Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spending Christmas and New Year in Paradise: Dubai to Paris: Emirates First Class


The fifteen minute complimentary shoulder massage for first class passengers was the perfect way to wake up after our a couple hours of sleep on the lounge chair. We would continue to skip booking a hotel for such a relatively short layover but nothing beats sleeping on a real bed.

After freshening open with a shower, the Dubai sun was now already out and we headed to the dining room for some breakfast. I was getting bored with eggs for breakfast and decided to do some sushi instead and the kitchen was nice enough to make me some fried quail and foie gras from the lunch/dinner menu.

"Breakfast" dessert
It was time for boarding right as we got done with breakfast. Our boarding gate was right outside the lounge and first class passengers board directly from a dedicated gate on the same level as the lounge allowing us to bypass any lines and get on the plane within minutes of leaving the lounge.

As usual on Emirates flights, we were warmly welcomed and shown to our seats before being served pre-departure Dom and Arabic coffee and dates. The captain came on the PA and announced we would be delayed for several minutes as they sorted out some baggage issues. The delay didn't bother us too much especially with the comfort of traveling in first class. While on the ground, the crew kept the Dom flowing and together with the couple seating in front of us, we probably finished of a bottle and a half while still on the ground.

A380 taking us to Paris

Eventually we did get on our way and I switched to one of the empty window seats for take-off to enjoy some of the views out the window.

Dubai in the horizon
Since we were still full from breakfast in the lounge, we skipped breakfast on the plane. Lydia decided to take a nap while I stayed awake and watched a couple of movies. The coffee and champagne kept flowing and the flight attendant brought out some cookies and hors d'oeuvre to enjoy with the movie.

Lydia woke up after a couple of hours and we decided to spend some time in business class bar since it was her first time flying on the A380. The flight attendant serving us made sure that there was a fresh bottle of Dom waiting for us at the bar.

We started to get hungry two hours before landing and decided to get lunch. As usual, it was a multi course affair with caviar, soup, appetizer, main course and dessert. The first class food on Emirates is generally okay but definitely not on par with other first class flights like Asiana or Swiss.

An hour before arrival, the shower room was ready for the both of us. Taking a shower, albeit a five minute one continues to be one of my favorite feature on a first class flight. We definitely felt refreshed and was looking forward to get our day running once we got to Paris.

We made up good time in the air and was only slight delayed despite the delay leaving Dubai.

Arriving at CDG
I count myself lucky not having really to deal with missed flights or luggage before. Here's the only part of the entire trip where we hit a snafu. Rant on!

Our check-in luggage bags did not out the luggage carousel! The luggage agent looked up the computer and informed us that our bags were tagged all the way to Houston which was completely untrue since did verify that our bags were only tagged to Paris in Male. After about thirty minutes, they managed to track down two of our bags but it would take another hour before the bags would show up since the bags were incorrectly sent to a different terminal. We left the airport with only two bags and the agent said our last bag would be sent to our hotel later during the day. This turned out to be not true and our biggest mistake was not making sure the agent opened a case number before leaving the airport. This made tracking the one final bag extremely difficult - we were lied to several times when we called to check on the status of our bags with agents claiming that our bags would be checked through Houston, etc. We only got the situation slightly resolved after escalating to a Emirates manager when we were back to the airport the next day. She made sure we had a case number before leaving and our bags eventually did make it back to Austin a day later. I sent in a complain email to Emirates and was compensated with 20,000 miles which I thought was fair.

Rant off.

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