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Emirates Business Class BKK-SYD 15 Feb 2012  
User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 22867 times:
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I know EK trip reports are pretty common on here, and you may "yawn" as you see another one. I wasn't going to write one up, but when I changed from Y to J class for the trip home, I thought I would do one as many people never get the chance to fly J class, and it's nice to be able to take an "armchair flight" sometimes on carriers and in classes that you might not get to experience in real life.

A couple of points:
1. Sorry about the low-ish quality of the pics. I didn't have my camera with me this trip, and just used my iPhone 4 for the pics.

2. Sorry about the little "Flickr" tags next to each photo! I tried for over an hour to work out how to remove these - to no avail! If anyone can provide feedback on how to include URL's from Flickr in a trip report I would be exceptionally and eternally grateful! I'm sure you'll cope ok with them, however!


In recent times, I have given up on QF for travel to Asia - too many delays, too expensive - and have mostly used EK between SYD/BKK and return, and then Air Asia from BKK to other points in Asia if cheaper fares on the mainstream carriers are not available.

In recent times I have found EK to be in decline somewhat, and I am not a fan of their 10-abreast seating in Y class on the 777-300 ER. However, their food is generally very good, and the ICE system certainly makes a flight go quickly with many different options. Their website is easy to use, and pre-selecting seats is a breeze, despite not being able to secure an exit row via this method. I always make sure I get to the airport early when check-in opens, and by simply being polite and respectful to the ground crew, if the flight is full they will generally select an exit row for me (obtained about 95% of the time on full flights in the past), and if the flight is not full (as was the case on the way up from SYD - BKK), they quite readily block a seat next to me, which negates the problem of the 10-abreast seating in Y.

When on sale, EK's fares from SYD to BKK are about $850 AUD return, which is what I got this trip for. Considering QF and BA wanted about $1300 AUD for the same thing with reduced seat pitch, why would you?

Anyway, the trip up to BKK was fine and on time. There were 66 seats spare in Y class, so I managed to get 3 seats to myself and was very comfortable.

The crew can be very hit-and-miss on EK and this was the case on both legs this time. I have a feeling EK works them into the ground, the money is lousy and the "glamour" of being a flight attendant with EK loses its lustre for them and they get jaded very quickly!

One thing I am a little miffed about, is that EK has changed their frequent flyer scheme, so you now only earn half miles when booking a discount ticket - ie. This flight return to BKK only got me half the miles it would have a year or two ago. 3750 in each direction, which is quite frustrating. Oh well, I'm not obsessed by miles anyway. I book the cheapest fare, and if I get them, then I get them.

Anyway, during my time away, about 3 days prior to departure from BKK back to SYD I received an email from EK:

Dear MR Thai744,

Thank you for choosing to fly with Emirates. We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to upgrade your travel from Economy Class on flight EK0418 on Wed 15 Feb 12 from Bangkok to Sydney. This limited offer is available on a first come first serve basis at the special price of THB 5000.00 per person.

To upgrade your booking simply click on the button below or visit 'Manage a Booking' on emirates.com up to 24 hours prior to departure, and enter your booking reference XXXXXX, Surname, and offer code: 1202150418YBKKSYD

We wish you a very pleasant flight.

Yours sincerely,

Emirates



So - that's about $165.00 AUD, or $150 USD to upgrade to Biz for a 9 hour flight. It is also what I call a no-brainer!
Within 1 minute the booking was done and confirmation email received! To say I was happy was an understatement.

One problem however... when I went into the "Manage My Booking" section on the EK website, I was informed I was entitled to a complimentary limo transfer in SYD as I was travelling in J. This seemed strange for the price I paid, but it let me book it anyway. However, within 10 minutes the EK office in BKK called me to say this was an error and I wasn't entitled to it after all. Oh well - no problems, at least they rectified it quickly.

Anyway, on to the report. I'm not one to write big amounts of text, conversations between myself and ground and cabin crew etc. I don't think it's necessary. Most people around here know the routine of catching a flight, and I prefer to let the pictures to do the talking.

Off to Swampy Poo Airport with the always-essential-in-Thailand dashboard and mirror ornaments.
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Check-in was quick and done in about 5 minutes and then off airside.
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The EK lounge in Bangkok is fine with a wide selection of food and beverage. I went to have a shower, and there are two there. The one I was allocated was TINY! Nowhere to put bags or clothes when you shower, and consequently, my things got quite wet. A ridiculous set up in my opinion!

