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Trans Arabia A380 Shuttle | Emirates | JED-DXB-KUL  
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 29132 times:

Ho ho ho peeps! Some teaser of what's coming in this thread in this very snowy festive season...




My very first A380 flights


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The only airport in the entire world which handles the A380 'manually' on a daily basis


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Drooling over EK's new ICE




The DXB Transit & Stopover


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And what's inside the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk


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… amongst other things.

I will segregate the thread into the following postings based on the sequence of events:

1. JED Introduction
2. JED-DXB
3. DXB-KUL
4. KUL-DXB Part 1
5. The KLIA Jungle Boardwalk
6. KUL-DXB Part 2
7. The Dubai Stopover
8. DXB-JED
9. First A380 Flight Epilogue

I will use a Question and Answer format for this trip report based on what I think most people would ask about the journey. It's kinda a FAQ thingy, hence I am in the opinion that the presentation of the story of this trip report will be very organised.

Gimme up to 24 hours to complete each postings, so hopefully this series will be completed within 9 days. Keep coming back to check on new postings in this thread and along the way just shoot me with any questions or comments as any feedback is very much appreciated.

Let the journey begins and keep tight! *wink*

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 29106 times:

Most travelers would identify JED by being the gateway into the holy city of Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage of hajj and the more popular hub of flag carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines. For the purpose of this trip report, I will give a brief introduction of the terminals within JED's compound. Hopefully this will be an eye candy to some of us here who are curious about 'what it is like' in the very closed and conservative glorious Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


HAJJ TERMINAL



This is the terminal most associated with JED and where most hajj and umrah charter flights are handled. The terminal also handles some scheduled flights, although passengers' formalities of these flights are done at the North Terminal. Given the seasonal nature of hajj, this terminal is not being used all year long. Some of us argued that the terminal is actually a tent and that everything else underneath it is just makeshift. Well, I haven't been there personally but after passing though it many times, I can confirmed that there are walls and compartments separating the colossal building. This terminal is equipped with aerobridges too, something that is so alien at the other terminals. The roof is high and open air, thus its semi enclosed nature. In my opinion, the architectural aspect of the Hajj Terminal is very outstanding, it's white tent-like roof is so striking even from afar thus making the other terminals in JED (which are used on a daily basis by the way) look very much destitute in state.


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The Hajj Terminal has 2 wings, separated by the access road into this terminal, the North Terminal and the General Aviation Terminal. The access road is located behind the billboard.


NORTH TERMINAL



The North Terminal handles all foreign airlines in JED, including EK, MH, SQ, GA, CX and the likes. It is very small, only 1 storey, no aerobridge. Very spartan, which is quite surprising considering how rich a country Saudi Arabia is.


SOUTH TERMINAL



The South Terminal is the home of national carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines and 2 other Saudi LCCs, Nas Air and the bankrupted Sama Air. The terminal handles all these 3 airlines' domestic and international flights. Recent development with regards to Saudi Arabian Airlines' ambition to join SkyTeam alliance paved the way for Air France to be relocated to this terminal as well, thus becoming the only foreign airline operating from there. The size of the terminal is almost the same as per the North Terminal but there seems to be an addition being made to the building.



This new structure is not around when I last flew from this terminal in January 2009. Like the North Terminal, it is also has no aerobridge and passengers will be bussed from the terminal to the aircrafts.


GENERAL AVIATION TERMINAL



This is a newly constructed terminal at the same site where the old facility of the same function once stood. It is located between the Hajj Terminal and the North Terminal. There has been many buzz about the redevelopment of the entire JED airport, but as of today only this structure was constructed.


ROYAL TERMINAL


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And of course, the crown jewel of the airport, the private terminal of HRH the King of Saudi Arabia.



The day shot is the landside/entrance view of the terminal. Opps, I revealed too much!


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 28981 times:

PART 1 | JED-DXB

The 1st sector of the journey.

Flight Record No: 212
Date/Day: 23 February 2010/Tuesday
Flight Number: EK 804
Carrier: Emirates Airline
Aircraft: Airbus 380-800
Aircraft Registration No: A6-EDC (2 years old aircraft)
Route: Jeddah (JED) to Dubai (DXB)
Departure Time: 20:45 hour Saudi time (GMT +5)
Arrival Time: 00:15 hour + 1 day UAE time (GMT +4)
Journey: 2 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 1,057 miles
Class of Travel: Economy Class
Fare Category: Y (Discounted Economy)


What is trip for?

I have come to the point in my career where I need to attend the company's Board of Directors meeting for the first time ever (although only as an escort to my bosses). Hence, this trip to KUL.


Any drama prior to the commencement of the trip?

Of course there was LOL. Being Saudis, the company booked me a return ticket to KUL on SV (Saudi Arabian Airlines)! I was like OMG! Seriously, I am not prepared for something so shocking like that. So I asked the company to cancel the ticket and I got myself my own itinerary on a 'pay first, claim later' basis.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o10/9MMAR/Dubai%2023%20February%202010/EK1.jpg


Why are you reacted like that?

Because I don't want to fly SV on long haul flights. I have the mindset that they are still in the 'medieval' age, you know, like 20 years behind what one can expect onboard EK, EY or QR today, hardware and software wise. In addition, I am not a member of Al Fursan FFP and don't have any intention of becoming one, so I don't want to waste some 9,000 miles for nothing. Plus, by having my own itinerary, I got to fly on one of my preferred airline, I got to fly the A380 for the very first time in my life – twice, I got to fly without the accompaniment of my ever so demanding Saudi bosses and the new itinerary saved the company some SAR 400 too. So everyone's happy. I hope. I did.


A380? In JED? Is it a one-off thingy?

Yes, don't you hear anything about it? And no, it is not a one-off occasion. It is a scheduled 4 weekly flight from 1 February until 28 May 2010 and after that it is a daily affair. I know, when the news first broke out, aviation forums were being very critical about it. "How can EK sent the A380 to JED earlier than FRA?" said one, "EK must be having a low utilization of their A380 for sending it to such a short route as DXB-JED!" said another one. But among the responses that I read the most, there this one very bizarre response that read, "The Business Class cabin on this flight can only be booked by Saudis ." Weird as it is not the case at all. All travelers, regardless of their nationality can purchase a Business Class and First Class ticket on EK A380 flights between DXB and JED without any restriction.

Anyhow, for those who are in the know, the deployment of A380 aircrafts on the DXB-JED vv route is mainly to counter the strict bilateral agreement between the UAE and the KSA where EK is only granted 1 daily slot on this very high loading and high yielding route. Hence, the A380 is just a natural solution, akin to the deployment of EK A380 into YYZ in my opinion.


What happened on the day of departure?

Well, I came to work on that day with my luggage and left the office at around 18:00, less than 3 hours before departure. Brought along with me a lot of paperwork and props for the meeting too. I mean like really a lot, I couldn't carry them all in one go without the help of a trolley.



I knew that I will be flying the A380 on that day so I was very excited. Who wouldn't? This is my first A380 flight and it will be on a flight which was operated in (then) less than a month. The novelty factor is extremely high. Along the journey to the North Terminal of JED where EK is being assigned to, I kept on looking to the airport's open tarmac area wanting to catch a glimpse of the aircraft but to no avail. Maybe I overlooked the A380? Couldn't be! Last minute substitution with the normal B77W? No way!


Any drama during check-in?

Of course there was. Hello, this is Saudi Arabia! Life is full of drama over here (at least mine is). The check-in procedure for EK's A380 flights from JED is quite extraordinary I must say.



1. Upon passing by the EK check-in counters area which were manned by so many ground staff on and off the counters, I was greeted warmly by a gentleman of South Asian origin cladded in a rather nice uniform and I was escorted to queue in the shortest line available at EK's vast check-in area. At first, I though he was one of the queue minders. But he stood still beside me while taking over the control of my trolley, being friendly and breaks some ice, took care of my luggage during check-in and after that asked me for a payment! Shoot! Why is EK allowing this porter-for-pay service swarming around their check-in counters? With (a different) uniform (from your average light purple jumpsuit porters in JED) some more (whom I would dismiss in a heartbeat)! I hate giving away SAR 10 feeling cheated like that.

2. Once done, I was asked by the check-in agent to wait around the check-in counter for verification of my checked-in luggage. I saw a lot of other passengers were waiting around the other check-in counters too, so I guess this must be a standard procedure for the A380 flight. At every 5 minutes or so, some guys from the large group of staff will come and ask around the waiting passengers and cross checked with their luggage tag whether the passengers are allowed or not to proceed to the Immigration clearance area. This is the first time I am experiencing something like that. (Upon further travelling through JED on a later journey, I found out that this procedure is applicable if one's aircraft is being assigned at the Hajj Terminal, as in the case of all EK A380 flights into JED).



3. The flight also saw the distribution of a newly designed boarding pass for EK's Economy Class passengers. It's yellow now. The old one was green. As usual, I was issued out with 2 boarding passes, one for JED-DXB sector while the other for DXB-KUL. Noticed the 'Zone C' and 'Zone D' being printed on my boarding passes?


