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From London To Dubai On Emirates (Pics)  
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4512 posts, RR: 53
Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Note: I set out with the intention of making this a short report but somehow I got carried away with myself!

I was recently offered a job in Dubai and the proposing company was kind enough to send me to the UAE in order for me to have a look at the place and see if I liked it well enough to begin my post university career there. We finalized the dates and set up a schedule for my trip, and on the morning of 1st May, I received an email confirming me a seat on Emirates Airlines from London to Dubai. I was set to leave on the 9th of May on a red-eye flight and return on the 13th.

I set up an account on Emirates’ frequent flyer programme, Skywards, and added my itinerary details so that I could check in online on the morning of the trip. Sure enough, at 8:30am on Tuesday, I logged onto www.emirates.com, entered my reservation code and checked in.

Therein came my first disappointment – the aircraft operating EK Flight 004 that evening was originally scheduled to be a 777-300; alas, I saw that upon inspecting the seat map, that the aircraft had been downgraded to a lowly -200/ER. Not to worry though, at least it had Rolls-Royce engines and I wouldn’t have to break my record of only traveling on Rolls-Royce Trent 800 777s.

With the help of www.seatguru.com, I found and selected seat 11G, an aisle on the right hand side of the four centre seats. I printed out my boarding pass and then planned out the rest of the day.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30pm in the evening; I decided to leave Oxford on the 4pm Oxford-Heathrow coach due to construction leaving Oxford and potential traffic on the M40. My fears were all for none. Traffic and construction included, I arrived at London Heathrow Airport’s Central Bus station a little after 5:35pm having had a very quick ride.

I made my way to Terminal 3 and found the Emirates check-in desks at Zone F. There was no one in the queue and I reached the desk immediately. The check-in lady was wearing a United Airlines uniform. She tagged my luggage, handed me a boarding pass in a folder, weighed my hand luggage and asked me for confirmation of my returning flight before asking me to proceed to the departures level where I could go through security.

Here is the folder she gave me:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00716.jpg

Upon leaving the Emirates check-in area, I noticed the first thing about Terminal 3 which I didn’t like – the place reeks of B.O. You walk around and it just hits you suddenly like the stinging of the slap of a wet towel when you’re least expecting it. It was enough to make you retch. Anyone who has been to Terminal 3 before must know what I am talking about. There should be someone handing out bars of deodorant or soap at the check-in desks.

I eventually made it to security. There were a lot of passengers there and the queue had wrapped around itself about 5 times. After about 25 minutes of waiting in that queue, I think the effect of the Polo Sport that I put on that morning had been completed devoured by something more powerful.

Security was fairly painless and didn’t involve the strip show which we have to deal with when traveling from the United States. I collected my belongings from the X-ray machine and went out to the terminal.

Leaving the security area, I walked through a maze of duty free perfume shops, the smell of which usually gives me a migraine but in this case served to neutralize the BO that I had to deal with in getting there.

By this point it was about 15 minutes past 6 and I had nothing to do but to wait for Emirates Flight 4 to start boarding. I chatted on the phone with some friends and spoke with my parents as well. There were two Emirates “Send a picture” booths set up in the departures hall. Basically the booth has a keyboard, screen and camera and it takes a picture of you and then pastes it onto a Dubai background of your choice and you can send it to your friends. I did two and have posted one of the shots here for you all to understand what I’m on about.



Emirates Airlines Flight 004
Departure Airport: London Heathrow
Arrival Airport: Dubai International
Departure Time: 20:30 (scheduled), 20:35 (actual)
Arrival Time: 06:30+ (scheduled), 06:25+ (actual)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-21H, A6-EMF
Seat: 11G (later 11DEFG)


Around 7:15pm the gate was announced (Gate 19) and I walked over to the aircraft. I was one of the first passengers to arrive. I handed over my boarding pass and walked into the lounge. A Boeing 777-21H with tail number A6-EMF was waiting for us. I soon found out that this was an A-model 777 delivered to Emirates in 1996, making it one of the oldest in the fleet. I was glad to be flying on this aircraft. Since I couldn’t get on a 777-300, at least I was flying on a non ER version of the -200 so that was better than nothing.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Krzysztof Skowronski [epwa_spotters]



The departure lounge never got very full and I began to hope that no one would be sitting in the seat next to me. At around 8:00pm boarding was called by row. I got on board the aircraft and found my seat, 11G.

The crew on board tonight’s flight were a mixed bunch to say the least. There were at least two Arab ladies and one Arab man in the cabin crew that I could identify. There was also an Englishman, an American man, a Nigerian lady, a Portuguese lady, a Polish lady and that was all that I could see. The pilot and copilot were Australian.

