A couple months ago (can’t believe it’s already been that long) I got the chance to ride business class from Dubai to Chicago! I’ve never been beyond coach in my life so the idea of getting business class on a 13-hour flight was a totally foreign concept.
My wonderful cousin and her husband, who are frequent Emirates flyers, organized it and surprised me while I was flying from Hyderabad to Dubai. Then when I checked in for my next flight, the attendant said, “Well, the first good news of the new year is that you’ve been upgraded to business class!” I could have cried, especially since I was so tired from not having slept the night before!
It was amazing going in front of everyone, seeing all their sad, familiar looks as business class was called. The crappy thing I noticed, as a coach class passenger, is that on Emirates you have to walk through the business section and you get a glimpse of that beautiful, comfortable life for about thirty seconds before you’re shuffled along to the sardine can that is coach. But this time was different; this time I actually got to stay in the business section, and the sad-faced people were passing ME!
Naturally I had to take pictures of such a treat as this is just a one-time thing (can’t imagine feeling like it’ll be worth buying it myself in the future). I apologize for the lousy pictures as I was trying to sneak them with my iPhone 5c – need to upgrade to the 6S soon for better shots! I wasn’t about to break out my Nikon here as everyone was settling in.
The first thing I noticed as I walked up to my seat was how much legroom and privacy I was given. I couldn’t even reach the seat in front of me if I tried! They give you a huge pillow (for an airplane), a fleece blanket, and better quality headphones than I own myself.
Once you’re settled in, the steward comes around with a and selection of drinks. Ours was champagne, apple juice, or fresh orange juice. I’m a sucker for fresh citrus so I got my first of several freshly squeeze orange juices as I was chatting to the guy next to me about how excited we were to fly business class (it was his first time, too). I played around with the window screen (you can actually push a button for it to go up and down – so cool!) and checked out my surroundings.
We also got little goody bags with the famous BVLGARI products in a brown satin bag. I’m not a fan of the scent – it’s a bit too lemongrass-y, which gives me headaches, but there were plenty of useful products in there like a toothbrush, comb, mirror, and lotion which I used regularly throughout the flight. The best part was that usually my cousin gives us these bags after her flights, but now I got one all to myself! Hehe 🙂
Lotion, tissues, mirror, comb… everything a girl could need for a long flight!
Next I had to play with my seat. It folded out into a fully flat bed, and I could put my feet straight out! This was totally new territory for me. Normally I just try to scrunch my legs as comfortably as possible under the seat in front of me, but I had all the room in the world and then some. I also really liked how the end of the seat has a foot support that prevented me from sliding forward and how much storage each passenger had – a little cubby near the floor, in front of me, and also right near my head. Plus there are USB outlets to charge electronics!
The television screens in Emirates Business Class are huge. It could have been a computer monitor and came with a remote right next to my head because it was simply too far away to reach. The seat backs that the TVs are on are fixed so that passengers can put their seat in any position and the person behind them isn’t affected – I loved this because I normally try to avoid leaning back in order to not bother the person behind me, but in this case I could do whatever I wanted!
So much space, so little time.
Meals in the business class cabin were like something for royalty, or at least to me. The huge trays pulled out of the seat sides and the steward puts an actual table cloth. They come around with menus, take your order, and bring the meal with actual silverware, glass, and ceramic mugs and plates. I mean, they even bring your own little salt and pepper shakers. This was nicer than what I have at my own apartment!
Since we boarded in the morning we had breakfast first. I didn’t take too much as I had eaten at the airport (before I found out about this lovely surprise), but I was happy with a croissant, fruit, and tea. The fruit was fresh and cool and I could tell the croissant was recently baked.
As a snack later I ordered clam chowder (yes, as a snack). It was amazing! Not that I’ve had much clam chowder but this was the best I’ve ever had. It was thick, hot, and had large chunks of clam. Warmed me right up.
For lunch I had grilled shrimp with a lovely dipping sauce, bread (which was a bit cold for my taste), and a salad that came with its own little glass jar of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. So fancy shmancy! And of course for dessert I got the chocolate tart. What else could I do?
I even got my own little glass jar of jam! No plastic jam here, people!
Enjoying my shrimp!
Obviously it was the best plane ride I’ve ever had and with my blackout eye mask that I always bring along (no neck pillow needed here), I folded out my chair into a bed (the steward actually brings around mattresses for everyone) and got plenty of sleep to help deter much jet lag. I didn’t want to sleep much, though, for fear of missing out on the excitement! But when they turn on the starry sky on the ceiling it’s just way too cozy not to get some shut eye.
So would I actually pay for business class myself? Probably not. This flight roundtrip on business was about $5000 when I bought my initial ticket. For now I’ll just have this as a fond memory and be thankful to my amazing cousin and cousin-in-law for the lovely treat!