Emirates (old) First Class A340-500 Seychelles (SEZ) to Dubai (DXB) Flight Review EK 708

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Emirates First Class had eluded me in my 'career' as traveler and I was excited to try it out for my flight from the Seychelles. I had paid 100,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles and $123 in taxes for the two flights from the Seychelles to Dubai and onwards to LAX in First Class.

It's just 4 hours flying time from the Seychelles to Dubai and still Emirates runs an old long-haul configuration with a full 3 class service on this route. Kudos for that, since Etihad just runs a small A320 with a regional business class product like I described in my review to Beirut with Etihad.

So far, so good!

Check-in for the red-eye flight opened at 9PM and the grumpy ground agent (who was just contracted) checked me in without a word (hey, it's just another tourist!)

I had a lounge invitation and had low expectations of the Air Seychelles hub lounge. However, that wasn't needed - the lounge was pretty decent! The internet was super fast (especially since the Seychelles seemed to be the land of the slow internet) and the drink selection and snacks were really good. The lounge attendants could not be expected to smile of course, but at least they did not yell at me either.

The lounge became quite crowded, although this was the last flight of the day. The A340 is a big plane with a huge Premium cabin. Only a few business class and first class seats would be filled.

Boarding was on time (and it was into a hot aircraft since the APU had stopped working). The First Class flight attendants introduced themselves and served warm Dom Perignon (no cooling before they started the engines). Well, better than water I guess :)

It was well past midnight now, but I was curious to see if Emirates were able to find a good caterer on the island. The flight attendants set up dinner service very quickly. However, the food was very mediocre - edible but certainly nothing to remember. The cabin crew were friendly but really nervous and wanted constant feedback as to if I wanted anything else.

All I wanted at this point was to sleep and I reclined the seat. The seats are comfy but the recline is very limited - especially given the huge room the suite offers. There is also no ottoman to rest your feet on. However, I fell asleep quickly and only woke up when we started our descent into Dubai.

Since this was a short flight, there were no pajamas or duvets, which is odd for a red-eye. But there was a full First Class amenity kit in a stylish case. Also, the wine list was the same as on other First Class flights.

Once landed, we taxied for an eternity to the far end of the airport. The bus ride was in a separate First Class bus which would take another 20 minutes back to the terminal. We must have parked in another Emirate :)

There is no Emirates Arrivals Lounge, so I was thrown into Dubai at 5AM. The airport was deserted and immigration was quick, but the airport makes you walk long distances.

The Emirates chauffeur service had a car ready for me and I was at my hotel by 5.30AM.

In conclusion, this was a good flight especially for the short 4-hour distance. However, the ground experience wasn't great in either the Seychelles or Dubai.

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