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The Flying Diaries : BOM - LHR - BOM ( Emirates First )

July 2012 was my maiden flight on Emirates Airlines. I have always dreamt of flying First Class on Emirates A380 and the wish came true in July 2012 when I visited the UK for the British Grand Prix.

Soon enough, I drew up new plans to visit the United Kingdom again but this time it was for Football. I would attend games at Old Trafford ( Manchester United ) and the Camp Nou ( FC Barcelona )


It was time again to fly First on the Emirates A380 to London Heathrow!


Mumbai - London Heathrow ( 20th November 2012 ) :


I flew out on 20th November 2012 but this time took the First Flight out of Mumbai which would help me reach London at 1:30 in the afternoon


My Ride to the Airport :


A Brisk Check-in, Easy Immigration and Hassle-free security ensured a restful time in the Lounge before boarding commenced.

Shots from the Lounge :


An Elaborate Spread :


The Boarding commenced and I was ushered into my Private Suite :


The 24" LCD :


Minibar, Makeup Kit and the Writing Kit :


The Touchscreen console which controls all the features of the Suite :


The Suite :


The Bed :


The Suite lights up in brilliant blue during takeoff :


The Breakfast Menu :


Breakfast :


A Slight delay in landing meant a quick switchover to the A380 which was bound for London :


Video Link to the Emirates A380 Taking off from Dubai :


Lunch and what an amazing meal it was!


The Goodie Basket featuring Chocolates, Crisps, Gums, Mints!



Post Lunch, I decided to take a stroll down to the Business Class Lounge at the back of the Business Class!

The Lounge offers Canapes, Hors D'oeuvres, Sandwiches and Drinks :


What can I serve you sir?

After spending sometime in the Lounge, I returned to my Suite to find my Bed ready. Time to relax before heading for a shower prior to landing at Heathrow!

An Hour before landing, I was woken up by a crew member. It was time to head to the Shower and freshen up prior to landing :

A refreshing shower and I was all ready for arrival into London


Video Link to the Emirates A380 Nearing Touchdown at London Heathrow Airport :




Emirates A380 landing on a cold and rainy afternoon at Heathrow :


Fast Track ensured a quick completion of the arrival formalities and I had my ride waiting for me at Heathrow!

A Mercedes Benz S-Class courtesy of Emirates Airlines!!


London Heathrow - Mumbai ( 12th December 2012 ) :

I always prefer late evening flights.


My Ride, another Mercedes Benz S Class courtesy of Emirates Airlines :

Night falls early during winters in London :

There was a considerable amount of passenger traffic at Heathrow. However Fast Track made the experience a lot easier.

Shots from the Emirates Lounge at Heathrow :


The Emirates A380 being readied for the Journey to Dubai :


Food, Food and More mouth-watering food!!


Emirates offer a plethora of drinking options :


Boarding commenced from the Lounge and it was a breeze!

Shots from my Personal Suite!!

Emirates offered us some amazing amenities!

The Aircraft taxiing to the Runway :

Video Link to the Emirates A380 Takeoff from London Heathrow :



The Flight Path to Dubai International Airport :

The Elaborate Dinner Menu for First Class :

Dinners are always special on Emirates Flights and this one definitely didn't disappoint :

Gluttony isn't good and going to bed immediately after a meal is worse...but in an Emirates A380 First Class, all should be forgiven.

The Bed ready!

As always, I was woken one hour before touchdown in Dubai to enjoy my Customary Shower On-board, an experience I can never get enough of!


Nearing Dubai :

Dubai from the Sky - Simply Stunning :


Video Link to the Emirates A380 nearing Touchdown at Dubai International Airport :



Dubai International Airport :


The Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport ranks among the best and one can never get tired of visiting it over and over again!


Savour the Spread..simply amazing :


I made the most of my time at the Lounge - had a wholesome meal, got a massage & caught up on some sleep!

The Final leg to Mumbai was in a Boeing 777-300


The First Class Seat in a 777-300 ( not much difference compared to the Business Class barring the Lie-Flat Bed ) :

Shots from Pushback and Taxiing to the Runway :

Video Link of the Emirates Boeing 777-300 taking off from Dubai International Airport :



Final Shots of Dubai :

The Lunch Service to Mumbai :


Emirates Airline leaves no stone unturned in taking care of its guests and as a First Class Traveller, I was really pampered.

It had been another memorable trip in the First Class Suites of the 777-300ER and the famous Emirates A380!

I even earned promotion to the Silver Tier at the end of my First Leg of the Trip! The Extra Baggage allowance came in handy during the Return Leg!

I want to thank Emirates for all the hospitality and care showered on me throughout the journey.. it was an experience that is still etched in my mind.



Next up is my first "Business Class" Experience on-board Emirates ( Mumbai -
Düsseldorf - Mumbai ) .. so watch this space.




The Return of the League!!

A lot has happened during the Summer Break in Football. Euro 2012 and Olympics ensured that players stayed in shape before the start of the League Season. Euro 2012 was particularly tiring for some and it wasn't a surprise to see many players excusing themselves from International Duties during the Olympics to get some rest. The Olympics came to a close on 12th August, just a week before the start of the leagues.

The Break is also renowned for the Transfer Season when Clubs go scouting to bring in players they deem fit to play for them. This Season a lot has conspired.

The English Premier Legue campaign kickstarts tomorrow and Manchester City will now defend the title.

So how have things shaped up prior to the start of the league???

 

 

ARSENAL :

Arsenal entered the market fairly early and acquired the services of Lucas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla ( just a couple of days back ).

Arsene Wenger is a wise investor and the arrival of the trio has definitely strengthened the squad. However Arsenal have suffered a huge setback as their Ex-Captain Robin Van Persie felt it was time to leave the club and joined Arch-Rivals Manchester United.

The Departure of the Captain is a blow for any club but Arsene is famous for rallying his troops and producing results. The likes of Jack Wilshire, Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, Koscielny, Squillaci, Walcott, Arteta combined with the ability of the newcomers make them a force to be reckoned with.

Arsenal cannot be discounted....

 

CHELSEA :

Chelsea offered a 2 year contract to the Interim Manager Roberto Di Matteo. The Italian had fulfilled Abromovich's dream of winning the Champions League. 

Chelsea have done good business in the Transfer Window. Roman Abromovich opened up funds to bring in Marko Marin, Eden Hazard and Oscar ( Brazilian ). They also signed Thorgan Hazard ( Eden's younger brother ) from Lens.

The Quartet are very young and have done exceptionally well for their former clubs, Oscar though is an unkown entity for most clubs. His performance at the Olympics would definitely boost his confidence.

Chelsea have had to contend with the departure of their Prolific Goal-Scorer Didier Drogba. Saloman Kalou and Jose Bosingwa left the club after rejecting Contract Renewals. Romelu Lukaku has been sent for a season-long loan to West Brom.

Chelsea seem to be lacking Firepower at the front. Fernando Torres would need too find his form upfront. However a Talented Midfield ( The BEST Midfield for me ) would definitely help Torres share the burden of Goal - Scoring.

Roberto Di Matteo needs to play his cards right. Chelsea are definite contenders for the title.

 

LIVERPOOL :

Liverpool have been quite inactive in the Transfer Market. The Arrivals of Youngsters such as Borini, Allen and Assaidi leaves much to be desired.

Liverpool will suffer greatly from the departures of Aurelio, Rodriquez, Aquilani, Bellamy & Kuyt. Maxi Rodriquez and More Imporantly Kuyt are big losses for Liverpool.

The onus will be on Gerrard to deliver in the midfield and its quite a big ask. Suarez did well last season and a mis-firing Carroll seems to be finding his feet.

Brendan Rodgers has limited options. Its going to be a difficult season again for Fans as Liverpool clearly lack strength in depth.

Liverpool will struggle. A top 4 finish seems hard. However they can sign someone with a fortnight of Transfer Period left.

 

MANCHESTER CITY :

The Current Champions have a lot of funds to tinker with. They have a team that can challenge the best of Europe. Can they deliver a repeat of last season? Possible.

City have been silent in the market. Their team is strong enough. The only arrival has been that of Jack Rodwell from Everton.

Departures have been insignificant

Mancini is an excellent manager and knows how to handle his team well. A Fantastic Strength in Depth makes team selection a headache but eases the pressure on regular starters.

The Strongest team on paper.... Can Definitely repeat their performance..

 

MANCHESTER UNITED :

Manchester United fans suffered heartbreak last season. They lost the title to arch-rivals City on Goal Difference!

Sir Alex Ferguson - The most decorated manager for any football club knew that reinforcements were necessary to wrestle back the title to the Red of Manchester.

The First Arrival was of Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund. That was quickly followed by the Arrival of a promising young talent called Nick Powell. The Biggest signing of the season though was the Arsenal Ex - Captain Robin Van Persie.

 

Was it the best signing?

Robin Van Persie joins a list of abled strikers for UnitedThe Top Scorer last season, Van Persie's Partnership with Wayne Rooney would attract a lot of attention. 

Considering the need of United, although the Dutch Acquisition seems good business, the 24 Million Pounds could have been invested elsewhere. The Primary Need for United was the arrival of a Central Playmaker and a good Left-back.

Fabio left the Club on loan, so Patrice Evra has to bear the burden of the Left - Back Position. 

 

So United have options galore upfront but are light in the Mid-Field. A cause of concern but Sir Alex Ferguson knows how to handle such situations. ( 1999 Treble Season was similar )

 

As a UNITED SUPPORTER, MANCHESTER UNITED ARE FAVOURITES TO WIN THE TITLE....

 

The Likes of Tottenham and Newcastle United would definitely add more Spice to the Title Race.

 

However there is definitely a Shift in Power.

A NEW BIG FOUR has emerged... Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea & Arsenal. 

Liverpool Fans would not like this... Liverpool don't seem to be a Title-Winning Team anymore ( Unless they spend heavy ). 

 

TITLE CONTENDERS - MANCHESTER UNITED, MANCHESTER CITY & CHELSEA.

Arsenal at best would spoil someone's party. They need better players..

 

Let the Games Begin!!

 

The First " FIRST " Experience - Hello Tomorrow!!

My London Trip will always be remembered as a trip that fulfilled many dreams.  2 years have passed since the day I read about the A380 Private Suite of Emirates Airlines.

The Opportunity to fly to London for the Silverstone GP arrived and I knew it was time for the FIRST EMIRATES EXPERIENCE!!

So the Tickets were booked and I flew on the 4th of July.

Emirates Airlines know how to pamper their Passengers. An Elegant Mercedes C - Class was sent to drive me down to the International Airport.

The Check-in, Immigration & Security Procedures were like a breeze and I was ushered into a Plush Emirates Lounge!

The Lounge is very well planned as it ensures complete privacy for guests.

Emirates Airlines are famous for their hospitality!! Savour the Spread!!

A Few more stills!

 

The time had come. It was time to embark on a memorable journey.

MUMBAI ( BOM ) to DUBAI ( DXB ) - Boeing 777 - 300 ER First Class ( 4th July 2012 ) :

2 seats were all that was occupied in First Class. However I was disappointed by the Absence of Private Suites ( what was promised ). The Lack of Travellers seems to be the only reason. 

The Seat was quite comfortable though with a full-flat bed and many other optional configurations. The Massage function did a commendable job.

The Rains refused to budge and we were stuck at the Gate for almost an hour.

 

ICE - The Award Winning Entertainment system has loads of options to choose from. Never seen such a Huge Entertainment In-Flight.

 

The Breakfast on borad was Outstanding! Special Dietary Requirements were adhered to inspite of a short notice. Words are not enough...

 

Some More Stills of the Feature-laden seat :

 

It takes only a couple of hours to reach Dubai. Dubai is more than just beautiful. Here are some shots :

 

Touchdown and Dubai Airport - ENJOY!!

 

The De-boarding was efficient and the Transfer Procedure caused no delay!

I was simply awed by what I saw at Level 1 of the Airport. 2 Lounges - One for First and Other for Business Class Passengers and both almost a Mile Long!!

Emirates Airlines had redefined what a Lounge is supposed to mean!! The Lounge was more like a Hotel!!

Have the choice to sit near fountains and marvel at the Architecture or occupy a sofa and admire the efficiency of the Airport Services who handle large number of Departures and Arrivals everyday.

Emirates Airlines deserve 5 Stars for their Hospitality. The staff is prompt and courteous in Service and leave no scope for complaint. The Buffet was fantastic encompassing dishes from various parts of the world.

 

The Transit time was only 3 hours. My desire to spend more time would be fulfilled on the return leg.  Now for the BIG JOURNEY!!