One of the nice things about Emirates is that they have an excellent entertainment system. Just experiencing “ice” (information, communication, entertainment) as it is called was enough to make an airline’s entertainment system an important choice for me when traveling. Since I don’t watch films and I have a very specific taste in television shows, I usually don’t bother at all with the entertainment system and just use my iPod or read a book. But no – ice was something amazing and I’ll get on to that later.

At around 8:20pm or so the doors were closed and not only was there no one sitting next to me, but only 3 of the 10 seats of row 11 were occupied! I had three empty seats next to me!

Regarding Emirates’ choice of 10 abreast seating in Economy on the 777, I used to think it was a silly idea seeing how almost all other airlines are 9 abreast, but sitting in my seat I didn’t think it was such a big deal. Yes – the seat was narrow, but not noticeably so. I defy anyone to tell me that they can tell the difference between seat width in economy on EK’s 777s versus any other airline’s.

Here are a couple of photos of the cabin:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00718.jpg



We eventually got underway and taxied out from Terminal 3 out to runway 09R. I was playing with ICE as we were taxiing and just as we turned onto the final taxiway before reaching the runway I discovered that the aircraft was equipped with forward looking cameras. I turned it on just to see that we were behind an Air Canada A330-300 which was about to taxi onto the active runway.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00730.jpg

A British Midland A320 followed the Air Canada A330 into the sunset and then the two Aussies in the front office of A6-EMF lined us up on 6R. Within a few moments, the Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines spooled up and we were soon roaring down the runway. The pleasure that I derive from listening to the purr of the engines was unfortunately curtailed by two screaming babies in row 10 who screamed louder and louder as the captain applied more and more power. I videotaped their screaming and can post the audio is anyone is interested  

After about 15 seconds, the pilots applied more power and I felt the engines surging. Concurrently, the babies increased their screaming to 70% N1. I don’t think full thrust was applied given the light load, but it was still nice to enjoy the hum of the Trents.

We soon lifted off the runway and were airborne. Next stop – Dubai. We headed east out of Heathrow, eventually banking to the right and turning ever so slightly south. Immediately after takeoff, menus were handed out. Here is a photo of the menu:



The dinner options for tonight were as follows:

Appetizer:

Bresaola - air dried beef served with a marinated grilled vegetable salad, topped with shaved parmesan

Salad:

Seasonal Salad - fresh seasonal salad, served with salad dressing

Main Course:

chicken medallion - sauteed chicken medallion served with a spicy sauce, accompained with basmati rice flavoured with mustard seeds and bell pepper ragout

fillet or tilapia - pan fried fish filled served with a saffron and tomato cream sauce, accomplanied with broccoli flavoured mashed potato, carrots and french beans.

Dessert

morello cherry wedge - a crunchy biscuit base, topped with a fruity morello cherry filling, encased in a rich white chocolate mousse, served with a cherry coulis.

Bread and cheese:

bread and butter
cheese and biscuits

Beverages & Chocolates:

tea or coffee
chocolates


I chose the chicken and it was actually quite good. I have to compliment Emirates on the meal. There were a lot of different things included on the tray and the white chocolate mousse was exceptionally good.

Here are a couple of photos of dinner:

The tray:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00754.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00756.jpg

The air-dried beef:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00758.jpg

The salad:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00759.jpg

The chicken:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00757.jpg

The dessert:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00761.jpg

Overall, a good meal. I had a glass of French wine with dinner, which I forgot to take a picture of but it was good as well.

In the meantime I kept on playing with ICE. Here is a photo of the main screen:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00720.jpg

There were something like 150 movies to choose from but of course I didn’t like any of them  .

Here are a couple of shots of ice:

First of all here is INFORMATION:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00738.jpg

And COMMUNICATION:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00736.jpg

And finally, ENTERTAINMENT:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00737.jpg

I found it funny how they transliterate everything exactly:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00729.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00753.jpg

Even though I am not a huge movie fan I did eventually come across Lady and the Tramp which is one of my favourites. I watched it for just long enough to see my favourite scene:

Lady and the Tramp are having a romantic dinner together at an Italian restaurant:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00776.jpg

They are enjoying the entertainment:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00775.jpg

They are sharing a bowl of pasta and they each manage to grab hold of the same strand of spaghetti:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00777.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00772.jpg

And finally:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00773.jpg

Lady blushes:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00774.jpg

And Tramp shows his love for her by giving her the last meatball:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00778.jpg

After all this excitement I decided to get to sleep. I stretched out across all four chairs and tried to figure out how best to take a picture of myself. I ended up putting the camera on the tray table of 11D and using an 8 second exposure (by this point the cabin lights were out):

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00791.jpg

Ladies and gentlemen – let me tell you what the advantage to 3-4-3 seating on a 777 is. If you are the only one in the block of four, you can stretch out across the four seats and you’ll have more space than will the business class passengers! And stretch out I did – across all four seats, to be specific. Four seats, four blankets, four pillows, it was great. The only thing missing was an eye shade – the Emirates seatback television screens are really big and they give off a lot of light. As a result, many of them were shining in my face and I had to use some one of the three extra pillows to cover my eyes.

I eventually woke up with about 2.5 hours to go after having slept almost as well as I would have done in my own bed back at Oxford. The lights were switched back on and the tea and cake service was started.

At this point I continued playing with ice. I was amused by this silly little girl who was singing the “Tayaran Al Emirate” song on the Arabic channel:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00749.jpg

I then changed to the games portion of the entertainment system. There were something like 50 different games, a lot of which can be played against other people in the plane. I personally played Emirates’ trivia game. I found this interesting – one of their questions was as follows:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00798.jpg

I personally thought that SQ was the launch customer for the 380?

The other interesting thing was the page on EK’s fleet. Notice how they’ve put a picture of the A330-200 for the 777-300/300ER and a picture of the 777-200 for the A330-200! And they also haven’t managed to put a picture of their 310.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00797.jpg

All throughout this time, the tea and cake service was going on. Since I was still suffering from a cold that had started on Sunday morning, I had a cup of hot tea in order to soothe my throat which at that point was quite sore. In removing the wrapping of the cake that came with the tea, I managed to lose my grip on it and I sent it flying towards the ground. By the time I got around to picking it up, the 5 second rule was already invalid and I just put it back on the tray (I wouldn’t have touched it after it fell on the floor of the plane anyway).

Here is a picture of the tea:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00793.jpg

The tea was good and I felt as though it helped my throat so I asked one of the F/As if she could pour me another one. I explained that I had a sore throat and that made it feel better. She came back with another cup of tea and another cake (which I also ruined, don’t ask me how) and later on she came and refilled it, which was nice of her.

With about 30 minutes left in the flight I switched on the airshow to follow our route and saw that we had made a bit of a turn over south east Turkey in order to avoid overflying Iraqi airspace. Instead, we had straddled the length of Iran and made the approach from the west.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00795.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00799.jpg

With 10 minutes left before landing, I turned the forward looking camera on for the landing. At about 6:25am, the tyres of A6-EMF properly snogged the tarmac of Dubai International Airport in what was one of the roughest landings I’ve experienced recently. We turned left off of the runway (which I think was 15L…but don’t quote me) and made a huge detour, only to cross the runway again and head to the terminal building. We parked in between an Emirates A340-300 and a KLM 777-200 PH-BQ* (whichever of their 777s is called Hadrian’s Wall).

Disembarking was done through door 1L and so I got to check out the Business Class cabin on the aircraft (this particular 777 had no First Class). I have to say I was fairly unimpressed with the C-Class seats. They were wide and the pitch seemed quite good, but they looked flat and uncomfortable. I probably got a better night’s sleep on seats 11DEFG than I could have done on 1A.

Upon leaving the aircraft I was met by a tall, thin, Romanian brunette holding a sign saying “MR JASINE – EK 004” on it. She was from Dubai Airport’s “Marhaba” welcoming services. She asked for my passport and started a bit of chitchat with me as she sent for the buggy to come and take us to the passport control area. On the ride over there, she asked me if I had ever been to Romania. I told her that I had spent about 5 minutes at Bucharest Airport when the MEA 707 that was taking me from Istanbul to Beirut in December 1997 made a tech stop at Bucharest Airport. She didn’t seem particularly interested in the details!

Conveniently, I had banged my knee on the bulkhead in the aircraft and it was quite sore, so I was quite happy to was quite nice to be able to bypass the 10 minute walk which I otherwise would have had to have done.

At passport control, my Romanian welcomer took me to the front of the queue and the immigration officer stamped my passport. Amazingly, we arrived at the baggage claim just as the bags were coming off. Less than 30 minutes after we had landed, I was already outside at the taxi rank. I bid farewell to Alina or whatever her name was and got into a taxi.

Unfortunately, the South Indian taxi driver didn’t know where the Grosvenor House was but I told him that if he just drove to Internet City that I’d probably be able to spot it. He was the friendly sort and we started talking about South India. He was from a town called Thirvananananananthanpuram or something. Unfortunately he didn’t know any Hindi, but I impressed him with my two or three phrases of Tamil.

After about 1 hour on the road, we reached the hotel. By this point it was about 8:00am. I checked into the hotel, had breakfast, went to sleep and then headed to Internet City for the first of my meetings with the company.

