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Emirates Inaugural Flight: Stockholm to Dubai in First Class

Route : ARN-DXB

Airline: Emirates (EK)

Cabin Class: First

Equipment : Boeing 777-200LR

Flight Number: EK158

Seat Number: 1K

 

Date: September 4, 2013

Departure time in Arlanda (ARN): 13:55

Arrival time in Dubai (DXB): 22:25

Travel time: 6h 30min

Revenue ticket, First Class flight #3

 

Text and Photography by Arthur Jeciel

Introduction

Taking a short trip to Asia this time of the year was not in my program since I already had a few booked flights for the coming months. But as soon as I heard that Emirates would start their service to Stockholm from September 4, I didn't have any choice but to book this flight. To fly on an inaugural flight in first class is (was) on my bucket list, and making this dream come true with no less than the Skytrax "Airline of the Year", I have to say I was so ecstatic.

Emirates uses Freys limousine service for their business and first class passengers, for pick up and drop off, free of charge. From the bedroom, I caught site of the Mercedes Benz (which was driven by Per, a very nice guy from Stockholm) about ten minutes before the scheduled pick up time. Very impressive. Emirates inaugural flight actually coincided with Obama's visit to Stockholm so heavy traffic was anticipated.

Check in

The moment I arrived at Arlanda Airport, I couldn't help but be overly excited. I guess that explains why my hands were shaking when I took this picture.

After check in, I received the two boarding cards, one for the Stockholm-Dubai flight and the other for Dubai-Bangkok flight, as well as the baggage claim card.

Lounge

Emirates has its own lounge in Arlanda (which I unfortunately wasn't able to visit) since I wanted to be early at the gate to witness the traditional welcome of water canon salute. But while waiting, I met some airport officials who informed me that Emirates have decided to do the official celebration the following day, so as to give way to Obamas arrival.

 

My partner, who flew Stockholm-Melbourne in business class (and Sydney-Stockholm in first class) in February 2014, was able to visit the Swedavia Airport Lounge being used by Emirates.

Aircraft

The beautiful Boeing 777-200LR. I say "Välkommen till Stockholm".

Cabin

The first class cabin has a total of 8 private suites with a 1-2-1 configuration. Obviously, the cabin was full that day.

Suite

Welcome to my suite: 1K!!

The fine leather seat was very comfortable, although I didn't think much about that. To be honest, I was more excited with the features of the private suite. I have seen pictures of this a lot of times before but seeing it for real is unbelievable. And the gold color. Bling, bling!

Right in front of me was the best the airline industry could offer: a very nice personal screen, an illuminated vanity mirror with the "Travel Well Kit" below it, a writing kit, fresh orchids and a very nice table lamp. The bowl of snacks consisted of Pringles chips, 3 chocolate bars, a dried mangoes pack and a box of mint. I couldn't wait to inspect each one of these!

But first, the welcome drink. A glass of Veuve Clicquot Brut, a bottle of which costs 399 Swedish Crowns at the Systembolaget.

The personal mini bar had a bottle of Perrier, Voss (a bottled water from Norway), mango juice and 3 kinds of softdrinks.

The "Travel Well Kit" consisted of five Temple Spa products: the focus sniff box, sleep sniff box, calming face and body balm, dry shower in a tube and the soothing balm for aching feet and limbs. I love the sleep sniff box with its calming effects helping one have a good nights sleep.

The "Writing Kit" consisted of a very nice pen and stationery.

The massage function was so cool. I tried all four modes and I thought the best one was the "Wave".

Meal

The menu card was presented on a very nice leather folder.

A plate of "warm" mixed nuts and a glass of lemon water to start with, as well as hot towels.

 

Canapés

a selection of hot and cold savouries including lamb kebab with honey and thyme, jalapeno poppers filled with cheese, salmon skewer, marinated mixed olives and baby bell pepper filled with cheese

The table set up was lovely! Of course, I was offered something to drink like wines and champagne (they had Dom Perignon and Moet on board) but I had to settle for non alcoholics since I don't drink alcoholic beverages.

 

Caviar

perfectly prepared chilled caviar presented with a traditional selection of finely chopped onion, chopped boiled egg, sour cream and lemon, served with crisp melba toast and soft blini pancakes

 

The other choices were: Traditional local Arabic mezze, Duo of herring and Smoked beef.

The Robert Welch cutleries for Emirates were adorable.

 

Main Courses

Crayfish ragout

Scandinavian crayfish ragout served in a creamy dill and parsley sauce, accompanied by steamed potatoes and roasted carrott chunks.

 

The other choices were: Roast chicken, Baharat lamb, Ravioli and Fillet of perch.

For light bites, they offered Seasonal salad, chicken consommé, Red pepper soup and Cheese board.

The mocktail on board was the Jumeirah Delight.

 

Sweet Delights

Chocolate and walnut brownie

rich American-style chocolate browniemarbled with crunchy walnut pieces, served with creamy butterscotch sauce and crisp nut tuile

 

The other choices were: Passion fruit and mango crémeux and Selection of fruit.

A cup of green tea

Emirates signature cappuccino

I am not a coffee drinker but Sayaka, the Japanese flight attendant from Nagasaki who took care of me throughout the flight, insisted she would make one for my photoshooting. She also gave me other souvenir items from Emirates. Arigato, Sayaka!

Entertainment

The 23" digital screen offers an enormous selection of movies and TV programs. Very impressive. No wonder they have won several awards for their inflight entertainment.

The headset with a very nice case.

The touch screen mode controller looks very nice and functions really well.

The telephone handset and entertainment controls.

Time to sleep

My fully flat bed with the duvet and blanket, which was fixed by Sayaka.

It is time to have some privacy...and close the doors.

Eventhough it was a day flight, I received the pajamas, eyeshades and slippers just the same.

I actually did not receive this first class amenity kit for men on this flight but I eventually got it on the next flight. The kit included Bulgari products, a shaver from Truefitt & Hill, a Gillette shave foam, a toothbrush and Colgate, an Axe anti perspirant deodorant and a tissue. Since I am a fan of amenity kits, this would be an addition to my collection.

Underneath the stars... But did I actually sleep? Well, aside from it being my first time to fly on Emirates in first class, I had to appreciate the beauty of the cabin and my private suite and I thought six hours was not enough to do that.

First Class Bar

The first class bar offers different bottles of champagnes and wines, as well as cocktail snacks.

Toilet and Lavatory

Once again, bling bling!!

Towels are provided as well as Rochas perfume.

Items like dental kit, shaving kit, comb and moisturizer from Rochas are also available.

Arrival in Dubai

A private bus was waiting for first class passengers upon landing at the Dubai International Airport. The seats still reminded me of the first class seats on board. Cool!!

 

Conclusion

 

Excellent food and impeccable service. The cabin crew were very friendly. Very impressive private suite. I love how Emirates make the first class experience unique. I am really glad I did fly on this inaugural flight. Special thanks to Leila, the Iranian purser, to Annie the Swedish flight attendant and most specially to Sayaka who made this experience trully unforgettable.

 

Although this was just the third time I have flown in first class (the first two were on Thai Airways), I have to say it would take a lot to beat Emirates. From a scale of 1 to 10, I would give Emirates a 9.9. Hope to fly with you again soon. Shukran!

 

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