Welcome back and I hope you are enjoying the journey with me!
- Manila to Hong Kong with Cathay business http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1366051
- Tokyo to New York with Japan Airlines first class http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1366053
- New York to London with British Airways first class http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1366055- London to Melbourne with Qantas first class <<< You are here London to Dubai
January 25 2016
12:35PM - 11:30PM
A380 First Class
My mini round the world first class trip was coming to an end and it would conclude with me flying from London to Melbourne with Qantas.
Just a sidenote, I saw on the news that from March 2018, Qantas will no longer be flying London to Melbourne on the A380, so I was glad to fly this route.
Although it is the same flight number, the QF10 flight has a brief stop in Dubai.
Fasten your seat belts and come fly with me!
The day started early, I had checked out of the Mayfair Hotel, which I got upgraded to suite thanks to my Club Carlson Gold status.
The driver picked me up at 9AM and we made our way to Heathrow. There wasn’t much traffic on the road.
Check-in was already open when we arrive and I was checked in immediately by a very friendly agent (more on that later). She was very warm and asked if I flying to Melbourne for a holiday or heading home etc.
Agent said to me, I was welcomed to use the British Airways Galleries First lounge or the Emirates Business and First lounge.
After reading poor experiences about BA Galleries First Lounge, I decided to go to Emirates’ lounge.The Emirates first and business lounge
The Emirates London Heathrow lounge was only refurbished a few months earlier prior to my visit, so I was really looking forward to the new decor. I have used the Melbourne Emirates lounge before and it was old and drabby.
Anyway the entrance to the lounge was very low key.
Chocolates at the counter. Lounge dragon checked my BP and welcomed me in.
As you enter, the lounge is filled with light and was very bright. It also has amazing views of planes landing and taking off. I turned to the right and walk down the long hallway which led to a big dining area and more seats.
There were plenty of seats and we were the first few people to arrive.The bathroom
Three lounge attendants were huddled in the dining area talking when they saw me coming, one of them walk over and ask if I wanted to have breakfast, I said no.
She replied “We are finishing breakfast service soon and the kitchen is preparing for lunch so please allow for 20 minutes wait.”
Something to nibble, nuts, olives etc.
With only 10 minutes before breakfast service ends, I rush to take pictures.
Emirates had a very comprehensive breakfast offering. There was so much food and it was a shame to see that no one has eaten it for breakfast!Hot food options
Sambhar and plain paratha
Pappadum rolls, pickles and mango chutney
Poached eggs benefit with turkey bacon and chana masale
Crepes and cheese omelette
Scrambled eggs and grilled lamb sausages
Potato roesti and grilled tomatoes
Sauteed button mushrooms and baked beans
Bread rolls, croissants and toaster
The beverages counter was also self serve. Full list of alcohol, soft drinks and beer.
At a different counter was the champagne and wine. What I like about Emirates lounge is that the champagne is Veuve Clicquot. Although it is only brut, the offering is much better than the $3 USD sparkling white wine Qantas offers as “champagne” in the Qantas business lounges.
After I finished taking pictures, I sat down for a rest. The lounge started to fill up with passengers flying today on the Qantas flight. 20 minutes later, the lunch service started.Here is the buffet menu for lunch.And here are the hot lunch meals.On the cold dishes buffet and cheese selection.
And the dessert buffet. The cake looked absolutely delicious but I decided to try the chocolate mousse filled with crème brule. It was very sweet and rich.The flight
Boarding was called and I decided to head to the gate.
We arrived at the gate, however boarding had not started yet. But the agent at the check-in desk saw me and said “Sir you don’t need to stand around and wait for boarding, you can board anytime you like. Follow me please.”
I said “No it is perfectly alright,” but she insisted, “Please sir”
She took us to the front of the queue, right to the desk and the gate agent looked at her and what happened next was funny, well at least to me, I still remember it.
“The plane is not ready for boarding,” the gate agent said.
“Well these are our first class passengers,” check-in agent said.
“It is not ready yet,” gate agent said.
“Well when will it be?” check-in agent, who turns to me “I’m so sorry for this inconvenience,"
The gate agent gets on the phone.