Sara, since I didn’t go to Los Angeles this time, I couldn’t take a picture of Snoopy so here is a picture of Lady instead!

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00771.jpg

 

----------------------------------------------

Regarding my stay in Dubai, I don’t even know where to start talking about it. I am probably going to end up living there as of August, but in the event that I don’t, I doubt I would ever go to Dubai again.

Here are a couple of photos:

The view from my hotel room at long exposure:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00811.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00810.jpg

The other funny thing which happened was that I hired a completely rubbish car and when I brought it back to my hotel to park it for the night, when I was trying to figure out where to park I decided to park it next to a Rolls-Royce Phantom  :

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00819.jpg

I entertained the thought of getting my tripod and taking a picture of me along with the two cars but decided against it, haha.

On the last day there I drove around bur and deira dubai (towards the airport) and I found Sheikh Rashid Street and took a photo of it for my friend Rashid:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/Emirates/DSC00260.jpg

Enough of this for now and back to the return flight.

----------------------------------------------

I was scheduled to return back to London on EK 007, departing at 02:30am on Saturday morning and arriving at LHR at 7am. The day started on a bad note – my aforementioned cough from Wednesday had turned into laryngitis by Thursday night and I had completely lost my voice. I couldn’t sleep from the discomfort and ended up calling room service in the wee hours of the morning to order a glass of warm milk and some honey. Eventually I fell asleep around 5am (after having watched Meet the Fockers on the 42” Plasma TV in the room) and didn’t wake up until 11:45am (even though I had set the alarm for 7:15am). By this point, breakfast had already finished so I went out to the Dubai Marina shopping centre to buy some antibiotics from the chemist.

I checked out of the hotel around 4pm and drove around Dubai for a few hours in the rubbish rental car that I had hired for the occasion. In my opinion, driving in Dubai isn’t a joy. In Lebanon, the driving is uncivilized, but people are usually looking out for where they are going and if you do the same, it becomes fun to drive. I felt like the uncivilized part of the equation was the case in Dubai, but that people didn’t really look out for where they were going. In particularly these huge roundabouts really give me the willies. I saw three accidents at the roundabouts in the course of the three days that I was there. They have these 4-5 lane roundabouts in the UAE and it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which lane you’re supposed to be in. In addition, some drivers like to exit from the inner lanes, cutting across a bunch of cars and that was exactly the cause of the accidents that I saw.

There are, in my estimation, two more annoying things about the roads in Dubai. One is that because of all the construction, the roads change on a daily basis and the routes are marked with cones only. Secondly, since they are always building new things, getting to one of the new places can involve taking a really weird, serpentine routing. As such, navigating by “oh that looks like it is to the right” doesn’t always work.

I should have prefaced everything I have said thus far with the fact that I only spent about 6 hours on Dubai roads, of which most were in the west, so I might be wrong on some of the generalizations that I made. If anyone is familiar with the situation please feel free to correct me.

From the Grosvenor in new (west) Dubai, I drove around the Jumeirah communities, went to the Jumeirah hotel, went to a Lebanese bakery and then headed out to Bur Dubai which was a COMPLETELY different place than the west. I went to the Al Karama centre and walked around a bit before eventually getting fed up and driving back to the airport.

I was driving a car hired from Budget Rent-a-car and was told to return the car to their al-Rashidiye office (close to the airport). I reached al-Rashidiye around 8:30pm (at which point it was already dark) and drove around trying to figure out where their damn office was. In the process, I nearly ran over two women wearing black shador from head to toe who were jaywalking in the middle of the road. Should get them to wear bicycle reflectors at night.

I couldn’t find their stupid office in the end and was getting frustrated by the heat, the shitty air conditioning in the car and the fact that my throat was beginning to hurt again so I called Budget and was told that since it was after hours, I should drive the car to the A2 Car Park at the departures level of Terminal 1 where someone would meet me. I turned back around and headed back to the airport and called them from A2. I got out of the car and after having driven for almost 5 hours with only two brief stops, my back was completely wet from perspiration (fortunately I had anticipated this and had brought along a change of clothes).

When I parked the car, I got out and went to the boot to get my suitcase out of it. I have a black Samsonite case which has two latches that are locked by keys. I had made the mistake of leaving the key in the keyhole of the right latch and as I was taking it out of the back of the car, I found that the handle of the key had melted off from the heat and the keyhole was filled with the metal from the teeth of the keys! How annoying!

