Hotel in the Air 

Traveling is something in my blood and I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. It does help that my dad is in the travel business so it helps with the frequent traveling. Alhumdulillah, I got the opportunity to travel in Emirates business class for a 16 hour flight from Houston to Dubai on my way to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Now I’ve been in the business class before but this time was a whole new experience. A lot has changed in their business service since I was last there. So, let’s begin.

Business and first class passengers are welcomed in the plane through a different gate that goes straight to the upper cabin without having to walk upstairs from the economy cabin. When upstairs, you are greeted with the flight staff and a wonderful aroma in the upper cabin. A flight attendant will show you to your seat where you are asked what you will have to drink will the rest of the plan boards. Every business class seat included a whole lot of leg room, a tablet to control your seat and television screen and a personal bar is included with each seat. More than likely, the bar includes a bottle of Voss water, a bottle of juice, a can of Sprite, a bottle of Perrier and a glass. The seat also has availability with USB charging ports and outlets for other items like laptops or anything else. The first thing I do when I get on the flight? Take off my shoes.


Weather conditions were quite bad in Houston so the flight was delayed on the tarmac for three hours which wasn’t pleasant but sitting it business class does make it a lot easier. Since the flight was delayed, the cabin crew did come by and refill drinks and take our dinner orders for after takeoff. So I spent the three hours just chatting with my parents and watching the storm pass through the cabin window.


When we finally took off, I was greeted with a cold gingergale and the first course of my meal: appetizer. When meals are served, the cabin crew pulls out your tray table and puts a napkin down to set your tray on. The tray typically includes a napkin ring with all your utensils, salt and pepper, butter, water and olive oil. For appetizers, there were three options. Option one: Celeric Soup with Apple and Chestnuts, Option two: Traditional Arabic Mezze, Option three: Smoked Salmon with Lobster. Usually I would go for the traditional Arabic Mezze but I went for the Celeric Soup instead just to try something new and let me tell you, it was amazing. The soup with thick and creamy with the toast in the warm soup with cheese and was a great combination. The bread giving in the side dipped in the soup also tasted spectacular. I was quite surprised with the dish and certainly enjoyed it.


After I was done with my appetizer, I was given dinner. Also, with dinner there were three options. Option one: Beef Fillet with Wild Mushroom Sauce, Option two: Mixed Grill which included beef fillet, lamp chops, chicken with herbs served with saffron rice, and Option three: Chicken Labadar.this time I did pick the Mixed Grill which was the safe option and it was delicious. I do wish I had picked the beef fillet and the mushroom sauce but I guess I can take a risk next time I travel with Emirates.


After dinner, I was greeted with dessert. With desserts real options included a chocolate caramel torte, coconut with pineapple delice, seasonal fruit, or a cheese board. This one was really a no brainier since I love chocolate and did choose the torte. Now I don’t really know how to describe it except that it was different but still very good and I was quite pleased with the selection. The bottom layer ass a caramel spice cake with the mousse on the top layer and chocolate caramel chunks in the middle. The cake was served with a dollop of chocolate ganache which is ideal because everyone likes it differently.


I did go to sleep after dinner because if I was awake for about 20 hours before that so I did pass out for about six hours. After I woke up, I did head back to bar to grab a drink and a bit to eat. The bar in The back is stocked with snacks for any anyone to eat during at anytime. Snacks included fresh fruit, sandwiches, mozzarella and tomato basil cups, baklava and little sweets cakes. The sweetest and kindest flight flight attended was at the bar where she prepared for me an Orange Fizz Mocktail which was toe parts gingers ale and one part orange juice and all parts refreshing and delicious. I did choose to have my snacks and drinks at the bar instead of my seat because I wanted to stretch my legs a little. I had a skewer of fruits and a mozzarella tomato basil pesto cup with a small piece of chocolate cake. I do have to talk about this tiny piece of cake because it was quite delicious. The cake tasted more like a brownie dipped in Ganache with malt balls on top and thinking about it now makes my mouth water.

Vinka, the sweetest flight attended and I did have quite a lengthy conversation about her travels and adventures as a flight attendant she told me about the things she did in her time in Houston and all the places she has been. She explained to me how she had only decided to do this job for a year but now it is had been three years because it was such an addicting lifestyle. Standing with her and talking with for hours, I learned so much. I learned her job and lifestyle, some secrets of the cabin crew lifestyle, her background from Croatia and everything in between. Vinka did pull out the special camera and take Polaroid of us and put it in a cute little frame, something I did not know they did despite traveling with them as much as I do.


After watching a few movies (Joy with Jennifer Lawrence and Burnt with Bradley Cooper which were both excellent movies) I did go back to sleep and woke up when it was time for breakfast right before we land. I don’t remember the options for breakfast but as I always do, I opted to the continental breakfast with cereal. Not much to review here was the melon was really sweet surprisingly and the cappuccino was on point.


When were were checking in at the Houston airport, my mom looked at me and said, “I’ve never seen you happier than when I’ve seen you at an airport.” And she’s right. Yes, I was going to Saudi Arabia where I’ve been so many times before but just going to the Airport gives me that sense of adventure and uncertainty that someone with a routine life craves.  The only complaint I had ever had with Emirates was about the food but I saw a huge improvement this time around. I’d like to thank the cabin crew and especially Vinka for an incredible flight and I look forward to flying with you again very soon.

 

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