Saturday, June 30, 2012

Emirates First Class Overload: Losing my A380 Virginity - KUL - DXB


I arrived in Kuala Lumpur straight after our Seychelles trip way early at noon for my evening flight to Dubai. The Emirates counter was opened for the earlier flight to Melbourne. There were no lines in first class counter where I managed to check-in and drop off my luggage for both my Kuala Lumpur to Dubai and subsequent Dubai to Melbourne via Kuala Lumpur flight.

Instead of heading straight airside and to the lounge, I decided to have some lunch landside for some Malaysian food. I was missing Malaysian food after being on the road for the last couple of weeks. Once I did get to the lounge, I tried to get a quick nap on the one available massage chair. I think I did snooze off for a couple of minutes but couldn’t really fall asleep. I eventually gave up, took a shower and caught up on some work.

The lounge stayed relatively empty the entire I was there which was not a surprise considering how large the lounge was. It was furnished similarly to other Emirates lounges.

View from the lounge
There was a wide selection of food with made to order satay. Being a satay fan, I had to sample Emirates’ satay but I’m sad to say that it was severely disappointing. The meat was dry and the peanut sauce resembled peanut butter.

After half a day of spending more time than I would want in the lounge, boarding was eventually announced in the lounge. Woohoo - time to lose my A380 virginity! There was a  dedicated aerobridge to the upper deck at Kuala Lumpur.

The Big Boy
I was warmly greeted by the Emirates crew at the door which them escorting to my seat. WOW WOW WOW! The first class suits were so much more impressive than my first time on Emirates first class. Sure, it’s kind of a bit over the top with the bling but I love it.

A stewardess came over asking for my choice of pre-departure drink. I obviously went with champagne but was disappointed that they were serving the cheap stuff from business class. I made a comment asking where the good stuff was and was assured that the Dom would be available after take-off. The stewardess came around again offering slippers, Arabic coffee and dates.

I headed to the lavatory/shower for my pre-departure ritual of “emptying of the tank” and was caught off guard by how huge the lavatory was. I know of restroom much smaller than this! I must admit that it did take me a while to find the somewhat camouflaged toilet.

The flight took off as scheduled. I was surprised at how quiet the A380 was at take-off.

Sure enough, a fresh bottle of Dom was opened for me after take-off. They were serving the 2003 and not wanting to sound like a wine snob, the 2003 was somewhat disappointing if compared to the 2000. I poked around on flyertalk and looks like I was not the only who much preferred to 2000 or 2002 vintage.

Hot Canapes
Emirates offers on demand dining for their first class passengers. I decided to go for the hot appetizers, caviar, skipping the soup and salad and the Malaysian fish curry dish. By this time, I was too full for the cheese and dessert.

I had decided to try to stay awake as long as possible on this flight leaving the sleep for the later Dubai to Kuala Lumpur flight. After dinner and two movies, I asked for a bottle of the Dom to be sent to the bar/lounge at the rear of the upper deck. Waking through the business class cabin, I was surprised at how empty business class was. Sure enough, talking to the stewardess in the bar, she confirmed that it was pretty much about 50% full in all cabins. Curious it maybe Emirates would pull out the A380 from the Kuala Lumpur route in the future because of low loads.

The bar stayed really quiet unlike this "party" . I spent the next hour or so chatting to the stewardess in the bar. Learned some interesting stuff like the A380 cabin crew only operate the A380 with a separate cabin crew for the Boeing routes.

I headed back to my seat about an hour before arrival and was too lazy to take a shower on the plane figuring I could just take a shower on the ground in the lounge later. I failed in my attempt to stay awake and fell asleep for a quick eye right before arriving into Dubai.


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