Flying with Emirates. How is it?

I have finally flown with the airlines known as the golden standard of civil aviation. How well do they fare against their competition?

A one-time return trip does not exactly constitute a comprehensive test, which is why this review shouldn’t be treated as gospel. A proper review of an airline should take many factors under consideration: the airport, the airplane type, the duration of the flight, etc. My flight was carried out on the Airbus 330–200.

Forgive me the for the quality of the pictures. Blame the iPhone.

Economy class. The dreaded ‘middle seat’. The worst kind. On one flight, I think I was going to Thailand, I ended up sitting in the middle of a family. I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. To this day, I always crack a smile whenever I see the desperate faces of passengers who board the plane and realize that’s where they’ll be sitting. Well… They should’ve reserved a better seat beforehand.

There’s a bit more legroom than on my usual domestic flights, but it’s not an amazing difference. The tables fold-out from the side, which is a good thing because the table is always the same distance from you, which means the passenger in front of you won’t be able to break your laptop in half when he reclines his chair.

Some passengers spend the entire duration of the flight looking at the flight path. That’s a bad idea, in my opinion. It’s like constantly looking at the clock, time goes by slower. A watched pot never boils.

I’ve always been amused by people who praise certain airlines because “the food is great”, or even choose certain airlines because “the food is great”, so they can keep on experiencing the fact that “the food is great.”

You’ll only consider airplane food to be “great food” if: your usual diet consists of microwaveable noodles, your girlfriend can only cook hot pockets and your mother used to feed you a diet of spam and canned corn. For a normal person, however, a person who: has a healthy diet, lives with somebody who can cook or visits restaurants on a regular basis, airplane food will always taste like something you can eat out of a hot-dog stand.

This looks gross. It was tasty, though.

The Dubai airport. I’ve heard great things about it. I’m not sure why, though. Sure, it’s big, clean, kind of pretty and well-stocked, but that’s about it. It’s still a far cry from the airports in Frankfurt and London (I don’t feel like researching the spelling.) Even Atlanta and Las Vegas have a lot more to offer, shopping and sightseeing-wise. I was quite disappointed, especially since the bus ride from the airplane to the airport takes about 20 minutes. And then it’s a 30 minute wait to the visa checkpoint. This sucks.

Oh, I just remembered why I love Emirates. They allow your checked baggage to be up to 30 kilograms.

The way back. We’re reviewing the business class now. I recommend the online check-in, because Emirates lets you select your seat. With a bit of luck, you could end up with a business class seat, even if your tickets are economy. It’s still not the most premier (first) class. Unfortunately, I’m just a lowly blogger and I can’t afford the most expensive tickets. One of these days, though, one of these days!

The travel comfort is on a different level. It checks out.

There’s a lot more room than necessary. The ‘stretched leg’ test prompted the stewardesses to give me the ‘are you alright?’ look.

So, this is where I lost my chocolate bar.

Well… I forgot to test the entertainment system with all the movies and games available to the passengers. I was told the selection is enormous. I’m not that interested, though. I’ve got a great entertainment system on my iPad and laptop.

Nap time. I have to admit, this is crazy comfortable. You can practically recline your chair so far back it becomes a bed. Turn to your side and you’re off to dreamland. Even the Dreamliner wasn’t as comfortable in the business-economy class (or the premium class, I can’t remember the nomenclature.)

Wake up. Here’s a dirty rag for you. Wipe your face with this.

Breakfast. I wasn’t even that hungry, because I accidentally ate some Burger King at the airport. Still, I couldn’t resist the croissant. I didn’t touch the rest, as it didn’t look very appealing.

One more picture to show you the amount of space passengers in this class have at their disposal.

Dinner time. Fish and potatoes. I was even less hungry than during breakfast time, because I kept munching on that chocolate bar. But I did taste the fish, just to find out if it was edible. It was good. It was damn good. As far as microwavable fish go, it was fantastic. The potatoes were amazing, too. Didn’t touch the rest.

Because it didn’t look appealing, at all.

Overall, my experience has been very positive. The check-in process took almost no time. The staff on board was incredibly professional and they didn’t give me the stinkeye when I kept asking for a new can of Coke every 30 minutes. Though I did notice one stupid habit they have. They kept waking up the passengers when they were serving food. They were lucky I was awake, because if they woke me up, they would probably end up like the Malaysia Airlines Boeing. When passengers decide to go to sleep, it usually means they’re not hungry.

Airplane-wise, the Airbus can’t compare to the Dreamliner. It’s like comparing a scooter to a Mercedes. What’s surprising is that Emirates can’t really hold a candle to the Dreamliner in the food category. Read the other article and decide for yourself. What would you rather be eating?

I enjoyed the atmosphere of luxury surrounding my Emirates flights. Flying with this airline, you can really feel that you’re experiencing the premium sector of air travel. Even the stewards and stewardesses act as if they are working for the God of Aircraft himself and they look really proud of their airlines. Maybe they don’t really feel like that, I don’t know. I do know one thing, though. If I ever have the pleasure of flying Emirates again, I’m sure the pleasure will be literal, not figurative.