I’m back. Sorry for the delay on this post lol. This week has been a crazy week at school making up work and stuff. Anyways, this is a trip report about my totally on time flight 😶 from Houston to Dubai on Emirates’ a380. Date: January 13th, 1:30 am departure.
Please read the whole thing, it’s very interesting! And PLEASE, if you want more pics, I would be very happy to PM you some. It was hard only selecting 10. Enjoy!
So this flight was the beginning of our journey to India to see my sick great grandma. However, it was conveniently delayed by over 30 hours. This was when there was flooding in Dubai and everything got backed up.
Our ride today is A6-EOC, a blue EXPO 2020 livery a380-861 that is about 5 years old.
This flight was supposed to depart at 7:10 PM on Saturday evening, and we ended up leaving at about 1:30 am… on Monday morning.
So after our 3 hour drive and a good deal of confusion as we rebooked our connection flights at the check in desk in IAH, we made it to our gate in IAH with about 4 hours to kill. We checked in to a lounge, and ate and just chilled for about 1.5 hours. Then, me and my dad did some gate spotting, and saw EVA, Turkish, (which I once flew in from IAH), and British, and a bunch of UA. We also saw the spot where before boarding our flight on Turkish, we argued with a agent because our seats were separated and stuff 😂
PM me for those pics, I can only post 10 here.
Anyways, me, my dad, and my grandma got to our gate for boarding. Unfortunately, the whole time our plane was in the worst spot so we couldn’t actually see it due to the building and gate blocking it. All we could see was the tip of the tail. So we boarded “on time” and I got to board straight on to the second deck, which was a really cool experience. I have a few pictures, but you’ll have to PM me to see them. 10 pic limit
#Boarding and departure
So when we boarded, what was really strange was that there was barely anybody. This flight was practically empty (on the top). And so it was me, then two seats in front was my grandma. Seat behind me was also empty. All the middle seats on the top deck were empty. Only a mom and a baby were in the middle.
In the beginning of the flight, I asked the head flight attendant if I could come see the cockpit afterwards, and she said it usually isn’t allowed, but she would send a captain up to chat with me.
The flight attendants were very nice and said we could move anywhere we wanted. On the left side, most seats were taken, but only the A window seats. My dad ended up moving from 23K to like 11A because the baby was crying. So because there was no one around me and it was the top deck and it wa s almost a suite, it felt like a big private jet.
Here is my seat for the next 14 hours, 20K, and the practically empty cabin.
Shortly after takeoff, “dinner” (or whatever it is at this point the time was so messed up) was served. Unfortunately on this flight the food was slightly disappointing. For my first meal, I had a chowder soup with salmon, whcih I didn’t eat much of.
I then had a small walnut chocolate brownie, which was pretty good, but didn’t make it because of the 10 pic limit. So after that, I ordered something from the LightBite menu, which can be ordered at any time. I chose a vegetable burrito. The burrito took about 40 minutes to be served which was weird. I was watching Hobbs and Shaw, and was getting sleepy, so I kinda gave up on waiting and brushed my teeth in the bathroom. Of course, I came back and there was my burrito, which was served while I was brushing my teeth. Great. However, it was delicious and my favorite thing I ate. Again, 10 pic limit. After brushing my teeth again, I went to bed when we were over New York ish. I woke up around 4 hours later, and just relaxed and watched some Big Bang Theory. I also enjoyed some beverages from my Mini fridge, which was cool. PM for pics.
So by then it was daylight out, but the whole cabin was dark and anytime I opened my window, the whole cabin lit up and I felt bad because people were trying to sleep, but I HAD to get some pictures, so I did it fast.
Here is a pic from when we were cruising and approaching Europe:
Shortly afterwards, the head flight attendant told me that the First Officer was at the bar, and ready to chat. I was so excited!
Okay, this was without a doubt the coolest thing I’ve done in an airplane. That bar was amazing, and everyone was very nice. I first went to talk to the First Officer. He was very nice and we had like a 20 minute talk.
He is about 30, he used to be a pilot on the a320 for Air India, Indigo, and Vistara. He went to school in the Bay Area where he got his Instrument ratings and things like that. He was offered a job here at EK and he couldn’t refuse.
He says the a388 is almost identical in controls to the a320. He told me that it’s literally giant, and it’s a very different feeling flying with 4 engines. I told him about how smooth it felt, and he agreed, and said it had an excellent fly-by-wire system, where if you turn the joystick at a certain angle, it’ll keep the bank in and keep banking until you bring it back. I asked him if it was weird flying a giant plane with a tiny joystick, as I prefer a yoke. He said that since he has flown an Airbus his whole life, it’s natural and easy for him. I told him about my experience, and how I do gliding and powered aircraft lessons, and he was very impressed.
I asked him how it was being a pilot, and he said that you are always traveling, always jet lagged, and away from your family a lot.
