Writing this post from my layover in Dubai, I can officially say my journey to India is underway! I did have a little anxiety in the DFW airport, as I’d arrived a good two hours before my flight took off but did not expect the sea of people waiting in the checkout line. Holy cow – their multitude of baggage and the throngs of kin folk they brought to see them off gave me an early taste of all the loud hustle and bustle and interference with personal space I’ll soon encounter. I did barely make the check in and security lines by about a 10-minute margin when Emirates planned to close the gates (WAY too close for my comfort). For once, I was grateful the flight was delayed for departure by about an hour – whew, plenty of time!
Once on the A380 Airbus plane, I was very pleasantly surprised by the impeccable service Emirates offered – wow!! First, the female female attendants wear a very decorative uniform with a sharp beige skirt and jacket, white blouse, and a red head scarf with sash. They all have to wear some shade of red lipstick, and all had what appears like professional makeup – just stunning. Their service orientation focused on providing everyone around me, at least, was beyond anything I remember experiencing in quite a while (they are known for their award-winning service). They were all very friendly and quite accommodating. Just the explanation given by a male flight attendant to the young Indian woman with a baby sitting next to me was off-the-charts! She asked for milk for her baby and was told the airline would happily provide formula (wow!) but could not give the milk supply for coffee and tea to all the babies on board (seemed to be a fairly firm policy, given the English origins). She pleaded and insisted the baby would not drink the formula (at this point, I’m thinking she should have brought more food herself for the baby!). We can all imagine the response she would have likely gotten from many of the domestic carriers we fly on, but this gentleman was incredibly patient, kind, and eloquent (had a beautiful British accent, to boot).
And speaking further of service, one rather colorful event transpired during the course of the 14.5 hour flight. At one point, probably three of four hours in, I saw one of the young female flight attendants suddenly make a mad dash down the aisle. She retrieved a fire extinguisher from the cabinet next to my seat, and then made a furious tear up the aisle to the upstairs (first class) cabin. I mean, she was MOVING!! Curiously, I had smelled something burning just a moment or two prior but had dismissed it was a figment of my imagination. Guess not!
Even the food on the flight was pretty good. I had an Arabic lamb stew for dinner and decided to try vegetarian for breakfast so went with the green pea poha dish. They were generous with the wine, too (always nice on such a long flight), and one of the female flight attendants even saw me in the restroom line at one point and offered to bring me more wine, remembering I’d ordered some for dinner. When does that happen on a domestic flight??
Nice and snuggled in with my issued blanket, I settled in to watch five movies: Third Person, Serena, Trust Me, Boyhood, and The Drop. It was luxurious and felt great to chill, especially after all the deliverables I’d worked so hard on in November, not to mention this little 85-person Thanksgiving event we put on. I can honestly say that segment of the trip was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable.
My layover here in Dubai allowed me to get a bite to eat, pick up a trinket for Gabi, and get a little extra cash in the ATM. It was easy because I was able to check my bags from Dallas, through Dubai, straight to Delhi (no retrieving them in Dubai to go through customs first.) That final 3.5 hours was just as nice as the prior one. This time, I managed to knock out Words and Pictures and What If for movies. I should be all set on movies for a while – at least until my return trip on Dec 18th. Tomorrow Dec 2), I have a tour guide scheduled to collect me from the hotel and show me the sights. Stand by for pictures and an update.