Monday, June 27, 2016

Classy Business - Emirates Business Class

Spain offers duty free in most stores. You simply pay the full price and then reclaim the tax at the airport. Simples! Madrid airport is designed to minimise the number of people who successfully claim the refund.

There are only two steps. Get the receipt stamped by a customs tax official and then present the stamped receipt to the refund desk. The customs tax official is no where near the customs check point where passports are stamped.

To get there you simple take the elevator down one level, catch the train one stop  the take the escalator up two levels. Go through to doors turn right, then left , down the corridor turn right at the end and then run as fast as you can at the wall for platform  93/4.

Armed with a stamped receipt it is then off to the refund counter. Back down the corridor, take the escalator down one level, go through  the duty free shopping area, turn right, turn left go to the end f that corridor and then it is the little door on the left. Knock three times…

This sandwich is the business
There is a big different between the business class lounge in Madrid and the first class lounge in Melbourne and Dubai. I am not sure whether this is to do with the class or the location. First let me say the wine selection is excellent range of local Spanish wines. The food is, well, pretty average cafeteria food. On the upside, the chicken sandwiches are extremely fresh and do have the crusts cut off. They also have a lot of margarine. They are just like the sandwiches the CWA ladies might serve at the local church fete – just. The only hot food is the same chicken sandwiches that you put through an automatic toaster. Good luck if you are wanting to go gluten free.

Emirates business class seats, A330
To compare business class to first class is only fair when comparing the same carrier and same aircraft. My comparison is for Emirates Airlines on the Airbus A330. 
Comparing business to first class there are many things that are the same
  • express line for security
  • express line for boarding
  • door for boarding
  • leg room
  • menu, food and wine
  • contents of toiletry bag
  • mini bar
  • television screen and channels
  • chauffer transfers to and from the airport
  • electronic window shades
  • fine bone china, metal cutlery, glassware and linen tablecloths
    Emirates stand up bar, A330
  • access to the stand up bar

And now for something (not so) completely different
  • the chair is slightly narrower and only leather trimmed instead of all leather
  • whilst still in a personal pod there is no door
  • no personal supply of chocolates and other nibbles
  • the toiletry bag is canvas instead of leather
  • instead of pyjamas there is a pair of socks.

The socks appear to be a randomly arbitrary item of clothing, why not gloves or a jaunty hat?

Grilled beef with vegetables
need to describe the business class bed. The first class bed was flat, wide and when extended filled the pod. In business class the seats are arranged in a alternating fishbone style arrangements. The legroom is under the mini bar and general serving are of the seat in front. This means that when the seat is extended to its bed configuration it actually slide forward so that it is slightly under the pod in front, like the seat in the Bat mobile in the Dark Knight Trilogy. First class beds are fantastic, business class beds are cool.

In Dubai airport there is separate lounges for Emirates first and business class passengers, they are even on separate floors, by which I mean they take up an entire floor each. It is to be noted that business class is on a higher floor. The menu appears to be the same, though it is with great pleasure I can report the presence of bacon on the breakfast buffet in business class – albeit turkey bacon. I earlier reported no bacon in the first class lounge – turkey or otherwise. The main difference appears to be the absence of fountains.

Most importantly when comparing first class to business class, they still called me sir!
Breakfast in bed - chocolate pancakes

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