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Emirates First Class (New York to Sydney - via Dubai)

Emirates First Class (New York to Sydney - via Dubai)

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Old Dec 3, 18, 3:25 am
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Emirates First Class (New York to Sydney - via Dubai)

My flight home from my North American adventure (New York, Maui, Montreal & Miami). The flight is from New York to Sydney via Dubai.

New York to Dubai (A380 - First Class) - Posted
Dubai to Sydney (A380 - First Class) - JUST POSTED

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Here is my review of my first flight of the journey:
Carrier: Emirates
Class: First Class
Depart: New York
Arrive: Dubai

The review is below. I did take a fair few photos from the flight and compiled a mini YouTube video dairy of the flight - If you want to check them out you can view them on my blog site – http://lifeofatravelczar.com/emirates-first-class-new-york-to-dubai/
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THE LOUNGE
I enter the new Emirates Lounge in JFK. The lounge has expansive seating with views of the tarmac. There is the standard Emirates buffet selection of hot and cold foods and an extensive beverage selection. Eventually the boarding call chimes and I leave the lounge and head to the boarding gate. For some reason the flight before us offered direct boarding from the lounge but our flight required everyone to leave the lounge and trek to the gate.

THE SUITE
The cabin is located at the front of the upper deck on the A380 which contains are 14 fully enclosed First Class ‘suites’. The cabin is so Emirates: bling to max! It looks like something Trump-esque; if you’ve ever been to Trump Tower you’ll know what I mean. There’s the gleaming faux wood finish, shiny gold rimmed features, bright LED lights, lamps, mirrors and flowers. It’s just oh so insanely over-the-top – I do love it. The suites also have faux wood doors with some ventilation panes which fully close for full privacy. The seats are a little more understated with ivory grey palettes. There is a touchpad console, which operates the inflight entertainment and all the seat controls, lighting and other functionality; It is very easy to use. There are plenty of power sockets and USB ports to keep you fully charged during the flight.

Next to the seat is a mini bar; it only has non-alcoholic drinks, so I don’t use it. It’s not refrigerated, so you do need to ask for ice. It’s a nice touch, but I do question its usefulness. There are no overhead storage bins, so the only meaningful storage you have is directly in front of you and a wardrobe next to the door of the suite. Within the front dashboard of the suite there is back-lit vanity compartment, which has some toiletries and a sleep kit. And if you really wish, there is a drawer with an Emirates writing kit to pen a letter to a love one. There’s also a snack basket in your seat, which I find pretty useful compared to the mini-bar. There is an eclectic assortment of chocolates, chips and nuts etc.

CHAMPAGNE AND COFFEE
Prior to take-off I was offered a welcome drink. The champagne poured was a Veuve Cliquot. Emirates offers Dom Perignon but to avoid alcohol taxes they pour the Veuve on the ground. It is frustrating but I understand their position. I have just a sip and await the Dom Perignon after take-off. The host comes around to offer me some Arabic coffee and dates, a hot towel, some magazines.

THE BED
The seat is transformed into a fully lie-flat bed with a comfortable mattress, plush duvet, smooth cotton sheets, and pillows. Soon I drift off to sleep in the clouds.

IN FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
Emirates inflight entertainment is called ice. There are loads of movies, TV shows and gaming available. There are also external cameras with the view of the skies and an interactive moving map to track where you are during the trip. There is also a news channels to keep you up to date with the happenings on the ground. I loved their Disney collection and spent most of my time watching the classics. I loved watching Snow White while sipping on a Hennessy Pardis. This is my favourite moment of the movie. To enjoy the inflight entertainment beautiful Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones are provided. These have been specially designed for the cabin and are wonderful to use.

AMENITY KIT
Emirates provide a stylish Bulgari amenity kit and a cutting ‘moisturising’ pyjamas. There are lotions and fragances from Bvlgari and other useful amenities (deodorants, shaving foams, hair brush, tissues and a dental kit) in the kit which are perfect of the inflight experience. These PJs apparently have mini capsules of sea kelp in the fabric which are gently released when you wear them so your skin remains hydrated even at altitude. They are super comfortable. Emirates also provide a beautiful carry bag for you to pack the PJs and the amenty kit and carry them off the plane without having to squish them in the luggage.

LUNCH
Champagne: The Dom Perignon is a keeper. It’s good floral blossoms and hints of nuttiness and sweet preserved fruits on the nose. On the palate there’s a lovely flow of citrus, a lively acidity and a creamy flowy texture. It’s a nice way to start the flight.

