It was recently my 40th Birthday and I decided to treat myself to a flight as a present to myself. Flying always makes me happy and there’s no better way to celebrate than flying on an Emirates A380 in First Class.
Video of My Emirates A380 Flight
I started my journey at Dubai Airport and met my friend Gerome Gardiner, who presented me with 2 special Emirates paintings as my birthday gift. I brought them on-board with me to show the crew and to have them signed.
At Check in, I registered for Emirates Biometric Path; meaning that I no longer needed to show my passport or my boarding pass to enter the lounge or board the flight. It was that easy. For more details, see this post.
Emirates First Class Area in Business Lounge
The Emirates Business Class lounge has been re-opened with all the latest food and beverage offerings. There is a dedicated First Class area inside the Business Class lounge, with table dining service and a champagne bar.
There are table service that a waiter/waitress brings all the food and drinks to your table. For more details of Emirates First and Business Lounges, click here.
The Timeless Spa and shoe shine service is also open now. First Class passengers are entitled to 15 minutes of free spa treatment.
On-Board Emirates A380
Dubai Int'l (DXB) was considerably busier than it has been for the last few months. Traffic has now reached around 50% of that of pre-COVID levels, around 500-550 movements per day. A single runway is being used at the moment, until 2nd December.
My flight was operated by A6-EUV, Emirates 100th A380!
On my Emirates A380 flight to Cairo, all the usual services in First Class had been returned to their normal standards. This included the First Class shower and spa, the table dining service and the A380 on-board lounge.
Table Dining Service
Passengers were asked whether they wished to be served with a cover on or off when they received their order.
The A380 On-Board Lounge and Shower Spa Returns
The Emirates A380 on-board lounge has now re-opened, with up to 4 passengers being allowed in at any one time. If the area exceeds 4 passengers, then passengers can order their drinks and take them to their seat. Judging from my trip the lounge is as popular space as ever, even on this short flight to Cairo. Watch video here.
The shower and spa has also now re-opened, for flights over 2.5 hours. Everything has remained the same, except that the towels are now disposable.
The First Class bar area had a limited drinks and snacks set up, due to this being a short sector flight.
Surprise at the A380 On-Board Lounge
Before landing, there was a mega surprise awaiting me in the A380 on-board lounge. The crew had decorated the lounge and together we celebrated by 40th birthday on-board.
At the end of my flight, I felt extremely special and privileged to be able to celebrate my birthday on-board. It has been a difficult year for everyone in aviation and especially for the A380 aircraft. I believe that COVID has made us really appreciate things more and perhaps we have learned not to take things for granted. I do firmly believe that aviation will eventually return to being the experience it once was, when the current challenge is over.
Back to Dubai - Arrival Formality
I did a quick turn-around at Cairo and flew straight back to Dubai. All First Class passengers are met at the gate and taken straight to formality clearing.
In my case, coming from Egypt (this also applies to selected other countries in Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Indian sub-continents), I was required to take a PCR test at arrival. This is now done just before entering the immigration process. There is a special priority area set up for First and Business passengers. For Economy Class, the PCR testing is conducted in a separate area in Concourse B when you arrive.
The whole process was smooth and took no longer than 5-10 minutes.
The painting given to me by Gerome was signed by all crew on my flight. It is now a permanent part of my collection and resides in my treasure case.