We fly to Italy at least once a year, and now, we always fly in and out via Milan, no matter where we are traveling to. This is because Emirates (www.emirates.com) has daily flights to and from JFK. Although the flight isn’t quite long enough to really appreciate all Emirates has to offer, it is head and shoulders above any other carrier that we could choose.
Last month we spent a week in Milan, Amalfi, and Naples. I will have much to report on those fabulous destinations, but in this post I wanted to focus on the flights. On the trip over we had taken advantage of a promotion for Business Class tickets that were a very reasonable $3,000 rt. Our hope was to be able to use miles to upgrade to First either one way or both. The miles required to upgrade also seem reasonable to me, just 39,000.
We didn’t have the opportunity for the upgrade going to Milan, but we both were able to do so on the way back. The experience for those traveling whether Business or First starts out right. if you are within 55 miles of JFK Emirates provides a car service for you to and from the airport. A nice perk to be sure. Our driver for the trip to JFK was very nice and professional, and the car was clean and without smell.
Our flight was at 10:30 pm, so we headed to the airport with the intention of a quick dinner in the Emirates Lounge.
The lounge itself is very nice. Not spectacular, but nicely appointed, and very well staffed.
There is a large and varied selection of food and drink to enjoy before your flight. All menu items are halal, but alcohol is offered.
The best part is that boarding is done right from the lounge, and this process is easy and stress free.
Once onboard we were quickly directed to our seats. My husband and I were side by side in the center aisle. it is a 1-2-1 configuration.
We were greeted by a flight attendant who promised to look after us during the flight. The seats are spacious, and the bedding is comfortable. Because we really just hoped to go right to sleep, we declined the dinner service and opted only for breakfast on arrival. I will say that compared to past Emirates flights, the service was a bit lax. The bathrooms were messy, and definitely not attended to often enough. The flight attendants disappeared for long stretches, and were not quite on their game. For breakfast, after my husband was served his, I had to ask for mine, and was told I hadn’t requested one. A bit of a scowl, and then one was produced.
Maybe it was a bad night. In any case, we arrived in one piece, and on time, pretty well rested.
The flight home was an improvement. My husband was contacted 2 days before to say he was granted an upgrade, I had to sweat it out until we got to the airport for check-in, when I was told they did indeed have another seat available. The lounge in Milan was a bit nicer than the one in JFK, though smaller in size.
The food was definitely better- maybe the Italian influence?
After a short wait, we boarded and were shown to the smaller first class cabin. Here the individual suites are really lovely, bright and well appointed.
You have your own small bar, basket of snacks, and amenity selection.
There is also a handy leather bound notebook and pen for a take away. The cabin was not full, leading me to believe that not enough people take advantage of this Emirates route.
We were handed an extensive menu, which is all served on demand, and given some nuts and champagne. After indulging for a full week in Italy, I tried to be healthy and opted only for the caviar service. It was nicely presented and tasty too.
The entertainment selection was pretty broad so that kept us occupied throughout. The highlight in First is always the gorgeous bathroom, complete with shower. You are able to schedule a window of time during the flight to take advantage of it. Neither of us did so, but it is nice to enjoy the space.
That again was not as impeccably serviced as flights in the past. Not sure why. Also, the service on demand tends to be a little intimidating. It is much easier when they are passing things out in the cabin. When the lights are dimmed, and the flight attendants are not in sight, time tends to pass by. There is a bar in the front of the cabin for small snacks and additional drinks,
as well as a larger bar that is always staffed that serves both Business and First in the back of the Business cabin.
All in all, the Emirates service and product, while not perfect on these flights, is far better than others we have taken.
We collected our luggage quickly and were met by our Emirates driver. This car and driver were a different story. The car reeked of something awful- perhaps urine? The driver also maintained a speed of 85 miles an hour on the Thruway. I complained to Addison Lee, the Limo company (www.addisonlee.com), but haven’t heard anything back.