In a pokey little sandwich shop in downtown San Francisco, a young man who has never left California and has little interest in travel – in fact is afraid to fly – tells me he would fly anywhere with Emirates.
Before counting out my change, he whips out his phone and is showing me photos of a friend’s Emirates experience. Soon his colleagues surround us, talking about the Emirates A380 as though it were a hotted up car.
And in a way, it kind of is.
In the famed words of Robert Matthew Van Winkle: ‘ICE, ICE baby’
I stopped listening to an airline’s audio options about the same time my favourite radio station turned hip hop (circa 1999). With the advent of the various iPs, I inevitably avoided the inflight wait for the one song I only kind of liked to eventually come on.
But no more. Leonard Cohen, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, The Smiths…Emirates has great taste! On my recent flight with Emirates, I didn’t even bother unpacking my iPhone. Flicking through whole albums or an artist’s entire oeuvre, I scoured the system like I do my music dealer’s iPod for new favourites.
Many an airline claims to have the ultimate in inflight entertainment, but with some 1,200 channels (of supremely good choices), it really is hard to surpass Emirates’ ICE (information, communications and entertainment) system.
And when you’re done with the music and the movies, Emirates allows you to chart the progress of your flight in a way even the un-nerdiest of flyers will appreciate. Equipped with external cameras, you can get a literal bird’s eye view (admittedly a very big, and maybe a little chubby bird) from the comfort of your seat.
Seat goes up, seat goes down, seat goes up…
In an homage to Homer Simpson, I took full advantage of the comforts of my Business Class seat on my journey from Dubai to Sydney. The flat bed seat, personal mini-bar and in-seat massager made me forget that I was among hundreds of travellers on the big A380.
And Economy ain’t bad either. Seats in the A380s are just that bit wider, which mean that when you’re stuck in the middle seat in the last row of Economy, you actually have space to curl up and get some sleep (yep, that was the Sydney to Dubai journey).
From A to B (via C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L…)
With 153 aircraft flying to over 100 destinations in 66 countries and constant announcements of new destinations and routes, Emirates is going far.
Each week, over 1,000 Emirates flights depart Dubai and I’d like to think that maybe one day, Jamie from the sandwich shop in San Francisco will be on one of them.
All images courtesy of Emirates.
Author: Gaya Avery