Thomas Bywater flies from Dubai to Edinburgh aboard Emirates flight EK23.

The plane:

Boeing 777-300.

Class: Business.


Price: Auckland to Edinburgh in Business Class starts from $7809.

Flight time: We touched down 45 minutes early, from what should have been an eight and a half hour flight.

My seat: 10F, aisle. However, being on the right hand side of the plane, I was treated to a profile view of the three bridges on the Forth. One of the most dramatic entries to Britain I've ever had.

Fellow passengers: The privacy panels don't give you much opportunity for chat with other travellers. They seemed a nice enough bunch.

How full: As a tin of over-privileged sardines with fully reclining seats, privacy panels and a minibar.

Entertainment: Much unmemorable TV was watched on this flight. However one of the more poignant moments was in the Robin Williams documentary Come into My Mind, showing the comic as a student traipsing around the Edinburgh Festival.

Champagne? That'll do nicely. Photo / Thomas Bywater
Champagne? That'll do nicely. Photo / Thomas Bywater

Food and drink:

Well presented, filling and with plenty of choice. Emirates food is exceptional. I particularly enjoyed the halal breakfast of gravad lax, scrambled eggs and chicken sausages; however I would have swapped it in a heartbeat for a full Scottish breakfast of black pudding and bacon.


The toilets: Spacious, well-lit and fragrant throughout.

I didn't have much time for cleaning up at the other side and was landing right into a meeting. Fortunately Business Class passengers are given complimentary miniature toiletries.

The soap and deodorant were welcome. The shaving set however, was a folly. As it turns out the dry, pressurised cabin air makes it almost impossible to use shaving foam effectively and I was left to slink back behind my privacy panel looking like I'd had a close encounter with Freddy Krueger.

The airport experience: Dubai airport is the entire Emirate in microcosm — a large, air-conditioned glass building in the desert, full of transient expats.

The bottomline: An ideal new connection to bypass Glasgow or Manchester and deliver you straight to the heart of Auld Reekie.