I decided to worry about that later, though, and walked into the terminal building. The first thing that I need to say about Terminal 1 is that it was a complete PANDEMONIUM between people saying bye to each other, children running around, people sitting on the floor, packing/unpacking and the like. Even though I had received the “Marhaba” welcoming service when I arrived there was no “Maa Salama” goodbye service to see me through the airport, so I had do everything by myself – pauvre moi 

Fortunately, there is a baggage screening process before you reach the check-in desks and non-passengers are not allowed past that point. The queue to check-in was quite long and unfortunately I didn’t have my e-ticket number on me, so I had to wait in the queue instead of using the self-service machines. I was told that the plane was quite full and was assigned seat 20G.

From there I went through passport control. Again, there were a lot of people traveling tonight and the queues were really long. I was in between a Filipino woman and her two children on one side and three Chinese gentlemen heading for Beijing on the other side. Eventually we got through passport control and were presented with another equally long line for security. It seemed like an eternity until I got through. By this point it was past 10pm and I still had about 4 hours to burn. I looked around a little bit and did some shopping. I had been requested by about four people to bring them back boxes of Marlboro Lights (which are much cheaper in Dubai than in London) so I picked those up.

The terminal in Dubai is really nice and well kept and the shopping is great. I honestly can’t think of any airport that I have been to that is a better place to burn four hours than DXB.

I had just gotten off the escalator when I heard an announcement come over the PA saying:

“Al nida2 l akheer li tayaran l sharq l awsat, re7la rakem arb3a tnen tes3a al mootawajjiha ila beirut. Al raja2 l tawajjoh ila l ta2ira 3abra l bawwaba rakem arba3tash.”

Which was the final call for MEA Flight 429 to Beirut. I happened to be right next to gate 14 and found that there was a Middle East Airlines Airbus A330-200 F-OMEA waiting at the gate to take its lucky passengers back to Beirut. The flight was on its final boarding call and the gate agent was scanning left and right to see if any more passengers were coming on board. He caught my eye and asked if I was going to Beirut. I told him that I wished that I was!

Things got pretty boring really quickly so I decided to sit down and start writing this trip report. While thinking of airliners.net I remember seeing a picture of the inside of Terminal 1 at DXB on the A.net database and was thinking of taking some photos of the terminal but decided that they wouldn’t be accepted anyway.

I sat down and relaxed for a little while and listened to my ipod. In the meantime, announcements were being made to the effect of “Al nida2 l akheer li tayaran el imarat” over and over and over and over and over and over again. The Emirates operation in Dubai is really something!

Around 1:00am I decided to start walking to the gate. I stopped by the payphone on the way and made some phonecalls. My flight still hadn’t been called yet so I sat down again, this time closer to the gate, and started talking with a Tanzanian guy who had lived in Dubai all his life and was going to Dar for the summer (on Kenya Airways via Nairobi). We spoke for about 20 minutes, then exchanged emails and we each went to our gates.

Then came the final boarding call:

“Al nida2 l akheer li ta2irat l tayaran l imarat, re7la rakem saba3 al mootawajjiha ila london heeeeeethhhrooouu. Al raja2 l tawajjoh ila l ta2ira 3abra l bawwaba rakem wa7ed w arba3een.”

Which took me by surprise, because my boarding card said that boarding would begin at 1:45am and it was only 1:40am now.

Emirates Airlines Flight 007
Departure Airport: Dubai International
Arrival Airport: London Heathrow
Departure Time: 02:30 (scheduled), 07:00 (actual)
Arrival Time: 07:00+ (scheduled), 07:15+ (actual)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-243, A6-EKY
Seat: 20G


I walked over to gate 41 and found a long line awaiting me. It took about 10 minutes to get through the line and on the bus that would take passenger to the aircraft. After about a 5 minute drive we reached the aircraft.

As the doors of the bus opened, I was taken aback by the heat and humidity. It was a lovely evening for some spotting. There were a bunch of Emirates aircraft parked on the tarmac, including two 777-300ERs (E and Q) and an A340-500 along the A330-200s. Our aircraft was the last A330 parked remotely and its registration was A6-EKY.

Boarding was conducted from the stairs and when I got on the plane I noticed that there were already a bunch of people onboard (probably 60%) at least. This aircraft was 3 classes and the Business Class looked really lame. In fact, the C-Class seats on the 332 look very much like the Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy seats on their A340-600. Could just be a coincidence.

I took my seat, 20G. There was no one sitting in 20F. My first thought about the aircraft was that it completely sucked in comparison to the 777. For one thing, the seats were harder and not as comfortable, the screens were much smaller and the cabin felt much, much less spacious. The 777 overhead bins fold into the ceiling whereas the 330 ones just hang overhead, and so I felt a lot more claustrophobic on the Airbus.

