ChrisEDDL From Germany, joined Apr 2002, 67 posts, RR: 4 Posted (14 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 8007 times:
This is not even my first trip report, it’s even my first posting at all. Thanks to the Admin-Team for letting me become a member…
OK, here we go…
This was a very spontaneously planned trip. We (my girl-friend and I) booked the flights on Monday April 15th and started the trip on Wednesday April 17th. Because we are working at the German Air Traffic Control, we had the opportunity to book these flights for a special price of 199 Euros (175 USD) (cheapest normal price should be around 400 Euros = 350 USD). The return flight was planned for the following Wednesday, but that flight was full, so we took Thursday April 25th.
Emirates started the Dusseldorf-Dubai service around one year ago and I was since then planning to take an Emirates flight, as I had never flown with them before and had only heard good things about them.
The outbound flight from EK056 left Dusseldorf almost on time at 15:15 (planned 15:05) and arrived in Dubai on time at 23:35. Around 100 passengers were on the plane, which was the Airbus A330-243 A6-EKY.
This is one of the examples which features a First, Business and Economy class. I couldn’t see the first class but there was only ONE person in business class. In Eco you hadn’t the impression that the plane was full. There were full middle rows (4 seats) that were empty. On the windows there are always 2 seats next to each other. We had seats 18A and B which were, as usual, over the wings (I always have these seats when I don’t specify what I want…). The cabin was nice. Each seat had a personal video screen installed, which featured video, audio and games.
The most interesting feature for the departure was the in-flight camera. You could choose among a forward-looking one and a downward camera. Nice idea…
Departure was smooth and we climbed quite fast. As it was my first A330 experience, I found it performing as any A320… Around twenty minutes after departure the service started and as my colleagues had informed the pilots that my girlfriend and I were on board, we got a whole bottle of champagne for free (in Eco on Emirates a glass costs 20 AED = 7 EUR = 5 USD)… Very nice of the crew… The first round of drinks with a snack followed and shortly thereafter, the lunch was served. A choice of beef and chicken was available. I chose the chicken and it was quite delicious. Not as bad as other airline foods, but I have eaten better on Alitalia (long-haul Milan to HKG) and China Southern Airlines (intra-Chinese short-haul with lots of good food). But after these foods I would put Emirates on rank #3.
Then, there was another round of drinks and throughout the flight the flight-attendants came through the rows with trays of drinks…
The entertainment program was great as well. Even better than the one I experienced in a Singapore Airlines B744 from FRA-SIN in January 2002. The screen was a touch-screen and you could choose among 6 movies simultaneously, as well as 8 other programs, the flight-map and the two in-flight cameras (I found the almost useless during the flight, as the image was not sharp enough). You could choose a lot of audio programmes (I didn’t count them) and 20 games. These were played with a Playstation-like controller, which served as well as the IFE remote-control and satellite telephone.
The seats are OK, nothing more, nothing less. Better than LH Eco, but not as good as Eco in Alitalia A320. And then there is the box in which the life-vest for the person sitting in front of you is stored. It hangs below his seat and reaches so far back, that you have almost no space below that seat for putting your feet or any items that didn’t fit into the overhead lockers.
The route led us from Dusseldorf over Southern Germany, Austria, The Balkans, Greece, Cyprus (it got dark here), Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Saudi-Arabia. We started our descent after passing Qatar and Bahrain and reached the initial approach altitude around 30 miles from the airport (2500 ft). We slowed down then, and intercepted the localizer around 20 miles out. Now, you could use the flight cameras again to see all the lights Dubai has to feature (and that’s a lot). Touchdown was very smooth and then the pilot engaged the thrust reverser and, boy, that was loud…
Taxiing to the gate at this time was fast and we deplaned in a short time to start the endless walks through the Dubai terminal…
Overall, I have to say the A330 is a nice aircraft. It’s quite silent and has lots of space. The Emirates version is well equipped.
