Review: Emirates First Class B777-300 Bangkok to Hong Kong
16 June 2009
Bangkok to Hong Kong
Emirates has a very orderly check-in area in Bangkok Survanabhumi Int'l. The First Class check-in lady checked all my bags to Sydney via Hong Kong and Taipei (With China Airlines) in spite Emirates flies direct from Bangkok to Sydney. She told me that since I flies too often, she won't be bother to explain the baggage restriction rule and asked whether I pack my own bags.
Despite I've been to Bangkok a dozen times since the new airport have opened, I never liked the airport and its bare concrete design and its signage. I am still used to do the good old Don Muang. Emirates Lounge is located one floor under departure area in Concourse D.
Good Garden view seating area
Now, beware of the ample amount of food offering in this lounge!
There were much more offering than Sydney or Hong Kong's Emirates Lounge. However, they don't taste that great and not that appealing either. It must have been an overkill since I wasn't that hungry.
EK384 called for boarding about 25 minutes prior to STD. The Boarding gate was D6 , A/C operating is a B777-300, A6-EMV which featured refurbished First and Business Class, although no First Suites.
I was among the last few passengers to board the plane and once step in the cabin door, what a mess, First Class was mostly occupied and duvet/mattress placed everywhere, my pre-assigned seat 2A was taken by a middle Eastern woman and she was sleeping in full recline position since the flight came from Dubai overnight. The crew just didn't react or offer any apology about my taken seat, so I helped myself and took seat 1A instead. The small incident reminded me that a year ago I was flying from Hong Kong to Dubai via Bangkok in Economy, how the Emirates purser came around to make sure everyone stayed in their own seats while transiting onboard in Bangkok. Why they can't be making sure First Class passenger to do the same. Anyway, just the standard has not been applied evenly. It seems a large Saudi family was travelling with me today in First (10 out of 12 seats occupied, 3 children among them)
No Arabic Coffee/Dates were offered to joining passenger from Bangkok. We pushed back on time under the command of Captain Joe Pack from Germany and First Officer Praetsegaard from Denmark. Tookoff at 1355 local time from Runway 19L bound for Hong Kong with flying time 2hrs 35 minutes.
Welcome Drink and Nuts. I asked an extra glass with Ice, to serve myself in the bar.
Inflight meal started quickly with Duck Breast as starter.
The FA took this photo of the dining cart offering.
FA Atusko and Farzah serving First Class meals
The flavor was unusually too strong in the Stir Fried Beef and all vegetable, so as the Samosa. It wasn't good as usual from Bangkok catering.
Rest of the flight was eventless, the purser never came around to check on her First Class passengers but stayed in the galley chatting. After this flight, I feel the service level of Emirates has been stretched a bit when First Class is filled. I have only previously flown in mostly empty cabin. This particular flight service left a lot to be desired. There were no topping up offers, no smiles, basically you just seat there and watch the PTV by yourself.
We arrived in Hong Kong on-time, with a Easterly approach on Runway 07L and a short taxi to Gate 66. A large amount of Immigration officers stood at the gate to meet the passenger. This also happened to my previous Emirates Hong Kong Arrival flight. I think the Immigration/Custom officer is targeting African/Middle Eastern passengers going to mainland China.
After thoughts: There were a lot of contrasts on the two different First Class flights. On a whole, Emirates offer great in flight amenities, generous in-flight meal, new airplane with advance seating and state of the art PTV Entertainment System (ICE). From my observation, Emirates crew tend to dealt with more demanding and challenging passenger from vast origins that Emirates flies to. It is the attitude of cabin crew to make the flight extra pleasurable and sometimes memorable.
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