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Posts for Tag: Budapest

The Flying Diaries : BOM - BUD - BOM ( Emirates Business & First / FlyDubai Business )

Emirates Airlines has been my preferred travel partner since I began travelling in 2012. Be it a destination to Europe or the Americas, Emirates offers multiple connectivity options, and the travel experience goes beyond flying. When I last flew to Europe ( Brussels ) in August 2019, little did I know that I wouldn't get to travel again until July 2022!

The pandemic, COVID-19 arrived in early 2020, and I had to cancel my plans to travel in June 2020. Our International borders opened fully only in 2022, and Hungary was the first F1 race I planned to be at. After a hiatus of three years, it seemed like I would be finally flying again on my favourite airline. 

The plan was to fly to Budapest on the Wednesday morning of the race weekend. However, I got struck with a viral infection that threatened to cancel all my travel plans. With no marked improvement in health, I got forced to cancel my trip. A slew of tests, including that of COVID-19, followed. Thankfully, I tested negative, and the fever subsided. What followed next was a race against time, and all odds, I rebooked myself on a new flight for the next day ( Thursday ). However, Emirates doesn't offer a service to Budapest on Thursday. The alternative was to fly with FlyDubai, which would be my first experience ( in Business ) on Emirates' Low-Cost Carrier.

The outbound journey was on 28th July in Business Class on an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER and a FlyDubai Boeing 737 Max. The return journey was on 6th August in First Class on Emirates Boeing 777-300ER. 

How was the experience in Emirates post-COVID? Here is a humble attempt at covering all aspects!

Mumbai - Budapest ( Emirates & FlyDubai Business ) ( 28th July 2022 ) :

The bags are packed and ready!

An elegant looking Mercedes E Class to ferry me to the airport, thanks to Emirates Chauffeur service :

Mornings are relatively less crowded in the International section. I breezed through Check-in and security but the Emirates representative forgot to give me a Lounge Invitation card. As a result, the staff at the lounge entry had to make a few calls before allowing me access.

The Adani Business Class Lounge in Mumbai Terminal 2, is quite an empty place in the morning :

All that's on offer to satiate one's hunger!

Views from the lounge are incredible, even the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER is visible!

Boarded the plane and this was the earlier-gen Business Class on a relatively less crowded flight to Dubai, a 2-3-2 configuration :

Pushback begins :

Taxiing to the runway :

Up, up and away! So long Mumbai!

Video Link of the Takeoff from Mumbai :

The Lunch menu onboard :

Chaman Kaliya and a "Selection of Sweets" for Lunch :

Hovering over Dubai, as we prepare to touch down :

Some stills with the Samsung S22 Ultra :

Touchdown at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :

After a quick walk through Security and it was time to spend almost 5 hours in the Lounge. My onward journey was in the evening with my arrival at 9 pm in Budapest.

The Business Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport, as far as the eyes can see!

Enjoying some treats on offer in the lounge!

While relaxing in the lounge, I came across the news that Sebastian Vettel had announced his retirement from the sport. It was sad to see the German say goodbye after Raikkonen decided to hang up his boots in 2021.

It was time for boarding and the plane was parked a fair distance from the terminal building.

Making our way to the plane :

The Business Class seating on the Boeing 737 Max. Looks cosy, a 2-2 configuration.

Preparing for takeoff :

En route to Budapest :

Taking off from Dubai bound for Budapest ( Video Link ) :

The menu for Dinner Service in Budapest :

Apple Juice with some nuts, followed by Chicken Parmigiana and Chocolate Mud Cake :

It was a hearty meal and very well presented. 

With the meal done, it was time to relax and enjoy some sights en route!

Stunning visuals from the heavens!

The flight path towards the continent of Europe!

Landing in Budapest :

Video Link : 

Since the 2nd leg was on FlyDubai, I didn't get the luxury of the Emirates Chauffeur service to my hotel but the return journey would have it since both legs were on Emirates.

Budapest - Mumbai ( Emirates First ) ( 6th August 2022 ) :

Emirates has only service out of Budapest at 4 pm so post check-out, one has to head straight for the airport.

Emirates Chauffeur service to ferry me to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport :

Goodbye Budapest, you were amazing!

The airlines still needed the Air Suvidha form filled ( as per the directive from the Indian government ), so the check-in process took longer than usual. Nevertheless, it was still a breeze through immigration and security.

The lounge in Budapest offered some great views of the airport and the tarmac!

The lounge had an elaborate spread as per European standards :

After having a sumptuous experience, it was time to head to the gate for boarding.

Walking towards the Boarding Gate :

The Boeing 777-300ER First Class is a great place to be for the journey to Dubai!