I did not dare to turn my head around and look at the all the people behind us, who I could feel were starring at us.
Then the gate agent puts the phone down, “Yes the crew are ready”
The agent walks me onboard and hands me over to the cabin crew and wishes me a pleasant flight.
I thanked her again and again for looking after me, she smiled and walked back.
I made my way to seat 2A, on the left side of the plane. It was a very private seat. Waiting for me was the pyjamas and I asked for a glass of sparkling water, which was served with nuts and olive nibbles.
Within a minute, other passengers started to board. It was almost a full flight today, 12 out of 14 seats occupied.
The seat is not as private as suites but there was plenty of room. It was so big my feet couldn’t reach the footrest!The amenity kit
Menus were handed out. Two crew members introduced themselves and they were lovely.
I was really looking forward to this flight. I don’t know whether other people feel the same way, but after travelling for six weeks, there is something about getting onboard and hearing a familiar accent (Aussie in my case), it makes you feel like you are already home.
It was a very efficient departure, and soon we were on our way to Dubai.
Cabin crew asked if I wanted champagne. Although there are three listed on the menu, today only the Pol Roger Sin Winston Churchill was available. I was a bit sad hahaha I wanted to try the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne and Veuve Clicquot LA Grande Dame too!
Because I did not eat the lounge, I decided to have lunch.
Champagne was served along with canapés, which was very sad dried pastry with cream and tiny caviar. The other one was biscuit with jam and cream. When I heard that Qantas was serving caviar again, I was expecting a full caviar with blinis etc.
As I was sipping my champagne, the Captain came out and introduced himself! I was thinking, “This is so cool!” lol we made small talk and he moved to talk to other passengers too.
Table was set.
I had the chicken noodle soup with basil and chives. Soup was tasty and homely but the noodle was thick pasta, not noodles.
For main course, nothing on the menu appealed to me so when crew members suggested I try the steak which wasn’t on the menu, I agreed. It was accompanied by side plate of macaroni and cheese.
I asked for medium rare, however the steak was cooked thoroughly. The green beans were crunchy but the meal was very ordinary, the macaroni and cheese was very dry. Definitely not worthy of first class.
For dessert, I had the apple and chestnut cake with vanilla cream and blackberries. The cake was moist but again, not much imagination.
The meal service finished and I was left feeling cheated lol. Comparing this to my Japan Airlines First Class, I felt Qantas catering was very average.
I spent the rest of the time on my computer until we landed in Dubai.Conclusion
The Emirates lounge in London is not a first class lounge I would choose it over the British Airways Galleries First.
However it is a fantastic business class lounge, the food and beverage offering were great. In hindsight, I probably should have had lunch at the lounge because my Qantas onboard meals were disappointing.
The crew were great though, and the agent who led me onboard really went above and beyond. Qantas first class crew were personable and nice, but they do give you a lot of privacy if that’s what you want. Whereas other passengers who needed more attention, I saw them fussing over them, so big thumbs up for the crew to adapt to each passenger.Stay tuned for Part 2 belowDubai to Melbourne
January 26 2016
1:15AM - 9:35PM
A380 First Class
This is the last leg of my mini round the world first class trip.
This flight is rather uneventful because you depart at 1:15AM, there isn’t much offered since everyone just wants to go to sleep.
So I have to warn you that there aren’t many words in this report, mostly photos of the Emirates First Class lounge.The Emirates first class lounge
This is London to Melbourne Qantas flight has a very short connection (about 2 hours) in Dubai, so you don’t much time to enjoy all the facilities since it takes 10 minutes to disembark, make your way through the terminal and find the lounge. And of course, boarding commences about 1 hour before the schedule flight. So in reality, you only get about 50 minutes in the lounge.
I found it was not enough time to have a shower, full service dinner and massage, so I chose to have a massage only and something quick to eat from the self service buffet.
I’m sure you have read about the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai many times, but here is my feedback.
The lounge is very big but soulless and does not make great use of space. For example, the lounge stretches the entire airport terminal and there are plenty seats but no rooms to rest.