The Caviar: The caviar is on point with beautiful rich sea saline minerality, a grainy slimy texture and a nutty aftertaste which lingers. I gently scoop bits onto the pillowy plush bilinis and pair primarily with the crushed eggs for a fuller experience. I avoid the cream on this flight to keep it light. It really is quite a sensation. The Dom Perignon goes with this hand in glove and the experience is one to be remembered! I sit there watching Alice in Wonderland as she tumbles down the rabbit hole… I do feel in wonderland at the moment.

Pan-fried beef fillet served with thyme jus, gnocchi and grilled vegetables: The beef fillet is on the cusp of medium rare – I would have liked a little more pink, but it is nicely done. Smoky charred on the outside and rich with flowing juices on the inside. The thyme jus is a nice herby overlay and the gnocchi and grilled vegetables adds some weight to the dish which is nice.

Clos du Marquis (2005), Saint Julien, Bordeaux: I pair this with a Clos du Marquis (2005). This wine has a splendour and opulence which I love about Bordeaux. On the nose there’s a beautiful flow of ripe cherries, mint and a touch of tobacco notes. On first sip a nice flow of blackcurrants and sweet spice which is supported by some solid tannins. As the wine lingers, there are notes of cigars, mocha and mint emerge on the palate for a well-rounded experience. It is perfect for the beef fillet.

Chocolate and orange croissant pudding served warm with mascarpone: It’s got the fresh out of the oven feel. It’s an eclectic medley; first comes the crunchy flaky top part of the croissant which has borne the brunt of the grill. This creates a flaky crumbly messy layer along my tongue. Then comes the rich chocolatey, citrus, fluffy buttery rich “middle” of the pudding which has its own texture and creates an equally sensuous flow of taste of decadence on the palate. I love this dessert.

SHOWER
Cramped airplane bathrooms are a thing of the past with Emirates which have two spacious shower suites which have ample room (probably the size of five normal airplane bathrooms). The shower sessions are pre-booked and run for 20 minutes to give you a full experience. As soon as you step into the shower spa you’ll notice a heated floor gently toasting your feet. It sets the tone for the whole experience. The shower suite has a beautiful walnut wood and marble finishes. There is a marble sink which has lighted vanity mirror and an adjustable shaving mirror stocked with fresh towels. The light blue wallpaper features the Dubai skyline and there is a TV for you to track where you’re flying over while you’re showering. There are power sockets if you’ve brought your own shavers / dryers etc. There is also a hairdryer within the timber panel on the wall. There are also designer Bvlgari fragrances and amenities from Irish brand VOYA. These include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions / moisturisers, some form of cleanser and the hand wash.

You have five minutes of running water, however you can start and stop the water flow at the touch of a button – so it doesn’t have to be continuous. It is ample time for shower and shampoo. The shower pressure was excellent and better than some hotel’s I have stayed at. The shower floor is also beautiful marble design and there’s a seat for those with accessibility requirements. Whenever the shower suites aren’t being used as showers you can just use them as bathrooms / change rooms. There are two very attentive shower attendants who both ensure the shower suites are cleaned after every use. Theirs is also a smaller lavatory in the back of First cabin if both the shower suites are in use.

INFLIGHT BARS
Towards the back of the Business Class cabin is a large onboard bar and lounge, which is accessible to business and First Class passengers. It’s the perfect spot to sip a cocktail and socialise at over 38,000 feet. The bar on Emirates is fully staffed and the crew pours your drinks, mixes the cocktails and can even take food orders. If you want to have some food with your libations and don’t want to order from the menu there are fresh fruit, sandwiches, olives and other nibbles at the bar.

The only issue if you’re traveling in First Class is the beverage selection is from the business class menu. So, you’ll find Moët & Chandon not the Dom Perignon at the bar. They serve the Hennessy XO Cognac not the Pardis. You can ask the crew to fetch you a drink from the First Class galley but it is a bit of a hassle, so I don’t really stay around.

There is a smaller (and less glamorous bar) for First Class passengers only. Its situated in the front of the cabin and has the full selection of First Class beverages but it’s not really a social area, but you can pour yourself a drink and head back to your suite.

