Emirates EK 60
Hamburg – Dubai (HAM – DXB)
Departure : 16:30 Actual Departure : 16:20
Arrival : 00:50 Actual Arrival : 00:20
Duration : 6 hours 20 minutes Actual Duration : 6 hours
Aircraft : Boeing 777-300ER
Registration # : A6-ENR
Seat # : 44K (Economy)
Thursday, 11 August 2016
Okay some of you might be thinking, I already did a flight review from Hamburg to Dubai so why again? Well, 2 reasons – last time it was the evening flight and it was operated by an older aircraft. This time, it’s the afternoon flight with a much newer aircraft. I should mention that Emirates flies daily twice on the route Dubai – Hamburg – Dubai; one in the afternoon and the other in the evening (departing from Hamburg). After this review, I’m not going to do flight reviews between Hamburg and Dubai with Emirates unless there is a change in (newer or different) aircraft/seating class or something significant or special happens! On this flight, one or two nice stuff did happen so without further ado, let’s get started!
I was very much looking forward to starting my summer holidays of 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. I was really excited to set my foot for the first time in African soil! On the morning of 11th August 2016, I was packed and all ready. As usual, I checked on Flightradar24.com which Emirates aircraft would I be flying with on the first leg to Dubai. Interestingly, I found out Echo November Romeo (A6-ENR) is on my luck today but guess what, I flew on this very same aircraft only about a year ago on the same route with the same flight number! I was like… wow! Although I was hoping for a different plane, I was content nonetheless. At just 2 years old, it was a rather new aircraft at least 🙂
I reached the airport around 13:30 – 3 hours before my flight, to give me plenty of time to do some snacking and plane spotting. As I’ve already checked in online, the check-in process was rather smooth and quick. After check-in, I decided to try my luck on something new. I approached an Emirates agent at the airport and politely asked him whether I could board the aircraft early to take pictures of the cabin while it’s still empty for my blog. He was really nice and noticed my enthusiasm probably. So he informed me that he would do his best to grant my request and inform the cabin crews and the agents at the boarding gate! Though I have to arrive at the boarding gate a bit earlier for this and ask the gate agents to make sure again. A special thanks to him!
Of course, I was quite happy at this point! I still had about 1.5 hour so I decided to go up the airport’s observation deck and check out my aircraft parked already. It was quite a rainy day.
At around 14:20, I headed for security area and was cleared through pretty fast as there was barely any queue. Soon after I headed for my boarding area and passed through passport control in the process, being there in about 20 mins or so. I had some time to spare before boarding could officially begin, so I snapped some photos of the plane and wrote down notes on my flight notebook.
I asked the gate agents to be sure whether my request was accepted and they replied with a positive answer and told me to be ‘around’ the boarding area, so I can be the first one to board! Awesome! 😀
They called me to have my boarding pass checked at 15:25, 10 minutes before the planned boarding time. Though I think for others the boarding began around 15:30. My camera was ready in my hand, and as the first passenger, I walked fast through the jetbridge to buy some time before others can start boarding. At door 2L (2nd left door), upon showing my boarding pass I was warmly greeted by the senior flight attendant, who I believe was Maltese. Then as I passed through the business class cabin, I took the opportunity to snap some pictures.
Upon entering the Economy cabin, I was given quite a warm welcome by most of the crew! Some of them were curious about this passion of mine, while others engaged me in small conversations. One of them (Lebanese) was quite a funny guy and he asked me to give him the website address of this blog. And when I mentioned him about hoping to have a free seat next to me, he said maybe I will get a female seat neighbor 😛
Of course, I definitely took pictures of the new economy cabin by Emirates. But this is not the latest one! This cabin is the one before the latest one was rolled out but it’s still pretty awesome cabin! The economy seats on this cabin are slimmer yet comfortable, and they have 12-inch tablet-like screens for the ICE in-flight entertainment system, which I believe are the second largest economy screens in an airline. The latest economy cabin of Emirates have 13-inch screens, which are the largest so far (2016)!
By this time, other passengers started to board so it was time for the crew to get busy. And I started to settle down on my seat. My seat was 44K (window as always) and it had the usual amenities – pillow, blanket, and headsets.
Btw, what I love about Emirates’ new inflight entertainment system apart from the screen is the handset. Not only it looks much simpler, but it boasts a second, smaller screen – meaning you can use both screens for two different purpose. I usually use the smaller screen for flight information/airshows while I watch movies on the bigger one. That way I can follow my flight and stay entertained at the same time. Of course, the seats also have the USB port, headset jack, coat hanger, and reading materials.