So if you have a long transit, there is nowhere to book a room like Concorde Room in London, or Cathay Pacific’s Cabana in Hong Kong.
Apart from that, the lounge staff are very friendly and always looking to provide assistance. Because it is such a big lounge, it is also very quiet so I have a feeling that sometimes the staff would outnumber the number of passengers in the lounge.
The lounge is divided into several bars and a la carte dining areas as well as a cigar bar, but Emirates charges for cigars, so I didn’t use it.Cigar barEmirates answer to sleeping rooms???
Emirates First Class passengers were eligible for a free 15 minutes massage.
There was a 10 minute wait before they found a masseuse for me.
I elected to have the head massage, and it was okay, nothing special really.
After the massage, I looked at my watch there wasn’t much time left. So I skipped the shower and went to the a la carte restaurant area.Here is the menu.
I saw my travel companion was already there and he ordered a club sandwich but I didn’t have enough time to have a full service three courses dinner, so I just chose some items from the buffet.Here is the buffet meals.
I had some balik salmon slices, basmati rice and chicken tandoori. The balik salmon was the highlight for sure! I wish I had more. But I was saving myself for the Qantas flight, which was a mistake because the onboard catering on Qantas First Class is very average.
It wasn’t long before boarding was announced. First class passengers board from the lounge at the designated gate, although Qantas Platinum members travelling in economy class can use this benefit too because they have access to the Emirates First Class lounge. Since we are flying to Australia, there was extra security check.The flight
Boarding was very quick. Water was offered but I decline.
It was the same 12 passengers from my London to Dubai flight.
There were two meal services on this flight, supper and dinner.
Here is the menu. To be honest, the meal choices did not stand out. But I was very tired at this point, I think 6 weeks of travelling was catching up to me, so I declined more drinks.
I don’t know what was wrong with me, I was stuck between feeling very tired but I couldn’t sleep. So I decided to eat.
I ordered the Qantas signature steak sandwich with tomato and chilli relish. The sandwiched arrived and I was expecting some potato chips but nothing?!
So I asked the flight attendant if I could have a bag of chips.
“I’m sorry sir, we don’t offer potato chips in First Class because normally people don’t ask for me, let me check economy class,”
LOL How strange I thought, First class passengers don’t like chips? What is wrong with them?!! Haha
So I waited a few minutes and she returned with 1 packet of chips she found in economy class cart.
Ah much better! Sandwich and chips! The sandwich was tasty, meat is really tender and the relish was flavourful.
So when the cabin flight was switched off, I watched some TV shows and fell asleep.
When I woke up a few hours later, there was a blanket over me. But my blanket was still in the plastic bag and under my seat.
So during my sleep, a thoughtful crew member fetched another blanket and put it over me when I was sleeping. That was really lovely.
After waking up, I saw that we were four hours from landing, so a crew member asked me if I wanted dinner. I wasn’t very hungry but I decided to order something for the trip report.
I didn’t order the full three course dinner, just one main plate - Persian chicken fesenjan with walnuts, pomegranate, saffron carrots and rice pilaf.
What a mistake!
The dish was not tasty at all. The tangy sauce overpowering so it was like eating lemons, you couldn’t have more than small size bites. The potatoes were overcooked so it lost the crunch.
After I finish my meal, I spent the remaining 3 hours watching TV shows.Conclusion
The Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai is impressive because of its size, occupying the entire floor of the airport terminal, but it was a wasted opportunity not to offer resting rooms.
The staff are friendly but looked very bored and at one time I saw more staff than passengers in the lounge.
The Qantas flight was uneventful, not because it is a redeye flight but because the food quality was so poor.
The crew were nice and left passengers alone to sleep. And whoever put a blanket on me, that was a kind gesture.
Once I woke up, a crew member appeared within a few minutes to ask me if I wanted something to eat, so they were attentive.
Would I want to fly Qantas First Class again? Probably, but I’m not in a hurry
Anyway QF10 will be discontinued soon because Qantas is moving the Melbourne to London flight to the nonstop flight to the nonstop Perth to London service.