OVERALL
I will state that with every First Class product there are drawbacks and benefits to each product. Emirates offers a well-rounded First Class product and experience; you have a fully enclosed suite which is quite spacious although it’s not quite Etihad’s Apartment or Singapore’s new Suites but it’s certainly well ahead of the other competition. The suite is well designed (its personal preference as to whether you love the bling or not) but the touch pad is easy to use, the bedding is comfortable, the screen is large and the inflight entertainment is quite extensive and has some old-time favourites which some airlines tend to lack. There are wonderful touches such as extensive lighting options, in-seat massages, private mini-bar and vanity cupboard. There are also additional amenity products within the suite and a writing pad which give it a little extra.

Where Emirates tends to stand out is the service. The Asian carriers (JAL, Cathay and Singapore) tend to lead in this area, but Emirates with its international crew really delivers a friendly service. The shower attendants (Emirates has two dedicated shower attendants) are amazing too and the shower suite was always spotless. The Amenity kit and PJs are solid – in fact I would rate the Bvlgari products are best in market. While the PJs are super comfortable and do help to keep the skin moist, I must say I still wedded to my JAL Porche PJs.

It’s tough to compare the dining options as all the airlines do something that is a favourite. I have made no secret about my love for JAL’s tasting menu and Singapore’s Book the Cook but I certainly enjoyed the cuisine on this flight. The steak was nicely done, the caviar service was up to the First Class standard and the dessert was extremely enjoyable. Emirates stands strong on a couple of areas in relation to food and beverage; there is a wide variety of dishes on their a’la carte and their entrée list is particularly extensive. In the wine and spirits, they are for the large part in a league of their own. Most airlines invest heavily in the champagne and Emirates choice Dom Perignon is in the same league as Taittinger Comtes, Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill, Veuve Cliquot Grand Dame. Only JAL with Salon (and now Cristal) has an edge. But often airlines fail to invest in the other wines or spirits. Emirates has a world class selection of red and white wines for you to enjoy and their spirits selection is quite unbelievable. For example, the Hennessy Pardis retails for c.$1,000 a bottle.

For me the two aces that Emirates carries are the shower and the chauffeur service. Only one other airline offers a shower (Etihad) and the shower suite on Emirates is unbelievable. From the heated flooring to the marble finish and sheer space of the suite it’s the best shower experience in the sky. On a long flight, you definitely feel refreshed, awake and are able to enjoy yourself the moment you hit the ground. Emirates is the only airline which offers a chauffeur service for its premium passengers and while it’s not an essential service, it makes it easier and adds a little luxury even before you get to the airport.
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Last edited by ArrowFlyer; Dec 20, 18 at 3:44 am
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Old Dec 3, 18, 5:44 am
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​​​​​​Personally I like the minibar and snack basket.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 6:14 am
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Nice review, thanks! Often if you inform the crew you'll be going to the bar they will carry a bottle of Dom along behind you and inform the bar crew that you are in F and should be served from the Dom, you may have to request it in some cases, same goes for the wines or the other F-only spirits
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Old Dec 4, 18, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
​​​​​​Personally I like the minibar and snack basket.
Yeah I did like the snack basket. But the min-bar had no ice and wasn't refrigerated, so you had to ask the cabin crew for ice, so it did diminish the DIY element a bit.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 3:50 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Nice review, thanks! Often if you inform the crew you'll be going to the bar they will carry a bottle of Dom along behind you and inform the bar crew that you are in F and should be served from the Dom, you may have to request it in some cases, same goes for the wines or the other F-only spirits
Aww thank you - yeah it's useful to know. I had to ask the business class crew and felt bad being such an impost - I should have spoken to the First cabin crew before I ventured down.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Nice review, thanks! Often if you inform the crew you'll be going to the bar they will carry a bottle of Dom along behind you and inform the bar crew that you are in F and should be served from the Dom, you may have to request it in some cases, same goes for the wines or the other F-only spirits
That's useful to know... I never realised that!
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Old Dec 4, 18, 9:44 pm
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Great review, thanks for sharing.
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Old Dec 8, 18, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by HLT1904 View Post
Great review, thanks for sharing.
Aww thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:43 am
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---------------------------------------------------
Here is my review of my second flight of the journey:
Carrier: Emirates
Class: First Class
Depart: Dubai
Arrive: Sydney

The review is below. I did take a fair few photos from the flight and compiled a mini YouTube video dairy of the flight - If you want to check them out you can view them on my blog site – https://lifeofatravelczar.com/emirates-first-class-dubai-to-sydney/

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THE LOUNGE
I disembark from my flight from New York and make my way to the Emirates First Class Lounge. The Lounge occupies an entire floor across the terminal and has a range of lounge areas, a kid’s facility, dining areas, bathrooms with showers and a spa. I settle into dinner. I start with the Foie Gras Terrine with Wild Fig Jam and for the main course I opt for the beef tenderloin with mash potatoes and mustard. I have a shower to freshen up. The shower has beautiful mosaics and proves to be the epitome of aesthetics and before heading over for a beautiful spa treatment which is so rejuvenating.


