Is this true for regular travelers, such as ourselves? We recently put the ranking to the test and flew from Bangkok to Los Angeles on Business Class to discover the airline for ourselves. The first leg of our flight, Bangkok to Dubai, is described in an earlier post. This account describes our experience for the final leg: Dubai to Los Angeles.
Check-In Experience in Dubai:
Dubai is one of the cleanest, shiniest, and most efficient cities anywhere. Naturally, this continues to the airport. Tom and I spent our 18-hour layover in Dubai exploring the city. After touring the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, we rode the very effective Dubai Metro to Emirates’ own dedicated terminal.
The terminal is vast with banks of check-in outlets for all classes of travel. In fact, Emirates Airlines is very family-friendly and offers a check-in counter for children. Alas, we have no kids. And we already had our boarding passes, so we went directly through passport control to enter the terminal which was made easy with a US Passport.
Emirates Dubai Lounge:
Dubai is Emirates’ hub. Being such, we anticipate the lounge to be spectacular. Did it live up to our expectations? Yes!
To ensure a swift entry, there are at least 8 people waiting to check in guests to the lounge. This is by far the most we have experienced. We quickly enter the lounge and are amazed at the enormity of the space. The lounge is one floor above the terminal gates. And it spans the entire length of the terminal! Tom and I found a quiet work space to settle, and then I set off to discover the offerings, while sipping on Moet and Chandon champagne, of course.
There are multiple food and beverage stations dotted throughout the expansive length of the lounge. For the kiddos, there is children friendly food station. For those interested in a healthy option, there is a fresh juice and salad counter. Many other stations offer different dishes, hot and cold, with flavors from the Middle East, as well as Western and International fare. Desserts abound, as well as top-shelf adult beverage options.
The Emirates terminal is massive. The walk from the lounge to the gate takes about 10 minutes. However, we passed the time looking at all of the duty-free shops (which is a fun thing to do, in our opinion!) Since this is our second time flying on an Airbus A380, we know that our jet way leads us directly to the top deck. Our comfy compartment for the 16-hour flight beckons us with delightful treats.
I was disappointed that the flight from Bangkok to Dubai didn’t have amenity bags. This flight from Dubai to Los Angeles is differently. We receive lovely Bulgari amenity bags filled with their products. Our seat compartments offer all of the luxurious touches of our previous flight: a stocked mini bar, noise cancelling earphones, and an entertainment system with over 2500 channels of movies, TV shows, music and games to pass the time. Loads of space to store computers, iPads, and shoes. Outlets to charge all of our devices. And fluffy pillows, mattress pad, warm blankets, sleepwear and slippers to settle in for the flight. We quickly settle in with a couple glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne and chat with our new travel companions for the next 16 hours.
Just like our previous flight, we start off with a beverage after take-off. Although the extensive cocktail menu offers a great selection of wines and enticing cocktails such as martinis, manhattans, and mojitos made with top-shelf spirits, we continue with champagne (Veuve Clicquot is offered instead of Moet and Chandon).
Our first meal was lunch. I chose regional selections. My appetizer was a traditional Arabic mezze and entrée was Achaari murgh, chicken in a spicy and tangy gravy. Tom had a tasty King prawn cocktail to start, and roasted beef tenderloin to follow. To finish, a passion fruit tart. Yum!
Full and sleepy, we both settle in for the flight to watch movies and nap. In between snoozes and movie watching, there are excursions to the lounge and food offerings. In fact, throughout the flight, snacks and light meals are offered such as steak sandwiches, Caesar salads, chocolates, cheesecake, and more!
The second meal was dinner. Once again, I chose local dishes including chicken tikka to start and an entrée of Mughlai chicken. Tom had an herb-coated tuna loin for an appetizer and roasted beef short ribs for his main. Dessert was a decadent chocolate truffle cake.
Unfortunately, I have a very difficult time sleeping on planes. Luckily, Emirates has an in-flight lounge for First and Business Class travelers. During my first bout of restlessness, I walk to the back of the plane and hang out with my fellow insomniac travelers. I spend the next several (or, 5) hours sipping on champagne, playing card games, and chatting with new friends.
Later I return, and not surprisingly, my new friends are still there. However, with the addition of two passengers from First Class. Although the lounge spirits are top-shelf, first class passengers have even higher end offerings. Our new first class friends shared their $200 bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label with us. Since the bottle needed to be finished, I switched from champagne to whiskey.
Once again, Emirates in-flight lounge is a hit and huge bonus for me and passing the time in an enjoyable and social way.
Naturally, the process is smooth and swift. We highly recommend getting Global Entry to quickly pass through customs. With our business class tickets, our baggage is amongst the first to arrive and as easy as that, we are home!
Business Class travel on Emirates from Dubai to Los Angeles is exceptional. The service is superb, the seats are comfortable, the amenities are top-notch. If you are selecting a window seat, be sure to choose one that has the chair immediately next to the window for better compartment flow. Also, be sure to take advantage of all of the business class perks, such as the airport and inflight lounge. If you purchase your tickets, book complimentary car service to and from the airport. Do note that tickets obtained by redeeming miles do not qualify for chauffeured car service.
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