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Posts for Tag: Travel

The Flying Diaries : BOM - BRU - BOM ( Emirates First ) ( August - September 2022 )

The 2nd F1 race that I had the privilege of attending in 2022 was the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix. The trip to Belgium was my last Emirates experience before COVID-19. With the Belgian Grand Prix organizers opening the doors to the fans, I couldn't resist returning to my favourite circuit!

I had flown on the Game Changer Suites, the latest offering in First Class in the Boeing 777-300ER and the trip to Brussels gave me the chance to experience opulence all over again! The outbound journey was on 25th August and the return was on 12th September.


Although the Mumbai-Dubai leg was in First Class, I was yet to receive an upgrade ( with miles ) on the Dubai-Brussels leg. Thankfully, just before boarding, Emirates released the seats and I was able to enjoy First Class both ways!


Mumbai - Brussels ( Emirates First ) ( 25th August 2022 ) :

Bags are ready for the trip to Brussels, a long holiday!


BMW 5 Series for the drop to Mumbai International Airport, thanks to Emirates Chauffeur Service :


The turnaround time to go through check-in, security and immigration was short and it was time to unwind in the lounge!

The Adani First and Business Class Lounge, looking stunning as ever at Mumbai International Airport :


An elaborate spread in the Lounge. First Class guests also enjoy ordering from an Ala Carte menu. The Kathi Roll and the Molten Chocolate Cake are my personal favourites!


There is a different charm and intrigue while flying during monsoons. Mumbai airport in the early hours of the morning :


Finally, after 3 years, back on the Airbus A380! The First Class Suite looks so amazing! The memories are fresh as ever!


The pushback begins :


Taking off from Mumbai for Dubai ( Video Link ) :



Breakfast service to Dubai :


Stuck to some Yogurt, Cappuccino and Pain au Chocolat :


Touching down at Dubai International Airport :


Landing Video Link :



I did Vlog on the First Class Experience on board the Emirates Airbus A380. It was a short trip but was able to cover quite a lot en route.

Video Link :

 


Emirates offers an escorted transfer service for First Class Passengers and it was nice to enjoy special treatment while transiting through the airport terminal.

The First Class Lounge in Dubai International Airport :


Boarding wasn't via the aerobridges and we had to take the shuttle to make our way to the aircraft.

Being driven to the aircraft in an Emirates shuttle for First Class passengers :


Hello Game Changer Suites!


As we began preparations for takeoff, I marvelled at how brilliant the suite screens were!


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



Up in the air and amazing views of Dubai :


The Palm Jumeirah!


Breakfast and Lunch on offer for the trip to Brussels :


Starting with a Vitality Boost, with some nuts and crisps, followed by Chicken and Lemongrass Consomme, Prawn Machbous and Almond Streusel Cake :


En route to Europe!


Emirates recreating the night sky onboard :


The bed is ready. Time for a nap before landing in Brussels :


Preparing our final approach to Brussels :


Touchdown Belgium!


Touching Down at Brussels International Airport ( Video Link ) :



Mercedes to ferry me to Hasselt, thanks to Emirates Chauffeur service :


The various drive modes in an S Class :


En route to Hasselt, some really beautiful sights along the way :


I had the opportunity to do a full walkthrough of the Game Changer Suite and created a vlog on my Youtube.

Video Link to the First Class Experience on the Game Changer Suites :




Brussels - Mumbai ( Emirates First & Business ) ( 12th September 2022 ) :

Brussels is a destination where Emirates has multiple services in a day. I decided to opt for the last flight out which allowed me to enjoy most of the day with my friends.

Mercedes Luxury Van takes me to Brussels International Airport :


Check-in, Security and Immigration complete, I made my way to the lounge at Brussels International, a lounge I have gotten well versed with over the years.

Walking to the Lounge at Brussels International Airport :


The Lounge, not the most stocked in Europe and remains the most under-whelming experience still :


The views though are amazing :


It was soon time to board and the Game Changer dons a new look when the sun goes down. The ambience and the lighting effects bring a different vibe to the suite.

The First Class Game Changer Suite looks stunningly beautiful at night :


The Pushback commences :


I have been a big fan of the Voyager app on board Emirates. The flight info software shares a plethora of information to flyers and is quite an interesting feature to enjoy inflight.

The Voyager app shows the plane getting ready for the journey back to Dubai :


Taking off from Brussels :



The Menu for the flight to Dubai, featuring a dinner and breakfast service onboard :


Popcorn, a first on Emirates for me, with Ginger Ale, Chips, Spring Pea Soup, Grilled Chicken and Chocolate Silk Cake :


Bingeing on food left me with no energy but to relax!

The bed is set, trying to get some sleep as we advance in time, into Dubai :


Touchdown Dubai International Airport :


Video Link to the Touchdown at Dubai International Airport :



The Emirates shuttle takes me back to the terminal building :


Once again, I enjoyed an escorted transfer service to the lounge, thanks to Emirates' new feature for First Class travellers. The final leg of my journey to Mumbai was in Business Class so I had to walk across to their dedicated lounge area.


The Business Class lounge at Dubai International Airport :


Dubai Duty-Free is a Shopping Haven!


The Business Class seat for my journey home :


Taxiing to the runway :


Up in the air, goodbye Dubai!


Takeoff Video :



Breakfast service to Mumbai :


Vitality Boost, Cappuccino and Vatana ( Peas ) Poha :


Nearing Touchdown in Mumbai, on a rainy Tuesday afternoon :


Landing at Mumbai International Airport ( Video Link ) :



 A BMW 5 Series to take me home, thank you Emirates Chauffeur Service :


It was an amazing feeling to fly again on the Game Changer Suites. Emirates has a winner in its hands and I hope to see some of the design elements come out on their Airbuses too. A big thank you to Emirates for a memorable experience to Brussels and back! There will be more content in "The Flying Diaries" series in 2023! Thank you for all your support and love over the years!

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 :