK's Corporate office for their use. Maybe they'll reward you somehow! The rest of your TR was insightful and well put together as usual.


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Roni,

What a masterpiece! Your first picture is an instant eye-catcher. I just love your background story which warms everyone up for what is coming.

I cannot leave commenting on many sequences of your report.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Emirates First Class check-in counters

Appealing displays below the First Class designation screens about the First Class comfort.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
As I was approaching the agent at the check-in counter, another fellow passenger travelling on one of Emirates' 100+ destinations today, figured he could cut through the queue and snag my turn. Without any effort on my part, the Filipina agent took her action immediately.

"Hi sir, I am so sorry, but this kind gentleman has been waiting in line several moments before you, I will be with you as soon as I check him in."

Way to go for the Filipina agent. I did not understand why some people, like a First Class traveler in your case, cannot be more aware of the fact that they are not more privileged than other passengers traveling in the same class.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
By all means, this lounge is an absolute jaw-dropper.

Well, that is what I am doing now.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Food offering at the main buffet

Amazing! I like the black bread oven.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Back at the lounge, this is the smoking area!

The most luxurious smoking area I have ever seen.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Jurgen from the Netherlands

Finally, a Dutch EK flight attendant has been spotted.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
This must be my first time having Dom Pérignon

Really? How is it like losing your virginity on that?  



Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Unfortunately, it was at that moment when I learned that no amenity kits in Emirates First Class are offered on daytime flights of this length! Sure enough, many airlines had subscribed to the 'no amenity kits in Business Class' club -and I am just beginning to adapt to this new concept- however since when was First Class on the chops too? Ouch!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Vanity

Even though, you had got vanity items in your Suite, it is surprising that EK has scrapped the amenity kit on First Class.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Power port

One thing I cannot miss out for my camera. How about you?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
FIFA Butter

Nice touch! Though I am not into football.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
"Taking pictures of the lavatory even? haha", Jurgen said in quite a surprise when he saw me whisk past the galley.

Nice to have such a considerate flight attendant. 
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Business Class

I spot some empty seats there. It looks like Business Class was not fully booked.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Economy Class

The cabin looks elegant with the stars on the ceiling.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
we eventually docked at a gate adjacent to Air France's A380 - a regular visitor here.

Way too regular to my liking. Especially on the last 12th of July.  

Thanks for sharing this impressive trip and remarkable insight of First Class Lounge. Truly entertaining from the start until the finish. I have got inspired for my following trip reports!  

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinecaliatenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1575 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wonderful TR here Roni. One question though, your boarding pass says "BLUE", which refers to Skywards Blue. I thought you would be Silver or Gold by this time to have enough miles to do first class to JNB. I just flew EK all teh way from LAX to BLR in Economy, still love it every time i step on board.

User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3453 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Roni
Don't you get bored getting all those compliments?
Beautiful pictures excellent report, EK should use you in there PR department.
Thank you very much, keep them coming.



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offline777way From Pakistan, joined Dec 2005, 5716 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report Roner, great pics as usual but minus that something LOL, hope you dont mind me ponting that out, did you change camera, lens or settings?

I still dont get why F has those generic munchies, they used to give Godiva in the 90s, why not Lindtt or anything sophisticated, even After 8 would be more suited, guess they cant do much about the generic bevarges but munchies yes. I know it does the job and peole are happy with it, but not my style for F class, thumbs down on that EK.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1910 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for another beautifully written report!

Emirates First Class is nice in terms of hardware, but the software in general needs some tune ups. The airline is expanding too much and the airline just can't keep up with the consistency level of service being delivered by a multicultural crew. I really agree with your perception. Other than the purser, the First Class F/As seem to be quite good on your flight. However, I was shocked that Emirates did not pass out amenity kit and slipper on this long flight even on daytime. I understand not giving out kits and stuff on a three hours hop to Athens or Amman, but daytime exceeding four flights are pretty long, and EK has so many connecting passengers that they are all in different zones.

However, Emirates is really generous when it comes to amenity kits on overnight flights. A Singapore to Colombo flight or even Colombo to Dubai overnight flights will get you the amenity kits and sleeperwear, but not on a daytime eight hours flight from DXB to JNB. I believe EK's amenity kit policies are basically all flights over three hours that depart after midnight for first and business class.

