Alaska #3471 Orange County (SNA) to San Francisco (SFO) First Class and Emirates Lounge
Emirates #226 San Francisco (SFO) to Dubai (DXB) First Class
Emirates First Class Lounges
Emirates #352 Dubai (DXB) to Singapore (SIN) First Class
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Singapore #223 Singapore (SIN) to Perth (PER) Business Class
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Qantas #776 Perth (PER) to Melbourne (MEL) Business Class
Qantas First Class Lounge Melbourne
Qantas #93 Perth (PER) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Emirates #226 San Francisco (SFO) to Dubai (DXB) First Class
Scheduled Departure: 4:05pm
Scheduled Arrival: 7:40pm +1 Day
I was excited to say the least. I had been looking forward to this trip and finally flying Emirates first class for months now. My boarding pass was reviewed at the upper deck door, and they escorted me right to seat 1K, the forward most seat on the left side of the aircraft. Lucas, the flight attendant serving my aisle, gave a run through of the seat functions and the nooks and crannies of the compartment. There are 14 seats in first on Emirates’ A380, 4 each side along the windows and 6 seats in the center. I was worried that the seat would be a bit too much bling given the gold accents and yellow wood in the aisle, but once in the seat you didn’t notice it as much.
There is a large touch screen TV which is rather dated when you compare it to 4K screens that ANA is putting in first class. The shelf below the TV contained a snack basket with some salty and sweet items, a drawer with a pen and calendar notebook, and a compartment with mirror and lotions.
There was also a mini-bar drawer that opened and closed with a push of button and contained water, soda, and glassware. It would be very cook if they actually chilled all of the beverages. And to note, after I drank the water from there during the flight, it was never replaced. Although they kept bringing me water whenever I asked for it.
There was a storage compartment next to the seat that could hold a small bag as well. Seat 1K has two windows, each with separate controls for the shades. And these were real shades, not the plastic covers we seat in coach. There were two layers, a slightly opaque blind that diffused light and then a full black out curtain to close it all up. The crew could also open of close all of them as needed for take-off and landing.
Lucas returned with my amenity kit, slippers, and pajamas in a heavy duty reusable tote bag. I asked for XL pajamas and they had a nice loose fit for me. The amenity kit was well stocked with lotions, shaving cream, and deodorant. It didn’t have any toothpaste or toothbrush but those are actually located in the lavatories. I do feel like it could be better with a pair of socks as many other kits include those. It’s quite a lot of goodies to take home, and I should have a second set from my next flight too.
Menus were provided along with dates and Arabic coffee along with a pre-departure beverage order. I passed on the coffee but asked for champagne. Lucas returned with Tattinger (Dom Perignon is only served when they get airborne). The wine list and menu for the flight read as follows.
We pushed back from the gate on time and taxied towards the main runway. It was a clear and very windy day in San Francisco which afforded some great views. There was little traffic getting to the runway and soon we were lumbering along and taking to the air. I’ve flown Lufthansa’s first class on the A380 which is also on the upper deck and Singapore Suites which is on the lower deck. In either case, you are fairly removed from the engines so it is more of a low rumble as the plane takes off. I had the perfect window seat looking east as we took off and headed out over the Pacific affording me a great view of downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge before we headed north on our polar arc to Dubai.
When we were up in the air, Lucas again came by and poured me a glass of Dom Perignon and provided a dish of warm nuts.
Emirates has an a-la carte / dine as you wish approach to their menu so you can order a bit of everything if you like. I decided I would go for a five course meal tonight and have some semblance of self-control. I ordered three appetizers, a main, and a dessert. A bread basket was brought out along with a meticulously placed table setting. The garlic bread was the best in the basket. First up was caviar with all of the usual garnishes. I’ve only ever eating caviar in first class so why stop that trend now? Vodka was offered to go with it, but I passed. No mother of pearl spoon to go with it though.
Next, I had the traditional Arabic Mezze which was a mix of various items like hummus, tabbouleh, muhamarra, and lamb. It was very tasty with the bread provided. That is except for the stuffed grape leaf. I would pass on that next time. The third course was a cream of mushroom soup. Soups on planes always seem to do well with flavor. The soup had a great earthiness from the mushrooms and the texture was light.
The grilled lamb chops for the main course was the most disappointing portion of dinner. The meat was tough and rather flavorless and the pickled vegetables were to astringent. I had the tapioca cake for dessert which was a light way to finish the meal. I paired with a sweet wine, a glass of Sauternes.
After finishing dinner, I asked Lucas to turn my seat into a bed while I changed into the pajamas. Each seat has a small coat closet with hangers for you to stow your clothes. When I returned the bed was all set. Earlier in the flight, the shower attendant came by to see if I wanted to book an appointment to shower. Well, of course I did! It’s one of the unique elements about the Emirates experience. The latest spot available was 3.5 hours before landing. With dinner being done about 4.5 hours into the 16 hour flight time, which left me plenty of time to sleep.
I closed the doors to the seat and dozed off in the lie flat bed. I awoke a few times as the cabin was fairly hot. Thankfully the seat contains two air vents you can control compared to many airlines that don’t offer any. I was later awoken with a knock on the seat doors for my shower. The bathrooms are quite spacious occupying space on either side of the upper deck stairs. They are stocked with amenities, have a bench running around the perimeter, and have heated floors. You are provided a 25 minute block of time to use the bathroom for your shower. You only get 5 minutes of hot water in the shower but you can pause it to lather up so it is not a continuous five minutes. The water pressure was strong and the temperature stayed hot throughout.
After my shower, fresh fruit with a honey syrup and green tea were waiting at my seat. It was a nice calming end of the flight. I was actually still stuffed from my dinner extravaganza so I didn’t order breakfast. I figured that I would get enough food in the Dubai lounge so I could pass at this point.
The media selection was decent with a wide range of regional films for a diverse background of passengers. I chose a few movies that I have already seen as I don’t like to watch something new for it to be interrupted with PA announcements. I put on one last movie for the final hours of the flight and before I knew it we were landing in Dubai. It took a while to get to our gate and we kept passing A380 after A380 on the way. We pulled into the A gates in terminal 3 of DXB and the rest of the passengers were asked to wait as the first class cabin deplaned. Now off to the lounge to wait for my connection to Singapore.
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