So we have a huge amount of flying today! From Palmerston North to Auckland, Auckland to Melbourne, Melbourne to Dubai, Dubai to Copenhagen. About 25 hours in the air, and all the ground time. We must really want to travel! I must say, flying Emirates is an extremely good experience. From the check in (which is so easy because 48 hours before I received an email telling me that internet check in was open and it was so easy to follow the simple instructions. Check in done! No hold ups going through security, very efficient loading of passengers, and very helpful crew.
Melbourne was a different story! Inefficient, unhelpful, so last century. We disembarked & headed for transit – to find the entry door was locked! After quite a wait, one of the passengers used the service telephone to call the staff. More waiting, until at last, when the passenger was calling for a second time, the staff arrived. No apologies, just “Melbourne is a big airport, you know!” Through security – again – even though we had just walked off the plane, then into the transit area. Well, I CAN say it is not as bad as the barn of a room in which we used to be locked in Los Angeles, but it surely lacks a certain esprit. And then we come to the boarding procedure. I should have been alerted when I heard the ground staff discussing whether they were going to load by zones or not. Yes? No? Oh, all right then, yes. But was there a broadcast message to that effect? Oh no, just staff walking around holding signs & calling out “Zone C” “Only people seated in Zone C” – for goodness sake!
Actually a relief to get back on board and encounter another smiling efficient crew! A long leg this time, with plenty of time to sleep. Yes, I DO sleep – with a little help. And it’s truly worth it. Next stop Dubai, that glitzy beautiful airport with a great transit area. Even though it’s filled with people, restaurants, shops etc, it never seems too crowded, and is very quiet. The rest room facilities are spotlessly clean and although there were queues, it only entailed a few minutes wait. There are 3 Emirates Terminals, luckily we were using Terminal 1 which was also our arrival terminal. Other times we have had to change terminals, which can be a little confusing, especially if you have to take the inter-terminal train, but there is always a smiling person ready to help. Once the lovely man even accompanied us to the next terminal! Totally unnecessary, but a good advertisement for the airport.
Apart from these good experiences, there are a couple of other reasons we like to travel with Emirates : 1) the seats are slightly bigger (I’m speaking of Economy, of course! Can’t advise you on Business Class!) with more leg room and a good seat recline 2) free wifi! Which means I can write this blog while flying over the Caspian Sea!
The screens are large touch screens, and there is a huge amount of information about the flight, complete with plane cams, as well as all the entertainment available. I feel really spoilt!
So that’s my take on long haul flying. When I first started flying to Europe, back in the early 1980s when we took our children away for 4 months, I was TERRIFIED of flying. My poor husband & family! But now, having flown long haul 22 times, well, it’s just like catching the bus! Except for the PACKING, of course. Oh, the packing … I do think we’ve got it down to a fine art, but 5 months is a loooong time. So a case each of approximately 17 kgs, a cabin bag of 7 kgs, a laptop bag & a small daypack. Not too bad, do you think? Time will tell …