Minibar, flight wellness kit, a basket of sweets & savouries, Bowers and Wilkins Noise Cancellation headsets along with some Arabic Coffee and dates :

The pushback and taxiing to the runway. Seeing a tour group ( plane spotters ) take photos of the Boeing 777-300ER as it made its way to the runway was nice :

Taking off from Budapest ( Video Link ) :

Budapest from above - Buda, Pest and Margaret Island visible!

The Wine List, for those who love to pair it with their meals :

The dinner service to Budapest had an elaborate spread. This is a shorter flight from Europe, so the dine-on-demand service had some restrictions :  

Chips and Orange Fizz, followed by Lentil Soup, Grilled Chicken and Almond Streusel Cake :

The bed is ready, time for a quick nap before landing in Dubai :

Nearing touchdown at Dubai International Airport :

Landing at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :

Hello Dubai!

Post-Covid, Emirates has upped its First Class Experience by offering guests an escorted service to the First Class Lounge while transiting through Dubai International Airport. It adds to the overall experience of flying First Class!

The First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport is serene and calm. After a three-hour rest, it was time to say goodbye to the lounge and head to the gate for the final leg to Mumbai :

My seat for the journey home, another First Class Suite on the Boeing 777-300ER :

The Breakfast menu :

Arabic Coffee and Dates anyone?

Pushback from the terminal on early Sunday morning :

Takeoff Video :

Enjoying a Vitality Boost drink, followed by Green Pea Poha :

Dawn arrives as we begin our approach into the city that never sleeps!

Touching down at Mumbai International Airport :

Landing Video :

Homebound, thanks to Emirates Chauffeur Service!

I also made a Vlog on the First Class experience onboard the Boeing 777-300 ER from Budapest to Dubai.

Video Link :

What an amazing experience on Emirates Airlines after a hiatus of 3 years. The service was impeccable, the cabin crew always welcoming and the food onboard was exceptional as always. Even FlyDubai Business is an amazing offering and ticks almost all boxes when it comes to seat comfort, and food quality, although their inflight entertainment could have a more varied offering, then as a low-cost carrier, it offers a lot more than any other carrier would!

The Flying Diaries Series will return soon, with an unbelievable first-class experience to Brussels, on Emirates Game Changer Suites, onboard their newest 777-300s. 

So watch this space!

Paddock Club Diaries - 2022 Hungarian GP - Day 3

The final day of the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP dawned on us and unlike the Saturday, I tried to leave early in the morning. However, it wasn't early enough and once again I was at the mercy of errand taxi drivers quoting absurd fares to ferry me to the circuit. Thankfully, a couple decided to join me and the price seemed acceptable after negotiating with one taxi driver

Sunday morning and welcome to Raceday! Enroute to the circuit :

Due to the traffic snarls caused by the flurry of vehicles into the circuit, the taxi dropped us at an alternate entry and I had to walk almost around the length of the track to make it to the Paddock Club. The Vlog on my Youtube Channel, shared further on on this page, has a segment dedicated to that.

Coffee and Croissants to kickstart the Sunday in the Paddock Club :

The hosts at the Ferrari F1 Club obliged me with a paddock pass but asked me to return in time for the Charles Leclerc interview in the Club, scheduled around midday.

A quick visit to this very narrow and small paddock :

The story of meeting those from the F1 Fraternity began again!

Pat Fry, a Legend of F1 and Chief Technical Officer for Alpine F1 Team :

Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 driver :

Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 driver :

Fernando Alonso, Double F1 World Champion and Alpine F1 Driver :

It was time to head back and grab a vantage point to see Leclerc up close in the Ferrari F1 Club.

Charles Leclerc joining the guests in the Ferrari F1 Club for an interview :

The menu for Sunday :

Lunch is served :

With Lunch complete, it was time for the final pit lane walk of the weekend.

Shots from the Pit Lane walk on Sunday :

The Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team getting prepped and ready for the Race and pitstop practice is a must!

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :

The Oracle Red Bull Racing F1 Team mechanics practiced some stops of their own :

I had the opportunity of meeting some more famous people from the F1 circle.

Andrea Stella, Executive Racing Director for McLaren with a glorious career in F1 :

Jock Clear, Senior Performance Engineer for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :

Ralf Schumacher, Ex-Williams and BMW Williams F1 Driver, brother to Michael Schumacher and now an F1 Presenter :

I rushed back to the club and it was time to put the Headsets on, grab a good view and buckle up for the race!

The drivers leaving the pits for sighting laps :

Pit Lane opens for Drivers to leave the garages ( Video Link ) :

Carlos Sainz Jr leaves for sighting lap ( Video Link ) :

Obliging with interviews and legging it to the front of the grid for the pre-race formalities :

The drivers line up at the front of the grid for the Hungarian National Anthem :

The guests and dignitaries with grid access make their way back to the pit lane :

Time for the formation lap and the Race start :

Counting down to the Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :

Time for the Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :

A Video of the Race Start :

A Photo Dump of photos from the Race :