The cabin crew is very friendly and are helping where they can. They spoke around 8 to 10 different languages which is a very nice thing for the customers…
After that, we had some sunny days in Dubai. But I couldn’t resist (and could even convince my girlfriend) to go to the airports. First one was Sharjah, a half-an-hour drive from Dubai. This is a really great airport. You can even go onto the apron, when you check with the authorities around two weeks before. I didn’t know that before, so I couldn’t go on there. But we drove around the perimeter a bit and there were so many interesting things to see.
There were some Air Gulf Falcon aircraft (B742, B732) and a Chabahar Air (Iran) IL76 (I have photographed that one at Dusseldorf already).
A the passenger Terminal there were two Condor B752s (one to Frankfurt, one to Munich), on other aprons there were parked two Lufthansa Cargo B742s (one departed while I was there), some B707s which you couldn’t identify through the fence, B727s, old Ilyushin and Antonov Props and further IL76s. It’s as well not allowed to photograph the airport if you have no permission, so, no photos shot here…
Then there was Dubai. Not photography allowed as well. Signs all around the airport to ensure that. Through the fence on the eastern side (Terminal 2, FedEx, DHL) there was a Tupolev 214 which I couldn’t identify, a DHL B752 and a neutralized Aeroflot IL86, as well as an A320 with one missing main gear…
So, we had to drive around a bit until I found a place at around 1,5 miles final for runway 30 from where you couldn’t see the airport (a small hill in between). It was just down the Airport Road in the Southern direction, follow the signs to the freeway to Al Ain, Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi, continue towards Al Ain and reverse course at the next possibility (roundabout). We parked at an Eppco fuel station and waited. The problem is that there are only some rush periods during daytime and that meant around 3 to 4 aircraft after another. You had to wait quite some time… But when there was an aircraft it was a good one…
Apart from a lot of Emirates A332s, B772s, B773s and an A306 came some nice things : Vaso Airlines (Russia) IL86, Iran Asseman Airlines ATR72 and B727, Dubai Ruler’s Flight B747SP A6-SMM, DHL 752, Ariana Afghan B727, Private Bac 1-11 VP-CHM, Kish Air (Iran) Fokker 50 and T154, Qatar A300, Yemenia B727 and A310, Oman Air B737, Mahan Air A300 and T154, Saudia B744, Swiss A332 (old colours, Swiss titles) on the nicest visual approach for such a large aircraft I have ever seen…
But you have to be careful when standing in an Arab country and openly photographing aircraft. We noticed this when suddenly the police pulled into the fuel station and started questioning me. I convinced them that I was only photographing aircraft and no airport installations (which was, as said before, impossible from that location) and that it was my hobby, they said that it’s OK as long as I didn’t go to the airport fence… Phew, that was close…
I shot around 380 pictures in around 4 hours total, and luckily with my new D30 and a 300mm lens (which makes together 480mm) even from the described position and from our hotel’s rooftop pool the pictures were quite good. I will try to upload some in the next days… So, this was even the first real test for the D30 and I must say, that it is worth it’s money…
The return flight was as uneventful as the first one. Departure slightly delayed from 8:25 to 8:35 (due to ONE person checking the passports of a full A330 load of passengers at the boarding gate), but arrival on time (13:25). As said, this time the A330-243 A6-EAC was full, but this one just had a business and an economy class. Service as nice as before. The only thing I was disappointed with was the breakfast. It included a small dish with 4 pieces of fruit and one croissant and a piece of cake. I didn’t find that sufficient. The lunch was good this time. Not so many drinks as on the first flight, but they had a lot to do with the full load of passengers.
After departure you could get a nice view of Sharjah airport from above, as we were flying directly overhead. From there we headed north via Esfahan (Iran) into Turkey, followed by Black Sea, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and via Germany’s middle part to Dusseldorf. Arrival was quick into runway 23R and taxi was short. Leaving the plane took time, although we were seated on seats 8A and B, but our hand luggaged had to be stored further back so we had to wait for most of the passengers to de-board before we could reach that.
Altogether, it was a nice trip. Nice flights, nice weather, nice airports, nice beaches, …
I would recommend Emirates and Dubai to everyone…
I hope it was interesting for you and will try to do some other trip reports now that I am a member, as I am going to China again this year and who knows where else…
Marco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4170 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7778 times:
I live in Dubai and my school is in Sharjah, very close to the airport. I always get to see planes taking off, as I sit next to a window. I always see a LH Cargo plane take off, as well as other Russian beauties!
