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My First Trip in Long Haul F, flying in style on Emirates A380 F, SEA-IAH-DXB-HKG

My First Trip in Long Haul F, flying in style on Emirates A380 F, SEA-IAH-DXB-HKG

Old Aug 13, 15, 6:33 pm
  #1  
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Cool My First Trip in Long Haul F, flying in style on Emirates A380 F, SEA-IAH-DXB-HKG

EDIT: All parts up!

So hey everyone. While I've been traveling all over the world my whole life this is the first time I've decided to do a trip report. Most of the time I travel in Y, and traveled mostly on CO for a while then moved over to UA. I've been on F in domestic F flights in China and the US and long haul J/C on various airlines (UA, CX, CA, etc.) Now that I'm in the CC game I have new opportunities to try out some long anticipated trips. I've mostly paid out of pocket for flights but recently been spending a lot of miles.

Now this is just an intro. My trip begins in 5 days so subscribe now and stay tuned!

Booking:
Spent 100K AS points. Tried to book SEA-DXB but no luck availability wise. Only flights I could find in F were from IAH or DFW. So I booked that, unfortunately AS didn't have any seats in the A or W buckets to get me from SEA-IAH. Still don't, and I've been checking every day. So they put me on the standby list for both buckets in hope one would clear. Then I made a united award rez that I could cancel without penalty just in case, however availability was limited and as such the BEST saver award flight I could get was SEA-SFO-LAS-IAH. Yeah I know. Lousy, with a 3 hour layover in SFO and 6 in LAS overnight. Ughh... I'm really hoping I can do the same day changes option the day of check-in if nothing else opens up.

So a little bit of cattle prodding to go with my luxury. Haha

So here's what the trip looks like:

Day 1: SEA-SFO (& 3 hr layover) in UA Y
Day 2: SFO-LAS (& 6 hr layover) in UA Y
LAS-IAH (& 7 hr layover) in UA Y

EDIT: Direct flight found! Yah! SEA-IAH in AS F

Houston Layover Pics

IAH-DXB in EK F

Day 3-4: 15 hr layover in DXB (no hotel, EK F lounge & nap)

Day 4: DXB-HKG in EK F

Yes I know its a looong trip. Especially without a hotel. I'm too cheap to book one in DXB though I was thinking about the Park Hyatt Dubai...

I've read most of the other trip reports on EK F and try to report and take photos of something different if I see it to make things interesting. Also, we'll take a look at the new EK F amenity kit!

Hope you'll all stay tuned!
HGHUA


EDIT: Thoughts and new trip upcoming in NOV 2016!

Last edited by HGHUA; Sep 23, 16 at 6:29 pm
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Old Aug 14, 15, 8:21 am
  #2  
 
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You have complimentary luxury hotel in Dubai from Emirates when your layover is longer than 8 hrs and flying F class. Use it
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Old Aug 14, 15, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by dominikm View Post
You have complimentary luxury hotel in Dubai from Emirates when your layover is longer than 8 hrs and flying F class. Use it

I thought that Dubai Connect went the way of the chauffeur drive service for award tickets? (Translation - not available on award tickets.)

In any case, the wording is fairly specific: "First and Business Class passengers for whom the best connection time is not available and who have a transit of more than six hours and less than 24 hours upon arrival in Dubai." The OP said s/he has a 15 hour layover, but not whether that is forced layover.

On several occasions I've taken trips to/from the US to HKG or Europe via DXB and can say with certainty that 15 hours is far too long to spend in airport lounges - even ones as nice as those found in Dubai.

If the OP has 15 hours, then I'd suggest using some of that time to visit the city. Or if the goal is to sleep and not leave the security of the airport, then the Dubai International Hotel has beds that are far more comfortable than trying to sleep in one of the bustling F lounges.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 12:32 pm
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The 15 hour DXB stopover is not the best available, so no Dubai Connect. The shortest stopover would still qualify for the service, but may not have had F availability, and is arguably too short to appreciate it anyway.

The F lounges are in no way bustling, but are not conducive to sleep and 15 hours is just too long.

The airport transit hotel is expensive, by Dubai standards, but there are good offerings outwith the airport.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 12:53 pm
  #5  
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Well, the long connection is forced. The shortest connection would be only 8 hours but I take what Emirates had made available. Not that the loads on this route seem that full...

And yeah, no Dubai connect or chauffeur on award tix not on EK or QF stock.

