INTRODUCTION It was a memorable family trip. The wintry weather is milder than I expected (no snow and temperature in London reached 10 degrees celcius). Anyway, the return flight would require me to take EK002. And then after a 3.5 hour stopover in DXB, I would take EK346 back to KUL. From then on, I would be onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH2628. I already book the schedule and everything right from the beginning. As you delved into the story, you would know how the original plan was just completely gone haywire. You can find my previous flight here: http://flight-report.com/en/report-9339.html
THE FLIGHT Flight Number: EK030 (was originally booked on EK002) Aircraft type: Airbus A380-800 Aircraft registration: A6-EDG (was supposed to be on A6-EEI) Seat: 58J (was supposed to sit at 50A)
We started our journey from our hotel at Kensington area in London at 7.50AM local time. Wintry London was still dark, cloudy and cold by the time we checked-out from our hotel. We booked an MPV van which came right on-time, as stated in the booking receipt. We put our luggage in the van and left the hotel. It took approximately 30 minutes or a bit longer to reach Heathrow Airport Terminal 4. We were dropped-off just outside the departure area. The sky was extremely cloudy, with overcast clouds moving fast across the South-East England from the Atlantic Ocean. The icy wind just blew straight into your face. And it would rain anytime soon.
Why would I want to be dropped-off at Terminal 4, yet Emirates is operating at Terminal 3? The reason was simple. The rest of my family members were on Malaysia Airlines (which operates from Terminal 4). The taxi driver was reluctant to drop me at Terminal 3 as it would cause quite a detour. Besides, he had to pick-up another customer after sending us to Terminal 4.
Bleak day outside Terminal 4
We reached Terminal 4 around 9.00AM. We got ourselves a pair of trollies to put our luggage on and rushed into the terminal to escape the icy wind (though my mom asked for a photo of her in front of the terminal). We went straight to check-in counter. There weren’t many passengers yet, so we reached the counter quickly. My dad suggested that I put my luggage inside their MH003 flight too so I wouldn’t have to recheck my luggage again for my last sector of the flight (MH2628 - KUL-BKI). Since I had my spare clothes in my backpack, I agreed with his suggestion. At least I didn’t have to carry my luggage all the way to Terminal 3 later – one less burden to carry.
While there, my sister met a friend who also going back to Malaysia. We took the time to have a hot beverage. I like Terminal 4. The space at the departure level is very open and you don’t feel as if you walk into a shopping centre. While sipping my hot chocolate, I gazed outside through the see through glass and I saw one or two airport staffs were brave enough to brace the cold just to have a butt of cigarette. Soon after that, the rest of my family began walking to the waiting lounge. We will not be seeing each other again until I am back at Kota Kinabalu. After bidding farewell to my family, I paid close attention to the signposts to navigate my way to Terminal 3. I do realise that Terminal 4 is separated from Terminals 1, 2 & 3 by Runway 9R/27L. Finally, I boarded a Heathrow Express train which is accessed through Terminal 4’s arrival hall. I went inside the train free of charge since I only want to go to Terminal 3. It took about 2-3 minutes for the train to reach the terminals. Once arrived, I exited the train and I walked for quite some time to reach Terminal 3’s entrance.
At least Terminal 3 has larger canopy than Terminal 4
Since I done my online check-in the night before, coupled with the benefit of not having to carry my luggage, I proceeded directly to the waiting lounge which is located upstairs from the general check-in area. So I went upstairs and as usual I passed through security clearance. Like previously, I didn’t wear a belt. I put my backpack into the x-ray machine and then I went straight into the metal detector. Like my previous experience, I went through without triggering a single beeping sound. I got back my backpack and went straight to waiting lounge. A nice thing that I notice while passing through security clearance is that a couple of staffs would stand there and give out those sealable plastic bags to those travellers that are required to seal their (100mL or less) liquid items.
My flight was still about 3 hours away by the time I stepped on the waiting lounge. Since my incoming flight (EK001) was yet to arrive at the airport, no gate number was shown yet on the information screen. I sat at one of the countless of benches (though filled with other passengers too) at common lounge, surrounded by shops and restaurants, I got bored pretty quickly. I tried accessing the available Wi-Fi hotspot, but I wasn’t interested in signing up as Heathrow Airport guest account. So, I sat there for some 15 minutes reading a book that I bought days earlier. When that too was boring, I gazed around watching the lounge’s atmosphere filled with travellers from all around the world. I also took a brief time to venture into a souvenir shop, just to have a look and was thinking of buying extra souvenirs for friends back home. In the end I didn’t buy anything as the souvenir items more or less are the same as the ones I bought a day or two earlier in London.
