On the Ground: I arrived at Incheon International Airport and easily found the Emirates check-in. Early for my flight, I was second in the business-class line. I was checked in and on my way to the Korean Airlines lounge within minutes.
Pre-Flight: At the late hour of 10 p.m., the bright lounge was stocked with a variety of food — pizza, fried rice and pasta for those seeking dinner, plus lighter fare such as salad and sandwiches. Tasty macaroons were a nice touch for my sweet tooth.
There were plenty of comfortable chairs all around; free WiFi (no password required) made it easy to get a few last-minute emails out before the flight. A business desk complete with printer was in the center of the lounge, easily accessible to all.
In-Flight: I had been anticipating my first Airbus A380 flight for some time, and I was one of the first business-class passengers to board. Even with my knowledge of the aircraft, I was still astounded by the size of the plane and the number of friendly Emirates flight attendants waiting to greet and assist travelers.
The cabin configuration features a single seat on the window and two in the center aisle. At first the seats appear rather small and boxy, but as I settled, I realized how thoughtfully equipped they are, including a personal selection of beverages, counter space for my book and electronics, and a spot by my seat for magazines (where I put my laptop). I was treated to a glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne before takeoff and a beautiful amenity kit full of Bvlgari products.
Once in the air, I selected a traditional local Arabic mezze plate to start, seasonal salad and chicken tandoori for dinner, accompanied by a glass of Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc. All were excellent, and I passed on dessert, as our fight departed at midnight and I was ready for some sleep.
The lie-flat seat was very comfortable, and aided by my Emirates eye mask, I got some sleep while others gathered in the lounge at the back of the cabin.
Just a 10-hour flight from Seoul to Dubai, the time went fast, and soon it was time for breakfast. I selected a delicatessen assortment of cold meats and cheeses and herbal tea. I only had a little time to explore the ICE entertainment system but was impressed with the assortment of movies, music and full seasons of my favorite shows.
The Experience: Never having flown Emirates before, I had high expectations, and I must say all were met, with great attention to detail — from the seat design to the amenity kit to the beautiful uniforms and quality service. Additionally, the A380 aircraft did not disappoint. I could truly feel the air was fresher and less dry than any other flight I have been on. No frequent traveler should miss the Emirates A380 experience.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous flight attendants
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Extensive on-demand menu
- Self-serve in-flight pantry
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress and comforter
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
Think of Tokyo and your mind may wander to the neon signs and bustling crowds of Shibuya and Shinjuku, or the tranquility of the Meiji Jingu shrine, but this huge city offers much to those who explore away from the main tourist areas.
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