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Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y

Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y

Old Mar 6, 09, 3:26 pm
  #1  
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Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y

Index to my trip reports

If you like this report, you may be interested in some of my other trip reports.
  1. AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report
  2. Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different
  3. Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back
  4. 7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight
  5. Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing
  6. a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe
  7. Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights
  8. Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights
  9. Mini Tour of NZ - over 100 domestic flights in New Zealand covering all domestic routes (ongoing)
  10. Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe
  11. Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island
  12. Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - criss-crossing the globe, but this time mainly on One World
  13. A Warm Embrace of the Tropics - short trips to the tropical South Pacific
  14. Singapore (SQ) new first and business class, plus a medley of 12 F & C SQ flights - name says it all really
  15. Across the Globe in 4 Continents - around the world on star alliance, including some unusual flights
  16. Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Sampler - a sampling of Qantas flights, domestic and international, in economy and business (ongoing)
  17. Around the World in Under 60 Hours - around the world in a weekend
  18. The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours - what a contrast, Asia and Qantas' new first class lounges
  19. Fast on the ground and in the air - it must be Shanghai – a flying visit to Shanghai + Maglev
  20. It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure & Pain: 4 wacky weeks 2 RTW C, inaugural longhaul Y – mostly One World
  21. Back and forth across the Pacific on a variety of airlines in a selection of classes - 16 crossings of the Pacific plus some other related flights
  22. It isn't every day that you witness a hijacking attempt + NZ's forgotten 4th island - a visit to Chatham Islands coincides with New Zealand's first hijacking attempt
  23. There and back - first day Air NZ flies to Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
  24. A Run Around (part of) The Axis of Evil: A Perfect *A RTW in C? - Axis of Evil 0 US Immigration 1
  25. Wellington to Auckland by train - self-explanatory title
  26. A mad couple of days flying, including domestic international flights - a double longhaul inaugural, domestic international shuttle and domestic leg of an international flight
  27. Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline - featuring new QF First on A380 special flight, "you have to get off now", and 105th different current route with NZ
  28. One World Revolutions - Around Mostly the Southern Hemisphere - mostly Southern Hemisphere and mostly on One World on a mix of products
  29. Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y – starting with EK First on A380 and ending with Qantas economy, with a lot of travel mostly on *A in between
  30. An FTer flies to a Do (or Why take the nonstop when you can fly 10 flights instead?) - combining an FT Do with an aerial tour of northern Queensland
  31. The Ultimate Qantas Flight - short report on the ultimate flight
  32. Premium Flying Across the Ditch (Between New Zealand and Australia) - experiencing the forward cabins on Trans-Tasman flights (ongoing)
  33. 5 Boeings Straight to the Airbus Do - FTer feasts in first, business & economy - my journey to & from the *A / Airbus Mega Do
  34. NZ route oddities & One World turns by night (redeye special) - an odd collection of flight routes & schedules around the world
  35. From my first low cost redeye to a first class trifecta - an insane fortnight - some firsts of all types
  36. G'day, kia orana - it's another inaugural flight in Air New Zealand business class - a day & night tripping around the South Pacific on Air NZ
  37. A Feast of First Class Flying on British Airways, Qantas and Emirates - long distance in style
  38. A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business - a quick longhaul trip featuring some old and new products
  39. Star Alliance tres primo, and tres biz - a trio of first and business on Star Alliance
  40. A few flights to end 2011 - a quick trip around the world + more
  41. Five Continents in 3 Days and Some Other Mad Trips in 2012 - a selection of my 2012 travels
  42. Sky Team madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business – mostly Sky Team
  43. Off to Star megado on Oneworld - mostly business incl brand new AA 787
  44. A Glutton for Punishment: red eye, new world's longest flight & more, in comfort?

