Emirates EK 771
Cape Town – Dubai (CPT – DXB)
Departure : 18:05 Actual Departure : 18:25
Arrival : 5:30 Actual Arrival : 5:32
Duration : 9 hours 25 minutes Actual Duration : 9 hours 7 minutes
Aircraft : Boeing 777-300ER
Registration # : A6-ENL
Seat # : 38K (Economy)
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
After my memorable visit to the awesome and beautiful city of Cape Town, it was unfortunately time for me to head back home. But getting to home south – north would mean flying for abour 15.5 hours in two flights. And here’s the review of the first one.
At 3 PM, I took a taxi to the airport. The ride lasted around half an hour and costed R 200 / ~€ 12-13. By 3:35 PM, I arrived at the Emirates Check-in counters at the check-in areas inside the terminal. There was quite a bit of queue already so it took me around 22 minutes to complete check-in formalities. And for the first time, I received my boarding passes in thin paper, which was kinda strange. After check-in, I approached two Emirates agents to request a priority boarding for me so I can snap pictures inside the empty aircraft cabin.
Initially they kind of declined saying it wasn’t possible or something. But then I mentioned that I was let board earlier on a previous flight. After mentioning this, they seemed to have changed their mind lol. They informed me they would ask the crew if it was okay with them and told me to report at the gate a bit earlier to receive update on it. I thanked them and headed for security and passport controls.
Our aircraft left Dubai with a bit of delay so its arrival into Cape Town was slightly delayed too. Which is why at the gate A6, from where we’d board our Emirates flight, was empty as I walked past by it. But I wasn’t bothered by it as I didn’t have any rush. A few minutes extra time in Cape Town won’t hurt 😉
With some extra time left until boarding, I started to ‘explore’ the airport. I must say, Cape Town International Airport isn’t very big, though quite modern-looking! But you will find (almost) everything you need in an airport there.
There was a Boeing 777 of TAAG Angola Airlines parked at one of the gates too.
By this time, our Emirates plane have already arrived in Cape Town and parked itself at Gate A6. So I slowly made my way towards the waiting area at the gate to have a better view of the aircraft.
This beauty with its ‘Echo November Lima’ (A6-ENL) registration was only a 3 year old aircraft at the time. So I was quite satisfied with the choice of the aircraft for this long-haul 😛 I approached the gate agents about my earlier request to let me board first and after a while, got a positive feedback – awesome! For the second time, I’d be boarding first on an aircraft and snap ‘clean’ cabin photos!
Although the planned boarding was at 17:15, boarding actually began 15 minutes later due to delayed arrival of the plane. Thanks to the Emirates cabin crew and gate agents, I boarded first at exactly 17:30 through the second left door of the aircraft. The crew inside welcomed me nicely, but some didn’t seem to be so enthusiastic as the first time! Nevertheless, I started taking some photos of the empty economy class.
As other passengers started to board, I got my ass to my seat before any potential passengers could block my access. Of course the seat had the usual amenities like the seat pillow, blanket, and headsets. Front of me was the 12-inch tablet like screen of the ‘3rd generation ICE’ infotainment system as well as charging / USB port, headset jack, controller with its secondary screen (cuz one screen isn’t enough), coat hook, and of course, tray table.
The aircraft started to fill up by the time I settled down on my seat. It was a fairly full flight, however the middle seat between mine and the aisle seat remained empty – YES!
It was starting to get dark outside and we were running behind schedule. In the meantime we were distributed refreshing towels and meal menus.
The captain came on the announcement before push back which wasn’t too clear due to passengers blabbing around me loudly. But I could make out that he said our flight would take 9 hours at 38,000 ft altitude. Our aircraft started its push back 20 minutes after the scheduled departure. During this time, the cabin crew sprayed some aerosol thing (sorry can’t remember the name at this moment) throughout the aircraft cabin, and evening was already upon the beautiful city of Cape Town.
Our taxi to the runway took only around 11 minutes, but then we had to wait several minutes more as the 3rd Emirates flight of the day to Cape Town was about to land. EK777 usually lands at 18:30 and is also operated with a Boeing 777-300ER, therefore for safety reasons, we had to wait an extra 7-8 minutes until the heavy aircraft could land and vacate the runway safely to make way for us.
