Scheduled 11:15 PM EST (2/15/07)
Departed 12:30 AM EST (2/16/07)
Terminal 4 – Gate A6
Flying Time – 7 hours
February 15th, 2007
*Caution, rant alert!* First off, I would like to say that the Emirates New York corporate offices are some of the worst I’ve dealt with. They originally didn’t book my reservation over the US 800 number (I believe I was speaking to India) even though I provided my credit card and even received a confirmation number. After a few days I did not receive a confirmation or see the charge on my bank, so I called the reservation office again. I was dumbfounded to find that my reservation was not processed because they didn’t have the three digit security code on the back of my credit card (which they never asked for). I never received a call, email, etc. regarding this. Imagine if I found this out at JFK the day of departure! The representative reprocessed the reservation and I had to pay a higher fare than originally quoted ($358 vs. $297 USD). When I called the Customer Relations office in NY to protest, all I ever got was a voice mail. I left five of them over a five day period with no return call.
Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the high-point and only reason for my venture to Hamburg, the flight on a 77W! EK206 was departing out of Terminal 4, gate A6. The security queue was short and I was soon in the departure terminal. The EK staff congregated at an empty gate, most likely briefing the upcoming flight. The captain broke off from the group and took a seat at Delancy’s to review his charts. I quickly said hello to him and said I was enthused to fly on his 77W. He was very personable and took a few moments to advise me that the weather looked good and to expect a smooth flight, adding I should continue on and check out Dubai. “Maybe next time!” I exclaimed and left him to tend to his business.
We were delayed an hour and fifteen minutes to a 12:30 PM EST departure time. There was no reason provided, but I really didn’t mind due to it being an overnight flight. I took this time to leisurely snap photos and watch a few neighboring departing flights which included: a Kuwait Airways A343 heading to KWI, a KLM 744 heading for AMS, an Emirates A335 heading to DXB and a Lan Chile 762 heading to SCL. After they departed, I played a few games of Galaga. Soon they announced boarding of EK206 and I was on my way.
Gate A6, and most of the gates at Terminal 4, at JFK are not your typical jet-way to the aircraft. You need to go down several ramps before you get to the jet-way itself. These ramps, coated in a black, rubber flooring, were quite slick. I was making a mental note to be careful when an Indian woman went down right in front of me. Thankfully her family was right there and helped her up. I later saw her being removed by medics in Hamburg in an arm sling. So be carefully on those ramps in Terminal 4!
The cabin of the 777-300ER is quite amazing. The Boeing Signature interior is modern, fresh and downright beautiful. I had an exceptional view of the wing, flaps and spoilers from 29K. The seat pitch of 34” and width of 17” was plenty of room for my 5’11”, 250lb frame. The very light load provided almost everyone an empty row to stretch out. Before we pushed back we were provided the usual warm hand towel. I checked the nose view camera as well.
Although I am not too keen on EK’s FA uniforms, most of EK’s staff were warm and friendly. There was one FA I noted that was quite brusque and snapped abruptly at a couple of passengers. Thankfully she tended to the port side of the economy cabin. Before long we were underway to a 31L departure. The take off roll was probably one of the shortest I’ve experienced. I was capturing on video the nose cam view and was caught off guard at how quick we rotated! Wheels were up at 12:50 PM EST.
Soon we were crossing over Connecticut via the MERIT and HFD waypoints towards Boston. Normally I sit home on my deck in Manchester, CT and watch these flights overhead on their way toward the Atlantic. I was ecstatic to finally be on one of them! I decided to switch on my GPS unit to see where I was.
After we passed Boston, I played around with the IFE system, appropriately named “I.C.E” (Information, Communication and Entertainment).
The nose and downward cam channels were quite cool. Of the hundreds of channels and games available, I decided to watch an oldie but goodie, Raising Arizona.
Meal service commenced and I decided on a chicken dish. It was okay to say the least. I can add that the desert was tasty!
The lighting system on the EK 773 is wonderful. It simulates the night, sunset and finally day. Vice versa at dusk to night. Here is a clip of the night sky on the ceiling:
I had dozed in and out during the flight which was smooth all the way to HAM. We were offered several snacks and drinks for the remainder of the flight. Actually water and juice was offered often to keep us hydrated. As the sun peaked ahead of us and Ireland passed under us, they offered us sandwiches. I don’t recall what type of sandwich, so it must not have been that impressive or appetizing.
I observed that I could see the contrails from the GE90 from my window! This was the first I had ever seen our own contrails.
We then began our decent into EDDH. I tuned into the downward cam for our approach. We touched down gently onto runway 15 at 1:50 PM CEST.
Scheduled 2:40 PM CEST
Departed – 3:30 PM CEST
Flying Time – 7 hours 44 minutes
February 18th, 2007
I arrived at Terminal 1 at 12:30 PM to be sure I had plenty of time for security, etc. The check in, security and immigration queues were a breeze and I was at the gate in less than twenty minutes. I was a tad nervous because the security / screening process was a bit more laidback at HAM than in the states. My shoes did not have to be removed and x-rayed which had my mind racing back to AA63.
So I decided to check out Terminal 1 to kill some time and change my thoughts. I picked up a scale model Hapagfly.com B738 for my display at home and some German chocolate for the flight. I then headed over to the terminal windows for some photos. I was lucky to spot an Iran Air A300, something us Yanks do not see everyday. Also there was a mix of Hapag Lloyd 733s, KLM Fokkers and a Finnair E170.
Another EK 77W heading to DXB. This was the continuation of my previous RK206 flight.
