The airline with the best average rating is Emirates with 8.4/10.
The average flight time is 6 hours and 52 minutes.More information
As I may have written in past reports last July I've been graduated in Architecture. When my parents told me that they wanted to make me a big present I start thinking about what to ask for, but no ideas came to my mind. Finally, in Autumn, I realized what I wanted: travelling.
My last extra-Europe travel happened in August 2019, when I visited Vietnam and Cambodia. After the long Covid period I needed a taste of normality: getting on a plane, having my passport stamped, changing moneys, hearing other languages and tasting unusual dishes.
Around October I took a look to prices for planes and hotels and I finally found a destination: Dubai.
I chose to travel there the first week of March, in order to be free from exams and at the same time experience the Universal Exposition Expo 2020. For a young (future) architect like me an event like Expo is like a Disneyland for a child. Moreover in 2015 I worked as a volunteer at Expo Milano 2015 and I really appreciated the international appeal of this event.
I ask a dear friend of mine to come with me and she immediately agrees. We set these date: 27th Febraury to 5th March.
First of all we had to choose flights
Since we wanted to spend the lowest possible we skipped Emirates, which offered a direct MXP-DXB flight for 650 euros.
With around 500 euros there were many options with a stopover, the best ones where Swiss and Turkish Airlines.
Swiss International Air Lines - 505 €
MXP-ZRH 9:50 - 11:05
ZRH-DXB 12:55 - 21:55
DXB-ZRH 2:05 - 6:10
ZRH-MXP 7:25 - 8:20
Turkish Airlines - 523 €
MXP-IST 11:15 - 16:15
IST-DXB 21:30 - 2:50 (+1d)
DXB-IST 2:40 - 6:35
IST-MXP 8:55 - 9:45
Even if I was really curious to try Turkish Airlines and visit the marvellous Istanbul Airport this solution presented a drawback: arriving at Dubai at 3 am in the morning would have been loosing the first half of the day 28th Febraury, seriously affecting our program.
Moreover the 5-hour stopover in IST would have been a bit boring
For all these reasons we decided to try Swiss International Air Lines via Zurich. For me it would be the first time with this airline and transfering in ZRH.
The 1st November my friend and I booked the tickets. For unknown reasons the price was 5 euros lower on Lufthansa website, so we bought it from there. My friend decided to buy a cheaper fare (420€) since she didnt' need the hold luggage.
In order to be closer to the Expo 2020 site we book the Avani Ibn Battuta Hotel in Jebel Ali, for 560€ (4 nights)
The hotel is very cozy, the service very good and it's just 30 minutes by metro to the Exposition.
Until 28th Febraury United Arab Emirates was part of so called "List D" of Italian Foreign Minister. This meant that people arriving from a Country in that list should get a negative PCR-Test 72 hours before landing or a rapid antigenic test 24 hours before.
It was also required to bring a valid vaccination certificate and to fill a Passenger Locator Form
For this reason my friend and I had booked a PCR-Test in Dubai for the day before flight.
However the 1st of Febraury Italian Government eliminated all the Countries' lists, making a valid vaccination certificate as sole requirement to enter the Country from abroad.
When we got this information we immediately provide to cancel our appointment.
Our flight to Zurich would depart at 2.05 of 5th March and the check-in opened 24 hours before. Being already asleep at that moment we checked in in the morning of 4th March. Unfortunately all the seats had been already assigned and the computer gave us two separate seats: 26C and 26E, for my friend and me respectively.
In general I prefer a window seat and, if necessary, I have no problem with an aisle one.
But a central seat, moreover between people I don't know, it's something I hate. I'd try to change my "compressed" seat at the airport.
We decided to be at the airport no late than midnight. So we booked an Uber for 23 of the 4th March. Out hotel in Jebel Ali is 37 km from the airport and the inbound journey took around half a hour
When we landed in Dubai we took a regular taxi and it costs 200AED. The hotel offers a transfer service for 180AED. Uber instead costed around 120-130AED.
