Saturday, 9 June 2012

Flying on Emirates' A380 and Boeing 777-300ER from LHR-SIN via DXB

Welcome to my Trip Report on Emirates Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER Ride! 


For my SIN-DXB-LHR trip report: Click here


Return flight to Singapore is always a very difficult issue for me. Never like the feeling of flying home as my trips never seems to be enough for me! However, I needed to save up more money for my next trip, and this probably make it easier for me to leave.


Selecting my seats!







For my trip, I chose the afternoon flight, 1415 departure from LHR as I would be able to get home on Friday afternoon in Singapore. This would meant a day and a half of rest before starting work! Yes, I do work on Sundays too.


On the day itself, I woke up at 9 am. I had some breakfast and did some last minute walking before making my way to London Heathrow airport. My sister and her husband had work that morning, so I said my 'goodbyes' to them the night before. I had a 15 minute 'exercise' to the Tube station, Tower Hill and took the train to Baron's Court and changed to another train to the airport.


Once I reached there, I went to check-in at terminal 3. Unfortuntately, I had to put up with a rude Emirates staff at the counter. Her aggressiveness and insolent tone angered me and I had to keep myself in check to prevent myself from blowing my top. That was how bad the situation was. She was basically treating me like a 3rd grade student, raising her voice at me for doing something wrong for this case carrying 2 handcarry items instead of the 1. Later on, on that flight, the in-flight crew didn't even care about it, so what's the big deal about it? She kicked a big fuss about it and even told me to 'dump' my laptop into my luggage. I stood firmly and fortunately she gave in. What angered me was not because of the policy, I am fine with that but her attitude which made a bad start for me. Was it going to get worse from that point onwards? Read on to find out!










Leg 1


My ride: A6-EDR







Boarding gate




I had about an hour and a half before boarding. I walked around and spent my last 3 pounds (in coins) on a sandwich at EAT. The A380s normally parked at Gate 5-8 at Terminal 3,so I made my way there. I saw the EK tail from a distance and I knew that was my aircraft, A6-EDR. Apparently the aircraft arrived late and we only pushed back about 25 minutes after schedule departure time, that's not too bad.

Looking at my fellow passengers, there seemed to have a large group of tourists from Japan, probably changing flights like me at Dubai, heading home. I suppose the tickets are still cheaper than flying with the home carriers!

Anyway, boarding was fast and smooth. Once again it was done according to zones and I made my way down soon after my zone was announced. I was to be sitting with a Japanese couple, but one of them moved to a seat in front leaving the middle empty! Absolutely great!

Carrier: Emirates
Flight number: 002
Date: 7th June 2012
Routing: LHR-DXB
Seat number: 73K
Aircraft type: Airbus A380-800
Engine type: 4X GP7270 engines
My 5th ride on this aircraft type and the 2nd airline to have flown on.
1st time on A6-EDR
Line number: 83
Plane delivered: 25th November 2011
Configuration: F14C76Y427
Registration: A6-EDR
Flight duration: 6 hrs 5 mins
Schedule departure time: 1415
Actual departure time: 1500
Schedule arrival time: 01230
Actual arrival time: 1220
FL: 390
Load factor for Y class: 90%
Departure gate: 5
Arrival gate: 230
Departure runway: 09R
Arrival runway: 30L

'Welcome aboard' and 'a short apology for the delay' were announced, however no explanation of the delay was given. Not a big deal anyway, but the Captain mentioned that we would arrive there on time. Plane pushed back and we made our way to runway 09R for a quick departure. The weather was deteriorating, fortunately I was not caught in the rain while making my way to the airport.









The aircraft lifted off effortlessly towards our assigned flight level 390. Rain water kept splashing at the window, but it was not bumpy at all. Once we gotten out of the clouds, we cruised smoothly towards our destination, Dubai. The flight was smooth most of the time with little bumps at the initial stages of the flight.






What's inside the seat pocket?








                                                                In-flight meals


Which did I choose?

The chicken! It tasted alright, certainly not the best. What I love about Emirates is that they really knows how to feed you. I think I took about 10 minutes to finish off the meal as I was feeling hungry at that point! The cold weather in London certainly made me hungry very quickly. What attracted me more in this meal is the blackberry cheesecake. I always have a thing or two for it, its quite tasty.


I had the Bloody Mary for my beverage.


                                  
The Wifi on board

I didn't give much details on my previous EK A380 flight, so this time I should post some screens on how this works.

Once the on-air connection is up, you can either use a wifi enabled tablet or cellphone to access to the internet. This of course is not free, pretty expensive if you ask me.















The connection on board this aircraft was better than my previous. It didn't disconnect or slow down at any point, speed was fast just like using your wifi at home. If you are in need to use the internet access for work, this is no doubt very useful for you. I only wish that the airline would consider lowering the price of it. Maybe it might happen once more airlines introduce a similar system to Emirates.

