For someone who has traveled the world on over 1,350 First Class flights on 60 different airlines, 6 Concorde flights, or 178 flights on 747's with 19 different airlines, for a total of 1,907 airline flights altogether, outdoing all this for a trip of a lifetime would be very difficult to accomplish. But along with my friend John Barrett, we gave it the best try we could and managed to meet in Amsterdam and fly the best in the world by many standards, Emirates of Dubai, in First Class from Bangkok to Dubai to Amsterdam on the double decker Airbus A380, after flying Business Class on the outbound AMS-DXB-BKK.
We traveled 13 hours in Business Class and over 14 hours in first Class. A similar ticket with even shorter flying times on Emirates main route New York-Dubai and return would cost you about $28,000! I won't tell you how I managed to get these great flights, but can assure you it wasn't by paying $56,000 for the two of us. We are not rich people, just very creative.
Some of the highlights included full lie flat sleeper compartments in Business Class, a full stand-up bar in the rear of the plane, and Mercedes limo transfers for all flights. On the first class return on two AB380's flights we were treated to top level P2 Dom Perignon Champagne which retails for $375/bottle, the finest Russian Caviar we have ever had, a Johnnie Walker Blue label scotch selected from over 10,000 casks, and a very rare Hennessy Paradis cognac blend of over 100 faux-de-vies (no I don't know what that means, its not in my bar at home), which retails for $900 a bottle-that is not a misprint, yes, its $900 a bottle, the most expensive liquor in the world on any airline. The rest of the meal was spectacular, with more choices than you could ever sample, 6 appetizers and 5 entrees, along with 11 different international cheeses and desserts. See the menu below.
You had your own compartment with automatic doors for complete privacy, double layer electronic window shades, your own iPad, 24 inch LED screen with cameras on the tail of the plane to follow your take-off and landing, down comforter, self moisturizing Hydra active pajamas, and slippers. There was a personal mini bar, flowers, a nice gold lamp, and fine stationary all for your personal use. As if this wasn't enough there was a rest room bigger than some master bedrooms, with 15 opulent bottles of fragrances, soaps, perfumes (I gave my daughter one and she said is retailed for over $100 for 1 ounce), a full length bath robe, and a TV with your flight information (all planes should have this in the restrooms). Oh, I almost forgot the full length stand up shower, so now I can say I took a shower at 40,000 feet! The shower attendant (yes, shower attendant) said if there we encountered turbulence she would come in and get me. I thought would have been interesting, even though the seemed very nice. I'm sure I've forgotten things, but there was so much to experience and it was so overwhelming that 14 hours seemed way too short a time. It's not common to come to the end of a flight and be very sorry to land!
To show that I m not a spoiled rich guy bragging about my lavish life, note the next blog where I worked on the ramp for American Airlines to fulfill a longtime dream of marshaling aircraft in and out. Part of those duties included cleaning the toilets and emptying the "blue juice" from the aircraft. I seriously doubt many people who flew Emirates First Class also cleaned airplane toilets that same year. Agree?
Hear are a few photos of our adventure on Emirates:
A very happy traveler - me!
What a menu!
Another happy traveler
Way too much choice! I wanted to try one of each
A few friends from England at the bar
View of our plane from the tail camera
Toiletries in the bathroom
Taxiing out at Dubai
iPad giving our flight path