22 June 2004
Emirates Flight EK040
Boeing 777-200 A6-EMD
Estimated Departure Time: 1400
Actual Departure Time: 1415
Estimated Arrival Time (Local): 0005
Actual Arrival Time (local): 0010
Photo © TTT
June last year I flew to Dubai with Emirates on the A330-200 and loved every second and as another opportunity had arisen to go back to Dubai I took it and another ride with Emirates was in order! Emirates changed the aircraft type on this route though back in March so my ride this time was on a 777-200 which was a first for me on this aircraft type!
I arrived at the airport well in time and checked in, was traveling with my ex but as things are ok this caused no problems lol work could have gave me a business class upgrade (im a travel agent) but not for my ex (who I was traveling with - long story!) and I thought I'd be nice and stick to economy on this one, see how the holiday plans out and if needs be can always push for the upgrade on the way back lol! Got me seat 23A/B and went to the picnic area to see the beast arrive. A6-EMD arrived on R15 with the summer supprises logo on one side of the aircraft normal livery on the other. I love the shape of the 772 and couldn't wait to ride one so went through security (if you can call it that at Birmingham) and boarding commenced shortly after that, never seem to have five mins to myself! On the ground was an extremely dirty G-DIMB My Travel Boeing 767-300 with patches of the Garuda Indonesia titles, three first choice Boeing 757-200's, iberworld airbus A320-200, islandsflug 737-400, flybe DH4, flybe 146, ba erj/146's and a flightline 146.
We was called for boarding in seat row numbers, through the lovely airbridge we have now at the two widebody stands. The flight had arrived inbound from Dubai around 20 mins early so I thought there was a failry good chance of this getting airborne ontime unlike last years 1hr30min delay! Found my seat, tucked my hand luggage away and started to play with the IFE. I was a little put off by the shabby interior on the 772, not the best looking machine I've ever flown on the inside. Legroom with Emirates is fantastic, and seats go back really far. My mate was quick to spot the IFE like bends so if the person infront does recline the chair you can adapt your view, his came out really far and mine well, came out completely! I was holding my screen in my hand with a wire connecting it to the chair/system - somehow I don't think its meant to do that!!! Cabin crew soon came along, told me they knew about that IFE was loose, and that I need to be careful upon take off and landing I don't injure myself and that it will be looked at when the aircraft returns to Dubai. That business class upgrade was looking tempting but no I stuck with it for the sake of my mate cant leave him on his own, wouldn't hear the last of it!
We pushed back slightly late as they were having problems with the safety demonstration video and some paperwork. Nine times they tried to play the video and by the time they gave up we was at the end of R15 in the bay! The crew apologized, came over the PA and told us to read the safetycard before departure and to locate the nearest exit manually. No other safety demo was done or anything as we had positioned ourselves on the runway following a CO 757 arriving late from EWR.
Take off was smooth, the cameras are amazing on Emirates, we gracefully got off the ground and the climb was uneventful really, bit of turbulence but nothing to write home about. The first lot of drinks came around almost immediately and cabin crew gave us a menu of what they would be serving on today's flight.
Lunch was smoked salmon, seasonal salad, with a choice of either lamb stew or pan fried chicken breast, dessert was rosewater and raspberry parfait all served with bread, butter, cheese, biscuits, tea/coffee and chocolates. Bar service was wide, I had a glass of wine (eventually, the cabin crew were like red? white? medium? dry?..)
IFE was in full swing, movies onboard were what's out at the UK cinema plus some slightly older ones like 50 first dates. The route took us over the heart of Europe, the middle east, under Iraq and over to Iran - most people fell asleep after Cyprus and woke up over Iran as we started our decent towards Dubai. Cabin crew during the flight constantly brought round drinks and ice cream - couldn't fault them at all!
Decent towards Dubai was calm, at one point we seem to go down a few thousand feet in a hurry and the plane shook abit especially the over head lockers but this happened on the A330 last year so guess it happens on most flights! The cameras onboard gave us a panoramic night view of the Dubai skyline, saw the Burj El Arab, Jumeriah Beach Hotel, Emirates Towers and all, came right over some ships in the sea over a few general stores in Dubai and down! To see the runway head on using the cams is fab! Wish every airline had them!
On the ground was countless EK 777-200/300's, A340's, A330's and the A310. Cathay A340, British Airways 777-200, Air France 777-200, Gulf Air A320, Oman Air 737 and some others I cant remember right now!
Dubai DXB - Birmingham BHX
30 June 2004
Emirates Flight EK039
Boeing 777-200 A6-EMD
Estimated Departure Time: 0750
Actual Departure Time: 0835/0840
Estimated Arrival Time (Local): 1235
Actual Arrival Time (local): 1245/1250
I spent eight nights in the Jumeriah Beach hotel (gorgeous or what!!) and had a fantastic time in Dubai, it was so much better than the year before! But sadly all good things come to an end and this brings me to the return flight home. I had my private transfer arranged back to the airport got there well ahead of time, checking in again I got asked if I wanted to upgrade but my ex would have to pay a discounted rate but we had both shopped out so we stuck to Economy.
