I was connecting on this Dubai to London Heathrow flight from a Hong Kong flight, and so used the lounge at Dubai international prior to boarding. To read a review of the previous flight and subsequent transfer to the lounge, click here.
I left the lounge a little early and went for a wander. I walked to Gate 13 when I saw that the flight was boarding, used the priority queue, had my boarding pass checked twice and then took the escalator down to the lower level to wait with the other passengers.
A few minutes later, business and first passengers were called forward to board. We all walked to the counter and had our boarding cards checked.
We were then told we should not have done this, but instead should have walked around the glass-sided elevators and made our way up to the floor we had just come from. This was a disorganised way of going about it, and caused much grumbling.
To reach the lift, we had to have our boarding cards checked for a fourth time. We then took the lift up and walked onto the aircraft, having our boarding cards checked for a fifth time before getting onboard.
Certainly, no stowaways at the end of this process.
Business class on the A380 is in two cabins on the upper deck, one larger and a smaller one towards the rear. I had just flown in from Hong Kong in that rear cabin, so click here for my impressions of that.
This time, I was in the centre aisle seat of the main cabin in seat 12G. I had flown in the main cabin a few days earlier on my way from London Gatwick to Dubai on the A380. Click here to read that review.
To see a seatplan of the Emirates A380, click here.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?
You can read much debate about where to sit in previous reviews.
12G isn’t a great seat, since aisle seats are smaller and have less storage room — window seats have a side storage compartment large enough for storing blankets, books or laptop computers.
That said, it was my third flight on the A380 in a short period of time and yet it was the first time I noticed the shoe-locker under the footrest — and then only because it was pointed out to me.
The first meal was a continental breakfast.
I can understand why, since this was a morning flight from Dubai, but we’d been served a breakfast as we arrived into Dubai on the Hong Kong flight, and then the offering in the lounge had been breakfast items while waiting for this flight.
I asked if there was anything else, but there wasn’t, so I had my third breakfast in eight hours. I requested muesli, which wasn’t on the menu, for a change. This didn’t come, but the flight attendant remembered a couple of hours later and was very apologetic.
The purser introduced herself and asked if there was anything she could do, so I asked for an adaptor for the power socket so I could work.
When she brought one over, I also mentioned about the food. She said she would be happy for me to choose from the lunch menu, which was an excellent response. I said I’d been told I couldn’t, but I wasn’t complaining, just making the point about all these breakfasts and she said she’d make sure the feedback went back.
The amenity bag has to be asked for on this day flight. It was slightly different from that received on previous flights, being a leather Bulgari bag with other products inside. (I’m told by a reader (comments below) that this is in fact a first class amenity bag)
Side-by-side: The Heathrow sector bag (First Class) is on the left – leather (effect?) exterior and slightly larger deodorant. The Gatwick bag is on the right
I slept for about 90 minutes and then around two-and-a-half hours before landing we had lunch.
The menu was as follows:
- Traditional Arabic mezze
- Seafood platter
- Tomato soup
- Seasonal salad
- Beef brisket served with sautéed leaf spinach, steamed pumpkin, butternut squash and roasted potatoes
- Roast chicken breast with mushroom sauce, seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes with chives
- Lamb machbous slow cooked with rice
- Reuben sandwich — rye bread with corned beef brisket, melting Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard, served with coleslaw.
- Chocolate mousse cake served with raspberry sauce
- Peach and hazelnut cake served with strawberry sauce
- Cheese board
- Selection of fruit.
- Veuve Cliquot Gold Label 2004 Vintage 2004, (the first time we’d had vintage Champagne on these business class flights)
- El Jardine de Lucia Albarino 2012, Rias Baixas, Spain (white)
- Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2012, Santa Barbara, California (white)
- Chateau Monbousquet 2004, St Emilion Grand Cru, France (red)
- World’s End Spirit in the Sky Syrah 2010, Napa Valley (red)
- Quinta do Portal Colheita Port, 2000, Souro, Portugal
In view of the upgraded amenity bag and the Champagne (Gold Label instead of Yellow Label), it seems that Heathrow is getting a slightly upgraded flight experience to Gatwick. I’ve been unable to confirm this, so it might just be the luck of the flights.
What is certain is that the service was excellent on this flight sector to Heathrow, and much better than I had received on the A380 departing Gatwick to Dubai. All Emirates crews are based in Dubai, however, so I don’t think there’s any significance in that.
We arrived slightly early into London Heathrow, and were quickly off the aircraft and through immigration.
There was no problem getting bags and then I walked over to the Emirates chauffeur desks to meet my driver. After a short five-minute wait we were on our way back home.
Really good – probably the best flight of the four going to and from London to Hong Kong via Dubai.
An excellent crew, who made a few mistakes, but were quick to apologise, and a comfortable flight.