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They handed out a nice towel and amenities set when I requested a shower.
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You did need a degree in engineering to work out how to operate the shower!!
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Time for some snacks prior to boarding!
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45 minutes prior to departure, I left the EK lounge and headed for the departure gate.
Into the lounge, and Y class looked packed. Now it made sense why I got that email - Y class was oversold and J was nearly empty. The air con wasn't working in the lounge and it was very oppressive. I'm not a huge fan of the "new" BKK airport at any time. I think it is a characterless, sterile processing factory with no warmth whatsoever. Most lines seem just as long as they were at Don Meuang, and of course, the spotting at BKK is awful. I don't think they've cleaned the windows since it opened, and they're not good for seeing out of even when they are clean. I really don't like this airport at all and am always glad to be in and/or out of it as soon as possible whenever I visit.

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In selecting my seat online, I really wanted to travel in the forward J class cabin, which only has 2 rows (6 and 7) on the 777-300ER. However, this would mean an aisle seat in row 7 (and 7 is "windowless") so I took a seat in 8A, which is the bulkhead seat in the second cabin) and there was no one in 8B, so it worked out very well. Hey - for the price I paid for the upgrade you could have put me in the J class loo for the flight and I wouldn't have cared!

Emirates EK418
Bangkok to Sydney
J Class.
Registration: A6-ECA
Delivered: 21 June 2007.
ETD: 1930 ATD: 1935
ETA: 0845 ATA: 0849
Flight Time: 9 hours 14 minutes.


On board, luggage into overhead, and LOTS of room in 8A.
Y class was 100% full, J class about 40% full and F class I have no idea as I didn't see that section.

Home for the next 9 hours!
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Considering this plane was "only" 4-and-a-half years old, I was quite surprised by the condition of the cabin. I know these aircraft are utilised as much as possible, but there was chips and bumps on the seats, the top of my armrest was broken and not attached to the arm of the chair, and the carpets and fittings looked worn. To me, it seemed the aircraft was about 10 years old, not the age it really was. It didn't appear to be kept in overly good condition.

Chipped "Faux Walnut"
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Loose and Broken Top of Arm-Rest
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I was offered champagne prior to take-off (Moet) and a hot towel. The service was efficient, polite, but without any real warmth or personality. There was minimal interaction between the crew and the passengers. There was nothing wrong with them per se, they just seemed a little robotic. I like it when cabin crew allow some of their own personality to come through and show that they are genuinely happy to be there. I didn't get that feeling with this crew.

The Wine List was handed out then.
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Manual controller - not in a great position! Hard to reach around behind you and get to it. However, there is the "wireless" version which is much better to use.

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Fire Up GE-90's!!
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The seat pockets were crammed full of stuff. The extra weight this must add to ALL EK aircraft globally on a daily basis must be staggering. I thought they were getting rid of the in-flight magazine and duty free catalogue and making them electronic and part of ICE, but it doesn't seem to have happened yet.

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Menu's were already in the seat pockets from the DXB-BKK sector.
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The headphones were noise cancelling and had a good sound quality to them.
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Just after take-off it was time to watch "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" - not a bad movie, but you need to watch it REALLY closely to keep on track with it!

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Even though I had to stow my TV screen for take-off, I could still see the air map on the hand-held controller screen - great!
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This feature I found just a little bizarre - and didn't use it!
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Amenity kits were handed out, which I find on EK are quite good and well-stocked.
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One of the crew then came around and took dinner orders from the meny and laid out matresses for us on the seats, followed by hot nuts and a drink run.

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A tray was then laid out for dinner and the starters were served along with a salad. I asked for a taste of the soup as well as it looked nice on the menu, and they obliged by bringing me a bowl. Nice.

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I had lamb for the main course which was cooked nicely, but the accompanying veggies weren't great, and weren't presented overly well. Interestingly (to me at least) no one came through the cabin with any of the wines on offer during the meal. If you wanted wine, you had to ask for it and they brought it from the galley for you.

Desert was nice, and when I enquired as to whether I could get some cheese as well they brought out a whole cheese board for me, which had a little too much cheese on it, but was nice to sample each one all the same!
Of course, the usual box of 2 Godiva chocolates was given out.

