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HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai

Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:33 am

Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai

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The chauffeur has dropped me off at the terminal. Along the way we have persuaded the British to abandon Brexit, suggested that all migrants stop working for a month to see how the economy fares, and talked in the way that strangers do when meeting for a short period. He wishes me a pleasant flight and I make my way to check in my suitcase. Once done, I pass through security and go up to the lounge where I receive a cheerful "Welcome back, Mr HGL."

Before doing anything else, I take a look out of the windows. One of the reasons why I like this lounge is that it offers clear views over the "Vorfeld" and runways. Here we see a BA A319, G-EUPD still in the special livery for the 2012 Olympic Games but reconfigured to CY143 in 2015.

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There is some activity on the ramp around a 757-256. This aircraft started its career with Iberia, named Cuba in August, 1994. Since then it has been with several airlines, including Sudan Airways, Phuket Airlines and Yakutia. It joined Icelandair in May 2014 and now flies as Helgafell.

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This Airbus A321-231(WL) was ferried from Finkenwerder to Istanbul in February, 2013 on delivery to Turkish Airlines. Powered by two IAE V2533-A5 engines, it flies under the name of Niğde and is configured CY180.

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Earlier I had received email notification that the flight would be delayed. I guess I might as well have a look for something to eat. That shouldn't be a problem as the lounge is always well-provisioned. There are various breads ... perhaps to go with some soup?

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The options for cooked meals look appetising: Potato and cashew curry; some roast with apples and red cabbage; lamb chops; or perhaps spinach and nut pancakes. It's good to see that both carnivores and vegetarians have options available.

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For those who prefer something light or who are thinking of their waste line and conclude it needs a few centimetres added, their is a range of salads, desserts and cheeses. The cheese looks inviting but for now I think I'll have some of that delicious potato and cashew curry.

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After dining and before going through to the sitting area, I take a look over the apron and notice that the delayed arrival has appeared. Due to the delay it is parked at C02 rather than the usual C05. Cargo is being off-loaded and the catering crew are doing their bit to make the aircraft ready for departure.

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After some time a call goes out to passengers in the lounge that they may now proceed to the gate and a reminder to have their passports ready. Boarding has commenced through 2L and I am able to snap a shot of the aircraft as I walk along the jet-bridge. It looks as if some adjustments are being made to the forward landing gear.

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Flight: Emirates EK060 Hamburg - Dubai
Aircraft ID: A6-ENX

Type: 777-31HER Seat: 2K
STD/ ATD: 16:20/ 17:27

STA/ ATA: 00:55/ 00:54



Richard welcomes me aboard and shows me through to the suite, offers to hang my jacket and asks whether he can bring me something to drink.

"May I be cheeky and ask for for orange juice and some water?"

"Of course you can. Everyone's allowed to be cheeky," he replies.

He goes to fetch the drinks while Kim offers slippers and eyeshades. The Arabic Coffee and Dates are offered and I mention that this is one of my favourite parts of the pre-departure ceremony. Later a second cup of coffee is offered as Richard remarks, "if anyone's this excited about the coffee, I know they'll want a second cup."

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The Captain meanwhile makes an announcement, advising that the Cabin Crew are here primarily for our safety and to follow their instructions at all times. He apologises for the delay and says that they will attempt to make up as much time as possible to retain the scheduled arrival."

Richard comes along and noticing that I am writing in my journal, says "I've brought you a book mark." It is a fast track card for security in Dubai.

I comment that it is nice to see a sense of humour.

"Doesn't everyone have one?"

"I'd like to say yes."

"You'd be surprised at some of the people we come across," he rejoins but our conversation is brought to an end as the aircraft begins to move back. Kim comes to take the snack basket for take-off, promising to return it later.

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The safety video commences as the Captain announces, "Cabin Crew, prepare for take-off."

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As we push back I take a look at the different tails at the gates and on the apron. There is a mix of eurowings, airberlin, Lufthansa and Turkish at contact stands ...

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eurowing and germanwings at remote stands ...

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while bags are being loaded into this easyJet. It is an Airbus A320-214 with the registration G-EZUW.

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We must wait for this Bombardier 402Q, born as C-FYGN and ferried YYZ-YYR-RKV-FMO during 23 - 24 October 2009 on delivery. It leased from NAC and operated by Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter for airberlin.

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We also wait for D-AGWG to pass in front of us. This Airbus A319-132 first flew with the test registration D-AVYS on 29 June 2007 and was delivered to germanwings in July, 2007.

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Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
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HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai

Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:35 am

The Captain has received the all clear and the aircraft enters Runway 23. No longer flying but a memory of the early jet age, D-ABOB watches our departure. The powerful GE90-115B propel the aircraft forward and the Boeing lifts, passing Niendorf with its cemetery.

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Once up in the air, the Captain plots a course that takes us past Eidelstadt and the HH-Norwest Dreieck, over the Volkspark and Lurup, with views towards Bornpark and Schenefeld.

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As we climb through the clouds an announcement is made in Arabic, welcoming Skywards a Qantas Frequent Flyers. We are informed that on today's flight the crew comes from sixteen countries and speak fourteen languages. Laptops and mobiles may be used once the seatbelt signs are off.

The announcement if repeated in English by Linda, who is the purser on today's flight. Shortly after a video is shown describing the options available on ICE - short for information, communications and entertainment.

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I have set the channel to Airshow which tracks the flight and shows details like heading, speed, altitude and wind direction.

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Linda comes by to introduce herself and deliver the menu and wine list. As she tells me to ask if there's anything she or her colleagues can do, I ask the question. She promises to see what she can do. Linda also asks whether she can bring me something to drink. When I say that I'll have a look at the wine list first and then decide, she suggests that I can also try more than one.

