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Old 22nd March 2020, 04:39 PM   #46
yflyer
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I emerged from A6-EDU into the vast terminal...



Security lines weren't that long on this occasion, but there was a lot of walking to get to my gate...



As QF Silver, I would not have access to EK Lounges on this occasion, so I spent most of my time just sitting at the departure gate.



As far as transit in DXB goes, it is much more pleasant if one has lounge privileges, ideally with EK. I would be quite comfortable in the EK Business Class Lounges, and would be positively delighted to spend a long time in the EK First Class Lounges in DXB.

Without lounge access though, I find the DXB transit experience to be quite mediocre.



Shopping is good, and depending on which concourse you are at, the F&B might be decent as well, but the overall ambience, and crowds, really don't make for a wonderful transit experience, the way a SIN or HKG transit stop can be.
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Old 22nd March 2020, 04:50 PM   #47
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It was a great relief to finally board EK354, a 3.15am departure out of DXB, with arrival into Singapore scheduled for 2.40pm, and a flight time of just over 6 hours.



This time I was one of the first to board, and had ample time to snap pics of the wonderfully spacious 10-abreast Y cabin...




Today's flight was operated by A6-EDC, MSN16, one of the first A380's at Emirates, first delivered in November 2008.



This aircraft, one of the oldest A380's in the EK fleet, was still in very good shape, with interiors still looking quite fresh.

The plane was fitted with the 1st generation Y seat, with thicker armrests than later aircraft, which had slimline armrests...



On this version of the seat, the A/C power socket was embedded in the armrest, unlike later models, where the A/C power was in the seat back. Also this earlier generation of A/C socket did not support UK 3-pin plugs.



Decent seat pitch...



Good recline...



Full AVOD IFE...



Blanket, pillow and headphones on each seat...



There was a large crew rest area in the rear of the Y cabin...





The rear spiral staircase...


Last edited by yflyer; 22nd March 2020 at 04:57 PM..
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Old 22nd March 2020, 05:00 PM   #48
yflyer
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A health notice from the Singapore Ministry of Health was distributed...



This was a precaution against MERS and H7N9. Even back then our Singapore MoH was on-the-ball when it came to keeping Singapore safe from infectious diseases. Looking back, during MERS and even SARS, planes were still flying -- quite different from the current COVID-19 situation, where international travel has now almost ground to a complete halt.
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Old 22nd March 2020, 05:43 PM   #49
yflyer
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The menu for this flight...





As this was a 3.45am departure, the post-take-off meal service comprised a chicken pastrami sandwich.

In fact, our take-off was delayed by more than an hour, so the cabin crew actually served the snack first, prior to take off...



With wrapper off...



Finally, push back...



...and take-off...



Post take-off whisky on the rocks...



We were flying into the dawn, with the sky in the distance already bright soon after take-off...



Arrival in Singapore was now scheduled for close to 4pm...



By then I was so exhausted that I got a few hours of sleep...
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Old 22nd March 2020, 05:46 PM   #50
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The sun had already been up for a while by the time breakfast service began...



I opted for noodles...



An appetising breakfast spread...

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Old 22nd March 2020, 05:53 PM   #51
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With 2 hours to go before arrival in SIN, I took the opportunity to stroll around the cabin...





Great cabin ambience on this A380 main deck...very different from the cramped 77W's that EK uses on many routes these days.



I headed to the front of the main deck...





In this EK A380 configuration, there is a Y restroom right next to the cockpit door...accessible via a short flight of steps, which also leads to the cockpit.

I took the pic below while standing right at the top of the stairs, next to both the cockpit door and the toilet door.



The proximity to the nose of the A380 can be seen by the angled wall of the restroom.





I strolled back to the rear of the A380.

A view from the back of the main deck, looking forward, showing the section of the cabin with the rear crew rest area...


Last edited by yflyer; 28th March 2020 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 22nd March 2020, 06:08 PM   #52
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I spent the remainder of the flight watching excerpts of Bohemian Rhapsody on the IFE...



Although this was the first gen A380 IFE, the Emirates ICE system was still quite impressive, with good picture and sound quality, not to mention a huge seiection of movies, TV and music.