I'll probably will leave the airport for a while and come back late at night. So only 8 or so hours in the lounge. Heck if I do get too tired I'll just book a last min hotel with points somewhere.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 1:10 pm
  #6  
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FYI, you can call UA and waitlist for other saver Y or F award routings to IAH. For instance, you can ask to be waitlisted in saver Y for up to two different nonstop flights, or you can request waitlist for both Saver Y and Saver F on the same flight. Check the consolidated award waitlisting thread in the UA forum for more info.

I would have booked the DFW flight, better chance of getting a W/A award on AS to DFW than IAH IMO, since you could also do SEA-PDX-DFW to get it.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 2:25 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by PV_Premier View Post
FYI, you can call UA and waitlist for other saver Y or F award routings to IAH. For instance, you can ask to be waitlisted in saver Y for up to two different nonstop flights, or you can request waitlist for both Saver Y and Saver F on the same flight. Check the consolidated award waitlisting thread in the UA forum for more info.

I would have booked the DFW flight, better chance of getting a W/A award on AS to DFW than IAH IMO, since you could also do SEA-PDX-DFW to get it.
Thx for the advice, yeah i realized that after the fact. Oh well, at least IAH is a UA hub and a direct might open up.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 2:26 pm
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Looking forward to pics
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Old Aug 15, 15, 3:20 am
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I've slept in the day rooms/beds of the DXB F lounge and it was fine. Pillow, cover, eye mask, ear plugs and a nice stretch. There was water available as well.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 10:12 pm
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If you change your mind about a hotel in Dubai I can highly recommend the Jumeirah Creekside hotel. They have a 24-hour check-in/check-out policy and its a very nice property only 10 minutes away from the airport (if that). Check out the specials on their website.... they offer some very cheap rates.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 10:58 pm
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Originally Posted by jms_uk View Post
I've slept in the day rooms/beds of the DXB F lounge and it was fine. Pillow, cover, eye mask, ear plugs and a nice stretch. There was water available as well.
Beat me to the punch. Had a 7 hour layover and slept for 6 of it in the day room after a quick shower.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 11:00 pm
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I know it is actual money out of your account but is it worth it to just buy a ticket SEA-IAH rather than the crazy Y routing on the award ticket?
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Old Aug 18, 15, 6:43 am
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Part 1: SEA-IAH

As luck would have it a direct flight did end opening up on AS. Requires an overnight in IAH but is preferable to buying a new tix and flying a crazy routing. I ended up noticing it while running some errands in Bellevue and after a bit of back and forth about if change fees apply got them to add the flight into my existing rez included. I think they even forgot to collect the 9/11 security fee of $5 something... lol

And so my journey begins.


Love these King County New Flyer Articulated buses.

I'll admit this was my first AS flight ever. I've flown mostly United in the past and I've heard good things. Checked my bag with the self tag (1k free points after all!) and grabbed a paper boarding pass (nothing beats a hard copy a lot of times). After passing through the precheck line which was mostly empty, I went to the N gates where my flight was assigned to leave. I (wrongly) assumed that as AS now operated a lot of flights out of there that they would have a boardroom there. Apparently not as I had to ride the train back to the D gates to get to the board room.




I wasn't super impressed with the offerings. Some soup, cookies, and crackers. I guess its better than some other lounges though. Though I really like the seating set up in the room that gives you a personal space near the window to plane watch.





Disney planes everywhere!


Guy slacking off. Or taking a brake. Depends how you look on it.


Departure board.

One thing I noted about the service on the ground was that the people I interacted with were polite and curt but not exactly friendly. That changed a lot when I got on the plane though.

Went to the gate as the time to board approached.




Flight was completely full and F and Y both left packed. Even one pilot deadheading in the cockpit.




Sorry probably should have gotten a better shot of the seat. Mini bottles of water (lol, never seen these before) and a quick taxi to the runway left us running on time.




It was a 737-900. Pretty with mood lighting.

I was intrigued when they started handing out the iPad mini size tablets for people to watch movies. Wonder if these are free for Y as well? How do they keep from losing them all the time? Gogo flight but I didn't try.

As it was a red eye I wasn't expecting much in terms of food in F but they served a pretty decent turkey sandwich with coleslaw.



Then hit the sack for a few hours. We end up arriving into IAH nearly 40 min early at 3:20 AM. Terminal is abandoned at this time of day.



Train not working at night.

Booked the Hyatt place for the night. Surprise surprise they wouldn't let me check in this early haha but they said 10 AM would work.

Now time to go find some ribs...

Last edited by HGHUA; Aug 18, 15 at 9:22 am
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Old Aug 18, 15, 7:00 am
  #14  
 
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Can't Wait!
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Old Aug 18, 15, 9:03 am
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Glad the start worked out. Looking forward to the rest.
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