So what did you do after Immigration and security clearances?

After passing through the Immigration and security clearances without any problem (thank God for that), I just spent my time, sitting inside the departure hall, looking important and all. A side note, JED practices a single layer of security check. In my opinion, it is not as strict as most European airports, notebook computers don't have to be taken out from the bag but shoes and belts must be taken off and put on the scanner.



This is the departure for the night. Let's examine it. Among them all, what intrigued me the most is that flight LH 596 to Khartoum in Sudan. From my limited knowledge, Lufthansa and SWISS did a major consolidation of their routes in JED not too long ago. As a result, LX is no longer coming to JED but there seems to be so many LH tag-on flights out of JED. There was JED-Asmara flight in the past (Asmara is located in Eritrea by the way), then this JED-Khartoum flight, and on my very recent travel, there is JED-Sana'a (Yemen) flight too - all bearing LH codes. I don't think these are code share flights. And I am also not sure if all these flights, if it is true to be operated by LH, are granted 5th freedom rights to carry passengers between JED and these destinations.

Also, flight JT 111 to CGK, which proved that Indonesia (accident-prone) Lion Air's investment on 2 former Oasis Hong Kong's Boeing 747-400 aircrafts is a no joke. The flight is up and running and from the look of it, is always full to the brim.


How is the departure procedure of the A380 flight in JED?

Interesting to say the least. First and foremost, JED is a NO-AEROBRIDGE airport, which means all 489 passengers of a fully loaded EK A380 flight will be bussed from the Terminal to the aircraft. So who says an airport needs to have double storey aerobridges and such to operate the A380? BS! JED has proven that it is capable of handling the A380 'manually' on a daily basis since 29 May 2010.

But I do admit the process is a bit slow. Passengers are called by Zone and the ground agents really enforced this rule. One bus carried one Zone and it was repeated until all of us are being transported from the Terminal to the aircraft. I am not sure how many busses were used to ferry us all that night but I hopped on the 2nd bus for passengers sitting in Zone C.



During the bus ride, something unexpected happened. Instead of bringing us to the open tarmac area between the North and South Terminals of JED where all commercial aircrafts are usually being docked, the bus moved towards the colossal Hajj Terminal, which incurred a longer journey. Then, I saw the A380 aircraft, sitting lonely over there with so many (airport services') ground vehicles surrounding it. The bus move towards the wing of the A380 on the starboard side, then made a left turn circling the aircraft's entire rear fuselage before dropping us at door 1L (?) at the portside of the aircraft. It was truly a sigh to behold, being in a bus ride so close to the mighty A380. But unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the bus to photograph it all. Needless to say, everyone on the bus, enthusiasts or not, were very excited based on the buzz that was made upon seeing the very big aircraft.


How does it feels boarding an A380 aircraft 'manually'?



I just couldn't describe the feeling. The aircraft is so huge, like really humongous. I did delaying in stepping on the stairs just to get a snap or two, but the aircraft was being guarded like it was a celebrity or something. There were just so many ground staff and security personnel guarding it, which made photography very difficult. Getting my digicam confiscated is the last thing that I want to happen. Nevertheless, I managed these few shots…


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… which I hope could demonstrate on the sheer size of the aircraft and also how excited I was LOL.


What happened next when you entered the aircraft?

I was greeted very formally by a male Caucasian flight attendant at the aircraft's door. I specifically remembered how he directed me to my seat, "Walk straight to the next aisle, then turn left, you seat is at the very first row." Very specific I thought. I was assigned with seat 43K and apparently row 43 is the first row inside EK's A380 main deck.


So they gave you a bulkhead seat. How was it?


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To be honest, I am not a fan of bulkhead seat despite the extra legroom. I prefer to put my backpack under the seat in front of me for the ease of using my BOSE headset, referring to my travel documents etc. Nevertheless the seat was OK, I got 2 (telescopic) windows for myself…


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… but had to compensate on the PTV and the IFE controller. As bulkhead seats do not have any seats in front of it, my PTV is folded below the seat and can only be used after take-off thus I had to watch the screen at the aircraft's wall in front of me until then. The IFE controller is also installed at the left side of the seat which gives little inconvenience whereas at the other seats, this IFE controller is located below the PTV right in front of you. I like the design of the IFE controller, looks very sophisticated, I think it is identical to those installed aboard SQ's new aircrafts. There are also 2 extra buttons at the bulkhead seat, one for reclining and another one to pull up the PTV.


What's inside the seat pocket in front of you?

First of all, the seat pocket is attached to the wall in front of me.


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As usual, the content of the seat pocket is the safety card, an A380 one at it, Open Skies inflight magazine and the ICE guide. Interesting to note that the very thick Emirates Inflight Duty Free catalog is now gone and replaced with a card directing passengers to go to ICE channel 9200 to do inflight shopping, and the size of the ICE guide as well has been shrunk, in fact, it is completely deformed. Inside the seat pocket as well there are several health related brochures, the headset and the 3 colourful stickers (one for 'Do not disturb', one for 'Wake me up for meal' and another one for 'Wake me up for inflight shopping'). The publications and literature materials were keep neatly inside a plastic folder, inside the seat pocket.


Any service delivery before push back?


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Yes. Passengers were handed out with the hot towels and the bilingual menu cards (English and Arabic) while we were on the ground. EK's small and thin hot towels are definitely subpar when compared to SQ's, but I guess it is better than some other airlines which do not give this little frill anymore to their passengers in the Economy Class.



The (now old) safety demonstration was screened minutes before push back. As mentioned previously, I had to look up 45 degrees upwards to watch the safety demonstration through the screen on the wall in front of me. The safety demonstration was first presented in Arabic and then the whole video was repeated again in English. As you can see, mood lighting has set in throughout the entire cabin at that time.



Push back commenced shortly after, 20 minutes after scheduled departure time.


Any drama before take-off?

Big drama mama! The A380 was asked to wait on a number of occasions while taxiing. The cockpit crew did make a few announcements over the PA system and communicated this as 'waiting for clearance from the control tower' to us several times. The climax of the incident was when the A380 is at the junction to enter the runway.



From the photo above, the aircraft should turn left to get into the active runway but we turned right instead. Prior to this shocking detour, I saw a lot of security ground vehicles moving along the taxiway near the A380, all were driven rather fast.



The A380 was then stayed idle for 15 minutes on the parallel taxiway next to the one we were taxiing before, and facing the opposite direction, as if we are about to return back to the Hajj Terminal.


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Apparently, the drama was caused by these 2 aircrafts. Somehow the A380 needed to be shooed away so that these 2 aircrafts could use the runway first. My guess is that, some Saudi big shots are the culprit behind this incident, probably because they don't want to queue on the taxiway or maybe they wanted to show EK who is the boss at the airport (since EK is sending a very high profile aircraft on the route thus degrading all the other Saudis aircrafts). Yours truly pure speculation.

We were then re-entered the taxiway leading to the runway and I could see (through the forward camera at the landing gear) how difficult it is for the A380 to be maneuvered to perform a 180 degrees turn on a taxiway in JED.



Our A380 was finally cleared to enter the runway at 21:53, that's more than an hour after scheduled departure time (which means the entire drama consumed a good 43 minutes of our time). Needless to say, everyone onboard was very worried and many of whom were sighing so loud and so long, probably in reflection of how tired they are with the Saudi red tapes. My seatmate even left her seat and interrogated the cabin crews seated at the front of the cabin, who were then all strapped up on their jumpseats, about the whole incident. We were finally took-off, much to the relief of everyone. The cabin crews were seen calmed throughout the entire ordeal.


What did you do after take-off?



ICE, obviously! The enhanced ICE is incredible. There's our seat numbers on it, flight information, a camera window and the entire ICE program with its 10,000 channels just a touch screen away. It seems that EK is also promoting its destinations by featuring it as the backdrop of the IFE screen (in this flight's case it is Singapore).



Upon further exploration, I was then reaffirmed that ICE is definitely the best IFE program bar none. Take this instance, while listening to Jay Sean, the top left bar is showing me the time, and the progress of the flight, how much longer the flight is and when are we expected to arrive in DXB; whilst the bar next to it is showing the top headline news interchangeably. Even the enhanced KrisWorld is so far away from having all these features, let alone other airlines which are still using their old non enhanced IFEs paired with their very tiny non digital non widescreen non touch screen PTVs, which is so last century. Since this is a short flight, I just spent my time browsing through the music section of ICE.


How was the meal?



Well, EK is an airline which is known in the industry for the big portion of Economy Class meals. On this flight, we were offered with 2 choices of main course:

i. Arabic lamb meatballs stew – which is lamb and potato cubes cooked in Arabic spices, accompanied with mint rice.
ii. Parsley and mustard chicken – which is marinated grilled parsley and mustard chicken breast served with red pepper sauce, German potatoes and medley of vegetables.

I chose the latter.



