Amsterdam – Dubai – Kuala Lumpur the Emirates way.
Why this trip:
Hello all and welcome to my tenth trip report which include my experience onboard Emirates flight EK148 and EK346 towards Kuala Lumpur and connecting in Dubai made in 2015. This was the first time I flew to Asia and also the first time I flew with Emirates. These flights were part of an Itinerary that was AMS
(380/777) on EK
(330) on SQ
(777/380) on EK
again. Even though there are several airlines offering direct routes towards Kuala Lumpur like KL
, I opted to fly with Emirates because I wanted to see how their service was like and I wanted to know how a transfer in Dubai is like. I will split this trip report in two separate parts, the first will be AMS
and the second part will cover DXB
Amsterdam – Dubai:
Before the flight:
After confirming my vacation in January it was time to see if there were some good fares available towards a far destination. My girlfriend and I have never been to the eastern part of the world and this was a perfect time to do so. Having looked at many fares and flights, Emirates turned out to be the best relating to pricing and value for money. Tickets were quickly confirmed and the summary of flight was received via email.
During booking the flight from DXB
was operated by an Airbus A380, this however changed to a Boeing 777-300ER as soon as the summer schedule was loaded into the systems, seats were easy to adjust via the Emirates website. There are also plenty of hotel options at Kuala Lumpur, we opted for a room in the Renaissance Hotel located in the city center.
Check-in opened 24 hours before scheduled departure. Emirates has one of the world’s most generous baggage policies, my bag only weighted around 20kgs but I was allowed up to 30kgs. This could also be a reason to fly with Emirates as most European carriers offer 23kgs on intercontinental flights.
1. We were brought to the airport by car and dropped off at Departures 3 about 2:30 hours before the flight. Check-in was located at row 29 with 10 counters open for check-in with premium classes separated form the Economy class desks.
2. Check-in went quite fast and we got all the tickets for our trip towards Kuala Lumpur, we proceeded towards customs, which was cleared fast and there was enough time to see some shops in the terminal. Amsterdam Schiphol hosts a variety of shops that can be found at any major airport, there are also some local retailers like House of Tulips.
3. At the moment Schiphol is undergoing some major renovations; most of the work is expected to be completed in mid-2016. Renovation projects are the check-in areas, transfer area, Holland Boulevard, KLM Crown Lounge 52 and the E, F and G piers. When the work is completed in Departure Terminal 2 its retail, Food & Beverage capacity will be increased by 20%.
4. Boarding was going to start at 13:50 so we moved towards gate G09, what can be quite a long walk from Departures 2.
The Flight, Seat, Entertainment, Cabins and Crew:
6. The aircraft for today’s flight is A6-EEZ a 1-year-old A380-861 fitted with four GP7270 power plants that will fly us towards Dubai.
7. Boarding started on time and was followed by a strict sequence because they use multiple air bridges so they can separate Business and Economy passengers. First up were the First/Business class and Gold Skywards members followed by passengers with young children or needing special attention. Thereafter boarding was called by the row number on your boarding pass. We were one of the last passengers to be called because we were located in the front part of the aircraft.
8. Sydney, Dubai here I come! In the background you can see Garuda Indonesia prior to her flight back to Jakarta after making a London Gatwick rotation.
9. A sign in the gate that separates upper and lower deck passengers.
10. I think the Emirates airline has a really nice font.
The cabin of this A380 consists of 14 First Class suites, 76 Business Class flat beds and 399 Economy Class seats. The First class seats have a pitch of 78 inch (86 inch in bed configuration), Business seats have a 48 inch pitch (70-79 inch in flat) and Economy seats have a 32 inch pitch (34 inch in reclined position). The main deck is fitted in an all Economy layout in a 3-4-3 configuration. On the upper deck you can find the First Class suites in a 1-2-1 layout, with in the rear the Business class section in a 1-2-1 layout.
11. The A380 also features some nice looking windows, but these windows are bad for photography because it’s rounds up like a tunnel.
