One of the perks of travelling frequently for work is airline rewards. I have been part of Emirates Skywards for quite a few years now hoarding my points for a special occasion. If you are loyal to Emirates, they really will be loyal to you. Planning a last minute business trip a few weeks back, I came across a mixed fare special where I was able to use points to upgrade to first class.
Here is a look at this once in a lifetime experience.
As I boarded the plane, I was escorted to my seat by the air stewardess and offered a drink. Obviously, I ordered the champagne. It was Dom Perignon 2009. Having never tasted such an exclusive champagne before, I was in heaven. Next, it was time to change into my Emirates first class Hydra Active pyjamas. These pyjamas were designed to prevent skin dehydration during the flight.
My seat was designed to transform into a flat bed, complete with a mattress and duvet. Inside my ‘suite’ was everything I needed to get through the flight including a mini bar, skin care amenities and a basket full of treats. This included crisps, smints, chocolates as well as hydrating effervescent tablets should I start to feel the effects of air travel.
Shortly after takeoff, the air stewardess was back to offer me the wine list. This carefully curated list has won airline industry awards year after year. Wines have been selected from all over the world to complement the dishes served onboard. I selected a Pouilly Fumé from the Loire Valley in France. It was crisp, delicious and paired perfectly with my caviar. Silver service at 38000ft!
After my meal, it was time to settle into a good movie and enjoy the view, as well as another glass (bottle!) of Pouilly Fumé. Each ‘suite’ has a sliding door that guests can choose to close should they wish to sleep. I was far too excited to sleep but of course, I had to play with the sliding door. It is quite surreal being fully enclosed in your own space looking out of an aeroplane window.
The rest of the flight was a blur of fine wines and champagne. Before I knew it, we had landed. I had a 12-hour layover before my flight to Gatwick which entitled me to ‘Dubai Connect.’ This is a service Emirates offers to provide accommodation, meals and visas for *qualifying flights
with long layovers. I breezed through immigration and was collected at the allocated pick up point and dropped at my hotel, Le Méridien. I was given a voucher for a 3-course meal at a restaurant of my choice at the hotel (There were 18 to chose from! Don’t give a girl options after that many glasses of wine at that altitude!) and ended up at Casa Mia. I had a fantastic meal and was in bed early ahead of my 4:30 am wake-up call. I was back at the airport at 6 am for my next flight, on one of Emirates new A380’s. Breakfast in the dedicated first class lounge was an experience on its own. Continental breakfast was served A la carte in the main dining room but if that wasn’t your thing, there was a full sushi bar, as well as a 24 hour cheese bar showcasing cheeses from around the globe. Each service area had a fully stocked wine bar to complement the dishes. Those that know me know that I love breakfast wine!
It was time to board. This knocked the previous day’s flight out of the park. Showers, bar area and 50-year-old port. I imagine this is what heaven is like. I was greeted by a lovely South African stewardess who was well aware of the drought in Cape Town and made sure my name was first on the shower list. The shower attendant comes to your ‘suite’ to call you when the shower is ready. You have 5 minutes (5 MINUTES!) of hot water. The bathroom is kitted out with all the amenities you may need and the floor is heated. After my shower, I was treated to a small fruit plate before lunch. It was all over so fast and again, it was time to land. On the ground through immigration, I was greeted by my driver who drove me to my destination 70 miles away. The chauffeur service is offered to all passengers in business and first class. It was the cherry on top of an experience I won’t soon forget.
To book your Emirates experience visit www.emirates.com
. If you haven’t already joined, sign up for Emirates Skywards rewards and start earning points on your next flight.