The meal also comes with an Arabic mezze as an appetizer, shaibiyat kashta as a desert, cheese and crackers, a bar of Emirates chocolate, 2 pieces of mini pita bread, a cup of mineral water and a cup of orange juice. Tea and coffee were also offered but I declined all these caffeine.

My verdict: It was an OK dinner. After the drama at JED, I am sure most of the passengers onboard are quite hungry.

But I need to highlight on something.



Since the tray-table of the bulkhead seats is folded from the left side compartment of the seat and the IFE controller is also installed at the left side of the seat, it is advisable for one to pull out the IFE controller if one plans to switch channels while eating. This is because once the meal is served in front of you, it is impossible for you to reach for the IFE controller.


Any interesting social aspect of the flight to share?

Nothing much, it is just that my seatmate, Miss 43J, is a very beautiful blonde French demoiselle who just spent a holiday in Kota Kinabalu a few weeks before the flight. This is of course, was revealed by her upon knowing that yours truly is Malaysian. Like most other women passengers onboard, she transformed from an all black abaya cladded lady into a breathtaking figure in fashionable designer dress after paying a quick visit into the lavatory inside the aircraft during the flight LOL. She was on her way to Paris.


How was the landing in DXB?



The aircraft started its descend at 23:40 Saudi time, about 90 minutes after take-off. IFE was then shut off and we were shown with some promotional videos of Dubai. Since my PTV had to be folded away, I had to use the screen on the wall in front of me once again.


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Despite the 20 minutes delay and another 40 minutes drama in JED, the aircraft landed at 00:11, 4 minutes ahead of schedule and after a short taxi, we were docked at the gate precisely at 00:15, bang on time. Incredible!



My last arrival into DXB was not quite overwhelming as the B77W from KUL was docked at a remote stand and we had to be bussed from the aircraft to DXB Terminal 3. Since I was flying the A380 this time around, I was pretty confident that the same incident won't be occurring again. Hey, this is the flagship aircraft at the home airport we are talking about.



My arrival into DXB Terminal 3 was greeted by a blue signboard singing "Marhaban bi kum fi Dubai".


To be continued


User currently offlinechepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6176 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 28889 times:

Can't wait to read more on your trip report! Just read the first installment of your trip report- great job! Hey at least it's a real hot towel, the best we get on this side of the world is Delta's pre packaged cold towels (which is better than nothing- nothing being is the norm). How was the crew on your flight? On my EK experience most crew was very nice and helpful, exept one or two uninterested f/a's - I have heard these uninterested crews are mostly seen on flights around the gulf and to the Indian subcontinent/Pakistan. I have heard many accounts of the abaya removal on flights departing KSA, especially on flights to Europe in the summer. Once the seatbelt sign comes off so does the abaya. Look forward to reading more of your journey.

Regards,

Chepos

[Edited 2010-12-19 08:12:13]


Fly the Flag!!!!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 28463 times:

Hi Azizul,

great report with many nice pictures, reading was a pleasure. Good to see you enjoyed your first A380 flight.

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
How does it feels boarding an A380 aircraft 'manually'?

Fantastic experience, enjoyed that a lot back in July:

Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380 (by PlaneHunter Aug 5 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
The aircraft is so huge, like really humongous. I did delaying in stepping on the stairs just to get a snap or two, but the aircraft was being guarded like it was a celebrity or something. There were just so many ground staff and security personnel guarding it, which made photography very difficult. Getting my digicam confiscated is the last thing that I want to happen. Nevertheless, I managed these few shots…

Well done!

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):

So they gave you a bulkhead seat. How was it?

Wow, that looks much better than on LH:




PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 27131 times:

Thanks guys for dropping by.

Quoting chepos (Reply 3):
How was the crew on your flight?

I had a good set of crew throughout all 4 sectors of the journey although I think the most polished set was on the DXB-KUL leg on the B77W, which will be posted next.

I can understand the cabin crews' general sentiment towards intra Gulf and Indian subcontinent flights. Intra Gulf flights are mostly a multiple turnaround service which might not appeal to most cabin crews whom I think prefer a night stop (hence more allowance) and the Indian subcontinent flights are very well known for the notoriousness of the passengers, you know, those labour traffic et. al.

As for the abaya, in the context of my seatmate Miss 43J, I am completely fine with her transformation because she is French LOL.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Fantastic experience, enjoyed that a lot back in July

Thanks U for linking this wonderful trip report of yours with mine. I find it very fascinating that both you and I had the same exact feeling prior to boarding the A380 'manually'. You are very lucky as despite both our flights were 90+ minutes in duration, your first A380 experience was on a specially organised flight on the aircraft's very first revenue flight, while mine was just an ordinary scheduled flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Wow, that looks much better than on LH

Ouch, that's quite tight!


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 27072 times:

PART 2 | DXB-KUL

The 2nd sector of the journey.

Flight Record No: 213
Date/Day: 24 February 2010/Wednesday
Flight Number: EK 346
Carrier: Emirates Airline
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300 ER
Aircraft Registration No: A6-EBV (4 years old aircraft)
Route: Dubai (DXB) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Departure Time: 03:10 hour UAE time (GMT +4)
Arrival Time: 14:05 hour Malaysian time (GMT +8 ) [Early by 20 minutes]
Journey: 6 hours 55 minutes
Distance: 3,448 miles
Class of Travel: Economy Class
Fare Category: Y (Discounted Economy)
Seat: 17K


But before that, I forgot to mention that EK sent me 2 text messages, which says 'EMIRATES FLIGHT REMINDER: Your flight EK 804 departs Jeddah (JED) at 20:45 on 23 February 2010. Booking reference I6XHUS. Check-in online at www.emirates.com.' This text message was sent on 22 February 2010 at 21:11 (about 24 hours before the scheduled departure time) and again at 01:07 on 23 February 2010, some 2 hours later. Regardless, I think it is a nice touch by the airline.


Continuing on…


What happened next upon arrival in DXB?



DXB is a massive transit hub. The entire Terminal 3 where I was assigned to is dedicated to EK. Since I was one of the thousand of transit passengers on that night, I just follow the 'All Departure Gates' signages which lead all the transit passengers to the departure gates, which are located one floor above the airside arrival hall.



Even if one's navigational system is not so good, it is impossible to miss the escalators leading to the upper (departure) floor. Passengers are flowing like a river here 24/7. It's very simple, half way through the arrival hall, just turn right. Go straight if you wish to clear the UAE immigration.


What happened after one takes the elevator to the upper floor?



Travelers will be greeted by a very massive security check area. There are more than 10 lines being operated here at one time, so despite the long queues, it moves pretty fast. Notebook computer has to be taken out, belt has to be removed but I was not asked to take off my shoes. So far from my experience after having travelling through DXB on 6 occasions now, the security check is swift and handled very well. Each line is assigned with a minder who is pleasant and well mannered. They don’t yell or being rude to travelers and their belongings unlike in almost all other airports in the Middle East region. I cleared the security check within 5 minutes.


What's next after the security check?



One is now inside DXB's massive airside departure area. One can choose to go directly to the gate for the next flight or do some duty free shopping.



DXB's phenomenal passengers' growth has been the talk of the town. Remarks such as 'the terminal is awfully overcrowded' or 'travelers are sleeping on the floor everywhere' are synonymous with the airport. Well, it is true (except for the fact that I don't see anyone sleeping on the floor as the airport authority has provided a lot of seats for travelers to sleep on everywhere inside the terminal).



Can you believe that this is a scene inside an airside area of an airport at 01:30 in the morning? Something that a Malaysian like me could only dream to happen at KUL.


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My flight to KUL was assigned at Gate 217, which is just near the entrance after the security check. Because I thought it is still too early to enter the holding area, I spent about 20 minutes charging my phone at one of the many 'Battery Charging Station' while checking on some emails, taking advantage of the free WiFi offered throughout the entire terminal. Since all seats there were occupied, I just sat on the floor, joining some 10 other travelers who were doing so.


What time did you enter the holding area?



I entered the holding area of Gate 217 at 02:00, 70 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. From my observation, most gates at DXB were opened very early so no rushing here. The holding area is located one floor down the Gate's entrance. I spent another 30 minutes there surfing the internet. Each holding area in ALL gates in Terminal 3 is equipped with washrooms, so there is no need to go out of the Gate should nature calls.


How was the boarding procedure?


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Boarding was called at 02:30, 40 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. Since most passengers have been anxious to get onboard, the whole boarding process went on very quickly. Some 10 minutes later, we were ready to go. I was assigned with seat 17K in the front part of the Economy Class cabin and EK's mission to Kuala Lumpur that night was carried by A6-EBV, a 4 years old B77W.


How was EK's B77Ws in general?



Well, EK has been criticized a lot for their 'revolutionary' 3-4-3 seating arrangement for the Economy Class cabin aboard their B77W fleet.