I think SQ has the most sensible policy - amenity kits and PJ on all flights over three hours that depart after midnight, or on all daytime flights that exceed six hours. Apply to first class here! SQ website documents it.

However the more urgent issue for EK is to address the consistency of service delivered and to hire some really good F/As. Expansion is too fast and not enough time to train the crew. QR has better F/As because it has a smaller base and a more sensible expansion policy.

Thanks again,
Carfield


User currently offlineegyptair269 From Egypt, joined Mar 2007, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Another Masterpiece TR by Roni. When looking at the TR forum, I read your name before I even read the title!  

DXB T3 is a beauty, and Emirates looks stunning. This really is incredible.

Salam,
EgyptAir269


User currently onlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 359 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Once again Roni, another excellent offering! I felt as if I was a First Class passenger on that flight. Really fantastic job.

User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Roni,
I can only agree with everyone else: excellent trip reports and photos. The contrast between the mad crush in T3 generally and the relative peace of the First Class Lounge really stands out.

You could be right about the style in First being that you are left undisturbed. Unlike in Y or J, dining is on demand and can be ordered by phoning from your suite or pressing the service button. However a few pleasantries go a long way to making passengers feel welcome and allowing people to remain undisturbed does not mean being inattentive or cold.

Sure we all like to get those little freebies, but is an amenity kit really necessary? The toilets are stocked with toothbrushes and paste, shaving gel, razors and aftershave lotion. How many people actually use the kits during the flights rather than taking them home as a souvenir? But I agree, it would be nice to receive them on all longer flights and not just overnight flights.

Best wishes.


User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

As always awesome trip report!

And only because you do maintain such a high level of reporting I just had to point out.......

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
At exactly 5:45am, and as per the time I had requested for the pick-up, I received a call from the driver to inform me that my ride had arrived.

Hopping into the car, and after a twenty minute drive I arrived at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 at 5:10am.

So Emirates has time traveling limo service now?! That really is a great perk for first class passengers!
 

Seriously....loved all the photos! I do have to ask...the one photo taken near the ground...



Did you LIE down on the ground to take that? Anyone else I would doubt it...but you are so committed...perhaps you'd even go to those lengths to document your trip?
 

In the First class lounge...did each bar/cafe area have the SAME type of food? Or did different ones have different themes so you could pick an area based on the type of food you wanted?

So are you going to give us a teaser of what your next TR might be?

Whatever it is...can't wait!


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2970 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Roni,

another spectacular TR!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
I was dropped off at Emirates' premium passenger departure curbside area, which is a small area that is relative to the airline's rather small intentions for Dubai's O&D market. Nonetheless, the area was already filling up with Emirates transfers dropping off passengers for their Emirates flights. At Terminal 3, it is the home of Emirates and as such, the branding was loud and clear.

Even if we analyse the lower scaled version of the QR's premium terminal, the curbside is very small when compared to the traffic passing between the premium terminal. Very less thought put for O-D passengers.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
However, this forward thinking in the construction of this building comes very handy today as I can enjoy this spaciousness until things become more congested a few years down the line.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
A more crowded set of Business Class counters

Somehow that exclusive feel does not remain with a high volume carrier like EK.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Minus the décor and the funky smells, for a moment I thought I was at the fish market on a Friday morning. It was noisy, people were pushing their ways through, and it was quite uncomfortable. For once, I actually could not wait to reach the lounge.

Here is what I like about Changi, even during peak times, the airport does not seem that crowded when compared to the morning crowd of EK. Sure it is all about volume, but Changi seems to always keep that quiet environment even when flights to MAA, BOM, DEL, DAC are boarding.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
As inconsistent as they may be up in the air, they certainly have a rather pleasing bunch down on Earth, and it is no different in my experience today.

Really? If I were to give you an example of my Dad's supposed premium experience with the EK ground staff, you will definitely have a good laugh.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
It is rare that I enjoy a lounge for it's very purpose however, this one is definitely the best I have ever been to. All in all, a truly classy mass-produced outfit!

Wow that's truly amazing!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I do however prefer my Cathay's more openness feel to her First Class design, but this Emirates offering is almost just as excellent!

You just had to get Cathay in   

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
it was at that moment when I learned that no amenity kits in Emirates First Class are offered on daytime flights of this length! Sure enough, many airlines had subscribed to the 'no amenity kits in Business Class' club -and I am just beginning to adapt to this new concept- however since when was First Class on the chops too? Ouch!

