As the fasten seat belt signs were switched off, Deborah came on the microphone to advise us to keep our seat belts fastened and typically EK
, introduced her colleagues, “We proudly present you the languages spoken by our multinational crew members. English, German, Italian, Tagalog, Arabic, Serbian, Russian, Spanish, African and Ukrainian,”
As the curtains between F and J cabin were drawn, I continued with my exploration.
Seat control unit on my left
IFE control unit under the armrest on my left
Headset socket behind IFE control unit
‘Hey, I am missing something. The battery chargers! Where are they? Is there any part I have not searched yet? How about the front side between the seats?’
Yes, the battery chargers!
I was absorbed in my exploration that I did not notice what our neighbor at 7D was doing. My partner told me afterwards that Mr. 7D was showing off with his iPad, Blackberry, Macbook and Lacoste shoes. He was kind of using the gadgets in our direction and having the Lacoste logo facing our side. After several minutes, he put his gadgets away and made himself occupied with the in flight entertainment.
Laarnie emerged with a drink trolley. She was in charge of our side, while another Egyptian FA
Ahmed was in charge of the other side. It was time for aperitifs and canapés.
Laarnie attending passenger at 6A. Ahmed was busy on the other side
Both my partner and I had decided nothing yet . We quickly leafed through the menu.
As Laarnie reached our row, we pulled the tray table. Ah, the lovely dotted wooden pattern again!
“Good afternoon, Sir. Can I offer you anything to drink?” Laarnie smiled which made me melt right away.
“Can I have Bloody Mary, please?”
“Certainly, Sir. And how about you, Sir?” Laarnie turned to my partner.
“Can I have Chivas Regal, please?”
“Single or double?”
“Just single to start, please,”
I kept my eyes open at Laarnie and was amazed how she knew exactly where the ingredients were located in her trolley. She pulled one of the drawers for a small bottle of Vodka and proceeded with another drawer to reveal a bottle of Tabasco and a bottle of Worchestire sauce. Vodka was poured in a glass, followed by a dash of each Tabasco and Worchestire sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper. Finally, she topped off the mixture with tomato juice, a slice of lemon and some ice cubes.
“Here you are, Sir. Do you want to have canapés or nuts to go with it?” Larnie asked me.
“The canapés, please,”
“Certainly, and how about you, Sir?”
“Also the canapés, please,” My partner replied.
My first ever EK Bloody Mary. This one is for you, Roni. Cheers!
After serving our canapés along with a folded napkin, Laarnie continued with the preparation of my partner’s drink. Apparently, whisky on the rocks is the EK
’s standard preparation on board as she put some ice cubes before pouring the whisky.
“Oh, no ice, please!” My partner’s remark caught Laarnie by surprise.
She was about to remove the ice cubes out of the glass, but eventually put the glass aside and fill another glass.
My partner’s straight Chivas Regal with canapés
The canapés consisted of three mini open sandwiches. Salty surimi salad on whole meal bread, salmon and tasty combination of a pineapple slice on chive brie cheese on white bread. Lovely bites all together.
Canapés close up
“May I take your meal order, Sir?” Laarnie asked further.
We already made up our mind, but browsed through the menu once again just in case.
“I would like to have Beef Wellington as starter and lamb kebab as main course,” I said.
“Certainly. And how about you, Sir?”
“For me seafood platter as starter and I will have the kebab as well,””
“Certainly, Sir. What would you like to drink to go with your meal?”
‘Oops, my bad! I was not decided yet on that one!’ I thought on the contrary to my partner. ‘Let me see…’
White wine: Italian Chardonnay or New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc
Red wine: French or Spanish
“I will have the Chardonnay, please,” My partner said.
“For me the Spanish red wine, please,” I replied.
Laarnie and Ahmed writing down the order simultaneously
Laarnie did not ask us anything else further, like our order for dessert. We did not mind as we could decide it later on.
