Hello, and welcome to the start of the return trip of this whirlwind visit to Asia in Emirates First Class and EVA business class.
Here’s the rundown and the trip so far:
BR35 YYZ-TPE 11/20/2016 - Right here BR871 TPE-HKG 11/21/2016 - You betcha EK385 HKG-BKK 11/22/2016 - You got it EK384 BKK-HKG 11/23/2016 - You are here BR858 HKG-TPE 11/23/2016 - Coming soon BR36 TPE-YYZ 11/24/2016 - Coming after that
Having enjoyed a decent night’s sleep and puttered for a bit, I checked out of the Novotel Suvarnambhumi at about 10:45, and with after a quick shuttle ride, was over to BKK by about 11. The shuttle dropped me off right outside the correct door for the aisle where Emirates’ check-in counters are located.
I was checked in in no time, with a boarding pass, and a pass for the priority immigration lane available for premium passengers here at BKK. Then I almost ended up completely missing it and going upstairs to join the main lineup for immigration. An attendant at the base of the escalator to go upstairs pointed me in the right direction.
Security and immigration were pretty quick, and I spotted a few Canadian passports in various lines. One arrives airside into a crowded and busy duty free shopping area. BKK really is all about the retail, even moreso than most airports.
After a bit of a struggle, I finally located the Emirates Lounge, one level below the main D concourse. My boarding pass was scanned, and I was invited inside. At my time of arrival, there were four other passengers here. One solo traveler, and a family of three. So I pretty much had the place to myself.
Seating is in the usual Emirates beige/cream colour, and is pretty comfortable. Power outlets were not abundant, but were available.
Newspapers and magazines were all available.
At the centre of the lounge, there was this nice water feature.
The business centre wasn’t really a business centre, but a few workstations with PCs in the same room as the main lounge.
No airside views from here, but a pleasant garden and some of the unique BKK architecture to look at out the large windows.
I haven’t had breakfast yet, so I’m looking forward to checking out the buffet. Let’s start with drinks, tea and coffee.
Some vegetable soup.
The Emirates cold dishes isalnd, with a variety of salads, appetizers and desserts, nicely presented.
And then onto the hot items. Quite a few things look interesting here.
And finally, the bar.
There’s also a dining room area adjacent the buffet.
In case you didn’t want to walk the length of the lounge to get a drink, there was also a secondary station at the opposite end from the buffet with a bar and drinks.
I pour myself some Moet, and grab a little sample of this and that. Nothing truly impressive, but I thought everything was pretty good, with the Indian vegetable curry probably my favourite item. The satay here was decidedly better than in the EK lounge in Hong Kong.
It was a bit of work to find the WiFi password, but once I had it, the WiFi was fast — no surprise with so few people using it. First, I check in on my ride over to HKG, which is just about to arrive from Dubai. It’s looking like it’ll be a few minutes early, so that bodes well for us being on time.
And then a (somewhat blurry) corporate shot. Another new report! The site is busy today.
Still a bit peckish, I decide to try the steak and mushroom pie. Yum. Much better than the pie at HKG. This was very good.
And finally, a combination cold dish with a couple of shrimps, some mango slices, and potato salad. All pretty good.
I could have eaten more, but at this point I don’t want to be full before my flight begins, anticipating a good amount of food on this short flight.
About 15 minutes before the posted boarding time, I make my way out of the lounge and down to the gate, towards the end of the E concourse. There’s a bit of a lineup to get downstairs to the gate holding area, as they’re checking boarding passes before you head downstairs.
Once downstairs, I find out why — right at the bottom of the stairs, they’re scanning boarding passes and “boarding” passengers, even though boarding itself hasn’t begun.
Outside, A6-EDX, freshly in from Dubai, is being prepared for the continuation of its journey, onwards to Hong Kong.
