Last week for Xmas holidays I went with my family to Dubai by Emirates. These are challenging times for everyone, so only Economy class travel! I have heard good feedback about Emirates in-flight service and flights. But I found both to be mediocre.
The Aircraft from Chennai to Dubai for EK545 route was a Boeing 777-200. The seating in Economy was 3-4-3 (chart from SeatGuru) which I felt was cramped, the aisle space narrowest I remember seeing in any international routes in recent years. The Asian/Indian Vegetarian I ordered was bland and without anything that needs to be mentioned. What saved the day was a decent In-Flight Entertainment with a touchscreen. Even this, it took me some time to get used too. When we have Tablets (iPads & Androids) that offer seamless touch experience, I fail to understand why the touch in Airlines’ In-flight entertainment always frustrates you!
Things I liked about the In-Flight Entertainment system:
1.Though it was Economy every seat had a 110V Power outlet where you can connect any of your chargers, every seat also had a USB port & a standard Ethernet RJ-45 Port.
2. Connecting any USB Storage including standard Thumb drives, launched the interface in the screen that allowed you to access Pictures/Music/Files stored in that. This I thought was cool. No need to plug in your iPods just for Music, but use the built-in system. After connecting my USB stick I was cursing myself on what I have done, what if my stick got any Virus infections from the system; fortunately, after landing & doing a Virus scan I didn’t find any.
3. Many Airlines have started to do this, even then I appreciate this. Giving you stickers to put up on your seat top to indicate your Mealtime preference/Do Not Disturb.
After landing in Dubai, I found the Dubai Airport to be quite pleasing. The Airport was modern, clean & effective, but not good enough to change my favourite Airport vote from Singapore Changi.
The immigration lines at Dubai Airport moved the slowest in my experience. It was indeed crowded but I have seen Airports in Singapore/Hong Kong clear the lines much faster. Luckily since we had kids with us, few of us were redirected to priority line at first & got our stamping in about 15 minutes against 45 minutes it took for rest of our group.