Sundeep Bhutoria

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A380 - Luxury in the sky

I arrived in Kolkata via Dubai today morning. On board the Dubai-Kolkata flight, I met Ravindra Chamaria and Mrigank Dhanuka. The Dubai to Kolkata flight seemed very ordinary especially after my extraordinary experience that preceded my arrival in Dubai via Emirates EK2 flight from London on board the largest passenger airliner in the world.
A new experience awaits you once on board the wide-bodied-multi-deck super jumbo Airbus 380 aircraft that brags 14 first class seats and 76 business class seats on the upper deck and 427 economy seats on the lower deck. I think this one was the best commercial aircraft that I have ever availed in my life that has so far taken me to around 60 countries across the globe. I'd call it luxury on clouds
The four-engined Airbus 380 aircraft, I was told, has the same configurations only in long sectors like Dubai-Toronto with 399 economy class seats instead of 427 since it houses a crew rest area.
My business class seat was as good as the first class seat of any other airlines with only more head space and less noise. There was a lounge bar to cater to the business class passengers with an excellent range of wines including GreyGoose wine, Royal Salute and 21-year Chivas Regal and other malt whiskeys. Forget about USBs and mobile chargers and entertainment programs, there was a private mini fridge with every business class seat having cans of soft drinks, juices and Evian mineral water.
The best part – a dedicated personnel to keep each of the washrooms spic and span – something that I have never seen on any other flight. The first class and business class seats were all filled up. I don't know about the economy class as the access to the lower deck was closed from both the sides.
From the Emirates business class lounge at the London airport we straight boarded the aircraft by stepping out of the lounge door. I saw the first class section of the aircraft that was structured like a private mini suite with provision for two showers and, of course, all other modern amenities and two dedicated staff at your beck and call. 
Thoughts of my good old days in Rajasthan, when I used to commute on bullock and camel carts to the school, flashed across my mind. And here I was, part of a system that provides showers or `flight spas' while on air. From the cart to the craft, it has been quite a journey.
Thanks to the crew supervisor who guided and helped  me get acclimatized with the systems on board. She also informed me that currently these super luxury air flights were operational only in select sectors linking Dubai with London, Toronto, Bangkok, Incheon, Jeddah, Manchester and Beijing. Dubai-New York is expected to take off later this month. I also gathered that the crew of A380 are a dedicated and especially trained lot and only service A 380 flights.
ess bee

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