Good Advice Tried and Tested

Emirates B777-300 business class


Check-in I was transferring on to this flight to Hong Kong from a connecting flight from London Heathrow. I arrived on time at the new Emirates-dedicated Terminal 3 facility at Dubai International airport and made my way to the business class lounge. For a separate review of this, please click here.

All Emirates flights now use T3, although, if you are connecting to or from another airline you will have to transfer between terminals which can take about 15 minutes (for more information on the terminal click here).

Emirates has two flights a day to Hong Kong from Dubai. The first is on a B777-300 aircraft and makes a stop at Bangkok on the way, the second flies directly, but uses what the Emirates timetable refers to as “EQV” which means “equipment varies” – you might have an A332, A343, A345 or a B777. (The airline has 46 B777-300 and B777-300ER aircraft, and 14 B777-200 and B777-200LR aircraft.)

Boarding Flight departure was delayed, firstly, by a technical problem and, secondly, by an unruly passenger. The staff handled this well, from what I saw of the incident. The delay meant we backed away from the stand at 0420 and took off at 0445.

The seat On this B777-300 aircraft there were three classes, with business class across two cabins, behind and in front of the galley. For the seat plan of the aircraft, click here.

The business class cabins were fitted with modern seats that reclined to lie-flat position, a fully digital IFE system (although not the modern incarnation you would encounter on the A380 or refitted B777-300ER fleet), and seat power for laptops and mobile phones. I tried this but it did not seem to work and I didn’t see anyone else using the service. This might be because of my provider (Vodafone), although a flight attendant told me the service is “still a work in progress”.

The flight By 0445 local time I had been travelling for over 12 hours, so went to sleep. I was given an eye mask and socks, and asked for some earplugs. I laid the mattress cover on the seat, reclined it to the lie-flat position and fell asleep quickly. The seat is well over six feet in length when fully reclined and I found it comfortable.

Before I went to sleep I was asked if I wanted to be woken for breakfast. I didn’t, but in the event I woke about 90 minutes before arrival and was immediately offered it by the attentive staff. There was a choice of juice and fruit, and main courses including omelette, poached eggs, stir-fried noodles and a cheese selection, all with a choice of breads, teas and coffees.

Since this flight stopped at Bangkok for an hour, there was an interruption while many passengers disembarked, the cabin was cleaned and new passengers came on board. Once we had taken off again (after apologies for the delays from the new flight crew), we were served a light meal. This was an appetiser of gravlax salmon or roasted Cajun chicken, and main course selections including stir-fried chicken, red snapper with pine-nut crust or lamb biryani. Dessert was passion fruit panna cotta. A bread basket, cheese, tea, coffee and chocolates were also offered.

The champagne was Moet and Chandon, and the whites were Palliser Estate, 2006, Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, New Zealand or Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay, 2007, Margaret River, Western Australia. Reds were Château Cantemerle, 2000, Haut-Médoc or Wither Hills, Pinot Noir 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand. The port was Quinta do Noval, 2002, LBV.

Arrival The flight time between Bangkok and Hong Kong was around two and a half hours, and we eventually landed about 50 minutes late at 1830. The gate was quite some distance from immigration so I took the shuttle train. The queues at immigration lasted about ten minutes, and by the time I got to baggage reclaim, my luggage was waiting for me.

Verdict Excellent service from both crews in difficult circumstances. I was impressed by how cheerful they were and how willing they were to help when passengers’ requests could not be met immediately.


Tom Otley

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