It was still more than 2 hours away from departure time. I ventured further afield into the alleyway leading to gates 23-55 and spot a window. There was a small black bench located facing the window panes. I quickly went there and settle down on the bench. There was another person sitting beside me, probably an airport staff taking the time off from his busy job.
The view out of the window – American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic fleets.
The clouds were still rolling in quickly from the Atlantic Ocean. The weather just above the airport was just gloomy and windy. A brief speck of blue sky was quickly replaced with another band of dark clouds. As I sat there, lots of people with distinctive American accent went pass where I was sitting – no hard guess where they headed/or coming from based on the photo above. After sitting there, I went to the pier that leads to gates 13-22. There were a series of windows that is quite OK for plane spotting compared to the previous location. This time, I can view directly towards Terminal 4 and parts of Runway 9R/27L. In front of me I can see Malaysia Airlines A380 parked there at Terminal 4. My family probably in the plane already waiting for take-off.
More aircraft activity can be seen from this vantage point.
Since I came from a place where the airport (Kota Kinabalu International Airport) nor is big and busy (and less airline variety), Heathrow is a paradise for plane spotters and I can truly understand why. Even every few minutes or so, there are aircrafts of different sizes and colours taxi and take-off – the sight is not boring at all.
Malaysia Airlines A380 (flight number MH003) where my family was on-board taxied to Runway 27L for take-off. See you again back in KK!
Despite the choppy weather, MH003 took-off with minimal delay (at almost 11.00AM local time). I stayed there for like 30 minutes just to see aircraft movements. I did went back to the previous location just to sit down as my legs were already aching from standing up for too long. While there, I took the time to finally accessing the internet as I want to know whether EK001 was nearing LHR. I visited flightaware.com web page (flightradar24 app is very slow on my Windows Phone), typed in EK001 and then it popped-up on the screen showing the aircraft approaching LHR in about 15 minutes. The weather was still menacing and I expected the arrival would be delayed for a few minutes. Well, it was delayed anyway because the aircraft was on a holding pattern over eastern London. Then some several minutes later, I saw a white tail adorned with black, white and green colours peeking out and passed by quietly behind the Virgin Atlantic pier. EK001 had landed which means we were expected to depart to Dubai in our EK002 flight roughly on schedule.
I went to the information screen to see through which gate we would board our aircraft. That information wasn’t up yet. But an airport staff who happened to passed by informed a couple (which stood very near to me) that EK002 boarding gate would be at gate 6. After overheard this, I went straight to the gate and already seeing Emirates Heathrow ground staff manning the gate. I was one of the three earliest passengers to be there (not at the gate yet, but at a small refreshment shop just few metres away), and I am the very first one to have my boarding pass (which I stored inside my mobile phone) checked and entered the gate area. Other passengers quickly followed.
Our aircraft that was supposed to bring us to Dubai.
I settled down at one of the benches inside the gate area. I like the overall atmosphere. Lots of glasses to let the sun light in. The panelling consist of light brownish hues that soothes your eye view. Plugs are also provided for charging of electronic devices while waiting (though I only charge my phone in the aircraft). By 1.00PM, boarding was announced with passengers being asked to enter the aircraft via their respective zones. Since I was in Zone F, passengers in that zone got to enter the aircraft earlier. Once inside, we were greeted with friendly FAs and showed me to my seat at 50A. The reason I chose this seat is because there is no row of seats behind me (which I can lie back without interrupting someone behind) and since the aircraft would most probably pass by continental Europe in daylight, I wished to see the snow covered land below me. The aircraft is registered as A6-EEI, which like the previous EK007 that successfully took me to London, is equipped with latest generation of I.C.E. hardware…very cool…
EK029 parked next to us
At almost 1.30PM, we were still at the gate although it was almost departure time. Later, the captain came to the announcement telling us that there would be a delay. He explained the cause very well. Apparently the third aerobridge (which links the Terminal 3 to the aircraft’s upper deck) couldn’t detached from the aircraft. I do hope that was a minor issue. From my seat, I looked up and can still see the aerobridge still stuck to the aircraft. Clearly, it was another delay as the scheduled departure time passed by quickly. I listened to the music from I.C.E. to kill my boredom. I looked outside again just to see if the aerobridge was successfully detached. While looking outside, another Emirates flight taxied towards the neighbouring gate 7. That was EK029, we were informed later. About 30 minutes passed the departure time, the aerobridge was finally successfully detached from the plane. I thought it was a huge relief that we might be able to take off soon enough. The captain then came online. He said that the aircraft was being inspected to ensure no damage. At that moment, I hope there would be no damage. Several minutes later, the captain finally informed us that the ground team found a damage to the aircraft and that the aircraft would be grounded.
