Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Phuket to Manchester via Dubai Emirates Business Class 2014 report.

The beaches of Phuket
If you go away, it is a sad fact that you have to go home. Having spent 16 idyllic days in and around the Island of Phuket, it was time to return to Manchester. As I was traveling Emirates Business Class the one thing that was not a problem was the flight.
The flight from Phuket is a night flight, EK379 was due to leave Phuket at 00.30. Check in at Phuket airport was very easy and a lady in a yellow suite escorted us through customs and security at breakneck speed to the Phuket Airport Coral Lounge.
This lounge was very small area cordoned off from the main waiting area with semi permanent walls, it was very full and felt crowded. There was a very small selection of food, soft drinks, coffee and beer. There was not any tea. It was actually better out in the main airport lounge area where they were good shops, plenty of seating and a variety of food outlets.
Phuket Airport 2014

Phuket Airport 2014

Phuket Airport 2014

Phuket Airport 2014
 The aircraft scheduled for this route was an A340 so I was not expecting very much in the way of comfort as many of these aircraft have not been upgraded. I was therefor presently surprised when we boarded to fine we were on a 777-300, with the same seating as on the journey to Phuket. http://moira-moirasdailyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/emirates-a380-v-777-buisness-class.html
All the passengers boarded promptly and the Air Hostess was just about to hand us our champagne when the Captain announce that the flight was ready to depart and started to taxi along to the take off position; this was an early departure as it was only 00.10. Soon after take off we were given more Champagne.
As it was a night flight I did not know what to expect as regards the meal service. It seems that 'Light Bites' of Hot and Cold Snacks would be served promptly after take off, then breakfast as we approached Dubai.
We were given Amenity packs with hand cream, face cream, toothbrush and toothpaste in them.
soon after take off I made my seat into a bed, I was given a memory foam type seat cover to use and I went off to sleep so did not eat but if I had wanted food this was the Menu.

Cold Snacks;
Selection of open Sandwiches.

Hot Snacks;
Seafood Pie.
Penne with tomato sauce.
Singaporean fried rice with chicken satay.

A selection of sweets.

Tea, Coffee, Chocolates and instant Cup Noodles available at ant time.


Fruit Juices

Breakfast Fruits.


Main Course;

Gruyere cheese omelette.

Creamy scrambled eggs.

Shrimp Pad Thai.

Delicatessen's cold meats and cheese.

Bread Basket.

Hot Beverages.

The flight to Dubai was very fast, it was just 6 hours, that combined with he early take off got us into Dubai for 03.20 not the scheduled 03.55.

To pass the time we made use of the Business Class Lounge in what is now called the B terminal. This Lounge a vast area as it has to accommodate all the Business Class passengers who pass through Dubai Airport. Luckily at this time in the morning it was quiet and I found an area to get a bit of sleep.
EK 17 Manchester to Dubai was due to leave at 07.25, as you can see from the photo this was an Airbus 380.

The crew on this flight were fantastic, so friendly and welcoming they truly looked after us. As we did not have to drive when we got to Manchester we made good use of the bar! and enjoyed an exceptional lunch that made you forget you were at 35.000 feet.
Breakfast and Lunch were served on this 7 hour flight! I don't know if you need two services on a short flight like this, but if you do this was the choice;
Breakfast Bread Basket.
Hot Beverages.
Arabic Mezze.
Yellow fin Tuna.
Potato and Leek Soup.
Main Course;
Grilled Beef Fillet.
Chicken Korma.
Seafood Machbous.
Bread Basket;
Ipanema mousse.
Cranberry Cheesecake.
Cheese Board.
Tea, Coffee, and Chocolates.

Emirates A380 v 777. Business Class. Manchester- Dubai - Phuket Flight Review.

It was time to experience Emirates Business Class; this time from Manchester to Phuket via Dubai. The Dubai to Phuket route is relatively new having been introduced in December 2012.
As part of your Emirates Business class  package you are picked up from your home by a 'Chauffer', you request this service on line when you book you ticket. The car company rang the night before our trip to let us know what time they would be picking us up. As arranged a very new, and very smart Mercedes arrived to take us to Manchester airport.
Once at the Airport, check in was fast using the designated Business Class check in counter, and we were advised that we could use the Emirates lounge.  The Lounge is located on the first floor of Terminal 1, I have experienced this lounge before and it is one of my favourites. The windows run along its length and overlook the runway so you have a good view of the incoming and outgoing aircraft.  It is decorated in the normal Emirates brown and gold tones. It is large as it has to accommodate all the First and Business class passengers flying on each of the three flights from Manchester each day.  But, despite the numbers flying on the A380 that day (the flight was full in Business class) the lounge was a very quiet and restful area. There are showers and the restaurant area has a large selection of hot and cold food as well as unlimited Moet!!
Emirates Lounge at Manchester

