Emirates B777-300/ER First Class Auckland to Sydney
24 September 2006
ATD1630 ATA1745 3hrs15mins.
Takeoff Rwy 23L
Arrival Rwy 34L Wind 300/30knots
Seat 2K POB 4F 21J 310Y
Because of NZ school holiday have started, the check in area for Emirates is very crowded as 3 Emirates flights departing within 2 hours to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and continuing to Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai.
Auckland also has its own Emirates Lounge and it was slightly smaller than Sydney. It offers the usual amenity; include great shower room and food area. The décor selection reflects Emirates Corporate identity.
Boarding commenced about 20 minutes late, and indeed many people were queued up at the gate area, the crew standing at the door greeted me by my last name and pointed me to my seat. The picture below pretty much summed up my impression of the First Class cabin.
Cabin was spotlessly clean, as this plane was delivered only 3 months ago! I feel there was even more room than the A340-500 and the seat divider does a good job to keep the privacy, especially in the window seat you feel more private. Seat does go all the way to flat as it shows.
What it really impressed me is the meal service on this short 3 hour flight, a grand 7 course dinner!
Canapés, appetizer, salad/soup, entrée, fruit, dessert/cheese, tea and chocolate.
The meal presentation is excellent; you can have any mix of main course (Lamb, chicken, prawn or callinolli) with side dishes of mashed potato, rice and vegetables.
After the meal I explored the impressive ICE AVOD system, the screen was not touchable but controlled by the console. It was a bit slow in reacting but the loading of entertainment was very fast and impressive. One can watch the airshow/camera with your choice of music playing. I really enjoyed the Arabic beat music on channel 526.
Descend into Sydney was slightly bumpy with a strong NWterly cross wind at 30 knots, I can almost see our plane landing a bit sideway with a last minute corrections from the frontward camera.
After landing, I was allowed to go to cockpit and managed a 10 minutes chat with the friendly English captain and his Greek first officer. This resulted 300 people off the plane in front of me and a long congested immigration and custom control queue. My Limo driver was waiting patiently as it took 40 minutes for me to get out of the control area and took my baggage and in less than 25 minutes on a Silver BMW740I, I was home but the memory of this trip will last much longer than the journey itself.
Overall the short Trans Tasman trip over the weekend was very enjoyable with top notch service and amenity from Emirates.