Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
We boarded through door 1L to be greeted by a flight attendant who was happy to show us to our seats in the front row. My first impressions of the cabin and suite were positive. I have of course seen numerous photos/ videos of Emirates First Class cabin. It is quite elegant with the maple wood accents complimented by the gold/brass. It makes quite the statement although not to everyones tastes perhaps.
(please note the cabin photos in which it appears to be daytime were taken upon departure of the flight when we arrived in Dallas)
The First Class cabin occupancy was 5/8 for our flight. My wife and I in the middle seats in row one. Another couple in there 50’s whom appeared to be from Texas (cowboy hat) were in row two behind us. Finally there was a woman in her 30’s in 1A that appeared to be the wife or girlfriend of one of the pilots thus both seats on the right side of the plane were unoccupied.
The two young woman flight attendants did a nice job during the flight. I was offered a glass of Dom pre-departure. They also let my wife know that if she needed any additional assistance they would be happy to help. We did request a lap child seat belt for our little guy. They also gave him a complimentary kids package with toys and stuff to color although he was somewhat young for the package.
Shortly after our pre-departure beverages we were handed our complimentary slippers and Emirates pajamas. The pajama’s while plain were nice and I have been wearing them occasionally (this is being written three months after the flight) even after the flight. We were also offered an Arabic date and headphones for the journey.
We enjoyed snooping around our suites to see what everything was and did. We weren’t offered a tour of our suite by our butler like on our Etihad flight prior but that’s not necessary and we were able to figure everything out just fine.
We had a long 15+ hour flight to Dallas. I had booked our flight to Dallas rather than the more logical Chicago to experience the flight on the larger Airbus A380 aircraft (which has an onboard shower and bar). Those plans changed when Emirates later decided to “downgrade” the route to Dallas to a Boeing 777 after I already ticketed my seats. I didn’t want to fuss with trying to change my ticket to Chicago to make it easier logistically or to another A380 route like JFK.
Shortly after takeoff I decided to check the menu out. The flight attendant working my isle, a lovely Indian woman let me know that I could eat anytime. I decided just to eat right away even though I wasn’t particularly hungry at 3:30am. My wife decided to go to sleep with the baby.
I thought the meal was good although not memorable. Well paced so I could get through it and try to rest. After my meal I actually decided to make my own bed as all the bedding was readily available behind my seat. The mattress pad on the bed was pretty thick and cushy.
I did have a glass of the Hennessy Paradise to sip on but didn’t want to finish it after 4-5 glasses of champagne in me already. It was extremely smooth.
I watched some TV in bed for a while before dozing off for just a few hours.
After a few hours of sleep the entire family was up. We took the baby over to the window seats that were unoccupied since the sun was up so he could see the clouds. The Captain or First Officer lended his hat to our little guy for a minute which was a nice gesture.
About 2 hours before landing we had our breakfast. I had the eggs. They were great.
Our baby did so well on this entire trip and this flight was no different. He was maybe slightly whiny on this flight for a very short time while sleeping or waking from sleep. The passengers behind commented to us upon landing how well our kid did! They were nervous it was going to be a terrible flight but our little guy is a good passenger. He didn’t get nearly the attention he did on some of our other flights but that’s fine as he was looked after just fine.
We had a great flight. Very comfortable with good service. Good food and beverage selection. We would love to fly Emirates again sometime, perhaps in the A380 next time!
Had we decided to pay cash for this flight we would have to pay over $8300 per person in first class.
We instead used our Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles. Alaska and Emirates are partners and thus 90,000 miles and $65.70 per adult bought our tickets! (please note that since I booked this flight that Alaska has greatly increased the miles needed now)
To bring our baby along things were a bit more difficult (and costly). We needed to purchase a lap infant ticket. In order to do so you generally need to pay 10% of the cash fare. The issue became who was going to ticket this? Alaska or Emirates? After asking around (and calling Alaska directly) I confirmed that Alaska cannot ticket a lap infant. Emirates was making things difficult by saying because it was a mixed cabin ticket they couldn’t do it either. One rep even told me I would have to pay for the ticket in the Maldives at the Male ticket office!! After talking to three reps and not taking no for an answer we had our infant ticketed (after an over hour long phone call) for $1013.26! Ridiculous that a 20 pound baby that is sitting on our laps cost $1000 but my wife would not take this trip without him so it was a necessary price to pay. Please note that they actually did have to ticket him segment by segment. So 10% of the business class fare from Male to Dubai and another 10% of the First class fare from Dubai to Dallas.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or comments as always!