Lentini2001 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 178 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7920 times:
After months of planning, and (more importantly!) saving, the time had finally arrived for my trip to Sydney via Dubai. Being based in the Midlands, I had the choice of two Emirates flights from Birmingham. This trip report is from the evening EK38 BHX to DXB service flying business class.
The chauffeur car picked us up on time and allowing for some slight Solihull evening traffic, we arrived at the airport just after half five. One of the great things about the Emirates cars is that they drop you right outside the door for check-in; you don’t have to pay a pound to enter the ‘drop off’ point and then hike to the terminal. We were the first for check-in and had passed through security and into departures in about fifteen minutes from checking in. After buying some magazines for my flights and taking a look at what had changed at Birmingham airport since the last time I flew out (not much!) I made my way to the Emirates Lounge to relax away the next hour or so before my flight.
The lounge still has that new ‘smell’ about it and is quite relaxing and peaceful, it is not all that big but it has room for 100 people - I doubt there would ever be 100 in there in one go seeing as there are 42 seats in business class at any one time. I had a nice piece of fillet steak with some rice and vegetables and a glass of champagne (of course!) then sat down to eat. The flight wasn’t full in business class so only another 16/20 people or so came into the lounge, I did take some pictures but it is unfair to post them with the other people in the photographs and not having their permission.
Although the flight had been late taking off from Dubai, it had made up some time on the way so boarding was just before 20:00hrs (scheduled departure time was 20:25 so we would miss that) Leaving the lounge a five minute walk to the gate where I stopped to take a photo of our plane.
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
The plane was a two class 777-300ER which has the lie-flat seats in business class. After sitting down and buckling up, we were offered a variety of fruit juices, bucks fizz or just plain old champagne! I went with the champagne option and settled into my seat. I then realised that when I had stopped to take the photo of the plane, I had left my bag of magazines to read at the departure gate (such an idiot!) I asked one of the ground staff and they kindly went and retrieved the bag for me, the thought of 20+ hours and having nothing to read horrified me!!
Departure was delayed a little longer when the Captain came on to tell us that some passengers were feeling ill and would not be travelling so their luggage had to be removed from the hold which was fair enough.
Eventually we pushed back about an hour late and those two giant engines slowly came to life, it is a sound I love and will never tire of hearing and it really does sound like an electronic cow mooing when they start up. We taxied out to runway 33 where we sat and waited for another five minutes, nothing landed so I don't know what the holdup was for.
Eventually the engines powered up and we started our take off roll. For such a big jet I didn't expect to be pushed back into my seat but I was and for anyone who knows the runway at Birmingham, we were airborne pretty much level by where the fire station is on the right hand side (if you use 33) and there was me half expecting the wheels to clip the trees in Sheldon Country Park because Birmingham's runway is supposedly so small (joke!)
The dinner choices were as follows:-
Chilli prawns, smoked chicken breast or mushroom soup were the choices for starters.
Chicken, beef tenderloin or poached salmon were the choices for main course.
After that a pretty routine flight. Lights were turned off and I turned my seat into the flat bed and watched some telly and listened to some music.
We had made up some time so we landed in Dubai just after sunrise. We taxied around the airport for what seemed like ages and finally parked at a remote stand (something to do with busy morning arrivals the Captain said) and the buses were already waiting to take us to the terminal (very efficient I thought) The journey to the terminal took us about twenty minutes which I thought was amazing, the airport must be so big. We passed so many other Emirates jets, including a set of 5 A380's one after the other (one of which was my ride to Sydney I presumed)
I didn't understand the security clearance section at Dubai airport for connecting flights. I had just got off a plane, got onto one of their provided buses and came into contact with nobody other than the people already on my flight who had their carry on baggage screened at Birmingham, but here I was doing it again - what did they think I would be bringing it that I wasn't allowed to fly out with? But there you go.
I know had a couple of hours to wait before my connecting flight to Sydney, but that is a trip report for another time.
Tell me about it You even have to pass through security when parking at a contact stand. I was once on a SQ flight from IST to SIN which stopped in DXB. We all had to take all our hand luggage, get off the plane, walk through security and reboard. Go figure.
Lentini2001 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 178 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6327 times:
Thanks for the feedback Quokkas.
just idle speculation here, do you think there is likely to be a first class option from Birmingham any time soon? I often wonder why there isn't - surely provide the service as a trial run and if seats dont sell then just switch it to business / economy only choices - but if EK dont provide it in the first place, how would they know if it would sell or not?
Quokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6228 times:
Quoting Lentini2001 (Reply 2): do you think there is likely to be a first class option from Birmingham
EK tend to keep their plans close to their chests but I think it is only a matter of when rather than if. We have seen how MAN exceeded expectations with offering First Class. With BHX's location and ease of access I can't see why it shouldn't be similarly successful. Perhaps route planners at EK have listened to doomsayers in the past who argued that the demographic won't support it, but I am not sure how much different the two cities are in terms of travellers willing to fork out a bit more or use Airmiles to upgrade.
Lentini2001 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 178 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5821 times:
Yeah, we had deeply reclining on the DXB to BHX return flight - the less said about those the better - especially when the passengers in front wanted to sleep all the way back - cannot blame them for wanting to do that, but the top of their seat when fully back was pretty much in my face and had a terrible time getting out of my own seat if I wanted to use the bathroom and had to keep disturbing them, much to their annoyance - but there you go
ZaphodB From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 77 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4757 times:
Quoting Lentini2001 (Thread starter): for anyone who knows the runway at Birmingham, we were airborne pretty much level by where the fire station is on the right hand side (if you use 33) and there was me half expecting the wheels to clip the trees in Sheldon Country Park because Birmingham's runway is supposedly so small
I won't say I 'know the runway at BHX' but the one time I went past there (on a VT Pendolino that got diverted on a magical mystery tour of the West Midlands on its way down from Glasgow) I held my breath as an EK 777 got airborne from rwy 33 with barely a plane's length of the hard stuff left, and the tail skid was very close to being used.
Lentini2001 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 178 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 4648 times:
While I dont doubt you for a minute and not getting into an aircraft technical debate (as I would probably lose ) are you sure it was that close? The runway does have quite a dip in it so it sometimes creates the illusion that there is no runway left.
But if that was what happened - squeaky bum time or words to that effect!!