Personally, having just arrived on the A380, the airline's hardware on the B77Ws seemed rather uninspiring – the seat's pitch and width are tighter at 31 inches (pitch) and 17 inches (width) on the B77W versus 32 inches (pitch) and 18 inches (width) on the A380…



… and the 'old' ICE on the B77Ws versus the new ICE on the A380. How I wish this longer sector to KUL is operated by the A380 as well. However, looking at things objectively, the seat and the IFE are not that bad at all. The old ICE is still 'touchscreen-able' and the content is similar to the new ICE. Trust, EK's older hardwares on the B77Ws (mind you, the aircraft is only 4 years old) are still better than many other carriers out there.


Any pre take-off service delivery?

Yes there was.


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Hot towels (the thin version as distributed throughout the entire EK's network including on the A380 as well) are being distributed while we were still on the ground. This was followed with the distribution of the menu card.



5 minutes later, the bilingual safety demonstration (in Arabic and English) was screened via the PTVs, as we taxied to the active runway.


What did you do on the flight?

Well, apart from savoring the meals, I slept on most part of the journey. I didn't even watch or listen to anything offered on the IFE. Probably I was too tired. The load on this flight was quite healthy too. EK's 2 class configured B77Ws can carry up to 440 passengers.


Speaking of the meals, how was it?



2 meals were offered on this flight – a midnight snack and a breakfast.

While the menu stated 4 options for the midnight snack 'As You Like It', which are:

i. Vegetable jaffrezi (sautéed vegetables with a medley of mild spices)
ii. Chicken and sweet union (roasted chicken filling with a sweet union marmalade)
iii. Fresh seasonal fruits
iv. Assorted chocolate bar

… only option 4 was offered to the passengers by the cabin crew who roamed around the cabin with a basket full of such chocolate bars. I am not sure if the other 3 options were available upon request, but I didn't see any other passengers receiving other type of snacks. The midnight snack run was conducted some 72 minutes post take-off.



My verdict: I was actually very shocked! Never thought that the cost cutting element would hit EK this bad. But the chocolate bar (more of a muesli bar actually) tasted ok although the cup of water was way inadequate. To sum it all, I am disappointed with the midnight snack service.
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The breakfast was served some 2 hours and 15 minutes prior to landing. For breakfast, EK offered 2 choices for this flight:

i. Chicken congee (flavoured with chicken stock and garnished with poached chicken julienne and spring onions)
ii. Omelette roulade (with a creamy herb filling, hash brown sticks, seasoned sweet corn and sautéed spinach)

… to which I chose the latter. The meal also came with some fresh seasonal fruits, a croissant and a bun served with butter and preserve, cheese and crackers and a cup of orange juice. Tea and coffee were offered too, to which I declined.



My verdict: After a disappointing midnight snack, the breakfast slightly made up for the meal service.


Any other interesting bits from the flight?



Aviation enthusiasts are raving over the loud sound made by the General Electric engines which power EK's B77Ws. Having seated next to it for 7 hours, I don't think there's anything outstanding with the sound of the engine.


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Remember the seat pocket's content of my earlier flight on the A380? Now on this flight, the seat pocket in front of me is still having the usual hard literature (which are 'e'-ised on the A380) – the very thick Emirates Inflight Duty Free Catalog, The Emirates High Street Catalog and the ICE IFE Guide in its original long 'Pizza Hut menu' shape. The rests of it are the usual suspects (safety card, air sickness bag, the 3 colourful stickers and the headphone).


How was the cabin crew on the flight?

I found the multi ethnicity crew on this flight to be pleasant. There was a female cabin crew (probably from Africa or South America as her built is quite high, dark complexion with curly hair) whom I found her service delivery to be excellent and very polished.


How was the landing in KUL?


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A6-EBV ended her 7 hours voyage in the air at 13:44, 21 minutes ahead of the scheduled arrival time. We were docked at Gate C25. Just to share something unfamiliar, upon disembarking we were greeted by a team of marshals/airport security personnel who seemed eager to catch someone. Everyone was stopped by and our passports were checked by them. Clearly they were not after all Malaysian passport holders as we were waived through upon seeing our red passports.


How was the check-out experience in KUL?

Upon clearing the marshals/security check right at the entrance of Gate C25, I walked right away heading to the aerotrain station. On my way, I saw another EK aircraft already being docked at a nearby gate.



This A345 departed DXB an hour ahead of my flight and it was seen here being prepared for her next journey to Tullamarine International. Beginning 1 February 2010, EK operated 3 daily flights into KUL, one of which continues on to MEL. Considering this flight's 60 minutes time different ahead of mine, its DXB-KUL loads must be better than the loads on my flight. Apparently a lot of passengers flew to KUL with EK that they can sent 2 big jets in just between an hour!

I also saw a Saudi jumbo already being docked at the Satellite Terminal too. My Saudi bosses would probably have arrived. I was hoping that I wouldn't bump into them LOL.


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Upon reaching the center part of the Satellite Terminal, I was actually quite enticed to check on the Jungle Boardwalk, but alas, since I had to rush for work right away, I decided to just take a glimpse of it from the outside.



Then followed by the usual formalities – aerotrain journey, health screening, immigration clearance (which was done manually because the autogates were being upgraded) and baggage collection.

The whole process from the moment I disembarked the aircraft until the time I cleared immigration took only 7 minutes. It was the same old baggage collection that added another meaningless 24 minutes to my journey. After all these years, baggage collection is still a curse to KUL's operation.
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My arrival to the landside arrival hall was greeted by a tudung wearing cardboard placard named 'Puteri' who was holding the name of my Saudi bosses. What an appropriate ending to the journey I thought LOL!


To be continued


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2354 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 26920 times:

Well, great TR- outstanding to read!

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
Well, EK is an airline which is known in the industry for the big portion of Economy Class meals.
Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 6):
My verdict: I was actually very shocked! Never thought that the cost cutting element would hit EK this bad.



Well, I think this is just GREAT, so much better than the old service!

I was skipping EK many, many years back- ONLY to the fact of to the very poor meal standard offered.
For e.g.: on a red-eye flight from FRA to DXB I was offered after take off a full hot meal- and prior to landing ONLY water or oj. No coffee, no biscuits and definitely no chocolate bar!


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2919 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 26099 times:

Brilliant TR! ... you sure now have created your own brand of TR writing.   

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
For the purpose of this trip report, I will give a brief introduction of the terminals within JED's compound. Hopefully this will be an eye candy to some of us here who are curious about 'what it is like' in the very closed and conservative glorious Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Indeed, we rarely get to see Saudi airports on A.net.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
Very spartan, which is quite surprising considering how rich a country Saudi Arabia is.

Agreed, the least they can do is replicate HKG or SIN airports with all the money they have.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
Yes, don't you hear anything about it? And no, it is not a one-off occasion. It is a scheduled 4 weekly flight from 1 February until 28 May 2010 and after that it is a daily affair. I know, when the news first broke out, aviation forums were being very critical about it

And soon it will be almost double daily A380s!

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
With (a different) uniform (from your average light purple jumpsuit porters in JED) some more (whom I would dismiss in a heartbeat)! I hate giving away SAR 10 feeling cheated like that.

LOL

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
which means all 489 passengers

Did your aircraft have 489 or 517 seats?

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
How does it feels boarding an A380 aircraft 'manually'?

Is JED the only airport in the world doing it manually?

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
Despite the 20 minutes delay and another 40 minutes drama in JED, the aircraft landed at 00:11,

Maybe EK anticipates all this drama and has a longer block time.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 6):
Having seated next to it for 7 hours, I don't think there's anything outstanding with the sound of the engine.

Try 15 hours and you might change your opinion.

Thanks for sharing.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 25639 times:

Many thanks guys for the replies!

Quoting debonair (Reply 7):
Well, I think this is just GREAT, so much better than the old service!

It seems that you are quite pissed off with EK's catering. As for me, throughout the 4 sectors in this journey, I was only dissatisfied with the midnight snack on the DXB-KUL sector, as mentioned in the last installment. The rest were quite OK.


Hi Ojas, thank you for your comprehensive replies.

Quoting ojas (Reply 8):
you sure now have created your own brand of TR writing.

Well, it is always nice to get noticed in a sea of great talents and interesting materials.

Quoting ojas (Reply 8):
Agreed, the least they can do is replicate AND OLD: Hong Kong - Kai Tak International (HKG / VHHH) (closed), China - Hong Kong">HKG or SIN airports with all the money they have.

If I am not mistaken, the redevelopment plan of JED has been mulled for almost a decade now. Having a first account experience working with the Saudis for almost 3 years now, I can relate on why the plan takes so long (and not even yet) to take off.

Quoting ojas (Reply 8):
And soon it will be almost double daily A380s!

The revised 24 weekly slots were such a nice surprised. Who would have thought JED would be the airport that will be receiving an almost double daily EK A380 service?

Quoting ojas (Reply 8):
Did your aircraft have 489 or 517 seats?

My flights were operated by A6-EDC on the outbound and A6-EDB on the inbound, the second and third A380 in EK's growing fleet. I believe both are the 489 seats version. But I am aware of the fact that on paper, JED is planned for the higher density 517 seats A380s.

