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36 hours in Dubai via Emirates Incredible New First Class Suites

36 hours in Dubai via Emirates Incredible New First Class Suites

Old Dec 3, 20, 10:13 pm
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36 hours in Dubai via Emirates Incredible New First Class Suites

Off to Dubai

batmandds and I typically do an annual 72 hour RTW First Class trip. Last year's trip revolved around dinner at Gaggan in Bangkok and included ANA First, Singapore New A380 Suites, Thai First and Air France La Première. This year, we had planned and ticketed Emirates First Class from Houston to Dubai to Melbourne with lunch in Melbourne, dinner in Sydney, JAL First Class to Toyko, 24 hours in Tokyo and finally ANA First to SFO. As COVID took hold and shut down travel in much of the world, we first eliminated Australia and finally Singapore and Japan. When the dust settled, Dubai was the only one standing and welcoming tourists. As EK dropped US cities, we decided on changing our EK booking to JFK-DXB as we figured that it would be the one route unlikely to be cancelled. Earlier this year, we booked two easy to find A380 First Class award seats on November JFK-DXB A380 flights that were temporarily operating with New First Suites 77W. We eventually won our gamble that the 77W substitution would continue and lucked into 27 hours in new First Suites when Emirates swapped their daily double A380 to a single daily New Suites 77W.

So early Sunday morning, I headed up the 405 from OC to LAX. And only 45 minutes today what little traffic there way flowed at a consistent 85 MPH all the way. I've never seen the Sepuveda exit off the 105 this empty.





7am Thanksgiving Sunday at LAX is very quiet.



Navigating my way thru construction to T5 parking.





I was one of only two passengers at T4 PreCheck.





I had planned on visiting both the Admirals Club and the new Centurion Lounge.









The AC was reasonably crowded.





And full bar service but with limited food options.











After a few minutes and some pics, I headed over to the Bradley Terminal to check out the new Amex Centurion Lounge... or so I thought. On the way, right by my Gate 41.





















I was warmly greeted by five Centurion Lounge staffers, who sadly informed me that Lounge was closed due to the same LA County edict that shut down Catalina restaurants. Apparently AA didn't get the memo or chose to ignore the edict. I was permitted to use the lav and took a few pics along the way.











And then given a take-away food box.



Not bad for a picnic box. Maybe someday I'll get to experience the real thing.

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Last edited by SFO777; Dec 4, 20 at 1:09 pm
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Old Dec 3, 20, 10:14 pm
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Los Angeles LAX to New York JFK
American AA 2
777-200ER
8:30am-4:30pm
November 29, 2020
Departed 39/39

I had originally booked this flight when it was still a three-class 32T... using a Business Extra upgrade certificate to upgrade from Business to First. Alas, American has gone from 10 daily 32T JFK-LAX nonstops to just 2 wided body 772s with no First Class cabin on either.



Maybe it's COVID-fatigue or New Yorkers, but gate lice have returned.















Premium Economy seats are simular to AA's narrow body domestic First seats.







Today's menu...









Ready to go.







Excellent in flight service today.



Even though I was in the last row and last to order, they still had an egg dish. COVID-era service means everything wrapped.



Unwrapped, it looked pretty good.



On approach to JFK.



At the gate, we were met by national guard checking for our NYS Traveler Health Forms. What a farce as these could have been weeks old, since all they look for is the Green check. Apparently, this is all for show as nobody met our Emirates flight when we landed back at JFK today.




With time to spare and the need for a printer to print out my UAE health info page, I headed to the Admirals Club.

















The usual Admirals Club packaged small bites.



Or made to order guacamole.



After half an hour, I headed out to work my way to Terminal 4.

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Last edited by SFO777; Dec 4, 20 at 1:11 pm
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Old Dec 3, 20, 10:16 pm
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Still with nearly 6 hours to kill before our 11pm Emirates departure, I decided to check out the new-ish TWA Hotel. T8 was dead at 5pm on Thanksgiving Sunday.





Off to the JFK Airtrain for the ride over to Terminal 5.







Forrtunately, there are lots of signs and even arrows pointing the way.













OK, this place is really cool and so nostalgic.







O-M-G.







On the mezzanine level is a fabulous display of TWA uniforms from over the years.









And on the other side of the mezzanine, a Jean-Georges restaurant.



I headed up the walkway check out the rooftop Pool Bar and Observation Deck.













This would be a great place to hangout and plane spot... in warmer weather.







Back downstairs and outside to AirTrain for the short ride to Terminal 4.




Last edited by SFO777; Dec 3, 20 at 11:13 pm
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Old Dec 3, 20, 10:17 pm
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Terminal 4 looks sadly empty.