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 3:49 pm
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Old Mar 7, 09, 6:34 pm
  #2  
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Index to this trip report
  1. Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) on Emirates A380 in first
  2. Australia smartgate arrival immigration system
  3. Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) Emirates first class menu
  4. Sydney to Auckland (SYD-AKL) on Emirates A380 777-200LR in first
  5. Sydney to Auckland (SYD-AKL) Emirates first class menu
  6. Interlude
  7. Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) on Qantas 767-300 in economy business
  8. Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) Qantas business class menu
  9. Sydney in transit
  10. Sydney to Hong Kong (SYD-HKG) on Qantas 747-400 in premium economy business
  11. Sydney to Hong Kong (SYD-HKG) Qantas business class menu
  12. Hong Kong in transit
  13. Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon (HKG-ICN) on Asiana A330 747-400(combi) in business
  14. Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon (HKG-ICN) Asiana business class menu
  15. Seoul Incheon in transit
  16. Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita (ICN-NRT) on Asiana 777 A330-300 in business
  17. Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita (ICN-NRT) Asiana business class menu
  18. Tokyo Narita in transit
  19. Tokyo Narita to Christchurch (NRT-CHC) on Air New Zealand 777-200ER 767-300 in business
  20. Tokyo Narita to Christchurch (NRT-CHC) Air New Zealand business class menu
  21. Air New Zealand business class wine list
  22. Christchurch in transit
  23. Christchurch to Auckland (CHC-AKL) on Air New Zealand 777-200ER 767-300 in business
  24. Auckland to Los Angeles (AKL-LAX) on Air New Zealand 747-400 777-200ER in business
  25. Auckland to Los Angeles (AKL-LAX) Air New Zealand business class menu
  26. Los Angeles in transit
  27. Los Angeles to Frankfurt (LAX-FRA) on Lufthansa 747-400 in first
  28. Los Angeles to Frankfurt (LAX-FRA) Lufthansa first class menu
  29. Frankfurt First Class Lounge Lufthansa first class menu
  30. Frankfurt in transit
  31. Frankfurt to Casablanca (FRA-CMN) on Lufthansa A321-200 in business
  32. Frankfurt to Casablanca (FRA-CMN) Lufthansa business class menu
  33. Casablanca turnaround
  34. Casablanca to Frankfurt (CMN-FRA) on Lufthansa A321-200 in business
  35. Casablanca to Frankfurt (CMN-FRA) Lufthansa business class menu
  36. Frankfurt in transit again
  37. Frankfurt to Malta (FRA-MLA) on Lufthansa A300-600 A321-200 in business
  38. Malta Intercontinental
  39. Malta
  40. Malta to Frankfurt (MLA-FRA) on Lufthansa A300-600 A321-200 in business
  41. Frankfurt in transit yes again
  42. Frankfurt to Beirut (FRA-BEY) on Lufthansa A321-200 in business
  43. Frankfurt to Beirut (FRA-BEY) Lufthansa business class menu
  44. Beirut in transit
  45. Beirut to Istanbul (BEY-IST) on Turkish 737-800 A321 in business class
  46. Beirut to Istanbul (BEY-IST) Turkish business class menu
  47. Istanbul in transit
  48. Istanbul to Tirana (IST-TIA) Turkish business class menu
  49. Istanbul to Tirana (IST-TIA) on Turkish 737-800 in business class
  50. Albania part 1 and some thoughts on how Albania challenged my thinking
  51. Albania part 2
  52. Tirana to Vienna (TIA-VIE) Austrian business class menu
  53. Tirana to Vienna (TIA-VIE) on Austrian Arrows operated by Tyrolean F100 737 Fokker 70 in business class
  54. Intercontinental Vienna
  55. Vienna to Riyadh (VIE-RUH) on Austrian A320P in premium business class
  56. Vienna to Riyadh (VIE-RUH) Austrian business class menu
  57. Riyadh in transit
  58. Riyadh to Zurich (RUH-ZRH) on Swiss A330-200 in business class
  59. Riyadh to Zurich (RUH-ZRH) Swiss business class menu
  60. Zurich in transit
  61. Zurich to Hong Kong (ZRH-HKG) on Swiss A340-300 in first class
  62. Zurich to Hong Kong (ZRH-HKG) Swiss first class menu
  63. Hong Kong in transit again
  64. Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon (HKG-ICN) on Asiana 767 747-400(combi) in business class
  65. Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon (HKG-ICN) Asiana business class menu
  66. Seoul Incheon in transit again
  67. Seoul Incheon to Hong Kong (ICN-HKG) on Asiana 747-400 in first class
  68. Seoul Incheon to Hong Kong (ICN-HKG) Asiana first class menu
  69. Hong Kong in transit again
  70. Hong Kong to Sydney (HKG-SYD) on Qantas 747-400 in premium economy business class
  71. Hong Kong to Sydney (HKG-SYD) Qantas business class menu