We went through customs which were harder than at Birmingham week before, and got a trolley. The shopping madness wasn't about to stop here! We hit the duty free shops and got rid of the last of our dirhams. We went upto the Mac Donalds which had good views of the runway so I was happy lol Emirates galore again with some A340-500's, A340-300, A330-200s, B777-200's and -300's. Malaysian Cargo came down with a few other carriers but as it was like 0500 I wasn't that awake to tell you what everything was! Our gate came up on the screen and I dragged myself and the shopping down to the stand, which had an A330-200 parked on it - think this was heading to Glasgow. The Birmingham and Manchester flights were called together right at the end (stand 35 or something like that) so it was a little mad! All the aircraft around these stands were A332's apart from the A310 on a remote stand so I was like o....k where's the 777?! The Manchester bunch got called onto the aircraft before us, and they all were carted into a bus and drove completely to the other side - skipping about 10 A330's on the way! Manchester is always an A330 so at least they had one of ten to choose from! Then it was our turn, we were called for boarding in no order what so ever so it was mad!
we got onto this bus thingy, shopping in hand lol, and doors closed and we was driven to the end of the bay (past 2 A330's), then round the corner, passing the A310. We was then bused alllllllll the way down the other side (passed around 7 A330's), went over this road, past a Biman Bangladesh, then past loads more Emirates, past a A340-500, and yeah you got it more A330's oh and low and behold a 777-200! **zoom** went completely past that, and even more A330's right to the very last but one parking bay on a remote stand (this ride was lasting forever alone let alone the flight lol - its a bus trip report). We got there 15 minutes after leaving the main building where A6-EMD was waiting for us.
Doors opened and crew were welcoming the bus before us onboard, we joined on the end, up the front staircase (some really good views of the engine getting on this way!), onboard we got our newspapers, and the normal "welcome onboard Mr Bowers (she saw the ticket obviously lol), your seat is on the far side just after the emergency exit" So the treck to the back it was, row 33J/K. Plonked all my shopping away, sat down and got comfy for the long flight home (7.5 hours it was planned to be). Crew came on the PA and apologized for the aircraft being so far away from stand, due to a nightstop they said which doesn't make an excuse lol.
A crew member bought me and my ex a glass of champagne and said it was complimentary from Emirates (have yet to suss out why no other economy passengers got one). 0750 rolled around and we was still on stand with all passengers accounted for. The Captain came on (same one we had on the outbound flight, he was Australian Ct Craig or something like that) and apologists for the delay due to loading in the cargohold. 0810 came around all the cargo and been shifted about in the meantime and we had lost our slot. The captain told us that we had another one for 0825 and should make up some of the time during the flight back to the UK.
We pushed back at just after 0815, and had one hell of a long taxi down to the runway following an A330-200 all the way with a London bound 777-300 behind (also delayed). A MH Cargo 747 went soaring down the runway, then we crossed it, the EK332 turned on and went and we lined up behind that - cam at the ready lol. We thrusted down the runway and got airborne just after 0840 DXB time. Again we had some amazing views of Dubai, the other side had the Burj el Arab and the Jumeriah Beach.
Shortly after departure, and some sharp turns the cabin crew came around with the inflight menus and drinks once again. Economy class menu today was split into breakfast and Lunch obviously.
Orange Juice, Fruit, Crossaint, Butter, Jam, Tea/Coffee
Marinated Shrimps, Salad, Sauteed Fillet of Beef or Asian Chicken Thigh, Cinnamon cake, bread, butter, cheese, biscuits, Tea/Coffee & Chocolates.
The IFE was actually held in the seat thins time (no danger of it falling completely out lol), and the disappointing thing about the 777-200 is the lack of games (well non at all lol) compared to the Airbus A330-200 last year. Just out of Dubai Brekkie was brought around as shown above. This is eaten as quick as it hit the table - think everyone was hungry! We flew over Iran, close to Iraq, and across the weird countries in the middle east like Azerberjan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Some great looking mountains down there though. Last year on the way home I had lots of turbulence over these but this year there was non at all. The movies came on and went, there was no babies on this flight which was good - no screaming! I had a kip and by the time I woke up we was over the Eastern European countries - like Turkey and all. Lunch was served as we came towards Poland/Germany. The cabin crew came and asked us if we would like a business class meal or the standard economy as shown in the books (ok now I was getting suspicious, whats going on?!) so we both opted for business class meals and blimy was better than my mums cooking! lol cant tell you what everything was though as I haven't got the written menu infront of me now (wasn't given one).
So we ate that and we was over Amsterdam by the time everything was collected. We crossed the Channel, and began our decent towards Birmingham. The cam came on my IFE system and soon enough the seat belt sign came on, engines reduced power, and we came in over Birmingham with some great views of the BT tower, Birmingham Bullring and towards Marston green where we over flew the pet vaccination centre (couldn't miss it the sign was big enough to see from space lol) and landed into BHX on Runway 15 just before 1250 local time. Cabin crew welcomed us to Birmingham, and we was on stand 41 within no time! Not a long taxi at all if you land on 15. Came to a stop, the cabin was full of the click of seatbelts being undone and mobile phones being switched on! Switched my phone on and work phoned morealess on the dot thinking I landed 30 minutes earlier asking how I got on and stuff (on hol with the ex and all) its mad working with a bunch of gossip driven girls lol
I went to work the following day and called Emirates to praise the customer service I received both ways, they said that the few added touches was arranged by themselves as I was an agent, also aided by the fact my friend was crewing in business and he never told me!! All in all I had a very good experience with Emirates - next year i'm doing India as im getting a right culture vulture now, but before that you will get two other trip reports, one to KEF on FI (Nov) and one to NRT on VS (March 2005).
I haven't wrote a trip report in ages so sorry if its been boring!