Restaurant style dining area in the Emirates Lounge at Manchester Airport.
Manchester Airport Emirates Lounge

How much Moet can you drink????
 I had a starter of Tiger Prawn Creaser Salad, then moved on to a roast chicken dinner and steam pudding.  It was all delicious.
All to soon we were advised to board the A380. The Business class is on the upper deck of the A380. The seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration. The 2 seats in the middle are either side by side or separated by a shelf like storage area with a drinks holder in it...not refrigerated. This make this seat very private, however if you want to talk to your fellow passenger make Shure you book the 'sweetheart' seats. Many passengers were asking to move as they felt they were to far away from the travelling companion, but as the plane was full this was not an option for me.
A380 Business Class
The 'Sweetheart' seats on the A380 Business class
 As soon as we sat down we were offered Champagne, Orange juice or water. Hot towels were given and the menus and a wine list was handed out.

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne on the Emirates A380.

The seats can lie flat, but as this was a day time flight I did not need to sleep. I had loads of leg room and the seat was very comfy. I used the ICE entertainment system, watching series 5 of Mad Men,  and found the noise cancelling head phones very good.
Lunch was served, this was a choice of;
Aperitifs, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne, Wine.
Appetiser: Seared Prawns, Buffalo Mozzarella, or Spring Pea Soup.
Main Course: Roast Chicken, Lamb Tagine, Loch Fyne Salmon.
Bread Basket.
Dessert: Black Forest Wedge, Apricot and raspberry gratin tart, Cheese board, Selection of Fruit,
Tea, Coffee, Chocolates, Liqueurs, Port.
As I had eaten in the lounge I just had Salad and Cheese. It was well presented and delicious, in fact at times I forgot I was in the air, it was like a 5 star restaurant.
The Lounge Area or Bar on the Emirates A380
To stretch my legs I had a walk to the bar, or lounge area at the back of the aircraft. Here a large selection of Hot and Cold snacks were out on the bar. you could have cocktails as well as all the regular drinks. 

 Soon we were approaching Dubai and had to say good by to a fantastic Aircraft and a wonderful crew.
We had opted to stay over in Dubai for a few hours so our next leg on our journey was the Dubai to Phuket or EK 378. This flight left Dubai at 12.45 arriving into Phuket at 21.55. The aircraft used was a 777-300, so it was a good opportunity to compare the A380 with the 777.
This aircraft was a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats were the type that could lay flat and there was good leg room. The 777 seats are more open in design compared to the pod style of the A380 so feel more spacious. But my partner who is over 6 foot did not like the small foot rest on this seat; I did not notice it.
777 Buisness Class Seat Emirates
Emirates 777 Business Class

Seat Back Screens, Emirates Business Class 777

The pillows, headphones and eye masks were the same as the 777 and the seat back entertainment system just as good. Again we were offered Water, Juice or Champagne, this time Moet Chandon. Just after take-off a bar service was done, then lunch was served.
Traditional Arabic Mezze, this included hummus, artichoke and mushroom salad, smoked aubergine dip and Arabic bread.
Chicken, Chinese style with salad.
Roasted Sweetcorn Soup.
Seasonal Salad.
Main Course;
Roast Five Spice Chicken.
Char Grilled Beef Steak.
Prawn Biryani.
Bread Basket.
Chocolate Coffee Tart.
Orange Coconut Slice.
Cheese Board.
Selection of Fruit.
Tea, Coffee, Chocolates to finish.................Also Instant Cup Noodles available at any time.
The flight was quite short just over 6 and a half hours and we arrived in Phuket in a rested and relaxed state.
The standard of seating and service in the Emirates Business class was good on both aircraft. The 777 does not have the bar that the A380 has, but on these two relatively short flights this was not a problem. I think I would use the bar on one of the ultra long haul flights like the Dubai to LAX, that's over 16 hours long; The worlds 3rd longest flight. On that one you really would need to walk about and the bar would provided a welcome respite from your seat. I loved my Business Class experience with Emirates, the problem is, I never want to go Economy again!!!