12. My view for the upcoming 6 hours.
13. Every Economy Class seat is fitted with a personal ICE (Information Communication Entertainment) screen that is 12.1 inch wide. I really liked the speed of the screen that is almost comparable with an Ipad. Like the name states the system is divided in 3 categories. On the Information part you can track the progress of the flight, view the cameras that are located on the tail, nose and belly of the aircraft but it also features the latest news headlines. Communications is for the use of your phone and email services. The Entertainment section had more than 2000 channels and also contains the latest movies and a selection of games.
14. Amenities offered were a stereo headset, blanked and a pillow. The headset bag included a sheet with stickers stating Do not disturb or Wake me up for breakfast.
15. Most of the time I watched the information section, following our flight progress towards Dubai in combination with the various cameras.
16. The cockpit crew of today’s flight made a short announcement introducing the crew of today’s flight, the expected flight time towards Dubai and that we were going to depart with a slight delay because there was a startup delay because of the weather. I really liked the way the whole crew is being introduced, not only on this flight but I also noticed it on the other flight towards Kuala Lumpur, on this flight the cabin crew consisted of 15 nationalities and spoke over 20 languages. On this photo you can see the rear gate is disconnected. Shortly after the gate was disconnected, the cabin crew handed out hot towels on a silver tray followed by the menus.
17. Seats are fitted with an 110V universal output for power supply.
18. A380 Safety Instructions.
19. Like the cockpit crew said the flight pushed backed from the gate 15 minutes later than scheduled and the rain was also pouring down during engine start.
20. Thereafter the taxi began towards our departure runway 24, the aircraft departing in a southwesterly direction followed by a right turn towards the northeast. At Schiphol airport the A380 is always guided by a follow me car.
21. Taxi time wasn’t that long and with only one aircraft in front of us it didn’t take much time before it was our turn. In this photo you can see the new intersection for runway 24 that’s links the Sierra cargo apron with runway 24. It was opened in November 2014 and halved live runway crossing for freighter aircraft.
22. Takeoff went really smooth and the A380 lifted of the ground like the 400 tons of weight wasn’t there.
23. The A380 doesn’t have a high climb pitch so before going into the clouds we were able to see runway 36C/18C that is 3300m/10827ft long.
24. Typical A380 window and wing shot.
25. Most of the time I watched this screen with information about the progress of the flight, on the left hand side you can see all the information regarding flight data and on the right you can follow the progress on the map. You can actually choose airshow 1 and 2, both channels show different views and maps of the flight. You are also able to select one specific camera to view the surroundings.
26.I found this screen pretty funny because it shows part of a Boeing 747 Glareshield, EIFIS panel and MCP
. (The language of the screen changes from time to time).
27. The global routing of the flight.
28. Nice bright and new cabin.
29. Here is a photo of the menu of the Economy Class, every route has its own menu as you can see in the top corner of the menu. On this flight only lunch was served. I opted for the grilled chicken, which was quite tasteful. I took a photo of the meal later on in the report.
30. The Emirates Duty Free magazine.
31. The Emirates monthly Openskies magazine.
32. A small booklet explaining the function of the ICE system.
33. We reached our cruise altitude of 37.000ft/11.277m, high above the clouds.
34. This is what the controller looked like, it worked very nice.
35. Tray table folded open.
36. The cup holder, it actually was quite worn so I was not able to use it with a drink because otherwise I would have spilled some.
37. Blanked with the Emirates logo.
38. The first drink service took a while, for me it was a coke with some Savoury Bites.
39. All the seats are fitted with their own USB input and headphone input.
40. When the drink service was finished and the crew stored the trolleys in the galley I had some time to explore the cabin. Here is a photo of the stair in the front of the cabin leading towards the upper deck.
41. Toilets can be accessed by going up a small stair.
42. Most of the passengers enjoying the ICE system. The aisle doesn’t look wide.
43. The galley located in the middle of the aircraft looked really clean and tidy, but the crew did not start the lunch preparations yet.
