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Posts for Tag: Brussels

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

The Belgian GP is my favourite race on the F1 Calendar and I have attended 4 of the last 5 Grand Prix held at Spa-Francorchamps; also one of my closest friends shifted base to Brussels in 2017 and what better time to meet him than after the Belgian GP weekend. 

Emirates introduced their new Boeing 777-300ER Game Changer Suites ( in First Class ) on the Dubai-Brussels route ( Geneva being the other ) and I was fortunate enough to try it for the first time in 2018. The new fleet of 777-300ER sport not just a fully private First Class suite but also a revamped Business Class and Economy Class! ( more on the First Class Cabin later ).


I opted for EK 501, the solo Airbus A380 service from Mumbai to Dubai ( 430 am departure ) and EK 183 from Dubai to Brussels. The return was on EK 182 ( a red-eye flight ) to Dubai and then EK 506 to Mumbai. The outbound journey was on 29th August 2019 and the inbound on 9th September.


Mumbai - Brussels ( Emirates First ) ( 29th August 2019 ) :

All set to head for Europe!


Emirates Chauffeur drop at the airport, efficient and courteous as ever :


The First Class Lounge at Mumbai Terminal 2, one of the finest lounges in the world :


Food, food and more food! Business Class passengers enjoy an amazing spread in the Buffet and are offered a 15 minute complimentary Foot or Back Massage. First Class travellers are offered an A-la-carte menu besides a complimentary 30 minute massage!


The First Class Suite onboard Airbus A380, the newer fleet of the A380s have also gone through a revamp ( not plying on this route though )


Arabian Coffee & Dates!


Taxiing to the Runway :


Video Link for Takeoff from Mumbai :



Breakfast service to Dubai :


Fruits, Yogurt, Paneer and Pea Toasties for Breakfast :


The descent into Dubai International Airport :


Touchdown on a beautiful morning :


Landing Video :



It was quite a journey from one terminal to another besides getting to a lounge closest to the departure gate for my flight. 

Unwinding in the lounge, was here for a very brief period though :


It was soon time to board the flight for Brussels and I was excited to enjoy the Refreshed First Class Experience all over again!

My abode for 7 hours..opulence!


Commencing departure procedures :


Arabian Coffee & Dates anyone?


Taxiing to the Runway :


Enroute to Brussels and some stunning views of the Dubai Skyline :


Video Link for Takeoff :



Breakfast and Lunch on the Dubai - Brussels leg :


Ginger Ale with some crisps, Chicken & Lemongrass Consomme, Prawn Brisque and Milk Chocolate Cake..an amazing Lunch onboard!


Post lunch I decided on doing a feature on the Game Changer Suite. 

Emirates have done a stellar job on making premium travel even more comfortable. First Class now is a totally enclosed cabin with full height closing doors, a zero gravity seat designed by Mercedes Benz, Bowers & Wilkins E1 Headsets & a huge Screen to enjoy the entertainment onboard, a pair of Binoculars to enjoy the views from your window, Video Calling facility which enables guests to interact with the flight stewards for their culinary needs, even aisle seats now have Virtual Windows where HD Cameras relay live images onto these window screens so everyone can enjoy a view, mood lighting, mini bar and some essentials like a vanity kit, diary and pen etc. ( Apologies on missing out any other major feature, the list runs long!! )

A Quick walkthrough of the Game Changer Suite ( Video Link ) :



Flying over Europe, Love the Interactive Flight Map, a newer edition as well :


Brussels and its suburbs from above :


Hello Belgium!


Landing at Brussels International Airport ( Video Link ) :



I opted to stay in Hasselt over the weekend since it was only 60 minutes away from the race track. The commute to Hasselt from the airport takes about 75 minutes.

Enroute to Hasselt :


Brussels - Mumbai ( Emirates First ) ( 9th September 2019 ) :

A BMW to ferry me to the airport, this time from the Central part of Brussels :


Driving through the streets of Brussels..so much history around us!


Brussels airport, looks more like a mall :


The Brussels Airlines Lounge which doubles up as an Emirates Lounge. This lounge is in need of a serious makeover.. a mediocre spread, non-existent service, dull atmosphere..quite a disappointment.


Back in the Boeing 777-300ER Game Changer Suite! One of the best seats to fly in!


Dates and Coffee, you just cant get enough of this..the Arabian way of welcoming their guests!


Time to say goodbye to Belgium!


Takeoff Video :



Dinner and Breakfast was offered onboard :


Virgin Cucumber Gimlet with Chips, Spring Pea Soup, Porcini Mushroom Risotto & Chocolate Silk Cake for Dinner..stuffed! 


Enjoying Avengers Endgame in HD on a humongous screen coupled with amazing sound quality from the Bowers and Wilkins E1!


