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

Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:19 am

Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

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A planned visit to Airbus in Finkenwerder sees me go online to book flights. Originally I was booked with Qantas and British Airways but a day before departure an accident prevented me from travelling. Once a new date with Airbus had been arranged I revert to the most convenient carrier, Emirates.

Since my last visit to the Emirates web site there have been a number of changes. The home page appears much as was but the flight selection pages appear chunkier and involve more scrolling on a big screen. (Does this sound familiar?) I guess this is a tip towards scalability across devices but while it may be effective it doesn’t look as smooth. Still, I am less interested in web design than in being able to travel.

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One thing that I do notice is that the number of miles listed is less than the number of miles actually awarded: the page indicates 45,250 miles (plus any applicable tier bonus) but when the flight is confirmed the tier miles are 47,000. My tier status results in a greater number of Airmiles but as I have been in the habit of donating them to either Sight Savers or the Emirates Foundation and the tier benefits are minimal when most of them are included in the fare purchased, my sole concern is that the airline actually honours its commitment. Given my experience of Skywards being slow to credit partner miles, my concern might be understandable.

The day of travel has arrived, the car arrives ten minutes early and as we drive to airport I actually receive an SMS advising that the car is pulling up at my house. A few minutes later the car pulls up in front if the International Terminal.

Online check-in opens twenty-four hours before departure but passengers with suitcases still need to drop them off at a desk. The friendly agent checks my passport, asks the usual security questions and issues the baggage receipt. She reminds me of how to get to security and find the Emirates Lounge.

But first a visit to the Observation deck. Perth is fortunate to have an open-access viewing deck above the Departures area. Although enclosed, it is possible to hear the sounds of aircraft movements as the upper level of windows is a mesh grill. The are information panels showing which flights are due to arrive or depart and a coin operated telescope. Currently on the ground is an Air New Zealand 787, instantly recognisable with its Silver Fern.

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Indonesia Air Asia is also present in the shape of an A320, PK-AXD which has previously seen service with Air Asia as 9M-AFX. Desperately trying to emulate its rival, Qatar has sent its eight-year-old Boeing 777-3DZ(ER) sporting the ID A7-BAC.

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Being loaded with Catering is tonight’s Emirates flight and just visible behind it, the tail of a Tiger Airways flight.

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Although Perth Airports current video ( https://youtu.be/tJnUIu4Rsaw ) doesn't show it, there have been some changes at passport control too since my last visit. The maze formed by bollards and tape has largely been replaced by electronic gates. Despite my preference for human interaction, I may as well give them a go. Scan the passport, answer some on-screen questions, smile (don’t) for the camera and say hello to uncle Bob. Or at least, that is the theory.

I scan the passport, the gate opens and I wait for the photo comparison. A red alert comes on screen telling me to contact an officer. The officer tells me to try again. I do and this time when the passport is scanned, another screen appears asking me to select the airline and flight number. This time when the gate opens the comparison matches and I can proceed to security. Extra lanes have been added as well as new body scanners. No need to unpack anything unless it is a laptop with a keyboard. No alarms go off and I’m almost disappointed that I am not selected for the explosives test.

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

I don't hang around in the duty free shops but make my way straight down the escalator to the Emirates Lounge. As always a cheerful welcome in reception and advice that a call will be made when it is time to board. Boarding directly from the lounge is now available.

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Chia comes to greet me, welcoming me back. We chat a bit and she tells me about the frequency of menu and wine list changes. What options are available isn’t decided in Perth but in Dubai.

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I decide to have something light and choose some barramundi and pour a glass of Moss Wood Chardonnay from Margaret River. It turns out to be a very pleasant drop, with hints of honey. Soon boarding is called and passengers can board directly from the lounge, following a seperate channel to the upper deck.

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

Flight: Emirates EK421 Perth – Dubai
Aircraft ID: A6-EDY
Type: Airbus A380-800 Seat 2K
STD/ ATD 22:10/ 22:05
STA/ ATA 05:20/ 04:32


Tonight’s flight is being operated by A6-EDY, delivered to Emirates at Finkenwerder on the 1st October, 2012 and entering into service on the 3rd on the EK406 DXB-MEL-AKL route. It has arrived into Perth after having been in maintenance since 7th July.

On being welcomed on board I am shown through to the suite by Kurt, a fellow Western Australian. He takes my jacket to hang in the wardrobe and offers to bring a drink. OJ will do for now. The usual offerings of PJs, slippers, eyeshades and amenity kit, together with a useful bag.

