3 January 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to All! May 2008 bring you joy, laughter and lots of love.

We're back in Oz after our quick trip across the ditch to NZ. It was wonderful to catch up with family, and although we didn't have enough time to see all our friends, we did manage to see a few of them.

More on that in later posts and I'll put up a few images of clean, green NZ too.

This post is in praise of Emirates Airlines.

We've always chosen to fly with Emirates where we can. When we were living in Dubai and travelling for pleasure, we flew with them, as well as on business trips where we were doing return trips to cities to which Emirates flew. Their cash+miles offers out of the UAE suited us very well on many occasions. However, most of our business trips through Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia were on round-the-world tickets, so we flew Lufthansa/United for the Star Alliance flights, or British Airways/Qantas/Cathay for the One World connections.

We were hopeful that, one day, Emirates would have a round-the-world fare and we'd be able to fly them more often.

Good news! That's about to become a reality.

Airbus 380 at the 2005 Dubai Airshow

With the Airbus A380s about to come onstream and with new US destinations (San Francisco and Los Angeles), on the West Coast about to open up this year, Emirates will be able to offer round-the-world fares which will include routes through Europe, Asia, Australia and NZ and the USA.


On this trip, we flew with Emirates to NZ on Award tickets, using some of our accumulated airmiles. J's Emirates' Gold status ensured that we got seats - even in this peak season. The whole procedure was one of the most pleasurable and easiest trips we've organised.

~ The woman on the phone when J rang to make the booking was immensely helpful.
~ The email confirmations cames through in less than 5 minutes after the booking was made.
~ The online check-in feature worked beautifully and we did not have to queue when checking in.
~ The airport lounges were comfortable and the staff were super helpful.

To cap it all off, although we had booked Economy tickets with our airmiles, we received Business Class seats upon checking in at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne! That was a great way to start the holiday.

After 6 short but wonderful days, we were again at Auckland International Airport to check-in for the flight back to Melbourne. This time, we were escorted from our Economy seats into Business Class after we boarded - the gate crew had upgraded us!

Although we have received upgrades on other airlines, Emirates is the only airline who regularly upgrades us and without prompting. J regularly receives upgrades between Dubai and Germany. Long may this continue!

I'll be back to post more about NZ in the next days, but here's one image that I took of one of the Emirates-sponsored Team NZ yachts making her way back up Auckland harbour.


Jin said...

Emirates are great with their free upgrades. When I went to Dublin (shortly after Chikkin was hatched) I'd bought a cash + miles Business class ticket. For whatever reason, there was 'a problem' at the check in counter. For once I didn't bitch/complain, but was very patient, waiting for the problem to be sorted. When I went to board, I was directed to a 1st class seat (dahhhling!) & told I'd been upgraded. What a pleasure!

How's your mom M?

A world of Symphony said...

Guess what, at least Emirates didn't put our bags on a flight to the North or South Pole like Ryan did last year!

Service is not bad either except the no-smoke thing and they wouldn't allow me to open a window to blow - LOL :)

Pandabonium said...

I have some fond memories of flying commercial airlines (though I don't quite put Emirates in that category since its wholly owned by the government) - like riding first class on United and being visited by the pilot and invited to come up to the cockpit after landing, or being upgraded to business class unexpectedly on British Airlines from London to LAX. But I must say the best times I've had traveling by plane have been when I was at the controls of my own aircraft, none of which, I confess, was jet propelled.

Glad you have a means to fly that is pleasurable. That is what the Wright Brothers intended all along.

Omar said...

Happy 2008 to you too. May it be a year of peace and happiness for you.

Qatar Cat said...

They never upgrade me!!

But yeah, Emirates is awesome.

BuJ said...

happpppppy new year.. nice pics :)

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