Hmm .... are many airlines following the suit? That too in F class?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):

I have tried the Emirates Bloody Mary in Economy Class before, and I have judged the airline's ability in that area since then; it was horrible. But today, my opinion has changed for the more positive. It was spiced with a more balanced amount of ingredients, and most importantly, the vodka was not overkill (too much vodka covers the 'salt-ish-tomato-ish' flavor that makes this drink so great!).

Seems you are an authority on Bloody Mary ; lol

thanks for sharing the wonderful report



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another great report Roni, but the day I read a Qatar Airways trip report from you, I'll be very happy!!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
But Etihad is more like a rebellious little girl that still needs her mother’s guidance. Emirates on the other hand, cannot even be remotely correlated to any human, let alone a female like Etihad. Perhaps a plant, if Emirates is to be that giant beanstalk that Jack decides to climb.

Love the comparison to Etihad lol, but I think you can truly say that Emirates is the great Matriarch, that once was glorious but now with age is starting to show her wrinkles. And Etihad still in her youth is grooming herself to follow in the Matriarch's footsteps but at a much smaller scale.

I could tell compared to your trip report on Etihad, Emirates was just short of compliments. Yes the cabin is awesome but as far as personal touches and service went, Etihad shone bright right from the start.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I may hate flying with them at times, but I cannot deny that I am ever so drawn to this airline in many of the strangest ways. What can I say? It’s a love-hate relationship for sure!

It's been that way with me with them too, but in Y class.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
and a more recent A380 hop to Toronto last year.

You came to Toronto? I guess since you already did a A380 J class report you didn't do another one?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
However, what makes the traveling experience through this landside departures hall most impressive is the amount of free space that you have around you.

The main arrivals and departure halls are so huge, wide open and seem cold and unfriendly. (I know I've mentioned this before

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
As with all other check-in counters in this terminal, they are open for all Emirates flights, minus those bound for the USA.

Quite annoying that the flights to the USA have their counters at the far end.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
But this alone was not the astonishing part. It was the sheer thousands upon thousands of Emirates passengers parading from each and every corner of the building as they filtered between gates during their respective transits. Like a slap in the face that woke me up, it was one sight to see. I was a mere singleton amongst a gazillion others that formed part of an Emirates connecting bank, and it was truly amazing!

This is where the vibe of the Sheikh Rashid Terminal comes back into Terminal 3. However with the Sheikh Rashid everything was right bang in front of you, shops, resting areas, washrooms. Here if I recall correctly the main thoroughfare was in the middle, but the gate areas and other resting areas are behind the shops.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
My choice for breakfast

Was the bread and jams already laid out at each table?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Back at the lounge, this is the smoking area!

Cough, cough lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The gate area

Most of these Middle Eastern carriers allow you to not only take your hand carry with you, but the huge bags of Duty Free purchases. The policy of one carry on only on board does not apply there. I know my own Duty Free bags far exceeded the 7kgs that were allowed as hand carry.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The cabin, as depicted in all pictures we have seen, looks rather futuristic and the absolute lack of overhead bins emphasizes the contour of the aircraft's fuselage.

I've seen pics of the First Class area so many times but only now am I made to realise that there are no overhead bins. I think the ambiance below is so much you don't realise what is missing above lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
The purser passed around the cabin to personally take everyone's meal orders. At my turn, Mladen smiled as he kneeled down on the floor. He did not seem too keen to be on this flight as he did not make any effort to personalize the service. Nevertheless, his bare minimums aren't really so bad, and at least he smiled; besides, I am sat on a First Class seat, so I shouldn't complain much!

You have every right to complain being on a First Class seat. You are just too nice I guess. I'm surprised that the service all the way down did not suffer because of this, because quite frankly when the purser himself/herself is complacent, then what need for the others in the rank below need to worry about having to ensure top notch service.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Service on this flight is dine-on-demand

Again, here is something that Emirates copied from Etihad. Etihad was the first to introduce their "Inspired Service" and if I am not mistaken it applies to their Business class cabins as well.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
A nice little touch was incorporated into this setting when I found that the butter was shaped like half a football, given the current FIFA World Cup goings-on.