The Centurion Lounge is located just after security next to the Etihad Lounge.









































The JFK Centurion Lounge is huge with a lower level as big as if not bigger that the main level.





With a "secret" behind the unmarked door speakeasy bar. Very cool.







The regular lower level bar.









Lots of interesting vintage New York themed photos on both levels.







The fried maitake mushroom po'boy was yummy.



batmandds flew to NY earlier in the day to visit family and for an early dinner at Babbo. He got to JFK around 7pm when the Emirates counter opened... although it took a half hour to get his boarding pass as EK computers were down for a while. He finally arrived and we shut the lounge down a little bit after the official 8pm closing tiime.

Last edited by SFO777; Dec 6, 20 at 8:32 am
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Old Dec 3, 20, 11:18 pm
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Great, an SFO777 'classic' report. I take it as a good omen of normality coming back.

I've had a quick jump ahead to read the EK post on your blog. Chacun à son goût, as they say, but I keep on finding Emirates' décor a little bit too flamboyant. It's as if they saw Liberace's stage costumes and went "This". It's all academic as I highly doubt I'll ever place my butt in either seat, but if I had to choose I'd definitely go for something like Swiss' First or ANA's new cabin. Great reportage though, thanks!!
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Old Dec 4, 20, 4:09 am
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What is this buying a refundable ticket for lounge access? Why doesn't everyone do it?
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Old Dec 4, 20, 6:39 am
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Very excited for this one!

I spent the night at the TWA Hotel at the beginning of November and it was quite a treat. I look forward to going back again soon. The new JFK Centurion Lounge is also really nice, especially with it being virtually empty right now. 10/10 experience for me.
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Old Dec 4, 20, 6:57 am
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As usual that'll be a good one

Buying a refundable ticket just enter a terminal and a lounge - this is 'class' as the British would say (that's what I expect from SFO777)

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Old Dec 4, 20, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
Great, an SFO777 'classic' report. I take it as a good omen of normality coming back. I've had a quick jump ahead to read the EK post on your blog. Chacun à son goût, as they say, but I keep on finding Emirates' décor a little bit too flamboyant. It's as if they saw Liberace's stage costumes and went "This". It's all academic as I highly doubt I'll ever place my butt in either seat, but if I had to choose I'd definitely go for something like Swiss' First or ANA's new cabin. Great reportage though, thanks!!
Thanks very much 13901. Agree that EK can be a tad blingy at times, but the new hard product is simply out of this world.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Very excited for this one! I spent the night at the TWA Hotel at the beginning of November and it was quite a treat. I look forward to going back again soon. The new JFK Centurion Lounge is also really nice, especially with it being virtually empty right now. 10/10 experience for me.
Thanks so much cmd320. I'd love to spend the night at the TWA Hotel. Was the Constellation open when you were there?

Originally Posted by Duck1981 View Post
As usual that'll be a good one. Buying a refundable ticket just enter a terminal and a lounge - this is 'class' as the British would say (that's what I expect from SFO777)
How's that lockdown going for you Brits?

Last edited by SFO777; Dec 4, 20 at 8:26 am
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Old Dec 4, 20, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by ChateauMargaux View Post
What is this buying a refundable ticket for lounge access? Why doesn't everyone do it?
Purchasing a ticket without intention to use it for flight is commonly considered to be a violation of the airline's CoC. If this happens only once in a while, you will get away with it. But if you do it too often, airline auditors will notice and your FF membership and points may be subject to cancellation.
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Old Dec 4, 20, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Thanks so much cmd320. I'd love to spend the night at the TWA Hotel. Was the Constellation open when you were there?
Unfortunately it was not. My understand is that it’s been closed most of this year. Hopefully it will be able to reopen soon though.
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Old Dec 4, 20, 8:12 am
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I love the look of the speakeasy bar in the JFK Centurion lounge, could definitely spend a couple of hours there. Is it open to all? Or additional entry criteria?
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Old Dec 4, 20, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post



OK, I have looked at this a few times, and still cannot understand.
Who flies Busan - JFK? Who flies Santorini-JFK? Bangkok-JFK? Are these all cargo flights?
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Old Dec 4, 20, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post

How's that lockdown going for you Brits?
I am German so technically not a Brit, but I go to the pub tonight as in London the lockdown is over
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Old Dec 4, 20, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
I love the look of the speakeasy bar in the JFK Centurion lounge, could definitely spend a couple of hours there. Is it open to all? Or additional entry criteria?
I believe you need a Platinum or Centurion card to get in

(I've got a Platinum and whilst a bit expensive per anno still reasonable - I think I got enough offers last year to make up for the £515 plus I always drink for at least 100 bucks in the Vegas Centurion lounge to get a return on investment)
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