Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Flight check: Auckland to Dubai on Emirates

Winston Aldworth flies EK407 to the United Arab Emirates, via Melbourne.

The best seats in Emirates business class are the window ones; hard up against the side of the plane, they give the passenger a little more space away from the aisle. Photo / Dean Purcell
The best seats in Emirates business class are the window ones; hard up against the side of the plane, they give the passenger a little more space away from the aisle. Photo / Dean Purcell

Aircraft: A380.

Class: Business.

How full: Barely one seat in 10 was full on the way to Melbourne. Then, after a one-hour stopover, every seat was taken.

Seat: 22D. The best seats in Emirates business class are the window ones; hard up against the side of the plane, they give the passenger a little more space away from the aisle. Regardless, their business class seats make tremendous beds.

On time: Didn't miss a beat.

Service: Always excellent, but there's a festive atmosphere among the staff flying from Auckland to Melbourne. It's their only gig for the day and there are hardly any passengers on board. One tells me several of them had a good night out (she also tells me which bar Emirates crew drink at when in Auckland - top secret).

Food and drink: I nailed two dinners and a breakfast on the haul - lamb chops, a chicken schnitzel sandwich and later some scrambled eggs. All were excellent. Drinks flow - champagne, single malts. Even the coffee is good. The bar down the end wasn't too busy.

Entertainment: Wireless internet on a plane - fantastic. It was, at times, a little slow, but being able to get online in the air is a massive help - you'll get a lot of work done or, as I did, tweet about how amazing it is to have inflight wi-fi.

The price - about $8.95 for laptop internet; $3.30 for a smartphone - seems reasonable too, but apparently many passengers expect it to be free. About half the respondents to a recent Global Mobile Workforce Report said they wouldn't bother paying for inflight wi-fi.

For more traditional inflight fare, there's a heap of movies, about a quarter of which seem to feature Bruce Willis turning up to pay a few bills. I finally got to see Django Unchained.

- NZ Herald

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