Before taking off, the cabin crew sprayed the cabin with some funny sort of a spray, which they said was a requirement for landing in the UK. We started the engines and taxied out to what I believe was runway 30R. I was watching on the forward camera and I have to say that the resolution of the picture was much better on the A330 than the 777. In fact the view from the night sky was great.

Takeoff was smooth and powerful and we rocketed into the hot, dark Arabian night. The pilot on this flight was American and I believe the copilot was from the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The crew were also a mixed bunch – Arab, American, Chinese, Filipino, Black, Italian, German.

We were first served a Chicken Faijta sandwich as a quick, short meal, allowing the crew to finish the service quickly so that they could turn off the lights and so that we could sleep. And once the trays were cleared, sleep I did, until only 1.5 hours before landing.

When I woke up, the breakfast service was started. You’ll have to excuse me for not taking any pictures, I had been on the road for about 5 hours before arriving at the airport and had to sit on the airport benches in the terminal for another 6 hours before the damn plane took off and I just couldn’t be arsed to get my camera from the overhead bin.

Breakfast was nothing special – just a choice between an omelette or scrambled eggs. I had the scrambled eggs. They were OK, but nothing special, but in any event I wasn’t hungry at all, I just wanted to get home.

We eventually started our approach and as the tyres of our Airbus A330 gently kissed the tarmac of Runway 27L, I thought to myself, God Save the Queen. I was finally back in civilization. Not quite home, but it was certainly more home than the UAE and I felt much more comfortable in this place than Dubai. Deplaning was done through door 1L. Terminal 3 was an absolute nightmare. There were so many people going through immigration that it took me a whole hour to get through!!! Just thinking about it makes me tired! Fortunately my bag was already waiting for me on the carousel and I picked it up and got on the 8:30am OxfordHeathrow coach and was back home by 10am.

There ends my Dubai adventure. I hope this report wasn’t too long or boring. Sorry for the lack of pictures on the way back, but there wasn’t too much to report anyway!

If you’ve bothered reading this far, please leave some comments!

Kind regards

Air liban.

[Edited 2006-05-14 19:10:31]


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1939 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report! Nice pics of Emirates. The food looks really good for Economy, and the ICE sounds like its the best IFE out there. I hope to fly Emirates soon.

User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4698 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
KLM 777-200 PH-BQ* (whichever of their 777s is called Hadrian’s Wall).

PH-BQH, the last letter of the reg is the first of the name at KL772's



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineMusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1091 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey, very nice report! I really enjoyed reading.
How did you compare the comfort of the cabin between A330 and B777?
Best regards

William



Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently offlineLoungeLover From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 148 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Always a pleasure to read your reports AirxLiban! Nice report!

User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome report with great pictures, well done!

The ICE entertainment system looks stunning, I can't wait to check it out by myself. The food is also looking good, great that EK is serving Mini Babybels, I like them very much and ate a few of them earlier this evening. Big grin

Patrick


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6811 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Michel,

another detailed and entertaining trip report with great pictures!  thumbsup 

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
Regarding Emirates’ choice of 10 abreast seating in Economy on the 777, I used to think it was a silly idea seeing how almost all other airlines are 9 abreast, but sitting in my seat I didn’t think it was such a big deal. Yes – the seat was narrow, but not noticeably so. I defy anyone to tell me that they can tell the difference between seat width in economy on EK’s 777s versus any other airline’s.

And another one who doesn't really complain about the 3-4-3 - interesting that the seating is often criticized on the forums but never by those who have actually experienced it.

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I have to compliment Emirates on the meal. There were a lot of different things included on the tray and the white chocolate mousse was exceptionally good.

The food looks amazing. Your judgement confirms many other reports on EK's catering.

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I personally played Emirates’ trivia game. I found this interesting – one of their questions was as follows:

That's my favourite out of all games. Etihad's trivia features questions about aviation as well. If I recall correctly, there was also a question about the A380.

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
The other interesting thing was the page on EK’s fleet. Notice how they’ve put a picture of the A330-200 for the 777-300/300ER and a picture of the 777-200 for the A330-200! And they also haven’t managed to put a picture of their 310.

Unbelievable - amateurish mistakes. If they still feature the mistakes on my trip in September, I will definitely send a complaint...  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Another excellent TR mate!....Didn't look like a huge amount of legroom though?

Anyway, you are a lucky dog!!


User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1358 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR. How did the narrowness of the 10-abreast seating on the 773 compare with the 8-abreast seating on the 332?

User currently offlineNicolasdec From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

very good report pleasure to read


Nicolas
User currently offlineAirlinefreak1 From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 260 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent trip report , it reminded me of home - cant wait to go back there .