Within a couple of minutes of me getting downstairs, and about 10 minutes ahead of the “scheduled” boarding time, they start pre-boarding. I’m already on my feet, so I’m quickly on my way. It’s so odd to be called to board, and just walk through the doors without anyone checking my boarding pass.
Flight: EK384 From: Bangkok (BKK) To: Hong Kong (HKG) Date: 11/23/2016 Aircraft: Airbus A380-800 Registration: A6-EDX Seat: 1K ATD (STD): 13:59 (13:45) ATA (STA): 17:21 (17:30)
For this flight, I’m in 1K, the front-most starboard window seat. It’s pretty much the same as my seat yesterday, but it’s apparent this 388 is a bit older than yesterday’s ride by some details.
For those who care about such things, there are three windows assigned to this seat, but two of them are pretty much behind the seat itself, so there’s really only one window you’re can look out of easily. Other seats have two fully usable windows. Something to consider.
The remote tablet is one of those differences — it’s clearly a bit older, a bit smaller, a bit lower-rez. It’s also not capable of displaying airshow or camera unless it’s plugged in, unlike the tablet on the newer A380.
The wired remote is also clearly a bit older than the one in my seat yesterday.
The stocked minibar. Again, it went unused. Not even much of a point in swiping a drink to go, when I would just clear transit security immediately after arrival into Hong Kong.
A very friendly flight attendant named Fatima (I believe… that’s what it sounded like she said, but it was hard to read her badge.) comes by to introduce herself and offer a pre-departure beverage. When I ask for a champagne, she clarifies once again that it’s Moet on the ground, and Dom once we’re in the air.
I could be wrong, but either the IFE on this older A380 seems either a bit smaller, or a bit lower-resolution. Or maybe it’s just because it’s bright outside, as opposed to dark. It doesn’t “pop” at me the same way the screen did last night. Nevertheless, it’s the same powerful and easy-to-use IFE experience as yesterday. I immediately select All The Way, the movie I was watching last night, and easily fast forward to just watch the last twenty minutes of the film, which I didn’t get to last night. I’m done before we depart.
Again, no amenity kit, but some amenities available below the vanity.
Legroom shot, with headphones provided in the cubby in the outside wall.
With the movie over, and my second glass of Moet in hand, I put on the tail cam to admire the back of the plane and the interesting design of the terminal at Suvarnambhumi.
Not much going on outside my window.
Fatima is back again with arrival forms — it’s always nice go get these things done ahead of time.
Next, she returns with the menu, and the wine list, which is of course the same as last night’s. The menu is different though. Shortly afterwards, she takes orders. I go with the seafood duo, and take a risk on the filet.
Up next, the traditional Emirates date and Arabic coffee welcome.
Just about on time, the safety video rolls, and we push back.
As we’re taxiing, a big, plush hot towel is offered.
As we taxi, we lurk behind a narrowbody Airbus in front. I feel like the theme from Jaws should be playing ominously in the background.
A look out the doors of suite 1K. I would say there’s a bit less privacy here in this suite because it’s pretty much “open” onto this foyer with the two shower spas. There’s also the spa attendant, who’s hanging out here most of the time during boarding and in-flight - although the curtains are drawn for most of the flight, helping to mitigate the feeling of openness somewhat.
It’s not a long taxi, and soon we’re lining up for our turn.
And away we go! It’s a pretty short roll by A380 standards — clearly, her fuel tanks aren’t exactly topped up for this short 1,000 mile flight.
I watch the climb through my window and relax for a bit.
Once the flight attendants are released, Fatima is quickly by, offering a glass of Dom (as I had previously expressed interest) and some delicious warmed nuts.
As soon as we’re allowed out of our seats, I find the shower spa attendant, and request a turn in the shower. She says she’ll set it up and come get me. Shortly afterwards, Fatima comes by my seat to clarify if I’d prefer to shower before or after my meal. I decide to go before — just in case we’re tight on time. A couple of minutes later, Fatima invites me to the shower spa, and takes a minute to explain how everything works. I’ve got 25 minutes total time in the spa, and five minutes worth of water.