We eventually commenced our descent, flying over the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia...





Landing on Runway 02L...



At the gate on a sunny afternoon...



It was good to be back in Changi...



Interestingly, our gate was at the end of T3, and we were directed towards T1 to claim our luggage...



The renovated T1 baggage claim area...



And a glimpse of Jewel as I exited the airport...



This was back in March 2019, before Jewel's opening to the public in April 2019.

Despite the delayed departure and subsequent late arrival, I thought this was a good flight. The cabin product was fine, despite A6-EDC being one of the earliest A380's in the EK fleet. Catering and service were good as well. The fact that the first snack service took place prior to the delayed take-off meant that pax had a longer time to sleep onboard the flight.

Last edited by yflyer; 22nd March 2020 at 06:15 PM..
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Old 22nd March 2020, 06:31 PM   #53
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A few final reflections...

While the A380 is no longer a new aircraft type, I still really enjoy my flights on them, even in Y. I do believe the A380 offers a better economy class experience for pax than almost any other aircraft type (Except maybe an 8-abreast 787, the way JAL does it.).

As for the Emirates A380, I find EK's catering to be very good, and often the cabin crew are friendly and spontaneous too. I find many EK cabin crew fit a certain profile: Young, independent-minded and out to see the world. An interesting bunch, with so many nationalities. While cabin service is not at the same level as SQ, I've always found the different personalities and outlooks of the varied EK cabin crew make for an interesting inflight experience, observing them serve pax and also how they interact and socialise among themselves.

I always hope to win the EK aircraft cabin lottery, and find one of the newer examples operating my flight. There are at least 3 different generations of EK A380 Y cabin products out there. The first gen A380 Y, roughly similar to SQ's 2006 Y on the A380, is still fine as a cabin product, but the newer cabin products take the experience to new level, with their 3rd generation A380 Y being very impressive indeed. And who knows if the very latest will have a even newer Y product, since EK tends to tweak and refine their cabin products on an occasional basis.

I still haven't flown EK's A380 in Business Class or First. This is on my to-do list. I should have seized the opportunity to try EK A380 J on the short AKL-MEL sector, where at one point EK were operating the A380, but I don't know if they still do this now.

I hope the A380 will be flying for many more years to come. This has become increasingly less likely, as the COVID-19 crisis has left many A380's grounded. There may not be much time left to fly these wonderful aircraft. Indeed as I write this, I wonder when (and if!) normal air travel will resume anywhere in the world.

On a more positive note, I can only hope that eventually this crisis blows over and some semblance of normal air travel can return. And if that happens, one can only hope that EK (And SQ!) will give the A380's a final cabin refit that will really differentiate travel experience on the A380.

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by yflyer; 28th March 2020 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 23rd March 2020, 01:55 AM   #54
maxc_20
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Great trip report! It's nice to see reports at the time most(if not all) of us can't travel due to the crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
I still haven't flown EK's A380 in Business Class or First. This is on my to-do list. I should have seized the opportunity to try EK A380 J on the short AKL-MEL sector, where at one point EK were operating the A380, but I don't know if they still do this now.
Unfortunately, they don't do AKL-MEL anymore, the only Emirates Trans-Tasman flight available is only SYD-CHC now.

All we can hope is that the crisis will end as soon as possible and the aviation business can get back to normal. Honestly, I really hope that airlines won't retire A380 this fast because I'm yet to fly on one.
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Old 28th March 2020, 10:14 AM   #55
yflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxc_20 View Post
Great trip report! It's nice to see reports at the time most(if not all) of us can't travel due to the crisis
Thanks for reading!


Quote:
Originally Posted by maxc_20 View Post
All we can hope is that the crisis will end as soon as possible and the aviation business can get back to normal.

No travel at all for me either these days! Not even out of the house except for essentials like groceries!

And even when things return to normal (Which hopefully the will), I don't think the world will be the same again...I think the way we travel around the world, and the freedom we all once had to do so, has probably changed forever...

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxc_20 View Post
Honestly, I really hope that airlines won't retire A380 this fast because I'm yet to fly on one.
Yes you should definitely keep that on you to-do list. It is an amazing plane to fly on!
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