#933915 by Sealink
29 Mar 2017, 13:29
I have been travelling a lot recently, and am so behind in Trip Reports!

I have decided to start with my last flight - a trip to Australia, with Emirates. An airline that seems to attract praise from all quarters. Would it live up to the hype? 

In a word: YES. But it wasn't all perfect.

My journey started the night before, with a superb Emirates chauffeur from home to the low-key Ibis Styles at Heathrow. There are nicer hotels, but the Ibis Styles is in that sweet spot on Bath Road at the main turn off to T1-3. It’s ideal for Ubers or even the free bus to the terminals. It’s good value, the staff are nice, and it’s the only Accor hotel to consistently honour the Club Accor benefits. (That said, there’s nowhere to upgrade to! But the welcome drink is nice.)

On this occasion the Ibis Styles really let me down. It was packed due to a BA cancellation, the air con in my room wasn’t working, and to add insult to injury, a hot fan had been placed in the room and it was stifling. This was the second room I went to, after I had been checked into a room that had a guest already there. There’s friendly, but I draw the line at that!

Somehow I got a sleep and early the next morning, waited for an Uber to Terminal 3.

Bag drop was efficient although not overly friendly, fast track security was really good and I made a bee-line for the Emirates Lounge.

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I was very impressed with the space. It was very tastefully decorated, with beige and some dark wood, the whole area flooded with daylight. I can’t help but compare it to the BA and Virgin Lounges - having sampled several around the world now, I can safely say that nothing comes close to the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow. 

The Emirates Lounge was lovely and relaxing, but there was little staff engagement. 

Food offerings were good: lovely bircher muesli, fruit salads, yogurts and cooked offerings (awful chicken sausages though, and an absence of bacon.) That said, the presentation of the pastries, juices, fruit etc. was thoughtful and attractive.

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I printed some documents for the journey (me, prepared?!) at the business section, and just enjoyed the sense of tranquility, the huge selection of magazines and the A380 outside the window. Even as the lounge got busier it still felt serene.

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Boarding was directly from the lounge, and I was one of the last to board. 
Glancing at my boarding pass at the door of the aircraft, I was introduced to my steward who guided me to my seat, offered a drink (Dom Perignon 2006) and explained how the seat works. This included a little mini bar with a selection of soft drinks and water. 

Next to the screen was a snack pack with all sorts of treats. There was also a writing pack and a tray of hand creams etc. and the softest sleepers I have ever worn. Oh Emirates you've ruined me!

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The on board manager (Apart from Captain and Co-Pilot I’m not ‘up’ on all the job titles!) came to visit and thanked me for choosing to fly with Emirates, and offering any assistance I might need. 

A short time later a refill was offered, and later still (all before take off!) some figs and Arabian coffee.


My first impressions of the seat were good. As well as being very comfortable, it had a massage function.

A welcome cocktail was also offered - I opted for the non-alcoholic orange and ginger fizz.

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I think in some pictures Emirates can look quite ‘blingy’ but I actually really liked the colours - it felt more like a yacht than an aircraft.

Again before take off, I was asked if I wanted to have a shower. Hell YES! And a slot was booked. 

You get thirty minutes for the shower room, which is huge, but there is a limit to the time in the actual shower. But I had a great shower and there was still time left, so the arrangements work well.

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When I came back from my shower, this was waiting for me:

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Another nice touch is that the area around the two showers has a lovely water feature, so it feels almost spa-like! Once the showers are finished, it it transformed to a bar - but oddly it’s more like the Virgin “Wander Wall” rather than the spacious business class bar at the back of the ‘plane. When I came back from the shower, a little plate for fresh fruit had been left for me.

The entertainment options were excellent, although each programme irritatingly had 2 1/2 minutes of adverts - thankfully you can fast forward through them. As well as hundreds of movies, they had box sets of television shows including Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (my current favorite) and Arrested Development, which, if you haven’t watched yet, do!

Menus were provided, restaurant style - in a large folder, with the instruction that I could eat whenever I wanted, up to about an hour before landing.

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An appetiser was offered to start with...

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The starter was huge - I opted for the Mezze: stuffed vine leaves, hummus, bread and so much more - and my table was set. It was a huge starter which I couldn’t finish.

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Something worth noting - most other airlines offer you a bread roll... not Emirates...

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The main course was disappointing - it was lamb but it was incredibly dry and not nice.
The dessert was also disappointing - for some reason they decided an olive coulis would work, but I don't think it did, at all.

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So there was nothing left to do except settle down and enjoy the flight to Dubai. 
The crew passed frequently asking me if I needed any top ups or any food etc.

One additional point - flowers everywhere. In each seat, in the loos, at the bar, at the ‘wander wall’. A lovely little touch. 

I was expecting Emirates to be impersonal, given their size, but the service I received was excellent. The food was a disappointment, however given the size of the starter it was not a hardship. It was a very happy Sealink who landed in Dubai, eager to get to my hotel, meet a fellow V-Flyer again and see what Dubai has to offer.

Pictures to follow - just struggling with Flickr at the moment.
Last edited by Sealink on 04 Apr 2017, 17:05, edited 8 times in total.
#933922 by marshy11
29 Mar 2017, 14:18
It sounds like it could have been a very interesting evening at the Ibis, thank goodness you weren't a very late arrival!

The Emirates First product sounds wonderful and hopefully one day I shall sample it. To shower in the sky.....how very grand.

Thanks for the TR, I do always love it when I see one from you.
#933965 by Sealink
30 Mar 2017, 17:20
marshy11 wrote:It sounds like it could have been a very interesting evening at the Ibis, thank goodness you weren't a very late arrival!

The Emirates First product sounds wonderful and hopefully one day I shall sample it. To shower in the sky.....how very grand.

Thanks for the TR, I do always love it when I see one from you.


Aww thanks so much, that's cheered me up no end!
#933972 by buns
30 Mar 2017, 18:32
Sealink

Thanks for the TR

The Emirates First experience remains on my bucket list and given your recommendations, should the opportunity allow, it would be Emirates first and then BA

buns
#934090 by jfenney
04 Apr 2017, 18:03
Fantastic Billy makes me drool at the prospect but a bucket list me thinks :-D great TR
#934097 by marshy11
04 Apr 2017, 20:46
Bloody hell, I've been checking back waiting for your photos. WOW! WOW! WOW!

Excuse the language V Flyers but what a trip report.

P.S Flowers in the shower? I will have to try that at home.
#934101 by DocRo
04 Apr 2017, 22:37
Looks fantastic
I am in desperate need of an envy emoji right now
But olive coulis - why? :mrgreen:
#934106 by hiljil
05 Apr 2017, 06:55
Brilliant, thank you. I enjoyed it without the photos - but they have made me so envious. Wow !
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