THE SUITE
This flight is also on the Airbus A380. The cabin is located at the front of the upper deck on the A380 which contains are 14 fully enclosed First Class ‘suites’. I have reviewed the suites on the New York to Dubai leg of the journey and the cabin is broadly the same so do check out that review above for full detail.

There are some differences in product; what Emirates lacks is standardization across their fleet. There are various generations of designs across their A380s (which are minor) but they often do not upgrade the entire fleet for those changes. This is an older generation A380, which has a less attractive inflight entertainment product. The screen is slightly smaller and instead of a full LCD tablet there is a hand console which is more akin to a Gameboy – it’s not the easiest to use (you can see a photo of it in “The Bed” section – it’s very different to the one on the previous flight).

THE BED
Shortly after take-off I have a nap. The seat is transformed into a fully lie-flat bed with a comfortable mattress, plush duvet, smooth cotton sheets, and pillows. I wake-up and decide to keep snoozing but opt for a little company with a beautiful glass of the Hennsey Pardis.

IN FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
Notwithstanding that the system is not the latest, there is still the same extensive selection of movies, TV shows and gaming available as the previous flight. There are also external cameras with the view of the skies and an interactive moving map to track where you are during the trip. There is also a news channels to keep you up to date with the happenings on the ground. I switch from my Disney fest on the last flight to programming more for my age. I watch the movie Game Night, which is absolutely hilarious, and a Beautiful Mind! Again the inflight entertainment is enjoyed with the beautiful Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones.

AMENITY KIT
Emirates also provide a stylish Bulgari amenity kit and their cutting edge ‘moisturising’ pyjamas on this flight – there slight differences in the amenity kit design but it’s broadly the same as the last flight, so you can check out the review above.

LUNCH
Dom Perignon (2009): I opt for the Dom Perignon to start. It’s the same champagne as the prior flight, so here is my review: “The Dom Perignon is a keeper. It’s good floral blossoms and hints of nuttiness and sweet preserved fruits on the nose. On the palate there’s a lovely flow of citrus, a lively acidity and a creamy flowy texture. It’s a nice way to start the flight.”

The Caviar: The caviar service is the same as my earlier flight so here is my review of the moment. “The caviar service is on point with beautiful rich sea saline minerality, a grainy slimy texture and a nutty aftertaste which lingers. I gently scoop bits onto the pillowy plush bilinis and pair primarily with the crushed eggs for a fuller experience. I avoid the cream on this flight to keep it light. It really is quite a sensation. The Dom Perignon goes with this hand in glove and the experience is one to be remembered!” There’s something quite moving when you guess whether the blinis are as fluffy as the clouds outside your window.

Asian Chicken Soup: The next course is the hearty but simple Asian Chicken Soup which is a fragrant broth, tender chicken pieces with lemongrass, chilli and fried shallots.

Coconut braised beef short ribs with star anise and ginger, served with creamed potatoes and sautéed asparagus: The dish is a mix of east meets west, with the succulent fall-apart short ribs oozing with the rich buttery beef flavours melding wonderfully with the ginger, coconut and star anise. The creamed potatoes add a wonderful gooey touch and the asparagus adds a little crunch to the dish. The dish is simply the dream as you gaze out at the clouds.

Chateau Ponet Canet (2006), Paulliac, Bordeaux: You’ll notice a few wines on the table. I am not really an alcoholic. I did try to match the dish with a few wines before settling on the Ponet Canet. The others didn’t quite have the swing through to go with the short ribs. The Ponet Canet is lovely. On the nose a beautiful rich blueberry style spiced fruit concoction impresses and eases into the match with the oriental touch of the dish. There’s beautiful blackberries on the palate with hints of cedar and coffee with a touch of citrus in the aftertaste. There’s some pretty solid tannins which suitably deals with the fat in the short rib which makes it a good pairing.

