ULA340
Topic Author
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:47 am

EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 pm

A controversial yet deserved title to my first experience on Emirates. Please note that all views expressed on this report are mine and they might reflect a one off experience. If you have noticed instances like mine, let me know in the comments section. I'm very critical in this TR as I attach high standards to the brand.

Also, this is my first time writing a TR. I have been lurking for nearly a decade so it is time I contribute. Forgive my bad photography; flying for 18 hours with an 8 hour layover made me take photos out of haste. I don't know but it might have an influence on my experience so take my words with a grain of salt.

Flight info
EK 235
L.F 90-100%
B77W - A6-EPW (1.1 years old)
15h 28m


Backstory
I am an International student studying aerospace engineering in America; check my username if you want a hint as to where I am from. I have making this twice a year commute usually on QR, EY and UL with a combination of either AA or UA. I prefer the latter as I have a natural bias for my home carrier, love ex CMB catering, friendly air-hostesses ;), sandwiches as a mid-flight snack and the chance to fly old UA birds. Last time I flew UA, I had the pleasure of flying the oldest 777 which gave me goosebumps and was one of my most memorable flights. This time however, my switch in location from upstate NY to Chicago, prompted Emirates as the cheapest option to go from my native country to Murica. I was excited to say the least. Emirati exuberance as seen in other reports made me envision luxury. No denying that this assumption was true but money is not everything in this world after all, isn't it?

My journey began with EK 655 to DXB. Wonderful flight. Air-hostesses were really nice with one suggesting that I opt out Bailey's for Amarula which I have never tasted. I think I will stick with Amarula from now on. Food was okay. They served native white fish curry with a spinach and leek curry and a perfectly spiced grilled chicken with an Arabian style mushy eggplant (forget the name). The main was not stellar as I wanted a final taste of home, before I leave for the wintery hellhole which lacks my cuisine, but it was authentic enough for me to bid farewell. Short finals and landing at DXB was very turbulent with the 77W bouncing in the sky. I enjoyed the bumpy ride a lot but I can't say the same for the other passengers who oohed and aahed intermittently as they traversed in a non-inertial reference frame.

This was followed by an 8 hour layover in Dubai. No complaints here other than the fact that the place needed more chairs. Nearly all the seats were taken and once I found my reclining chair, my ass claimed temporary ownership till boarding time.

EK 235

Image
The windows were annoying as it messes up zoom for auto digital cameras. Is this intentional?


Image
If only you were an A380 my love.


Being a superstitious person, I associate numbers I've seen before with fortune. 235 was the course number of my bitter-sweet physics course, classical mechanics. This class was hard, I suffered a lot but I got a good grade in the end. This got me thinking preflight on how my experiences aboard EK 235 would turn out to be.

I was greeted by the flight attendants in first class who directed me to the correct aisle (which I couldn't have guessed btw :P ). To my horror I saw my human sandwich awaiting me right at the back of the middle economy cabin. To my luck, I sat in the wrong seat and when I corrected my mistake, the old couple sitting next to me offered the aisle seat instead of the window seat. I would normally refuse this offer as I have to stay true to being an avgeek but I knew this flight would require me to go to the toilet quite often so I accepted their offer. It was nice to sit next to this old couple and I think they were glad that I did because it reminded me of my parents as much as I did to them as a kid. This plays a role later on as I was more helpful to them as the moody flight attendants.

Image
For a 6'3'' person, legroom was decent. I've had better legroom on Malindo Air which is a low cost carrier though.


