20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

My bird awaits

Tail view

Very High Building

I didn't expect to be flying Emiratres though Dubai quite so soon again but the oportunity of a trip to Malaysia gave me the idea to try to fly out on the Airbus A380 and Emirates was the practical and affordable option.

I'm a bit of a self-confessed plane nerd but what a plane - from the moment you walk on board you know this is something different, the double width staircase leading up to the upper deck and wooden banisters give more of a feel of a cruise ship than an aeroplane. Somehow I managed to be the last to board so it wasn't long after I strapped myself in that we were pushing back and starting up the engines, heralded by a gentle murmur through the well soundproofed fuselage. I immediately fired up the ICE entertainmet system to find the forward looking camera that Emirates always have, only to find that the 380 has an extra camera mounted in the tail looking over the whole plane, this give a video game aspect to the taxi out to the runway and being so tall you can see the entire queue in front. Once on the runway the view is spectacular and then Wow! The full rev of the engines is felt but hardly heard, this is the future of flying. The flight was very pleasant, I watched a couple of films, restricted myself to 3 bottles of wine, had a walkabout and a snooze then we were coming in to Dubai.

I was very pleased with myself for managing to keep hold of my lighter going through the over-zelous arrival secuity at Dubai although I broke my watchstrap when I had to take that off and nearly lost my jeans when I had to give up my belt and then my shoes, might as well fly naked, it's got to be easier.

I only had a 2 hour connection which was fine by me as I seriously dislike Dubai airport, I don't know how it got such a good reputation. Flying Emirates puts you in the new T3 and the only smoking areas are in the old T1 (what happened to T2 is anyones guess). unfortunately the airport is about 2 miles long and getting to the smoking rooms involves walking most of the length of both terminals, not helped by the fact I started walking in the wrong direction to start with. The smoke rooms here are hideous and many people will think that's all we leppers deserve, however, the further you walk from T3 the less intolerable they get so I made a bee-line for the far end of the building, bought a can of drink and found a mainly unoccupied ash-den and sat down for a while before having to leg it back to the new terminal to board the flight to KL. It's not often that getting onto a 777 seams like boarding small plane but after the A380, this time it did. I watched one more movie, same choices as before, before having a sleep and a rare alcohol-less flight.

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