Famed to be among the most comfortable airline in the skies, UAE’s Emirates is now an established international carrier. While flying economy in an Emirates liner tops the first-class experiences of many other airline services, the benefits one can enjoy in Business Class travel is several notches above. In addition to amenities that cannot be seconded, the crew and on-ground service set a benchmark for many to follow. This was just enough reason for me to choose Emirates for my journey between Mumbai and Durban.
It’s one of the fastest ways of getting from Mumbai to Durban with a stopover at Dubai. The entire journey is a 16-hour haul, which makes it important to pay special attention to your comforts. All three airports that you experience along the journey have their own local flavor and a consistent touch of suave. The exclusivity of the journey commences right at the doorstep. In Mumbai, a luxury car will pull up before your residence or hotel, within a 50-kilometer radius from the airport. All you need to do to avail of this service is make a quick phone call. The Mumbai airport houses a dedicated Business Class counter and priority immigration counter for Emirates passengers.
The flight to Dubai is about three and a half hours so you can sack-out at the GVK Lounge if you’re early for the flight or interest yourself in the shopping aisles that the swanky new CSAI airport spoils you with. The flight to Dubai was adequately comfortable. By which, I mean that I’ve been in a more comfortable Emirates flights before. However, you can avail of a power port, a pillow, and blanket, and a full course meal was scrumptious and good seats.
The real treat lies in the Emirates Business Class lounge at Dubai airport. Located near Gate number one, it is easy to locate with several signs and guides that can lead you here. Once you enter, you’re scanned and left to explore the rectangular length of the massive lounge. The lounge has its own duty-free store. The floor-to-ceiling glass architecture ensures that there is a steady stream of natural light that keeps the entire lounge well-lit. I loved the buffet dining area which had an intricately designed welcome area and an impressive spread of cuisines. An exclusive seating area with comfortable chairs for those looking to have important discussions and a quieter work-space in an otherwise hyper-active terminal is quite welcome. There are special boarding gates at the Emirates Business Class Lounge for passengers.
Each of the buffet dining options at the lounge offer passengers the same template of fruits and meals. The yogurts and juices are especially delectable. If you’re a coffee aficionado then you can choose from the machine made coffee or venture out in search of the barista-made coffee which is recommended. There’s always alcohol up for grabs with interesting munchies to go along. If you need a dedicated workspace then you’ll be glad to avail the quiet comforts of the business area.
There are several charging areas, for those with smartphones and laptops, that are spread throughout the lounge with just about every kind of compatible port option available. Television sets scattered across the lounge keep you updated with the happenings-around from the world. Smokers can make use of the swanky smoking room. No matter how early you are for your next flight, the Business Class lounge at the Dubai airport has ample reading material to keep you occupied. You could pick a book and settle into quieter zones or simply relax on the day beds, which are available. If you’ve got ample time for shut-eye then the private sleeping nooks are the ideal solution as they offer snug sheets and privacy.
The flight from Dubai to Durban was memorable. The Emirates 777-300ER has First Class, Business Class, and Economy cabins. The business class consisted of 42 seats, of which 14 are located before a gallery while the remaining 28 continue thereafter. The seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration and are specially designed to ensure you don’t knock knees with the person beside you. You’re welcomed with an in-flight entertainment screen, pillow, blanket and headphones. Everything is designed to make one feel luxurious. From the wooden finishes to the servings of nuts and white wine. This cooked up an appetite, which was satiated with soup, breadsticks, and salad. If you want something heavier you could choose from duck, seafood, and other seafood delicacies. The salmon fillet was something I was recommended. There were chocolate cakes and tarts for desert. Emirates is famed for their amenity kits, customized for men and women. It came loaded with products from Bvlgari, hairbrushes and mirrors. The in-flight entertainment was quite average. The catalog wasn’t expansive but you could enjoy some new releases.
The journey from Dubai to Durban lasts about eight and a half hours but the comforts of the Emirates lounge and flight make it a lot more pleasant. Probably this is one of the key factors that set the Emirates Business Class apart.
Return airfare from Mumbai to Durban costs around Rs 236,000 in Business Class.. To book visit Emirates.com or call +912233773377.
Note – The writer was invited by Emirates, but all the opinions expressed herewith are his own.