Successful Emirates Airline Grows One Passenger At A Time

Flying from Orlando to Cairo via Dubai, I had a good idea of what to expect. Fourteen hours to Dubai, a two-hour layover there then four hours to Cairo, it was going to be a long travel day. Still, the prize at the end of the road, a 16-day Egypt and Jordan adventure with luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent would be worth it. No matter how well (or not) the in flight experience went, I was ready for it. A nice surprise in these days of cramming air travelers into tiny seats like cattle in a boxcar, Emirates passed every test with flying colors.   That stellar travel experience was so great that I saw a glimmer of light at the end of very dark tunnel it seemed air travel was flying directly into.  Not really subsidized by any government as goes the popular belief, successful Emirates Airline grows one passenger at a time.


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Frankly, flight 220 from Orlando to Dubai would have had to be pretty darn bad to top the 27-hour return home from Istanbul less that two weeks previously. That nightmare of horribly planned flights will probably go down as one of the worst ever. Still, that was on Lufthansa, a personal favorite airline and my wounds were self-inflicted for accepting a flight plan with connections too tight. Insane routing through multiple airports when direct flights were available and added to the misery.

Breaking down the individual elements that we examine on any flight, formally or not, Emirates passed nearly every test with flying colors.

Successful Emirates- First Contact
From the moment I made eye contact with the first Emirates associate when checking luggage at Orlando International Airport (MCO), every single airline-related person was pleasant, helpful, patient and friendly. That goes a long way when traveling to a part of the world one might not be familiar with as was the case with this trip.




Successful Emirates- Second Contact
We consider engaging small talk made with passengers as a bonus when it happens. They don’t have to do that. This is the personality of the flight crew, made able to blossom into making them front line ambassadors for the airline and it usually goes one of two ways; moaning about the airline and how they are treated or a pleasant, casual conversation enabled by an airline that allows time for that to happen.   This happened multiple times throughout the flight to my delight.


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Photo ©Chris Owen

Successful Emirates – Culinary
Impressive right out of the starting gate, we were presented with menus in economy class.   A menu for the cheap seats was a first for me and one that took little effort on the part of the airline; just the cost of printing.   Not that there were a lot of choices, but the effort went a long way to allowing economy class passengers to not feel like second-class travelers.

Also impressive, warm and fragranced hand towels distributed before takeoff. Lunch and Breakfast meals were served with entrees about as good as any other airline. There is only so much you can do at 37,000 feet. Unique to Emirates, an assortment of snacks distributed with the first meal, a abundance of snacks available any time in the galley and a flight crew that did not give passengers dirty looks for entering that space.

Successful Emirates – Lavatories
This is an area on long flights that often goes from nice and clean to icky and dirty by the halfway point. That never happened on our flight. Well-stocked lavatories included a moisturizing hand lotion so good someone stole it out of one and a refreshing spritz fragrance to use when/if needed.   Nice too, on our Boeing 777 aircraft, water fountains by each lavatory made staying hydrated easy (thus my frequent use and examination of these spaces).


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Successful Emirates – Unique Features

  • A smart amenity kit in the economy section provided really nice flight socks, an eye mask and toothbrush with toothpaste. This too was a first for me. Sized smaller than what one might find in business or first class, the amenity kit was a keeper and the perfect size for small charging cords, batteries, etc. I’ll be using this one for a long time…much like I use multiple TUMI amenity kits from Delta Airlines for such things.
  • Mood lighting in the cabin changed as the day progressed, turning into a starlit sky at night then gradually getting brighter as the virtual sun rose.
  • Entertainment- Over 2000 movies, TV shows, music and game channels made the Emirates ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) system a joy to use. Snappy Internet service, nicely priced by usage ($1 for 500mb) worked flawlessly throughout the flight once we reached cruising altitude.  How good is it?  I wrote and posted a review of the airline on three different publications before we landed in Dubai.
  • Accuracy- While making it 8000+ miles to a destination on time is affected a lot by on-time departure, course adjustments for weather conditions and tail/head winds, our flight was a bit early.
  • Time Flies- 16 hours is a long time no matter what we might be doing.  Two days of work for many people.  Just a little bit longer than the time it took us to drive straight through from Kansas City to Orlando. Remember, I was booked in economy, not the lovely business or first class levels we see on television ads.  Frankly?  Emirates economy is every bit as good if not better than Premium Economy on any domestic U.S. airline.
  • Passenger Mix- Flying from Orlando to just about anywhere on the planet, at any time of the day, there are usually a number of families with children, just off their Central Florida Attractions vacation. This flight was no exception. Best bet: headphones tuned to the relaxation channel of music. Earplugs are simply not enough do drown out the cry of a teething infant and we had several on our flight.
  • Overall Feeling About The Airline- Love it. Considering all of the above, this one is going to be hard to beat. I ran Emirates Airlines right up with personal favorites Lufthansa, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. U.S. Domestic airlines could take some lessons from any of those…if they wanted to. They don’t and that’s quite apparent, especially in contrast.

