Review: The 50th Flight of My Life 2


Emirates EK 59

Dubai – Hamburg  (DXB – HAM)

Departure : 9:00     Actual Departure : 9:06

Arrival : 13:45     Actual Arrival : 13:39

Duration : 6 hours 45 minutes     Actual Duration : 6 hours 33 minutes

Aircraft : Boeing 777-300ER

Registration #: A6-EGO

Seat #: 34K (Economy Class)

Thursday, 19th May 2016

So here we are. The moment has almost arrived. This moment – where I am about to complete the 50th flight of my life. But let’s back up a little…

Yep that’s right. I have indeed counted how many flights I took with which Airline and in which aircraft in my 23 years life (I will write a post on it another time!). And it’s not just me, every AvGeek counts their flights and all those tiny details pretty much.  I actually had the plan to complete my 50th flight sometime last year (2015) but unfortunately that didn’t work out. I must confess that one of the reasons I decided to take the trip to Vietnam was so that I could have the chance to complete 50 flights at least 😉

On my return to home, I had over 4.5 hours layover at Dubai International after arriving from Ho Chi Minh City. Not so bad when you get free meal vouchers from Emirates but I was pretty tired and sleepy at that point. Between 4 – 7 AM Dubai International seems pretty empty and quiet and that made me even more sleepy. Though I had an early breakfast on my flight into Dubai, I decided to use the free meal voucher for a bite at a Shawarma place, since it has been ages since I had a Shawarma last time.

I finished my breakfast around 6:30 am and checked the information board for the gate number to my flight, which was A6 in concourse A. I was eating in Concourse C so I had a long walk ahead of me. Without further ado, I headed straight for concourse A and when I reached there, I had about a bit more than hour to spare before boarding could officially begin. So I decided to grab a coffee from Costa Coffee to get rid of my sleepiness and gain some energy before heading for my gate.

At Gate A6, the boarding began at 8:10 AM, 5 minutes before the planned time and unfortunately, it was not through a boarding bridge. It was time to take the bus again ….yaaay (not!). Although the bus ride to the aircraft parked at remote stand took just 12 minutes, it felt to me like forever! My only wish at this point was that we don’t get another A6-EB_ something registered aircraft …. I was therefore relieved when we finally arrived in front of this aircraft : A6-EGO !

About to Board my 50th Flight!

About to Board my 50th Flight!

Not only this was a newer aircraft than my last three flights, but I had a feeling that this particular aircraft – A6-EGO – was known for something special but I couldn’t remember what it was… Later when I got home, I googled this aircraft and that’s when I remembered it! This was the 1000th Boeing 777 aircraft produced!! But I couldn’t recognize earlier because its former special livery with ‘1000th Boeing 777’ written on it has been long removed unfortunately 🙁 . This is how it used to look before :

The same aircraft with the special livery '1000th 777' Aircraft. Credits to Timo Soyke - the original photographer

The same aircraft with the special livery ‘1000th 777’ Aircraft. Credits to Timo Soyke – the original photographer

   

So apparently I was about to have my 50th flight on the 1000th Boeing 777 built – I must say it was a great combination! We boarded using the stairs through the rear door 5L. Upon showing my boarding pass, I went through the right aisle to my seat. 34K was located in the economy cabin between 3rd and 4th doors of the aircraft.

Love the 777 landing gears!

Love the 777 landing gears!

 

Economy Cabin wasn't full yet!

Economy Cabin wasn’t full yet!

 

My Seat: 34K

My Seat: 34K

 

I settled down on my seat. It had the usual amenities – pillow, blanket, headphones, and reading materials. Even though I was under the impression that A6-EGO is fitted with the newer ICE inflight entertainment system, apparently that wasn’t the case. However, it did have a better and ‘newer’ system than the older Boeing 777s of Emirates. When I booked and checked in, the seats next to me were empty and I was hoping that it remains empty. The flight was fairly full and the passengers consisted of Germans (duh), a large number of Indonesians, Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis, Australians among others. The boarding took about 40 minutes long (I guess cuz of the bus ride) and when it was complete, the seats remained empty next to me thankfully!

Yay bigger and better screen and remote!

Yay bigger and better screen and remote!

 

We were parked quite far from the airport terminal!

We were parked quite far from the airport terminal!

 

Seats next to me stayed empty :D

Seats next to me stayed empty 😀

 

 

As the refreshing hot towels and menus were handed over, the captain started to make his announcements. And this captain’s announcement was simply awesome! In fact, his was the best so far in my four flights I had during this travel because it was really nicely detailed. He was from Chile and his co-pilot from the U.K. and he explained that our flight would take around 6 hours 22 minutes and we’d be cruising at 36,000 ft. I had the impression that the captain was both quite friendly and professional at the same time!