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Again, no tea or coffee service following the meal in terms of walking through the cabin. If you wanted it, (and I did want a cup of tea), you had to ask for it.

Time for the mandatory bathroom shots.
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There were little amenity kits in the bathroom.
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By this time, we were over Banjarmasin in Borneo, and I wanted to get a few hours sleep prior to arrival in Sydney.
I put the seat into lie-flat mode and it was quite comfortable. However, if you want to listen to some nice relaxation music, the headphones are quite large if, like me, you sleep on your side, so I swapped to my own personal headphones to listen to some music.

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Nice mood lighting meant I could sleep "under the stars"
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I slept quite well, and somehow managed to wake up 10 minutes prior to the start of the breakfast service.

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I just LOVE looking at those massive engines holding me up in the morning sunrise!
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Breakfast was a continental breakfast service, which was adequate enough (once they did a second round with the bread and pastries basket!) However, I think a hot breakfast option should be included on an overnight flight over nine hours. However, this was not to be. (I'm pretty sure J class used to get a hot breakfast on this sector a couple of years ago).

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The crew cleaned up the breakfast things just as we were at top of decent into Sydney and prepared the cabin for landing.

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We approached from the north, over-flew the airport and then turned around over Royal National Park for a soft landing on runway 34L and a long and slow roll-out which left us a very short taxi to the gate.

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De-planing was very quick and, with only hand luggage and being able to use the APEC / Crew lane, I was out on the kerbside 9 minutes after leaving the aircraft.

EK J class was solid and consistent. Especially for the small price I paid to upgrade, so I can't complain. However, I think carriers such as Etihad and Qatar may have overtaken them in the consistency stakes and in terms of hard product. The main problem seems to be the crews - really hit and miss. That and the upkeep of the aircraft cabins which, on the last four flights I have done, seem to be a little rough and ready and neglected. However, it's still a genuine quality product and one I'm happy to use. The cut in FF miles is tough to take for a loyal customer, however.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it and hope you enjoyed it.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 365 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 21030 times:
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I enjoyed your report very much.

User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 20523 times:

Hi Lachlan,
Great trip report.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
So - that's about $165.00 AUD, or $150 USD to upgrade to Biz for a 9 hour flight.

That's a bargain too good to miss. Well done.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
no one came through the cabin with any of the wines on offer during the meal.

Interesting as EK made a big deal of introducing a new service, including new dinnerware, etc back in July last year. It used to be standard practice that an offer to top up glasses was made during service and when clearing plates. Shame if things are beginning to slip.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
However, there is the "wireless" version which is much better to use.

I suppose once the use of mobile phones on all flights is available these may eventually go.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
The cut in FF miles is tough to take for a loyal customer, however

There have been a lot of complaints about the changes that were introduced at the beginning of 2010. A major component is that many Y fares only appear to be "saver". At least now Skywards members can log in and search for "flex" fares that attract 100% base miles. Of course, before just about everyone and his dog had silver or gold status and complained that the lounges were overcrowded and the express lane was no quicker.

Thanks for sharing your experience on the BKK - SYD route.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 19936 times:

Nice report, thanks for posting

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):

So - that's about $165.00 AUD, or $150 USD to upgrade to Biz for a 9 hour flight. It is also what I call a no-brainer!
Within 1 minute the booking was done and confirmation email received! To say I was happy was an understatement.

Wow, great value. Definately a no brainer!

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
Amenity kits were handed out, which I find on EK are quite good and well-stocked.

Looks very good - better than LX F I think

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
De-planing was very quick and, with only hand luggage and being able to use the APEC / Crew lane, I was out on the kerbside 9 minutes after leaving the aircraft.

Very fast! SYD record?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 18983 times:
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Thanks for the comments so far - appreciated!

@gabriel: yes - 9 minutes a definite record for me in SYD! Not having checked luggage makes it so much easier.
No one at the APEC lane when I turned up to immigration. Straight through there, and then waved through the quarantine check and straight outside. Very easy!


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1299 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 18428 times:
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To host the images from flickr to here, open your image in Flickr, and chose the size you want to work with.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lachlan...6908501093/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Then right click on the photo you have chosen, click properties and copy it's properties by highlighting the details.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7187/6908501093_6e28c293d3_z.jpg

In the IMG tags like you've done for your own photos, paste the details of the properties of the photo between the tags.