“Sir, if you want to watch television, you can pull your screen,” Laarnie made to my amazement our screen ready for use one by one.“Your entertainment control unit is located on the opposite under your armrest,”
At the end, I could only said, “Thank you,”
My IFE screen ready to use
IFE control button
The white hand icon on the screen drew my attention. As I put my finger on it, the system came to life. ‘Touch screen! That is easy!’
I decided to my control unit and started exploring EK
on my finger top.
I for information
Nose camera view
Chirpy Deborah emerged to check on everyone in our cabin. Occasionally, she had a chat with her passengers. Again, I was impressed by her enthusiasm during the action and barely realized that she walked to our direction.
“Are you alright?” Deborah asked with her caring voice.
“Oh yes,“ I blushed a bit. “It is lovely!”
Deborah satisfyingly smiled and carried on.
As Deborah went out of sight, I noticed my partner having trouble with his screen. The system did not seem to respond on his command. It apparently had been going on for a while.
He was kind of giving up by the situation when an announcement came, “Due to problems with our in flight entertainment, we will have to reboot the system within fifteen minutes,”
Indeed, the problems were resolved after fifteen minutes!
‘Well, I think I will listen to my favorite artist now!’ I thought.
Noise cancelling headset
Music list from ‘e’ for Entertainment
Beautiful Day by U2!
Lunch service was about to start as Rafat appeared on our side to set our tables. Laarnie was in charge of serving meal trays.
Rafat setting the table of Mr. 7D
The trays were prepared beforehand. The basic setting consisted of a water glass, a butter dish, a pair of pepper and saltcellar, cutlery set, a side plate for your choice of bread and a seasonal salad bowl. Your starter would be placed right before serving.
My lunch set
The presentation of our starters did not look bad.
My Beef Wellington
My partner’s Gourmet seafood platter
To go with the salad, there was a choice of balsamic vinegar or Thousand island dressing.
Seasonal salad of rocket salad, parmesan cheese, sundried tomato and pine nuts with my choice of balsamic vinegar
Our glasses got topped off with still water, followed by bread basket offering.
My choice of sunflower bread
As finishing touch, we got generous flow of wines.
Laarnie pouring my partner’s Chardonnay
After wishing “Enjoy your meal,” Laarnie returned to the galley.
While my partner started to take a bite of his meal, I could not help looking at the my tray set once again. I must say, the EK
logo nicely decorated the utensils.
Pepper and saltcellar
Unwrapped. Note the carved EK logo on each of it!
‘Alright, Suryo! Do not forget to eat!’ I thought by myself at one stage.
Though it was my first time savoring Beef Wellington, I was not disappointed. Though served cold, the meat did not lose its tenderness. In fact, it was a delightful combination with the sweet and spicy apple pepper sauce. I washed down the whole experience with soft and fruity Spanish red. Awesome!
My partner seemed enjoying his meal as well. He said his Chardonnay was lovely.
Some thirty minutes later, as we were finished with our starters, Rafat cleared up our starter dish and offered a second bread serving. We politely declined it as we did not want to stuff ourselves too early.
Laarnie soon emerged with the trolley. Reasonably by using pincers as the main course was served piping hot , she placed the crockery at each of our trays. A third bread serving followed.
Fluffy Arabic bread for me
The lamb dish was another masterpiece! A medley of juicy meat, fully flavored vegetable and spicy rice. Along with the Spanish red, what a joyful Mediterranean sensation which I enjoyed at every bite.
Half an hour further, Rafat collected our trays and set our table for the last course.
Ready for the last course
I found it interesting to see the dessert mentioned on a separate page of the menu.
What intrigued me more, was that we were not asked what we would like to have for dessert when our trays were collected.
Well, I did not mind the wait for a while for the next course after such copious meal. I kept myself occupied by listening to the music and gazing at the outside scenery.
Unaware of what was coming up…
Dessert trolley along with coffee setting utensils!
The presentation caught me by surprise. It was my first time seeing a dessert trolley on board for the first time! I did not expect to see the dessert, the cheese and the fruit displayed all together. I was deeply impressed! Laarnie and Rafat were in charge of our side, while Deborah and Ahmed took care of the opposite.
