Video Report Emirates EK34 - London Stansted to Dubai - Boeing 777-300EREmirates EK508 - Dubai to Mumbai - Boeing 777-300ER (A6-EQB) Background
Hello A 'Netters. Hope you are all well.
Had one of my oldest friend's wedding in Australia and India and I was torn between either going to Aussie or India. Given that I had not met my parents for a while, I had to make the sensible decision of making it to the Indian wedding (Reception) in Chennai (Madras).
I wanted a night flight out of London, into Mumbai, to meet my brother and my return from Chennai to London. The obvious choices were BA (Direct) and all the middle eastern carriers. The ones which fit the bill were either Oman Air or Emirates. BA was a good option, but given that Emirates was nearly a £100 cheaper (that’s 25%) I opted for Emirates. More so, the timing of Emirates was more suited to my liking.
Very good flight timings, with minimal transit time at the Dubai Shopping mall, also known as the airport. I would also be using Emirates newly(er) started service from Stansted!
Once booked and an Emirates PNR given to me, I could customise my booking on Emirates website. I must admit, it is extremely slick and the website is a pleasure to use. The customisation is excellent giving options to select seats (Paid for) and even amend your meal options. I really liked that you could already view your menu for the flight including in languages of your origin/destination (English/Arabic/,English/ Hindi/Arabic, Tamil/English/Arabic and English/Arabic). Fantastic! And the menu options looked great, which included a masala dosa for breakfast from Chennai! Emirates do these simple things extremely well. Looking forward to it.
In November 2018, got an email stating that my flight timings to Mumbai had changed. It looked like EK506, was now a night flight, which would mean that it would be beyond midnight. Speaking to Emirates, they suggested a few options to Mumbai. Weighing in the pros and cons, I decided on EK508 for my onward trip to Mumbai. This would mean I would get around 7 hours in Dubai, to spend some time with my friends and It would also enable me to reach Mumbai at an acceptable timing of 8 PM.
This series of trip report will consist of two reports:
1. This one, Emirates to India and back to the UK
2. Domestic India travel, including Air India Regional (Alliance Air) ATR and a business class experience on Air India A319.
Thanks to GCMapsEmirates - EK34 & EK508 (EK506)
Route: STN - DXB - BOM
Flight Reg:A6-EQN; Delivered to Emirates on Aug 2018
Flight Reg:A6-EQB; Delivered to Emirates on May 2017
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 20D & 46A
Flight time: 20:15 - 07:10 (22:46 - 08:43) & 15:50 - 20:35 (16:28 - 20:20) (OLD:09:30 - 14:00)
Actual flight time: 5 Hr 57 min & 2 Hr 22 Min (My Fastest Flight: 571 mi/h, 3,396 mi, 5:57 h, London (Stansted) - Dubai (International), 03-01-2019)
Distance: 3396 & 1198 Miles
Load: 100% & ~70% load
1st March and 2nd March 2019
Booking details: Booked on www.travelup.co.uk website for a total of £434 return
My Log book: 6th and 7th Flight on Emirates/ 11th & 12th flight on Boeing 777-300ER / 195th & 196th Total overall flight
OCI opens 48 hours before departure. The entire process was expectedly seamless and intuitive. Although, the flight from London to Dubai looked full and the only available seats were middle seats. Hopefully will be able to change at the airport. Fingers crossed.
During OCI, I was also given an option to upgrade my Dubai to Mumbai sector for GBP 152. I thought the deal was very good. If the flight was any longer than the 2 hr 15 minutes, I would've gone for the deal. But rejected this for now.
Emirates website is a masterclass in how an airline website should be. The level of details available for each flight, right down to the menu onboard and the exact names of movies available to watch, Is mind boggling. An absolute joy to navigate through. It's no wonder they have a fan following and deservedly so. Add to it, a 40 kilo baggage allowance! 40 ! Even certain business class allowance is not that high.
Day of the flight, the ride into the airport was fairly seamless. Took the Stansted express from Liverpool street station.
Stansted Express to Stansted Airport
Bag drop was superbly efficient and done in 5 minutes. A very friendly check in agent. Unfortunately all window seats were taken as it was a full flight to Dubai. I got moved to an aisle seat instead. Ah well.
Security was very quick and I was airside by 6 15 pm.
Walked around a bit for a bit of duty free shopping before heading to the satellite terminal. The newish satellite terminal was a great place to be. Airy and lesser number of passengers. Quite a lot of seats too.