Quoting ojas (Reply 8):
Is JED the only airport in the world doing it manually?

I think so. Is there any other airport in the world which currently handles the A380, that does not have aerobridges AND use the buses to transport passengers from the terminal to the aircraft? None that I can think of.

Quoting ojas (Reply 8):
Maybe EK anticipates all this drama and has a longer block time.

I think so too. 'Dramas' at JED must be common for EK to build in so much slack time (of 60 minutes) to a 90 minutes sector.


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 25657 times:

PART 3 | KUL-DXB (1/2)

The 3rd sector of the journey.

Flight Record No: 214
Date/Day: 27 February 2010/Saturday
Flight Number: EK 347
Carrier: Emirates Airline
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300 ER
Aircraft Registration No: A6-EBB (5 years old aircraft)
Route: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Dubai (DXB)
Departure Time: 19:30 hour Malaysian time (GMT +8 )
Arrival Time: 22:30 hour UAE time (GMT +4)
Journey: 7 hours
Distance: 3,448 miles
Class of Travel: Economy Class
Fare Category: Y (Discounted Economy)
Seat: 18K


So how's the BOD meeting went?

It turned out favorably, my Budget was approved. Other than that, there were so many other meetings that I only managed to see my father for an hour during this entire trip.


How's the inbound journey started?

The inbound journey kicked off with 2 text messages sent by Emirates to me. It was the same reminder as the one I received for my outbound flights earlier - 'EMIRATES FLIGHT REMINDER: Your flight EK 347 departs Kuala Lumpur (KUL) at 19:30 on 27 February 2010. Booking reference I6XHUS. Check-in online at www.emirates.com.' This text message was first sent on 26 February 2010 at 15:22 (about 28 hours prior to the scheduled departure time) and again 2 minutes later, which seemed like some sort of a system error. But anyway, I still think it is a nice touch by the airline.


What happened on the day of the departure?



I arrived at KL Sentral at 17:00 (2 1/2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time) and decided to do the check-in there. Checking-in at KL Sentral is always a pleasure as there was no queue whatsoever. EK is one of the 4 airlines currently offering check-in facility at XKL (KL Sentral's IATA code). I was attended by a friendly agent and my luggage was tagged all the way to JED. Check-in counter 11 and 12 at KL Sentral seem to be the default counters for EK. City check-in facilities are currently only available at Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and only recently, Bangkok.


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10 minutes later, my journey continued onboard the KLIA Express train to KLIA and by 17:46, I was already inside the departure hall at KUL. All went on very smoothly.


Anything interesting at the landside departure area?

Yes there is. At that time, MH was busy promoting a new service for their Silver Enrich members (which I was one of them) where new dedicated check-in counters are being set up exclusively for them at counter C2, C3 and C4. So I decided to check it out.



It looks good with check-in agents looking eager to serve but the barricaded area was deserted when I was there.



However, this development also means that Silver Enrich members can no longer check-in at the premium counters in Island D, where First and Business class passengers and Platinum and Gold tiered Enrich members can check-in. There is a big banner at the entrance of Island D shooing away all Silver Enrich members to counter C2, C3 and C4.


Any problem encountered at the immigration clearance and security check?



I went airside at 18:00 (90 minutes prior to scheduled departure time)…


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… and cleared immigration and security check by 18:03. 3 minutes, not bad hey?



However, it is worth mentioning that the immigration clearance was still cannot be done via the autogates. I asked the Immigration officer on the reason; she mentioned that it was due to some upgrade and that the autogates have not been in service for more than a month. I found out later on that the upgrade was to enable the autogates to read the new ICAO-compliant-chip-based Malaysian passports.



My journey then continued with the aerotrain ride to the Satellite Terminal. My flight was assigned at Gate C27 (one of the 3 A380 designated gates in KUL) on that day.


To be continued


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 24909 times:

PART 4 | KLIA JUNGLE BOARDWALK


I have been noticing the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk since my last 2 trips travelling through KUL (as early as in November 2009). And on this trip, I finally got the chance to spend sometime in it.


What is KLIA Jungle Boardwalk?



KLIA Jungle Boardwalk is the latest amusement facility provided by MAHB for travelers in KUL. It is basically an outdoor mini forest located at the center of the Satellite Terminal. The forest has been there inside the Satellite Terminal for years but it was until this idea came out, the airport management finally decided to do something with it.


Where is the entrance?



The entrance to the Jungle Boardwalk is located behind the Information Counter near the aerotrain station at the Satellite Terminal.



Remember the movie The Chronicles of Narnia, the scene where the 4 Pevensie siblings first entered the magic closet that brought them to Narnia? Well, entering the Jungle Boardwalk for the first time gives one the same feeling too. Once entered the automatic door, one will be greeted by this huge yellow curtain made of iron (which I believe is to prevent real birds from getting inside the Satellite Terminal).



And viola! From an airport, you are now inside a jungle.


What is inside the Jungle Boardwalk?



As its name suggested, there is a jungle with a wooden platform built around it for travelers to navigate around.



Since the Jungle Boardwalk is open at night too, this platform is well lit.
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The centerpiece of the Jungle Boardwalk is a 4 meter high cascading waterfall built at the center of the mini forest.


Is there an animal in it?

To be honest, I am not sure about it.



The yellow iron curtain at the entrance (and at the exit too) seem to suggest that there might be a possibility of some birds living in there.



Inside the forest too, there are a lot of weaver's nests like this, but they seem unoccupied and look more of an ornament rather than housing some families of weaver bird.



I checked inside the pool at the bottom of the waterfall just in case there are some fishes in it, but there is none.



I also scrutinized the forest floor just to check whether there are some insects or crawling little creatures on it too, but there seems none. By the way, I am quite impressed with the forest floor as it is very thick and looks almost exactly like the real one in the wild.


Is there any educational element inside the Jungle Boardwalk?

Yes there is.



All prominent trees inside the forest are alphabetically tagged like this…



… and there is a plaque like this which explains some details about the trees. In our exhibit's case, tree 'P' is known as Kelat in the local language or sygnium filforme ist filforme in the scientific language and it comes from the Myrtaceae family.


What is your favourite part inside the Jungle Boardwalk?

The canopy! This mini forest has a very nice canopy.


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Looking up and staring at it, for seconds, I was actually forgotten that I was inside an airport. The trees are so high and there is no safety net of sort up there, unlike some other facilities of this nature at other airports.


Where is the exit?



The exit is located at the left side of the waterfall. Just look for the same door with the yellow iron curtain as the entrance, only smaller.



Well that's it about my adventure inside the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk. It's quite pleasant actually, during my visit I saw a lot of travelers especially families with kids hanging out in there taking pictures near the waterfall. I also think the forest would appeal to those who are into nature or wanting to experience a sample of tropical rainforest that Malaysia prides, while waiting for their flights. At least now KUL can give SIN's sunflower garden, cactus garden, orchid garden, koi pond and butterfly garden a little run for their money (hopefully LOL).

Just a reminder, although it is open air, the Jungle Boardwalk is a non smoking area. We definitely do not want to hear a forest burning case in KUL.
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After spending 7 minutes exploring the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk, I finally made my way to Gate C27, where my flight was assigned.


To be continued


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 24301 times:

PART 5 | KUL-DXB (2/2)

Continuation of the 3rd sector of the journey.

Flight Record No: 214
Date/Day: 27 February 2010/Saturday
Flight Number: EK 347
Carrier: Emirates Airline
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300 ER
Aircraft Registration No: A6-EBB (5 years old aircraft)
Route: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Dubai (DXB)
Departure Time: 19:30 hour Malaysian time (GMT +8 )
Arrival Time: 22:30 hour UAE time (GMT +4)
Journey: 7 hours
Distance: 3,448 miles
Class of Travel: Economy Class
Fare Category: Y (Discounted Economy)
Seat: 18K


How was the boarding procedure?


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I went straight away to Gate C27 after leaving the Jungle Boardwalk. There was a little queue to enter the Gate, since it was still 67 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. Gate C27 is one of the gates located at the furthest tip of the cross shaped Satellite Terminal. It is also one of the 3 double-storey gates in KUL, which can handle the A380s.

The nearby FIDS caught my attention.



Apart from the usual 'New Gate' syndrome which has been plaguing KUL for years now for an unknown reason, there were also 5 flights (!!!) with Etihad Airways' logo on it – to Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Penang, Langkawi and Abu Dhabi. These are of course, EY's code share flights with MH on MH metals with the exception of the last one. And don't be fooled by that KLM flight to Langkawi as well. However, it is interesting to note that all these flights can be booked through those respective airlines' websites, something that MH is still lacking in significant distance.



I was already inside the holding lounge by 18:26. From the glass window, I could see the star of the day, A6-EBB, a 5 years old Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. Boarding was called 7 minutes later, about an hour before the scheduled departure time.


How was the seat?