Anyway, do take note that wifi on board the A380 applies on routes that are allowed to use this function. Don't be surprised if the airline announced that the wifi would be deactivated while flying across certain locations.

Don't close the main page, as you can monitor how much MB you used so far throughout the flight. You have options to allow either the connection to continue after using up your selected plan or discontinue once you used up. I think this is a good option especially to those who are price conscious!

Overall, I feel this is a great offering from the airline and another way to making revenue. Well, its just the beginning of wifi in flight. There will certainly be more airlines offering wifi online and of course Emirates will install them on the Boeing 777s and the newer aircraft in the near future. As for now, none of the Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-300ERs has wifi installed.

Inflight service

The service on this flight impressed me. The crew were smiling throughout the flight and even went all the way just to make you feel comfortable! Crew were seen regularly walking around and serving drinks throughout the flight. One of them even offered me a nice chocolate and didn't forget my request to visit the cockpit after the flight! This may be small details, but its good service like this that will definitely make passengers want to fly with the airline again. This particular crew, Ingrid was very kind and professional as she had not only gotten me a cockpit visit, she showed me around the business and first class areas. Thumbs up to her and also to her fellow crews for not rejecting my presence when I was at the First and Business class cabins. This flight has to be the best among all! Even the friendly first officer took some free time and answered some of my technical questions. The flight and cabin crew all agreed one thing, they prefer working on the A380 than any other aircraft in the fleet, different from SQ's crews I feel.Anyway I didn't stay long after, didn't want to impose on the crews. A big thanks to everyone on board this flight!

Some window shots

















The flight went pass too fast for my liking. 


A quick tour around the A380.(A big thank you to the crew on board EK002, A6-EDR 7th July flight)










This time, didn't too many photos since I had taken a good number from my last A380 trip report on Emirates. Nevertheless, it was a great experience to be able to experience it myself this time round! I got to try on the first class seats one day, it feels absolutely comfortable. I think even on a 7 hr flight, its not enough to enjoy it throughly!

Conclusion

This excellent flight experience is certainly one of my best among all the flights taken so far. The A380 is an excellent aircraft for long haul routes, its an aircraft loved by many of us and no doubt this is one of the reasons why passengers choose on this flight and possibily the airline as well. Entertainment system which is an updated version over the Boeing 777s is the best among all the airlines. Its has everything that one needs to keep him or herself occupied for the duration of the flight. Is it worth spending just for the A380? My answer is yes!

My Rating


Service: 10/10
Punctuality: 9/10 (Despite being late, we managed to land slightly earlier.)
Inflight entertainment: 9/10
Seat comfort: 8/10
Condition of aircraft: 10/10
Meals including snack: 6/10
Wifi connection: 9/10

My rating: A


Transit in Dubai




Peak period for Emirates Airlines.



Free wifi

The connection of wifi is good only at certain spots of the terminal 3. This is something Dubai Airport should work on and that is to improve the connectivity of the wifi. Well, at least its free.

Leg 2

I still hoping that my aircraft would change back to Boeing 777-200LR as its a harder type to catch, but when I check-in the day before, it was comfirmed the Boeing 777-300ER, that's not too bad. Perhaps I could get on board one of the newer 77Ws!

Anyway, I went to the gate 214 at about 215am. There was a huge group of Singaporean students, I wondered where did they fly from. Anyway, boarding started on time and we boarded the aircraft about 30 minutes before departure. The amazing thing is even with this time frame, we departed late due to some late arrival of cargo.


Boarding gate



My ride: A6-EGD



Carrier: Emirates
Flight number: 354
Date: 8th June 2012
Routing: DXB-SIN
Seat number: 18A
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-300ER
Engine type: 2X GE90-115B
My 9th ride on this aircraft type and the 6th airline to have flown on.
1st time on A6-EGD
Line number: 946
Plane delivered: 18th July 2011
Configuration: F8C42Y31
Registration: A6-EGD
Flight duration: 6 hrs 57 mins
Schedule departure time: 0325
Actual departure time: 0357
Schedule arrival time: 1425
Actual arrival time: 1505
FL: 330
Load factor for Y class: 80%
Departure gate: 214
Arrival gate: C23
Departure runway: 30R
Arrival runway: 20R

On this flight, I was lucky once again to have the middle seat empty, more legroom space for my aisle seat companion and myself. I decided to choose 18A the front row as its quieter and probably able to catch some sleep as well. Anyway, pushed back was later than expected and we had a long taxi to runway 30R for departure. The weather was good and so is the take off! The take off on board the GE powered 777 always never fail to impress me.




         Windowless seat! Arghhhh! An aviation enthusiast's biggest nightmare!



One more thing I must add! When I boarded this particular flight, I was actually greeted by my surname and a nice welcome back on board from this beautiful crew. Its just amazing really!



Cabin photos of EK's 77W



The cabin ambience is the same as EK's A380, only thing is the latter's cabin is wider and more spacious, cabin noise is also quieter.


