JFK - DXB
Flight: EK201 - Nov. 10
Aircraft: A340-500 ERH - Delivered 12/04
Class: First (Suite) Suite: 2A / 3A
Sched Depart: 11:30 pm Actual Depart: 11:30 pm
Sched Arr: 9:20 am Actual Arr: 8:30 am Flight Time: 11 hours 40 minutes
Load: Full in all Classes
Passengers: Mr. & Mrs. PTCFlyer
Delta Award Redemption: 160,000 Skymiles per ticket.
- North over Maine -- Over Atlantic just south of Greenland -- just south of Iceland -- North of Scotland -- Over Eastern Europe --
Down through Turkey -- Down over Western Iran (just avoiding Iraq airspace) -i- south to DXB
Terminal 4. Long coach line / Business line at 7:30 check-in opening. Staff was efficient, but seemed very disinterested. I would described it as the typical outsourced New York hospitality. 15 minute delay due to computer problems. First Class had its own desk. Business had two desks. Economy the rest. rating: 6/10
New EK JFK
Lounge: Excellent! Brand new. Opened for only two days. 20+ seats for internet access / terminals + wireless. Very large lounge with many comfortable seats + dining tables. Well stocked bar with all expectations. Very heaving dining options: huge shrimp, cold salmon, slabs of beef steak -- well prepared, rosemary potatoes, rice, spicey chicken, various pasta options, huge chocolate moose cake, chocolate covered strawberries, fruit. Everything was delicious. The lounge was staffed by about 7 people and I saw 2 executive chefs. Drinks delivered to your seat... and everyone was courteous and enthusiastic about their new lounge. 10/10!
Boarding was called at 10:50 or so. Boarding process looked chaotic for coach. J and F passengers entered the queue from the side. All passengers boarded through same bridge. Rating: 7/10
On-board greeting: Immediately showed Mrs. PTCFlyer and myself to seat after warm welcome. Instructions on seat were given and assistance with my coat -- stored in my own little valet closet incorporated in the suite. Orange Juice / Champagne immediately offered. Newspapers soon followed, then magazines... then amenity kit... then slippers... then pajamas. It was like Christmas! Rating: 10/10.
Seat: Well, what can be written about EK
's A340-500 First Class Suite?. Well, I can think of a few descriptive words: overwhelming options, incredible design, spacious, private, well appointed, technologically advanced, thoughtful, fun, entertaining. After the first hour of flight, I was already dreading the fact that the flight would be over in only 11 short hours. If one were to fly around the world in this suite, you would be saying.... Let's do it again just for fun! The seat is a home-run. There are a few quirks that could have been better designed. The phone system for room service and seat-to-seat calling is challenging to use, slow to respond, and even hard to answer. It is virtually worthless. The crew admitted it is never used. The room-service idea is a bust. Mrs. PTCFlyers seat had a light that stayed on. FAs put foil over the light. It later went out. Mrs. PTCFlyer's seat also got stuck in extended position. FA
was able to adjust and repair quickly. The technology is temperamental...as these suites push the edge for aviation application. The screens were enormous... the little control pad at the seat took a bit getting used to... but was functional and offered every option. Seat options were endless, message options were endless, lighting could be set to various degrees of brightness, and the ICE system... Well ... there were over 500 channels of video.. Another 500 selections of Audio... about 20 different games... and the forward / down camera were entertaining on takeoff and landing.
Seating / Entertainment: Rating 15/10.
Inflight service: Food: 10/10 Service: 10/10 Cleanliness: 10/10
On-Board Amenities: 9/10.
The service was thoughtful, available, considerate, comprehensive. If you wanted it, you got it. If you could not make up your mind between two options... you get both. I am not a real food person... but trust me... the menu was excellent. I had lobster appetizer, salad, cheese/crackers. Breakfast was omelet + fruit. Late flight snack was cake & ice cream, cheese/crackers. Proportions were generous. Dining was on demand.
I wish I could have visited the lounge a week before my departure... and then just arrived for my flight the day of departure to savor the options. A basket of warm bread was delivered with each meal serving, along with new utensils, etc.
I changed into the pajamas. They were reasonable quality and quite comfortable. Since you had your own private suite.. I was more comfortable lounging in the PJs throughout the flight. There was plenty of space in the locker valet for my suit, shoes, etc.
Being a FF
redeemer and not one who gets to experience these types of flights regularly... it was overwhelming to get all of this food and service on one flight! This one flight made up for the hundreds of DL
"enhanced snack" service flights that enabled me to earn the miles for this trip.
There were at least 4 crew assigned to F. All 4 worked during first 2 hours after departure and the last two hours or so before arrival. Two were on duty at all time. If I popped my head in front of the curtain... they were offering everything and anything to make the passengers happy. Snacks were available on the stand-up bar. (candy bars, chips, sandwiches, etc.) Restrooms were clean, had real towels, well stocked. The bathrooms were a bit small... but EK
makes up for it by having a very large standing area in front of the F cabin.
The staff, I believe, was Australian.
Disembarkation: First Class passengers have their own door/boarding bridge at DXB
. Great to have your own bridge for 12 passengers. We were given plenty of time to deplane before they even allowed the Business Class Passengers to disembark through the rear door. This gave us a headstart to the immigration. There the lines were long, even for F/J passengers. Not sure if they allowed other passengers to use front door after all F passengers deplaned. Rating: 10/10
This met/exceeded my expectations. And certainly was a great value with my SkyMiles. I can't wait for the return -- EK
202 on Nov. 18. My wife and I debated whether this flight was more enjoyable than our Concorde flight.. and we were unable to draw a conclusion.... Both experiences were comparable for this aviation adict's delight!
[Edited 2005-11-12 21:05:20]