I also asked him a question my dad has always worried about if I became a Long haul pilot: Does it ever get boring during cruise.
He said no. He said they are always doing something, always talking to ATC about emergencies and where we would divert. Also about step climbing, other traffic, etc. For example, he told me that they were currently talking to Portugal airspace, and they talked to France and CDG, but there were storms in CDG, so we wouldn’t divert there. Stuff like that.
He himself has a wife and a dog apparently. I asked him where he was headed next, and what his favorite and least favorite airport were to land in. After this, he told me he was headed to Auckland, and then Tokyo. He said in the past month, he did Birmingham, Barcelona, Gatwick, Tokyo, Singapore, and I think Toronto. He said his favorite places to land are SIN and BKK, and he says he loves SE Asia.
However, he said his least favorite airport/hardest approach is JFK. He says there is always tons of traffic and it’s very complex.
Also, he had just finished a 7 hour nap, and was now going to go take up his shift, so I said thank you to him and he told me he would tell them to expect me at the end of the flight in the cockpit!
I went to my dad and told him everything. Then me and my dad decided to go to the bar, and that was awesome. (My grandma was asleep btw).
Here is the bar:
It felt as warm and bubbly as a real bar. Anyways, I decided to have some lemon cake that they had, and it was AMAZING. Possibly the best cake I’ve ever had, and I have Bundt cake every year for my birthday.
Warning: Face reveal (excuse me if I look shaggy)
Also, the flight attendant whipped out a cool develop camera or whatever they are called, and took a picture of me and my dad at the bar, developed it, and put in a kind of frame thing for us to keep! It was super cool.
PM me if you want to see it :)
The flight attendant also let me stand inside the bar and took my picture :)
My dad also ended up having some cake. It was extremely moist and dense. So good. After we finished and talked to some passengers, I headed back to my seat. Here is a picture of my seat in my TV/lounge position
I then watched more Big Bang Theory and other stuff. Here is a picture of the sun setting as we turn somewhere over I think Italy maybe? Not exactly sure.
So after this, I actually decided to take a nap. I took a good 3-4 hour nap, and when I woke up, I saw lights out the window and somehow thought we were descending. I had a minor heart attack and thought I slept through the rest of the flight 😂 but it turns out it was just a city. We had about an hour 50 minutes remaining. Also my dad took a picture of me while I was peacefully sleeping, which I discovered.
Anyways, I watched some more TV and when there was about an hour 15 left, breakfast (🥴) was served, which is weird because it was about 12:30am Dubai time. I had an omelette, and sausage and a croissant. It was pretty good, but again didn’t make the cut because of the 10 pic limit.
Descent and Arrival
So after that, we began our descent. We spent about 15-20 minutes in a holding pattern due to traffic. I saw several planes out my window, and also a lot of clouds. I videoed our landing, and watched it on our tail cam. We had a slight crosswind landing, so we were at an angle. Here is a photo of the tail cam the moment we touched down. (I also have more tail cam pics from in flight, PM me for them)
We then taxiied past 1749187329 Emirates 777s and a380s, and I got some really cool pictures of the lineup. We also saw the Burj Khalifa when we were taxiing. Again, PM me to see them. We pulled into our gate flanked by a a380 and a 777.
I said my goodbyes to my seat, which was sad. As we were leaving, I almost forgot about the cockpit visit 😂. I got my dad and grandma, and we told flight attendants and for the first time we went downstairs. We waited for maybe 3 minutes, and a flight attendant told us they were ready for me. I walked up the 3 steps and entered, and wow.
NOTICE: Pictures weren’t allowed 😢
My first impression was that it was pretty small. It was indeed small. And there were also maybe 4 people in there.
There was the F/O I talked to, the Captain, another F/O, and a Co-Pilot… I think. I introduced myself to all of them. The F/O I met (his name is Rohan btw) showed me all the cool controls while the other men worked on paperwork. It was very cool to see, and everything was very nice and high quality. Nothing like the IF cockpit 😂.
Mr. Rohan told them about how I’m in powered aircraft and gliders, and they were all shocked 😂. The captain said “too young man, too young.” And then laughed. The Captain was French, co pilot was from Spain, and Mr. Rohan is Indian, and the other F/O was American. Also, most of the flight attendants were actually Australian, which was interesting.
Anyways, as I said thank you for the flight and visit, the captain gave me a a380 keychain from the cockpit. I was very happy with my souvenir :) but because of the limit once again I can’t post it. We also saw the nose of our aircraft when we got off.
Ratings and flight time
Seat: 10/10 awesome!
Flight time: 13:57
Well, I hope you enjoyed this trip report. Once again, please PM me if you want to see more pics, because believe me I have them. See you next time!
Read about my trip home here:
Trip report- Qatar’s Qsuites from Doha to Houston