Latest summary

As at post #127
  • map
  • 56,641 flown miles
  • 25 flights
    of which
    • F 5 flights 15,556 flown miles
    • C 19 flights 39,741 flown miles
    • Y+ 0 flights 0 flown miles
    • Y 1 flight 1,345 flown miles
  • 12 a/c types
    • A380-800
    • 777-200LR
    • 767-300
    • 747-400
    • 747-400(combi)
    • A330-300
    • A321-200
    • A321-100
    • 737-800
    • F70
    • A330-200
    • A340-300
  • 8 airlines
    • Emirates
    • Qantas
    • Asiana
    • Air New Zealand
    • Lufthansa
    • Turkish
    • Austrian
    • Swiss
  • 15 countries
    • New Zealand
    • Australia
    • China
    • South Korea
    • Japan
    • USA
    • Germany
    • Morocco
    • Malta
    • Lebanon
    • Turkey
    • Albania
    • Austria
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Switzerland
  • 12 airports
    • AKL Auckland, New Zealand
    • SYD Sydney, Australia
    • HKG Hong Kong, China
    • ICN Seoul Incheon, South Korea
    • NRT Tokyo Narita, Japan
    • CHC Christchurch, New Zealand
    • LAX Los Angeles, USA
    • FRA Frankfurt, Germany
    • CMN Casablanca, Morocco
    • MLA Malta
    • BEY Beirut, Lebanon
    • IST Istanbul, Turkey
    • TIA Tirana, Albania
    • VIE Vienna, Austria
    • RUH Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    • ZRH Zurich, Switzerland
  • personal firsts and other trivia
    • first Emirates A380 flight woohoo
    • first Asiana flight (making 15 Star Alliance airlines flown)
    • first flight in combi aircraft
    • first Turkish flight (16th *A airline flown)
    • first Swiss longhaul
    • first Swiss first class
    • first Asiana first class
    • first Qantas premium economy
    • flew 300,000th flown mile on Qantas (3rd highest of any airline for me although a very long way behind Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines)

================

AUCKLAND to SYDNEY (AKL-SYD) on Emirates A380 in first

I've been looking forward to this flight for some time. I'm still annoyed my schedule prevented flying the inaugural flight (see EK_Flyer's report on that flight), but nonetheless when a juicy sale came along last year I nabbed it.

Where else can you get 3 or 4 hours of luxurious flying in longhaul first class, plus limo transfers each end (that alone recoups a significant proportion of the fare) all for the cost of a reasonably flexible economy fare? Needless to say I love Emirates' Trans-Tasman sales - it is a shame they are not too often for sale in F. At least I was able to book a few of them in the last sale, and will sample all 3 of the longhaul F products they use as a result.

Post booking, the next thing to organise is book accommodation for Sydney, and then book the transfers. Unfortunately once again the online transfer booking system failed me (it seems to do this every time ) and so I resorted to booking by phone.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 3:49 pm
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Old Mar 13, 09, 9:18 pm
  #3  
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I was arriving at Auckland off another flight. Unfortunately between booking and departure a couple of schedule changes meant I had a longer transit than planned - arriving too early for Emirates check in to be open but too late to leave the airport. Instead I hopped into the Qantas domestic lounge which I had open door access to thanks to my frequent flyer status.

I managed a productive session writing and researching stuff. I kept away from the open bar (hmmm perhaps that is why I was so productive?) and had little to eat, to save myself for the delectable goodies to come. The time passed quickly and soon enough I packed up and cleaned up the area I was working in, said my goodbyes to the lounge staff and headed across to the international terminal.

It had been raining earlier in the day and it was one of those sultry humid summer days with dark cloud hanging low, barely moving in the absence of any winds. I toyed with the idea of catching the free inter-terminal transfer bus, but instead decided to take my chances against a downpour and walk as I prefer to do.

I made it to the international terminal, not completely dry due to the heat and high humidity, but at least not sopping wet for it had not rained. Inside I took the familiar immediate left turn for the first class check in for Emirates is right at this end.

The check in agent on the first class desk was busy helping an elderly couple fill out their departure cards. This was taking a long time and so I got called over to the nearest business class check in. Normally this is a quick process - hand over passport and frequent flyer card, a swipe and couple of taps to get the boarding pass, and a shuffle through the pile of hand-written lounge invitations for mine. Sometimes, as today, I'm asked to put my carry-on onto the scales to ensure it is light enough - it was under 10kg and so fine. Today my lounge invite had been misplaced and the agent spent some time double-checking, and calling a supervisor. I explained I was happy to simply turn up at the lounge with my boarding pass - I know the way and may even be recognised depending on who is on duty. But she insisted I needed a card and triple checked the pile. After a while and more phone calls she admitted defeat and contacted the lounge to let them know I was invite-less.

