March 29, 2016

Review: Emirates B777 Business Class, Dubai-Stockholm

Trip to New Zealand & flying with the King of Sweden on my 100th flight in Business Class

Earlier this month, I was able to explore New Zealand, thanks to Singelresor. We flew with Emirates to Christchurch where we explored the South Island; then took the ferry boat to North Island and after visiting Wellington, Rotorua and Auckland, flew back home. As I had enough Emirates Skywards miles, I decided to upgrade my flight from Dubai to Stockholm in Business Class where I also had the chance to see King Gustav of Sweden as he was seated in front of me! I've flown 99 times in business class prior to this flight so this flight was actually my 100th time to fly in business class. Here are some reviews of the hotels we stayed at, as well as the top attractions we visited while in New Zealand, the land of the Kiwis!


Review: Radisson Blu Skycity Hotel, Arlanda Airport
Review: Copthorne Airport Hotel Dubai (Emirates Economy Class Transit Hotel)
Review: Ibis Hotel Christchurch
Review: Quality Inn Nelson
Review: Ibis Hotel Rotorua
Review: Amora Hotel Auckland
Top Attractions in New Zealand
Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge, Concourse A Dubai Airport (DXB)
Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge, Concourse B, Dubai Airport (DXB)
Review: Emirates Business Class, Dubai to Stockholm

Emirates business class cabin on the Boeing 777-300ER

Flight: EK 157
Departure time in Dubai: 8:10
Arrival time in Stockholm: 11:55
Equipment: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 11A
Duration: 5h 45m
Date of flight: March 21, 2016 
*I upgraded to business class using my Skywards miles, Business Class flight #100

Introduction

Prior to this flight, I've flown 99 times in business class and since my only confirmed booking in business class in the future was on British Airways from Stockholm to London in May, I thought it wouldn't be so special since it will be a very short flight. After some thoughts, I decided I'd use my Emirates Skywards miles to upgrade to business class from Bangkok to Sydney on the way to New Zealand. Unfortunately, I requested the upgrade onboard and the record the crew had on their system reflected 0 miles even if my Emirates app was showing 50,000 miles which was more than enough for the upgrade. I was told they couldn't do anything about it and that I had to fix it when we land at Sydney Airport. As a result, my only option was to use my miles on the Dubai-Stockholm flight and which eventually turned out perfectly well since I got to fly with King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden. It was a blessing in disguise that my request for an upgrade on the Bangkok-Sydney flight was rejected since this flight was definitely much, much better!

Lounge

Our flight from Melbourne arrived on time at Dubai Airport Terminal 3 and after clearing security, I immediately headed to the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Concourse A. I had a small breakfast and after my shower quickly went back to Concourse B where my flight to Sweden was departing.

Aircraft, Boeing 777-300ER

The beautiful Boeing 777-300ER bound for Stockholm

Boarding, gate B11

Boarding had already started from gate B11 when I arrived around 7:35. There was a separate passenger bridge for premium passengers and economy class passengers so I took the first one to the left.

Located outside the door was a trolley of international newspapers.

On my way to the business class cabin, I passed by the ever beautiful first class cabin. How can I ever forget this cabin? I was on the inaugural flight from Stockholm to Dubai in September 2013 and flew in first class!

Cabin

There is the smaller business class cabin directly behind the first class cabin and there is also the bigger business class cabin where I was seated.

I don't normally take pictures of other passengers' seat but I decided to take a picture of the two seats in front of me anyway. Little did I know that the window seat would be the King of Sweden's seat which is in front of me as his seat was 10A and mine was 11A.

View of the business class cabin from my seat.

Magazine rack behind seats 11A and 11B

Seat, 11A

During online check-in, I was assigned 7D which is located in the smaller business class cabin. I really wanted a window seat so I changed my seat to 11A when I saw that it was available.

My new seat, 11A!

Mia, the Vietnamese flight attendant taking care of our side of the cabin introduced herself and showed me my seat. She asked if I had flown on their Boeing 777 before and I told her that I was the one who made a review of their inaugural flight in first class a few years ago 😉

The touch screen mode controller has been upgraded since the last time I flew on Emirates, it was still the thick one.

Headphone socket and IFE controls

Spacious legroom

Privacy divider controls

Privacy divider and reading lamp

Bottle holder

Already waiting at my seat was a bottle of mineral water and a set of socks and eyeshades ...

... as well as a blanket.

Air vents

Reading lamp

Seat controls

Foldable table tray

Seat adjustments

The business class seats on Emirates Boeing aircraft do not recline to a fully flat bed unlike the ones on their A380s but since it was a day flight, it was not that important. Just recently, Emirates announced that their new business class seats on their Boeing 777s will be fully flat and will be introduced later this year.

Window shades

Personal screen

There is also complimentary wifi connection ...

.. which is limited to 10MB. You can also buy an additional 500MB for just a dollar which I thought was a great deal 👍

Parked to our left was an Airbus A380 😉

A few minutes later, Mia asked me if I wanted to drink something and I chose a glass of bubbly. She also gave me the wine list.

Around 7:50, the King arrived together with a few other VIPs including a certain Minister who was seated beside the King; the military officer (above) who was seated in 10D; a guy named Fredrik who sat beside me and had two mobilephones with the King's picture as lockscreen wallpaper as well as Fredrik Reinfeldt who sat in 8F. The captain named Daniel personally came to the King's seat and welcomed him and his group. Moments later, the purser Renato de Souza from Brazil also came to welcome us all onboard.