Boarding was called a little after 3PM CEST and the flight was running about 50 minutes late. Soon enough I found myself back on the wonderful 77W! I took my seat at 29K and to my dismay found my rear neighbor to be an infant. This flight’s load was just as light as the previous flight, so I decided to move across the isle to 31A. The FAs distributed personal kits which contained eye masks and slippers. Strange that EK did not provide these for the previous night flight over to HAM? It made for a nice keepsake!
We pushed back at 3:30 PM CEST and headed toward runway 33. The take-off roll was much longer than the previous one:
We were soon above the overcast skies of Germany heading west. I decided to check out the ICE again and settled in to watch The Departed.
Meal service was provided by the very friendly and attentive EK crew. Some type of sandwich, chips and a desert which was pretty decent. During the course of the flight, I snapped a few photos out the window:
About halfway into the flight, the crew ran up and down the isles spraying air freshener. I had never seen this before; I guess it was a nice, but different, touch. I dozed off again for awhile and awoke to some light chop which continued for some time.
Before long we made landfall over Canada. We headed west a bit more before turning south down New Hampshire, Upstate NY and on into the NYC area. We flew directly over Jersey City providing great views of Manhattan.
Our course headed us out over the Atlantic for a u-turn back toward JFK for a 22R landing. The crosswinds were pretty strong, the FO said about 20-30 kts when I visited the flight deck later.
Back home and on terra firma at 6:42 PM EST. Once at the gate I proceeded to ask the FA if I could visit the flight deck. They were delighted to have me and I snapped a quick shot of the F class cabin and flight deck.
Overall I was very impressed with the flight staff, IFE, equipment, value and overall trip. My only gripe was with the NY Reservation & Customer Service Office. Will that stop me from flying EK again? Absolutely not!
Here is a compellation of photos to video from my entire Hamburg/Berlin journey, enjoy:
Excellent report! I must say, I am very impressed with what you have shown. I gotta also admit, I would love to try out Emirates! I like the lighting in the cabin too. Nice touch! Great videos! What did you think of the food? Tasty?
Thanks for the kudos! In all honesty, I really didn't care for the food on the JFK-HAM run, but the HAM-JFK run, the food was half-way decent.
Quoting Dba4U (Reply 5):
Yea, how did you like Hamburg? Always keen on soem opinions from non-euros.
BTW, how was the load on both flights? How man made it all the way to Dubai?
I though Hamburg was beautiful. I would like to stay a bit longer next time and see more of Germany. And next time, I'll be sure to rent a BMW or MB vs a VW Polo The loads were light, I'd say 50% or so. I had my own row, as well as every other passenger, each leg. Most of the passengers went on to DBX, I'd say only a handful made HAM their final destination.
Was it 180 km's? I couldn't see that but was wondering. I guess there was a car show that was the reason for this trip. Not many people would go to Hamburg for two plus days and drive to Berlin just to sight see. There's a lot to do and see in Hamburg. With all the pictures of the cars, that was a dead giveaway! Particularly photographing a VW headlight for an A.net report. I guess you like speed either on the ground or in the air. I noticed the GPS giving your speed. At least it's a lot safer in the air.
Again, great trip report - I guess we can now call you "throttle jockey!"
Stay safe so you can write more TR's,
I do still hit 80-85 on lots of California Highways - and I'm in the slower lanes. Have a 2006 C230 Kompressor that really takes off, but with gas what it is nowadays here (San Francisco's the highest in the nation), I'm driving a Dodge Caliber for everyday. Use the Benz for "State" occasions....
Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 10): Was it 180 km's? I couldn't see that but was wondering. I guess there was a car show that was the reason for this trip. Not many people would go to Hamburg for two plus days and drive to Berlin just to sight see. There's a lot to do and see in Hamburg. With all the pictures of the cars, that was a dead giveaway! Particularly photographing a VW headlight for an A.net report. I guess you like speed either on the ground or in the air. I noticed the GPS giving your speed. At least it's a lot safer in the air.
Again, great trip report - I guess we can now call you "throttle jockey!"
Stay safe so you can write more TR's,
Yes, 180kms an hour, or 111 mph. I've been on much faster runs through the Arizona or Nevada deserts.
Trust me, at 180kms an hour I was being passed like I was standing still. Got to love the Autobahn! My only reason for the visit to Germany was to fly on EK and the 77W. For $358 R/T, you cannot go wrong!
Quoting Golftango (Thread starter): I was a tad nervous because the security / screening process was a bit more laidback at HAM than in the states. My shoes did not have to be removed and x-rayed which had my mind racing back to AA63.
Really don't see why anyone would be nervous...I think the way TSA performs is a total joke. Unfortunatetly they don't seem interested in taking a look how other countries handle security. Their way is not necessarily the best way.
I did enjoy your report. Glad to another American discovery other cities in Germany. Your video is outstanding as well.
I've been looking into taking this flight (205 and 206) in December and January. Multiple sources say that the equipment is the A340-500. Why not the 77W? Is one better than the other, or are they about the same? Thanks!
Wow, what an awesome trip report! I don't know if it is because Hamburg and Berlin are two of my favorite cities, because the pictures are fantastic or because it reminded me of my travels within Germany 3 years ago (I, too, rented a lowly compact car to drive from Berlin to none other than the world capital of the automobile a/k/a Stuttgart, and upon return of the car I promised next time I will rent a Mercedes, an Audi or a BMW), but I loved this trip report. Thanks so much for the time you spent writing it, and putting together the pictures and the videos Bill, I am sure that, like myself, many a.netters really appreciate it!
When is the next trip report due?
Next flights: MEX-LAX AM 738, LAX-PVG DL 77L, SHA-PEK CA 789, PEK-PVG CA A332, PVG-ORD MU 77W, ORD-MEX AM 738