I turned, took a few steps to the premium immigration desk against the wall, only to find the elderly couple were now having a painfully slow immigration process as well. The immigration officer knows me and sympathised, and of course I was processed rapidly - in less than 20 seconds today.

I walked fast along and up to departures. It was busy today with a huge queue at regular immigration. It's at times like this that pre-cleared premium immigration really pays off - with no queue and even a helpful officer standing by the chain at the end of the row of desks personally checking me through because all the desks were busy.

I was through security fairly quickly and, seeing an officer ahead of the WTMD I was on was about to finish a random explosives check and pat-down, I bolted with liquids bag in hand to avoid the check. It worked and a minute later I entered the lounge, where the agent apologised profusely for the lack of invite card and welcomed me back. Hmmm - do they really think these pieces of paper (it used to be cardboard but apparently now economised to paper), which premium passengers only hold for a few minutes between check in and lounge, are really valued by their customers?
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Old Mar 13, 09, 10:07 pm
  #4  
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The Auckland Emirates lounge offering.

Veuve Clicquot
The Ned sauvignon blanc
Spy Valley chardonnay
Church Road merlot
Sandpiper shiraz

Some hard liquor

4 different beers

Coffee and a selection of teas

Orange and tomato juice

Soft drinks

Canapes

Salad bits and pieces
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Old Mar 18, 09, 6:32 pm
  #5  
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Apologies for the delay in posting the next bit. It has been one of those crazy weeks.

I left you in the lounge after a few drinks. Boarding was called. While Sydney has some smartgate machines, these are in the Qantas pier and currently only available for use by Australians (unlike the ones in Brisbane and Melbourne which Australians and New Zealanders can use). So I didn't bother making a small detour either upstairs by the Qantas Club and Air New Zealand lounge, or by gate 2, to the smartgate pre-processing machine. For those unfamiliar, it is a 2-step immigration entry process. The first step involves swiping passport and collected a "ticket" (if you qualify ie not on their wanted list and your passport is valid and readable). This can be done at the arrival airport or in Auckland. The second step takes the ticket and a photo and validates against your passport picture. You reclaim the ticket (required at customs as proof of processing) and step through the hopefully open gate. As queues at smartgate are invariably short, it saves a lot of time, and for New Zealanders also saves getting a stamp in the passport - extending the life of it just a little bit longer if you are a frequent traveller.
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Old Mar 20, 09, 8:11 am
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Kiwi Flyer Nice TR , how busy was the AKL Lounge ? .... Now waiting for the AKL- SYD flight details

Was the '82 Chateau Margaux on the F wine list ?

Look forward to the next update

Cheers mate ^
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Old Mar 20, 09, 2:09 pm
  #7  
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No it was not. Same F wine list on A380 as the A345 I flew in January.
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Old Mar 20, 09, 6:08 pm
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On the way to the gate we passed the Emirates A345 preparing for departure to Melbourne at gate 2 and on the new pier to the gate I saw the Emirates A345 to Brisbane in final stages of boarding. Despite the full flight load and full lounge the gate area was empty of passengers. I'd rushed from the lounge to try and get a look around the aircraft before take-off, and so the lounge boarding call must have been made as late as possible. I like airlines that do this - nice and civilised.

Unlike Qantas A380 which has first class on the lower deck, for Emirates it is on the upper deck. I had a moment of disorientation walking down the right hand side of the barrier to the airbridge before realising yes I was on the upper deck this time.

I had barely put my carry on into the space underneath the monitors, not even sat down yet, when the flight attendants came by offering champagne (yes please), newspaper (no thanks I already have one), the menus and the snack basket. I wasn't offered magazines, I am unsure why. I excused myself to do a quick exploration before we needed to be in our seats for take-off.

The bathrooms are in the space Qantas uses for a "lounge" and the opposite side, and come complete with the infamous shower. Even though I did not need one (short flight with only a couple of connecting flights beforehand), I later took advantage of the lack of interest in the showers to have one for the novelty factor. After all it is one of the more unusual places to have a shower. I noticed in EK_Flyer's trip report that many people had a shower to the extent bookings were needed - I think I was the only one on my flight with a full load in first class. The bathrooms were very spacious, although the shower cubicle is of course quite small. A couple could easily share the room and basin area. There were the usual amenities - combs, cotton buds, razors, soap & hand creme, toothbrush and paste; plus also perfume and aftershave. There is a monitor inside opposite the toilet.