Well you were after all flying to a FIFA World Cup hosting nation  


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Roni,

what to say other than "excellent", "fantastic", "wonderful"? Thanks for taking so much time regularly to compose all that. You described well what makes EK so special - despite certain weaknesses.

The F Class product looks great, of course. However, I simply don't like the excessive use of golden design elements. Less is more sometimes.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I saw this as I was pulling into the terminal, and had to walk back out for a picture

Ok, what will they do with it once the 787 finally enters into service?  

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
My boarding pass cum lounge invitation for DXB-JNB

Quite odd that they use simple white paper for the F Class boarding pass.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Company A380 (A6-EDB) operating EK412 to Sydney, and late as always!

Always nice to see "my first A380". But why is EK412 always late?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
"The pictures you're taking, are these for a magazine or for yourself?"
"For myself. This is a hobby of mine"

"...and for thousands of a.net users", you should have added.  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
During the FIFA World Cup, Emirates passengers are able to watch a recoded playing of the most recent matches on the ICE onboard entertainment system.

Very impressive!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Ok, what will they do with it once the 787 finally enters into service?

Emirates has not ordered the 787. They have 70 A350XWBs on order. (Oh I see what you mean, now  embarrassed  lol)

[Edited 2010-09-05 23:37:16]

User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1222 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

loved your report and the lengths you go to for your pics - which are always great. had to chuckle when the cabin crew observed how many pics you were taking, including in the lav ! At least they left you to it, rather than making life difficult! thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed your TAAG report as well. P-jet


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 945 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Stunning, simply stunning. Roni, I think I've run out of fresh superlatives to describe your trip reports. Your uncanny ability to encapsulate a trip - any old trip really - and package it into the most amazing journey of discovery is without parallel. On a flight in Emirates First Class Suites, well, you're really in your element. I especially like the insights that only an insider can provide, the grudging comparisons with the other major Emirati airline is not a surprise, but hearing EY being referred to as a "rebellious girl" is a first. Give the kid a break, she's only seven after all   The pictures are, as always, mind blowing. The first pic sets the tone from the outset - shiny, glittery, over-the-top like something straight out of the Burj Al Arab: 7-star accommodations as only a Dubai-based carrier knows how! Bravo.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
I am faced with everything Emirates, all branded within a semi-art techno-deco ambience that is Terminal 3. It is indeed an impressive building, but I felt that it is lacking a certain 'something' to it which I could not lay a finger on.

Interesting you should say that. No one will complain about the facility because it is so much better than most places around the world - but I was somehow expecting more from Emirates - especially for their F Class.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The Emirates FIDS at DXB are practically a temple in which I must regularly pay my respects to

Haha... more cult than religion I presume  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
It was the sheer thousands upon thousands of Emirates passengers parading from each and every corner of the building as they filtered between gates during their respective transits. Like a slap in the face that woke me up, it was one sight to see. I was a mere singleton amongst a gazillion others that formed part of an Emirates connecting bank, and it was truly amazing!

That's the exact feeling I got the last time I was there - quite a shock actually. Masses of people everywhere. And everyone holding an EK boarding pass - scary!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
All in all, a truly classy mass-produced outfit!

What an apt description. The First Class lounge is definitely far less crowded than the J class equivalent - they are both about the same size, aren't they?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I do however prefer my Cathay's more openness feel to her First Class design

But of course, one wouldn't expect anything less from you   The pictures of the EK suites are great. Like Burj, I am astounded by the extent of the heights and depths (quite literally) you go to bring us every nook and crany of this F class experience. Thank you.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
A) Dine-on-demand on the main fleet (featured on Suites, and with the old meal-wares)
B) Dine-on-demand on the A380 (featuring the new meal-wares)
C) Classic trolley service (featured on the rest)

Interesting variation - I didn't realize the classic trolley service was still in existence, but that's probably the nicest (at least from a trip reports' perspective!)

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
During the FIFA World Cup, Emirates passengers are able to watch a recoded playing of the most recent matches on the ICE onboard entertainment system.

I remember flying EK during the last World Cup and thinking how impressive that was. It even included a whole separate IFE guide on fixtures and the like.


Thanks again for this fantastic trip report!

Cheers,
airpearl


User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32626 times:

Thanks for a great TR Roni, hugely enjoyable as always!

I still can't help but think that the EK suites are just a little bit tacky, all that gold a 'walnut veneer' a tad OTT in my opinion, the food service on the other hand looks very stylish.

