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Emirates Airbus A380 & Boeing 777-300ER to India (November 2023 trip)

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  • Emirates Airbus A380 & Boeing 777-300ER to India (November 2023 trip)

    Hey guys,

    Due to a relative's marriage happening during the US Thanksgiving week, we have traveled to India (still there as we speak) on Emirates. This time unlike the last time of going to just Dubai and coming back, we continued to India.

    Initial plan was to go in October for both my relative's wedding & also see the Durga Puja in Kolkata. A lot of changes and mess up with the dates were quite costly, but at least it worked out as they were able to come up with the dates leading up to Thanksgiving week.

    San Francisco to Dubai was by the Airbus A380, as expected. Then heading to Bangalore was by the Boeing 777-300ER.

    Details will be shared from next post onwards.

  • #2
    Flight: Emirates flight EK226
    Route: San Francisco - Dubai
    Aircraft: Airbus A380-800 (A6-EVH), 5 years at the time of departure
    Livery: Normal
    Date of Departure: November 16 (3:40PM), Arrival November 17 (7:25PM)
    Seat: 74A (Economy Class)
    Configuration: 3-class (Suites, Business, Economy)

    This is my 3rd time flying the Airbus A380 (and certainly on Emirates). It's definitely a spacious and comfortable aircraft, but the windows are not as much to my liking compared to the Boeing planes.

    Our journey started at San Francisco International Airport, around 2PM. We were one of the last few folks in the check-in counter. But even then it was pretty quick since we already checked in online and selected seats (FOR FREE) with our fare months ahead in advance. This was the day before many folks start their Thanksgiving week travel on Friday.

    TSA Pre after that took no more than 5 minutes to pass through and it was extremely smooth.


    Not a major crowd at this part of the terminal at this hour as most of the time it's more crowded when you are on the airside in the late morning and noon hours. This point of time is where most flights to Europe and the Middle East depart.


    A cloudy and some on and off rain in San Francisco and the entire Bay Area for the day. No delay, which was good.

    Here's our Airbus A380 (A6-EVH) shown at gate A6. Next to it is a British Airways Airbus A380. British Airways has always operated the A380 to San Francisco, but at the beginning of the Northern Winter schedule this year, they switched both their daily flights. The afternoon flight is operated by the A380 and the evening flight by the Boeing 777. It was previously the other way around.


    Boarding commenced around 3PM, and we boarded around 3:10 on the aircraft.


    The large TV screen and wide seat on the Emirates Airbus A380:

    Blanket and amenity kit (toothpaste, toothbrush, and socks) provided


    Here's the full cabin:


    Here's the wingview from seat 74A, right next to the British Airways Airbus A380.


    Our captain came to us around 3:30PM informing our flight time would be about 15 hours and 10 minutes. There would be turbulence at certain points of the flight. But what he didn't inform about is that our flight would be flying Trans Atlantic, passing through Greenland Europe and further down to Dubai. I'll explain more on that further down.

    The A380 would be managed by 8 pilots, and 25 cabin crew.

    We began our pushback on time around 3:40PM and started our engines (very quiet) and flaps extended while the safety video played.

    We proceeded to the runway and took off on time around exactly 4PM sharp (last time it was 4:10PM):

    The flight cruised eastward as opposed to going northward and into Canada & North Pole.

    Sunset east around Nevada:

    Within minutes, it rapidly got dark flying eastward. If going Northerly, it is a little slower to get darker:

    Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 03:34 PM.


    • #3
      Around 5:30PM, the cabin was lit up and preparing for the first meal service (dinner):

      Menu for reference:

      Here's the dinner:

      The menu published had a vegetarian meal like paneer makhani. However, when served the Indian vegetarian meal it was not the case. Rather, it was the same meal as I had last year - Vegetable pulao as well as some spinach and aloo masala (which I do not like the potatoes of itself). Not a bad meal especially with the spinach but average in my opinion.

      The dessert was a strawberry crumble kind of cheesecake. Really good overall.

      Some more of the Airbus A380 cabin before eventually dozing off:

      Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 03:36 PM.


      • #4
        A few pictures of the Emirates' A380 Voyager 3D map while going. Note that unlike previous times, this flight is NOT going polar. Instead, it's flying East just like you'd fly going to Europe from North America:

        At some point, like taking a Trans Atlantic flight, we were flying over Greenland. Unusual & unheard of for a Middle Eastern flight traveling from the West Coast. It's a little taste of going to Europe which is happening next month

        Around midnight Pacific time (like last time), we were served an Emirates mid-flight snack: Their signature cheese pizza snack. At the same time, we were hitting sunrise and daybreak over Ireland

        I found the pizza to be overall excellent and washed it down with a diet pepsi.

