Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Flying With Emirates Airlines (with three kids) Out of DXB

Well, I've officially been back for for a week a month now and I had to share my experience flying back to Los Angeles (and flying back to Dubai in the next post). Don't you want to know what it's like to fly for 16 hours with three kids? I thought you would so here it is. 

Our adventure began bright and early in the morning middle of the night. I had the kids pick out their clothes the night before so I could wake them 15 minutes before we had to leave, dress them and put them straight in the car. Snacks were also prepped by them the night before, since there would be no time for breakfast with all the hustle and bustle.  

Not quite half way to the airport and the meeter reached AED25. Did I mention we needed 3 taxies since all the vans were taken? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ :o) 

LuGgAge!!! We had 10 pieces and luckily help arrived just in time. Checking in wasn't as smooth as I wanted, but it beats being juggled around an overbooked flight. Apparently Emmirates Airlines is notorious for overbooking and then compensating later for any inconvenience. On our last trip, despite being on time, we were bumped from our seats and by the time we were guaranteed our flight again almost an hour had passed. We were all getting  a bit restless but as a reward we were given vouchers to shop at this place...

Excuse me sir, is that Camel under 25kg? :o))

I love this store (located inside the airport near the boarding gates) and they have a lot of cute nicknacks that you can actually take on the plane with you. But then there is THAT CAMEL and ALL that surrounds it, and I can't help but ask myself: who the heck can bring this stuff on the plane? This store is only accessible to those flying out of Dubai. So, where exactly do I store that 6ft tea kettle? Yea, I said 6 feet, do you see it? Just to the right of the camels head. 

Around the corner from that store was this lovely resting area...

Plenty o' folks resting as you can see, and plenty o' folks who have just been plastered on my blog for thousands, hundreds,  ok, on average, about 30 people a day, to see ;o). Kids were dying to snag one of these reclined chairs. I wouldn't don't want to be caught dead on these lol. 

There was also this cute little exhibit by Fujitsu, which was funny, but confusing.  

Do you get what I mean, or was I the only one who never used a typewriter on the floor? I give them an 'A' for effort (o: 

Finally, it was time to board. It was, again, a little slow because the "systems were down". I never know what that really means, other than "this is going to take a while."

Yes, it's an infant car seat even though my son is well beyond the weight and height limit. In my defense though, it helps him sleep comfortably upright vs. trying to lay down on a 20in x 20in seat. Before all you haters start to hate, I want to note that this was the last flight for this car seat as my son literally cannot fit in it now. Booo :o(

Since we left so early, I kept Z3 in his Pj's for comfort and the rest of the family's sanity.

Z1 and Z2 settled quickly, though...

....I felt really bad for the couple in front of them. Are my kids the only ones who get a kick out of opening and closing their tray a thousand times a second? 

Camera viewer of the outside world. Always fun to watch take-off on the screen.


At one point I was a little freaked out that this plane was head on. Obviously, I'm not a pilot :o)

I got to watch "Life of Pi". It was interesting. If I had to describe it in one word, I would actually have to use two. Cast Away, but with animals and no package lol. 

I was pleasantly surprised to come across this announcement. Emirates has started and is continuing to offer mobile phone and wifi (pronounced why-fy not wee-fee) across all their flights. Seriously though, it's NOT "wee-fee" just saying :o) 

Did you know that the fastest way to get to the US from the UAE is over the top of the globe? Follow the curved yellow line and see what mean. Ignore the straight yellow line. 

Last leg of the flight with under 4 hours to go. Nice view of the snowy mountains 

I eventually changed Z3 into proper clothes. Luckily he slept well through out the flight. DBJ (don't be jealous), he maid it up by getting sick the morning we flew back to UAE (o: Sick kid+ 16 hour flight makes for a kick-butt return. 
After entertainment overload, Z1 and Z2 finally fell asleep. 
The first time I flew on Emirates, I packed a ton of stuff to keep the kids busy. I learned quickly that aside from a few extra snacks, the crew supplied everything they needed to keep busy. Each of the older kids got an Emirates backpack filled with a mini Dr. Seuss book, color pencils, an activity book, wallet or organizer and a funny eye mask with an open eye printed on it lol. Don't forget hundreds of movies to watch plus sleeping also kept them occupied. Babies get a cute fleece blanky wrapped with a stuffed animal. 

This girl, despite her many attempts to wake up Z3, was so cute. She visited us frequently throughout the flight, though I was sitting on pins and needles that Z3 would flip-out because she so badly wanted to wake him up. 

Pet peeve alert! When the cabin is pitch black and some passengers want to see what's outside (btw IT'S JUST CLOUDS!!) the abnormally bright light is more than blinding. Don't do that folks, if you are really tempted, just turn on your TV and watch from the external camera. 

Finally! Nothing like the comforting overview of the hood! With just minutes to landing the big sigh of relief was all over my face not to mention the kids too!

Ariel view of The Forum. Remember that place?

Ok, call me silly, but after I saw this man on the screen hook up his vehicle to our plane and pull us, I really wanted to know why the plane had to be pulled, and here is why: A plane can taxi on the runway when arriving or leaving the airport, but it needs a pushback tractor  to pull it directly to the gate. If a plane used it's own power to drive itself to the gate, dust from the ground would get into the engine and damage it. Fun fact for the day (o: 

Getting through the terminal was a bit of a trek, but the kids were such troopers especially Z3! At the beginning of the terminal I found this huge ad on the wall. I can't even remember what it was for because I was surprised by the most beautiful square Kufic boarder around it. 

It almost looks like the Arabic phrase  سبحان الله  Trans-literated  to subhanallah, but I don't read calligraphy well so don't take my word for it. I think I am somewhat wrong, but I definitely see "God" in there. Arabic calligraphy at LAX!? Really? :o))) Maybe this was a consolation for all the groping  full body pat-downs I endured from the TSA. :o/

That pretty much sums up our flight back, aside from a little bit of a struggle getting through customs, and Friday afternoon gridlock on the 405, we got home safe, sound and tired as expected. Flying with Emirates airlines for 16 hours in a super tight cabin was as good as it could get for what we had. I can't say it was terrific (that would be business class :o), but the staff was great, friendly, and entertainment selection was the best I had seen since flying Virgin Atlantic back in 2001.

The food was fine for both kids and adults. Only thing I recommend when flying on Emirates or any carrier, is to make sure to note your account for "child meal" when checking in online. If you wait till you get to the ticketing counter it might be too late. The benefit of letting the staff know of a requested "child meal" ahead of time is so that kid friendly food will be available for your kids and they will be served FIRST at every meal time. This gives parents the ability to assist their kids if needed before the parents' food comes. Then everyone is HAPPY!!!!  

Phew!! This was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed it, found it beneficial and a bit entertaining :o))) Just want to thank my readers too for being patient with me while I try to navigate the ship of 'blogging' and 'real life' simultaneously. Thanks so much for stopping by!! 


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