Despite it being an early morning flight, I decided I would take the train to the airport in an attempt to be fiscally responsible. Actually, what sold me on the idea is the fact that there was a Starbucks across the street from the train station. Proper caffeination is essential for travel. Was there a few minutes before they opened at 6am, was caffeinated and out the door by 6:15 and on the way to the train station. Only about a 10 minute wait for a train, not too bad:
The other great thing was that I only had about $5 left on my transit card, but they only check the balance when you enter the system. The ticket was way over $15, leaving my card with a balance of nearly $10 negative when I checked out. I guess this is part of the reason there’s a deposit to get the card. Bargain!
Check-in with Emirates was a bit of an unpleasant experience. Likely because there was nobody waiting to be served, the first class check-in person had called over someone from the economy line. Someone was a group of like 15 Chinese tourists. Unfortunately the business class line wouldn’t help me either, because there were people waiting to check-in for business class. All told, I was in line almost 20 minutes to check in, which is pretty much inexcusable for first class.
Off to the Emirates lounge, which is shared with first and business passengers. Somewhat surprised Emirates doesn’t offer separate lounges.
That said, with Veuve on offer and a great buffet. it’s better than any first class lounge in North America, so can’t complain too badly.
Only had about 15 minutes in the lounge, and then it was time to board. Boarding was done directly from the lounge, which is always a nice touch.
Emirates flight 434
Brisbane, Australia (BNE) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL)
Depart 8:25, Arrive 14:35, Flight Time 3:10
Airbus A380, Registration A6-EDM, Manufactured 2010, Seat 2K
This was to be my second time on Emirates A380 in first. The first was a complete “accident.” I was flying on a United award from Dubai-Frankfurt-London with Lufthansa in first, connection to a paid United ticket from London to Washington. Unfortunately, the Dubai-Frankfurt had a minimum two hour mechanical delay, meaning there was no way I would make it to London in time for my connection. I pulled up ExpertFlyer, and saw there was a direct Dubai-London on Emirates A380, and decided to try my luck with the Lufthansa agents. They had to call the station manager, but he approved it! Talk about taking care of passengers when things go badly!
The seat/suite was just as nice as I remember:
Something to drink? I suppose the Moet will do for a pre-departure drink. In fairness, the flight attendant was very apologetic. I’m always surprised airlines are too cheap to pay the duty on liquor to serve the good stuff on the ground.
This was a breakfast flight, and due to the relatively short flight service started immediately after takeoff…when the bubbles were upgraded to Dom. Much better!
Bread. On a plate. Take note United.
Another glass of Dom? Don’t mind if I do!
Decided to go with the sweet option, and the apple crepes didn’t disappoint:
Cabin shot…I’m not a fan of the Emirates bling, but…
Today’s bubbles selection:
Didn’t have any, but the wine list was rather unimpressive I thought:
The breakfast menu:
Now, let’s get to the real fun. Emirates is the only commercial airline where you can shower on board, and it’s exclusive to the A380. In addition, Emirates was offering the first 100MB of WiFi for free on this flight, with a small $1 charge for additional usage. This was going to require the first-ever live in-flight shower posting.
The shower stall:
Back to the seat and feeling refreshed…with more Dom of course.
One of the very few flights I’ve taken where I can honestly say it went by way too quickly. I would have definitely liked a few more hours to enjoy the service, but it was not to be. Perhaps another time. I’ll save the comparisons of Emirates first for the trip post-mortem after it’s all over, but it was an overall solid experience.