I remember this wonderful trip like it was yesterday...
All flights were on economy class.
YVR - LHR
July 10, 2001
Approx 9 hours
We (my family and I) arrived at YVR about 2 hours prior to departure. While my family was checking in, I saw the 763 that would take us to LHR at gate D50. After checking in and passing through security at YVR, we looked everywhere for gate D50, because we were having difficulties finding the gate. Finally, we arrived at gate D50 and boarding began shortly after. I was upset that our seats were at the back of the plane. After waiting in the heat (the air conditioning was not on) for baggage to be loaded onto the plane we finally taxied out of YVR. Shortly after, we took off. There were magnificent views of Vancouver from the plane: I could see Downtown Vancouver on one side of the plane, and I could also see the City of Richmond on the other side of the plane. Pretty soon, the city disappeared and was replaced by mountains and later nothing. After the plane reached its cruising altitude, drinks were served. Then, a little later into the flight, dinner was served. I thought the meal was satisfactory: not very good, but not bad. After the meal, it became darker and darker. Almost everyone I could see in the plane, including my family, began covering the plane's windows and going to sleep. However, for some reason, I couldn't sleep. I just sat and listened to music. The flight was not full. In the back of the plane, where my family and I were, there wasn't anyone. Therefore, thanks to the nice flight attendants (one of them knew my mother from high school), each of us got a whole middle row of seats at the back of the plane. Occasionally, while most people were asleep, I would get up and have a chat with the flight attendants and get a drink. Later into the flight, I lied down on my row of seats and tried to sleep, because I didn't want to suffer from fatigue once I arrived LHR. When I was falling asleep, an English man came up to me and said something. I didn't hear what he said, so I just said "ok". He lied down/sat on my row of seats. I argued with him for a long time and the flight attendant eventually sent him back to his assigned seat. After he left, I was wide awake. I tried to take a look at the magnificent views of Greenland, but I was told that I can't open the shutters because it could wake people up. After seven hours into the flight, many people woke up and breakfast was served. The breakfast mainly consisted of fruit. After breakfast, most people onboard just talked. Finally, the plane began to decend into LHR. However, the plane was in a "holding position," as too many planes were trying to land at LHR (this was at 12:00 pm London time). The plane went in circles and it made me feel very sick. Finally, the plane landed in LHR and we taxied to Terminal 3. Out the window, I could see so many airlines/airplanes I've never even seen before: there was Air India, PIA, lots of UA 777's, an EK A330, and lots more. After the plane stopped, we got out into Terminal 3. Arriving in LHR is one of the most memorable moments of my life. There were so many people from different backgrounds, and the airport was really busy. I had never seen anything like that in my whole life. It was great to see a lot of multi culturalism. Since our EK flight to DXB was not until 8:00 pm and it was about 2:00 pm, we took the Heathrow Express to Central London to visit my aunt.
LHR - DXB
July 11, 2001
Since we were checked in all the way to NBO at the AC counter in YVR, we already had our EK boarding passes printed on AC Paper. Therefore, we walked for a long time through an empty part of terminal 3 to get to our gate. Finally, we arrived at our gate. The people who were taking the boarding passes were all UA staff, probably because they codeshare with EK. Through the glass windows, I could see the huge B777-300. After waiting for some time, we boarded the plane. I didn't know what to expect on EK. Before going on that plane, I thought that EK would be a very "cheap" airline. However, when I entered the plane, I was shocked to see a nice, light cabin with PTV's. After everyone boarded, we began taxing out onto the runway. Since I was so tired because I didn't really sleep on the AC flight, I was asleep during take off. Later, I woke up and read the menu. I selected loin lamb chops. The meal was excellent, the best I ever ate on a plane. For the rest of the flight, I just sat and slept. I also watched Spy Kids a few times, and kept my eyes on the tracker to see how far we were from DXB. Finally, we descended into DXB. From the window, I could see a desert landscape. After we landed, we got off. We then ate at McDonalds, went to the washroom, and boarded on the plane to NBO.
July 12, 2001
DXB - NBO
We boarded the airplane and the plane took off shortly. Nothing much happened during this flight: breakfast was served, and I kept my eyes fixed on the flight tracker for 5 hours. As we were descending into NBO, I looked at the camera views EK has on their PTV's. The ground was just nothing but a peach coloured dirt, but soon the narrow, grey runway came into view. After we left the plane, we went through customs and claimed our baggage. I was surprised to see baggage carousels in Africa! While I was at the baggage claim area, I saw our friends that we had not seen for 5 years looking at us through the window. I walked towards them...
After a great time in Africa, it was time to go. Check in at NBO was really long and slow. As we were entering the gate to the plane, a security officer caught my father with earings, which he was carrying for my mother. My sister and I were inspected thoroughly by a security officer. After giving us a hassle, we finally boarded the aircraft. In the aircraft, I looked at the cam views and saw us slowly leave Africa... For the rest of the flight, I slept and read. Dinner, (another lamb dish) was also served. While we were descending into DXB, I looked out the window and saw thousands of city lights. After landing, I could see the beautiful terminal through the window. In DXB, we had to wait 7 hours for our flight to LHR. After deciding against staying in the hotel at DXB, we went to our gate and slept on the chairs. However, I couldn't sleep again, so I wandered around DXB and went to Dubai Duty Free and the airport mosque.
Time went by fast, and pretty soon we were on the plane to LHR. As usual, a meal was served. This time, however, I got some toys from EK with the meal. I got a little toy bunny, lego, a colouring page, and more. I thought it was great that EK was giving this out, unlike *cough*AC*cough*. The toys kept me entertained throughout the 7 hour flight. For most of the flight, I slept. After what seemed to be a 2 hour flight, we landed in LHR on a nice, sunny day. At LHR, we claimed our baggage on a carousel that also had bags from a UA flight. We then left the airport and began our 5 day vacation in London.
It was unfortunately the end of our 2 week holiday, and we had to go home. Check in at LHR was quick and we made our way to the gate. We soon boarded the plane, and after waiting for an eternity, we finally took off for YVR. Unlike on the other AC flight, everyone was awake on the flight. The window shutters were open. Everybody seemed happy and cheerful. During the flight, I walked around the plane, chatted with some passengers and flight attendants, and looked out the window. Dinner (lasagna or fish) was served. This flight went by really fast, and soon we were descending into YVR. Through the plane, I could see my school. The plane landed smoothly, and we soon left the aircraft. I was very happy to be home in the beautiful city of Vancouver. On the way to customs, we passed through the fake forest YVR has. After clearing customs and claming our baggage, we were finally on our way home...
This was an excellent and very memorable trip. I was really pleased by EK with their PTV's, selection of movies/music, cabin comfort, selection of movies/music, camera views, and more. I enjoyed the experience of flying the 777, which is, in my opinion, the best aircraft. However, I wasn't as pleased with AC: there was nothing specials about it. If I go to NBO or DXB again, I will definately consider EK.
[Edited 2003-09-29 03:08:03]