As I started to mention in the last post, we were fortunate enough to have the points to fly Emirates First Class twice. From Singapore to Dubai and then from Dubai to Dallas.
We were most excited for our Dubai to Dallas flight because it also granted us full access to the Emirates First Class lounge.
Inside the lounge (which is on the entire 2nd level of the Emirates terminal), there are couches, TVs, a kids’ game room, a sleeping room, a full service restaurant and buffet, and even a spa that offers massages and other treatments.
The best part (to us), was the full service restaurant. With a full menu completely complimentary, you can simply order whatever strikes your interest, or eat straight from the buffet (or both!).
We chose to start with the menu items:
After a full day wandering around in the heat without any food or drink due to Ramadan, this meal was especially amazing. They couldn’t pour water fast enough for us 🙂
We then set up camp in a couple couches, but ended up moving into the sleeping room. We arrived in the lounge around 7pm (and our flight wasn’t until after midnight, though we didn’t plan to be in the lounge that long) so we had plenty of time to spare. We crashed in the sleeping room for a few hours and then woke up with about two hours left to enjoy a few pre-flight snacks and drinks.
My only complaint about the lounge was that it was pretty hard for me (Courtney) to get service. Paul was waited on hand and foot, but most of my orders had to go through him. I’ve chalked it up to the culture over there, but was a little annoyed by it in the beginning. This was the only place in Dubai that I experienced that bias. In addition, it seemed that the ratio of staff to passengers was about 1 to 1. We had to avoid making eye contact otherwise they would come over and ask if we wanted anything, and it actually got old after a quick bit!
Also, Dubai airport has several terminals, two of which seemed exclusive to Emirates. Well, we got the “not-quite-as-nice” first class lounge. The other one allows you to board directly from the lounge, we had to ‘gasp’ go back to the main boarding area!
When it was time to board, we made our way up to the 2nd level of the plane (The flights we took from Singapore to Dubai and Dubai to Dallas were on the same model of aircraft, so I’ve blended the photos from both legs of the trip).
Cliff Notes: This was like NOTHING I’ve ever experienced before.
We were the only two passengers in first on the Dubai-Dallas trip. Our flight attendants, who were awesome, basically let us do whatever we wanted. Want to dine together in the center row? Sure! Want to sit and stare out the windows? Sure! And, want us to make up a bed in yet ANOTHER seat while you’re sitting? We actually had to say no to that last one.
Each seat is its own personal cubby. They do recline to a completely flat bed and the bedding you see on the right is a mattress pad, full comforter, and pillow.
As soon as we boarded, we were greeted with an amenities kit, pajamas to change into, and Dom Perignon. (Rose on the SIN-DXB flight, which we preferred more)
Additionally, the bathrooms didn’t leave anything to be desired either. When you board the plane, you are able to book a 20 minute appointment for a shower. We chose to shower immediately after take-off on the way to Dubai, but decided to wait until right before landing on the way to Dallas.
The showers allow you 5 minutes of running water (and you could control the temperature). The attendants recommended that you turn it on, get wet, turn it off, lather, then rinse. I ended up not using the full amount either time.
On our flight to Dallas, I thought I was going to miss my shower when we heard that they were not going to be serving any hot drinks or food in economy seating due to turbulence. The seat-belt sign was on, but that apparently doesn’t matter. We were still told that our showers were ready and to go right ahead.
Prior to take-off, we watched the entertaining safety instructions in Arabic, while enjoying a date paired with Arabic coffee.
Dining on the plane was similar to the lounge. We were provided a menu and could order anything we wanted off of it.
Given our new fancy lifestyles, we obviously ordered the caviar on both flights. Paul, who craves anything with the word “nacho” in it, found this very amusing to eat. Purists will claim nothing should be eaten but the caviar with the pearl spoon and some vodka. Paul claims that if you can fit it in your mouth, you haven’t added enough toppings. Champagne is required.
And then a variety of other meals between the two flights:
I think my favorite feature of the plane was that when they dimmed the lights, stars shone on the ceiling.
Nah, just kidding. It was this self-service bar that was located outside the bathrooms. Courtney learned a valuable lesson that Campari is not meant to be consumed ‘neat.’
So, to state the obvious: these flights were incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed feeling like Kim Kardashian for a little bit, and drinking more than a month’s salary of Dom Perignon before take-off. Not to mention the $80/shot Hennessy Paradis. Or drinking half a glass of 6 newly opened bottles of wine to do a sampler. This was worth every single hoarded point and the mere sight of a Southwest plane nowadays makes me queasy (Paul turns into a baby and has to be dragged kicking and screaming on to one). I’d love to tell you that this is how travel SHOULD be, but that’s a huge lie. The fact that this kind of insane luxury even exists is kind of what is wrong with the world in the first place.. BUT that isn’t going to stop us from trying to save up for this flight again.
Our final leg of the journey was from Dallas to Kansas City. This was spent in economy on American Airlines. We went through a little bit of a shock during the tedious boarding process (why aren’t we boarding first?!?!? ;)), but ended up okay 🙂
Paul vowed to never fly economy again.
~48 Hours in the Air
3 New Countries Visited
1,000,000 blank stares received at work when we explained what we did over the holiday weekend
This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We are forever thankful for the ability to work hard towards travel like this. We know a lot of people don’t understand the layover style of travel that we tend to do, but hey, it just comes down to the fact that we love experiencing new things and we don’t mind the time spent in the air… the journey is the destination or some jazz like that.