        Here's the sunrise and daybreak over Ireland. On the Emirates camera, you can see the actual sun it's trying to fly over as it starts getting brighter going Eastward:

        At some point later during the flight, we were served paneer bhurji and aloo paratha. This was exactly like the last time I flew Emirates 1 year ago. As mentioned, everything was good except for the aloo paratha (I don't like potatoes for some reason):

        This was also accompanied by fruit salad and some sort of honey yogurt bowl (kind of tasted like some sort of cheesecake).

        Here's sunset from a polar flight from the West Coast to Dubai, at least in the Winter time, you'd be greeted with 2 sunsets. This was taken around 6:05PM in Dubai time.

        At some point afterward, the captain came with his announcement about our arrival in Dubai around 7PM. There were still some chops along the way but it was mostly uneventful and smooth.

        Now here's another treat that many of you on the SQ side have been raving on. Hot towels, even in Economy class. Emirates gave this to us 1 hour before landing. However, on my flight to Bangalore I didn't get any hot towel:

        Closer to around 6:45PM, we started our decent into Dubai Airport. It was dark outside. We managed to land around 7PM and got to the gate around 7:15PM.

        At some point, we also deplaned. However, normally at this time, all the lights would be on while people were disembarking. Turned out to not be the case. It was still quite dark with very little lighting.

        Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 03:42 PM.


        • #5
          Thoughts on the first sector?

          It was nice to have a window seat on the A380 for once. However, the issue with the windows on the A380 is the large windows and its curvature that make it so hard to sleep in.

          The nice thing is that the seat was very comfortable and wide as well as the aisles. Something that's now missing on Singapore Airlines sadly. You can really feel the difference.

          It was quite odd that the flight was flying eastward and going through Europe as opposed to going through the North Pole (that's the case with all West coast to Middle East flights). There was some turbulence but I barely felt a thing from where I was sitting in, surprisingly.

          As far as the service, it was good, but we had periods where we wanted some water or even tea but the service was very slow. It's not very different than Singapore Airlines. Food was plentiful and decent overall.

          The layover was 8 hours in Dubai (From 7:30PM to 3:40AM). This time we had the ability to do some shopping and explore Dubai Airport. I'll continue this thread on pictures of Dubai Airport in just a bit.

          A few pictures of Dubai Airport. Arrival was quick & by the time we got past security, it was pretty quick as far as connecting flights. In terms of how the security was handled, it was a LOT like the US when you are TSA Pre (No need to take jackets, laptops or anything out). Something that other parts of the world should adapt. I'll find out more on my Europe trip next month while transiting in Frankfurt

          Past the airside of Dubai Airport (Concourse A):

          Some pictures of concourse C:

          We had dinner in Taste of India (not shown) - Lemon rice, curd rice and paratha just to be on the safe side. It was excellent quality overall.

          Around midnight, with the remaining 3 hours, we went back to concourse A and made the rest of the last few hours in Dubai before our flight to Bangalore. The jetlag was pretty evident.
          Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 03:48 PM.


          • #6
            Flight: Emirates flight EK564
            Route: Dubai - Bengaluru
            Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (A6-EGP), 11.5 years at the time of departure
            Livery: Normal
            Date of Departure: November 18 (3:40AM), Arrival November 18 (8:50AM)
            Seat: 27A (Economy Class)
            Configuration: 3-class (Suites, Business, Economy)

            Our gate was A2, over at concourse A.

            The shot of Emirates' 777-300ER (A6-EGP). I remember riding one of their EG* birds when Emirates flew their 777's to San Francisco (before their A380 introduction to SFO in 2014). That time, I got A6-EGB, which at the time was a relatively new bird.

            A closer look at A6-EGP from downstairs at the gate A2 right past security:

            Boarding commenced around 3AM by zones of course. Here are a few pictures upon boarding the plane

            Those massive GE90 engines:

            Emirates' inferior 2-3-2 Business class seat layout:

            Economy class seats (3-4-3)

            My seat 27A for the next 3.5 hours:

            Overall cabin, notice the mood lighting is weaker than even Singapore Airlines' older 77W (SWA-SWT).

