I won't report on the Nairobi-Dubai flight (EK 722) as I got on the plane and promptly fell asleep, even in an angled lie-flat seat. It was an exhausting week in Nairobi. Emirates uses the Aspire lounge at JKIA, which is pretty miserable. The lounge is small just for the Emirates flight but Brussels and other airlines also use the lounge so it was SRO. I ended up leaving the lounge early as it was getting way too crowded.
Here is the menu for EK 722 - can't comment on how anything tasted as I didn't eat.
Main Course Zurbian Chicken Cape Malay Lamb Curry Grilled Fillet of Perch
Dessert, Cheese and Fruit Mango Cheesecake Chocolate Cake Cheese Board Selection of Fruit
We landed in Dubai at 5:30am and as is usual with Africa flights, we were on a remote stand. After clearing security, I headed to the A concourse business lounge. This lounge is, in my opinion, much nicer than the B concourse lounge. However, there was still a long line for a shower. I don't understand why Emirates put in so few showers in their lounges as I have always had to wait about 30 minutes for a shower. The shower rooms in this lounge is also much nicer than those found in the B concourse lounge.
I had the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass, which meant an additional security check. This meant taking the elevator downstairs to the economy class boarding area. Based on a very informal poll, it seems like anyone coming from East Africa were very likely to be selected for additional security. There were about 6 men in front of me (there was a separate line for women). After waiting for about 10 minutes, a very disinterested security person swabbed me but not my bags and certainly not my computer and I got the all clear to board. This meant taking the elevator back upstairs to board the plane.
Nothing really sounded good to me so I asked if I could get one of the light bites, but I was told no. So I ordered the omelette and my instincts were correct. It was totally tasteless.
Even though the ICE system had a lot of movies and TV shows, there was nothing that really interested me and I ended up reading and doing some work for most of the flight.
Here's the Light Bites selection: Emirates Deli Platter Steak and Mushroom Pie Vegetarian Pad Thai Chicken Makhanwala Sour Cherry Clafoutis
I had the Steak and Mushroom Pie, It was very peppery.
About three hours prior to landing at SFO, lunch was served.
Appetiser Traditional Arabic Mezze Seafood Duo Lentil Soup Seasonal Salad
Main Course Roast Lemon Chicken Seafood Biryani Braised Lamb Shank
Dessert, Cheese and Fruit Chocolate Cheesecake Banoffee Tart Cheese Board Seasonal Fruit
I had the Seafood Duo, which was quite nice. The chicken, however was really dry and tasteless. The lunch service was again really slow. It took over two hours to complete. Most of the time I was waiting for the flight attendants to clear away my plates. Unfortunately this set of crew seemed very disinterested and were just not very efficient.
We landed in SFO on time. One of the disadvantages of sitting in the rear business class section is that a lot of economy class passengers had already disembarked by the time you get off the plane. Add to that there were US TSA agents checking passports of everyone disembarking. Luckily, there was no wait for the Global Entry machines and when I got to the baggage carousel, someone had already pulled my bag off the carousel and was on the floor.
I proceded out through customs and the Emirates car service took me home.
Emirates Lounge - Business (Gates A)
Dubai - DXB
San Francisco - SFO
I do like the business class seats on the 380s, however I just find Emirates business class to be very inconsistent. From a comfortable lie flat individual seat on the 380 to the angled lie flat seat on the 777 to the cramped recliners on the A340 - you're going to have very different experiences. I also generally find the Emirates crew to be very aloof and just get a sense that they don't really like working with each other. Finally, others have raved about the food on Emirates - I have yet to experience a flight where the food has been great.
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