This sparked a curiosity within us. Does the airline really surpass all others? Naturally, Tom and I had to experience them for ourselves. We redeemed our Alaska Airlines miles for one-way business class tickets from Bangkok to Los Angeles. This post recounts our experience for the first leg: Bangkok to Dubai.
Check-In Experience in Bangkok:
The First/Business Class check-in counter is well staffed and there is no wait. After checking our luggage, we received VIP cards to speed through passport control without waiting with other travelers. This is a very nice touch and great start to the flight.
Emirates Bangkok Lounge:
The Emirates lounge has all of the amenities and service we expected of a “best airline”. There are several seating areas ranging from quiet nooks with loungers to a more social dining area. Well-appointed showers are available to freshen-up. Tom and I arrived early to work on the computer as ours crashed during the first week of our 3-week SE Asia trip. Naturally, the business center is perfectly equipped with a bank of computers, copy machine and printer.
During our pre-flight work, we naturally enjoyed the free-flowing Moet Champagne, hot and cold buffet with Asian and Middle-Eastern offerings. And my absolute favorite item: Valrona chocolate mousse. I’m salivating as I type, thinking about this indulgent dessert! In all, the lounge has great service with nice amenities, especially since this is not a hub for the airline.
The lounge is about a 7-minute walk to the gate. This flight marked our first time on an Airbus A380. First and business class passengers board using a jet way that leads to the top deck. The configuration of seats is interesting. The window seats are staggered which allows for privacy in addition to being a window seat with aisle access. Because of this, some of the seats “feel” more spacious than others. We recommend the “window” seat that is directly next to the window. The other “window” seat is located with direct access to the aisle, but it feels a little tighter.
Each seat has a lot of amenities. Upon boarding, our flight attendant explained all of the bells and whistles. The seats can fully recline to become a flat bed. Pillows, fluffy warm blankets, and a mattress pad are provided to induce a peaceful sleep. Within each individual seat compartment, there is a mini bar filled with Perrier, Voss still water, and an array of non-alcoholic beverages. There is ample space to store iPads, computers, glasses, shoes, and the like. Outlets are easily accessible to keep devices fully charged. We were disappointed that there was no amenity bag. Perhaps because the flight is only 6 hours? However, we did receive a pair of pajamas and slippers!
We settled into our space, sipped on pre-flight champagne, and put on noise-cancelling headphones (a nice amenity). The entertainment system is spectacular. There are over 2,500 channels of movies, TV shows, music, and games from which to choose. I love that the movie options are new theater releases and I finally got to watch flicks that I didn’t have time to do at home.
After take-off, our beverage order was taken. Guests can choose from a healthy selection of non-alcoholic choices, including made to order mocktails. Naturally, Tom and I continued with Moet. However, cocktails such as martinis, manhattans, and mojitos are available with top-shelf spirits. A nice wine selection is also available.
Since our computer crashed, we both enjoyed watching a movie with our meal. I had a delicious smoked duck salad, seafood machbous, and chocolate profiteroles. Tom chose a Mediterranean seafood salad, grilled beef, and chocolate profiteroles. I like that the options have a middle-east and Asian flare.
One of the selling points for flying business or first class on Emirates is the in-flight lounge. Located at the back of the plane, there are bench like seats with a window view. Some people sit, while the majority congregate around the bar and socialize. The bar is fully stocked and there are platters of finger foods and desserts to snack on. Tom and I had Grey Goose dirty martinis (which is one of our favorite cocktails). It is a great place to stretch your legs and converse with others. The lounge is a fantastic amenity and I’m sure it will continue to be a huge draw for travelers. Especially since there are so many other airlines vying for “top airline” honors. And quite honestly, is there another bar at 35,000 feet?
Once again, the process was smooth. Dubai is an extremely efficient airport. Instead of a quick layover, we decided to spend the day checking out the city. Transportation is simple and makes exploring Dubai a “must-do” when transiting.
Flying business class on Emirates from Bangkok to Dubai was a great experience. However, the window seat configuration is a little strange. If selecting a window seat, take a seat directly adjacent to the window for a better flow to your compartment. Take advantage of all of the amenities, including the inflight lounge and airport lounge. For those redeeming miles like us, we don’t get the chauffeured car service to and from the airport. However, if you pay for your ticket, sign up for this fantastic service.
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