Meanwhile I take a look around the suite. In the pocket by the door is a set of headphones and a collection of reading material. Included are the ICE Guide and Open Skies, the airline's in-flight magazine.

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In the armrest there is a one-touch control for the doors and seating positions for take-off, dining and sleeping; a compartment for small items like pens or reading-glasses; the housing for the life vest; and a remote that also doubles as a phone.

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To power all those essential portable devices there is a charging point. For all those who rant about babies crying or suggest that if you don't like it, book in a higher cabin class, you might be surprised to find this notice. But more calming is the presence of orchids in every suite.

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"Mr HGL, are you ready to order anything to drink?" asks Richard. There is quite a good selection: four whites and five reds as well as dessert wine and a port. "Would you like to try them all?" he jokes.

"Why not? Line them up!"

Richard brings out three wine glasses but I send him back for a fourth with water to cleanse the palate.

"You're quite serious then."

"Well, you did say that I could be cheeky," I quip.

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The first wine is brought out, the bottle presented and a sample poured. It is the Ducru Beaucaillou from Bordeaux. It is pleasant though fresh on the nose, a not too heavy wine.

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The water is ...

The next bottle is from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, the Château La Nerthe has tastes of dark cherries and spice. But is this the one?

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The third wine is from Austria. Many might not think of this country when it comes to wine. We might think of France, Italy, the United States or Australia first. Which is a pity because Austria does produce some quality wines and this Blaufränkisch from the Burgenland is no exception.

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But a decision has to be made. And the winner is ... Ducru. The wine glass is topped up and the silver and bronze finalists are removed from the stage. To accompany the wine a selection of canapés is brought. These include smoked mackerel and wasabi on pumpernickel; grilled venison with cranberries and smoked salt; and, a charcoal cracker with chèvre and basil jelly. It all looks fresh and appealing.

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Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
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HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai

Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:36 am

The flight continues in its path. The view outside is of solid cloud stretching as far as the eye can see. The affable steward comes by once more to ask if I would like something to eat. The selection of cheeses looks good and as I skipped the cheese in the lounge now would be a good time to catch up. To accompany the meal, some port is offered - a forty year old tawny from Taylor's

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There is no break in the cloud as we continue our flight past Deva and Brasov towards the Black Sea and Turkey.

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By now it is beginning to darken as the sun retreats to the west. The suites feature several lights that can be operated independently of the cabin lights. Above the seat there is a reading light, together with a ventilation swivel control. By the door is a downlight, while on the counter next to the refresher kit store is a table lamp.

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Further on with less than two hours to go, once more I am asked would I like something to eat. Preferring to graze rather than eat a main course, I opt for the mezze. The table is laid and spread of local savoury dishes is brought that includes houmous, mujaddara, muhammara, moutabel, spinach bil zeit, tabouleh, stuffed vine leaves, mini sfiha, haloumi kibbeh and spinach fatayer. A requested espresso is brought to finish dining.

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By now the Boeing is crossing the Gulf from Iran towards the United Arab Emirates. Connecting flight information has been uploaded and is displayed on ICE. A video outlining the arrivals and transfer process is shown and I notice that it is a newer version.

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The aircraft by now has descended 20,000 feet and it is obvious that we will not land immediately but fly on over the desert before making a turn and final approach. Nevertheless, despite the delayed departure we will be arriving on time. The baggage carousel number for arriving passengers is displayed. The pre-arrival announcements have been made, the cabin lights are dimmed.

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The aircraft lands and taxis to a remote stand. "Welcome to Dubai where the time is one o'clock in the morning and the temperature is 38 degrees."

Passengers are reminded to remain seated until the seatbelt sign is extinguished, mobile phones may now be used and to ensure that they have collected all their carry on luggage. "We hope you have enjoyed your flight with Emirates and look forward to welcoming on board again soon."

You may recall that earlier in the flight I had taken up Linda's offer to ask for anything and she had promised to see what she could do. As the seatbelt signs are extinguished Linda now comes and invites me to follow her. The requested visit to the flight deck has been granted.

Colin, the Captain welcomes me and we chat for a bit before he tells me to take a seat. I am instantly "promoted" as he places his four bar epaulette on my shoulder and takes a photo. What a delightful gesture and a great way to end a flight.

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But I can't hang around too long. Linda pops her head into the flight deck and tells me that the transfer bus is waiting, so I thank the Captain, Linda and her colleagues for looking after me so well and leave the aircraft by the steps at 1L. Once seated on the bus, the doors close and it begins to move ...

===================================================

Previous Reports:

City Triangle 1: KLM 737 Hamburg-Amsterdam
City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam-London City
City Triangle 3: MHS Aviation Dornier 328 to Hamburg
Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai
Scenic Route to Hamburg: Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
CaribClipper
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:50 pm

Re: Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai

Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:57 pm

Amazing post and an absolute joy to read this morning. Huge wine fan and love that Emirates staff did that for you.

Their wine menu beats most restaurants and noticed a few favorites on there of mine from Burgundy.
 
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cougar15
Posts: 1447
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:10 pm

Re: Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai

Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:43 pm

Moin Moin, good to see you on your favourite routing again and this flight sure seemed extra special, glad you had such a top trip!! The Crew really went out of their way with a lot of added charm! Will you do a TR on 420 aswell?
cheers
some you lose, others you can´t win!
 
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HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai

Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:04 am

Hi CaribClipper,

I'm glad that you enjoyed the report. It is always pleasing when cabin crew go out of their way to make the passenger feel special. The wine list is indeed impressive.

Moin moin Cougar,

Yes, I always enjoy my trips to Hamburg. The review of flight EK420 is online at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1341209

Thanks for commenting.
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.

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