I have seen the future! When they announced the Airbus A380 there was much talk about all the incredible things they could do with such a chuffing big plane. ‘Oh yeah’ I thought, ‘they will just cram more seats in and it will be as awful as ever’. I was wrong. Yes, there are a lots of seats, but the cabin is airy and spacious with generous legroom.
I don’t know if you can buy one of these things with different trim levels and options but, if so, Emirates went for the Ghia. In front of me is a huge touch-screen tv with 1000 channels including a library of 200 on-demand movies (all garbage but that is the fault of Hollywood not Emirates). I have a normal power socket for charging a compooter and a USB socket for charging phones and I am filing this blog from 35000 feet using the free wifi!!!!!
If I get bored with the view from the window I can switch to the view from the cameras mounted in the nose, high on the tail and in the underside of the fuselage. The nose camera provided an interesting perspective on take-off!
Remember all that boll@&£s about transmitting devices affecting aircraft control systems? Well I am connected to wifi along with half the rest of the plane and guess what? That’s right, we don’t appear to be plunging earthward while the pilot struggles to regain control. What’s more, I am allowed (indeed encouraged) to turn on my mobile phone and make a bloody phone call. They have some sort of on- board mobile base station and you just dial away. I have no doubt it costs a gazillion dollars a second, nor that the airline takes a healthy cut, but it works and it is safe. Now, call me a cynic, but could it be that all that ‘turn of all phones’ crap was because they hadn’t worked out the technology to connect them to the ground and make some money out of it?
I can only wonder what sort of gizmos they have on the upper desk where business and first class live.
I last used an Arab airline about 10 years ago. It was Gulf Air and I was in First class but it was still all a bit amateurish and pants. Well Emirates is slick, actually very slick even against the supposed greats like Singapore and Cathay. Combine this with the incredible plane and it all makes British Airways look a bit pathetic.
I didn’t anticipate blogging so early in my journey but, well, I’m on a plane and a I have wifi!