A look around the port-side shower spa, which is pretty much identical to the starboard side. Amenities for the shower include a very large, very fluffy towel, and a variety of shower gels, shampoos and conditioners.
The shower itself, and a quick look inside.
One thing I note once my shoes are off — the spa floor is heated. Like, really heated. Like, “this is actually uncomfortable on my bare feet” heated.
The shower itself is quite nice, and the five minutes of hot water flies by. I’d agree with the consensus that it’s a gimmick, but it’s a fun one. A very unique experience, and one I’m happy to check off my bucket list.
After my five minutes of shower time, I’m probably out of the shower in about twelve minutes total time used, and head back to my seat, where my table is quickly set for lunch, and the salad, bread, and starter presented. They set things up pretty quickly, because most of the other passengers — the load was about two-thirds full — are onto their main or dessert by now, and because clearly, we’re going to be up against the clock in order to get the meal in.
The start is very good. The scallops are excellent, and the salmon is nice and thick. The avocado provides a nice accompaniment.
The garlic bread is also quite good.
The salad is also pretty good, with peppers and tomatoes providing some variety. I like the dressing presentation allowing my to select my own balance, which is “lots of vinegar, not so much olive oil,” personally.
As soon as I’m done, the main is presented. All in all, it’s pretty good. The veggies were quite enjoyable, but the potato gratin was disappointing, considering the great potato gratins I’ve had on other flights. The steak itself is a little bit done beyond my liking, but still decently tender, and quite tasty with the addition of the very strong balsamic reduction its presented in. A good main… but it doesn’t hold a candle to the delight that was the lamb on HKG-BKK. I accompany it with the second Australian shiraz on offer, having tried the other one last night.
Again, Fatima acts quickly when I’m done, and offers “anything else.” I ask for the cheese board, and the blueberry cheesecake, as well as a little bit of port wine. More than a little bit is provided. It’s a lovely port, but that’s a big drink at this point, when I’m getting pretty full.
These cheese board is very good, although again, I preferred the one last night. Hidden under the grapes are a very nice bleu, and a pretty good brie. I thought the feta (or feta-like) cheese in the cubes was an interesting addition.
And finally, the cheesecake was very good. Simple, but delightful.
By the time I’m done, and my table is cleared, we’re beginning our descent. The captain comes on and explains that we’ll likely be a few minutes late getting in, as we’re getting put into the pattern for landing. I really liked the pilot on this flight — in his pre-flight announcements, he took the time to highlight the service being offered, mentioned his favourite view to watch the flight (the tail cam), and had an extended discussion about the weather in Hong Kong, and the results the current cold front were having on it. I’m surprised, honestly, he didn’t provide some movie reviews as well. But he was entertaining, and seemed very genuine. Here, he talks a lot more about the weather, and it’s expected to be rainy for most of the next few days.
Yep, we’re almost there alright.
A great view off the tailcam as we descend through the clouds.
Finally, we break through the clouds, over part of the development for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.
As usual, lots of Whalebuses to be seen at Hong Kong, including one from BA, and our EK stablemate. We’d end up parking next to the other EK A380, continuing the lineup.
And, we have arrived.
Next to us, on my side…. not another A380.
We’re quickly released from our seats, and Fatima wishes me well with the rest of my trip. Down the jetway I go, and off to find the transit desk for my boarding pass on to Taipei.
We’ll pick the trip up there next time. Thanks for reading!
Bangkok - BKK
Hong Kong - HKG
A second very good experience on Emirates, although slightly eclipsed by the previous experience. The crew and service were very good — just not the phenomenal experience of the previous flight. The meal was very good — just not the phenomenal experience of the previous flight. On the plus side, though, I did get my shower in the sky experience in.
And they got my to Hong Kong in plenty of time for my onwards flight — which is always a concern when one is connecting on separate tickets.
4 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".