The suite is the same basic design as in the A345 which I'd flown previously with Emirates, most recently back in January. There are some differences though - a much larger space to stow a carryon (my small one fits okay on A345 but larger ones do not and on A380 my carryon was dwarved by the space), slightly different dimensions and positioning of some of the gadgets (eg airvents, controller monitor) and the writing kit tray was on the left inside the front shelf instead of in the middle. (Incidentally I love the large side shelf as there is so much room to put stuff.) Yeah I notice the oddest things sometimes.

The overall ambience is very different to QF F A380 - much more private, a few more amenities and special touches, but also more enclosing particularly with the curvature of the cabin walls. If you close the privacy doors it is like a luxe coccoon.

With just most of the premium pax to board after me I only had time for a couple of classes before it was time to settle back and prepare for takeoff. The snack basket was removed with my glass (both to be returned soon after take off).
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Old Mar 20, 09, 6:33 pm
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The flight time was short so the crew were quickly out getting dinner. I'm a slow eater and most of the cabin had finished before I'd gotten far with my mains.

Before we took off I'd forwarded to the bit in the movie I'd run out of time to finish last time to see the last half hour. The ICE (IFE system) is disabled for the safety briefings and was not switched back on until after we'd take off and they'd played an EK promo. Nonetheless with good planning I managed to see 1 movie and a tv show in addition to the 30 minutes left from previous flight.

The flight disappeared in a blur of entertainment, drink, great service, drink, dinner, drink and did I mention drink? We got an express card (unlike my flight to Melbourne in January) for immigration and customs.

We were due to arrive early but ended up circling around for 30 minutes due to a thunderstorm parked over the edge of the airport. There were no views of the city - just a black cloud, pouring rain and strobe lighting courtesy of mother nature.

When we reached the terminal there was a small delay for the airbridge operator. Inside immigration was deserted so I put the express card back into my bag for another time. Other passengers were in for a long wait for their checked bags as no one was allowed to work out in the storm (odd how this rule doesn't apply at airports in some countries), but I breezed on by trying my best not to stagger too much.

A roving officer stopped me, marked my card and directed me to the customs channel on the left, where I was barred by a gate and several officers standing around taking a break. "You have to use the channel on the other side." A quick walk back past the roving officer to the second arrival card checker who directed me around the xrays, perhaps in order to save the officers manning the machine from doing some work. I've often wondered why the overkill on checking the arrival card multiple times in Australia (immigration, roving officer, person before customs, another person who directs you to a specific xray machine or in my case to bypass the machines, and then the people on the machines)?

Anyway, I was out fairly quickly although later than scheduled. The driver for my pre-arranged transfer (free thanks Emirates) was not present - a call by one of his colleagues revealed he was a few minutes away. 10 minutes later a dash across to the carpark getting soaked by the downpour. I don't know why they do not allow drivers to pick up from the curb - money I guess.

The trip into the city took much longer than usual at 45 minutes instead of 15. At one point had to turn back due to being surrounded by floodwaters, including the road in behind us which had gone under water in under a minute.
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Old Mar 20, 09, 6:45 pm
  #10  
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Emirates
First Class menu
Auckland to Sydney
March 2009


Bar Service

Aperitifs

A selection of fruit juices and soft drinks

Bacardi Rum, Campari, Gin, Jack Daniels, Rye, Sweet or Dry Sherry, Sweet or Dry Vermouth, Vodka, Scotch Whisky, Malt Whisky

A selection of international beers

Cocktails

Black Russian, Bloody Mary, Bucks Fizz, Champagne Cocktail, Cosmopolitan (US routes), Fantasy Island, Jumeirah Delight (non alcoholic), Kir Royal, Manhattan, Martini Cocktail Classic, Screwdriver, Vodka Martini

Wines

A selection of fine wines from internationally renowned vineyards of the old and new world

Champagne Brut

Liqueuers

Baileys Irish Cream, premium Cognac, Cointreau, Drambuie, Late Bottled Vintage Port, Tia Maria


Dinner

Appetiser

New Zealand lobster medallions
served with creamy potato and celery salad, offered with Marie Rose dressing

