Let’s talk airlines.
I’ve had this idea in my head that flying Emirates Business would be the travel equivalent of winning the lottery… or perhaps it was just that it would take winning the lottery to afford to fly Emirates Business.
Until I got the
calling email. The golden-ray-of-sunshine email from Emirates offering to upgrade our flight home from Dubai to Houston for $1,000. DONE. Are you kidding me?! Suddenly the sadness of leaving the happiest place on Earth (definitely not Disneyworld, The Maldives!) didn’t seem as awful.
We packed up our suit cases and headed for the airport. Now, we had to get through sea planes, moving docks, 777s and an array of customs first, but D and I were pumped.
From the Emirates Business Lounge, you are able to board directly to your airplane. No waiting around in the long lines with hundreds of people, just walk up to the desk, scan your boarding pass, and take the glass elevator to the bottom floor, where the gangway is happily awaiting you.
As soon as you board, you realize this plane is different. Beautiful blonde woods (if there ever was a thing) adorn all the seatbacks and entertainment systems. Ample storage below your feet, various pockets and tons of luggage space is available for you flight. The calming interior of the plane is complete with fresh flowers in the bathrooms and in vases around the cabin. Once they dim the lights at night, the roof of the cabin fills with faint stars as if you’re looking at the nights sky.
One side note, Emirates limits your carry on– not by size, I only wish that were the case– but by weight. Seriously?? And that means your precious carry on must be under 7 kilograms. That’s a whopping 15 pounds. Uhh, my makeup weighs that much. I’m a professional packer and have mastered the trade of getting everything I own into a hardcase carry-on. You can image the words I had with the agent who told me, “while yes, it’s smaller than all the other ones I can see, it’s also heavier.” WHO CARES. I digress.
The luggage situation was less of a problem returning on business, but just a heads up; they are bullies about it if you are in coach.
The flight attendants greet you within seconds and offer you a cocktail, tell you the flying time and ask if you have any special requests. You also are offered a selection of news papers and magazines… but who’s interested in that when you have an entertainment system with over 1500 movies, tv shows and series. I also had a love/hate relationship with the two cameras on the plane where you can watch your take-off and landing. What an amazing perspective, but also terrifying when those cross winds are hitting you as you land.
Think fine dining in the sky. Three meals over the course of 16 hours, plus countless available snacks and beverages. The one downside, and we experienced this with Turkish Business as well, is your service can vary greatly depending on the side you’re on and the attendant you get. Some people were regularly served and checked on, while others were slightly neglected. Ultimately, the Emirates flight attendants were great at anticipating your every need.
While the food was wonderful and delicious, I still think Turkish has one-up on Emirates. Just the over all presentation was better and they incorporated the middle eastern culture of mezzes and prolonged meals to make you feel like you were living an experience.
Oh happy day!!! Veuve on demand. I died and officially went to champagne heaven. I had my share of Veuve mimosas (normally sacrilege), poinsettias and neat. It was quiet possibly my favorite part– and yes, I know how that makes me sound. Ultimately, it was my favorite indulgence.
They also had a healthy selection of beers, whiskey, scotch, vodka, etc. and were definitely more free flowing with it than Turkish.
This 777 had a 2-3-2 configuration and was definitely roomy. The seats reclined fully and the flight attendants happily showed up to make your bed for you with a mini-mattress and blanket. It was easy to take a prolonged siesta in such comfort. Although, the seats seemed a bit narrow, it wasn’t uncomfortable.
The Amenity Kit.
His and hers Bulgari bags were passed out and included all the staples– socks, eye masks, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, lip balm. You want for nothing.
– If you want it, ask for it. The flight attendants have everything you could need and they don’t always offer it up.
– If you are upgrading, beware that you and anyone you’re traveling with may not get to sit together. The upgrade is a space-available situation, which can mean 2 seats in different parts of the cabin. You don’t know this until after you have purchased the upgrade.
– The regional food choices are always the tastiest. Skip the american style breakfast and go for the other options. You won’t be disappointed.
– Bring an adaptor for your personal head phones, as these planes have the 2 prong jack. While Emirates are very nice, it’s personal preference on these things.
All in all, flying Emirates was a treat and I would certainly do it again. And I may even pay outright for it next time… that is, if I win the lottery.