Cheers & thanks again!

Nick


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32443 times:

Everyone has already said great things about your trip report, no use in me repeating what they said as I am sure you know exactly how I feel about your reports by now.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Inside the Emirates First Class lounge at DXB

I got to say, I am quite surprised at how luxurious the First Class lounge looks. Definitely impressed with what is on offer.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Inside the belly of the beast lies a seafood bar

One of those exist at JFK Terminal 4 too. I was there the other day.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Headset

How were these? I have to say they don't look all that appealing, did they actually cut out a lot of noise? I have had my pair of BOSE for years now. I can not find anything better and when you consider the fact that airlines such as Jet, Kingfisher and even American Airlines offer them to their premium passengers, I can't help but think there is room for improvement at EK.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I requested to have my table cleared after the meal, and decided to skip dessert and convert it into a second meal which I will have prior to landing.

No, no, no! You have one dessert now and then the other one before landing. This way you get to try both!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
"Here you go, now you can take a picture of it while it looks nice."

That was nice of him.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
The cake was warm and moist, and the ice cream provided a little 'kick and cool' to the flavor -as is always the case with a crumble dessert!

While the crumble looks delicious (though I am a sucker for anything sweet), the presentation looked extremely ordinary. The way my apple crumble was presented in J on QR was light years ahead of this EK F presentation.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
The crew was also reasonably good, and especially Jurgen who was the absolute best out of the bunch on this flight.

There is a reason we both liked flying KLM back in our college days right?  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
After all, a network carrier the size of Emirates, and one that offers the hardware that it does will not need to focus as much on a 5-star Asian airline style of service.

Agreed, but then Emirates should probably tone down their marketing to reflect this.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Your everyday traveler -the public masses- only care about passing time while in an airplane. And for this, Emirates has that covered.

I could not agree with you more.

Quoting ojas (Reply 16):
You just had to get Cathay in

Ojas, Cathay is the best airline in the world, not just according to Roni but myself as well. I know you could care less about them, but they are the benchmark that Roni and I use. Kind of the way you use QR as your benchmark.  


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2970 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32366 times:

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 23):
Ojas, Cathay is the best airline in the world, not just according to Roni but myself as well. I know you could care less about them, but they are the benchmark that Roni and I use. Kind of the way you use QR as your benchmark.

Nope, you might be mistaken here. I normally use SQ as my benchmark and at times one of my most memorable AI flights to BOM (when all of AI's stars were aligned that day) as well. QR is my preferred airline for several other reasons and the most important being that my family is in Doha   

As an aside I'm finally flying CX later this month after 13 years. But don't worry it's not to test CX per se, but it was more because I got a dirt cheap fare on that flight. And I promise to write good things about them!!!   