Oriental beef
served with oyster, mushroom and gingko nut salad, accompanied with a coriander and citrus mayonnaise
[replace with Oriental lamb on this flight]

Soup

Carrot and walnut soup
cream of carrot soup, with kumara, served with creme fraiche and herbs

Salad

Seasonal salad
served with a choice of dressings

Main Course

Braised lamb shanks
served with new potato wedges, green beans and roasted pumpkin

Thai style chicken curry
with a hint of coconut flavour, accompanied with Chinese greens and steamed rice

Poached blue cod
with scallops and prawns on creamy Jacqueline sauce, accompanied with kohlrabi, carrots, snow peas and steamed rice

Eggplant and braised du puy lentil mousakhan
accompanied with broccoli and medley of fresh mushrooms
[replaced with Vegetarian ravioli on this flight]

A la carte vegetables
as an alternative accompaniment to your main course, an additional variety of vegetables is available which includes oven-roasted Roma tomato, fettuccini noodles, stir-fried mixed vegetables and garlic mashed potato

Dessert

Mini desserts
gourmet selection of fine miniature desserts, which includes semolina halwa with pistachio, profiterole with chocolat and fresh strawberry compote

Bread

Bread basket
a variety of freshly baked rolls and garlic bread

Cheese

International cheese selection
specially selected international cheeses, matured to perfection and served with a selection of crudites, crackers and dried fruits

Fruit

Fresh seasonal fruit

Hot Beverages

Tea
Ceylon, China, Earl Grey, Camomile

Coffee
freshly brewed, decaffeinated, espresso and cappuccino

Chocolates
to accompany a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee


EK413-AKLSYDDXB-F-A_A380


First Class Wine List

Champagne

Dom Perignon Vintage 2000
The very fresh and youthful millenium vintage of Dom Prignon is soft and approachable. Persistent tiny bubbles race up to the top of your glass, assisting in the release of the subtle aromas of hazelnut, lemon cream, pear and red apple. Ultra fine, with a very active bead that just floats across the palate. Elegant, unobtrusive and balanced. The finish is delightful with lingering stonefruit flavours.

White Wine

Meursault, 2006 Bouchard Pere & Fils
The opulence of both the Meursault appellation and the 2006 vintage show clearly in this example. Full, rich fruit around a mineral core with a super length for one so young. The village of Meursault, just south of Burgundy's capital Beaune, continues to make some of the worlds most jaw droppingly good dry white wines.

Staete Landt, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc
Staete Landt winery gets its title from the old Dutch name that Abel Tasman gave to New Zealand when he discovered the land in 1642. The 2007 is perfumed with aromas of passionfruit and gooseberries. On the palate the wine is full bodied with a real concentration of flavour and aroma, a passionfruit character is dominant, backed by subtle mineral and spicy, dry hay characters with a creamy almost nutty complexity and a crisp ripe attractive acidity.

Red Wine

Chteau La Lagune, 2000 Haut Medoc
This fine Classified Growth shows perfectly how the fabled 2000 vintage is beginning to mature. Befitting a hot summer and autumn, the millenium vintage was upfront with fruit and laden with soft tannins. As Cantemerle approaches full maturity the early primary fruit flavours have morphed into a more subtle complex and richer style. Coffee, cinnamon, leather and vanilla with ripe blackcurrant at the core, rounded by a graceful finish.

Vabby Lake Vineyard, 2005 Pinot Noir
Vabby Lake is the leading botique winery on the Mornington Peninsula with a focus on producing benchmark examples of the capricious Pinot Noir. The results are amongst the finest in Australia. The 2005 is dominated by dark berry fruits with hints of plum, strawberries and spices with astute oak. They effortlessly fuse on the palate, giving a wine that is sweet and silky with soft tannins.

Mungo Park Shiraz, 2006, Colonial Estate, Barossa Valley, Australia
Produced from 80-100 year old gnarled Shiraz vines that make up this Single Vineyard in the cooler climate of the Moppa sub region of the famed Barossa Valley. This provides the wine with some intensity and vivacity. Mungo Park, named after the 18th century Scottish explorer, is not just full-bodied and rich, but has fresh definition. The real beauty of this wine (of which we've snaffled virtually all of this vintage) is how brilliantly drinkable it is.

Dessert

Chateau Guiraud, 1999 Premier Cru Sauternes
One of the great vintages of Sauternes. An opulent and exotic wine, with beautiful aromatic intensity. Soft and honeyed in the mouth, with a concentration of orange marmalade, melted butter and cinnamon. Much freshness and good acidity. Absolutely delicious with pudding, cheese or sipping on its own. The myriad of complex flavours linger for, seemingly, an eternity.

