Flight: Emirates EK 188
From: Barcelona (BCN) To: Dubai (DXB)
The tourism office sent me the itinerary to confirm if I was happy with the airline, and after comparing all flights at Skyscanner the Emirates flights they booked was the cheapest with the shortest layover time. The last time I flew with Emirates was in 2007 and I recalled it being a good flight so it was an easy choice.
Check in is available 48 hours before the flight. I didn’t have the right booking number, and as the flight was booked by an agency I had to wait to get the number from them. By the time I checked in most of the seats were allocated.
Even though most of the seats were booked I was surprised to see such a large queue at the airport. I went to the online check in queue and there was one person in front of me, compared to the queue that was snaking through the departure hall.
Since I last flew with Emirates they have now joined a partnership with Qantas, with all European flights codeshared. I signed up for an Emirates frequent flyer account incase I needed it, but I used my Qantas frequent flyer account for this flight.
The scheduled flight time is 6 hours and 20 minutes, leaving at 10.40pm and arriving at 7.30am. It’s good for making connections at Dubai but a short overnight flight means no sleep for me.
When I booked there were a few empty seats at the back where the 2-seat rows are.
I picked a 2-row seat that is behind the last 3-row seat as I thought it would be better for room.
While it was good for room the seat isn’t aligned in row with the rest of the seats. As a result the tray table doesn’t fold down squarely and instead it sits on top of the arm rest. To remedy this the they have installed a seat with a fold-out tray table. If you are the sort of person that is disturbed by a picture that is not hanging square on a wall then this is not the seat for you, because the TV screen is is also not exactly in front of you.
Before the flight I was reading that Emirates will soon be flying the A380 to Barcelona. For this flight they were using a B777-300. I’m not sure how old it was but the entertainment units were probably the same style as my flights 8 years ago. The screens were small and the touch-screens were temperamental. These are the last of the old entertainment units which are being replaced with larger screens. It didn’t help that my last long flight was a premium economy seat with an extra-big screen.
The seats have power outlets and USB ports so I was able to keep my iPhone charged, which is on its last legs.
After take off dinner was served, and I got the chicken dish:
– Chickpea salad served with crumbled feta and cucumber
– Chicken in yoghurt sauce with steamed basmati rice, sautéed broccoli and red peppers
– Apple and blackberry crisp with custard and cinnamon crumble
Open Skies inflight magazine for your old-school onboard entertainment.
With the flight being just over 6 hours there is not enough time for a full breakfast, so a small snack offering is provided before landing.
In the nine years since I last visited Dubai the city has changed a lot. I’m due to go back for another visit, but until then I made do with admiring the view from the window.
The flight arrived close to on-time and I then made my connection for my next flight to Johannesburg.