I’ve been traveling as long as I can remember. In fact, even before, since my mother and father were both travel junkies. They were both German immigrants to the U.S., and since my dad was an amateur pilot, they often packed our little 4-seat Cessna with me and my sister and flew us down to the Bahamas or other locales for a week or two. Later, as a child, we went back to Germany and Europe almost every summer.
My Experience with Emirates Air
My love of travel extended past family trips in high school when I visited Europe with a friend of mine for a month at only 17 years old. I took several more small trips, but when I was 27, I took the mother of all adventures – backpacking around the world for a year with a friend.
I tell you all of this because of all the hundreds of flights I’ve taken (I’ve visited 40-something countries and took 58 flights just this past year!), I find Emirates to be one of the best airlines.
Emirates is based out of Dubai, so there won’t be many flights within the Americas if you want to go to Disneyworld, Mexico for spring break, or California, for instance, but if you’re going anywhere in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia or Asia, you’ll find that they probably fly there.
For instance, I was recently booking a flight from Bangkok, Thailand all the way to New York City and when I searched, this is what I found; the budget and low-cost carriers came up first, like Southern China Air and all of the Chinese carriers. From there, you’ll probably see a few Virgin Atlantic/Delta/American/Cathay Pacific, Etihad, etc. or hybrid flights. Just a step above that in price there are usually two airlines, Japan Airlines or Emirates. You can’t go wrong with either of them, and they are class organizations.
However, for most cost-conscious travelers (of which I’m definitely one!), the price can be prohibitive for these two carriers. But I find that when you have a really long route, it may be worth it to pay a couple hundred dollars extra or so. I got a ticket for about $900 for Bangkok to New York – roundtrip! Not bad, and it was so worth it because it was a hellaciously long travel day; 6 hours to Dubai, a 2-hour layover, and then 13 hours 45 minutes to New York!
First off, they are always professional, respectful, and very well organized. Their staff and flight attendants are literally from all over the world but speak good English (we had flight attendants from 16 countries on board!). The planes are also spacious and well kept. However, I was expecting a newer plane, but the two I was on were a little old, but still nice.
Simply by asking for an exit row at the gate, I was granted my wish – which makes a huge difference on such a long flight. I didn’t have a movie screen, but it looked like everyone else had nonstop movies and in-flight entertainment. The meals were also plentiful, with good quality food and huge portions, and you could get coffee, tea, wine, beer, juice, or water for free as much as you wanted.
They also gave out unlimited blankets and pillows that were wrapped in plastic so brand new.
However, for me, the best part of the Emirates flight was that every seat not only has a USB charging port but a full three-prong electrical outlet! So I could keep my computer charged the whole time and watch movies. They also have in-flight wi-fi, which is free for a quick check of Facebook or email, etc., and $9.99 or $15 for longer usage. That’s pretty amazing to check emails or get some work done online from 40,000 feet in the air!
In all, I had an A experience with Emirates, and I’ll book a flight with them whenever I can – and the price is still right.