As for Dubai, the police are very kind. Sometimes I go in a car and park it next to the runway and watch planes land. The best time is after 2200 when all the euro planes arrive. If you park your car on the busy road parallel to the persian gulf, the police won't bother you because it's a busy street.
As for EK I flew with EK to MUC in December and back from CDG in January and I had the same experiences that you did. The flight to MUC was about 40% full but the crew were very RUDE. Also, we were disappointed with the breakfast and by the time the lunch came we were starving. It's EK's policy to serve a full lunch before arriving in Europe because they think it's better, especially for business travellers. The trip back from CDG was quite good.
ChrisEDDL From Germany, joined Apr 2002, 67 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7773 times:
Due to the high cost of all the hotels in the area, I searched for some time and finally found the 'Golden Tulip Aeroplane Hotel' for 240 AED per room per night plus taxes. That was a very special Internet tariff, because the board in the hotel said that a double room is normally 600 AED plus taxes.
The hotel was really OK. It has 4 stars and that is what I expected. It was not one of the top hotels, but they are from 800 AED upwards.
Funnily, it is outfitted like an aircraft cabin... Nice... Is situated on the Deira side at the Burj Nahar R/A on Naif Road.
From the roof, you can see inbound planes very good. The departures are a bit too high at that point (around 3 miles from the airport) for photography...
What I forgot : when I asked whether they would allow me into the flight deck (being an Air Traffic Controller with a company ID), the cabin crew denied, because the door is supposed to be locked. That is OK. Was just a question from my side, as some airlines are already allowing passengers back to the flight deck. I already did a full day with a crew on Lufthansa Cityline CRJ last Month. Could think about writing a trip report on that as well, if I remember enough details...
Hi! Have read your trip reports as well, they are good as well. Are you regularly spotting at DUS? Still active in the DUS forum? Have not read anything lately from you?
KHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1621 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7737 times:
Nice report ....im glad you liked Dubai and Emirates.The best time for spotting in DXB, just like Marco said, is around and after midnight.......it is a spotters dream i must say.Howcome you didnt try doing that? Even pictures of DXB on this forum are during the day....usually boring part of the day compared to the action that goes on at night....
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7735 times:
I am glad that you like my reports as well.
Usually I am twice in a month at DUS for spotting, of course more often if something special is scheduled. If you like we can meet us at DUS for spotting when the weather gets better, just send me an eMail (email@example.com). Yes, I am still active in the DUS forum but I spend more time here at a.net.
Airlinefreak1 From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 262 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (14 years 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7729 times:
This was an excellent trip report chris , i really enjoyed reading it .
glad you enjoyed dbai and Emirates . I live quite close to the hotel and the flight path to and from the airport is right above my house . I must say that hotel you stayed in isnt the best though , Dubai is known to have amazing 5* hotels ..... maybe next time .
Looking forword to look at your pictures once you upload them .
ps: Did you read my trip report i posted from Dubai to LHR via AMS a few days ago ??
Qatar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (14 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 7709 times:
Hello ChrisEDDL, welcome to Airliners.net and thank you for your great trip report.
I am glad you enjoyed Emirates (excellent as usual) and enjoyed Dubai aswell. I live in Doha, Qatar (about a 45min flight from DXB) and so I regularly go to Dubai for short weekend breaks and always enjoy it.
Zizou From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 1536 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7678 times:
Excellent report. Glad to see that you enjoyed all that Dubai has to offer. Were you able to go to other airports in the UAE, like Fujeriah and Ras Al Kaimah (spelling?).
I used to live very close to Sharjah Airport. On some days after school, I would with my dad spend about 3 hours watching the planes. I still remember that every weekday at 4.20pm a Gulf Air B737-200 from Bahrain would arrive and on some days a Syrian B727 would arrive from Damascus (forgot which days). That was a very long time ago, and I am anxious to see how Sharjah and Dubai Airports have developed since. I am sure I will be in for a shock!
By the way Marco, what is the name of the school in Sharjah you attend? I used to attend Sharjah English School, is it still there?