Emirates EK 62
Hamburg – Dubai (HAM – DXB)
Departure: 21:45 Actual Departure: 10:45
Arrival: 5:45 Actual Arrival: 6:35
Duration: 6 hours 10 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration #: A6-EBW
Seat #: 28A (Economy class)
Saturday, 14th May 2016
I’ve mentioned earlier that on 14th May 2016, I took the opportunity to fly to Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon. Due to my previous experiences with Emirates and their value for money, this airline has become my favorite airline so far. Therefore for my flight, Emirates was of course my first choice to fly with. Not only they provide the best connection possible to the Far East from Hamburg, I even got a very good price for the ticket.
The last time I flew before this flight was sometime back in September 2015, so it has been a while and so I was really excited to fly again! I got to Hamburg Airport on this rainy evening at around 7 PM – quite a lot of time to spare before boarding. As I’ve already checked in online at home, I just had to drop my luggage at the Emirates check-in counter in Terminal 1, which was quite a fast process. Then I took some time to visit the visitor’s platform at the airport for plane spotting and grab myself a quick snack before going through security towards my boarding gate. However, due to heavy rains I haven’t managed to capture much of plane spotting.
Passing through the security took me only about 5 to 10 mins max and I was already at my boarding area in another 10 to 15 mins. The gate assigned for this flight was B20, not the usual Gate # C5 which Emirates normally uses at Hamburg Airport. I think this new arrangement could be because of the runway/taxiway works which was going on at the airport. After clearing passport control, I was inside the waiting area and from there, I could have a clear view of the aircraft I would be flying with.
I must say the boarding area looked quite crowded! I felt like it was going to be a full flight, which later I got to know from a cabin crew that the flight was almost 100% full indeed. The passengers were quite multinational, of whom many were traveling to Dubai, while others were connecting passengers to other destinations, including Vietnam. The boarding began at around 9 PM and lasted about 25 minutes. We boarded through door 2L, located between the first and business class cabins.
After showing my boarding pass at the aircraft door to the cabin manager, I was directed to my seat through the right side aisle. My seat was located at 28A, which was just 5 rows behind the emergency exit door 3L. At this point, I should mention that this particular aircraft (Reg. A6-EBW) was around 9 years old at the time and therefore, had the old seats and smaller TV screens. Amenities like seat pillow, blanket, and headphones were already at the seat.
As I’ve settled down in my seat and made myself comfortable, the boarding process was almost over. I started noticing the two seats next to me. The seat next to me (28B) was thankfully empty! On seat 28C was a German-Russian girl who was traveling to Dubai with her family and it was her first time in Emirates. Then we were all served refreshing towels, instead of hot towels (I wondered why!) and the dinner menu.
Then came the announcement from the Captain (who I assume was British) who informed us that our flight is having 20 minutes delay due to some ‘maintenance checks’ but it would take just 5 hours 40 minutes to Dubai and we’d be cruising at an altitude of 35,000 ft. However, this ’20-min-delay’ lasted over an hour (a second announcement was made : “25 mins more needed for maintenance check but so far so good!) and according to the captain, all checks were complete and passed at around 10:31 PM. The push-back then began at exactly 10:45 PM.
Taxiing to the runway took about 12 minutes. Our aircraft was then cleared for takeoff from Runway 33 and by 11 PM we were airborne. Shortly after takeoff, it was announced that the multinational cabin crew comes from 11 countries and speak 11 languages. The seat belt sign was switched off about 15 minutes after takeoff. I checked the movie selection on the in-flight entertainment. Although it was an outdated system and definitely not HD, they actually had a decent selection of latest releases. So I started watching Deadpool, as I haven’t watched it yet at the time!
I started to get hungry but thankfully, the dinner service began quite fast – just 30 mins after takeoff! The menu read as follows:
Emirates usually has a choice of two main courses in their economy class – from which you are supposed to choose one. I chose the chicken as it sounded more delicious than the beef. I must say I did the right thing by choosing the chicken because it was actually amazing! Contrary to its name, the appetizer wasn’t that appetizing but the Sticky Toffee Pudding desert is one of my favorites out there!
The meal was done in about 40 minutes, by which time coffee and tea was served. After the meal service, the lights were dimmed and the starry ceiling effect was turned on! This mood lighting helps passengers sleep and relax. I continued watching Deadpool until the end, by which time the clock/watch showed 1:30 AM (at Hamburg time). I really enjoyed the movie but I didn’t want to sleep, so I decided to get out of my seat and take a walk through the aisle and shoot some of those starry ceilings because they look beautiful!
When I was walking and taking pictures, I went to the aft galley (right at the back of the aircraft) where some of the cabin crews were having a chat among themselves. I joined in and had a chat with them for about 30 minutes about different interesting topics like the life of a cabin crew, about today’s flight, and few other aviation related subjects. They offered me drinks. I also told them that I’m starting a travel blog soon and I’m an aviation nut. Nevertheless they were quite surprised at how much I knew about Emirates and different aircraft :-P. Their nationalities consisted of countries such as Lebanon, Taiwan, Poland, Latvia, South Africa, and Greece.
The flight had few slight turbulence due to the tailwind ‘pushing’ the aircraft from behind. I noticed that the aircraft was flying at a speed of over a 1000 km/h and this kind of sped up the flight duration! After a while, I went back to my seat and raised the window shade to discover that early morning light has started to come up already…wow, we flew that fast?!
5 hours 10 minutes into the flight the aircraft started its descend to prepare for landing at Dubai. Prior to descend I asked for a coffee (to stay awake, plus I have to complete another flight later on) and we were served hot towels this time! At local time 6 AM, the captain announced that we should be landing approximately at 6:45 AM.
We touched down on Runway 12L at 6:35 AM local time after a 6 hours 10 mins flight. Taxiing to a remote stand took about 15 mins. From there, we were taken to Emirates terminal at Dubai International with buses, which took about 20 minutes. At the terminal, there was barely any line at the security checks so passing through the security was pretty quick! But now, my next flight to Ho Chi Minh City awaits in about 2.5 hours…
To Sum Up
I quite enjoyed this flight. It was surprisingly quick. The seat next to me was empty so I felt quite comfortable. The meal was fantastic, so were the crews! Definitely loved the mood lighting as always. Emirates haven’t disappointed me 😉 . However, I was actually looking forward to flying their newer Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which are fitted with slimmer and comfier seats and more importantly, a large HD in-flight entertainment screen! That would definitely give my flight a 100% satisfaction. But let’s see…maybe the next leg to Saigon could be lucky?