It’s good to be back
I was tied with university for a while and now that summer is here, I though I would write more trip reports.
So after a nice relaxing trip in India, It was that time again where I say goodbye to my old routine (waking up at 10:00AM, play games or watch movies all day, then sleep after 1:00AM) and go back to school. But it wasn’t too bad, as I would be starting Gr.12, my final year at school (again this was back in 2009) and I would be flying back in an A380 ...Again!!!
Emirates EK 241
7 September 2009
How I got upgraded?
So I initially checked in and I got a Boarding pass in Economy class. I got through Immigration and Security check fairly quickly, after which I was just hanging around the Dubai Duty Free stores. Since I have travelled through this airport countless times I quickly took a round and then settled for a snack at Burger King. Soon my mother joined me, to see me off at the gate. As boarding began, people formed a line and I joined in too. As I reached the gate, one of the staff asked for my boarding pass and my passport, he saw my name and told me that I would be upgraded to Business class.
The only problem was I didn’t get a window seat, I got a seat in the middle row (24D), but hey, Im travelling in business class so it was all good …and the excitement quadrupled.
The aircraft was at Terminal 3 at DXB so there were aerobridges to the upper deck too. I took my new boarding pass and headed to the aerobridge that had a “First and Business Class” plaque on it. As I entered the aircraft, I was greeted by a flight attendant, who said
FA: Good morning, Welcome Aboard. So you are sitting at 24D, this way Sir (points at the aisle)
I got to my seat, and another flight attendant (I forgot her name, but I would say she was British, let’s call her B for convenience)
B: Good morning welcome aboard!!
Me: Hi Good morning, thank you!
B: Would you like me to take your coat sir?
Me: Yea, absolutely, that would be swell!!
B: OK, Please place your boarding card in the pocket and I will return it just before landing!
Me: That sounds awesome…Thank you
An example of the business class seat at EK
The A.net classic - The knee shot
Major differences one will notice when they fly upstairs (hehe ), is that that seats are well spaced out meaning ample leg room and lots of space to stretch. The seats themselves are…well…awesome…they can be reclined into a flat bed or we can have just the foot rest out or even trigger a massage. The PTV’s are huge and we are provided with noise cancelling headphones. Another plus point about the business class seats is that there is a mini bar beside each seat (no alcoholic drinks are placed here though- alcoholic beverages are served in the bar at the back of the top deck).
Take-Off and Cabin Services
Pushback and take off went off as usual – nothing special here just a routine flight. Since I was in the middle row, I took screen shots at various points of the flight
Taxing to the runway
Entering the active runway...
And off we go!!
Since I flew the A380 once in Economy Class two months back, I will be able to compare the business class and economy class products. A major difference I noticed is the quality of service. In Business Class, I was given a more personal treatment. I noticed that every time a flight attendant approached me to ask me anything whether it is “would you like something to drink?” or “would you like to eat now?” they always kneel down to my level and maintain eye contact. In Economy class though, the service is more rushed, obviously as they have to serve a large number of people and at a fast pace. The amenity kit given, while the aircraft is on the ground, has more amenities in it, like for example in business class, the kit also includes a cologne (I hope the spelling is right!), a moisturising cream (both by Bvlgari), an "Old Spice" anti-perspirant, the razor provided is of better quality and we are also provided with a small can of Gillette shaving foam. Another difference I noticed is that meals are well presented unlike the economy class meals where we get a square tray and everything is squeezed within it, there’s barely enough place to move and get the cutlery or open the meal.
Below you can see pictures of the meal (breakfast) and the presentation. I took a picture of the appetizer and the main course...I didn't have dessert as I wasn't in the mood for anything sweet at that point.
Appetizer - fruit salad
Main course, included scrambled eggs, meat and some veggies
Mood lighting during meal service
View of the cabin with mood lighting
During the flight I took a walk to the back of the aircraft, to take a look at the Bar (I didn’t take any pictures though, coz there were people and I felt a little shy taking a picture of them!!). The bar was opened inflight and they serve drinks throughout the flight, until the time of descent. The area around the bar is modeled like a lounge, there are sofas against the windows and a small coffee table. The partition (between the bar and the cabin) is decorated with LED’s in the shape of landscape like the Burj Al Arab, the Palm Islands and the Burj Khalifa.
On my way to my seat, I saw B
Me: Can I visit the flight deck after we dock at YYZ. I am an aviation nut and I would really like to see and take pictures of this mammoth’s flight deck.
B: (Laughs) Sure, I will ask the captain and I will let you know.
Me: thank you (a big smile )
The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful, I was watching a couple of movies and then I took a nap . I woke up when we were over Greenland and I switched on the ‘back massager’, and then watched some more movies. Below you can see another shot of the mood lighting I snapped during the course of the flight.
Cruising over Nothern Canada
Landing and Cockpit Visit
Once the captain announced that we would be descending into YYZ, B approached me and returned my coat.
B: Here’s your coat sir!
Me: Thank you!!
B: I hope you enjoyed your flight in the Business Class?
Me: I sure did!! Everything was just right!
B: That’s good! Is this the first time you are travelling on an A380?
Me: O no no I flew from Toronto to Dubai on an A380 two months back
B: O wow that’s nice! You seem like a frequent flyer.
Me: (laugh) sort of
B: (laughs) I spoke to the captain and he agreed to show you around the flight deck, so after we are at the gate, wait for everyone to deplane and I will take you to the flight deck!!
Me: that’s awesome, thank you so much (more smiles )
The landing into YYZ was smooth and the cabin applauded as soon we touched down. Once we taxied to the gate, I collected my bags from the overhead rack and waited for others to deplane, I quickly switched on my SLR and got ready to visit the flight deck. B saw me and said
B: Okay, are you ready? (I nod) follow me sir!
I followed her into the First class cabin, I didn’t take any pictures though , as there were passengers still there and I was shy to click a picture of them. B then showed me the First Class showers at the front
B (paraphrased): These are the first class showers- they are closed right now, but during the flight, passengers can freshen up here.
The first class showers - note: they are closed here, the actual shower is behind the door you see straight ahead
Then we headed to the staircase and into the cockpit.
The stairs leading to the lower deck, the lady sure doesn't look happy being on this pic
Initial view of the flight deck
A more thorough view of the flight deck
I was amazed at how close the flight deck looked to that of an A330/340 and basically every other Airbus FBW aircraft.
On my way out I thanked B for a wonderful flight and the tour of the top deck.
I passed through Immigration fairly quickly and proceeded down to the baggage carousel. As usual my bag took forever to come, but when it did, I collected it and I headed out, where I was greeted by a teacher who would be driving me to the dorms.
This concludes my trip on the A380 from DXB-YYZ. I really enjoyed this trip as I flew in business class (on the top deck) of the A380 and I got a chance to visit the flight deck. I hope you enjoyed reading the report, All comments are welcomed.
Links to my past trip reports:
1. Air Arabia SHJ-BOM (June 16, 2007) (pics) (by adityashankar Dec 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
2. Emirates Trips To BLR And Back- Part 1 (by adityashankar Jan 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
3. Emirates Trips To BLR Part 2/2 (very Long) (by adityashankar Feb 4 2011 in Trip Reports)
4. DXB-YYZ On EK's Boeing 777 (January 27 2009) (by adityashankar Mar 26 2011 in Trip Reports)
5. YYZ-DXB June 2009 EK A380 (by adityashankar Jul 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
6. India Trip 2009 (AIX, 9W And EK) (Pics) (by adityashankar Aug 21 2011 in Trip Reports)
Until next time…..Happy Landings!!!