Your right about the driving there , its a nightmare , its even getting worse recently with the congestion ....

u didnt say much bout ur hotel - did u like it ? , its really nice from the inside - it looks like a ribbed condom from the outside though!!

glad to know you enjoyed it - did u get some good arabic food there atleast ? shawrmas ? wara2 3enab ??

ma3a el salama


User currently offlineFOMEA From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 849 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Mike,
Excellent trip report.
Thanks for posting it.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 7):
Anyway, you are a lucky dog!!

He sure is.
 Wink



Regards
F-OMEA.



On the internet you can be anything you want..its strange so many choose to be Stupid.
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

It was great especially the unexpected kiss in the cartoon. Thanks.

User currently offlineCurtisMan From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1002 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report and pics - thanks for posting.

And I love that you did the kissing sequence with the spaghetti - a true classic movie!


Cheers!
Len



Citizen of the World
User currently offlineEssjay From South Africa, joined Dec 2000, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Airxliban, you bring new meaning to the word "detailed"! Another great report!  Smile

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I noticed the first thing about Terminal 3 which I didn�t like � the place reeks of B.O. You walk around and it just hits you suddenly like the stinging of the slap of a wet towel when you�re least expecting it. It was enough to make you retch. Anyone who has been to Terminal 3 before must know what I am talking about. There should be someone handing out bars of deodorant or soap at the check-in desks.

Try Terminal 3 at the height of the British "summer"!  Wink This has got to be the worst airport terminal I have ever been to. It is so claustrophic...at least you didn't have crowds, but it was packed when I was there, and when you add low ceilings and a severe lack of ventilation, you end up with a very unpleasant experience. Emirates is a great way to fly (in Economy, although their Business doesn't look like much) but I would seriously think twice because of LHR T3.


User currently offlineEDGAREN From Venezuela, joined Feb 2006, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi airxliban... Good report and hope you're lucky with the job offer in Dubai...You made me curious when saying that you would only go back to Dubai if you get accepted in the company, why is it that you didnt like it?..

Regards, Edgar.


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 49
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very nice trip report like always.

Thanks for sharing.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
He was from a town called Thirvananananananthanpuram

That would be the short name for the town. Your Taxi driver's name was probably Thiruvenkatasubrahmaniam Ramalingadoraiswamigal, also known as 'T.R.' to his buddies.

Great trip report! So did you take the job?


User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 941 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report - thanks for all the detail and good pix.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
And another one who doesn't really complain about the 3-4-3 - interesting that the seating is often criticized on the forums but never by those who have actually experienced it.

I was thinking about that, too. At first 10 abreast in a 777 sounds awful, but then I noticed that the seat width (17") is the same as aboard most 747s and the pitch (34") exceeds most airlines' - with a great IFE to occupy you, it probably isn't too bad at all.



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineAntskip From Australia, joined Jan 2006, 932 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fantastic report! Thank you! I am a great fan of EK. As you noticed, there are considerable differences in even EK's fleet. A shame you didn't try out the A345. You didn't seem to like the A330. Wonder if you would have felt any different about their flying hotel, the A345. Loved you pics! Very clear. Some points:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
fillet or tilapia - pan fried fish filled served with a saffron and tomato cream sauce

Is this a typo or is it how it was on the EK menu? Tilapia is a fish (native to Africa-espec the Nile and Lake Victoria-maybe they get the fish fresh from Uganda?), so I would have expected "fillet OF tilapia".

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
Lady and the Tramp are having a romantic dinner together at an Italian restaurant

Lovely inclusion!

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
the Emirates seatback television screens are really big and they give off a lot of light. As a result, many of them were shining in my face and I had to use some one of the three extra pillows to cover my eyes.

I am pretty sure you can turn off each screens if you want darkness. can't you?


User currently offlineLO231 From Belgium, joined Sep 2004, 2392 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
He was from a town called Thirvananananananthanpuram or something



Quoting Comorin (Reply 17):
Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
He was from a town called Thirvananananananthanpuram

That would be the short name for the town. Your Taxi driver's name was probably Thiruvenkatasubrahmaniam Ramalingadoraiswamigal, also known as 'T.R.' to his buddies.

Wouldn't be THIRUVANANTHAPURAM though? Previously known as Trivandrum? (TRV)..

Great report BTW!

Regards,
LO231



Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting LO231 (Reply 20):
Wouldn't be THIRUVANANTHAPURAM though? Previously known as Trivandrum? (TRV)..

Of course. I was just kidding  Wink


User currently offlineLO231 From Belgium, joined Sep 2004, 2392 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Comorin (Reply 21):
Quoting LO231 (Reply 20):
Wouldn't be THIRUVANANTHAPURAM though? Previously known as Trivandrum? (TRV)..

