Emirates EK 215
Dubai – Los Angeles
First Class (Seat 4K)
Airbus A380 (New Suite)
8:20 AM – 12:30 PM
15 Hours & 45 Minutes
After what seemed like an hour of waiting at the gate, boarding for my flight finally commenced. The gate agent started off by welcoming all Business and First Class passengers to board at which time, a frenzy of people rushed towards the tiny entrance. I was lucky in the sense that I was conveniently standing right in front of the entrance.
The boarding process took a few minutes and when showing my boarding pass, I was immediately shown to my seat for the flight. I was unaware that this A380 was brand new until the purser Akshita came and welcomed me aboard. She took my order for a drink and then started to tend to other passengers. Today’s flight was 8 of 14 with mostly couples traveling. I was also told that Wi-Fi was available for a limited time.
When it comes to looking around for new features of this flight, I automatically noticed that the in-seat tablet was updated. Unlike the old tablet that had a mouse button on it, this tablet looked more modern and was 100 times faster in terms of response and controls. The TV was also updated to HD from the previous non-HD LCD model. Although the size was the same, I could definitely tell a difference from the previous A380.
The suite itself was updated to make it a little more easy for the passenger to open/close the suite doors. It now had a dedicated button instead of using the tablet to open/close. The minibar was also updated with LED lighting and extra space to allow more more drinks to be put in.
Another difference was the First Class bar. When not in use, the bar turned into a full waterfall. It was beautiful and added a very nice touch to the planes decor.
Our scheduled departure time was 8:20AM but I knew we wouldn’t make that as boarding started at 8:05AM. Around 9AM, the captain came on air to inform us that we were waiting for a few connecting passengers from other flights. Finally, around 9:30, we pushed back from the gate and started heading to our take-off slot. Take-off was at 10:05 AM and within 10 minutes of it, the captain turned off the seat belt sign. At the same time, he came on-air to let us know that the flight time was going to be 15 hours and 45 minutes, which makes this flight the longest in Emirates fleet and the third longest in the world! Our total distance to be covered was 8,600 miles and would take us directly over the North Pole.
Akshita came around again and handed me my amenity kit and pajama set. She also brought over a ginger ale to top up my glass. We chatted for a while and she informed me that this particular A380 had only flown 80 flights before and was specially configured just for this route. It turns out that the normal A380 can only fly 8,500 miles while this A380 and 2 others ordered for this route were configured to fly 800-1000 more miles. It was really interesting to hear and made it all the more awesome that I was flying on one of the worlds top ten longest routes.
Menus were also soon distributed and they featured 2 full meals with a dine on demand feature and light bite snacks in between. At this time, I was also asked to schedule a shower and was fully determined not to miss this opportunity like I had on my last flight. I asked to be woken up no matter what around 4 hours before landing.
I made my choices but throughout the flight, I think I only had one meal as the light bite Chicken Curry was like an extra meal.
As I stated before, Wi-Fi was available for 6-7 hours of this flight as we traversed through Europe to the North Pole. As soon as we left European airspace, the internet was off for the rest of the flight. I decided to watch a movie or two throughout the entire flight but even though there were literally 300 options, I couldn’t find something to watch. Instead, I headed to the back of the plane so that I could talk to some people. I managed to meet up with a friend I made on my last flight who was going to Los Angeles as well. We ended up speaking to the bar attendant and other passengers for a whopping 4 hours! Afterwards, I decided that it was time to take a nap before I would be woken up for the shower.
Fast forward a couple hours and I woke up on my own to find that we still had close to 7 hours left. I didn’t know whether to be frustrated or happy because as much as I loved the suites, 15 hours of sitting in a room alone is kind of weird. I couldn’t sleep anymore so I decided to go and chat with Akshita and her co-worker Helga. They were both great to talk to and gave me more of an insight of what it’s like to work with Emirates and when they’ll be back in Los Angeles.
Three hours passed by after talking to the purser and it was finally time to get into the famous shower spa. Each A380 has 2 shower spas in the front of the plane. The shower’s both come with 2 dedicated shower attendants and is only available to First Class Passengers. In addition, the spas both have a time limit of 25 minutes of use and 5 minutes of shower time. I have to say that the water was really warm and the floor was also heated. I expected it to be colder but it was truly the perfect temperature. The 5 minutes passed by very quickly and I saw myself constantly watching the gauge to make sure I didn’t run out of water mid-shampoo.
When my shower was completed, I returned to my seat to see a ginger ale and some snacks waiting for me. I decided to eat some snacks from the snack box and also try to find something else to watch. In the end, I just fell asleep till about 30 minutes before landing.
We did eventually land about 20 minutes late into the new Tom Bradley Terminal. Within 2 minutes, I was out of the plane and into the baggage claim area due to my Global Entry status. Waiting outside was the pre-scheduled chauffeur that Emirates provides for all Business and First Class passengers.
Overall, this flight was extremely fun and the crew was amazing. They made sure that my glass was never empty and also had a really fun charm to them. It’s always nice to know that a crew member isn’t faking a conversation because they have to. I know that they had a lot more people to tend to but they sincerely took their time to talk to me throughout the flight. I would go as far as saying that this crew was one of the most genuine and happy crews i’ve seen. It really showed that they loved where they worked and were proud to be part of Emirates.
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