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The suite is equipped with all the usual trimmings. There is a basket of snacks, a refresher kit with pop-up mirror, a writing kit for those who prefer the traditional means of communications, and for those who want to charge their iPad or phone there is a useful charging station.

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Though some may question its usefulness, there is a pop-up minibar with a selection of soft drinks. The drinks are cold when first placed into it and once the top is stowed for take-off, it's a good idea to leave it that way if you want the drinks to stay cold. In the pocket is a selection of reading material, including Open Skies and the ICE guide.

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At 21:50 the Captain introduces himself as being from Switzerland and mentions that with him on the flight deck are Sayed and a senior flight officer who hales from Sweden. He tells us that it should be a generally smooth flight and that we would expect to arrive in Dubai a bit early. Meanwhile the coffee and dates are being offered and I am encouraged to take a few. Daniah comes with the hot towels and another crew member asks whether I’d like to book a time to use the shower spa.

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“All ground personnel please leave the aircraft: closing doors for departure.”
Last edited by HGL on Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
User avatar
HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:19 am

As the aircraft is pushed back, the music that is playing isn’t the expected Emirates theme but “Take it to the limit, one more time.” I noticed that the Tiger Air flight has already departed and now alongside is an Airbus A340-313, a type regularly sent by South African. This particular model, ZS-SXF, was once leased out to Jet Airways, where it flew as VT-JWC.

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The aircraft pauses while the push gear is detached, final checks are made and the safety video is played. To remind myself of the safety features, I consult the in-pocket safety card.

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Taxi continues along taxiways Sierra and Charlie into Whiskey and we reach the threshold of Runway 21. “Cabin crew prepare for take off.”

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Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49266774

The four engines produce the thrust needed to propel the Airbus A380 along the runaway, produce lift and raise the aircraft into the air. In the darkness, the lights of the city below look like a million jewels. Very soon we are crossing the coast and the lights fade.

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Once airborne and on course for Dubai, an announcement informs us that the crew come from seventeen countries and speak fifteen languages. Kurt comes by and asks whether I’d like to have the bed made up.
“Not just yet,” I say and mention that I will be having something to eat first.
“Sure. I’ll bring the wine list and a menu in just a tick.”
Kurt reappears and sets a glass on the counter in front of me. He presents the bottle of the requested La Clarte before pouring a small amount to taste. I like it, so he fills the glass.

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A few minutes later Samiya the purser comes around to introduce herself and apologizes for not coming to see on the ground before departure. I chuckle and say, “I had noticed.”

Seeing my camera, she asks if I’m into photography and was I hoping for a beautiful sunrise. The flight would be arriving in Dubai well before sun-up but I mention my interest in aviation.
“Feel free to walk around the cabin and take photos. You also have access to the Business bar down the back.”
Meanwhile Kurt sets about laying the table.

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For an appetizer The Cha Soba salad with prawns sounds tempting. When it arrives it certainly looks appealing and the taste is perfect.

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For the main, Roast Chicken with Arabic spices and freekeh. When the plate appears the aroma of the spices excites the senses, the taste tickles the tongue.

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Kurt offers to top up the wine glass but I decline as I have something else in mind. As a nightcap a sniff of cognac always goes down well. In this case it is a hint of paradise - Hennessy Paradis.

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Once the table is cleared I go to clean my teeth and freshen up before changing into PJs. Kurt has made up the bed with a mattress and duvet when I return to the suite. I close the doors, put out the lights and lie back. But I don’t sleep very well. For one, it feels quite warm. The noise of the ventilation is disturbing and from time to time there is lateral turbulence. It is not much but sufficient to be noticeable when lying down.

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I am mildly surprised when Kurt leans over the wall of the suite and touches my shoulder. Perhaps I had drifted off after all. He tells me that the shower spa is ready so I collect my bits and make my way through. I must say that having a shower at flight level 400 is invigorating. Lathering up and rinsing seems to wash away that sense of fatigue associated with being confined in the cabin on a long haul flight.

As I exit the spa one of the assistants asked whether I would like some of their signature tea. "Why not?" I think and she brings the pot and a cup to the suite. The tea is anaemic in appearance but the combination of tea and spices belie its looks. On the counter is the traditional salver with assorted fruit and orange sauce.

