Flight check: Auckland to Dubai on Emirates

By Graham Reid

Graham Reid flies EK407 from NZ to the UAE ... with a stopover in Aus.

Emirates can boast 2200 channels of the stuff from comedy and worthy radio to recent blockbusters.
Emirates can boast 2200 channels of the stuff from comedy and worthy radio to recent blockbusters.

The plane: An impressive-looking Airbus A380-800.

Class: Economy of course. (I hear there is another?)

Price: Total for return trip to Scandinavia (into Stockholm, out of Copenhagen), because I always intended coming back, was $2400.

Flight time: Very long, because of a stop-over in Melbourne. All up from getting on board to getting off at Dubai must have been about 19 hours. It felt longer.

My seat: 54J, the uncomfortable and somewhat hard middle seat of three. Tried for an aisle or window on each leg but no luck. A cramped experience, which I'd be loath to repeat.

Fellow passengers: A cross-section of antipodean faces and ages going to Melbourne, seemed mostly Australian, going to Dubai thereafter.

How full: Absolutely chocka.

Entertainment: For sure. Emirates can boast 2200 channels of the stuff from comedy and worthy radio to recent blockbusters. Not for me for the first 45 minutes to Melbourne though, because I didn't have a headset and the crew were so busy getting meals ready and distributed, my request for one was overlooked. Forgivable. After that it was fine, with excellent movie choices.

(And when I got off in Melbourne the guy next to me made a "duh" noise ... because he had two headsets.)

The service: Efficient and pleasant, and no time for them to slacken up.

Food and drink: Very good. The beef stew with carrots, beans and mash on the way to Melbourne was superb. As was the lamb biryani on the way to Dubai. Can I have some more please?

The toilets: Clean and compact, of course.

Luggage: A 17kg bag in the hold, small carry-on in the locker above. Notable that very few people carried huge bags on board; maybe that message is getting through.

The airport experience: Auckland was efficient but at Melbourne it took a while to get through to the transit lounge — bags checked again? — and some people with kids were understandably getting scratchy.

Would I fly this again? I have family at the furthest point from Auckland on the planet so I have to, but Emirates make it as comfortable as could reasonably be expected. I'll make sure I get an aisle seat next time, though. If there's that mysterious other class up the pointy end of the plane I'd like to give that a go, however.

This was so arduous I fell asleep in Dubai airport and missed my onward connection to Stockholm. So that's a "duh" from me too.

- NZ Herald

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