Boarding was done in about 20 mins and the flight was quite full (~98%) so I had no free seats next to me. I’m not complaining though, my seat neighbor was indeed a girl as the Lebanese flight attendant guy ‘guessed’ earlier and she was quite cute 😛 . We talked about a lot of things and it was fun, though I’m sure she thought of me as a ‘weirdo’ taking pictures every now and then and being so interested in planes (hope she isn’t reading this!) 😀
At 15:55, the German captain made a nicely detailed announcement mentioning his Dutch First Officer, our flight details, weather, and the international cabin crew. According to him, our flight would take 5 hours 50 minutes at an altitude of 37,000 ft. The flight attendants came from Egypt, New Zealand, Moldova, Argentina, Czech Rep, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Lebanon etc. We were then distributed refreshing towels and dinner menus.
At 16:20, the plane started to pushback and get ready for departure. It took only about 5 mins to get to the runway.
We had to wait about 2-3 mins for takeoff clearance as a British Airways A320 just landed and needed to cross the runway in front of us. Then by 16:31, we were airborne right on schedule.
10 mins into takeoff, the seatbelt sign was turned off. At this point, I tried to recline my seat but apparently it didn’t work. Just 2 years old plane and seat recline already faulty? not good… But anyways, I started browsing the movie selection for new movies. Emirates’ inflight entertainment system is called ICE (Information, Communication, Entertaiment) and it’s literally the best IFE system in the world! Although there was a large selection of new movies, most of them didn’t cater to my taste. Finally I found ‘Daddy’s Home’ which I had on my ‘list of movies to watch’ and started watching it.
I was waiting for dinner cuz I started to get a big hungry. The smell of dinner throughout the cabin adds to it even more! Fortunately, my dinner was served about 1 hour 20 minutes after takeoff. Let’s look at the menu first.
I love lamb. Therefore I didn’t hesitate to choose between the chicken and lamb.
The smoked salmon and potato salad appetizer was very good – one of the best ones I’ve had! The main course was good too – the lamb medallions were tasty but kinda hard to cut. The dessert was delicious however! Overall it was a pretty great meal, which took me about half an hour to finish.
It started to get dark outside. After the meal service was done, lights in the cabin were dimmed and starry ceiling lights were lit up. I paused my movie and went out of my seat to stretch out a bit and take some photos.
I slowly headed towards the back at the aft galley to have a drink and chat with the nice, friendly flight attendants. And by drink, I mean some fruit juice. But soon after, there were some slight bumps which prompted the pilots to turn on the seatbelt sign. So I had to go back to my seat and keep myself fastened. I resumed the movie and finished it 3 hours into the flight (the movie isn’t that long – just I paused few times etc..). It was quite funny movie, not bad at all really.
I didn’t want to remain seated (seatbelt sign turned off again) so I went out again towards the back and we chatted with the crew about my blog and I gave some of them this website’s address. I hope they checked it out by now already 😛 They even let me take a picture of the aft galley!
You may have noticed that there are juices readily available. So if you ever need a drink, feel free to go there and ask for one! 🙂 You may have also noticed ice creams stacked up, which meant it was soon time for the crew to serve ice creams! They were served about 2 hours before arrival. I also requested a green tea to clear up my throat (I sometime really don’t enjoy the air conditioning inside the cabin)!
Of course, I took the opportunity to capture more of these amazing starry effects!
After some chitchat, I went back to my seat again. The flight was mostly smooth with a few slight bumps here and there. I think the pilots had to turn on seatbelt sign 2-3 times in the whole flight. About 50 minutes before landing, the First Officer made an announcement that we were flying at 37,000 ft and we’d start descending in 5 minutes (45 min before landing). Also, he informed us about the (hot & humid) weather of Dubai and wished us pleasant onward flights.
At local time 11:45 PM, we started our descend. The cabin was lighted up again during this time.
We landed safely at Dubai International exactly 20 minutes past midnight and had to taxi for 8 minutes until we were parked at a remote stand, where we disembarked via stairs. Buses were waiting for us to take us to the terminal, which took about 30 minutes. Now I’ve got about 2.5 hours to wait until my next flight to Cape Town, which at 9.5 hours is going to be the longest flight ever in my life; looking forward to it really!
To Sum Up
I really loved this flight! It certainly was one of my favorites in recent times and a pretty interesting one too, given that I flew on the exact same aircraft twice. From my ‘priority’ boarding to landing, everything was great – except maybe for the faulty seat recline. A very special thanks to the friendly and awesome cabin crew, who made me feel warmly welcome and it was certainly fun to talk with them. All these made possible to write this nice flight review and I wish (and hope) every flight was (will be) like this!