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I was assigned with seat 18K, a window seat at the front part (of the starboard side) of the cabin, which also means next to the engine. Somehow, EK always assigned me with seats around the engine. No complaint whatsoever, as sitting at the front cabin will ensure me a fast disembarkation in DXB (who knows it could be at a remote stand).

There was an interesting account about my seat mates. The original assignment to seat 18 I, J and K was an overweight Arab lady, an off duty EK cabin crew (a Malaysian lady of Chinese descent) and myself. The Arab lady seemed extremely uncomfortable with her seat and she also seemed to be separated from her husband. The off duty cabin crew next to me seemed a little uncomfortable because the Arab lady intruded her seat's space due to her body size. After much pleading with the cabin crews on duty on the flight, the Arab lady was finally sent to the back to be relocated with her husband, much to the enjoyment of my lovely seat mate in 18J. As she started to celebrate her victory by poaching seat 18I with her Gucci handbag, a cabin crew suddenly appeared with a Malay gentleman and asked him to sit at 18I. Well, well, apparently it was a seat swap favouring the Arab lady. Miss 18J just made a   face to me as the new Mr. 18I landed his butt on the seat. I just LOL at her LOL! A cute scene really.



At 19:19, the aircraft was finally being pushed back, 11 minutes ahead of schedule.


Was there any service delivery prior to take off?



In usual EK's fashion, the hot towels were distributed while we were on the ground for passengers to freshen up.



The bilingual safety demonstration was then screened via ICE as the aircraft being pushed back and made its way to the active runway.


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I had my ICE switched on to the forward camera channel to witness the powerful take-off in its full glory. This feature is something very synonymously dearly with EK, which I think pioneered it as an inflight entertainment program. Take off was exactly at 19:28, 2 minutes ahead of scheduled departure time.


How was the meals?



The dining experience on that flight began with small snack, a savoury biscuit and a selection of drinks, which was served 36 minutes after take off.


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This was followed by the distribution of the bilingual menu card some 36 minutes later. 2 meals were being offered on the flight, a dinner and another snack prior to landing.

For the dinner, 2 selections were offered:

i. Fillet of red snapper – pan fried of red snapper placed on white bean puree, served with green beans, yellow squash and parsley potatoes
ii. Lamb Moghul style – spicy lamb stew served with steamed rice and vegetable jalfrezi.

To which I chose the latter.



The meal was also accompanied by Pesto marinated chicken breast (lightly smoked and served with spicy vegetable salad) as the appetizer, coconut mousse with mango (light coconut mousse with mango topping, served with raspberry coulis) as the dessert, bread and butter, a bar of Emirates chocolate and a selection of drinks and juices. Tea and coffee were offered too. The dinner was served to me exactly 1 hour and 19 minutes after take off.

My verdict: It was an OK meal. The main course's portion was huge.
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Then there was the snack, which was served 5 hours into the flight, about 2 hours prior to landing in DXB.

A selection of 2 sandwiches was offered:

i. Cheddar cheese sandwich – sliced cheddar cheese on brown bread
ii. Roast beef with horseradish cream – slices of roast beef with horseradish cream on French bread

I chose sandwich no. 2.



The sandwich was also accompanied by a freshly baked peach flan and a selection of drinks.

My verdict: It was an OK sandwich too, although too cold to my liking. The peach flan was nice.

The gap between the dinner and the snack's services was only 4 hours so I think passengers were quite well fed in this 7 hours flight.


Did you watch anything on the IFE?



Hell yeah! ICE is an amazing IFE. Somehow in this flight I was stuck with Mamma Mia!'s soundtrack and (don’t laugh at me)…



… the High School Musical 3 LOL!


Any other interesting tidbits? How was the cabin crews?



Nothing outstanding really. It was the usual perfectly smooth flight without any drama with nice set of cabin crews under the starry starry night twinkle twinkle little stars LED-ed ceiling flying tube (we were approaching India then).


How was the landing in DXB? Was the aircraft assigned to remote stand?



The aircraft landed at 23:01 local time, 31 minutes later than the scheduled landing time (not sure what caused the delay in arrival then but I suspect it was the headwind) in a very wet DXB, which was a rare occasion. Rain is sparse in this part of the world.



And thankfully, we were docked at the terminal and not at a remote stand.


How was the check-out procedure in DXB?


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This flight marked the 5th occasion I travelled through DXB but not once I stepped my foot outside the airport. So thanks to the 18 hours of layover between this flight and my last sector into JED, I finally got an excuse to spend sometimes in downtown Dubai.



The queue at immigration clearance was long but it was very organized unlike the same in Saudi Arabia, which I have accustomed to. The immigration officer who handled me was also fast and no-nonsense unlike their counterpart in the neighboring big Kingdom. I like their traditional white thobe uniform too. Malaysian passport holders are granted visa on arrival into the UAE for a maximum of 30 days.

I will spend my time in Dubai without the accompaniment of my checked-in luggage, which apparently had to sleep at the baggage storage/transit area somewhere in DXB Terminal 3. Don't worry, I had everything that I need in my backpack.



My journey on the travellator to the landside area was greeted with the glittering, shimmering, bling bling and flashy terminal atmosphere with its gigantic Roman columns against a very Los Angeles styled palm trees. The mismatch is very oh-so-Dubai!

The whole check-out experience from the moment I disembarked the aircraft until the moment I arrived at the landside arrival hall (without having any checked-in luggage to collect) took an overwhelming 18 minutes. Definitely not good by industry standard but hey, DXB Terminal 3 is a monstrous terminal.


To be continued


User currently offlinecabso1 From Canada, joined May 2005, 502 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 23797 times:

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 12):
The whole check-out experience from the moment I disembarked the aircraft until the moment I arrived at the landside arrival hall (without having any checked-in luggage to collect) took an overwhelming 18 minutes.

Selamat Pagi! I don't really comment on TRs even though I read them with gusto while yearning for my next flight.

Nonetheless, thank you for this brilliant TR.

18 minutes from disembarkation to landside is not a lot. At all. I've flown into KUL, with a residence visa no less, and it's taken me nearly an hour and my luggage didn't even reach by the time I left immigration. SIN on the other hand, it can take less than 10 minutes to be landside, with luggage sometimes. However, 18 minutes, after factoring in that you received a visa on arrival and were not a resident, is relatively short.


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 23735 times:

Selamat pagi to you too Cabso1! Thank you for dropping by.

Quoting cabso1 (Reply 13):
18 minutes from disembarkation to landside is not a lot. At all. However, 18 minutes, after factoring in that you received a visa on arrival and were not a resident, is relatively short.

I compared the experience with my last big journey, which was documented in this thread. When The Vacation Is The Journey | SQ, MH, KL (by 9MMAR Dec 5 2009 in Trip Reports)

In that trip, I undergone the same check-out procedure - no luggage to collect, visas on arrival, normal immigration clearance and the results from the moment I disembark the aircraft until the moment I arrived at the airport's landside area are as follows:

1. AMS took 5 minutes
2. A joint KUL and LHR Terminal 4 (for my second arrival) took 7 minutes
3. LHR Terminal 4 (for my first arrival) took 10 minutes

So when DXB took 18 minutes for the same exact procedure, it is definitely lagging quite far behind those previous experiences at the other 3 airports.


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 23252 times:

PART 6 | Dubai Stopover

Date/Day: 27 – 28 February 2010/Saturday – Sunday
Place: Dubai, UAE


What is this Dubai Stopover?

As part of my travel itinerary (on the rather cheap ticket), I had to endure an 18 hours of layover in between my arrival into DXB until my departure into JED, the last sector of the entire journey. Since I never been to Dubai proper, I took this opportunity to get acquainted with the fast emerging desert city without having to purposely go there.

I had 3 options on how to spend my time during this layover. It was either spending the entire 18 hours on an airport bench in DXB Terminal 3, spending some AED 1,500 for a room in the airside transit hotel within DXB Terminal 3 or spending about AED 400 for an OK hotel room in downtown Dubai where I got to shower, sleep, eat and do a little sightseeing altogether. The choice is a no brainer.


What was your plan during this stopover?



Well, at first I planned to visit the 828 meter tall Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and to try the Dubai Metro as well. As for accommodation, prior to check-in at KL Sentral, I have earlier on booked myself a room in a hotel named Eureka Hotel, a 3 star establishment located in a district named Deira through www.booking.com (which is a great website by the way).

Deira is the Dubai's old town and it is located some 4 Metro stations away from DXB Terminal 3.


How did you get to the hotel from the airport?



Initially I planned my travel to use the Metro entirely.


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I love DXB Terminal 3 for having direct access into Dubai Metro. The station is just across the road outside and it is connected to the terminal by bridges, escalators and elevators.


.


However, having arrived at 23:40, the service for the day has just ended and I had to take a taxi to the hotel. Taxis in DXB Terminal 3 are organized, they use meter, and drivers wear uniforms as well, much to the contrary of the 'designated' airport taxis in JED, which is a HORROR! So far I was very impressed with the UAE.


How was the hotel?


.


Eureka Hotel is a nice little establishment. There is a café and a night club (!) as well inside the hotel premise. During check-out, I was handled by a female receptionist, which joked to me on why I was spending the night alone. I find it rather amusing to see women actually working in the UAE (something almost impossible to be seen in the KSA). And it seems that this hotel received a lot of Russian patronage based on the signages within the premise. Hmmm...


.

.


The room was OK, nothing to shout about. It has a standard double bed, a TV and the bathroom comes with a tub. And oh, there is a WiFi internet connection within the premise as well. It is pretty much like the Hotel Medan Tunku kinda hotels in Kuala Lumpur. For AED 360 all in, I think it was a nice place to spend the night at in between flights at affordable price.


What happened on the next day?



I woke up at noon the next day, close to the standard check-out time. Having only about 4 hours left to spare before my scheduled departure time into JED, I decided to abandon the Burj Khalifa plan and instead made my way direct to the airport.


.


The hotel is located about 150 meter away from Al Rigga Metro station, which is located underground. Al Rigga Metro station is 4 Metro stations away from DXB Terminal 3 Metro station.


What do you think of Dubai Metro?


.


Being a relatively new and modern Metro system, Dubai Metro epitomes the bling bling-ness that is the soul of Dubai. The foyer of the station looks like some hotel/shopping mall lobby or something and yet this Al Rigga station is not a major station in the line.



The rolling stocks are spacious and definitely more modern than the LRTs in Kuala Lumpur which I used to.



The journey from Al Rigga to DXB Terminal 3 took only 7 minutes (inclusive of waiting time) and it only cost AED 5.

My arrival at DXB Terminal 3 station was greeted by the sights of Emirates Head Quarters and the construction of yet another terminal in DXB, which from the shape of it looks identical to the current Terminal 3. Upon further research, I found out that this structure will be Concourse 3 for Terminal 3 of DXB.

I arrived at DXB Terminal 3 at 12:22, some 4 hours away from scheduled departure time, all geared up for my second A380 flight for this last leg of the journey.


To be continued


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1151 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 23010 times:
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Great report as usual, and I'm getting quite used to your "Schizophrenic" style of writing, where you ask the questions and answer them yourself   

User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 22731 times:

Does Emirates serve liguor on the flight?


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineXA744 From Mexico, joined Mar 2004, 734 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 22510 times:

Hey, Azizul, don´t I envy you ???... so, you flew the " whale "... what a lucky boy you are !!!

Fantastic TR, as usual... have enjoyed every bit of it !!!

Feliz Navidad, amigo, and all the best for the year to come !!!

Best regards



No matter how you fly...just never get your wings clipped !
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21680 times:

Merry Christmas everyone!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 16):
and I'm getting quite used to your "Schizophrenic" style of writing

I think I am going to stick with schizophrenic me for quite sometimes. I like this format as well.

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 17):
Does Emirates serve liguor on the flight?

EK is a non dry airline, and therefore liquors are served on the flight, no worries.

Quoting XA744 (Reply 18):
so, you flew the " whale " amigo, and all the best for the year to come !!!

Hola Horacio! Yup, finally I got to fly on the whale and so should you. I wish you a very pleasant and most happy returns for 2011.


User currently offline9W748Capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 516 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks ago) and read 21220 times:

Great report(s) and photos. Boarding a widebody by airstairs is always exciting but the A380 is a whole different animal! Lucky you. I rather like your style as well - very original and entertaining. So did you find anyone to spend the night with in Dubai? LOL - waiting the last segment!

User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 21176 times:

LOL! I guess I can easily find a few if I look up for them. Perhaps on the upcoming Dubai stopovers? *wink*

Thanks for the comment 9W748Capt! DXB-JED leg coming up right now.


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 21172 times:

PART 7 | DXB-JED (1/2)

The 4th and final sector of the journey.

Flight Record No: 215
Date/Day: 28 February 2010/Sunday
Flight Number: EK 803
Carrier: Emirates Airline
Aircraft: Airbus 380-800
Aircraft Registration No: A6-EDB (2 years old aircraft)
Route: Dubai (DXB) to Jeddah (JED)
Departure Time: 16:30 hour UAE time (GMT +4)
Arrival Time: 18:30 hour Saudi time (GMT +5)
Journey: 3 hours
Distance: 1,057 miles
Class of Travel: Economy Class
Fare Category: Y (Discounted Economy)
Seat: 50K


What you did upon arrival at DXB Terminal 3?



Since I arrived pretty early (I was then quite regretting to abandon the Burj Khalifa plan), I decided to explore the landside departure area of DXB Terminal 3. It is interesting to note that despite the enormous presence of Roman columns, the landside area is pretty much devoid of any travelers – just like in KUL. However, I am sure everyone knows that DXB made its mark on the world stage by being a transit hub, so the airside area is another side of the story.



While wondering around, I saw a signage that pointed out to me that DXB Terminal 3 has a Viewing Gallery. Hey, I never heard of that. True enough, the quest went dead end at some duty free shops even though I follow the signages as precisely as I could.


How was the check-in?


.


Since I was issued out with a boarding pass for this final sector in KL Sentral the day before, I just bypassed the massive check-in hall (heck I didn't even bother to find out at which counter my flight was assigned on that day LOL). Despite having many check-in counters, EK also provided a lot of self check-in machines for their passengers at DXB Terminal 3. Recent news communicated that EK also installed these self check-in machines at selected Dubai Metro stations.


How was the immigration and security clearances in DXB Terminal 3?



The immigration clearance was no hassle…



… but the security check was quite disorganized. I can't recall whether notebook computers, belts and shoes have to be taken out/off during this procedure or not. Pardon!



Past security clearance, these FIDS caught my attention and like always, let's do a little bit of an analysis of the FIDS shall we?

i. First and foremost, my flight will depart at Gate 202. Didn't I tell you that it will be on an A380? Yup, this flight will be my second A380 flight and reminiscing on how wonderful the first experience was 5 days earlier, I was super excited like a sugar-overdosed hyper child to get onboard today.
ii. There are 84 departing EK flights from 10:15 until 03:45 on the next day. That is 84 departing flights within 17.5 hours, which translated into 4.8 departures per hour.
iii. EK is a lone ranger. It is immensely exhibited here that out of 84 flights, EK code share with only 6 of them, representing a pathetic 7%. And there are still some of us that think EK will someday join an alliance. Seriously?


What you did prior to boarding?



The main airside departure hall is located on an upper floor, so travelers have to take this elevator up. It is the super big elevator, 2 doors serve 1 elevator.



Since I had plenty of time (then it was only 12:47, 3 hours and 53 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. It took me only 14 minutes from the moment prior to immigration clearance until I reached this indoor landscaped garden inside DXB Terminal 3), I decided to have a quick bite at Burger King…



… before finding myself a nice quiet seat at Gate 203. Gate 202, where my flight was assigned next door was full to the brim with a group of Indonesian maids sitting on the floor queuing their way in front of the gate.


What happened next? Any drama?

Just like on the outbound journey - big drama mama! Somehow both my first 2 A380 flights were infested by unnecessary dramas at the beginning part of the journeys.



Since a VERY long time, this particular flight of mine, an A380 at that mind you, was delayed. The new expected departure time for flight EK 803 to JED would be at 19:30, 3 hours later than the original scheduled departure time. The crowd which has been queuing in front of Gate 202 since ages was not bemused.


.


At 17:29, 2 hours before the estimated new departure time, it was communicated to us that the flight will be departing at Gate 201. As the A380 crowd shifted their queue from Gate 202 to Gate 201 (which located opposite each other), I luckily found an empty seat nearby Gate 201 to peruse the situation under my microscope.



Half an hour later, at 16:01, suddenly the crowds rushed towards the entrance of Gate 201. From this photo, we can clearly see the typical Economy Class passengers' profile on this sector – Indonesian maids, Indian sub-continent labours and umrah pilgrims in ihram, definitely not your typical sophisticated travelers. I presume the A380 cabin crews dislike this sector as well given the circumstances.


.

.


While the crowd getting busy to get into the holding lounge of Gate 201, I was busy capturing the arrival of A6-EDB, EK's second A380 aircraft at Gate 201. DXB Terminal 3 was designed to mimic BKK Suvarnabhumi in some ways, so all the glass windows are tinted and not cleaned properly.


Any service recovery by EK due to the delay?

Yes, there was.



Inside the holding lounge of Gate 201, a catering team was awaiting fellow passengers with these pre-packed sandwiches and a selection of drinks. I recalled 2 choices of sandwiches were offered – tuna and chicken.



However, I think these sandwiches should have been distributed a little earlier. We waited for almost 3 hours (from the delay moment) and only an hour prior to the new departure time this service recovery was delivered. But I can understand on how difficult it was if it is to be done much earlier, we have to be trapped inside the holding lounge much earlier, littering problem et al.



