Emi­rates A380 busi­ness class

FLIGHT

Business Traveller (India) - - CONTENTS -

BACK­GROUND On July 22, 2014, Emi­rates de­ployed its A380 on the daily ser­vice to Mumbai, re­plac­ing the B777. When the air­line launched its ser­vices in 1985 with just two air­craft, In­dia was the sec­ond coun­try to which it started fly­ing. Today, it serves nine In­dian cities with 172 flights, mak­ing In­dia its big­gest mar­ket for in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions.

BOARD­ING There was a sep­a­rate queue for busi­ness and first class pas­sen­gers. On en­ter­ing the up­per deck of the A380, I walked past two cab­ins — one for first and the other for busi­ness — be­fore ar­riv­ing at my seat in the third cabin. I was seated in the sec­ond last row.

THE SEAT The cabin is in a 1-2-1 con­fig­u­ra­tion (in a ‘C’ for­ma­tion) with front fac­ing seats. I was in the mid­dle seat and had the op­tion of pulling up the di­vid­ing screen. How­ever, I had a clear view of the per­son in the win­dow seat di­ag­o­nally be­side me.

The seat was well stocked with so­das, juices, wa­ter and an empty glass in a shelf to its right. The menu, head­phones, pil­low and blan­ket were on the seat be­fore my ar­rival. Mag­a­zines are in a pocket be­low the 23-inch screen. A tablet to con­trol ev­ery­thing from seat re­cline to light­ing and the IFE is locked into the side table be­side the shelf. It wasn’t very re­spon­sive and so I had to pull the re­mote from near the screen, which stretched far enough to hold com­fort­ably when the seat is re­clined at an an­gle. Once flat, the bed­side is roomy enough for a book, mo­bile phone and wa­ter bot­tle.

Be­low the screen, there is a hol­low for big­ger items like a stu”ed haver­sack. Tug­ging on a rib­bon on its floor lifts the flap to a large enough cav­ity to hold your shoes.

There is a read­ing light, dual USB port and a univer­sal socket too. Wifi isn’t avail­able on this leg be­cause In­dia’s Civil Avi­a­tion Min­istry hasn’t for­mally al­lowed in­flight in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity in In­dian skies. It wasn’t func­tional even af­ter we crossed In­dian skies.

I would sug­gest any of the last three rows of the mid­dle cabin be­cause there is no gal­ley between the two busi­ness class cab­ins

BEST SEAT Get a seat in the busi­ness class cabin that is just af­ter the first class cabin. The sec­ond busi­ness class cabin with four rows has the bar at its back that can get quite noisy. The only draw­back of choos­ing the mid­dle cabin is that if you’re in the first few amongst 15 rows, you need to walk all the way to the back of the air­craft for the toi­lets. I would sug­gest any of the last three rows of the mid­dle cabin be­cause there is no gal­ley between the two busi­ness class cab­ins and you’re not that far from the bar or toi­let. THE FLIGHT I was wel­comed with a choice of or­ange or ap­ple juice. The cabin crew handed out Fast Track im­mi­gra­tion cards to Plat­inum and Gold Sky­wards mem­bers and to first and busi­ness class pas­sen­gers. As it is a short flight, van­ity kits weren’t passed around. We were given hot tow­els to freshen up. The crew later came around ask­ing if we would like to be wo­ken up for break­fast. I de­cided to sleep through break­fast that in­cluded mut­ton curry with lentils, pa­neer and paratha; sautéed cracked wheat tossed in spices, ac­com­pa­nied with black chick­pea masala; and spinach and feta omelette. One could or­der a soda, juice, mock­tail, cock­tail, beer, wine or liqueur. I awoke in time for the co”ee ser­vice, which was about 45 min­utes be­fore land­ing.

AR­RIVAL We ar­rived on time, but due to air tra”ic, had to cir­cle around Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port for about 20-25 min­utes be­fore fi­nally touching down.

VER­DICT De­spite the bar be­ing too noisy for com­fort, over­all it was a smooth flight. Neha Gupta Kapoor

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