I thought I had enough of the plane switching in my previous flight. But, it happened again this time! My thought was just to reach Dubai and ensure I didn’t miss my connecting flight. Besides, my time in Dubai was originally scheduled to be only 3.5 hours. So, the window for connection is not that much. There was a lady who sat on the same row as mine. She said she dreaded missing her next flight to Sydney. Another passenger was on her way to India. Compared to last time, we didn’t rushed out of the aircraft all at once. The captain announced again and asked us to stay seated. And then he continued by telling us a plan on how to ensure that we will get to Dubai as soon as possible as follows:
1. A selected number of Economy class passengers would be transferred into that day’s EK030 (the aircraft parked next to us would later went back to Dubai as EK030) as there were still some empty seats inside. 2. All First and Business class passengers would be put up in accommodation (presumably the EK030 flight must had its premium classes filled to the brim!) 3. A team of ground staffs in Dubai had been informed of our status and was asked to standby to assist us in our connecting flights once we reached there.
Based on my observation, all the cabin crews were put on standby and they worked in close cooperation with the Heathrow ground staff to ensure the plan was executed as smooth as possible. From my seat, I can see all First and Business class passengers went downstairs and walked back to the terminal quietly. One of the ground staffs (possibly a senior manager) then came to our section and further informed us of the situation. He said Emirates would slowly transfer some passengers from our aircraft to the one next to us based on availability of seats there. But, not all Economy class passengers would be able to make it to that day’s EK030 as that flight also a scheduled flight with its own passengers. If I remember correctly, a passenger asked why not just transfer us to another replacement aircraft immediately, to which he replied that it is difficult to do that since we were not in Dubai (If that happened in Dubai, a replacement aircraft would be easily available on a normal circumstance). He also assured us that the team at Dubai was on standby to help us on our connecting flights. But, overall the atmosphere was very calm and most importantly no emotional commotion or verbal quarrelling like what happened during my previous flight.
The manager then asked the cabin crew to pick the first half of passengers in our section to deplane and be put in EK030. The first passengers then immediately stood up and walked away slowly but quietly back to the terminal. Then after a few minutes and getting further information, the manager pointed his finger and started counting the rest of us in Zone F to figure how many more that can be put in EK030. After that, he confirmed to the rest of us that we were OK to go on-board at EK030. I think there were some more passengers in Zone E that were also put in EK030.
Hmmm… I switched planes again for the second time in six days. My original scheduled flight on EK002 (to the left of this photo) and my rebooked flight on EK030. By afternoon, the weather suddenly calm. The dark clouds were gone and replaced with blue sky and spots of cumulus clouds.
Inside the gate, we queued to get new boarding passes from the gate counter. When my turn came, a nice middle-age lady wearing signature Emirates pill box hat politely asked for my boarding passes (to DXB and another to KUL). She noticed that my connecting flight (EK346) to KUL would schedule to depart at 4.10AM (Dubai time). She, however only printed the new boarding pass to DXB on EK030 because if EK346 was to be slightly delayed from DXB, I might have the chance to catch-up. In fact, I did hope so. But, I know the chance of EK030 arriving even before 3.30AM would be very slim. Not just passengers that had to be transferred, but all their checked-in luggage as well. So, that takes quite a bit of time to complete the boarding process. My seat was changed as well where I will be seated at 58K which is at Zone E. We went to the next gate and waited along with other EK030 passengers. I haven’t had a meal since this morning. I was tempted to buy a pack of chips from one of the vending machines there. But after seeing a passenger got his bottle of carbonated drink stuck in the machine (after he paid with cash of course), I changed my mind. An Emirates employee tried to help him but can’t do anything.
