February 13, 2013

On Board Emirates Airlines Economy Class: Beirut-Dubai

After reviewing Air France, Bulgaria Air, Alitalia, Turkish Airlines and MEA,the time has come to talk come to talk about one of the best Airlines the world has to offer: Emirates Airlines. This is my fourth trip on board this respectful company where not a single detail is missed to make its passengers feel relaxed at all times.
 
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The experience starts way before you board the plane. You are welcomed by a helpful staff member who is ready to answer to every single question. With a smile and a welcoming attitude, Emirates ground staff welcomes, greets, serves and takes actions joyfully, repeating a sorry here and there with any delays encountered, even though it was due to technical difficulties.
 
"Welcome on board Emirates" says the chief of cabin. Here I knew that I was going to enjoy a great three hours from Beirut to Dubai.
 
Emirates Airlines focuses a lot on details:
  • A sky, full of led lights calms your claustrophobic feelings
  • Pillows from two different colors: violet and orange
  • Seats prepared with care, organized and cleaned with an individual headphone wrapped in nylon for every passenger: such professional musical instruments are distributed on Business flights only, in other companies
  • A large screen broadcasts hundreds of movies and musical program's from all around the world and in many different languages. Such a screen is a luxury of the premium economy class on board Air France. MEA's screens are half the size of the Emirates ones.
  • Before taking off, hostesses distribute heated and wet refreshing napkins to everyone. Each economy passenger feels treated with a respect like nowhere else with jackets stored in the front closet, that is a privileged service for business passengers on other airlines.
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We are still on ground and I still feel like writing more than a paragraph. I love:
  • The high resolution front camera shooting all the movements of the plane, broadcasted on the 19inch screens in each of the plane's sections.
  • I.C.E - Information, Communication, Entertainment - entertainment system is just awesome and the best part, is that it runs from the minute the plane starts moving... Not after 20 minutes and not after making us watch the ridiculous  advertisement system our local airline airs.
The staff is close to being perfect:
  • The staff on board speaks ay least 6 different languages
  • Their main interest is pleasing you. Whatever you ask or want is their main priority
  • Wow! How nice it is to see someone in front of you smiling at all times. It really makes you feel good
  • Even though I was flying economy, they make you feel like a king
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The pluses worth traveling with Emirates:
  • Most flights have AeroMobile to stay connected at all times: You can use your phone freely at international roaming rates with no additional charge
  • The crew is perfect. Trained like a five stars hotel staff
  • The food is good and beautifully presented
  • Lights in the cabin are always dimmed giving you the luxury of sleeping at your ease. Others keep it completely on, until 20 minutes before landing
  • I love the head rests that constraints your neck if you want to sleep
The menu on today's flight:
  • Selection of Mezze (which includes hommous Beiruti, lamb meat kibbeh and garnish)
  • Laban Emmo (traditional Lebanese style cooked beef shanks with onions and yogurt, garnished with sautéed herb and pine seeds, served with dill rice)
  • Roasted chicken (Arabic style marinated roast chicken, served own a bed of sautéed vegetables and chicken sauce, accompanied with potato with herbs and garlic, and vegetables ratatouille with basil)
  • Gourmet Cannelloni Pasta (tossed in a rich white and tomato sauce with freshly grated cheese)
  • Choux a la Creme with icing sugar
  • Cheese and biscuits
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The food:
  • Individually packed stainless steel cutlery
  • A menu pack includes a napkin, white sugar, wet towel, salt and pepper
  • Small Lebanese bread pack
  • A mix of mezze in a single plate
  • A hot delicious portion of your desired food. I liked the pasta and the meat that were really tasty
  • Picon cheese on Emirates! Come on! Picon! The cheapest most synthetic cheese on earth? I would have expected a piece of President Cheese for example.
  • L'Ostal Cazes, Estibals, Minervois 2010 red wine
During the food service today, I intended to be a bit annoying. I asked for two diet coke cans, water, additional ice and red wine. I told the smiling and beautiful hostess: "I'm sorry to bother you..." And, happily, smiling at me she answered:
 
"This is what I'm here for..." Wow! She made my day, or to say my flight. Professionalism at its best.
 
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The minuses and improvements needed:
  • The screen is a bit too dark if you look at it from a different angle. When the person in front of me reclined his seat, and as I am tall, the movie was showing as a black screen. The monitor didn't move enough to the front to adjust to my viewing
  • The seats, when reclining have a back that goes back and a seat that moves up. That will make your knees touch the seat in front of you. For my size, I didn't have a very pleasant flight. That's a problem on board AirBus planes found on MEA and Air France as well. Becoming a premium and unique airline, Emirates should start by changing the seats into more comfortable and ingenious ones like the Qatar Airways ones
  • Imperatively, foot rests are needed
  • The table doesn't approach to you. Eating is unpleasant especially when your head bounces with the seat in front of you
  • In brief, Airbus seats, screens and tables are not great. They are too commercial to fit more travelers and very unpleasant to sit on.
  • Less light is better in the cabin so it doesn't reflect on the screens
I simply love Emirates... And that before even trying the business class.
 
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