Take off in Dubai and landing in Singapore.











Runway 20R was used.




Once again, Emirates has brought me safely. It was a sad moment when the aircraft touched down, but one thing for sure, many more exciting flights for me in the near future!

Inflight meals

Forgot to take the photo of the menu, but here are the choices.

For Savoury Snack, there was no choice.

It was Cajun chicken consist of wholemeal panini bread roll filled with Cajun flavoured Chicke and creamy egg mayonnaise, lemon streusel muffin and a cup of Apple Juice for myself.


The sandwich tasted nice even through it was a bit hard and cold for my liking. I would give this 6/10 for my rating.


For my breakfast, I had 2 choices:

Creamy mushroom omelette with a veal sausage,sauteed ddfresh spinach tossed in a bechamel sauce and golden potato slices

OR

Vegetable fried rice
stir-fried with vegetables and eggs, served with marinated spicy chicken.

Both meals served with croissant that comes with butter and preserve.

I chose Apple juice as my beverage.

As for the meal, there was only 1 choice for me and that is the omelette.



Didn't find it nice to be honest, but I gobbled it up as I was amazingly hungry at that point! I would give it a rating of 5/10.

In-flight service

Crews were professional and smiles on their faces, but not as warmth as my previous flight. This time round, I didn't ask for a cockpit visit as I was feeling very tired at this point. However, I enjoyed the flight thoroughly.


Difference between the PTV system of the B777 and A380



About the IFE system, both Panasonic systems are of the same size with resistive touchscreen. Only difference is the software, the updated version is a lot more user-friendly.

Emirates have plans to upgrade the PTV Systems to the ones A380 is using.

GP7200 vs RR Trent 900 engines

My vote goes to GP7200, its quieter, more powerful engine and better reliability than its rivals.

Conclusion

This flight may not be as glamorous as the previous but it still held the standard that leading airlines should maintain. The crews on Emirates in all my 4 flights had shown their competence and willingness to go out all the way to help the passenger at least in my eyes. Will I fly with Emirates again? Definitely, yes! I would also recommend this airline to anyone who is thinking of giving them a try. Personally for me, 2 flights of 7 hrs each is right for me. Being too long in an aircraft especially in tight legroom space may not be ideal at least to me.

My rating


Service: 8/10
Punctuality: 6/10 (Despite being late, we managed to land slightly earlier.)
Inflight entertainment: 8/10
Seat comfort: 7/10
Condition of aircraft: 10/10
Meals including snack: 6/10

Overall rating: B

Positive and negatives of my Emirates flight experience

Positives

- Excellent in-flight service and products
- Good legroom space on all aircraft
- Excellent in-flight entertainment system especially the updated version of ICE.
- Excellent network
- Competitive airfares
- Good frequent flyer program
- Well informed of any delays or aircraft equipment changes.
- Different varieties of in-flight meal
- User-friendly website

Negatives

-Uncomfortable 3-4-3 seating configuration on Y class, applies to only Boeing 777
-Not many airline partners
-Current Terminal 3 airport is too crowded. (Transit)

Thank you very much for reading my trip reports. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Click here for my previous trip with Emirates.

Best Regards,
Charles 

12 comments:

  1. Thanks Charles for this really informative report. I am about to book a flight and was debating between certain carriers from Dublin to Hong Kong; you have helped me make up my mind. Bit worried re WiFi prices-you used 1.3 mb in a few minutes; will have to curtain my tweeting @damianfog

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Damian, I am able to help. I suppose you have picked Emirates, great choice! If you need any more information, feel free to ask!

    Cheers
    Charles

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey does the Boeing 777-300 ER have wifi?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yaseen, not all Boeing 777-300ERs have wifi installed.

      Charles

      Delete
    2. im leaving 23rd december from cape town internatiol to dubai with, Boeing 777-300ER fligh :EK773

      Delete
  4. so does that particular plane have wifi??

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yaseen: Unlikely, but you can always ask the cabin crew when you are on board.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Everyone,

    Thanks Charles for the roundup. As Charles pointed out, A380 crew offered me free drinks throughout my travel. I just want to know whether Boeing 777-300ER do the same????

    Anybody has any idea about it?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Arun

    Emirates is a full service carrier, you get complimentary drinks on any flights with this airline.

    Charles

    ReplyDelete
  8. exelent report i really liked it

    ReplyDelete
  9. hi
    when comparing the seat comfort(leg space etc..) which one is better A380 or 777-300er?
    Have you ever travelled in qatar airways? if yes emirates or qatar which one is better?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jesvintj,

      The Airbus A380 is more spacious in width and legroom space depends on airline's configuration. Overall, I prefer the A380 for Economy Class travel.

      Yes, I have flown on Qatar Airways, only on Business Class though. Both airlines have very good cabin products and its a tough call between both airlines.

      Delete