So we waited for about 1 hour at the gate. The only thing that pleased me was to see the many planes and their respective liveries and types passed by Terminal 3. At almost 3.30PM, boarding was announced. First and Business class passengers were given priority followed by Economy class passengers on Zones E & F. Once inside the cabin, I began to notice how full this flight would be. I got to my seat at 58K and then looked through the window to get a sense of how the view is compared with 50A. I find that the view is partially blocked by the aircraft’s huge wingspan. I had to project my eye further than the wing to see the rest of the world. I can see clearly ‘damaged’ A6-EEI parked next to us. Honestly, I didn’t see any of the so-called damage to the door or any other parts of the aircraft. Days later I searched A6-EEI in FR24 website to research further on what happened to it after the incident. It turned out it came back to Dubai as a special flight with flight number EK7xxx. And then, there would be no flights performed by the aircraft for at least 7 days – so, the ‘damage’ could have been risky.
It was already sunset by around 4.30PM, which is 15 minutes past the scheduled departure time. The captain of EK030 came to announce that the flight would be delayed because passengers’ luggage from EK002 was still in the process of being uploaded into the aircraft. Some passengers were a bit annoyed but otherwise calm. It was almost one hour and we were still on the ground. The captain announced for the second time apologising for the delay because the luggage is still being sorted out and be uploaded into the aircraft. Passengers reacted with calmJ. I took the time to entertain myself by watching The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr. (and yes, the I.C.E. was back to older generation). Then, another 30 minutes later, the captain announced that all the luggage were now completely sorted out and transferred and we ready for take-off. It was already dark outside by the time we took-off at around 6.30PM local time. We took-off from runway 27R and then climbed higher before turning towards continental Europe. My opportunity of seeing the continent in daylight was not achievable – oh, well until next time. We expected to reach Dubai pretty quickly at just over 6 hours due to favourable tailwind.
Time to Dubai was 6 hours 9 minutes and we were still 35 miles from Heathrow!
I slept intermittently for a while. While we crossed Belgium and was just about to enter German airspace, a nice male EK cabin crew handed me my special pre-booked meal – LOW FAT MEAL. Despite the flight being 100% full, the crew managed to handle them pretty well. After he handed me my meal, I looked at him and he said the drinks will be offered later, with a touch of smile :D. The cabin was lit with red hues that I think was supposed to replicate sunset. Though I would prefer softer colour like blue.
Let see what I had here:
1. Appetiser – steamed vegetable salad (carrots and broccoli) 2. Main meal – Basmati rice with green leafy spinach and steamed Salmon garnished with onion slices and tomato. 3. Dessert – A toffee pudding 4. The usual stuffs – A packet of Light Bites and a bun.
The low-fat meal wasn’t that bad. Of course, the overall taste was a bit plain. Basmati rice is a perfect choice to be included in the meal as the calories are significantly lower than standard rice. In Malaysia (and I am sure in some other countries where rice is a staple food), Basmati rice is more expensive than conventional rice as it contains lower carbohydrates – good for people with high cholesterol level/high blood pressure. I finished my meal just about when my neighbours and everyone else started to be served. I remember one of the main meals offered was Welsh Lamb. After finishing my meal, I was back to I.C.E continuing watching The Judge. But after 1 hour or so, I was tired so went to sleep. It was nightfall as we crossed several countries. It was a pity that I didn’t have the opportunity to ‘visit’ all these countries – Belgium, Germany, Romania, Turkey & Iran during daylight. The views could have been an eye opener for me, as an individual.
The 6 hour flight came by quite fast. By 3.30AM (Dubai time), I woke up from my sleep and we were about 1 hour before reaching Dubai. It seemed like almost everyone on-board didn’t actually go to sleep – the atmosphere above southern Iran was filled with people chatting to each other. I looked outside through the window and saw scattered lights lying around the Persian Gulf region of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It seemed like we were alone, though in fact there might be dozens of aircraft in front and behind us! The captain announced that we would commence descent. The descent started as soon as we exited Iran airspace, above the dark waters of Persian Gulf. As we descended, the lights of Arabian Peninsula started to get brighter. That must Abu Dhabi, I assume as I cross-referenced the view outside with the flight map on I.C.E. Some 15 minutes before landing, Dubai came to view. We were on holding patterns and some series of turns before approaching the final leg for touchdown. It was about 4.30AM, we touched down at Dubai International Airport. Landing on an A380 wasn’t a smooth affair compared with Boeing 777. The experience was similar to my previous inbound EK007 flight. But, more important matter was in my mind – my next connecting flight. While we taxied to the gate, I saw a Boeing 777 taxied past us for take-off. Perhaps, that was my EK346…
The aircraft came to standstill at the gate. Passengers stood up and waited for the doors to open. When the door opened, I waited for some passengers behind to pass through my seat. I exited the aircraft and as soon as I reach the terminal, there were already three or four Emirates ground staff surrounded by crowds at a point. “Malé! Malé!” chanted one of the staff to any passengers from our flight that had connecting flight to Maldives. “Mumbai! Mumbai!” chanted another. I was hoping that someone would say “Kuala Lumpur! Kuala Lumpur!”… I also noticed that passengers went to a direction (which I followed along), and at the far end I saw passengers lining up at the transfer counters. I knew that would be the correct place to know my connecting flight status.
Upon reaching the transfer counters, I didn’t know which line to follow since there was no designation of lines according to your final destination. So, I just went into and queued at one of the lines. Soon, the line became longer as I was trailed by passengers behind me. As we slowly moved to the front, I saw an Emirates staff holding few boarding passes and begin to mention ‘Kuala Lumpur’ to passengers. Upon hearing that, I immediately broke off from the queue and went straight to her. She greeted me and checked my name. So, my name wasn’t on one of the boarding passes that she held in her hands. She went back to the counter. In just a matter of seconds, she got back to me with a boarding pass with my name on it. Additionally, she also gave me a complimentary meal voucher. She briefed me that my flight would depart at 10.15AM on-board EK342 – which was about 5 hours away. There was no gate information yet printed on the boarding pass, so I had to look for it on the information screen as the departure time neared. The lady was helpful and was very nice. Despite working in the wee hours of the morning, she was able to put a confident smile in her face. Anyway, so my next connecting flight was by then confirmed- Phew! After that, I went to the security clearance (which again, was very quick aided by my decision not to wear a belt), and then entering the departure level.
POSTSCRIPT Since I had 5 hours of spare time in DXB, I took the opportunity to refresh by having shower at the airport. There is a (paid) shower room at the G-Force Health Club just above the Emirates Premium Lounge at Concourse A. I went to check it out. A nice staff greeted me at the reception area. The cost to hire the shower room is around Dh50. For that price, you will get your own shower room, towel and bath robe is provided along with amenity kits. Since I want to get myself refreshed badly that morning, I just paid and used the shower room. Seems like for that price, there is no time limit for me to use the shower facility. There was maybe two or three gests using the shower facility at the time, so it wasn’t crowded. I didn’t took any photo of the shower room. Basically within the room, the shower compartment is in a glass cubicle.
The towel, bath robes and the amenity kits are nicely put inside a rattan basket that is placed at the sink area. A large bin is provided to put away the used towel. However, if you want to use the toilet, it is not included in the shower room. You have to walk few metres away at the same level though. One thing I don’t like about the shower room is that when I locked the door, it seemed that the tenon wasn’t fully embedded into the mortise on the door frame, and there was a very tiny gap between the door pane and the frame. I could see shadowy figure (a person of course) walked by through the gap. I just hope the door wasn’t accidentally opened.
I got out of the shower room feeling refreshed. Then I went downstairs to departure level and attempted to access the 30 minutes free Wi-Fi because I want to contact Malaysia Airlines to reschedule my flight from KUL to BKI. I used Skype to make the call. At first few attempts, my call didn’t get through, either because the internet speed was low or there was something wrong with my Skype app. But, at the end I managed to call the airline. The reschedule of flight due to the delay from London required me to pay RM175. But, just as I was about to make the payment, the call timed out! I had to find alternative. Then, I contacted my parents (who by then already arrived at Kota Kinabalu) to help me sort out my MH2628 flight. Some several minutes later, I got a WhatsApp message from my dad saying that he already rescheduled my flight. Phew!
I didn’t use the complimentary meal voucher this time - I would rather eat on-board. Though, I did buy something from the airport which is a passport holder – it is cheaper than the one I found in my hometown. By 9.00AM, I was informed (through information screen) that I would board my EK342 flight via gate A21. At 9.30AM, boarding was announced and I went to the gate. To my mild surprise, we actually had to board a bus to our aircraft which was parked quite a distance away from the Terminal. It took us some 5 minutes (perhaps more) to just ride a bus from the Terminal to our aircraft which is parked quite a distance away from the terminal itself. It is an air-conditioned bus of course. We reached our aircraft (A6-EGC) and board through the plane’s left rear door. It was warm outside with temperature reaching 29 degree celcius – which is similar to the kind of weather in Malaysia in late morning (although this is in winter, I can’t image what it would be like in summer!).
