For 100,000 Alaska Airlines miles, you can book USA to Asia in Emirates First Class One-Way, with a stopover permitted. As part of our recent super-trip, we took advantage of this opportunity and got TWO flights aboard an Emirates A380 in First Class.
Dubai (ICN) – Bangkok (BKK)
Thursday, December 4
Duration: 6 hours 22 minutes
Aircraft: Airbus A380
- JFK-DXB in Emirates A380 First Class
- Video: Me showering on Emirates A380
- Dubai Emirates First Class Lounge
- New York JFK Emirates Lounge
- Video Overview of the Emirates A380 First Class Suite
After spending an awesome 5 days in Dubai with my cousin and his wife, we were off to relax in Khao Lak, Thailand, via Bangkok on another A380.
I was looking forward to our second time in Emirates A380 First Class. The first time I was like a kid in a candy shop. I couldn’t stop looking at everything. I had to try EVERYTHING. I had to push every button. This time around, I felt like I could just relax and enjoy, as it was now old hat to me.
We boarded our flight via the lounge, and we couldn’t help but notice that there weren’t any other passengers around us. I told Katy that maybe on a route like this we would be the only passengers in first class. Upon boarding, we found out that indeed we were!
My previous posts and video do a good job describing the cabin and suite so I’ll do my best to not beat a dead horse, but I really do find this to be something special. No detail seems to be left without purpose, and the cabin is exceptionally elegant.
Our flight attendants introduced themselves, and they asked us if this was our first time onboard. I explained that our first time was just five days earlier. I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned how much I love Emirates flight attendant uniforms, but I do absolutely adore them. I think the sash that hangs from the hat looks so classy, and it always makes my day when I see them walking through airports. I told the flight attendant that her uniform was beautiful, and I asked if we could take a picture with her, given that we were the only people up front! She of course obliged.
She really made our day when she went one step further and asked my wife if she would like to try on the uniform. SWEET!
It sure is a shame that Katy already has a great job because if I do say so myself, I think she would make a fantastic Emirates flight attendant! We conversed with the flight attendant for a while, and I could tell this was going to be a much more casual experience than the one we had from JFK to DXB. First of all, the flight is about half as long, and it’s a day time flight. Plus, we were the only people in the cabin, and we had already established a good rapport with our flight attendant. That meant, of course, that the Dom Perignon flowed like water… Our party in the sky was beginning.
I asked the flight attendant if I could later have a tour of the whole plane. She said absolutely. Spoiler alert: I drank too much Dom and got absorbed in a Bollywood film, followed by a videogame session. I never got that tour. My bad. But before we took off, I did explore the upper deck a bit. I never realized that the bar in the front of the cabin above the stairs is actually a flowing waterfall before takeoff.
Classy. And while the first class cabin always seems roomy, it feels even more spacious when there are only two passengers in there. I got a few more pictures on this flight that showcase some of the features of the individual suites. For example, the monitors for in-flight entertainment are huge!
It’s a 23” screen for watching movies, and I think putting my 15” MacBook Pro next to it accentuates how large it is. And going back to Emirates attention to detail, the flower holder that was home to a rose on our flight from the USA to Dubai was now adorned with an orchid, appropriate for our trip to Thailand.
I’m just such a huge fan of the look of the suite: the lamp, the huge monitor, the flower, the vanity, the writing kit, etc. It all comes together to make such a great package. I suppose one thing I don’t love is that there is no storage overhead or anywhere specific to put your bags except right in front of you. Now to be clear, there is a LOT of room. There’s enough room that you can put a suitcase and backpack on the floor and still have room to expand the seat into a bed. I just think that in such a beautiful suite, my luggage is an eyesore :-). They should find somewhere else for it to go!
And just like the previous flight, there was a basket of snacks for us to consume throughout the flight placed near the lamp.
I like the snack basket, and I put the snacks I didn’t eat into my bag to consume at a later point in our trip. I’m not going to waste my stomach space on candy bars when I know I have a top notch meal coming my way! Despite my comment earlier that we didn’t feel the need to play with all the knobs and buttons on this flight, we couldn’t resist. We had our wireless tablets with integrated seat controls out, and we started playing around immediately.
The wireless tablet is fun, and I could see it being a really awesome device for browsing the internet. Imagine if first class passengers could just grab their integrated tablets and check their e-mail, facebook, etc, without ever having to pay a fee. Instead, the detachable tablet is fun to play with, and it’s nice for changing seat position, but it could be way cooler.
Pretty soon we were ready to push back. I kicked my feet up and started browsing the leather bound menu. I won’t take up your screen real estate with all of the wine and menu options, but if you’re interested, here they are: wine page 1, wine page 2, wine page 3, wine page 4, wine page 5, menu page 1, menu page 2, menu page 3, menu page 4, menu page 5, and menu page 6. As soon as we were in the air, both Katy and I started watching movies and our private service began.
Dom Perignon, nuts, and a diet coke – there’s no better in-flight starter. Our flight attendants also brought out some olives and cheese.
Soon after we were done snacking, our tables were set, and meal service was officially in action. I absolutely love how Emirates sets the table in first class. It’s such a complete, beautiful setting. The flight attendant precisely places every item in front of you. I also love the bread basket. The bread is warm, and there’s five or more different types of bread in the basket to accompany the meal.
For our appetizers, we both started with the caviar. Our flight attendant told use we should be free to try as many things as we like, since we were the only two in the cabin.
After the delicious caviar, I had another shrimp appetizer, and Katy had the almond and artichoke soup. My shrimp was good, but nothing remarkable. Katy, on the other hand, absolutely loved her soup.
I think a common choice on Emirates for an appetizer is the traditional Arabic mezze. After five days in Dubai, eating hummus and Arabic breads daily, we weren’t needing any additional servings. For my main course, I was ready for some curry. I got the nyonya chicken curry with jasmine rice. Katy, the rice lover, went with the seafood machbous, a rice based dish. We both enjoyed our main courses.
On the first flight, Katy blew it. She was “too full” for dessert. Her loss! She didn’t make the same mistake twice. On this flight, I went with the chocolate mousse cake. Katy got the banana and lychee pudding with cinnamon ice cream. While I think I usually pick the better food items, she won when it came to dessert
Don’t get me wrong. Mine was AWESOME. It totally made the meal. It’s just that hers was even better… It was basically a warm bread pudding, and the cinnamon ice cream was a delicious accompanyment.
And while I don’t ever consider a 3,000 mile flight to to be short, it sure seemed short compared to our nearly 7,000 mile flight from JFK to DXB earlier that week. Before we knew it, the flight was starting to wrap up. We weren’t going to let the flight wrap up without utilizing that onboard shower one last time, though! I won’t re-describe the shower experience here, but check my previous post and shower video for a full description of the experience. As I was walking to the shower, though, I did note that the flight attendants had fully put together the first class bar, even though there were only two of us onboard.
This bar is just above the staircase and near the two shower spa suites. This grab and go area is not to be confused with their large on-board business class bar, which is in the back of the upper deck. As there are two shower spa suites, we were each able to use one simultaneously. We came back refreshed!
Our flight attendants left us some fruit as a post-shower snack.
As we started our approach to Bangkok, I felt very content and relaxed. I had always wanted to fly Emirates A380 First Class. It was an aspiration of mine. We finally did it… Twice… in one week, for 200,000 Alaska Airlines miles. Next on our stop: The JW Marriott Khao Lak.