Emirates EK 393
Ho Chi Minh City – Dubai (SGN – DXB)
Departure: 00:25 Actual Departure: 00:09
Arrival: 4:55 Actual Arrival: 4:05
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes Actual Duration: 6 hours 56 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration #: A6-EBF
Seat #: 18A (Economy Class)
Thursday, 19th May 2016
After my 3 days adventure in my first ever trip to an ASEAN city, it was unfortunately time to head back home. But before I can return to what I call my home in Hamburg, I still have two flights to look forward to. Since I really wanted to fly in one of those newer Boeing 777s of Emirates, I was hoping that on this day, they would be sending one of those aircraft. So while the outbound flight from Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City was airborne, I checked on the flight tracking site called Flightradar24.com for the aircraft and I was disappointed to find out that they sent Echo Bravo Foxtrot (A6-EBF), a 10-year old aircraft. I mean…seriously? C’mon! So far on this trip, I’ve had only aircraft registered EB-something… meh
Anyway, though my flight was after midnight, I headed for the airport a bit early. Around 8.15 PM I took a taxi from in front of the hostel and it took less than 40 minutes to reach Tan Son Nhat International Airport Terminal. I could check-in online earlier but couldn’t print my boarding pass (Emirates doesn’t provide this facility in Saigon) and therefore, headed straight for the Emirates Counter to retrieve my boarding pass and drop off my luggage. What I didn’t realize (or forgot) was that the counters open 3 hours before departure. And I arrived half an hour earlier and had to wait until 9:25 PM. Fortunately, the queue was quite small.
As soon as the check-in desk opened at 9.25 PM, I was the first passenger to go through the formalities. It was very quick. Soon after, I headed for the security check and immigration desks and when all was cleared, I headed for Gate # 17 where the Emirates aircraft was parked (and sleeping). All this literally took less than 10 minutes!
At this point, I had about 2 hours until boarding would begin so I decided to explore the airport a bit. To my surprise, the airport wasn’t as big as I thought before. There were just 12 boarding bridges, some duty-free shops, and a food court. I personally wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy food at the food court as the prices are ridiculously expensive for Vietnamese standards.
Around 11 PM I headed down to the boarding area at Gate # 17. The boarding began at exactly 11:33 PM, 7 minutes earlier than planned. At this point, I did a quick headcount for number of passengers and according to my estimates, there were (give or take) 250 people only. With just 60% full flight, it made me feel quite confident that the seats next to me would remain empty (they were empty when I chose my seat)!
The boarding process took just 20 minutes. We boarded through Door 2L, located within the business class cabin (this aircraft had 2-cabin configuration) and then I went through the right aisle to my seat. There was already the usual seat amenities like pillow, blanket, headphones, and magazines. But there was something wrong with seat 18A – it had a missing window! If you are flying on a 2-class Emirates Boeing 777-300ER, I wouldn’t recommend choosing this seat.
As I settled down in my seat, I noticed that the flight was quite empty and my estimate of flight load was right. I looked out the window and admired the huge GE-90 engine – love that power plant! We were parked next to a Jetstar Pacific Airbus A320. As boarding completed, I was glad that the two seats next to me remained empty – means I can sleep almost like in business class! 😀
Soon after, hot towels and dinner + breakfast menu were distributed. The captain (American?) announced that our flight would last 7 hours 1 minute and we’d be flying at 38,000 ft. The aircraft then began its pushback at 9 minutes past midnight local time. After around 13 minutes of taxi, we took off from Runway 25L and were airborne by 00:25. There was absolutely no delay.
The Cabin Crew on this flight came from 13 countries and spoke 13 languages. Some of their nationalities which I noticed were : British, South Korean, Polish, Mauritian, Romanian, Italian, Vietnamese, and Russian. It took only 6 minutes until seat belts were turned off after being airborne. I started to browse the movie selection and decided to watch another new film called Ride Along 2. About an hour later, the dinner service started. The menu can be seen here:
I went for the beef selection and wasn’t disappointed. It tasted quite good actually! Though the appetizer and dessert could be better.
The dinner was done in just 25 minutes (I was pretty hungry and tired to be honest). 3 hours into the flight I finished the movie and then I decided to take the advantage of empty seats and take a nap. The lights were dimmed and colored mood lighting was turned on. However, there was no starry effects on the ceiling of this particular aircraft.
I took nap for about 1.5 to 2 hours and was woken up when breakfasts were being served 2 hours before arrival. Breakfast was not bad (tastewise) and this is how the breakfast looked:
The flight seemed to go pretty fast actually. At 3:40 AM local time (over Oman), the aircraft started its descend. At 4:05 AM, we touched down on Runway 12L at Dubai International, which was 34 minutes earlier than planned. The taxi to Emirates Terminal took only 7 minutes and we deplaned through a boarding bridge. I had nearly 4.5 hours left until my flight to Hamburg, which means I got a free meal voucher provided by Emirates so I won’t have to worry about food. But first, I need a bathroom as soon as possible!
Oh I almost forgot …. I was definitely looking forward to the 50th flight in my life!
To Sum Up
A rather quick flight it seemed to me. I loved the fact that it wasn’t so empty and there were many free seats available in the whole plane. Meals were quite okay, the crew service seemed a bit quick and inattentive to me though. My nap could’ve been better. And again, old aircraft…
Oh btw, I loved the movie! It’s definitely worth giving a shot if you haven’t already.