            A few pictures of the 77W 3D maps. They were non-interactive as opposed to the A380:

            The old ICE system:

            The old safety video also played:

            View next to possibly a Boeing 777-200LR:

            We pushed back & started our engines around 3:40AM. There was a little bit of a delay after that maybe because of a few planes landing/taking off:

            We took off a little bit past 4AM to Dubai:

            For about 30 minutes I was able to catch some sleep before the breakfast service began.

            The Wifi absolutely didn't work throughout the entire flight:


            Here's the menu for reference:

            Last edited by SQfanatic; 2 December 2023, 02:34 AM.


            • #7
              Breakfast served (Went with the lobia masala and laccha paratha with paneer tikki):


              The paratha was a little bit on the heavier side but everything else was pretty good.

              Beautiful sunrise shots

              ​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​
              Flying into daybreak:

              ​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​
              Some more pictures of the 3D maps on the Boeing 777-300ER:


              Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 04:42 PM.


              • #8
                The compass is different than the 3D version on the A380:

                Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 04:43 PM.


                • #9
                  Very soon around 7:45AM, the captain came with his announcement that we'd be landing on schedule around 8:45AM. Around 8:30AM we began our descent into Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport:

                  Views of Bangalore upon landing:

                  We eventually disembarked the aircraft with a very nice welcome of Bengaluru Airport.

                  Disembarking the plane:

                  The slightly "tighter" 3-4-3- configuration:

                  2-3-2 configuration of the Business class.

                  It took around 15 minutes to clear customs as the lines weren't too long. This was better than the option of landing at 3AM, as that hour is notorious for many Middle Eastern (and some European carriers) to land at that hour and the lines can get pretty long at that time. That was my experience flying Emirates to Trivandrum & also to Chennai.

                  Still, Bangalore Airport is beautiful.

                  Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 04:45 PM.


                  • #10
                    Thoughts on the second leg?

                    Service was pretty quick and good. I enjoyed the food and good to get glimpses of the sunrise and daybreak. The seat is good, but is a little bit more tighter than the A380 as it's configured in a 3-4-3 layout. However, it's not as bad as their older seats I flew on back in 2011. It's not cramped, but in my opinion miles better than the new Singapore Airlines' 2017 Y class seats on the A350 and Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.


                    • #11
                      As we start out the next set in Bangalore on a Saturday morning, our journey to the hotel began around 10AM and with the traffic, it took 1 hour to reach Rajajinagar. The reason we picked that place was because it was a reasonably good 15-20 minutes to Nagarbhavi, where my cousin's marriage the next day was. As that is a little personal, I will not be sharing photos of that on this forum.

                      Our hotel was at Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru in Rajajinagar. There are a few Fairfield by Marriott hotels in Bengaluru itself. We could have even stayed in Nagarbhavi at a hotel closest to the marriage, but we chose to stay somewhere more decent and reasonable while still ensuring it was a good distance to the reception.

                      We got there around 11AM and checked-in. They asked for our passports for processing 3 guests. However, to our surprise, our room was not ready and we were already tired from 30 hours of traveling and not properly sleeping. They did compensate in a few ways - Provided us bottles of water, which was nice. Then they asked us to go to the Kava Restaurant to have some coffee and wait there.

                      After about an hour, still our original room was not ready. However, they gave us a temporary room on the 4th floor (I can't remember the room number from the top of my head). The difference is this had 2 twin beds (pretty small), room itself was very small and bathroom was nice (with a great shower) but also small. The corridors in that floor also had a strong odor.

                      View from the Kava restaurant:

                      As I was very tired, I couldn't take pictures of the room and was concentrated on catching some sleep.

                      Later on that day, we went for lunch to Ananda Bhavan, in Rajajinagar, 10 minutes from the hotel.

                      We had the coconut rice, tamarind rice (puliyogare) and curd rice along with gobi manchurian. The manchurian was spicy (even though we asked if it's possible to make it less spicier). But the quality was still pretty good.

                      Later on, we headed to do some shopping for the wedding. I didn't take specifics, but generally just the area we went to for the shopping. We went to Jayanagar:

                      A flower stand they have next to a mini temple, just like Chennai. The difference in Chennai is that it's next to the main Kapaleeshwarar Temple.

                      Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 04:56 PM.


                      • #12
                        We eventually headed back to the hotel and got a new room of 240, which was the Larger room we booked since we had 4 baggages.