 

 

DUBAI ( DXB ) to LONDON HEATHROW ( LHR ) - AIRBUS A380 - FIRST CLASS ( 4th July 2012 ) :

 

First Impression? - Airbus A380 is Huge!

The Private Suite is out of this world!! A room for the Traveller who likes to travel in an exquisite way, the Suite has it all - from Knick-knacks to features that simply humble the Competition.

Featured here is a teaser to what a Suite is and the preparation for Take-off.

 

Travel Kits, Writing Kits, Goodie Basket ( Replenished as you consume ), Nightwear, Cosmetic Kit, Eye-shades, Slippers; the list goes on!

 

Burj - Khalifa Towering above the rest! The King of the Dubai Skyline!

 

Salted Nuts and Carrot Juice was followed by a wholesome meal of Salad, Soup, Main Course and Dessert. Lip - Smacking!

 

While my meal was being prepared, I decided to stroll down to Business Class. A380 has 14 First Class Suites and 76 Business Class Seats. Quite a Number!! Highest for any aircraft.

Business Class isn't a bad prospect.... but First Class is worth it!

The Aircraft also houses a Bar at the back of the Upper - Level. A Deal-Clincher for those who love their drinks. 

 

Post Lunch I decided to have a quick Siesta. The Pillow, Mattress & Duvet in place. Sleeeep.

 

A Couple of hours sleep was relaxing. Now to get Refreshed. London was still an hour away and I was fortunate to get the last appointment for the Shower Spa!

Taking a Shower at 40,000 Feet!! Yes a Shower on-board!! 2 Treatments were Available - RELAX and REVIVE... depending on the Guest's need!

Only 5 minutes of water though, so have to be wise in usage.

 

Tea and pastries were waiting for me after I returned from the Shower.

 

Nearing Touchdown. London from above.

 

Fast - track service ensured minimal delay in getting out of the Airport. The Chaffeur Service Arrangement took some time though. However the Pick - up was the World-renowned, Luxury Redefining Three-pointed Star - MERCEDES S - CLASS!!

A Memorable Journey!!

 

THE RETURN LEG :

LONDON HEATHROW ( LHR ) to DUBAI ( DXB ) - AIRBUS A380 - FIRST CLASS ( 13th July 2012 ) :

 

The Pick-up was punctual and the S - Class was as elegant as ever. 

 

Priority Check - In and Fast - track hastened the procedures, however finding the Emirates Lounge took some effort. Its quite a walk but I was impressed when I was informed that Boarding would commence from the Lounge itself - Sweet!

The Business and First Class Passengers shared this lounge.

 

The Buffet was exceptional!

 

I enjoyed the push - back of these Huge A380s from the Terminal from the comfort of the lounge. Emirates isn't the only Airline that boasts of A380s.  A Qantas rolls into the Terminal here.

 

The First Class was fully occupied this time! The Flight was completely booked! Clearly shows that the travellers appreciated the quality of Service offered by the Airline.

The Private Suite!! A Class of its own!

 

The Dinner!

 

This was a Night Flight and the Steward was kind enough to provide me something comfortable to change into ( Goodies! )

 

We Traversed different time-zones and Morning dawned sooner. Time for a shower just before arrival into Dubai!!

 

Breakfast! Bread Basket and Cut Fruits - Simple and Filling.

 

Descent into Dubai!

 

The Glory of the A380s. Emirates Boasts of the Largest A380 Fleet in the World. Here is a glimpse...

 

A Longer Transit - Time helped me to catch up on some sleep. Enjoyed a Back Massage at the Timeless Spa in the Lounge. Very Relaxing!

 

DUBAI ( DXB ) to MUMBAI ( BOM ) - BOEING 777- 300 ER - FIRST CLASS ( 14th July 2012 ) :

The First Class was more populated this time.

Some more shots of First Class.

 

Lunch featured a traditional Indian Meal - Nice. It was time for a quick nap post lunch.

The Arrival was brisk and a Mercedes C-Class was waiting to take me home.

 

Fantastic Experience. Words fall short in describing the level of efficiency and excellence this airline has shown.

Will I want to experience it again??? - You Bet!!

PLANS DRAWN for the NEXT TRIP!!

 

HELLO TOMORROW!!