HummingBird From Jamaica, joined Mar 2007, 3344 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 14518 times:
It has been a while since I have done any postings, I am back. During my work experience in Dubai where I did two years, I was happy to know that my carrier to Jamaica would be Emirates and the 777-300ER via JFK. My flight to Dubai was in Jan 2005 where I flew MIA-FRA-DXB on Lufthansa 747-400. The seat pitch was horrible coupled with the fact we had to entertained using overhead screens. The flight time was 8 hours and cabin service was impressive as you actually felt the warmth and hospitality on your emotions. My layover time in FRA was eight hours and I spent most of it touring the terminals and having a taste of different European cuisine.My flight to DXB was 6 hrs 45 mins and it was a full flight with continuing service to Muscat. The only problem I had was my neighbour who continuously disturbed. me for the meal service even though I mentioned to him I had a full meal prior to boarding. The thing I like about the 747-400 is the braking action upon contact with the tarmac as you are thrust forward then slowly you are eased to your original position.
December 14, 2006 It was time to go home and I spent the last day packing as the shopping in Dubai is affordable especially in Karama and far away in Ajman. I discovered I would be checking three pieces all weighing over 24 kilos and my carry on was well over 35 kilos and I was unyielding on leaving these items behind. I left for the airport at 10 pm and stopped at my friends house to have a home meal just to remind me where I would be in the next 24 hours.
I arrived at the airport and found a porter who charged me DHS 30 for my bags. For those of us who have not been to Dubai the check-in area is relatively small as entering the departure area one would assume you are at a city airport.I cleared security and proceeded to the US flight check-in for EK 203 where I chatted with the friendly Kenyan agent ,who was surprised to find a Jamaican in Dubai. This is one question that annoyed me whilst in Dubai as persons all wanted to know why I chose Dubai?. I tried to distract with my interests in Kenya, but with his keen sense of sight he saw the scale and instructed me to unpack as it was too heavy, in addition to this he I was forced to pay $285.00 for the additional weight, with no choice I complied and was well on my way to my first B777 flight.
I left the check-in area and went on the upper level for the restaurants where I did some last minute shopping and my last look at my spot where I used to do my spotting. I enjoyed this area as it gives you a perfect view of the terminal operations. Proceeded to clear security and headed to passport control where I had to encounter the most unpleasant lot of workers, you literally had to beg for a smile. I am sure first impressions last and this one definately will. The outgoing KLM crew went ahead with their leggy blonde Flight attendants. Dubai airport is part underground and this lead to a marathon close to Boston. Got to the main departure area or as they say "the den". The sight was horrific as to view how crowded the area was with persons sleeping on the floor combined the ever demands of the Duty Free sales-persons. I proceeded to the gate where they did a final check of all bags. The flight was scheduled to depart at 2am and boarding began at 1:45am with first and business class passengers. I tried to take a few snaps, but was apprehended by the Gate Officer. As we boarded through Door 2 I could view the passengers in First relaxing in their suites. I was greeted by an enthusiastic Pinoy who seemed to enjoy his job. My seat number was 28H over the wing. My first impression of the cabin was "wow" as the curves in the cabin gave a roomy feel. I looked at business class and was disappointed at the lack of pitch as with 2*3*2 it has a cramped feeling. I settled at 28H and and looking in the cabin it seemed to be close to 90% in economy. Emirates anticipates the needs of their clients by having amenity kits, blankets and headphones at each seat. At 2:35 doors were closed and the safety demo was played on the ICE screen. I was surprised at the number of passengers who were watching their film selection than the safety demo.
One concern have with Emirates is the configuration on this aircraft with 3-4-3 it was cramped and even though I am 5'11'' it was uncomfortable.
At 2:45am the throttles were advanced and were had a long roll. I apologise for the quality of the video as I used my cell phone. There was a slight drizzle and it enhanced the experience. We took a right turn then a left and we were on our way to JFK as the routing took us over Iran up to Greenland then, over to New York flying over Canada.
My first impression of ICE was an easy to use product as I was able to easily select my choice of film. After take off we were handed custom and immigration forms, then our menu. I perused the menu as I had ordered a special seafood meal. The hot towels came then those passengers that ordered their special meals were served. The demographics on the flight was 80% Indians, so imagine the number of special meals and the crew handled the situation with speed , even though there were small errors. In my cabin I had crew members from Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea.
I was served my seafood meal that was salmon with baked potato, shrimp salad and cheese cake. The portion was a big surprise and as you will see in the picture it was delicious. Beverage came 30 mins later and this was enough to have the nocturnal effect. I started to watch The Devil Wears Prada and I fell asleep.
After a well deserved rest I realized I slept through the second service which was sandwich and snickers and your choice of beverage. I restarted The Devil Wears Prada and for the next three hours I was stuck to Meryl Streep and her pronounced skills. Feeling bored I film ed the cabin service.
I fell asleep and woke up prior to breakfast service, again it was fish, this time hammour. Daylight started to appear and the cabin was prepared for landing. I have to commend the crew for their efforts on providing world class service. It has its flaws but none the less they tried. The Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Pinoys were stars in their service.
Approach in a foggy JFK and after flying for 14 hrs and 15 hours on the plane we finally arrived. I cleared immigration and proceeded to customs where I was asked the lame questions "why, where, when "questions concerning Dubai. I met my town car that took me to EWR for my JM flight to MBJ.
Being in a new time zone affected my metabolism and I was extremely exhausted, my concern with about my luggage being overweight clouded my thoughts (this is a common problem amongst Jamaican travellers). Got to the terminal to be told there is a delay. My flight JM018 was scheduled to leave at 1:50pm but the new time was 12am the following day.We were given accommodation plus meals in the Days Inn Hotel. It was a cold day In New Jersey and I had a long sleep then got ready at 9pm for my airport pick-up.
We arrived at a crowded Jersey airport where MH, BR and TP were checking in their last passengers, further down the hall I could see the blondy Virgin Atlantic Airlines crew members. Due to the delay all passengers were given weight exemption and with the flight being 95% full 85% of the passengers had an extra luggage. Got my seat assignment on the A320 aircraft. Proceeded to the gate where there was a further delay of the flight. The crew arrived at 11:20pm, and being familiar with the service my anticipations were not forthcoming. We boarded the aircraft at 12:20am and the pilots were having weight and balance issues and at 1:20am we departed the gate. I am not sure which runway we used but this was a powerful take off and I felt the power of the CFM engines. Being tired and I was not able to take any pics as I did not want to make the passengers next to me uncomfortable. I was served a champagne meal with rice, fish and vegetables, which I may describe as appetiser portion. At 5am we touched down at the Donald Sangster International Airport. It was nice to be home.
It took me two weeks be come acclimatised to the time zone, and what can I say fun in the sun,,YEAH MAN.
EK's JFK flights, which are now three daily, generally carry a majority of Indian passengers. Shows how well they are doing on funneling pax out of India to the US. Also an indication of the huge India-US market that the new non-stop India-US flights may soon tap into.