At 19:19, 11 minutes prior to the new departure time, boarding was finally called by the seating zone. The sight of the double decker aerobridges in DXB Terminal 3 being illuminated in the dark night like a skeleton of some ancient pre-historic creatures made me forget of the miserable 7 hours waiting (since the moment I arrived at the airport earlier on) to board this flight.


To be continued


User currently offlinestaralliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 21142 times:

Great TR so far! Thanks for sharing!


Roar, lion, roar
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2106 posts, RR: 19
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 21145 times:

PART 8 | DXB-JED (2/2)

The 4th and final sector of the journey.


Revised flight information.

Flight Record No: 215
Date/Day: 28 February 2010/Sunday
Flight Number: EK 803
Carrier: Emirates Airline
Aircraft: Airbus 380-800
Aircraft Registration No: A6-EDB (2 years old aircraft)
Route: Dubai (DXB) to Jeddah (JED)
Departure Time: 16:30 hour UAE time (GMT +4) [Delayed by 3 hours 21 minutes]
Arrival Time: 18:30 hour Saudi time (GMT +5) [Delayed by 3 hours 17 minutes]
Journey: 3 hours
Distance: 1,057 miles
Class of Travel: Economy Class
Fare Category: Y (Discounted Economy)
Seat: 50K


How was the boarding and your seat?



Boarding was called by zone but considering the 3 hours delay, all the passengers swarmed the door leading to the aerobridge to get onboard. I was assigned with seat 50K. Apparently row 50 is the last row of the forward section of the Economy Class cabin on the main deck of EK's A380s. Now that I was not assigned with a bulkhead seat unlike on the outbound journey, I can finally experience the seat in its normal set up in its entirely.



My IFE screen was just breathtaking. It is widescreen, the seat number is written on it, there's a welcome note for me, a brief details about the flight, a window of the outside view from the forward camera of the aircraft and of course, short cuts to ICE just a touch of the screen away. On this flight, the IFE screen's background is promoting an EK's destination somewhere in Pakistan or India, pardon that I can't figure out which city the immaculately ornamented mini bus like that is associated to.



The seat pitch was fine at 32 inches, enough room for my seatmate from India Mr. 50J to put a cabin luggage in front of him down there, to which the cabin crews surprisingly did nothing about it. Headset was already waiting inside the seat pocket.



Speaking of the seat pocket, it contained a new copy of Open Skies, which featured Jay Leno, and of course, the ICE guide, amongst other thing.



Since there are only 80 seats (3-4-3 seats x 8 rows) on the front section of the Economy Class on the main deck of EK's A380s, it is less crowded thus created a rather nice ambiance to passengers sitting here. I am loving it! On Singapore Airlines' A380s, this section is where their ultra luxurious super expensive Suites, dubbed a class beyond First, are located.


Was there any service delivery while you were on the ground?



As usual, the hot towels were distributed to the passengers while we were still on the ground to freshen up a bit.


How was the departure?


.


The aircraft was finally being pushed back at 19:51, 21 minutes later than the new departure time, or 3 hours and 21 minutes later than the original departure time. Should the flight was not delayed, I would have arrived at home in Jeddah then. The bilingual safety demonstration accompanied our taxi into the active runway as we leave the giant maggot-shaped DXB Terminal 3.



Thanks to the wonderful tail camera, I got to witness the powerful take off of the whale that night. The information of the flight at the right bar of the screen is most appreciative. It even lists down the aircraft's registration number and the live progress of the flight, 'take off' in this instance! There have been a lot of comments about how quiet and stable the A380s are during the take off phase and I am in a complete agreement with it.


What happened after take off?



The bilingual menu card was distributed 14 minutes after take off. Dinner serving followed by 27 minutes later.


How was the meal?



As mentioned, dinner was served on this short 2 hours sector to JED. A choice of 2 main courses was offered that night, as follows:

i. Fish with harra sauce – marinated baked fish filet, served with mildly spicy vegetable harra sauce, fried herb potato cubes and sautéed spinach with garlic and onions.
ii. Oriental chicken – marinated roasted chicken thigh with Arabic spices, placed on Oriental rice and chicken jus, accompanied with vegetarian green peas bazella.

To which I chose the latter.



The main course was also accompanied by salad nicoise (classic Mediterranean salad garnished with fresh chopped tomatoes and chives) as the appetizer, a rice pudding (Arabic pudding rice with milk, served with apricot compote) as desert, cheese and crackers, 2 mini pita breads and a bar of Emirates chocolate. A selection of drinks, tea and coffee were also offered.

My verdict: Although still quite full from the tuna sandwiches served prior to boarding inside Gate 201's holding lounge during the delay, I found the dinner to be very nice and filling.


Anything interesting on ICE?



The short 2 hours journey meant that I only have enough time to watch 1 movie the most. Prior to embark on the journey, I had a chat with a friend who raved about 'Up in the Air' and its aviation theme. At first I thought he was referring to the animated motion picture 'Up', which is also somehow related to aviation (balloons). Upon flipping through the ICE guide, I saw that this movie was on the featured list, so I thought why not. Trust, it was a very good recommendation. I enjoyed it very much and was even more surprised to find out later on that the movie was being nominated for so many main categories in 2010's Academy Awards.


Any other interesting tidbits on the flight? How was the cabin crews?

There was not anything interesting in particular. My seatmate Mr. 50J tried to break some ice with me but his English skill is rather limited. I tried to reply his questions in Arabic but he seems to fumble in it too. And I can’t speak Hindi, so it ended up after a few "meow meow and quack quack" between the 2 of us. Mr. 50I was an extremely friendly and very talkative Arab gentleman who talked with single every cabin crew members whom passed by the aisle.

As for the cabin crews, apart from the fact that they did not do anything with regards to Mr. 50J's cabin luggage, which was not properly stored, I found the set that night to be pleasant.


How was the landing in JED? Anymore drama?



We touched down at 21:47 Saudi time, 17 minutes later than the new scheduled arrival time or 3 hours and 17 minutes later than the original arrival time. And thank god, no more drama.


.


Since I already knew by now that EK's A380s will be handled at the Hajj Terminal, the long taxi towards the terminal was expected. While entering the apron area of the Hajj Terminal, I saw so many ground vehicles have been waiting for us, including 4 busses that will ferry us to the North Terminal very soon.


Was the disembarkation done manually in JED?


.


Yes it is. Passengers have to disembark by stairs before being ferried to the North Terminal for check out formalities by busses. I was just so glad to be seated at the front section of the A380, as we were the first batch of Economy Class passengers to leave the aircraft that night. Having said that, undergoing the whole process manually, it still evokes immense awes and wows being standing, touching and walking so close to an extremely big aircraft.



As the bus leaves the aircraft for the North Terminal, I looked back and bid my good bye to A6-EDB. The 3 hours delay aside, it was a great experience and something that will stay in my memory for a long time.


How was the check-out experience in JED?



Our arrival inside the North Terminal was greeted by yelling Saudi immigration officers (as if we were camels or something) who directed something ridiculous, which I can't quite fathom in the very small and straight forward terminal building. Immigration clearance took ages, it is so off putting. I spent 1 hour and 6 minutes alone for immigration clearance, baggage collection and security clearance. This is the norm in JED. Enough said.


To be continued


25 Post contains links and images 9MMAR : FIRST A380 FLIGHT EPILOGUE So how would you sum-up your very first flight with the A380? Since the first commercial A380 flight took-off into the frie
26 ba319-131 : A big read for sure, that said, did enjoy, thanks for posting. F&B offerings from EK look as good as expected, though the 'snack' on the DXB-KUL s
27 aa61hvy : Took the words right out of my mouth. I read TR all of the time. This is one of the best ones I've read. Your comments are brief and straight to the
28 Post contains images 9MMAR : Many thanks for the very kind words guys. I appreciate it very much. I hope you'll get the opportunity soon Mark. However, if you are itching to do s
29 NZ107 : Hi Azizul, What a huge and thorough report! Well done, a most interesting style! Thanks for sharing. EK's offerings look as good as they usually are,
30 9MMAR : Hi Nicholas, thank you for keeping up with this long report LOL. I actually had the opportunity to being ferried in a bus right next to the Hajj Termi
31 The777Man : Hi Azizul! Amazingly written report with so much detail and great pictures! Meals on EK looks great as always. Always very interesting to read about t
32 9MMAR : Thank you The777Man for your reply. I admit that I do not embrace SV as much as I supposed to. Although I live in Saudi Arabia for almost 3 years now,
33 Pe@rson : Brilliant report, 9M! Enjoyed your humour.
34 Post contains images airpearl : Hi 9MMAR Thank you for sharing another epic journey of yours. Travelling on an EK 380 - well, any 380 - is a special occasion, and it must be especial
35 MSS658 : Nice trip report, I was going to fly CDG-DXB-JNB on the 380/77W but the trip was postponed.
36 9MMAR : Thank you everyone for the replies. Hi J. Thanks, not many people think I am funny though LOL. Hi Airpearl, looks like you are now back on the ground.
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