As you may have seen on my Instagram, I was in Dubai the beginning of this month. It was my first time traveling to the Middle East, as well as my first time flying Emirates. I had heard a lot of things about Emirates, as well as other airlines from the Middle East such as Etihad and Qatar. I had high standards to say the least. I’ll break it down into a few categories: airplane, food, staff and entertainment. I’ll throw in the bathroom as a bonus.
The plane was the A380-300, which if you’re unfamiliar, is a full-double decker plane. We’re talking the plane with the staircase and the in-flight bar. Flying Economy, I was not able to experience those, but they are still awesome features. Flying to Dubai I could tell the cabin was not the newly upgraded one new for 2018, however I really wasn’t expecting to be flying on such a new plane that soon. The plane was still very new though. The layout was the 3-4-3 configuration, popular for long haul flights. The first and business classes were in the upper deck, economy spread out throughout the whole lower deck. During sleeping hours there were little star lights glowing on the ceiling, which gave a nice ambience.
The seats were pretty spacious for Economy. I am 5′ 7″ and I had enough room. A real surprise that was how empty the plane was. When your flight is scheduled during a snowstorm, a lot of people cancel. That was great for me, as I was able to share a whole row of 4 seats with just my sister. I was actually able to “lie-flat” after all, over 3 empty seats. The seats are the ones that have the double-fold tray tables, which are perfect if you are only eating a small snack and want the extra space. There is also a cup holder on the back of the tray table so you can keep a drink handy and not worry about it spilling on you during turbulence.
Each passenger received an amenity kit. It included socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste as well as earplugs and an eye mask with the same pattern as the bag. An amenity kit is something many airlines overlook when it comes to Economy. There were also a blanket and headphones that you return at the end of the flight.
The food on airplanes is something people make a lot of fuss about, myself included. The first meal I had was rice and codfish. The cod was a little chewy, but flavorful. It’s impossible to have perfectly cooked fish when they were cooked thousands at a time. The meal also included bread and some sort of bean salad (which I passed on) and dessert. Every meal (not the pizza) also came with real silverware, which was an added bonus!
The snack was a pizza which was okay for what it was. The second meal was an omelet with potatoes and mushrooms on the side. It was good.
There are also lots of little things like crackers, etc. so it’s impossible to eat everything. I mostly ate the main meal and put left over stacks in the seat pocket for later. A friend in our group always ordered a special meal ahead of time. I’ll try that next time. The people with special meals are always served first (note to self). Dessert, served with two out of three of the meals each way, was way too rich for my liking. It was so sweet I took two bites and was done. I can’t forget about the little bottles of wine that are available throughout the whole flight. They helped with my fear of flying.
The Emirates team was very friendly and the women’s hats were so cute, with the little “veil” they had. We’ve all been on flights where you can see how unhappy the flight attendants are. This was not the case. Everyone did not smile creepily at you throughout the whole flight, but everyone was friendly, even when passengers were not cooperating with them.
The IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) was very good. There were so many selections in so many languages. You could watch movies from just about every continent. TV shows, music and games were also available. Even if you are not able find something you want to watch, free in-flight Wi-Fi definitely makes up for it. On the returning flight, the plane was older and the entertainment system was harder to use. It had just as many selections though.
Airplane bathrooms are usually places to be avoided as much as possible. Emirates doesn’t feel that way. I’ve never been in an airplane with a wooden toilet seat or wood paneling under the sink. They also included hand lotion and cologne, which is something I’d seen in Cathay Pacific’s bathrooms.
My expectations were met and surpassed. I’ve never flown a long haul flight with an airline that paid so much attention to detail. From the hats that the women flight attendants wore all the way to the way the ceiling of the cabin looked as if you were looking up at the stars. I strongly recommend Emirates for your next flight.