We left the hotel around 23:10
Driving along Sheik Zayed Road
The marvellous Museum of the Future, opened two weeks before
30 minutes after getting on the car we arrived at Dubai International Airport
Our flight is handled at Terminal 1, which hosts all the airlines except for Emirates and Qantas
The drop-off lane was busy as hell
Our driver explained us that in DXB most of the flights departs between 1 and 6 AM
I like the traditional arabic style of the terminal roof
The check-in hall was a bit crowded
Our flight is handled at check-in zone 6, at the far end of the terminal
The entire row is dedicated to Lufthansa and Swiss
The queue took around 10 minutes
Arrived at the desk I asked the agent if it was possible to get a window or aisle seat since the central one was terrible
She made a bit of resistance because the flight was full, but at the end she gave me 44H, an aisle seat a bit far from my friend (26C)
Having nothing to do landside we proceeded straight to the checkpoint
First there's the passport control, followed by the security check-point
The whole procedure took around 15 minutes and at 00.15 we were airside
Boarding was scheduled for 1:20
The train ride to the concourse D lasts two minutes
Air Canada and Kenya Airways Boeing 787s and our Swiss Air Lines Boeing 777, parked at the same stand we arrived to
Once in the concourse we checked the FIDS and the gate was still unassigned
Not a big issue since our BPs already reported the gate to be D18
Mandatory passage through the duty free…
…to access the main departure lounge, fitted with many seating areas and a good amount of shops
The gate is located at the far end of the concourse
Having one hour to spare before boarding I took a walk around the concourse
I visited a couple of shops to buy some souvenirs and I've to say the choice was very good
I try to take some pics to planes but the glass wall is like one meter from the boarding area and it makes very difficult to snap good pics at night
Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777
Air France Boeing 777
Turkish Airlines Boeing 777
The concourse C visible in the distance is part of Emirates Terminal 3
Emirates Boeing 777
Quite on time boarding was called at gate D18
Passengers were asked to get in the queue by groups and everything went not messy
Being in group 6 (the last) we were accepted for boarding 20 minutes after it started
Our ride to home
Swiss International Air Lines Boeing 777-300ER, HB-JNJ, delivered in March '18
It's equipped with 340 seats: 8 in F, 62 in C and 270 in Y
I love this lineup of Emirates tails
This engine is beautiful
I gave the flight report form to the purser
He wasn't so convinced about it but accepted to bring to the flight deck
Main Business class cabin
First Economy class cabin
Second Economy class cabin, where my seat is located
Since the plane was full I had some issues finding an empty baggage overhead compartment
A cabin crew member promptly showed up asking if I wanted to send the baggage in the hold if he didn't find any storage
He later came to my seat telling that my suitcase had been placed in Business Class
Lucky baggage XD
My home for the next 6 hours and half
Just around the departure time doors were armed and cabin prepared for departure
Meanwhile safety video was played
Lights lowered for taxi
Fortunately the couple sitting at the window didn't care so much about what was happening outside and I managed to take some pics
Emirates line up at concourse C while we pushed back
Emirates Boeing 777 in Expo 2020 special livery
Emirates Airbus A380 in Expo 2020 special livery
Emirates Airbus A380
We waited a lot of time after pushing back, but the taxi itself didn't take so long
Runway 12R for us tonight
26 minutes after scheduled departure time we entered the runway for take off
Concourse B visible while we speed up
And finally on air…
Bye Bye Dubai, thank you for all!
Mood lighting turned purple for the meal, 20 minutes into the flight
Since it was very late at night the meal was made of a cheese quiche and a biscuit
The quiche was tasty, but too hot to be eaten immediately
The biscuit was fine, even if it seemed to be taken out from the fridge minutes before
During the service the crew was professional, but a bit "colder" than the one on ZRH-DXB route
After the meal I decided to sleep since it had been a long day and I was really tired
The seat was comfortable and I spent around 4 hours in Morpheus' arms
I woke up while breakfast was served
The breakfast was made by a cheese and ham plate, an orange juice and a yogurt
To be honest one of the worst breakfast I've ever had on a plane
Ham was tasteless and cold while cheese was nothing special
Seeing the level of the lunch on ZRH-DXB I'd expect something more…
We've made a lot of miles while I was asleep
Service ended a bit more than one hour before landing in Zurich
40 minutes before scheduled arrival time cabin was set for landing
Mood lighting turned orange
The screen showing our arrival gate, E26…
…and flight connections
As printed on the BP our flight to Milan would depart from gates A/B
We'd need to check while on the ground
Landing was a bit bumpy
The welcoming announcement reported an outside temperature below zero
I already miss Dubai…
A plane was undergoing de-icing procedure before its departure
Taxiing from the runway was quite fast and we docked at gate E26 as announced
Being in the last rows meant that I was among the last to disembark
Main Business Class cabin, where my baggage had been placed
Front Business Class cabin, equipped with just 10 seats
The amazing First Class product
I asked the purser for the flight report and he took a couple of minutes to realize what I was talking about
Seeing his reaction I didn't ask to visit the cockpit, also because we'd to catch the flight to Milan
As usual I was the last to leave the plane
Outside it was still dark
Boeing 777 nose is definitely one of my favourite
Arrival mezzanine of Dock E
We got off the plane at 6.20, forty minutes before scheduled boarding time for MXP
Having to clear security and passport control we speeded up
Moreover we'd need to take the people mover back to the main terminal
The FIDS showed our gate as B33, located in Dock B
The queue for the security checkpoint
Being early in the morning only one lane was opened
The whole procedure took around 15 minutes
Fortunately the control itself was fast and we immeditely pointed to our next flight's gate…
Don't forget to see the next flight report
Here's a selection of the best things I've experienced in Dubai
To be honest is a city that probably I'd have not visited if I didn't have the reason of Expo
Maybe because the city itself needs just 3 days to be visited in its main landmarks
I was really positively impressed by its architecture and the way everything it's made to amaze
Expo 2020 al-Wasi Plaza
New Zealand Pavilion
Netherlands and Singapore Pavilions
Saudi Arabia Pavilion
United Arab Emirates Pavilion
Mahmood concert at Italy Pavilion
Bluewaters Island with Ain-Dubai Ferris Wheel
Museum of the Future
Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world
The view from the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa, at 424 metres
Spices Souk in the Old City
Burj al-Arab Hotel
In general during this flight I didn't appreciate most of Swiss long haul product since I spent most of the time sleeping
The cabin confirms to be a very comfortable one
Respect to ZRH-DXB flight I see a lower level of cabin crew and meal. The first one was "robotic", less empathic. Regarding the meal, I understand it's a red-eye flight, but the breakfast was very low in quality and not worth any further consideration