While Laarnie was attending the row before us, Rafat offered us Godiva chocolates from a big box.
View from above
Close up of lemon and lavender tart slices and chocolate raspberry sponges
“Do you care for dessert, Sir?” Laarnie asked. “We have got cheese, lemon tarts, chocolate sponges and fresh fruits,”
“Certainly,” My partner replied. “I would like to have the cheese plate and some fruits,”
“Certainly, Sir. Do you want anything else?”
“Yes, I would like to have a glass of Port to go with it,”
“Certainly, Sir. And how about you, Sir?” Laarnie turned to me.
Normally, I am not into desserts. But at that time, how could I possibly refuse?
“For me the chocolate sponge, please. I will go for the Port wine as well,”
As Laarnie started to prepare our orders, I was amazed on how careful and fast Laarnie prepared my partner’s cheese plate.
Laarnie in action
International cheese selection with a bunch of red grapes
Fresh fruit selection
My partner’s dessert overview along with a glass of Port wine and his choice of Godiva chocolate
“How about you, Sir?” Laarnie turned to me, “Which sauce do you like to go with your chocolate sponge? We have got mascarpone sauce and white chocolate sauce,”
To be honest, I could not remember my reply at that time. Laarnie suggested me one sauce. I was hypnotized by which I just said ‘Yes’.
My chocolate sponge with unidentified white sauce
To my surprise, Laarnie offered me the same fresh fruit plate as my partner’s while I could not remember whether I ordered it earlier. But it did not matter at all! On the contrary, I liked her gesture.
My dessert overview
You know what? I did not regret my decision to do the desserts. The sponge was heaven. Its soft substance was literally melting in my mouth. Not too sweet with creamy note which got emphasized by the buttery sauce. No, I still cannot figure out whether it was the mascarpone or the white chocolate one.
What about the fruit plate? I must say, I was grateful of Laarnie for that. It was exceptionally fresh, especially the strawberry! Hmmm…
And the port? It was a revelation for me to have it on board. I regretted that I did not follow Anosh’s example earlier on this one.
We ordered a digestive as the finishing touch of this remarkable lunch. Look how we were immersed with the soothing purple cabin light.
Ceiling with emerging stars
Forward view along the cabin wall
Cognac along with a glass of water
After distribution of hot towels, the cabin lights were dimmed. Most passengers arranged their seats in the reclined position, unwrapped their comfort packs and tried to take a rest, including my partner.
Comfort pack revealed: Eye mask, a pair of knitted socks and warning sticker
But not for me! There was much more to explore to keep me awake.
Forward J cabin
Aft J cabin
Nature called. Time for a visit to the lavatory and I was happy it looked tidy.
Cushioned to serve as a chair
What a great idea to cheer up the lavatory.
Orchid on the wall
’s amenity kits were provided in the lavatories.
Pre-packed combs, refreshing tissues, shaving kits and moisturizing cream tubes
My exploration went further. My next stop was the forward Y cabin.
A6-EBK hit some turbulence while I was on my way to the aft Y cabin. The fasten seat belt signs were illuminated.
I got tapped on my shoulder. “Sir, please return to your seat and keep your seat belt fastened,”
I complied and returned to my seat. My partner was sleeping when I got back. Well, kind of. As he told me afterwards, he could not catch any sleep due to the awkward angle of the lie position of his seat.
Somehow, I got so thirsty while waiting for the turbulence to pass off that I finished off the whole bottle of my mineral water in one draught. My thirst was not lessened yet, but I did not hit the call button on purpose.
As soon as the fasten seat belt signs were switched off again, I went to the galley. At that time, Liesel was having a chat with her Ukrainian colleague, Iryna. Under the cloak of asking another bottle of mineral water, I entered into a connection with them. Iryna was apparently in charge of Y cabin as I did not see her around earlier. Liesel gladly complied with my request about our flight details, while Iryna excused herself to return to her station.
Liesel and I had a chit chat quite a while. When it came to her eight year employment by EK
, Liesel told me that she was about to make a different carrier move by attending a master chef class in her home country.
Duty called for Liesel. I thanked her for her time and made my way to the aft Y cabin to retake an unaccomplished mission earlier. First stop was the middle Y cabin.
I walked back upon reaching the Y aft cabin.
As I entered the J galley, Liesel was in company of Deborah, Ahmed, Laarnie and Rafat. I took that opportunity to thank them all for delivering the great service and delicious food so far.
“Thank you so much for your feedback. We truly appreciate it,” Deborah said on behalf of her colleagues. “Do you have any suggestion to make our service even better?”
“Actually no. It has been wonderful,” I replied. “I would say, just keep it up this way!”
“I have a request though! Can I have a picture with all of you?”
“Sure, no problem!” said Deborah. “Guys, come closer. We are having a picture together!”
What an enthusiasm! I was happy to see Deborah encouraging her colleagues to join the party.
Liesel volunteered to become our photographer.
Clockwise from right to left: Ahmed, Laarnie, Deborah, Rafat and me. Courtesy of Liesel
Too bad, we could not have our chit chat too long. The beverage run before landing had to be done. I thanked Deborah, Ahmed, Laarnie, Rafat and again Liesel before returning to my seat.
Once I stepped into the forward cabin, I had to look above somehow.
Starlight on the ceiling
My partner was awake as I got seated. Not long after, Laarnie appeared on our side.
“Can I offer you anything to drink? I have got orange juice or pineapple juice,”
“Orange juice, please,” Both my partner and I replied.
Fresh orange juice
One hour before touchdown, the cabin lights were illuminated, followed by an announcement that we would be landing in DXB
within thirty minutes.
Rafat distributed hot towels as Laarnie collected the blankets, headsets and pillows. Deborah in the meantime passed the fast track cards. What a cooperation!
After clearing the glasses of the last beverage run , the cabin got prepared for the landing. Fasten seat belt signs were switched on.
Forward cabin view checked!
The cabin lights were gradually dimmed.
Landing (UAE time)
Due to the crowded DXB
airspace, A6-EBK was put in a holding pattern. We had to circle around for another half an hour. By that time, I got unhappy again with my seat configuration as I could not use the IFE during the wait.
Finally after some twenty five minutes, Captain Sieferlandsch saved the situation by saying, “Cabin crew, please prepared for landing,”
A6-EBK made the very last turn as the whining GE90’s stabilized her in the landing position.
Seconds before touchdown
The wheels hit the 12L-30R runway at 01.25. Full brakes were immediately applied as A6-EBK had to vacate the runway as soon as possible.
What was coming up, was a long trek of ten minutes to our gate somewhere at DXB
At one point, A6-EBK turned right to its final spot, revealing the first glimpse of T3
T3 with row of, what else, EK birds
A6-EMO, our neighbour
Docked at B23
At 01.35, A6-EBK came to a stop. Unbuckling sound of seatbelts echoed as the cabin got brightened. Everyone gathered his belongings including us and got prepared for disembarkation.
Unlike in AMS
, both air bridges of B23 were deployed. As 2L door was located right behind the forward J cabin, we were lining up in the direction.
“I think, the front door got opened first,” Laarnie drew our attention to 1L.
As I looked back, I saw some passengers indeed were disembarking.
We walked past the unused F cabin towards 1L.
Right view of row 2
Seats 2A and 2B
Seats 1A and 1B viewed from row 2
Somehow, I did not regret not flying F on board of A6-EBK.
Up front I noticed Deborah, Liesel and an another colleague of theirs standing at the door opening to say their passengers goodbye.
I got the feeling I just had to express my gratitude for the last time.
“Thank you so much for everything,” I said as I shook the hands of Deborah, Liesel and their colleague.
Deborah and Liesel grinned while I could hear their colleague whispering, “Oh, that is so sweet!”
That last remark gave me such a warm feeling.