I had a superb experience onboard Emirates A380 on my recent flight EK205 from Dubai to Milan. This flight would continue onwards from Milan to New York.
Route: Dubai (DXB) to Milan (MXP)
Departure Time: 09:45 / 10:34* (UTC +4)
Arrival Time: 14:20 / 14:26* (UTC +2)
Flight Time: 6 hours and 35 minutes / 5 hours and 46 minutes*
Aircraft: Airbus 380-861
(*denotes actual timings)
This 9.45am departure entailed a morning rush hour experience at Dubai International Airport. The airport was packed! Seating was scarce at the time of the day and many people were lounging on the floor. Toilets were plagued with long queues - definitely not the most pleasant airport experience!
You could imagine my relief when I escaped the airport chaos and finally boarded the mighty Emirates A380, ushered in by the welcoming light purple and grey seats, and of course, the smiling cabin crew wearing their iconic Emirates hat and scarf. Just stepping onboard, I felt I had immediately arrived in paradise!
It was not going to be full on this flight and I shared four seats in the middle row with another solo traveler, who was chatting enthusiastically with a cabin crew member in Italian when I arrived at my seat. One of the perks of flying Emirates - you probably will find a crew member who speaks your language.
Blankets, pillows, and headsets were furnished on the seats and I could immediately enjoy the award-winning ice entertainment upon boarding.
In-seat power (USB ports and AC power ports) are available.
Card menus were distributed once boarding was completed. I have always felt paper menus adds a classy touch to the Economy Class dining experience. Kudos to Emirates for keeping up this tradition!
Here's the menu for today's flight to Milan:
A full range of sodas and mixers
Orange, apple, pineapple, mango and tomato juice
Coffee and tea
From the bar
A range of red and white wine, beer, spirits and liqueurs
Fresh seasonal fruit
Red Leicester and labneh with olives and cucumber
Served with butter and preserve
Served with mashed potatoes and broccoli
In rich gravy, served with mashed potatoes,
green beans and carrots
Apple and cinnamon cake
Served with vanilla sauce
I thought the menu sounded really appetising. It was going to be a difficult decision between Barbecue chicken and Slow-braised beef!
It was announced that the cabin crew on this A380 flight came from 19 countries and speak 17 languages. The countries the cabin crew come from on this particular flight were: Australia, China, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, The Netherlands, The Philippines and United Kingdom - in other words, a truly global team were working on the flight that day.
Announcements were made in Arabic, English, and Italian. Likewise, the safety video was played in all three languages.
Take-off was delayed due to the heavy traffic congestion at Dubai International Airport at that time, as explained by the Captain - that pretty much explained the chaos at the terminal earlier.
We took off in due course, and I was able to enjoy the take off views on the external camera views of ice entertainment - #nomorewindowseatfan. In fact I prefer the macro view of the mighty aircraft lifting into the air, rather than a micro view of part of the wing at the window!
Continental breakfast service commenced promptly after take off, and the cabin crew nicely asked "would you like to have continental breakfast?" in a crisp English accent.
Yes, please. Thank you!
This light breakfast was a delight - the ingredients were fresh and healthy, making it a great meal to start my day! I was not really in the mood for something heavy, and it filled me up just nicely.
Breakfast was served with a choice of orange juice or apple juice.
Coffee and tea were served by hand later.
After the meal, I enjoyed the excellent ice entertainment, passing time onboard with a few movies. Though this aircraft did not feature the latest cabin product, the inflight entertainment is still a notch (or a couple of notches) up what other major airlines offer. Aside from multiple language options in both the interface and within individual movies, I like the pop-up side bar at the top of the screen showing the remaining flight time - a feature I truly miss when I was flying with other airlines and was wanting to know the current flight status. Did I mention the massive selection of Hollywood and international movies from around the world at the finger's touch?
The cabin crew conducted regular drink rounds with water, juices and pretzel snacks. And as I learnt during the flight, at anytime, the galley was always open to passengers wanting other drinks and the cabin crew were happy to oblige their requests. I asked for white wine, and was served a bottle of 2015 Zonin Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave DOC (Italy) with a smile - and a bit of small talk with the friendly cabin crew.
Such bliss to enjoy a glass of wine with my movie marathon. What a nice coincidence to be sipping on Italian wine on this Milan-bound flight.
Time flew quickly of course, and lunch service soon commenced with the distribution of hot towels - not those pathetic tissue-like wet napkins but thick white cloth towels ones akin to those you would find in Business Class on other airlines! I couldn't help but to dig my face right into the warm towel!
Beef or chicken. Slow-braised beef or Barbecue chicken. The main course options rang through my head. Both sounded really good but I ended up asking for beef when the meal cart reached my row. The Italian flight steward serving my row was really chatty, asking passengers "where are you from?" and engaging in light conversations with them as he dished out their meal choices. I appreciate that it was really great service from him, to add a personal touch to the meal service in Economy Class - something I don't ever see on other airlines! The meal was served with a drink from a selection of wines and juices.
My beef choice was really good though the quartet of beef cubes seemed somewhat meagre. Looking around me, I think it was just me with the sad beef portion, as others were digging into their hearty portions of slow-braised beef.
The drinks cart offering a full range of drinks followed after the meals were served. The same friendly steward joked "What can I get you, boss?" I asked for vodka and ginger ale to concoct my own Russian Mule cocktail - and that was the story of how I ended up hopelessly drunk before landing.
Coffee and tea were served but I did the responsible thing and skipped pairing caffeine with my alcohol binge (right...).
After the meal, there was another round of hot towel service, which my face again thoroughly appreciate.
Emirates' top notch Economy Class product extends to well, its lavatories, which is nicely designed in golden and white tones, and well-stocked with facial tissues and paper towels AND luxurious The White Company Noir Collection (Amber, Mandarin & Sandalwood) toiletries.
Soon, it was time for landing, and blankets and headsets were collected by the cabin crew. As with the take off, I tuned in to the external camera view. Despite the delay in departure, we arrived on time in Milan. Transit passengers to New York were required to disembark the aircraft, and a new set of cabin crew would board.
This was certainly a memorable flight with Emirates - which clearly set a high standard for Economy Class travel: comfortable widebody aircraft, in-seat power supply, paper menus, thick cloth hot towels, audio headsets (versus earsets), luxurious bathroom amenities, excellent inflight entertainment options, friendly and welcoming cabin crew, two full meal services on a 6 hour flight (!), generous drinks services with a wide range of beverage options and the list goes on and on (and on and on...). As with the current Emirates marketing tagline, Economy Class feels like an upgrade!
EK205's rather southerly flight path from Dubai to Milan:
Thank you for reading this Emirates flight review on FlightTravels. For the full video experience of this flight EK205, please see below: