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The Flying Diaries : BOM - BRU - BOM ( Emirates First ) ( May - June 2023 )

2023 was a special year for motorsports lovers. Besides Formula 1 having its longest season, the World Endurance Championship celebrated the 100th year of racing in Le Mans. Also, later in the year, India would host the inaugural MotoGP of Bharat. 

Ever since I received the news that it was the 100th year of Le Mans, I drew plans to be a part of the event. Considering how expensive it has become flying in and out of Europe, I also tried to merge an F1 weekend with the WEC event. Finally the itinerary got set and I would travel to Europe to attend both the F1 Spanish Grand Prix and the Centenary Edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in what would be one of my longest trips to the continent!


As always, Emirates was the choice of airline ( thanks to the perks of Skywards Gold ) and although its been an year since this travel got completed, this blog post is about revisiting those memories from this legendary trip!


My outbound journey was on 27th May and the return on 13th June. I upgraded myself from Business to First ( with miles ) for the Dubai - Brussels and Brussels - Dubai legs.


Mumbai - Brussels ( Emirates First ) ( 27th May 2023 ) :


The bags are packed and it's time to head to the airport!


The Emirates Chauffeur driving me to Terminal 2 in Mumbai :


After a smooth and seamless check-in, security and immigration, it was time to get some downtime in the Adani lounge. Since my Mumbai - Dubai leg was in Business class, I tried to find a quiet spot.


The view from the lounge! A glorious morning in Mumbai :


After a restful time in the lounge and a quick breakfast, it was time to board the flight to Dubai.

My seat :


With a view!


The pushback and taxi began :


Up and away, stunning visuals from the city above :


Takeoff from Mumbai ( Video Link ) :




The menu onboard :


Enjoying some Indian fare :


Dubai beckons :


Landing at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Touchdown Dubai!


A selfie with Shriya Saran, a famous Indian Celebrity! She was so gracious!


After a swift security check, I headed down to the First Class Lounge :


The brilliant First Class Lounge, enjoying an ala carte spread!


It was time to board the flight to Brussels, time to experience the Gamechanger Suites!

Popcorn, Dates, Arabic Coffee and some stills of some other goodies :


Taxiing to the runway :


Bye Bye Dubai :


Takeoff from Dubai bound for Brussels ( Video Link ) :




Live TV is a great feature on Emirates and I had the luxury of watching the F1 practice session from Monaco :

Vitality Boost, Chips and some popcorn :


The dine-on-demand menu, one of the most elaborates in the Airline industry :


Enjoying the food onboard :

For me, the showstopper were these chocolates by Coco Jalila. An elaborate spread indeed!

After a hearty meal, a couple of hours later, it was time to watch the F1 Qualifying :

We still had a couple of hours before landing into Belgium and I decided to get some sleep :


The Voyager app sharing our exact location amongst the clouds :


Hovering over Brussels :


Landed!


Touchdown at Brussels International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Welcome to Brussels! The Emirates Chauffeur was ready to ferry me to my friend's home :

Brussels - Mumbai ( Emirates First ) ( 13th June 2023 ) :


Saying goodbye to friends and heading to the airport :


Some stills from Brussels International Airport :


Enjoying a meal in the well-spread lounge :


My seat for the journey to Dubai. The new-gen Boeing 777-300ER ran into a technical snag so Emirates didn't offer the Gamechanger Suite for the return journey. :(


Amenities galore onboard :


The aerobridge withdraws from the aeroplane :


The sun setting on yet another evening in Brussels as we prepare for pushback and departure :


Takeoff from Brussels ( Video Link ) :




The menu for the return flight :


A hearty dinner!


The bed is ready as I prepare to sleep for a couple of hours :


Nearing touchdown :


Touchdown at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Landing in Dubai International Airport :


Spending some time in the Lounge and having a quick bite :


The seat for the final leg, an old-gen 777-300ER :


The menu for the final leg, I decided not to eat, was too stuffed!



The pushback and the taxi to the runway :


Goodbye Dubai, see you soon!



Taking off from Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Hovering over the city, waiting for clearance to land :


Touchdown at Mumbai International Airport ( Video Link ) :



To the disembarkation gate :


Heading home from the airport with Emirates Chauffeur :


It was a great experience on Emirates in the mixed class. Yes, the disappointment of not having the Gamechanger Suite on the return journey remained but the service more than made up for its absence.


The Flying Diaries makes a return soon, with another journey to Brussels, which was just 3 weeks later!

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!