Dow's, Vintage 1985
The 1985 vintage is a great classic. The nose carries complex, forward aromas of round black fruit. The palate is smoothly textured with a streak of pure black fruit and nicely integrated alcohol. Some soft tannins show through on the finish, which has a superbly warming effect with a lovely length.


Tea Menu

Mandarin
A single origin Ceylon tea, grown at 5000ft above sea level. Medium strength, gently combined with a sweet and juicy Mandarin flavour, offers a tea with zest and a slightly sweet finish. Refreshing and energizing after a meal or as an accompaniment to cake and sweet pastry.

Cardamom
A single origin Ceylon tea, grown at 5000ft above sea level. Medium-bodied, fused with spicy cardamom, produces a reviving and aromatic brew. The slightly raw and sweet flavour produces a medium strength tea with a pleasant finish. An aromatic accompaniment to meat, rich cakes and pastries.

Ceylon Supreme
A rich and full bodied Ceylon tea from the Dimbula region, grown at 4000ft above sea level. It is ideal if you enjoy your tea with milk as its strength allows it to take warm dairy milk, and retain its personality. Recommended as a breakfast tea, and also good with rich foods and red meats.

Earl Grey
A full-bodied low elevation single origin Ceylon tea, grown at sea level. It has a rich and robust character combined with Bergamot flavour to produce authentic Earl Grey Tea. Its strength brings a perfect balance between the tea and fragrant bergamot. Earl Grey is an all day tea, recommended especially as a palate cleanser in between courses or at the end of a heavy meal.

Darjeeling
From the foothills of the Himalayas, the Darjeeling region borders Nepal. This tea is light and bright with a characteristic Muscatel note. Its uniqueness comes from the combination of climate and soil which produces the prized Darjeeling character. It is delightful as an evening tea, and also as an accompaniment to light desserts and scones.

Decaffeinated
A medium strength teat with a gentle character. Pleasing at all times of the day and delightful with a touch of milk and honey if sweetness is desired.

Pure Camomile
A gentle and relaxing herb. The flower of the Camomile offers the most refined aroma, taste and texture. Brewing the pure flowers therefore produces a surpassingly light, golden yellow infusion which is mild yet defined by a fresh, green apple note. It is a delicious, caffeine-free accompaniment for apple pie, cream cheese cakes and is also an ideal evening tea.

Naturally Spicy Berry
An aromatic fruity infusion combining a tangy raspberry, with strawberry, and a touch of spice offering a gentle yet complex herbal drink. A delightful infusion for the afternoon or evening.

Vanilla
A single origin, high elevation, Ceylon tea. The tea has a characteristically light, bright personality, in a deliciously gentle marriage with fragrant vanilla flavour. It is a medium strength tea with wonderful aroma. Recommended as a refreshing afternoon tea, and as an accompaniment to mild cheeses.

Ginger
Grown at high elevation, this Ceylon tea is of medium body. Enhanced by the warming aroma and flavour of spicy ginger, the combination of the two herbs is an ancient one. Based on an ayurvedic tonic where the goodness in tea combines with the benefits of ginger to produce a sparkling, all natural hot tea. Ginger tea is recommended with spicy food, smoked cheese and orange dark chocolate.

Jasmine Green
A mild green tea from China. With traditional, natural Jasmine flavour, the tea is perfumed using petals of Jasmine, a process several thousand years old. Uplifting and aromatic. This tea is a delicious palate cleanser after strong tasting or rich food.

Natural Green
A pure green tea from China. This tea has hints of herb, a touch of spice and a pleasingly mild finish. It produces a lightly spicy and smoky taste. Recommended as an accompaniment to heavy meats or grilled fish, also enjoyable at the end of a meal as a digestif.
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Old Mar 20, 09, 7:25 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer View Post
No it was not. Same F wine list on A380 as the A345 I flew in January.
Bummer , twas too good to be true in the end !


On my Wine menu from the Inaugural , there no indication it was a special Inaugural Wine List ... just the normal EK Wine menu no special lettering like SQ did .

