5th September 2011 at 03:50 #577300
Anonymous5th September 2011 at 03:50 #577301
This review relates to the non-stop Brisbane – Dubai service with onward connection on a 777-200 (two class) to Glasgow. On the outbound, I had used miles to upgrade to Business for the Dubai – Brisbane leg and, ironically, had hardly slept so was in some trepidation about the return, timetabled as 14:40, in Economy.
Check in in Brisbane was fast and very well managed. I had pre-selected seats for both legs (no cost) but when I tried to check-in online, could not print my boarding pass. This was not a problem at check-in. Baggage allowance is very generous (up to 32kg) which is way above most carriers and as my case was heavy (28 kg) I was pleased with my airline selection. Security and Immigration were a breeze with no queues and I went into Departures to wait for the flight. No Lounge access as I have been downgraded to Silver (back up to Gold now on the back of these flights!).
Boarding was well organised and I was able to use the Priority Line with my Silver card. Seating on the 777-300 ULR is very good for this class – reasonable legroom and comfortable seats. I had my preferred aisle seat two rows behind Business Class. Push back was on time and the Captain announced a short flying time of 13:20 which would get us into Dubai some 75 minutes early. A simple amenity kit was handed out as this was a night flight. Drinks service commenced soon after take-off, followed by dinner of prwn salad, with a choice of beef and chicken (both appetising) and a chocolate dessert. Emirates ICE selection is second to none with both current and classic movies and, my favourite, of all UK No1s by week back to 1952!! I slept far better than in Business and only woke for the welcome chicken pie and fruit service about half way across. Breakfast was served some 90 minutes out of Dubai and we landed, as predicted, well ahead of schedule.
This is when Dubai gets a bit silly. We taxied for 25 minutes to a remote gate and deplaned into buses for another 25 minute tour of the airport before reaching the terminal. I guess this will be the reality (and getting worse) until the new airport opens in, I think, 2020. It appears to be random whether planes are allocated remote or terminal gates – my outbound ex-Glasgow deplaned into the terminal – a first time for me on this route.
With my Silver card, I was able to use the Emirates Business Lounge in Terminal 1 (not the main Lounge which is Business and Gold only). This was fine, with a welcome shower, good food and drinks and strong, free wifi. Boarding for Glasgow was on time. Again, I was in an aisle seat in the second row of Economy but the two class 777-200 has rather more cramped seating and overall has an older, rather more tatty feel. Catering was an extensive continental breakfast followed by a lunch choice of lamb or chicken. Arrival was on time and my luggage came though in reasonable time.
These are clearly very popular services as both legs appeared to be 100% full. It is obvious why other airlines are pulling out of services through to Australia and New Zealand as Emirates (and Ethihad, Qatar by all accounts) are offering far asuperior Economy product in terms of seating, service and routing options (6 Oz and Kiwi cities and 6 UK destinations) than the competition.
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