During taxi, the safety video instruction was shown on the screen.

We took off around 8:40 and with a beautiful view of Dubai's skyline including the Burj Khalifa, I couldn't help but to take some pictures.

Safety instructions card, inflight magazines, etc.

Entertainment

The personal screen was big enough and from the movie selection, I ended up watching "The Intern".

Emirates does not have BOSE headphones but because they have the best IFE system, I guess the overall experience is still one of the best.

ICE guide

Dining

The business class menu card and wine list

Emirates business class wine list

Spirits

Chivas Regal 18 Year Old
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old
Jack Daniel's Old No. 7

Emirates business class wine list

Jameson
Hennessy XO
Grey Goose
Bombay Sapphire
Bacardi Superior

Emirates business class wine list

Bailey's Irish Cream
Tia Maria
Drambuie
Cointreau
Champagne, wines and port

Emirates breakfast menu

Breakfast

Continental Breakfast
Express Breakfast
Hot Drinks (tea, coffee)

Emirates lunch menu

Lunch

Tomato and Thyme Soup
Traditional Arabic Mezze
Salmon Roulade
Seasonal Salad

Main Course

Saffron Lamb Loin
Seafood Machbous
Roast Chicken

Freshly Baked Bread

Emirates lunch menu and light option

Dessert & Cheese

Chocolate Cheesecake
Passion Fruit Tart
Cheeseboard
Seasonal Fruit

Hot drinks

Tea, coffee

Fine Luxury Chocolates

Emirates business class champagne

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut NV

Emirates wine list

White Wine

Domaine William Fevre Chablis Vaillons (French)
Poggio Al Tesoro Solosole Vermentino 204 (Italian)

Red Wine

Sarget De Gruaud Larose (French)
Dalmau, Marques de Murriera Riserva 2010 (Spanish)

Emirates business class Port

Port

Graham's 20 year old Tawny

My breakfast consisted of some coldcuts, cheese, yogourt and a croissant. I was also offered some coffee and chose a cup of green tea with lemon.

During the meal service, we were continuously offered refill of drinks by Nadja, the flight attendant from Morocco who was helping Mia serve the business class passengers, as well as another guy. Nadja had earlier told me that she could give me a tour of the first class cabin if I wanted to so we agreed to do it sometime later after breakfast.

And just as I expected, Nadja came to my seat after breakfast and gave me a wonderful tour of their first class seats. I just love this suite! There was actually no passenger in the first class cabin while 26 of the 42 seats in business class were taken. The King not choosing to fly in first class was really impressive. Of course, he could have also used his own private plane but he didn't 😉

Around 10:35, Mia came to my seat and asked me if I could come with her to the galley. Surprise! Mia and Nadja both greeted me a "happy birthday" as I opened the galley curtain. I had inquired about getting a birthday cake on this flight when I called Emirates Customer Service one day before this flight but since they couldn't confirm it, I really did not expect getting it here. My birthday was not until the following week but this was surely one of the best ways to celebrate it in advance!

Thank you so much Mia, Nadja and to all the crew of Emirates on this flight 🙌 Nadja asked me if I wanted to have the cake onboard or take it with me and I chose the latter.

Nuts, chips and olives as well as drinks were consistently offered until it was time for the lunch service.

More than two hours before arrival, hot towels were offered and Mia asked for my lunch order. I told her I wanted to try their Hennesy XO so she served it first, together with some warm nuts. Then I gave her my order which was the Salmon Roulade for appetizer and the Seafood Machbous for my main course.

The appetizer Salmon Roulade tasted very good 😋

Appetizer, "Salmon Roulade"

The Seafood Machbous which did not look that appealing actually tasted very good as well 😋

Emirates business class dessert, "Passion fruit tart"

I asked Mia if I could also have some cheese and I was told that I had to wait since she had to ask the other passengers first. I believe she needed to serve the VIPs first so it was okay with me. Fortunately, it seemed nobody wanted much of the cheese board as Mia came back minutes later informing me that she would be serving the cheese soon.

Toilet and Lavatory

Emirates business class lavatory with comb and dental kits

Emirates business class lavatory

Emirates business class lavatory

Towels and two bottles of perfumes

Arrival at Stockholm Arlanda Airport

The flight went smoothly and we arrived at Arlanda Airport a few minutes ahead of schedule.

After collecting my luggage, I was met by Estelle, the Emirates chauffeur who would be driving me back home. She was such a nice lady and we had fun talking together while on the road.

My ride back home 😉

Inside the car are complimentary bottles of water by Freys who is the company entrusted by Emirates with their chauffeur service. There was not much traffic so I was home in no time at all.

CONCLUSION

To be honest, I did not expect my 100th flight in business class to be this memorable. Who would have thought I would be flying with the King of Sweden? 😊 Of course, I also got to celebrate my birthday a week in advance. I really enjoyed this flight no doubt about it. The crew's excellent and friendly service matched with great food and superb IFE just made this flight something I will never ever forget. To all the crew on this flight specially to Mia and Nadja, Shukran! I really can't thank you enough. Special thanks also to Estelle for driving me home safely!


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