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Another of the crew, Soon, comes along to ask if I’d like any breakfast. How about a watermelon, lime, celery and ginger drink? By now we are approaching the coast of Oman, still at flight level 400 and with a tail wind making good time. It looks as if we will be arriving almost an hour ahead of time.

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For the meal, a bread basket and some twice-baked soufflés with mushroom and asparagus should fill the gap. I decide against the offered coffee or tea. Once more the table is laid and it all looks very smart. The cabin is coming to life as other passengers either have a shower or decide on breakfast.

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The Captain announces that we are just passing Muscat, 43 minutes out of Dubai and will commence descent in three minutes (Swiss time of course.) I try to raise the window blinds only to find that neither the buttons on the remote docking station, nor the ones on the individual windows respond. Presumably they have been centrally set to remain down. Tidak apa.

A little later the purser announces, “Cabin crew commence preparation for landing in two minutes."

Suddenly the window blinds rise and I am able to enjoy the view of small towns puncturing the darkness. On the screen the arrivals and transfers in Dubai video is being shown. The altitude indicator on Sky Show is changing as the aircraft descends. The lights of the city spread out beneath us, reaching up, getting closer. Aircraft by the engineering shops are now visible, in a moment a bit of a thud and a bump as the A380 touches down.

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Marhaban bikum fi Dubayy … where the time is four thirty in the morning and the temperature is 32 degrees. On screen I have switched to the on board camera and am following the green. Eventually the aircraft comes to a stop at stand F22. This is quite convenient as my connecting flight will be departing from gate B1. No need to take the train.

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The seat belt has been extinguished, we have been told that we can now use our phones and Kurt has come along to give me my jacket. Making sure that I have everything, I make my way to the door where I observe how the door is actually released. Meanwhile I am able to personally thank Kurt and his colleagues for making the journey so pleasant. The door is open and I can onto the jetbridge and make my way to security and the Lounge ...

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

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
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
rhuns
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:02 am

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:12 am

HGL - Great report, as usual. It seems like you had a very attentive and accommodating crew. The late dinner and breakfast both looked good. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. I look forward to future reports.
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1863
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:14 am

How long is the flight? Food looks delicious.
 
FriscoHeavy
Posts: 1791
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:42 pm

lychemsa wrote:
How long is the flight? Food looks delicious.


About 10 1/2 hours.
Whatever
 
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HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:47 pm

Hi rhuns!
rhuns wrote:
Great report, as usual.

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, the crew were attentive and willing to chat and share a joke.

Hi lychemsa and FriscoHeavy!
FriscoHeavy wrote:
lychemsa wrote:
How long is the flight? Food looks delicious.

About 10 1/2 hours.

On the PER-DXB the block time is 11 hours and 10 minutes but as we see from this flight, the actual route can be done in less time depending on winds and ATC requirements. For the opposite direction DXB-PER, the block time is 10 hours and 40 minutes.
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
aero79cabin
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:17 pm

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:38 pm

Very nicely and elaborately described. One will feel as if he himself enjoying the flight, more particularly food and drink :)
 
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777Jet
Posts: 6987
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:29 am

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:03 am

Great trip report!
I really enjoyed the detailed pictures, especially the cabin shots.
The best pic... The South African A340... I'd love to fly on one before they are all gone.
I was in HKG a few days ago and spotted a South African 343 (one is always there whilst I'm in HKG) and at least 3 CX 343s (pics in my next TR)... I'd have given my left nut to log one lol.
I look forward to reading your next TR!
DC10-10/30,MD82/88/90, 717,727,732/3/4/5/7/8/9ER,742/4,752/3,763/ER,772/E/L/3/W,788/9, 306,320,321,332/3,346,359,388
 
User avatar
HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: Welcome Aboard this Emirates A380: Perth to Dubai

Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:06 pm

aero79cabin wrote:
Very nicely and elaborately described.


Thanks for your kind words. Glad you liked it. I hope you didn't get too hungry seeing the food pics. ;)

777Jet wrote:
Great trip report!
I really enjoyed the detailed pictures, especially the cabin shots.


Thanks.

777Jet wrote:
The best pic... The South African A340... I'd love to fly on one before they are all gone.

We usually see the A343 from JNB but from time to time the A346 appears. Have yet to fly that one as the last time I flew to JNB it was scheduled to be an A346 but they did a swap so I ended up on the A343 instead. Ah well, next time maybe.
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