Bonus factor to consider:  I was on my way to a 16-day luxury travel experience with the top luxury travel company, Abercrombie & Kent.  They booked this air.  How appropriate that even in economy class we were treated luxuriously.



Photo- Emirates Airline


More About Emirates Airline
Award-winning Emirates Airline is just one part of  The Emirates Group, a global organization with business interests in the aviation, travel, tourism and leisure industries, employing more than 62,000 people.   Does the idea of getting back to great service in the air sound good?  This Emirates video helps with that thought:



More of our Abercrombie & Kent Nile River Cruise:


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At via these previous posts:

  1. Social Egypt And Jordan, A&K Style: Your Guide To Our Journey
  2. Our Luxury Small Group Journey: Detailed Itinerary
  3. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Arriving In Egypt
  4. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: They Do Your Homework
  5. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: They Can Turn On A Dime
  6. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Speaking Of Kings And Queens
  7. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: And Then He Paused
  8. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Chris Wears A Dress
  9. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Interesting, Unique, Beautiful
  10. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: The Right Tool For The Job
  11. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Exceeding Expectations
  12. Tips And Tricks For Travel In Egypt
  13. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: It’s Yours
  14. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Front Row Seats To Amazing Places
  15. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: A Travel Mosaic
  16. Abercrombie & Kent Luxury: Your Guide To Our Journey
  17. Abercrombie & Kent Advantages: Noted And New
  18. A&K’s Egypt: More That We Thought It Would Be


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Facebook Photo Albums:

  1. Photo Album: A Day In Egypt With Abercrombie & Kent
  2. Photo Album: The Temple Of Luxor
  3. Photo Album: Favorite Images From Egypt
  4. Photo Album: The Temples Of Abu Simbel
  5. Photo Album: The Cairo Bazaar
  6. Photo Album: The Citadel, Amman Jordan
  7. Photo Album: Little Petra
  8. Photo Album: The Lost City Of Petra


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Flickr Members see ChrisCruises Photo Albums
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  1. Mena House Hotel Cairo
  2. On The Streets Of Cairo
  3. Egyptian Museum Of Antiquities
  4. Lunch On The Nile
  5. Karnak Bazar
  6. Cairo Street Scenes
  7. Mit Rahina Museum
  8. Step Pyramid
  9. Tomb of Ka Gimni
  10. Carpet School
  11. Aboushakra Egyptian Lunch
  12. Giza Pyramids
  13. The Solar Boat
  14. A Camel Ride In Egypt
  15. The Iconic Sphinx
  16. Valley of the Kings
  17. Mena House Dinner
  18. Luxor
  19. Temple Of Karnak
  20. Sanctuary Resorts Sun Boat IV
  21. Seen On The Nile
  22. Sun Boat IV Culinary 
  23. Egyptian Night
  24. Sunrise On The Nile
  25. Scenic Cruising On The Nile
  26. Luxor By Day
  27. Temple Of Goddess Hathor At Denderah
  28. Nile Dining On Deck
  29. Sundown On The Nile
  30. Luxor At Night
  31. Going Through Locks On The Nile
  32. Edfu Temple
  33. Egyptian Cooking Lesson
  34. Ptolemaic Temple At Kom Ombo
  35. Egyptian Night On Sun Boat IV
  36. Philae Temple
  37. Beautiful Flowers Of Egypt
  38. The Unfinished Obelisk
  39. A Felucca Sailboat Ride On The Nile
  40. Abu Simbel Temples
  41. Egypt Air
  42. Cairo Revisited- the pretty side of town
  43. The Four Seasons Cairo
  44. Cairo Mosques
  45. Cairo Bazzar
  46. Royal Jordanian Airlines
  47. Amman Jordan
  48. The Jordan Museum
  49. Amman Bazaars
  50. Amman Roman Theatre
  51. Lebanese House Lunch
  52. The Citadel
  53. Grand Hyatt Amman
  54. Mount Nebo
  55. Jordan Mosaic Workshop
  56. St George Church, Madaba
  57. Hitayet Siti Restaurant- Madaba
  58. Crusader Castle
  59. Little Petra
  60. Jordan sun
  61. Movenpick Petra Hotel
  62. Petra (Hi Res Large)
  63. Petra (iPhone unfiltered)
  64. Wadi Rum
  65. Driving To The Dead Sea
  66. Movenpick Dead Sea Hotel


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Cover Photo- Emirates Airline