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Emirates a business class experience.

I am not always satisfied with articles on the business class experience of Emirates A380. As a travel agent I feel that there is so much more than the seating, the meal service and the Bar down the back, to report on.

My article won’t finish with “Monett flew courtesy of Emirates Airways”, because I didn’t. Like all hardworking kiwis I bought my own ticket, so I fully appreciate the cost and why business class travel should be fabulous.

Emirates do very well in the New Zealand market because they know how to look after their travellers. It starts right at the beginning of your booking with bonus air miles, followed by Chauffeur drive pickup (with a mileage limitation) to take you from home to the airport, so you are there in good time to enjoy their excellent lounges. If you are travelling from Whitianga, like I do your journey has already started three hours earlier, so it is great to be able to refresh, maybe have some lunch and five minutes peace before you start that long journey. Plus being chauffeur driven to your arrival destination hotel makes the whole business of landing in another country rather easy.

If a business class journey doesn’t have a good connection to your onward destination, in some instances, Emirates offer business class travellers complimentary hotel accommodation at Dubai until the next flight departs. If you do stopover en route to your destination, the chauffeur drive service is available to and from your stopover hotel and of course, they pick you up again to join your flight home.

And isn’t it going to be fantastic, now that you can take the long range aircraft direct to Dubai and avoid the tediousness of clearing customs again in Australia. If I were you, I would be planning and booking as early as possible to get on to that smaller aircraft, as well as taking advantage of any early bird airfares.

Emirates fast track your customs clearance as well. It’s pretty good going through Auckland, but when you check in at Dubai, it’s something else. They even have a dedicated business/first class check in area and you’ll find you have got your boarding pass, cleared customs and are sitting in the lounge in no time at all. All their lounges are adjacent to the aircraft gates, so you don’t have to board until the last minute. Don’t worry if you have fragile or oversize baggage, you don’t have to find a counter to get rid of that either, Emirates staff do it all for you.

The aircraft seating is staggered to give privacy to all guests, especially those who are travelling on their own and for couples, the pod seating in the middle section has a screen that can be lowered so you can easily chat with each other.

And as for the famous bar, it’s a great idea. The crew, man the Bar throughout the flight, they aren’t there just to serve tea and coffee or pour a bubbles, they are good conversationalists, friendly and encourage their guests to meet each other. There are times when you don’t feel like a heavy meal, so you can skip the scheduled menu and have a snack at the bar whenever you like. The meal service is very flexible anyway and if you don’t feel like eating you can delay your order with your steward for a later time. It’s all extremely civilised.

And as for having a stopover in Dubai, that’s a whole other story. It’s not just a city of skyscrapers, it’s a city of great experiences and cultures. There’s currently a very good Arabian air-pass (available only in conjunction with your outward ticket) to extend your journey to other fascinating Middle Eastern destinations like Muscat, Amman and Cairo or you could enjoy a leisurely cruise around the Arabian Gulf at certain times of the year.

If Business class is your normal mode of travel then consider upgrading to first class for the journey home. It is less expensive than you may think. Give yourself a treat, enjoy even better service, some Vintage champagnes and arrive home super refreshed from your on-board shower.

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