You should see the photo as below.


User currently offlinebastew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1028 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 18409 times:

Wow what an amazing deal!!! I would have snapped it up in an instant.

Just curious were you on a fully flexible 'expensive' economy ticket or the regular discounted ticket with restrictions? Just wondering whether the deal was open to all passengers in Y or only those on the more expensive tickets.


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1299 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 18390 times:
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Okay now to the actual report  
Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
know EK trip reports are pretty common on here, and you may "yawn" as you see another one.

I am guilty of this too with my own EK contributions here. Yet it's amazing most look to EK reports like they were reading it for the first time.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
When on sale, EK's fares from SYD to BKK are about $850 AUD return,

That is not bad at all I think, compared to the $1300 AUD you quoted for BA and TG.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
In recent times I have found EK to be in decline somewhat
Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
The crew can be very hit-and-miss on EK and this was the case on both legs this time. I have a feeling EK works them into the ground, the money is lousy and the "glamour" of being a flight attendant with EK loses its lustre for them and they get jaded very quickly!
Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
The service was efficient, polite, but without any real warmth or personality. There was minimal interaction between the crew and the passengers. There was nothing wrong with them per se, they just seemed a little robotic. I like it when cabin crew allow some of their own personality to come through and show that they are genuinely happy to be there. I didn't get that feeling with this crew.

Unfortunately this trend continues to grow with EK!! They now usually have 24 hours at each destination so it's probably caught up with sleeping in the room between flights at the layover destination, or keeping awake, touring the city and then getting some shut eye just before you hop back on board.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
So - that's about $165.00 AUD, or $150 USD to upgrade to Biz for a 9 hour flight. It is also what I call a no-brainer!
Within 1 minute the booking was done and confirmation email received! To say I was happy was an understatement

Wow, would be so good if they did that on flights from JFK, YYZ!!

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
The one I was allocated was TINY! Nowhere to put bags or clothes when you shower, and consequently, my things got quite wet. A ridiculous set up in my opinion!

Okay I'm not sure if I am understanding this correctly but why would you take your things into a shower? Is not each shower in a room with some privacy?

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
Hey - for the price I paid for the upgrade you could have put me in the J class loo for the flight and I wouldn't have cared!

That was hilarious.

Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
just LOVE looking at those massive engines holding me up in the morning sunrise!

I could not stop looking at those gorgeous GE-90s on my last trip with Etihad...such a beautiful engine!!


User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 18128 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 5):
To host the images from flickr to here, open your image in Flickr, and chose the size you want to work with.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lachlan...6908501093/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Then right click on the photo you have chosen, click properties and copy it's properties by highlighting the details.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7187/6908501093_6e28c293d3_z.jpg

In the IMG tags like you've done for your own photos, paste the details of the properties of the photo between the tags.

You should see the photo as below.

Thank you VERY much!! I just read your reply.

Too late to edit this report now, but will definitely use your instructions for the next one I do.

I really appreciate you taking the time to type that up for me. Legend!! 


User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 18123 times:
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Quoting bastew (Reply 6):
Just curious were you on a fully flexible 'expensive' economy ticket or the regular discounted ticket with restrictions? Just wondering whether the deal was open to all passengers in Y or only those on the more expensive tickets.

Hi Bastew,

No - it was the cheapest, most inexpensive Y class ticket! Just over $800 r/t SYD-BKK-SYD.

I spoke to a friend who works at EK in Sales and he said that they will sometimes offer these upgrades, starting with GOLD and then working down to SILVER and BLUE frequent flyers who are booked on the aircraft.
He said they do this to try and make "some" money from upgrading people rather than upgrading people for free at the airport when Y class is oversold - as it was on this flight.

Whilst I'm not sure how many people were emailed in this case, if they were numerous then not many people took up the offer as the load in J was very light! As I stated - at that price, a no-brainer!

Probably a good PR move by Emirates to get someone who flies them often in Y class a "taste of J" to try and covert them to "front-end" pax!.


User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 18113 times:
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Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 7):
Okay I'm not sure if I am understanding this correctly but why would you take your things into a shower? Is not each shower in a room with some privacy?

Good question, FSB. I'll try and explain!

