After a power nap at the Dubai International Airport Hotel, which doesn’t require passing immigration, I was back in the First Class Lounge preparing for the 8AM departure to Haneda in the virtual window suite.
I ordered small quick breakfast as the expectation was to be well fed over the next 9 hours. I should have indulged. But what was ordered, while not so small, was delicious.
Today’s flight boarded through door one. I was not greeted by any flight attendant.
Suite 2F would be my virtual window home for the ride to Japan.
Yep, is it real or is it Memorex? (For those that remember these commercials from way back when.)
The detail was incredible. And the fact that the window is “clean” made the visual even more impressive.
Some detail the I’d missed on the BRU-DXB report. In place of overhead bins.
A look back in business class. What a stark difference between the two classes.
Especially for those two gentleman in the middle seat!
When I went to the lavatory to change into my pj’s from yesterday’s flight I saw a Flight Attendant in the galley and we exchanged greetings. He offered a glass of water before departure, but nothing else.
The onboard camera with massive monitor along with crystal clear window views made for great entertainment on the ground and in the air.
Once the crew was released the FA I met in the galley came by and closed my suite door. I continued to gaze out the window and take photos. Then at some point I must have dozed off.
I awoke about 2 1/2 hours into the flight. The suite door was still closed. I waited to see if anyone would come for about 15 minutes, then rang the call button.
A woman FA came to the suite. I asked for some coffee and, acting dumb, wanted to know if food was being served. She looked startled and said “you haven’t eaten”. I said no, I don’t even have a menu. Immediately she returned with coffee and menus.
This was the oddest thing that ever happened to me on a flight, let alone on a renowned Emirates First Class flight which I’ve never experienced the hype. Granted I did fall asleep for probably 60-90 minutes, but to only offer a glass of water on the ground, not drop off the amenities or menu before takeoff, close the suite door after departure and not check back for a few hours. The only explanation was someone (cabin was full) had requested they not be bothered from takeoff and somehow the seat/suite number got mixed up.
Here is today’s menu.
Since this flight departed at 8AM, the first course was breakfast. It was however lunchtime, but I digress. No western/international selection was appealing so I went with the Japanese breakfast.
Just as the menu said it was a “meal tray”.
I should have known “simmered seasonal vegetables” was a red flag.
Seasoned rice, or is it mushrooms and rice??
The roasted gindara (sablefish) was quite tasty, but isn’t anything roasted in teriyaki sauce tasty?
Business class, at best, presentation of fruit.
I finished off an underwhelming breakfast with some green tea. I will say, once the FA’s realized there was someone in Suite 2K, attention and service improved immensely.
For the next few hours I did some work and watched some entertainment. Dinner was served a couple hours out of Tokyo.
Only Western/International came with all the courses, I assume because when I ordered the Japanese Kaseki service I wasn’t asked if I wanted anything else. Nor was I brought the Canapes course, not that I was expected one in Emirates First Class.
The 2nd page had the Japanese Kaiseki service on top, then the International Main Course. So based on the placement of these items I assume the FA’s had no clue how to serve this menu.
Regardless, this was the main attraction. This is an excellent wine if you run across it.
I only punished myself again ordering the Japanese Kaiseki service because earlier this year I had the veal chop on Emirates and it was horrible.
I love tamago, but not this version. And prawn teppo gushi? Ok then…
At least everything wasn’t served on a single tray.
Credit when credit is due, the simmered veal cheek was outstanding.
Hmmm, haven’t I seen something like this before?
Maybe this was my dessert from breakfast.
Not to mention they never served the rice, soup or Japanese pickles.
Along with a fresh set of pajamas I was given this amenity kit with Bvlgari products.
Soon we arrived outside of Japan.
Where an extensive video was played before landing.
The map showed us on the runway in Haneda.
Upon arrival into Tokyo I had arranged for the Emirates Chauffeur service to take me to the Hilton in Narita. The website has limitations for this service and I wasn’t sure in Narita qualified. So I contacted Emirates to book the trip and the agent confirmed I would be taken by car to Narita.
At the airport, in the arrivals hall was the driver with a plaque and my name on it. We were in the car and off, probably within 15 minutes of landing. The driver didn’t say much as he drove because as I was about to find out, he spoke almost no English.
It was a rainy night in Tokyo. About a half hour outside of Narita we stopped to pay a toll. Then the driver pulled off to the side and paraphrasing said, “This as far as I can take you”. At least that is what I thought he said.
We went back and forth and I couldn’t understand him, he couldn't understand me. Then he called someone and handed me the phone. The woman spoke English and said in order to get to my destination I would have to pay with a credit card. I explained that I had a confirmed reservation to the Hilton and pulled it up on my phone, which of course the driver couldn’t understand. I became more agitated at this point. My options were pay with a credit card, pay with cash or get out in the rain on an expressway somewhere in Tokyo.
Obviously I gave the credit card. It was $130 to get to the hotel!
When I returned to the states I called Emirates. They told me to file a complaint through their website which I immediately did. A few weeks went by and no response. I called Emirates. The agent assured me that someone would respond. This repeated three times, now into January. On the 5th call to Emirates I got an agent who actually helped. He said to refile the claim as something must have gone wrong as he couldn’t find record of the initial claim. To Emirates credit, once I filed the claim again they reimbursed me the $130 within a couple weeks.
Seat: Of course the suite is incredible. The difference in Suite 2F are the virtual windows which are really cool. Sharpness of detail, even in the air is far superior to what you would normally see. The question is, how does weather affect the projection? And the only negative is that you only see the angle of the camera. For instance if you want to look back, the field of vision doesn’t allow that. Minor issue.
Food: Granted the main dish of each meal was excellent, as was the wine and champagne which I didn’t indulge in. But the accompaniments were awful. In 4 Emirates first class flights I’ve yet to have a full meal that I would rank as even very good.
IFE: Awesome IFE monitor, large great clarity. Dual tablet airshow capability. Great overall content.
FA's: Bizarre would be the word to describe the Flight Attendants on this flight. From forgetting about me, to not serving the proper courses and not even serving all the items on some of the courses, well I won’t believe the polished Emirates First Class flight attendants TV commercials I’ve seen in the past.