EK0036 – Newcastle to Dubai (Business Class)

My complimentary chauffeur car had picked me up on time and so I arrived at the airport with around 2 hours to spare.  I caught up on some work in the unremarkable (but perfectly functional) Aviator Lounge.

I was clock-watching for a while and eventually gave up and went to the gate which was about 10 minutes away.

My ticket was checked and I was directed into my boarding area which seemed to be made up of passengers travelling in Business Class, the elderly and the immobile.  It later turned out that elite members of Emirates frequent flyer program Skywards were also here.

Time passed slowly and we hadn’t even started boarding by the time we were meant to take off.  No announcement was made and nobody asked.

Eventually, they sneakily let the ‘old dears’ on first and then announced boarding for Business and elites.  Off I went.

This was my first flight with Emirates and I was pleasantly surprised.  There was loads of space in the cabin and a bottle of water waiting for me (I always get thirsty when sat on the tarmac).  Pre-flight service started almost immediately – my coat was taken along with my drinks order.  I opted for some Champagne (Veuve Clicquot Gold Label 2002) which was just what was required under the circumstances.  I was given a wine menu to peruse while the plane boarded.

My glass was taken as soon as it was empty and up we went for a very smooth take off.

We were instructed long before we were horizontal that we could use our mobile phones as we normally do on the air.  This was a bit of a novelty and while I didn’t make any calls, I did send a few texts (40p each which I thought was very reasonable).  This service worked very well throughout the flight.

Orders were taken for lunch; I opted for a parsnip soup and then some chicken with potatoes in a sauce that I can’t quite remember.  I had some white wine (Stag’s Leap Karia Chardonnay 2008) with my starter and then switched to red (Sarget de Gruaud Larose 2003) for the main.  These were proper wines – fairly delicate white but a full bodied Red that was clearly meant to impress.

Hot towels were offered and then lunch arrived was served – on freshly laid white linen tablecloths.

I played with Emirates Inflight Entertainment System (ICE) with limited success – it crashed twice and had to be restarted.  The purser did offer me a seat at the very front of the plane (in theory this was First, but as there was no official First on this service, it was just the same as business with a little less seats).  I declined this offer and it was third time lucky for the entertainment system – it started working!

A movie or two later and we were being offered more hot towels, a snack and another drink.  Local time in Dubai was now almost 1:00am – but hey!

Seat went far back enough to be comfortable on although I didn’t sleep – certainly other passengers did.

We landed on time and I went to catch my connecting flight.  All in all a very pleasant experience – I think the price offered some pretty good value too.

Aircraft: Airbus A330-200

Class: Business

Price: £2315 (NCL to KUL via DXB)

Departure gate: 21

Arrival gate: Middle of nowhere – bus took 15 minutes to get to terminal

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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