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
25 Post contains images MHTripple7 : And yet another awesome trip report from you, ronerone! Thank you! Your flight seems to be pretty much on par with the recent trend of EK trip reports
26 MorcegoA330 : Hi Roni. Another great TR! I always enjoy reading your TRs and the pics are really great as well. Great attention to detail. Cheers, Ricardo
27 sfflyer123 : Fantastic. This was a really excellent TR. I thoroughly enjoyed it very much. The photos were fantastic. It did, however, look like F was relatively e
28 Post contains images ronerone : Dear All, Thanks for all your great comments! Hi Omar, Thanks for stopping by! It may be, given that the A380 crew are trained to associate First Clas
29 ronerone : Thanks sfflyer123. I believe 5 of us were in F. It did not look like there were any op-ups as J wasn't full either. But i wasn't a revenue passenger,
30 burj : Meant to ask this before.... The writing kit, that is that meant to be used on the plane only, or are you welcome to take it with you? Same question a
31 concordechild : hi roni gret report as always. When i flew EK suites, i was quite disappointed by the seat in the "bed" configuration, found it bumpy and with lots of
32 vio : Great report and photos Whenever I see such reports of First Class, etc, one thing comes to mind "Life is not fair"... and I'm not talking about mysel
33 Post contains images ronerone : Anything is easy to liberate Burj I have liberated the 1st level giveaways such as the slippers, eyeshades, vanity kit etc in addition to the menu (b
34 concordechild : was an A340 out of zurich a couple of years back. Distinctively remember bumpy around mid back section and where the arm rests lowered. Strangely i f
35 Post contains images airpearl : And from the sounds of your recent comments in Suryo's TR, could one be imminent with the Eid holidays coming up?
36 ryanair!!! : I REALLY had to make time during my lunch break to chime in. And by golly, what a trip! A lot of these "accusations" come from the "old schooled" gene
37 Post contains images The777Man : Another amazing trip report,Roni! The lounge in DXB looks fantastic! I'm a bit surprised that they gave you the menu after take off rather than on the
38 Post contains images akhmad : Hi again Roni, Agreed. Nothing beats posh airline branded amenity kit. My partner and I brought along 4 batteries. Two each for the compact and the DS
39 oa260 : Well Roni I finally got my internet back up after last nights storm as I told you. What can I say a truly fantastic report. You hold the place for TR
40 Post contains images readytotaxi : Damn, that was bloody good.
41 BA319-131 : Hi Roni, A superb review of EK F, looks nice, food presentation looks excellent, though as you describe, lacks the finishing touch, true warmth and ho
42 davescj : What an awesome TR! I loved reading it! Thanks also for the pics! Dave
43 Post contains images ronerone : It could have been the older seats on the A345. I think an improvement was incorporated into the ones installed on the 77W's. Now those are seats i w
44 concordechild : will try and dig for some photos which i am sure i took. P
45 Post contains images akhmad : We have got the Nikon D90. I believe you, Roni.
46 abrelosojos : Thanks for the report on FCL at EK. I think you have summarized the essense of both the EK service, as well as it's business game plan. It seems your
47 globalflyer : Hi Roni ... as always a fantastic TR. I am flying EK412 to AKL next week so I will be curious to see if it is late...surely hope not! Again a brillian
48 United_fan : Wow,quite an amazing TR. Very well done!
49 tk747 : You deserve every compliment that you get, amazing stuff once again! Dubai Airport has such an energy and your pictures capture it so well, I can't wa
50 globetraveller : Hi Roni. Another excellent TR with some amazing pictures. The first picture in particular is just stunning - probably my favourite TR picture of this
51 Post contains images ronerone : That would be great concordechild! Hey Alex, Welcome to my side of the forum You hate EK! Why are you flying them again? haha Hi globalflyer, Expect
52 United_fan : ronerone,I did not know that alcohol was allowed in the UAE,I do now.
53 Post contains images NZ107 : Hi Roni, About time I got around to commenting.. Tremendous report! I'm really out of superlatives too, similar to Airpearl but there sometimes isn't
54 Post contains images ronerone : It sure is United_fan. Thanks for stopping by Nicholas Now, speaking of down under, a trip to AUS/NZ is sounding so nice with the 'Etihad Partnership
55 United_fan : I wasn't sure. I know some countries it is not allowed,and some it is only allowed in hotels.
56 Post contains images NZ107 : Sounding good! Foregoing an EY A345/6 for a VA 77W? Haha, well you gave someone a job! I wonder if you could have asked for a mini tour such as a rid
57 b707forever : What a great report and now I'm looking forward to Abrelosojos counter!
58 N178UA : Hey Roni! I am in love with your opening pictures of your TR. I will forward this to the local Emirates PR agency see if they want to use it ! Cheers
59 Post contains images vivekman2006 : Another brilliant trip report, Roni! The pictures are simply fantastic! I was asked the exact same question on my EK flight from DXB to BOM. Good job
60 Post contains images ronerone : I really have been doing a lot of Boeing lately, and not enough Airbus! That is very unlike me! But a VA 77W has always sounded quite enticing. Now w
61 Post contains images NZ107 : Haha, I'm probably the other way around right now! All Boeing to Australia next year though. I heard you're soon on another EK A380 flight too! That
62 Post contains images ronerone : LOL my beans have been spilled!.. but i am afraid its turning into too much EK! If it is on the EY Partnership, it will have to be that, all the way
63 Post contains images NZ107 : Haha, destination's safe with me I wish I was going there too! They do but they're threatening to pull out of the Tasman entirely if the alliance wit
64 Post contains images RJAF : Not a bad report Roni I was really thrilled to go through the amazing details in your report. I'm truly amazed. If I was EK, I would give you free tic
65 Post contains images ronerone : Hi RJAF! Great to hear from you, and thank you for stopping by. Then i wish you were EK Cheers, Roni
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