Fast forwarding to the completion of boarding, the captain announced a 20 min delay due to the loading of cargo. When placing the luggage, the old gentlemen sitting next to me had the double trouble of placing the luggage away from the holder above him and looking after his handicapped wife. This seemed to be a huge nuisance to the flight attendants. One flight attendant going to the extent of making faces, raising eyebrows and exhaling deeply which was RUDE. I mean come on! the guy was at least 70 and instead of asking him what he needs in order to clear the aisle, she just asked him to not block the aisle. There was no help whatsoever when it came to loading bags into the bins. A frail looking boy nearly had his bag fall on him before another dude jumped in and intervened. Meanwhile the old man and his wife had trouble putting his seatbelt. I tried helping them but the flight attendant came to his 'rescue'. All she did was stand next to me and give instructions to which the old man wasn't responding. She appeared to not understand what he was saying which caught the attention of a purser who was doing her rounds. She was as equally unhelpful in barking instructions. It took him a couple of minutes to figure out what was going on. It's human to voice frustration but it is also not professional. This could have been simply resolved if she just bent over and diagnosed the problem.

Anyways lets proceed to the flight. Routine take off with a nice view of Dubai. I was excited for the food as I've seen their catering in previous TRs. Menu shown below. Flight attendants on this flight didn't like smiling too much. They walked down the aisles with a cat-walk model smirk. They were pretty gorgeous but this wasn't a fashion show. I know its tough to endear 15+ hours of smiling but I have also flown plenty of other carriers on long hauls who have been able to show a level of sincerity when it comes to service. ME3 FAs are very robotic and bore me. I'm no Sam Chui who flies first and business. Maybe then I can see Arabian hospitality if that even exists on these carriers.

Okay, I'll try to not complain from here on.

Image

Before the F&B service, two cabin crew members went with a polaroid camera taking photos of families with kids and placing the instantaneous photos in a card which had some handwritten comments. I was psyched as I thought they might take mine too but to my dismay they passed by. So much for combing my hair and practicing my smile lol.

Breakfast was served 1-1.5 hours after takeoff. No complaints. I actually enjoyed the omelette as it had a creamy inside. I wish I chose the Asian vegetarian meal instead as that breakfast looked filling. I washed it down with a virgin Mary as I was pretty hungry and treat it as an additional course of a cold soup. The standard offering however was larger than most so kudos to that!

Image
Forgive me, I realized I planned on writing a report only a few bites into the meal lol


I started to nap after the meal and woke up somewhere over Turkey. Watched a few episodes of the big bang theory to see if it is still bad... my verdict, it is a bit tolerable than what it was. Went to the aft galley and took a few chocolates. Try their Loacker Tortina.. It is an orgasm in the mouth! It was really good. They sold like hotcakes tho.. it was gone by my second stroll and I had to resort to kit kat instead.

I usually take the time to speak to FA's as they share a mutual affection for planes but I wasn't keen on trying it with these flight attendants so I slept. I was woken up somewhere over Germany for lunch.

Image
There were good chunks of lamb. Not a bad meal. Only let down was the dessert as pairing a white chocolate cream with apple was too contrasting for me that it confused my taste buds. I was wanting to taste the chocolate but it was overpowered by the apple. Forgive me once again for not taking a photo before diving in to the meal.


I chased the meal this time with a bloody Mary. Old man near me was curious when I was offered a mini vodka bottle and took the bottle for inspection. A funny anecdote was that the flight attendant this time forgot the Worcestershire sauce for which I asked for. She was puzzled. Her forehead shrank wondering what I just uttered. I repeated my request.

'Can I have woo-ster-shir sauce'

'Oh, you mean't Wor-cest-er-shire sauce'

I laughed within and said yes. I understand it took me some time to perfect it and that she wasn't a native speaker but I can't stop forgetting that I'm on a carrier like Emirates which holds godly standards.

He followed suit and asked the flight attendant for a virgin Mary during a walk by. I began my sleeping routine soon afterwards, got up somewhere over Canada, watched a few more episodes and took another nap. I woke up to the sound of FAs collecting pizza wrappers. Dang, I missed it! I'm not going to let this slide. I asked for one and was given without a plate (plate was offered to others). I gobbled it down without taking a picture. Sorry. It was nothing to write about. Just a slice of margherita pizza.