Check in desks for Emirates at Stansted Airport
Busy time at Stansted
At the Duty Free area
No seats here, lets head towards my gates, which is at the satellite terminal
A quick train ride later, reached the Satellite terminal
There is our ride to Dubai -> An almost new B77W
Boarding commenced on time and I was seated by 1930.
I Got lucky with my seat as I was placed in the tiny economy cabin between the business class seating and the main economy cabin.
The New economy cabin
Amenities for this night fight. No Amenity kit though, like Qatar does
The new interiors of Emirates looks smart and modern. The initial feel of the seat was excellent and felt spacious. It did feel a bit narrow but I feel that you always get completely distracted by the excellent ( the best in the business) entertainment on board. And the new ICE system on board is most certainly industry leading and the benchmark of in-flight entertainment. How do they do it with no IFE boxes below the seats? Why can't other airlines just use this system, whatever it is. It's absolutely special! The choices of movies and tv is literally endless. It took me around 10 minutes to channel surf.
This economy cabin consisted of 5 rows of 10 seats each. The seats, once fully boarded, does feel cramped. It's just physics.
Flight time of 6hr and 10 minutes announced which means it's going to be a quick jaunt across to Dubai.
Just as we were about to take off, Stansted closed their runway due to a rejected take off by an aircraft. Great! Nice timing! Unspecified delays apparently. No idea what that means.
Another drama unfolded whilst we were waiting. The lady sitting next to me has her sciatica nerve explode and her pain killers were taken away by the security at Stansted airport, even though she had her prescription. I later realised that Codeine is a banned drug in Dubai and hence it was taken off of her.
Emirates assessed the situation and the doctors advised her to be offloaded as it was a safer option than giving her the pain killers as the situation apparently gets even worse at higher altitude. Given that we were still in the ground, decision was taken to offload her. This meant that, out of a completely full economy flight, the seat next to mine is the only vacant one
Captain announced the rejected take off was due to engine failure with the aircraft stuck in the runway. It was 2100 and by now all passengers had been evacuated from the aircraft. This looks like it's going to be a long wait.
Captains announcements were spot on and timely. We were getting half hourly updates and it was to the point. Well done Emirates. !
Finally at 2230 captain announced that we were soon going to depart.
Why does Emirates advertise their aircrafts as Boeing 777-300. And miss out the ER yet on their aircrafts it's denoted as an ER? I'm sure with an airline like Emirates, they would've got this right.
Menu for this sector
Reading material on board
Once airborne, drinks and dinner followed quickly. But the trays took a while for it to be collected.
Slept for a couple of hours before being woken up by the flight attendants, 90 minutes before landing. A breakfast box was served which contained a dry sweet pastry which was just horrible. Would've been better if they had not served it and let us sleep a bit longer.
Airborne; using the Picture In Picture on the IFE
Spoilt for choices
The toilets were quite massive on this B777-300ER
At the end of this flight, the FA's looked extremely tired and I saw one of the FA just slumped over the food cart. I'd reckon if this was BA, we wouldn't have taken off as the FA would've crossed their daily limit. But no such thing here. The service on this flight showed it. Really tired looking bunch of flight attendants. Not their fault though.
The 'Not needed, let me sleep more' Breakfast
Landing into Dubai
Overall, it was very good
Landed 90 minutes behind schedule. But once landed, the Ahlan service worked a charm. I was out of the airport in 8 minutes! Absolutely fabulous.
The fantastic Ahlan service
Extremely long queues at Immigration, but with Ahlan, I was whisked through without any delay
Exiting the airport
A quick 5 hour halt in Dubai. It was a balmy 19 degrees C when i was there. Perfect!
A bit of Sheesha fever at La Mer
After spending around 5-6 hours with my friends in Dubai, it was time for my onward flight to Mumbai.
Reached the airport at 1430 and was airside by 1450. A quick jaunt across duty free and I was at my gate by 1520. On board the aircraft at 1530.
Once On board, as expected this was a fairly empty flight. I had my 2 seats to myself. Woop ! #result!
Back at DXB T3
A Gate Terminal
Heading towards the gate
At the gates
There is our ride to Mumbai
Last section of Economy cabin view
View from Row 46
Captain announced that Dubai was operating a single runway which meant a slight delay to kick start but was expecting a flight time of 2 hour and 15 minutes which meant an on time arrival into Mumbai.
Once again, the aircraft was spotless and the temperature onboard was very comfortable.