At local time 18:45, or 20 minutes after push back, we were finally airborne. The view at that time looked really beautiful! Though I felt kind of sadness inside me as I was bidding farewell to this gorgeous place on earth 🙁
The seat belt sign was turned off only 5 mins after takeoff. The post-takeoff announcement informed us that the flight crew came from 14 countries and speak 14 languages. While the countries/languages weren’t specifically mentioned, my observation helped me to note that there were Czech, Russian, Romanian, Kenyan, Dutch, and Swedish flight attendants among others. 15 mins into takeoff there were some turbulence so we had to buckle our seat belts once again.
Afterwards I started browsing the movie selections on the ‘ICE’ but unfortunately, there weren’t many films I was interested in. So I decided to watch ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ (or WTF) 45 mins into the flight.
On the other hand I started to get kinda hungry because I ate lunch last over 6 hours ago. On this 9-hour long flight we’d get dinner and a breakfast meal. It was 1 hour 15 minutes after takeoff when dinner was starting to get served. But first, a look at the menu!
I opted for the chicken because I was quite familiar with this dish and it always sounds delicious! Here’s how the dinner looked – with appetizer and dessert of course.
My dinner was done in about 35 minutes. And here’s the verdict – the appetizer was just meh….more unappetizing than any others I’ve had on Emirates flight probably. I was quite right about choosing the chicken, it was indeed very delicious but what blew my mind was the dessert !! I’ve got a sweet tooth and I’m really fond of desserts but this was quite an exceptional one – I still crave for it!
I finished the movie in about 2 hours 15 mins into the flight. It wasn’t too bad, even funny in some scenes but I wouldn’t watch it again. Honestly, Tina Fey did better films.
There was still about 7 hours of flight left. As I had a free seat next to me, I decided to take its advantage and try to have a nap to have a rest and ‘pass the time’ on this long flight. But before that, I wanted to take some night interior shots as usual!
I slept for about 3 hours until I was woken up by the (early) breakfast service, which was served 2 hours before landing. Surprisingly I slept quite well on this flight! I found out that apparently I sleep better at and angle using two seats instead of making a ‘bed’ using all 3 seats. Oh and the omelette platter was really excellent!
Yes, I know it doesn’t look like a typical hash brown but it tasted quite good! In fact, I actually enjoyed the breakfast completely!
About 45 mins before landing, hot towels were distributed and the crew were preparing for landing by collecting used blankets and headsets.
We started our descend 43 mins before expected arrival time. 36 mins before landing, the First Officer made an announcement from the flight deck giving information of our landing time at 5:45 AM as well as weather info and wishing us all a pleasant onward journey. So the usual stuff… nothing out of the ordinary.
As the horizon started to light up in UAE’s sky, we descended further down towards the earth and landed exactly at 5:32 AM local time.
I really apologize for the poor picture quality on some of the photos above. I’m still trying to figure out how to shoot good photos in these conditions with my SLR!
Anyway, after a brief 8 mins taxi, we came to our parking position at a remote stand. Unfortunately this means we’ll be taking the damned buses to the airport terminal! Honestly, I’m not a fan of this system and this is probably one of the main things I don’t like about Dubai International!
To Sum Up
It was quite a nice flight! I was of course, very happy and thankful that I got to board first once again and for that I’d like to specially thank Emirates crew and staff! 🙂 The aircraft wasn’t an old one and it had one of my favorite IFE screens out there. The meals were both fantastic and so was the space in and around my seat! The fact that I could actually sleep for 3 hours straight was quite surprising and it helped me feel more comfortable! The flight itself was quite smooth for the most part.
I really can’t think of any downside on this flight, except that I didn’t get to chat with the amazing flight attendants on this flight. But that was mainly me being tired and not feeling energetic after a wonderful trip to Cape Town 😛
Oh wait, they haven’t provided any amenity kits on this flight! I was waiting (or hoping) for one as this was a night flight but none came 🙁
UP NEXT : Flight Review of Dubai to Hamburg onboard Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER