After months of planning, and (more importantly!) saving, the time had finally arrived for my trip to Sydney via Dubai. Being based in the Midlands, I had the choice of two Emirates flights from Birmingham. This trip report is from the evening EK38 BHX to DXB service flying business class.
The chauffeur car picked us up on time and allowing for some slight Solihull evening traffic, we arrived at the airport just after half five. One of the great things about the Emirates cars is that they drop you right outside the door for check-in; you don’t have to pay a pound to enter the ‘drop off’ point and then hike to the terminal. We were the first for check-in and had passed through security and into departures in about fifteen minutes from checking in. After buying some magazines for my flights and taking a look at what had changed at Birmingham airport since the last time I flew out (not much!) I made my way to the Emirates Lounge to relax away the next hour or so before my flight.
The lounge still has that new ‘smell’ about it and is quite relaxing and peaceful, it is not all that big but it has room for 100 people - I doubt there would ever be 100 in there in one go seeing as there are 42 seats in business class at any one time. I had a nice piece of fillet steak with some rice and vegetables and a glass of champagne (of course!) then sat down to eat. The flight wasn’t full in business class so only another 16/20 people or so came into the lounge, I did take some pictures but it is unfair to post them with the other people in the photographs and not having their permission.
Although the flight had been late taking off from Dubai, it had made up some time on the way so boarding was just before 20:00hrs (scheduled departure time was 20:25 so we would miss that) Leaving the lounge a five minute walk to the gate where I stopped to take a photo of our plane.
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
The plane was a two class 777-300ER which has the lie-flat seats in business class. After sitting down and buckling up, we were offered a variety of fruit juices, bucks fizz or just plain old champagne! I went with the champagne option and settled into my seat. I then realised that when I had stopped to take the photo of the plane, I had left my bag of magazines to read at the departure gate (such an idiot!) I asked one of the ground staff and they kindly went and retrieved the bag for me, the thought of 20+ hours and having nothing to read horrified me!!
Departure was delayed a little longer when the Captain came on to tell us that some passengers were feeling ill and would not be travelling so their luggage had to be removed from the hold which was fair enough.
Eventually we pushed back about an hour late and those two giant engines slowly came to life, it is a sound I love and will never tire of hearing and it really does sound like an electronic cow mooing when they start up. We taxied out to runway 33 where we sat and waited for another five minutes, nothing landed so I don't know what the holdup was for.
Eventually the engines powered up and we started our take off roll. For such a big jet I didn't expect to be pushed back into my seat but I was and for anyone who knows the runway at Birmingham, we were airborne pretty much level by where the fire station is on the right hand side (if you use 33) and there was me half expecting the wheels to clip the trees in Sheldon Country Park because Birmingham's runway is supposedly so small (joke!)
The dinner choices were as follows:-
Chilli prawns, smoked chicken breast or mushroom soup were the choices for starters.
Chicken, beef tenderloin or poached salmon were the choices for main course.
After that a pretty routine flight. Lights were turned off and I turned my seat into the flat bed and watched some telly and listened to some music.
We had made up some time so we landed in Dubai just after sunrise. We taxied around the airport for what seemed like ages and finally parked at a remote stand (something to do with busy morning arrivals the Captain said) and the buses were already waiting to take us to the terminal (very efficient I thought) The journey to the terminal took us about twenty minutes which I thought was amazing, the airport must be so big. We passed so many other Emirates jets, including a set of 5 A380's one after the other (one of which was my ride to Sydney I presumed)
I didn't understand the security clearance section at Dubai airport for connecting flights. I had just got off a plane, got onto one of their provided buses and came into contact with nobody other than the people already on my flight who had their carry on baggage screened at Birmingham, but here I was doing it again - what did they think I would be bringing it that I wasn't allowed to fly out with? But there you go.
I know had a couple of hours to wait before my connecting flight to Sydney, but that is a trip report for another time.
Thank you for reading.