Arabic Mezze: A broad range of Arabic mezze brought out and the selection is lovely. There is Homous Beiruti, Moutabel Potato Harra, Spinach Bel Zeit, Makdous with Muhammara, Stuffed Vine Leaves, Spicy Cheese Sambousek, Tabouleh and Potato Kibbeh filled with Olives. It’s rustic and gives one a taste of the Middle East. I actually ate most of the dishes and enjoyed it more than some of the other carrier’s mezze platters – it has variety and beautiful aesthetics and I loved the sunset which created the perfect moment.

THE SHOWER
I love the shower suite. The experience was just as magical the second time around. As soon as you step into the shower suite the heated floor is the perfect introduction to the experience. The beautiful aesthetics of the shower suite is a dream and I make full use of the five minutes of running water and the amenities for a wonderful experience.

INFLIGHT BARS
I visit the onboard bar at the back of the Business Class cabin. I relax for a while and enjoy the view outside and engage a bit with the cabin crew. It is a relaxing location when it’s not packed, but I do head back to my suite to continue sipping on the Pardis.

OVERALL
I will reiterate what I have said about Emirates previously, as their service and product was generally consistent. “Emirates offers a well-rounded First Class product and experience; you have a fully enclosed suite which is quite spacious although it’s not quite Etihad’s Apartment or Singapore’s new Suites but it’s certainly well ahead of the other competition. The suite is well designed (its personal preference as to whether you love the bling or not) but the touch pad is easy to use, the bedding is comfortable, the screen is large and the inflight entertainment is quite extensive and has some old-time favourites which some airlines tend to lack. There are wonderful touches such as extensive lighting options, in-seat massages, private mini-bar and vanity cupboard. There are also additional amenity products within the suite and a writing pad which give it a little extra.”

A couple of points to note from this particular flight; the crew were on point with their service. In fact, they went the extra mile and always delivered. I love the dine on demand which some airlines don’t even offer in First Class. This allowed to tailor my meal choices and stage my dining during daylight moments of the flight which makes for better instagramming. The flight was extremely enjoyable and I just loved the shower (even though I tried it for the second time)

There was hiccup with the chauffeur drive in Sydney. As I left the flight and raced straight to the exit post clearing customs and immigration etc., there weren’t enough drivers so I managed to swap my name with another passenger and secured a driver. The driver mentioned that Emirates in Sydney subcontract the drivers to a company which does not have enough drivers at peak times. So, my advice is to leave the plane and get to the chauffeur point as quickly as possible to avoid long wait times in Sydney.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 7:22 am
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Great TR - thank you!
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
Great TR - thank you!
Awww thank you! Hope you had a lovely Christmas
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Old Apr 11, 19, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by ArrowFlyer View Post


Awww thank you! Hope you had a lovely Christmas
Awesome write up I have just a few questions as I am looking to book the same thing for me and my wife but its harder to find availability for 2 especially for the a380.
  • What airport did you fly out of, JFK or Newark?
  • How many points was it?
  • How did you manage to find both legs in A380? I can only find 1 leg in A380.
  • How far in advance did you make the reservation?
  • How did you get enough time on your layover to go to the lounge for dinner and a spa? I can only find 2 hour layovers in Dubai before the next flight.

Wish they would refresh the 777ER on this route, that would make it perfect to mix the 2 different planes.
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Old May 16, 19, 4:08 am
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Originally Posted by skygiants View Post
Awesome write up I have just a few questions as I am looking to book the same thing for me and my wife but its harder to find availability for 2 especially for the a380.
  • What airport did you fly out of, JFK or Newark?
  • How many points was it?
  • How did you manage to find both legs in A380? I can only find 1 leg in A380.
  • How far in advance did you make the reservation?
  • How did you get enough time on your layover to go to the lounge for dinner and a spa? I can only find 2 hour layovers in Dubai before the next flight.
Wish they would refresh the 777ER on this route, that would make it perfect to mix the 2 different planes.
Hi, sorry for the delayed response.

I flew out of JFK, the trip was booked through Qantas Frequent Flyer Programme (JFK - SYD) and was ~192K points.

Both legs were on the A380, and to be honest DXB to SYD was very difficult to find availability on the A380. I booked a 777 and a few days from departure noticed an A380 seat open up and made the change.

I booked the reservation around 12 months in advance but did make the last minute change from DXB to SYD a couple of days out (per above).

There was enough time in the connection for a spa and dinner in the lounge depending on the connection (note there a number of flights out of NYC including a flight via Malpensa) so if you select the right one there's definitely a sufficient layover.
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