Emirates EK764 Business Class


Pre-Flight & Airport Check-In

With a scheduled departure for 19h30, I arrived at the airport at 16h00 with plenty of time for security and immigration checks.  Dropped by car outside Terminal 3 departures (the old international side of the airport), I found hardly any vehicular or pedestrian traffic and made my way straight to the gate within minutes.  The journey from Sandton had also taken just 30 minutes – ½ hr later it would have taken 1 ½ hours!  Note to self – look for these flight times again. Emirates also offers a free 110km radius chauffeur-driven vehicle for First and Business Class passengers out ofJohannesburgandCape Town.

Business Class check-in was a breeze and I really appreciated the extra baggage allowance of 40 kg per person. The standard free baggage allowance for all other Emirates destinations (excluding theUSA,CanadaandBrazil) as per the weight concept is 50 kg for First Class, 40 kg for Business Class and 30 kg for Economy Class.  I had not used online check-in in order to experience the ground handling abilities of the airline, and these were superb. (For the USA/Canada andBrazilthe free luggage Business Class allocation is two pieces at no more than 32 kg each and in Economy two pieces of 23kg each.)

The Johannesburg Emirates lounge (sited conveniently along on the way to my departure gate A18) is spacious, clean and well stocked. The food offered was plentiful and very fresh (a prawn salad with chicken curry to follow) ensured that I did not need to eat on board  (which satisfies my usual preference for sleep.) The route toDubaitakes 8 hours and withDubaitime being two hours ahead and our arrival there at 05h15, this flight represents a good sleeping opportunity.  The lounge also offers a wide selection of drinks plus complimentary Wi-Fi and plenty of computer recharging stations.  The Wi-Fi worked well but slowed considerably as the lounge filled up with connected passengers.

Onboard & Services

The Emirates experience offers laptop charging, SMS, plug-in USB, phone and e-mail from your seat on all aircraft in Business Class, and the human service matches the technical offerings – it all works very well indeed.  My seat was a sleeper (as opposed to a lie-flat) with some 195cms of stretch space and a privacy divider. The seating configuration is 2/3/2 in Business so it would be a good idea to pre-seat online to avoid the dreaded middle.

Entertainment is well-taken care of thanks to the ICE onboard system (information / communication / entertainment) which offers more entertainment than anyone could possibly sample during any flight. The movies were good, the TV series well selected and the music choices were vast.  ICE rivals any airline’s in-flight entertainment system and would keep every passenger fully engaged if desired.  My onboard bar service included cocktails, fineChampagneand a full bar. Dinner (I declined) offered a selection of lobster, marinated seafood, salads, chicken, beef, other fish and curry options, along with a tempting selection of desserts, cheeses and coffee.  A light continental breakfast was served on approach toDubai. Frankly, I slept like a baby – undisturbed and very comfortable which, to me, is what the best of Business Class really is all about.

A Business Class Return journey toTehran viaDubai is around R39 500 at the time of going to press.

Dubai International Airport

All Emirates flights now arrive and depart from the new Terminal 3 atDubaiInternationalAirport.  It is a fantastic and well-signposted facility, designed to allow passengers to move around freely and transfer rapidly.  Whilst not sampling the lounge (my transfer toTehranwas a short one) I did have time to shop in the legendary Duty Free stores (yes, at 05h15 I was buying a netbook computer) and to grab a quick coffee from one of the many restaurants and cafés.  There are spas, lounges and a host of amenities to occupy anyone with a longer connection time – although, I once again found an annoying amount of people sleeping on the floors and furniture in the terminal, which is something Dubai Airport has become renowned for.



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