OK, maybe I am a little over the top regarding our recent Emirates experience, that’s precisely why I waited several days before writing this piece. I am old enough to remember when air travel was an event. People dressed well, passengers were treated with respect, and the entire experience was one of smooth operations and expected results.
The current state of all air travel is little better than a bad third world bus terminal. Replete with the usual suspects, few standards, animals of most varieties (think service animals), uncomfortable cramped spaces and questionable hygienic facilities. Occasionally I think a good representation of hell is any long haul carriers restroom at the end of a twelve plus hour flight! I have flown most of the truly long distance international carriers with the exception of Singapore Airlines, Aeroflot (I had to be honest), Italia, Aer Lingus, Eithad, and Qatar Air. I fondly remember flying the old PanAm, the original KLM, Air France, SwissAir, Delta, United, American, and a dozen and half more.
Nothing compares to the Emirates experience. Nothing. Past or present. I am told Eithad may equal or better Emirates, but I cannot honestly speak to that. From the moment you approach the Emirate check in, through your destination departure at your hotel or residence, the entire experience is characterized by seamless quality, function of purpose, politeness from all staff, on ground and in the air, including the security and immigration functions in Dubai. It is simply air travel as it was always meant to be, end of story. I cannot think of even one instance where something could have been done better, more efficiently, faster, or with more style than Emirates provides.
Then there is the subject of their equipment. Utilizing primarily Airbus A380-800 as their basic platform, and the Boeing 777-300R, Emirates sets a new standard in the air. We flew business class and the 380 takes the edge for comfort and overall utility. Each seat has direct aisle access with a 1x2x1 seating configuration. 2500 channels of entertainment on a 23″ screen, personal iPad and touch screen controls, three external cameras, multiple airshows illuminating where and how you are relative to your journey, and food far beyond aircraft expectations. The flight crew could have received lessons from Mother Theresa in caring, and their appearance rivals many modeling agency portfolios, for both genders of flight attendants.
Complimentary chauffeur service on each end of your trip is provided gratis in Volvo and Mercedes automobiles with skilled drivers. In sum we cannot wait for our next “exhaustive” Emirates experience. Oh, and the crowning achievement, is their excellent fare structure. If you can find a better value for your flying dollar please advise me at once!