44. The Emirates logo in the cabin, do they polish this?
45. Mood light displaying a more yellow/orangery light, probably because the sun was setting in the distance.
46. Eventually lunch was served, this meal service went really fast. It must be a challenge to serve all the meals fast and effectively. Food was good and the meal was sufficient for the duration of the flight.
47. This is the Pan-fried Lamb Medallions.
48. Not only the menu was a first for me in Economy, also the cutlery wasn’t plastic.
49. We eventually reached our final cruise level of 39.000ft/11.887m. The sun was going down fast just before flying over Turkey towards the southeast.
50. Really nice colors outside, the sun is still lighting up the engines.
51. The north coast of Turkey.
52. Mood light changed again.
53. Because of the darkness and not so populated areas the view out the window was just dark. I had some time to view some things on the ICE system, I also found this page showing all the destinations in Asia, no wonder why European carriers feel the competition of Emirates.
54. The aircraft left Turkish airspace in the southeast, avoiding the airspace of Iraq making our way down the safe corridor of Iran linking a lot of flight routes from Europe to the Middle East.
55. I took this photo when we flew over the Persian Gulf, it might be oil industry that is obvious quite popular here.
56. Just prior to descent the cockpit crew informed us that we needed to enter the holding pattern for about 5-10 minutes, for this time of the day it’s normal because a lot of flight are arriving from Europe to feed the flights departing 2-4 hours later towards Asia and beyond. Arrival runway was going to be 30L. Because I was seated on the right side of the aircraft I was able to see the Skyline of Dubai and the airfield making a dark cast on the land, if you watch closely you can see the Burj Khalifa.
57. When making the last turn towards our final approach the aircraft bumped in some wake turbulence. At the end of the flight I asked the Captain about the turbulence and he told me we were close behind a Boeing 777 of Emirates.
58. That tail cam is a great feature, as you can see the aircraft touched down a little bit left of the centerline, a second later braking power was applied and we left the runway on an exit to the left.
59. We taxied towards concourse A and gate number D01, you can clearly see who’s the boss here.
60. The aircraft came to a stop 30 minutes later than scheduled, completing the first flight of my trip. In the background of this photo you can see the Emirates A380 Cricket logo jet.
61. Most of the passengers were already disembarked, giving me the opportunity to ask the purser if it was possible to make a chat in the cockpit. I took this photo during my walk to the front.
62. The Purser was really kind and told me to wait, while she walked up the stairs and asked the Captain. Luckily the Captain gave permission for me to view the flight deck that eventually ended in a 15-minute chat about all sorts of things. He also gave me a brief explanation about the Airbus A380 BTV
(Brake To Vacate) system. Brake to Vacate allows pilots to select a runway exit during the approach, and regulates the aircraft’s deceleration after touchdown – enabling it to reach any chosen exit at the correct speed under optimum conditions, no matter the weather and visibility. Just one of the many new features the A380 is equipped with; this system is standard on the A350.
63. After the visit to the flight deck it was time to disembark because the cabin crew was ready to close up and leave the aircraft, I thanked the crew for their hospitality and left the aircraft. I then followed the connection signs into the terminal.
After completing the first leg of my flight towards Kuala Lumpur, I really didn’t feel tired at all. I don’t know if it was the aircraft, the seat or the good service but it was remarkable to say the least. What I can say for sure is that Emirates offers a great product on this flight towards Dubai and it gave me high expectations of my flight towards Kuala Lumpur. I think the stopover in Dubai is not really a bad thing; you have some time to stretch your legs and eat some proper food. Although direct flights also have positive aspects, one of them is being at your destination in less time by excluding a stopover. Emirates offers a product towards its customers, which I think is better than the competition from Amsterdam and I will consider this stopover again for my future flights.
Thank you for reading part 1 of my trip report, please continue reading in part 2. Part 2 will cover the connection in Dubai and my flight EK346 to Kuala Lumpur.
End of part 1.
Thanks for reading part 1 of this trip report, you can read part 2 here: AMS-DXB-KUL The Emirates Way. Part 2 (by Maikel Apr 20 2016 in Trip Reports)