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March 25, 2011

Review: Emirates A380 First Class Transarabia Dubai to Jeddah

Review: Emirates A380 First Class Transarabia Dubai to Jeddah

After leaving the excellent Emirates First Class Lounge. I arrived at the crowd scene.

A ground agent checked my passport but without finding the Saudi visa stamp. I showed him paper from IATA that there is no need visa to transit in Saudi Arabia provided you have a confirmed flight leaving the Kingdom within 18 hours. He was stunned that I am going to Mumbai via Jeddah....but let me pass through to board.

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Gate Area madness.

At the Podium area. Many Umrah passangers from Indonesia and all over the world is getting onboard. Saudia sent a B747-400 that day. All flights to Jeddah are FULL.

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3 jetways connect to the A380.

A6-EDF is the ship operating EK803 today. Total passenger onboard : 515 (includes 16 infants) out of 517 capacity.

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First and Business class passenger board via upper deck aerobridge.

Please see the second part of the trip report for the flight scene to Jeddah.

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Dubai to Jeddah EK803 A6-EDF A380-861 2 hr 35mins

Arrived at my suite seat 1K.

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A overview of the Suite from the front area on upper deck.

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No Alcohol is offered on flights to/from Saudi Arabia. A premium Appletiser is offered instead.

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Overhead, fisheye view of the luxury suite.

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The A380 onboard Spa. Note a TV screen at your disposal while in the spa 🙂

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The A380 onboard Spa.

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Overview of the First Class cabin. The Saudi lady put her facecloth on while I was taking photos.

First Class, as expected is COMPLETELY full. Lot of Pilgrims (wealthy ones) sit there with Saudi family occupying the middle suites.

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First Class leading FA, Ms Soo from South Korea offering welcome Arabic Coffee.

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First Class leading FA, Ms Soo from South Korea offering welcome Arabic Coffee.

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Looks like angel/eagle with wings? It is the stairway leading to upper deck! Our flight is delayed due to missing passenger so I further explore around while on the ground.

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The front area of main deck. It is so wide like a spaceship!

Interesting many passenger knock on pilot's door mistaken as bathroom. 🙂

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At 16:45 all doors closed and we're pushed back and ready to go.

Flight time to Jeddah is 2hr 30mins with Capt Warren Coles in charge.

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Within 10 minutes of taxiing, we are about onto the threshold of Dubai Runway 30R to takeoff.

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A long roll with shallow climb over Deira, with views of Sharjah in the background.

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Over Corniche of Deira and some reclaimed island area....

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Still very low......climb !!!!

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After the seat belt sign turned off. I waste no time to have a shower on board.

The Spa attendant told me Emirates have increased the water volume to 10 minutes per shower from previous only 5 minutes.

I believe I was the only pasenger interested to have shower on that flight. With too many busy praying and prepare for the Umrah.

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The gauge showing water level remaining.

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There is a bench in the shower, in case of turbulence you should sit down and hold on to the bar.

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After the refreshing experience, a "Snack" is offered. Lobster Medallion. Notice flight to JED is still using the old tableware.

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First Course: Lobster Medallion

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Overview shot of Suite 1K dining scene.

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Overview shot of Suite 1K dining scene.

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Main course is Beef Fillet. A little too tough (overcooked) to my liking. The vegetable are excellent!

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We fly past capital Riyadh on our way to Jeddah with 1 hr 12 mins to go.

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An delicious Elder Jelly as dessert with the usual tea offering to conclude the meal service.

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Lovely Elderberry jelly.

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We took a little detour over Bahrain, Riyadh then direct to Jeddah instead of a straight line according to the inflight map.

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After meal service, I got a great opportunity to take photo with the lovely EK crew. The purser Garrett Smith is a fan of Airliners.net and have seen my photos previously.

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With Soo and Olivia.

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Before arrival, there are still some private moment of rest.

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I went fully horizontal and have 10 minutes of peace and sleep inside my private suite.

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The sun is setting while we on approach.

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On approach to Jeddah with 25 minutes to land. The Red Sea separating Arabia and Africa with Egypt and Sudan on other side.

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Over suberbs of Jeddah.

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At 6:25pm we landed on Rwy 34L of Jeddah and taxiing to our remote parking stand.

Note the giant "Tent" look like Hajj terminal in front of us. All cabin crew at their station ready for 515 passenger to dis-embark.

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Private Business aviation scene at Jeddah.

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I was invited to the cockpit during the dis-embark. Sat there for about 15 minutes and one of the pilot C Chetcuti was the younger brother of Ian Chetcuti who flown me to Hong Kong on Inaugural flight EK384 on Oct 1, 2010.

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After saying goodbye to the crew. I was the last passenger to leave the A380 with stairs, under the glorious sunset/dusk

Surprisingly no Saudi security at presence so there were no issues at all taking photos. For a while, I feel I absolutely own the apron in Jedsah....

Loads of Saudi Arabian 747, A330 all parked on remote, what a place! Jeddah in my book, is the most interesting airprot to spot!

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Very friendly Capt C Chetcuti wave back to me after being the last passenger to disembark.

What a feeling to arrive in Jeddah!

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Glorious sight of A380 docking with stairs on ramp.

It is quite a long stairway to the door of A380 since the A380 is quite tall.

Perfect arrival weather 24 degrees with breeze.

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I was the last and alone passenger on bus back to the terminal.....the Emirates A380 is in the background fading away.

A great momentum gathers inside myself, that I know I am on a great roll.....

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After being bus'ed back to the North Terminal (non-Saudi Airlines) ...it is chaotic scenes everywhere. Lot of people queueing up. Thankfully I made my way to the unmarked transit counter within minutes and ready to get to "other side" (departure side) of the single storey terminal for my next flight on Air India leaving Jeddah.

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Comments

  1. T khan

    Hi. I have been reading your blog since a few days. I fail to understand the motive of you flying such extensively. Is it just for the flying experience or you doing some search for airlines, Boeing, dreamlikers . You traveled this one time transit flight from dubai to jeddah, only to travel back from jeddah to India on AirIndia flight (I’m hoping you have had a bad experience with this flight, like me)
    You could have simply gone from dubai to India. That would have saved so much of your time and money.
    I’m amazed

    Thanks for your patience
    Looking forward to a reply.
    T.Khan.

    • Sam Chui

      I prefer the long way round to make it more interesting!

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