And since it was indeed a one-off , they could've done something special for the menus


Anyways, glad you had a good flight mate ^


On Feb 2nd, most of the F cabin wanted to experience the showers as they were de-planing in SYD , so hence the demand which mandated the booking but was glad I left my shower to the end as I got to have the longest time in there

I dislike the short TransTasman leg sometimes, as I like enjoying my food too so that leaves little flight time when I'm finally done


What car did you bag on your SYD transfer ?


Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
The flight disappeared in a blur of entertainment, drink, great service, drink, dinner, drink and did I mention drink?

Very Nicely put


Ek F cabin FAs always manage to ply the F pax with food and drinks like there's no tomorrow


Many Thanks for posting and sharing .... I always marvel at the effort it must take to write-up all the menus !

Cheers ^
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Old Mar 20, 09, 11:07 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
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This is a fine report... Thank you very much for the menu selections.. IMHO I recently enjoyed the Pommery Cuvee Louse 1998 served in the first class section of LX rather than the 2000 Dom.. Hope you have a safe return....
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Old Mar 21, 09, 2:05 pm
  #13  
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Thanks. This was just the foretaste of a trip spanning many airlines, classes of travel (yes there will be more first class), continents and flights. More to come soon.
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Old Mar 23, 09, 4:59 pm
  #14  
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SYDNEY to AUCKLAND (SYD-AKL) on Emirates A380-800 777-200LR in first

When I ticketed the A380 was scheduled to be flying daily. I'd deliberately chosen dates over a month after the inaugural to allow for delays. However, I didn't factor in the possibility that Emirates would change the A380 to be less than daily on the route initially, which is what happened. My schedule, as usual, was fairly inflexible and so I was stuck with 777-200LR instead. Still, this means in the space of a couple of months I have sampled all 3 long-haul EK first class products - yay!
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Old Mar 23, 09, 5:33 pm
  #15  
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My ride to the airport was on time and I soon reached the terminal. The driver asked if I knew where to go to check in. I assured him I did. There was a short wait for check in to open. No one manned the first check-in line and I was slightly annoyed the agent on the business check-in line saw to all the business class passengers first before waving me over. I was checked in quickly once it was my turn and handed a boarding pass, lounge invite card, departures card and express immigration card. No queue at all at immigration (one of the reasons I wanted to check in early) and none at security either - so I saved my express card for another time. Then downstairs to the lounge.

They were just setting out breakfast in the servery. A few hot foods, cereals, toast, fruit, etc. Booze. Tea. Coffee. Juice. Water. Milk. I caught up with some messages and the day's news on Flyer Talk.

The aircraft arrived on time from Dubai and then the lounge started filling up. It seemed despite the light load in first class today there were a lot of continuing business class & elite passengers flying all the way to Auckland (there is just one departing Emirates flight for several hours so easy to tell the destination). Boarding was called. One of the lounge staff was standing by the door with a bowl of mints to save pax from taking two steps to the reception desk.

Onboard I noticed the suite is similar to A380 (and A345) but again some subtle differences - wider side shelf, different placement of the amenity kit on the front shelf, etc. This time as well as menu and newspaper, socks & slippers were handed out, and magazines.

I had the pre-departure date and coffee, but not before finishing off the 2nd glass of Dom. While boarding continued I started the movie I'd selected. With a short flight time from Australia to NZ due to prevailing winds I wanted to be sure I'd get to see the end.

Unlike the flight from Melbourne I'd taken in January, which also departs mid morning and also said to be a brunch meal, the food on offer was closer to breakfast than lunch this time (closer to lunch last time).

The flight was very pleasant, with very good service although not as attentive as the flight over. We landed from the west (so no flying over the city) on time. With the previous arrivals showing on the monitor from almost an hour prior, I expected a quick plane to exit time notwithstanding the longer walk from the new pier. Unfortunately immigration was still backed up from the late morning several longhaul arrivals - it took me about 30 minutes and I was the first off the aircraft. Other passengers will have taken much longer. Customs was even worse - with no carry on baggage I caught up with passengers from the earlier flights who'd waited for their bags. It took about 45 minutes to clear customs (and this without secondary or opening of my carry on).

Outside there was no sign of my driver. Back in January my driver had picked up someone else in error. Had the same thing happened twice (my name isn't that common)? A phone call revealed Emirates had not made the booking for me so I traipsed all the way to the other end of the terminal unhappy. I reminded myself it was not the fault of the agent manning the Emirates desk, got a cab ordered, and traipsed all the way back to the other end of the terminal to be picked up.

It was a disappointing finish to the first part of the trip.
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