Stephanie Holmes flies from Dubai to Barcelona onboard Emirates EK185.

The plane:


Class: Business Class


Check-in experience: This was a connecting flight, so I'd already checked in at Auckland, with my luggage checked all the way through to Barcelona.

The seat: 20A, a window Business Class pod withgreat privacy and good views. The fully lie-flat bed is incredibly comfortable, especially once fitted with the complimentary mattress.

Flight time: 6 hours 50 minutes. We pushed back from the gate about 10 minutes late due to busy air traffic control, and we were in the air about 20 minutes later.

Airport experience: It always amazes me how efficient Dubai airport is, with an average of more than 220,000 passengers passing through each day. I had a fast track pass from my previous flight, so could use the priority lane through security, which was quick and fuss-free. Bags were scanned but we didn't need to remove anything (laptops, liquids bags etc) first. My flight was from the same part of Terminal 3, the dedicated A380 terminal, so I just made my way straight to the lounge.

Fellow passengers: Surprisingly few Spanish travellers — most seemed to be from UAE and Asian countries. Plus a constantly screaming child.

Food and drink: A light continental breakfast after take off, then lunch served about three hours before landing. I chose the Arabic Mezze Platter, followed by chicken florentine.

The lounge bar was well stocked with snacks throughout the flight, and cabin crew expertly mixing drinks.

Entertainment: I got in the mood for my trip to Spain by watching The Trip to Spain, the third in the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel and food trilogy. The ICE system has more than 2500 titles (movies, TV shows, podcasts, music playlists and radio shows) to choose from. There was free Wi-Fi with a 20MB limit, for a two-hour period, but it was incredibly slow. You could pay US$9.99 for 150MB with an unlimited time period.


Service: Great. I was mostly looked after by Hazim, a charming man who enjoyed encouraging me to order more than I'd planned, like the full continental rather than the express breakfast, and a glass of champagne with my lunch rather than staying dry. The rest of the crew were immaculately presented.

Toilets: Clean and well-stocked.

Would I fly again? Without a hesitation.