The first time I flew Emirates was about five years ago to Abidjan for an assignment. I flew economy class and the 60 minutes or so spent on board left a lasting impression. I looked forward to flying Emirates again.
The opportunity finally came to fly business class. “This is going to be quite an experience”, I thought to myself.
Sunday afternoon at 3 pm, I arrived at the Kotoka International Airport, ready to check in. An emirates staffer directed to the business class check-in desk. My boarding pass was printed out for me. I was looking forward to a seat by the window but they had already been secured by other travelers. Ouch! I remembered I should have checked-in online, (Emirates had sent me a reminder by mail that I could so). It may have increased my chances. Fair enough!
Business Class Lounge
Thankfully on this day, there were no long queues going through immigration. I made my way to the Business Class Lounge. While I waited for my flight, there was plenty to eat and drink and a nice view of the airstrip.
I had skipped lunch because I didn’t want to miss my flight. The variety of meals at the Business Class Lounge was just appropriate. I opted for the popular Ghanaian dish Jollof, some salad with chicken.
The lounge is a good place to relax before your flight. You can catch up on all the latest news with complimentary Wifi.
I would discover later that the Emirates Lounges in Dubai are even bigger with gourmet dining options and exclusive beverages. If you are a wine lover, don’t forget to check out the Moët and Chandon champagne lounge.
At 5:50 pm it was time to board. As expected First Class and Business Class travelers were called first. I was warmly welcomed aboard by the flight attendants.
Not too long after I took my seat, I was served a refreshing glass of juice. That was my option, others opted for wine. The crew was done with pre-flight preparations, the cabin door closed, and then the pre-flight safety demonstration which was shown on the airline’s TV screens. The first was in Arabic and next in English.
We were travelling in a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. It forms the largest part of the Emirates fleet. Business Class is located between First Class and Economy, and has 42 seats in a 2-3-2 layout. It’s got a sleek-looking interior. I learned it is inspired by a modern Mercedez-Benz sports car. The plastic framed seats with a pearl-like colour, the walnut veneer, and gold trimmings were a beautiful sight.
Once I was seated, the first thing I checked out was the inflight entertainment service. By the way Emirates has been adjudged the airline with the best inflight entertainment for 15 times running. Travelers can choose from over 4,500 channels of movies, TV shows, music and games, on demand and in multiple languages. Otherwise, enjoy the inflight airshow.
I am a news freak so I settled on watching international news. The TV screen was just perfect. A flight attendant also drew my attention I could enjoy two hours of free Wi-Fi for text messaging on WhatsApp or Facebook. He asked if I wanted to try. I said, “why not?” I started a chat with my wife already.
I was handed a menu a few minutes into the flight. Emirates makes it a point to vary it menu from time to time. After deciding on what to drink, you can then settle for an appetizer, the main course and the dessert over the 8-hour flight.
I asked for a seasonal salad as an appetizer, had chicken curry as main course and settled on fruits for dessert. The meals were some of the best I have tasted on an airplane. There was also variety of wine to choose from.
Done eating, it was time to recline. The business class seats are adjustable and comfortable.
I’d been offered just like everyone else in Business Class, a blanket, pillow, flight socks and eyeshades. I adjusted the seat to bed position and enjoyed a nap. You wouldn’t miss the stars on the ceiling. The colour of the ceiling changes according to local time.
A couple of times I had to use the lavatory, they were kept clean. There are two of them for Business Class.
The journey was smooth; the crew on board was so friendly and helpful. We arrived in Dubai at 6:20 am on Monday, and a chauffeur deployed by Emirates was already on hand to drop me off at the hotel.
That was certainly an experience I wouldn’t forget anytime soon.