Upon entering the bathroom, there is the "regular" area with basins, toilet stalls, urinals etc. Off this room there are two shower cubicles.

The shower I was allocated had the shower staff itself - about 4 feet by 4 feet square. Fine enough.

HOWEVER - the only area outside the shower was a piece of floor the width of a doorway (about 4 feet) and about 1 foot in length. No seat, no bench, no cupboard, no nothing!
i.e. Upon leaving the shower (and there was no screen, no curtain) there is about a 1 foot area until you get to the door to exit the shower. Therefore no room to get changed at all! Very inconvenient - I've never seen anything like it!
Obviously I didn't want to leave my bag outside in the main bathroom area or lounge when I wasn't there to watch over it so I had to take it inside the shower with me. In hindsight I could have left it in the baggage area in the lounge, but would have had to take the clothes I wanted to change into with me into the shower and they would have got soaked hanging on the door whilst I was in the shower.

Hard to explain clearly, but trust me - it was an awful set up!
Not sure if the other cubicle there is the same. I didn't get a chance to check that one.


User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 18108 times:
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Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 7):
Unfortunately this trend continues to grow with EK!! They now usually have 24 hours at each destination so it's probably caught up with sleeping in the room between flights at the layover destination, or keeping awake, touring the city and then getting some shut eye just before you hop back on board.

EK 418 / 419 isn't too bad for them. And it's one of the longer trips away they do - more than a week.

On 418 they do:
DXB - BKK (1 night)
BKK - SYD (1 night)
SYD - CHC - SYD (2 nights - 48 hours in SYD)
SYD - BKK (1 night)
BKK - DXB

I believe the tech crew get an extra night in SYD on the way outbound, but I could be incorrect in this.

I would have thought on their longer sectors (DXB to LAX, SFO, JFK etc) they would have 2 nights layover to meet hours requirements? Maybe someone can clarify.


User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1089 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 15630 times:

Kob Khun Krub.
What a great review. I don't mind iPhone4S camera as they claim to be the best phone's camera out there. So it's all okay to me.

What a deal! 5000 Baht for UG on this 9 hours trans-con flight.
I've heard EK is all overbooked from BKK either to HKG/SYD/DXB.
Their 380 flights are actually full of op-upgrader. But I think they still can make millions of profit anyway.
This is also their better strategy when known about the overbooking situation.
It's better than giving away free op-UG at the airport, at least they gain 5000 baht more. And their Biz seat is already up there in the plane.

Defo, crew is a hit or a miss. With younger, partying kind of crew, it's all depend on their (swinging) mood each hour.
Just don't meet them at the wrong moment! lol

And I'm glad you made this trip report and share with us. Have you ever checked www.hflight.net ?
There are thousands of great review from many flights too. But 90% of them are in Thai, but, for sure, worth checking out the photos.

Many thanks once again.
net-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14804 times:

Thank you very much for the report. It seems you definitely got a great bargain in the process!

Quoting nethkt (Reply 12):
Defo, crew is a hit or a miss. With younger, partying kind of crew, it's all depend on their (swinging) mood each hour.
Just don't meet them at the wrong moment! lol
Quoting Thai744 (Thread starter):
he service was efficient, polite, but without any real warmth or personality. There was minimal interaction between the crew and the passengers. There was nothing wrong with them per se, they just seemed a little robotic.

= Oh no. Seems like the inconsistency in EK crew is creeping up again. I had 4 recent flights with them, and have had similar experiences to yours - one crew member appeared severely hungover and was actually unable to even perform for most of the flight. I was seated at the front of the galley and found hear them loudly talk about the party last night, who slept with who, and all the stuff they want to do at Carnaval. Not impressive at all.

Seems like many of the recent EK reports on A.Net NOT written by EK crew talk about the same story.

Shame really.

Again, thanks for writing this.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1049 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 14029 times:

funny - i just flew on the very same aircraft (A6 ECA) two days ago (DXB to JFK) and also found it in surprisingly poor shape -- seat covers frayed and lots of broken or peeling parts in the toilets. Also, having flown both the 77Ws and the A380s now on Emirates, have to say the 380 is noticeably more comfortable.

User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 13380 times:

Hi

Great trip report, nice you got the upgrade for the price you paid!
EK seems to be a bit overrrated IMO these days however.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
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