Today I witnessed an amazing marvel, and unbelievable accomplishment and honestly a masterpiece that I cannot deny. A work of art that I cannot wait to experience and boast about, the NEW EMIRATES A380!
My sister and I were fortunate to be invited to this VIP Event (thanks, Barry & Zeenat!) and witness the unveiling of Emirates flagship aircraft which will have daily service from Washington, D.C – Dulles (IAD) to Dubai. I have been a major advocate for Emirates with my own personal experiences, however with this new aircraft, I cannot wait to tell each and everyone of my clients that they must experience it firsthand.
Rob Gurney, Vice President of North America – Emirates & Chris Browne, Airport Manager of Washington, D.C. Dulles International Airport cut the inaugural cake for the new A380
Today, travel has been overshadowed by cheap fares, low cost airlines and online travel agencies which fail to provide the two things that this industry first began on – immaculate service and relaxing comfort. Often times, I am bombarded with questions about comparison shopping and add-on charges for overweight or extra baggage, but rarely asked which airlines provides the most comfortable experience. I cannot Fathom (look out for another post!, hint! hint!) being uncomfortable for 3 hours, let alone sitting shoulder to shoulder to someone for 14 hours or more without carefully weighing out my options (How many stopovers? Layover time? Which airport i will be connecting to?). All of these are questions that passengers should ask themselves before considering which airline to use for their travel. Price cannot be the only factor, but if it is – you always get what you pay for!
With that said, I introduce to you the Emirates A380. This newest addition to the Emirates fleet which is a wide body, double decker jet aircraft that is a masterpiece in the sky. Emirates has the most A380s in their fleet with 73 currently operating in cities such as New York, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now Washington, D.C. With a passenger capacity of 489 people ( 14 closed suites, 76 business class and 399 economy class) you can only imagine the size of this aircraft. Added with Emirates world renowned customer service, I cannot help by recommend this flight.
Since the A380 is a double deck aircraft, the lower deck comprises the Economy class with rows beginning form 43 – 88. The configuration is 3 – 4 -3 which means three seats on the left, 4 in the middle and three on the right. The Economy class is divided into 4 sections with rows 52 – 65 and rows 67 -79 being the largest and rows 43 – 51 and rows 80 -88 being the smallest (also the quietest). Regardless of your location, there is ample space and legroom at every seat and experience is almost the same. Seat dimensions is at an industry high at 18 inches with a seat pitch of 32 inches.
TIP #1: Best Seats
Want to get the premier seats? If possible try to get row 43 A/B/C, row 43 H/J/K, row 52 A/B/C and row 52 H/J/K. These seats are in the front of the sections and have no seats in front of them. Row 43 is the best option since it also has the second smallest section, which means more quiet and most likely cleaner bathrooms.
Window Seats with Legroom – Both of best worlds!! Try row 68A, 68K, 81A and 81K. These four seats are right in front of the exit rows and have no seats in front of them (shhhhh….. Travelwise secret!!!).
Need elbow room and leg space – Try Row 67 B/C, row 67 J/K, row 80 B/C or row 80 J/K. Since these rows are in front of the Exit Area they do not have a window seat beside them, and only have two seats. Tada!
TIP #2: Family Seats
For those who are traveling with their babies or children, then you can take advantage of
row 54 D/E/F/G, row 67 D/E/F/G and row 82 D/E/F/G (I would say this would be the best, because it is in a smaller section and less people, hence no so many people waiting for the bathroom). These seats have bassinet crib positions if you need to use them. Also did I mention the awesome Kid’s Program and Amenity Kits? Just ask one of our travel agents to request these kits beforehand, so they can have them ready for you when you board your plane.
As you find your way to the rear of the plane, you find a staircase that leads to the Upper
Deck and find my favorite part of the plane – the inflight Bar. This feature is not accessible to Economy class, and you will need to be in First or Business class. Fully stocked with wine, premium spirits and hors d’oeuvrs , imagine sipping on a drink while onboard headed to Dubai. Meet new friends, enjoy delectable canapes and socialize at 45,000 feet. A different way to view the the Mile High Club (pun, intended!).
Walk a few feet further and you arrive at the 76 Business Class seats which are probably like First Class seats on any other airlines. Configured in a 1 – 2 – 1 setup, each seat has an 18.5 inch width, 48 inch pitch and converts to a 79 inch flat lie down bed. In addition, each seat has access to an AC Adapter, 2 USB Plugs, an iPad and of course an Amenity kit which includes socks, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste and other toiletries.
If you are food buff – Emirates does a great job creating gourmet cuisines prepared with locally sourced ingredients from regions they travel to. Mix and match your meals with a carefully selected wine with favorites chosen by their sommelier.
Other amenities included in the price for flying Business Class include
- Complimentary Chauffeur drive to and from the airport
- Priority Check-in
- Dedicated lounge access
- On demand dining with wine service
- Mini bar at your seat
Now, I may never experience this extremely luxurious product, however if enough of you read this – hopefully Emirates will allow me to try it – ha ha! Anyways, if you find yourself in need of top notch service and full suite service- you can find it in either one of these 14 First Class Suites. I was highly impressed with the comfort and accessibility of snacks, drinks and of course the comfortable reclining seats. First class seats boasts a seat width of 23 inches and 86 inch seat pitch. Not as large as other airlines, but the one thing that I really loved, was the privacy. You can close the suite off and you can be completely secluded from other passengers. They even have a “Do Not Wake” Feature which lights up to inform the flight attendants to leave you alone.
Every First Class passenger receives an Amenity Kit to take with you, but Emirates has outdone themselves by partnering with Bvlgari. The comfort kits contains facial moisturizer enriched with vitamin E and made up of antioxidants and oils. Also included are a drawstring bag, a foldable hairbrush, deodorant, Bvlgari lotion and toiletries for men or women.
Although the seats to most would be the talk of the town, the most unexpected highlight of this tour was the bathroom. Yes, I said it the bathroom. The surreal experience is more like a Spa Service. The Spa Room as they call it is larger than my own bathroom and they have two onboard!
With rejuvenating products by Timeless Spas at your disposal you have a choice to “Relax” or “Revive”. These Shower Spas must be booked when onboard to avoid scheduling conflicts, however if there is an open slot, you may use them. They have two Spa Room attendants who are consistently cleaning and restocking the shower spas after each passenger. You are give 5 minutes of water when showering and the pressure is great considering you are on a plane. Even the floors beneath you are heated, crazy, right!
On the commercials, Jennifer Aniston claims she enjoys the Shower Spa Rooms and I now know why!
With the introduction of the new A380 to Washington, D.C, to say I was impressed would be an understatement. The magnificent aircraft will allow more passengers the ability to explore other destinations around the world and connect to via Dubai. With daily service from Dulles, clients of mine will be able to enjoy world-class comfort in any class of service in style and luxury. Beginning in March, Emirates will begin service to Cebu and Clark, Philippines while they continue to grow in the Manila market.
For anyone who have not been convinced, you can visit my sister’s virtual tour and see how impressive this aircraft really is. Click here to view.
Call our office for more information and to find your next flight on Emirates! (301) 248-8898 or www.travelwiseonline.com