The Voyager App, the interactive Flight Map onboard ICE, Emirates' inflight entertainment system - features 3d Maps, flight paths and 3D views from a virtual cockpit!


With 3 hours to land, I decided to get some sleep!


A foggy morning while descending into Dubai :


Dubai International Airport :


Landing at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :



Shots of the Lounge in Dubai :


Making our way to the Aircraft from the terminal, a 25 minute bus ride :


Seats onboard the Boeing 777-300ER, I decided to not upgrade myself from Business to First for this leg ( preserving miles for a long haul flight next year ).


Pushback and takeoff!


Beautiful views of the Dubai Skyline :


Video Link of the Takeoff, bound for Mumbai :



Breakfast service on the final leg :


Aloo Methi with Sabudana Wada, a proper Indian fare for Breakfast :


Nearing touchdown at Mumbai :


Touchdown Mumbai :


Video Link :



The ride home :


I am a big fan of the Emirates Game Changer Suite! I really hope more routes are added featuring the new fleet. The Food onboard was amazing, the service impeccable, the lounge in Brussels was the only disappointment. 

The Flying Diaries will feature a new airline in the next post..an unexpected journey to the Far East! We take a brief pause in the series to first Review the 2019 F1 Season. 


Watch this space!

The Flying Diaries : BOM - BRU - BOM ( Emirates First & Business ) - Encore!

My annual trip to the Belgian GP was a little different from the earlier trips. My college friends decided to accompany me to Europe for a 3 nation tour, their first to the Schengen States of Belgium, Switzerland and France. One of my friends accompanied me while a couple left for Europe a few days earlier than us.

This trip also gave me the opportunity to try the New Boeing 777-300ER with a revamped First and Business Class.


We flew out on 18th August 2018 and left Brussels on 29th August 2018.


Mumbai - Brussels ( First Class ) ( 18th August 2018 ) :

The Bags ready for the journey :


The Check-in formalities done and it was time to enjoy the lounge. Since I am a Gold Member of Emirates, my friend was allowed to accompany me.


Some shots of the Lounge at Mumbai International Airport :


Enjoying the Services of our lounge. Mumbai International Airport offers complimentary massage service for the guests :


Food, food and more food!


It was 3 am and time for boarding for our flight to Dubai.


The First Class Suite onboard the A380, top notch and prepped as always :


Preparing for takeoff, the onboard cameras doing a fine job :


Takeoff Video Link :




The Breakfast menu :


Green Pea Poha and Cappuccino for Breakfast :


Touching down at Dubai International Airport :


Landing Video Link :




Inter Terminal Transfers and Security Checks done, we made our way to the nearest First Class Lounge at Dubai to relax and grab a bite.


A time of Relaxation and refreshing ourselves in the lounge.


It was then time to board our flight to Brussels!

The latest edition of the First Class Suite onboard the New Boeing 777-300ER is a class apart and a winner! Emirates currently flies the new configuration to Brussels and Geneva and will slowly expand to other routes as well. The updated First Class boasts of a lot of new features - Fully enclosed First Class suite with full height privacy screens, seats designed by Mercedes Benz, Virtual Windows, Bigger LCD Screens, Bowers and Wilkins headsets, Binoculars and Dine on Demand service with Video Calling facility. Video calling is quite a cool feature, you can make a call to the Flight Steward and interact, taking the definition of "Room Service" to a whole new level. In-flight showers aren't available though.


The view of the Suites from the front of the aircraft. Quite artistic I must say :


Preparing for takeoff :


Bound for Brussels :


Video Link :




The Breakfast and Lunch menu onboard :


The Flight Map :


You simply can't stop taking pics of this beautiful suite :


Chicken and Lemongrass Consomme, Prawns with Garlic and Coriander and Chocolate Ricotta Pudding for Dessert!


The First Class also has Virtual Windows for aisle seats, the cameras relay live feed onto the Screens to give the aisles a window seat feel.


The bed is made. Time to rest!


Afternoon siesta done and it was time to land into Brussels International Airport :


Video Link :




Mercedes S500 to pick us up at the airport!


Brussels - Mumbai ( Business Class ) ( 29th August 2018 ) :

A Mercedes E250 to ferry us back to the airport :


The Atomium, one of the highlights of Brussels made in Chocolate by Neuhaus :


Not much on offer in the lounge. Passable. Its a common lounge catering to a number of airlines. Hope to Emirates have one of their own soon.


The Seats in Business Class, designed by Mercedes Benz, a bit narrower but equally comfortable :


Takeoff Video :




Whats for dinner?


The Flight Map with Satellite Views :


Live TV, a feature on Emirates Flights :


Crisps and Ginger Ale, Broccoli Soup, Roast Chicken with Pistachio Stuffing and Chocolate Delice for Dessert :