A few moments later an announcement was made for descent into O'Hare. We were in a holding pattern and made our way to a nice, smooth 2 whites 2 red touchdown in gloomy ORD.

Image

At the gate we were flanked by a QR 77W and a BA 744.

Image

Oh, I forgot to mention that the flight attendants were chewing gum (I don't know if it was gum but there were 2 of them who were chewing something while collecting garbage) in the last hour of the flight. Is this acceptable? I've never seen it before. It reminded me of cows as their mouths were moving in the same manner in which cows their cud.

In conclusion
My experiences aboard EK 235 exceeded my expectations when it came to material comfort. Food quantities were generous and was of quality. ICE needs no explanation - excellent although they need to have Strobe by deadmau5 like EY without having some unknown playlist of his :D. Only let down were the flight attendants. They were not professional in my eyes. Maybe I am too judgemental or I witnessed a one off bad experience. I felt they didn't have patience for people who were not quick or understanding of their commands.

Please let me know how my first TR went. If you liked it, I'll write another one the next time I fly too.
Last edited by ULA340 on Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ATR72,L1011,MD80
319,320,321,332,333,343,380,
735,737,738,744,752,77A,77E,77L,773,77W

UL, QR, AI, UA, SQ, CX, JL, AA, MH, AZ, EY, TG, IT, WY, QF
 
Cush
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:42 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:06 pm

I don't understand what was so "bad" about your trip? It sounds like a very good flight with the exception of a moody FA. There is nothing you mentioned that would deem this "bad"... Maybe you just need more realistic expectations and not your millennial emotions. lol.
Fly me to the moon let me play among the stars.
 
ULA340
Topic Author
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:47 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:16 pm

Cush wrote:
I don't understand what was so "bad" about your trip? It sounds like a very good flight with the exception of a moody FA. There is nothing you mentioned that would deem this "bad"... Maybe you just need more realistic expectations and not your millennial emotions. lol.


Everything about my trip was good except for service. I hope I reiterated that in my conclusion.

Also, It wasn't only one FA who was moody though but more like most of them were.

I think I am going to delete the word bad as you are right. Maybe I am too salty lol
ATR72,L1011,MD80
319,320,321,332,333,343,380,
735,737,738,744,752,77A,77E,77L,773,77W

UL, QR, AI, UA, SQ, CX, JL, AA, MH, AZ, EY, TG, IT, WY, QF
 
bgboiflyer
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:11 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:19 pm

I assume that was an OK experience. I flew XiamenAir last year and they have almost that level of service long-haul wise, although their English is way beyond par of the other Chinese carriers. Outbound from the US they were very good but a month later they seemed a bit bitter and not so nice. That's probably after that "threat" incident last summer in Austrailia
 
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millionsofmiles
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:18 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:15 pm

Nice report. Thanks for posting. The photos are not working but your descriptions were so good, I almost felt as if I were "there."

I've heard that Emirates' standards have fallen a bit. Perhaps the inconsistency is a byproduct of over-expansion.
 
AR385
Posts: 6920
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:51 pm

Nice report. Photos are not working though.
 
ULA340
Topic Author
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:47 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:24 am

millionsofmiles wrote:
Nice report. Thanks for posting. The photos are not working but your descriptions were so good, I almost felt as if I were "there."

I've heard that Emirates' standards have fallen a bit. Perhaps the inconsistency is a byproduct of over-expansion.


Photos can be accessed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/158775154 ... 9459345742

OR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/158775154@N05/

sorry I'm broke and can't afford photobucket and the webpage wont let me edit the TR.

Yeah I think you are right about over expansion. I don't think it will be long before we see a 380 service to ORD by EK as both outgoing an inbound flights were full. Wonder if the service would be better on it.
Last edited by ULA340 on Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
ATR72,L1011,MD80
319,320,321,332,333,343,380,
735,737,738,744,752,77A,77E,77L,773,77W

UL, QR, AI, UA, SQ, CX, JL, AA, MH, AZ, EY, TG, IT, WY, QF
 
ULA340
Topic Author
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:47 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:24 am

AR385 wrote:
Nice report. Photos are not working though.


