EMIRATES A380 AT DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BEFORE OUR FLIGHT
On my return to New York, I flew once more on the A380 from the Emirates hub in Dubai. Although I have a choice of flying on an earlier Emirates flight, I chose the flight with the A380 for the sake of experiencing it again. After all, there are only 3 airlines currently operating this behemoth.
Transit - I flew from New Delhi to Dubai on a Boeing 777 in just 3 hours and braced myself for 8 hours of layover in Terminal 3, the longest I've had anywhere. Thankfully, connecting passengers bound for North America have access to Marhaba Lounge. Here, weary travelers are afforded generous seating areas, PCs with Internet access, a bar and a self-service food station that has better choices than other business lounges. Several Pinoys work here, one of whom personally helped me find an adaptor for my laptop. Since the lounge is quieter, I managed to catch some sleep and had light breakfast before stepping out for my flight at 8:30 AM. Even early in the morning, the Duty Free shops are abuzz with passengers and I grabbed some boxes of dates to bring home.
Boarding - As is customary with all US-bound flights, there's a final passport check before entering the departure gate. At 7:30 AM, we were on our way down one of the 3 airbridges connected to the aircraft one of which goes directly to the 2nd deck where First and Business Class cabins are.
The Seat - I had reserved a bulkhead window seat when I bought my ticket online. It's right at the front row of the main cabin which has a 3-4-3 seating configuration. Since the flight isn't full and the seat next to me is unoccupied, it felt more spacious than it already is. Amenity kits comprising of eyeshades, toothbrush, toothpaste and socks were on the seats. My 10-inch personal TV equipped with AVOD (audio-video-on-demand) is accessible from the armrest along with the meal tray. There's also a power port for laptops.
The Flight - We were pushed out on time for the 13-hour flight to New York. Flight attendants distributed hot towels, a rare treat these days. They then offered drinks which was shortly followed by 2 choices of a full breakfast. Since this is a day flight, I spent much of the time watching movies (with a bewildering number to choose from!). Snacks were served mid-flight and again, there were 2 choices. Two hours before arrival, lunch was served and I had a delectable Lamb Korma. Hot towels were offered again just before touchdown.
The Arrival - New York was blanketed under heavy clouds as we landed on time with quite a thump (a really heavy plane huh!). We taxied for a short time to Terminal 4. After clearing immigration, my solitary convertible backpack emerged on the carousel and I'm out of the terminal and into an Airtrain that will bring me back to Queens.
Having enrolled in the Emirates' Skywards program prior to my trip and booking my tickets online through their website gave me quite a hefty bonus on my miles. Traveling roundtrip on economy class from JFK-DEL entitled me to 16,382 miles but after adding the the ongoing Emirates promotion made it to a whopping 28,580 miles - enough for a flight on a partner airline within continental US!