At 9:06 AM local time, we started pushback and after a brief taxi of 11 minutes, we took off from runway 30R. By 9:22 AM we were airborne and heading northwest towards Hamburg over Iranian airspace. The cabin crew were from 13 different countries (such as Greece, Germany, Poland, South Korea, India, France, Ukraine etc…) and spoke 15 languages. It took just 7 minutes until we could unbuckle our seat belts. We’d be served breakfast and lunch on this flight but before the meal service could begin, I started watching SPECTRE on the big screen (I’ve been waiting so long to watch it!).

007 is always a priority!

007 is always a priority!

The crew were quite quick to start the breakfast service, which was just 40 minutes into takeoff. At exactly 10:05 AM, I was served breakfast. The breakfast + lunch menu read as follows :

Breakfast + Lunch Menu (DXB-HAM)

Breakfast + Lunch Menu (DXB-HAM)

From the menu, I could tell that there was nothing new for me in it. I had the same meal before on this route with same flight (EK 59) but for lunch, I would have the lamb again because last time I had it, it was indeed delicious! But first, here is how the breakfast looked :

Emirates' Continental Breakfast

Emirates’ Continental Breakfast

 

 

It took me just 20 minutes to finish this quick breakfast. It wasn’t bad actually, though I’m not really a fan of cheese. About 2 hours later I finished the movie and I loved it; 007 movies are one of my favorites so nothing surprising in that really 😉 . There was still a few hours left for this flight and I didn’t feel tired anymore so I decided to watch another movie which I haven’t watched yet – Transporter Refueled.

But before that, I opened the window shade and admired the stunning view outside as we were flying over Turkey and not only that, we were in fact flying over Lake Van – the largest lake in Turkey! I definitely had to snap some shots at this point…

Flying over beautiful Turkey

Flying over beautiful Turkey

 

 

Right over Lake Van - The largest lake in Turkey

Right over Lake Van – The largest lake in Turkey

 

 

Mount Süphan - near Lake Van

Mount Süphan – near Lake Van

Time to close window shade again. I started the movie at 1 PM at origin/Dubai time and just 12 minutes later, lunch was being served. The lunch at our side was being served by a friendly Greek guy who was greeting every passenger and asking “would you like to have some lunch?” – now that’s something I haven’t heard in a long time!

As mentioned a while ago, I opted for the lamb and here is how it looked :

IMG_0529

Lamb with wild-rice and veggies

Oh my! The taste was exactly the same as I remember it last time – lamb is one of my favorite meat and this time again it was definitely yum! The appetizer wasn’t bad either and the dessert was actually quite good so all in all, a good lunch that took me around 40 minutes to finish! After lunch, I changed the time in my watch to European Time which was 12:00 PM at the time.

The flight was going relatively smooth. There was only a few slight bumps in between but nothing too shaky. About an hour before our landing, I finished the second movie and I quite liked it, though not sure if Jason Statham’s Transporter films were better than this one. I went out of my seat (not for the first time!) to stroll down the aisle a bit and take some pictures.

It looks like a flying cinema

It looks like a flying cinema

At 1:09 PM local (European) time, the aircraft started to make its descend. The crew started collecting used blankets, headphones, and trash by this time. The weather looked quite bright and sunny outside.

IMG_0530

‘Floating’ over mass of clouds

Descending slowly

Descending slowly

 

Minutes from Touchdown

Minutes from Touchdown

 

 

At 1:39 PM Hamburg time, we touched down smoothly on runway 15, well…soon after the aircraft had to do a bit of hard braking to exit the runway quickly as part of this runway and taxiway ahead is under renovation and/or construction. It took about 10-15 minutes to arrive at the gate because we were waiting for another aircraft to clear the gate. With that, the 50th of my flight of my life has been successfully done – thank God!

 

Touchdown aaand Spoilers deployed

Touchdown aaand Spoilers deployed – 50th flight completed!

 

To Sum Up

I was really glad that my 50th flight has been quite a satisfactory and successful one. What made it special was that it happened in a special aircraft – the 1000th aircraft of the 777 model produced by Boeing. I couldn’t believe it myself really…well, some kind of record for me I suppose! 😛 The movies and meals together made the flight very enjoyable and relaxing for me.

What I didn’t like you ask? Well…honestly, I am not a big fan of daytime flights. I prefer and love night flights more! Also, this moment would’ve been 100% perfect if the aircraft was fitted with the latest infotainment system. Don’t get me wrong, this one was quite good but the newer version has HD screen, so your call!

An AvGeek doesn’t like it when a flight comes to an end  🙁 And I already can’t wait for my next flights… Of course, it will be with Emirates again but this time flying to beautiful Cape Town hopefully! Oh btw, stay tuned because something special is coming soon !


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