The Emirates Experience

With some airlines today stripping away food and movies, there are still a few airlines that will provide many luxuries.  Emirates, with its base in the Dubai, provides luxury and comfort and is considered to be one of the best airlines in the world.

The Airplane Experience

I braced myself for a 15-hour flight from San Francisco to Dubai.  I was quite unsettled because flying for that time period seemed quite monotonous and uneventful.  But I was completely surprised by the pure enjoyment I had on the Emirates flight.

As I walked into the aircraft and sat in my seat, I immediately felt the comfort of the seats.  As I buckled my seat belt, I was greeted with a large wide screen television with an array of choices ranging from current movies, older movies, television shows, and music choices.  The choices were endless.

The in-flight crew appeared to be of different ethnic backgrounds with over 20 languages spoken between the flight attendants.

The food was quite delicious as well.  We had quite a few meals but I enjoyed the ethnic Indian foods the most.

The Dubai Airport Experience

The airport is quite modern.  As you leave the terminal and make your way to immigration, you are approached by tall white columns.  You feel so small in such in a large arena of roman columns.

Within the terminals, there are plenty of stores for shopping as well as indoor garden areas.

If you are flying with Emirates and you have a layover for over 8 -10 hours, Emirates offers a free hotel stay at one of its hotels.  Emirates provides free transportation and food vouchers, so your expenses in the city are quite low.  With overnight accomodations provided, you have some free time to explore Dubai.

The Not So Friendly Experience

Although my flight from San Francisco to Dubai was somewhat amazing, the flight from Cape Town to Dubai was far from amazing.  Our flight was delayed for over 8 hours.  But instead of telling us it would be a long delay, every 2 hours, they would tell us it would be delayed another 2 hours.

In addition, food vouchers were passed to passengers at the check-in desk because of the delays.  Many of us were past the immigration checkpoint, and even when we asked for food vouchers, they said that there were no agents on the terminal side.  We were therefore stranded on the terminal side. Luckily we had some local currency and had a chance to feed ourselves.

When the Emirates agents finally appeared at the gate, they ordered food and drinks for the restless passengers.  They did not account for the mad angry mob that would rush to the food.  There was definitely not an organization to the food distribution.

Although I would have imagined that the airplane experience would be similar to my first flight, it was far from that first experience.  I would press the flight crew button for assistance, but no one would arrive.  Instead, I climbed across all the seats and retrieved water myself.  Strange how I had to do this constantly on such a long flight.

Because of our delays, we missed our Dubai to San Francisco connection and would have to stay overnight in Dubai. Fortunately, Emirates provided the lodging and food accommodations.

Overall, I have had both wonderful (+1) and terrible (-1) experiences with Emirates.  Does that mean my whole experience nets out to an average experience?  That 1 + -1 = 0 (assuming that 0 is an average experience in this example).  I am not sure how the math would work out, but in the end, I am still torn about my Emirates experience.

Have you had any crazy airline experiences?


About Jan

In 2004 and 2010, I set aside time to travel the world in 3 parts. In 2004, I traveled to Thailand, Europe, and Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. In 2010, I traveled to 3 continents: Asia, South America, and Africa. I am not sure if I have a fascination with the number 3, but I seem to be constantly traveling by numbers.
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5 Responses to The Emirates Experience

  1. Shu says:

    Wow the food on the plane looks awesome. I really think some airlines offer very nice food=)

  2. Edi says:

    Whoa! I have to agree with Shu…the food on the plane (at least for your first flight) looks amazing!

  3. Sing says:

    i hate delays.

  4. tara says:

    EMIRATES HAS THE BEST FOOD. That kind of makes up for suckyness. You’re not starving when you leave the flight – and therefore not spending crazy $$ on airport food with jacked prices. I ordered the vegan meal twice – and honestly, it was probably the best non-asian vegan meal I had (before I tried Guadalajara’s grilled vegetables last week. But they shouldn’t win because I’m convinced the secret is that they soak it in oil.. but i digress).

  5. tara says:

    Oh: but Lufthansa comes around and brings you chocolate and ice cream on the hour. Well, it seems like that anyway. I think in the end, if an airline doles out good food and a hundred movies/tv shows to watch I’m good.

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