Row 46 is probably the best economy seats on this aircraft. The leg space is enormous and I could easily be here for a really long flight.
Menu for this flight
Acres of leg space!
A good watch. Good to see Bollywood tackle mental health issues. Well done!
2 Saudia in front of us, during taxiing
Looks like a Bae 146 (..?)
Airborne -> Dubai Skyline
Food and drinks round commenced within 50 minutes of attaining cruising altitude.
The food looked quite food although I wasn't hungry. Has the RasMalai which was fabulous.
Rest of the flight was uneventful in a good way. The service on this sector was much better. A much more engaging and energetic crew on this sector. This is in line with the general mixed bag flight attendants at Emirates these days. Or at least the perceived notion which exists. A perfect example across my 2 flights today. One lacked energy, enthusiasm the other was energetic and efficient. Albeit, both flights were adequate, the first flight lacked the wow factor, whilst on the second, the FA's were more upbeat.
Overall, all things considered, this was a perfectly acceptable performance from Emirates. Their hard product is definitely one of the best out there. Excellent food and drinks. Their service is a bit of a mixed bag and from past experience I see a decline in quality. Nothing to be concerned about but I am being very critical of Emirates here given the high standards they set.
I can see why the US3 are irritated by carriers like Emirates. Their value proposition is in a different league altogether. My aunt residing in Houston, Texas, travels to India once a year. She doesn't even consider any other airline and has been travelling with Emirates for the last 6 years without fail. And I see no reason she would be changing her pattern in the near future. In today's day and age where every airline squeeze as much as possible from customers in terms of ancillary services, Emirates goes the other way in providing a lot more than their competitors. There is argument they get subsidies, questionable labour rules, but from a consumers standpoint it is irrelevant. Their value for money proposition is unmatched.
Landed ahead of schedule. Out of the airport in 45 minutes. By 2100. Immigration was super quick. Bags took a while for it to come but nothing severe.
Landing at Mumbai
At Mumbai Airport (BOM)
Exiting the airport
Uber Pick up point (it is a 5 minute walk as you exit the airport and it is sign posted) The Return Trip from Chennai (MAA)
Emirates - EK545& EK9
Route: MAA - DXB - LGW
Flight Reg:A6-EGT; Delivered to Emirates on June 2012
Flight Reg:A6-EVE; Delivered to Emirates on Nov 2018
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-300ER & Airbus 380-800
Seat: 24A & 70K
Flight time: 09:45 - 12:40 (10:30 - 09:47) 14:35 - 18:25 (14:57 - 18:47)
Actual flight time: 3 Hr 46 min & 7 Hr 50 Min
Distance: 1823 & 3405 Miles
Load: 100% load on both flights
10th March 2019
My Log book: 8th and 9th Flight on Emirates/ 13th flight on Boeing 777-300ER & 6th Flight on Airbus 380-800/ 200th & 201st Total overall flight
48 hours before the flight, OCI was open. I was again given the option to upgrade to business class for the Chennai to Dubai sector (GBP 152). I declined it thinking it would once again be an empty flight. However, during seat selection, it seemed to be a full flight. I got a middle seat (20B) and a window seat for my onward flight to London. Hoping to get lucky at the airport
Day of the flight, there was a Chennai run going on. But the drive to the airport was very quick.
Chennai Airport on a Sunday morning
Baggage drop was a bit slow but I was able to bag an exit row window seat. Option to upgrade to business was still available for the same amount (200 USD)
Emirates Check in desks -> Slow progress
The flight to Dubai was full and was also told there would be a delay of 15 minutes for the flight due to late arrival of the incoming aircraft.
Post bag drop, immigration took a while. From cab drop to airside, the entire process took around 40 minutes. Relatively slow for an airport of this size.
FIDS at airside; not too many international flights from this airport at this time of the day
Airside at Chennai International Airport
There isn't much to do in the airside. It's a very tired looking airport and a very boring place to be. There are some art work scattered across the terminal building but it all looks haphazard and dusty. They had a meagre duty free shop. I wanted to buy a perfume but the packaging looked so old and worn out I decided against it. The sales lady tried to sell it to me stating that older the perfume the better. Is this wine that I'm buying?
The solitary duty free shop with outdated products
Hardly any restaurants or any other food outlets too.
The airport terminal is split into old and new. Both the old and new looked old though. The new terminal had only 2 gates.
Spent an hour walking from one end to the other and back to my gates.
Walkway to the 'old' part of the terminal building
This is the old part of the terminal
Quite serious about their safety here
The 'Old' part of the terminal looked much nicer than the 'new' part
Boarding commenced at 9 40 and I was on board by 1005.
There is our ride to Dubai, delayed by 15 minutes
Our boarding gates were from the new terminal
Painting still on-going
Full flight to Dubai (And beyond)
Close up view
Flight time of 4 hours announced with cabin crew of 14 nationalities and able to speak 18 languages.
Pushback at 10 15
Urgh. Wear your shoes man!
Menu for this flight
I slept for the entire duration of this flight due to a wedding reception I had attended the previous evening which went on to the wee hours of the morning.
I was only woken up for the meal service which was adequate and the meal tasted good.
Very good lunch service
An OK watch; although I only watched like 20 minutes of this before I was knocked cold!
It was a very comfortable flight albeit the emergency exit row seats are quite narrow although they have limitless leg space. Being fairly small built person, it was adequate for me.
The toilets are a bit different on this B77W as compared to the brand new one I flew from Stansted
Hello Dubai! Again!
Slept for the remainder of the flight. Was quite hung over from the previous night :O
Thank you Emirates for an exit row seat
We made up for the delayed start and landed almost on time.
We were parked at gates C and upon exiting the aircraft, there was an agent from the airport to let me know which gates the Gatwick flight was at due to a tighter connection time.
I had to make my to gates A which involved a few security checks and also a 20 minute bus transfer. In between I had a quick dash to the duty free to pick up few last minute items.
Made it to gates A by 1340 and to my gate by 1355. Overall an hour and 15 minutes to reach the gates which included a 10 minute shopping spree. Overall an acceptable transfer process but I've had better experiences in airports like Doha and Hong Kong. I think the connection was seamless, it was just that it is quite far and it takes long to reach the final gates.
Transiting at Dubai. I had to make my way to the A gates again.
Did a last minute duty free shopping here before proceeding towards A Gates
A 15 minute bus ride ensued
Lovely weather here, it was 21 degrees and bright and sunny
At A Gates
Another baggage screening! So that is twice so far. Thankfully it was not that busy.
Still more walking to do
Hey, I was here last week
I was at A20 to Mumbai, this time I am at A21
Final Call, phew!
There was another random bag search here. Of course I was 'Randomly' selected. Brown skin, Indian looking, prime suspect
Boarded by 1410 but then we were told that we would be delayed by 15 minutes due to this aircraft awaiting passengers from connecting flights.
This flight seemed to be full too. Flight time of 7hours and 35minutes announced. Cabin crew on this flight were from 15 nationalities and could speak 11 languages.
Our ride to Gatwick, a 4 month old A380
The wonderful ICE
View from row 70
A bit cramped, but it's alright for a 7 hour flight
Menu for this flight
Once airborne, the crew sprang into action serving us lunch within an hour after take-off.
Bye Bye Dubai
I wanted the beef but unfortunately they had run out of it by the time they had reached our seat.
The chicken meal tasted very good and probably the best meal of the 4 flights with Emirates on this trip.
Post Lunch I continued sleeping until 2 hours before arriving into London at which time they had started serving afternoon tea with scones. The scones smelt wonderful but I wanted to avoid eating it due to my unhealthy binge eating the previous week. Perhaps a mistake.
Continued watching the same movie on this flight. Even though, I still did not finish watching it. Got a bit monotonous and predictable.
Toilets on-board the A380
It was a bumpy ride with light to moderate turbulence for a fair bit of the flight.
The seating on this aircraft was very good. Decent width and good leg space which meant overall it was very good for a 7 hour flight.
The cabin temperature was well maintained throughout the flight and happy to report that the Toilets were spotlessly clean.
Once landed, long walk to the immigration. 15 minutes. Immigration lasted 20 seconds. And bags had already started arriving as I had reached the baggage carousel. After waiting for a bit, I realised that there were 2 belts used for this flight with no interconnection between them! That was quite a weird setup since you had to keep an eye out for both the belts. And thankfully I did, as my bags were in the other belt that not many were looking at.
This not very convenient. Verdict
On time, new aircrafts, acceptable crew, very well priced and their entertainment is the best in the business. On this trip, Emirates worked perfectly well for me. The timing of the fight was spot on and on-board comfort is right up there for economy class.
I would gladly fly Emirates again and looking forward to my next flight with them.
That brings me to the end of this report. Hope you liked it. Thanks for reading and comments and feedback welcome.
Until next time, adios and safe flying.