Photos can be accessed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/158775154 ... 9459345742

OR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/158775154@N05/

sorry I'm broke and can't afford photobucket and the webpage wont let me edit the TR.
ATR72,L1011,MD80
319,320,321,332,333,343,380,
735,737,738,744,752,77A,77E,77L,773,77W

UL, QR, AI, UA, SQ, CX, JL, AA, MH, AZ, EY, TG, IT, WY, QF
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:34 am

Apparently Emirates is only a 4-star airline according to Skytrax ratings, and the first page of customer reviews on Airlinequality.com shows nothing but complaints about the crew so I don't think it's a one off thing.

Just goes to show you the power of marketing.

http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-r ... es/page/1/
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:09 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Apparently Emirates is only a 4-star airline according to Skytrax ratings, and the first page of customer reviews on Airlinequality.com shows nothing but complaints about the crew so I don't think it's a one off thing.

Just goes to show you the power of marketing.

http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-r ... es/page/1/


You should try United's reviews on Airlinequality.com, a 3/10 compared to Emirates's 6/10. http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-r ... -airlines/

In comparison, AA is also a 3, Delta is a 5, Alaska is a 6, WN is a 6, and B6 is a 6. Truth of the matter is, most people on these types of sites do it to complain, not to praise the airline when they do something right/good.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
RoySFlying
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:28 am

Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:50 am

ULA340 wrote:
Everything about my trip was good except for service.

Sorry to hear that the service did not meet your expectations. I have flown Emirates many times and so far haven't had cause for complaint. The cabin crew have always been welcoming and proactive when I have travelled.

There was a time a few years ago when standards had slipped through a combination of rapid growth and high staff turnover but that seemed to have been addressed. I hope that your experience doesn't become typical.

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Apparently Emirates is only a 4-star airline according to Skytrax ratings,

Skytrax offers two different ratings systems: one that is based on customer reviews and the other claimed to be based on measurement against objective standards. Years ago Skytrax took the decision that it would not award a five star rating to any airline offering 10 abreast on a Boeing 777. Consequently, Emirates can not expect a higher rating any time soon, unless Skytrax changes their standards.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:33 am

RoySFlying wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Apparently Emirates is only a 4-star airline according to Skytrax ratings,

Skytrax offers two different ratings systems: one that is based on customer reviews and the other claimed to be based on measurement against objective standards. Years ago Skytrax took the decision that it would not award a five star rating to any airline offering 10 abreast on a Boeing 777. Consequently, Emirates can not expect a higher rating any time soon, unless Skytrax changes their standards.


Qatar Airways have 10-abreast 777 and yet they are a 5-Star Skytrax airline.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
RJNUT
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:44 pm

I can always appreciate non-native American English speakers using good wit and sarcasm correctly. Good job!
 
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CollegeAviator
Posts: 357
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:33 pm

Sweet report! I suppose EK might have that high-service bubble, and that their growth is kinda having an impact on their services. Although, that growth is nothing short of remarkable.

-How are you able to make it on to UA on routes to CMB? With UL being a OW carrier, wouldn't it be a AA/BA itinerary and then Ul to CMB?
-My first A340 flight was on 4R-ADF...albeit a short & quick hop to MAA. Fun flight!
-8 hour layover in DXB and no complimentary hotel? Hmm...
-Yeahhhh DXB T3 is not fun at all...
-Neither were the crew onboard, which OMG! Never saw any crew chew gum in flight....amongst other things.
-Yeah, a lot of the recent TV shows these days are pretty crappy, unfortunately.
-You sleep a lot, holy hell! I barely squeeze in a 2 hour sleep on an ultra long haul!

Thanks for sharing!
 
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CollegeAviator
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:36 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
RoySFlying wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Apparently Emirates is only a 4-star airline according to Skytrax ratings,

Skytrax offers two different ratings systems: one that is based on customer reviews and the other claimed to be based on measurement against objective standards. Years ago Skytrax took the decision that it would not award a five star rating to any airline offering 10 abreast on a Boeing 777. Consequently, Emirates can not expect a higher rating any time soon, unless Skytrax changes their standards.


Qatar Airways have 10-abreast 777 and yet they are a 5-Star Skytrax airline.

Arguably the worse of the 3, but EY is on there as well.
 
ULA340
Topic Author
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:34 pm

CollegeAviator wrote:
Sweet report! I suppose EK might have that high-service bubble, and that their growth is kinda having an impact on their services. Although, that growth is nothing short of remarkable.

-How are you able to make it on to UA on routes to CMB? With UL being a OW carrier, wouldn't it be a AA/BA itinerary and then Ul to CMB?
-My first A340 flight was on 4R-ADF...albeit a short & quick hop to MAA. Fun flight!
-8 hour layover in DXB and no complimentary hotel? Hmm...
-Yeahhhh DXB T3 is not fun at all...
-Neither were the crew onboard, which OMG! Never saw any crew chew gum in flight....amongst other things.
-Yeah, a lot of the recent TV shows these days are pretty crappy, unfortunately.
-You sleep a lot, holy hell! I barely squeeze in a 2 hour sleep on an ultra long haul!

Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for the thumbs up CollegeAviator. Been a fan of your reports for ages! Maybe one day I will have the patience to take as many photos as you lol.

Yeah I had the pleasure of flying UA to FR, FCO and LHR with onward direction connections to CMB, IAD, JFK and EWR. I've flown AA once via CDG and FCO to JFK and PHL. It surprised me too that I didn't have a OW itinerary but I'm guessing UA offered a cheaper rate when booking through 3rd party websites. Surprisingly never flown BA even though they had a short stint at CMB 2014/2015. Looking forward to fly China Eastern next time :D they offered a very good rate albeit with a 40 hour layover :D.

Fun fact, 4R-ADF was my last A340 flight from MAA to CMB in 2014. It was a sad moment as I knew it was au revoir for me and the 340 which had been my ride since a toddler. I thought they will keep them flying longer as they redid the cabin with better IFE and seats. Recently I flew to MAA from CMB on UL's A333 but long gone are the days where they serve proper hot meals. There are cartels which do deals on the flight to CMB and that route is a mess; the flight attendants are powerless. I should do a TR next time I fly that route and post a video to both the database and the Sri Lankan police as they were engaging in mid-air money laundering.

Hahah yeah I sleep a lot! I find a pose close my eyes.. voila I'm in deep sleep. I think having long layovers help. I was unfortunately not aware of the hotel service offered by EK till a week after I landed lol They should have told me though as I went to the connection desk as soon I landed but instead they just told me to check back in 6 hours. I'm guessing cheap tickets don't have those privileges. I'm also accustomed to long layovers. I had a 15 hour layover at ORD on my way to CMB and my usual layover lasting 9 hours at European airports. I look like a pile of crap when I reach my final destination and it always takes the fun away from flying.
ATR72,L1011,MD80
319,320,321,332,333,343,380,
735,737,738,744,752,77A,77E,77L,773,77W

UL, QR, AI, UA, SQ, CX, JL, AA, MH, AZ, EY, TG, IT, WY, QF
 
33lspotter
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:09 pm

Cush wrote:
Maybe you just need more realistic expectations and not your millennial emotions. lol.


The rest of your comment was fair, but this was unnecessary IMHO.
 
RohanDXB
Posts: 110
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Re: EK 235 (DXB -> ORD) - A fake smile, doesn't go a long way

Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:24 pm

I am surprised that you had such an experience on a US-bound flight. I have typically come to expect such service on flights to the sub-continent and expected that US services would be top notch. Never experienced such bad service on a non-India bound flight but it mostly sounds right.

Ro

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