Anyway, that is only portion I am going to tell about my EK342 flight. Just to add another more, I had a Thai fried noodles which was served with a banana leaf. I thought it was fine, nothing to shout about. In fact, the cabin crew said to me prior that I requested a special meal for this flight sector but the meal didn’t reach the aircraft because the crew was informed by the catering division at the very last minute. I was confused at first because I only booked my special meal for previous sector, not this one. He apologise for it (though I still think it was a technical mistake on the part of the catering division). Anyway, I said to him I was fine with whatever meal they had on-board. :)
The view from my seat, 50K – the flight wasn’t even full.
Close-up photo of Burj Khalifa to the right
Dusty Dubai atmosphere gave way to clear sky above.
We turned east…
View towards the mountains at Fujairah as we climbed higher above the Arabian Sea.
I entirely missed seeing India because I was asleep. The sun began to set while we were over Andaman Islands.
I finally finished watching The Judge in this flight – after that I tuned into the flight information channel and listening to some music.
Sunset over Straits of Malacca
The atmosphere in the cabin during sunset - almost everyone by the window seats on the right closed the blind to avoid the glare of setting sun.
We arrived at KUL at 8.45PM (Malaysia time). I stayed at KUL for the rest of the night before departing on MH2604 At 7.20AM the next day. I also spent 5000 Enrich miles to get a good breakfast (the breakfast I had on the plane later on was no good – a very simple omelette with sausage) at the domestic Golden lounge. :)
I finally arrived back at home at noon after more than 31 hours travelling. My mum did told me that it was good to know that my flight was delayed because the choppy weather in the morning caused heavy turbulence 2 hours into their MH003 flight. A coffee even spilled into a passenger and the meal service had to be temporarily suspended. By the time I left London, the weather was already clear.
London - LHR
Dubai - DXB
Airports? – London Heathrow airport is more pleasant than what I heard. I remember my cousin once told me that the airport (specifically Terminal 2) was like the old Kuala Lumpur Airport Terminal 3 (now known as Subang Airport – SZB). But, surprisingly, the experience was smooth. Terminal 3 is easy to navigate around provided that you read the signs carefully. The only thing I can say about Dubai International is the very quick security clearance. I heard the airport management is going make passenger experience passing through security checks even faster at an average 20 seconds or less per passenger [url]http://gulfbusiness.com/2015/02/passenger-checking-process-dubai-airport-soon-last-less-20-seconds/#.VPqzjvmUfDY[/url]. The Wi-Fi experience at Dubai International is disappointing though, although I don’t mind being given only 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, but the connection speed was rather slow and the coverage is not extensive.
Airline? – Suffice to say this time around Emirates handled the delay quite well compared to my previous EK007 flight. We were truly informed about the issue facing the aircraft. There was no commotion or emotional break outs like what happened last time. In fact, when this second round of ‘aircraft switching’ thing hit me, I began to lose trust in Airbus A380 – ‘is it a reliable aircraft?’ But, I tried putting that question away because I believe in many years to come the aircraft would set the benchmark in passenger comfort, as far as cabin noise is concern. Legroom is more than adequate for me (my height is 180cm). I hope Emirates replaced their older generation I.C.E. to the latest ones on all their A380s and B777s soon so any more delays requiring aircraft switching wouldn’t expose passengers to different hardware standards. Regarding meal, for those who wants to maintain a healthy diet even during flights, a low fat meal like what I experience is enough to strike your hunger, while keeping your cholesterol level in check :D. The cabin crew that served was very nice, though I would not say attentive. On-board EK342, it was more or less the same. Since I sit at the far end of the aircraft, again cabin crews were chatting each other after meal service, and also it seemed that they took photos of themselves (judging by the instant bright flashlight – at first I thought it was a lightning). It was kind of interesting to see them like that at work – I know everyone wants to be fun even at work. But, I do realise that despite the overall slow decline of service quality of the airline over the years due to one factor being rapid expansion, I still find the service to be as good as what is advertised on their websites (especially the hardware part). But, I just hope Emirates soon realise and rectify that they need to improve and invest and hopefully retain more on their software (cabin crews and perhaps ground staff as well) because they are the ones who make the travel experience more worthwhile.
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