                        Here's the King size bed and larger room.

                        Large bathroom compared to the last room. Also, love the large walk-in shower. Had something similar in my Seattle trip last month.

                        An odd thing I've seen only in US hotels in the 90's, 2000's and a little in the 2010's was this older school hotel lock. First time seeing this outside of the US. It makes me think I'm back in America or something:

                        Around 6:30PM, we went to Lulu Mall to do some shopping. While it is very close to the hotel, unfortunately, there isn't a safe way to actually cross the busy street/junction at all. As it was night time, we took an Uber. Some pictures of Lulu Mall

                        The mall in of itself looks extremely modern. We first went to a grocery store (kind of like how Walmart or Target looks like) to get some over the counter supplies and other miscellaneous things. One thing I like about this store is that they really deter shoplifting in a couple of ways:

                        1) High security (for sure important)
                        2) Before you even enter the store, they will tie up all the zippers in your backpack so that you don't all of a sudden open it and shoplift.
                        3) After checkout, they will check if you took anything unknowingly in your bag, especially the zippers they couldn't tie (like the back most zippers).
                        Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 05:11 PM.


                        • #13

                          We had dinner at Paakashala - dosa and cream of tomato soup along with curd rice. All of which were good quality.

                          More pictures of Brigade Road:

                          Last edited by SQfanatic; 1 December 2023, 05:08 PM.


                          • #14
                            The next day, we were able to eat breakfast at the hotel. After sometime in the afternoon, not shown we had a family lunch outside the hotel at a place called South Ruchi's Square in Bangalore. This was to celebrate my cousin's marriage as he was going to Thailand for a couple of days.

                            Had the dosa, vadai, muffin, and cheese omelet. The donut was a little too sweet to my liking.

                            One thing I want to make clear is that this hotel has a choice of a breakfast buffet or ala carte. The issue with ala carte is that there's not too many good items, nor is the case with breakfast. The buffet is certainly worth it.

                            View from the room:

                            Later in the evening, we went to ISKCON temple. One place you cannot absolutely miss when visiting Bengaluru. One warning, you cannot take pictures inside of it. The other thing is be prepared to get a token if you bring a backpack or footwear (you'll get 2 if you bring both, which was the case with us). Also, be prepared to walk up the steps.

                            In terms of the food, we didn't have any, but a lot of sweets, and also French Fries and gobi manchurian were outside

                            Overall, it's a very pristine temple. If my travels take me to Bangalore in the future, I'll try to visit this in the daytime itself and have some food. It's also close to the metro, so maybe if I stay somewhere close enough to the metro, this will be quite convenient.
                            Last edited by SQfanatic; 2 December 2023, 02:56 AM.


                            • #15
                              The next day we went to Mysuru (Mysore), which is a 2 hour car journey from Bangalore.

                              We hired a hotel car to take us there. Started around 9:15AM and we went to a place called Udupi Kitchen before proceeding to Mysore

                              Had the dosa, vadai and idli along with chutney and sambar. The place is a little unique because it's more of a pay before you get your food. To a level it is fast food except it's made completely fresh. In Karnataka, they also make some dosas differently shape-wise and they put a lot of these on a plantain leaf.

                              An inclined road in Bangalore before heading on the highway. No other place I've seen in India has this as it's a flat land.

                              Entering the toll highway for our 2 hour drive to Mysuru (Mysore):

                              Slept most of the way there. We reached Mysore and proceeded eventually on Chamundi Hills to Chamundi Devi Temple

                              Chamundi Hills. The temple will be up the hills:

                              Lots of shops around the Chamundi Temple:

                              Chamundi Devi Temple. We did a lot of rituals around there but spent 40 minutes thanks to them helping us get directed to a special line:

                              Lord Mahishasura around Chamundi Hills

                              After that, we proceeded eventually to go to an ayurvedic treatment. As I will not disclose anything further, it was just for a free consultation and to explore the campus. I have taken pictures and can tell you how calm and serene it looks like with plants.

                              After around 4:30PM, we started driving back from Mysuru back to Bengaluru. Here are some pictures of Mysuru before entering the highway. It has quite some similarities with Trivandrum.

                              Entering the freeway back to Bengaluru:

                              Eventually, we reached back to Bengaluru around 7PM, had a dinner again at Ananda Bhavan and slept early as we had a flight to Chennai the next day. More to come soon.
                              Last edited by SQfanatic; 2 December 2023, 03:23 AM.