Here it is my first trip report!
The outward leg was MAN-DXB on 6 Feb 2001 in the A330-200. Not being a very frequent flyer, maybe twice a year for holidays, each flight is still an adventure for me!
We arrived mid morning for the lunchtime flight and spent an hour or so in the terminal 3 cafe which looks out over the apron and runway. The airport was fairly quiet, although the threshold of the new runway at MAN is directly opposite the cafe, this enabled us to see the Cathay Pacific 747 start its take off roll.
The flight arrived from DXB on time and within the hour we were boarding, I requested a window seat near the front and was in row 12, just by the leading edge of the wing with a great view of the RR Trent 700. I was very impressed with the legroom and the comfortable seats. I then spent a few minutes finding the camera views on the PTV system and set it to forward looking camera for take off. We left the stand on time, but disappointingly we went to the old runway at MAN and not the newly opened second runway. At about 160 mph we left the ground in gusty conditions and made an immediate right turn to head for the east coast. We were soon climing to 37,000 ft and heading for Amsterdam. The routing took us to Amsterdam, over central and eastern Europe towards Bucharest. At Bucharest we turned south and headed to Istanbul, then Cyprus, over Syria and down the south west border of Iraq and Kuwait, over Bahrain and down the Gulf into DXB. The eventual flying altitude was 41,000 ft and with tail winds in excess of 100 mph for much of the flight, resulting in ground speeds of over 620 mph, flight time was 6.5 hours, not bad for 3,000 miles. The food and service on EK was excellent.
DXB airport is one of the most efficient I have been to and within 30 minutes of landing we had collected our bags, gone through immigration and were in the car to the hotel.
The return flight was on 15 Feb and should have left DXB at 7.25 am which meant an early start. The flight was delayed for half an hour due to a passenger collapsing who was subsequently taken off the flight and his bags had to be taken from the hold. We left DXB on runway 12 and following takeoff turned left which gave us an excellent view of Dubai, allthough I had to settle for a seat in the centre row of four seats. The routing back took us over Iran, the Black Sea, Turkey and then on to Amsterdam for a direct route into Manchester at an altitude of 35,000 ft. Some severe turbulance was encountered over Turkey and even the cabin crew were ordered to take their seats. Favourable winds meant time was caught up and we landed on time.
What annoyed me on the return flight was the arrogance of some passengers and their inability to do what they were told, why should my safety be put at risk by stupidity i.e passengers refusing to put seatbelts on, walking about in severe turbulance, smoking in the toilet, getting out of their seats as soon as the plane touches down (!). And why did the guy in the seat by the window have to turn his PTV up to full blast, put his headphones on the vacant aisle seat and leave the music on while he went to sleep?
All in all an excellent trip spoilt by passengers who seem unable to realise that getting on a plane is not like getting into a car.