Of course. I was just kidding

Sowwee, I'm so daaaaft......

 Wink

Regards,
LO231



Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
User currently onlineAirxliban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4512 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Musapapaya (Reply 3):
w did you compare the comfort of the cabin between A330 and B777?

Give me the B777 anyday mate! The seat was loads more comfortable on the 772. When you recline the seat, the bottom cushion also tilts up. Width and pitch were about the same. The cabin was nice and wide and the bins folded up away into the ceiling on the 777, as opposed to the claustrophobic feel of the 330. The only thing better on the 330 was that the footrests were slightly more comfortable (although I really didn't use them on the 772).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
That's my favourite out of all games. Etihad's trivia features questions about aviation as well. If I recall correctly, there was also a question about the A380.

Hehe...me too. Is that answer correct though? I thought SQ were the launch customer?

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 7):
Didn't look like a huge amount of legroom though?

Hmm....not great but not worse than BA. I'd guess 33" pitch without checking.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 7):
Anyway, you are a lucky dog!!

LUCK! Luck, my dear friend had nothing to do with it - it was all skill!

...wait....no it was luck.

Quoting Phatfarmlines (Reply 8):
How did the narrowness of the 10-abreast seating on the 773 compare with the 8-abreast seating on the 332?

I would say its not even noticeable to be honest.

Quoting Airlinefreak1 (Reply 10):
u didnt say much bout ur hotel - did u like it ? , its really nice from the inside - it looks like a ribbed condom from the outside though!!

I liked it very much - I had a very enjoyable stay, the room was big and comfortable, the bed was enormous, there was a plasma screen, the bath was great, the service and the level of ass licking were quite high.

Nice way of putting it about the condom, lol, I would have said that it looked like a rocket, but your explanation is more accurate.

Quoting Airlinefreak1 (Reply 10):
did u get some good arabic food there atleast ? shawrmas ? wara2 3enab ??

I did actually. There are a bunch of Lebanese bakeries and things which I also took advantage of.

Quoting EDGAREN (Reply 15):
You made me curious when saying that you would only go back to Dubai if you get accepted in the company, why is it that you didnt like it?..

Well actually I already had the offer when I got there. Dubai is just a really weird place, I don't even know where to start! To be honest though I think at the end of the day I think it just lacks a certain something and I'm not entirely sure what it is. Perhaps it's authenticity.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 17):
Great trip report! So did you take the job?

I accepted it yesterday, yup.

Quoting Antskip (Reply 19):
Is this a typo or is it how it was on the EK menu?

Sorry, that was a typo! The r and f keys are right next to each other.

Quoting Antskip (Reply 19):
I am pretty sure you can turn off each screens if you want darkness. can't you?

You can turn the screen in front of you off, but you can't go around to the other seats on the same row as you and tell everyone who is watching TV to turn their screens off  Wink



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineTomatLTN From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 70 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Michel

That was a pleasue to read and glad you had a nice time. I must fly emirates as i have heard so many good reports about them. Hope the job goes well.

here's hoping emirates starting flying to luton you can dream

Regards

Tom



Boxing Day Test Match in Melbourne i be there and will you
25 Antskip : Wow. You got me there! Didn't consider them at all! Thanks again for such an enjoyable report! [Edited 2006-05-18 12:25:21][Edited 2006-05-18 12:25:4
26 Post contains images Emirates773ER : I concur, but from your trip report the impression which jumps out is that you were frustrated in dubai rather than lost. I guess when you are sick i
27 Door5Right : Economy class Mr. AirxLiban? LOL, that's a bit of a change for you!
28 KLM685 : Excellent Trip Report! Always the best coming from you! Cheers!
29 Ba757gla : great report , it is nice to see ek 773 in GLA!!
30 AirPacific747 : Very very nice report!! Funny to see the pic of Emirates mixing the pictures with the model names :P A lot of cool pictures, and again, interesting to
31 AirxLiban : Not to worry mate, I'll be going back to Los Angeles in Club World in August. I was a bit frustrated, you're right. I think the point is that I was t
32 Flying Belgian : So was it one of the very first EK 772A to be fitted with the ICE system ? FB.
33 Cmk10 : I don't usually post comments on trip reports but I must say that not only are you an excellent photographer, you gave a wonderfully detailed account
34 AirxLiban : Hmm, not sure, I think EK only have 3 777As, A6-EMD/E/F and F is the oldest. I was once told that all the 777s have the ICE system, so perhaps they w
35 Abrelosojos : = SQ's system is better IMO. = For a top 1000 list of why NOT to sell yourself and live in Dubai, please PM me. If the salary differential is 10+ tim
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