Emirates Business Class B777 - SEZ to DXB
Flying to and from the paradise that are the Seychelles in style is possible via airlines like Air Seychelles (they are reducing their long-haul business though), Qatar Airways or Emirates. We chose the latter since we wanted to stay in Dubai for a few days on the return trip. This time I booked a mixed class ticket, meaning Economy from ZRH to SEZ (via DXB) and Business for the return legs. This had a few advantages, like the chauffeur service to and from the hotel in Dubai, the lounge in DXB, extending the vacation until the very last minute... all luxuries that were not needed so much on the to-flights. We saved quite a few bucks this way. New for me was the (old) Business Class seat of Emirates in a Boeing.
How does Business Class of Emirates in the Boeing 777 compare to the praised Airbus 380?
Air Seychelles Lounge - Mahé Airport (SEZ)
There is actually only one business class lounge in SEZ airport: that of Air Seychelles. It's called Salon Vallée De Mai and is pretty nice. Quite new interior, a lot light, view of the small runway, clean and working wifi. Food and drink selection was good enough for us - it was early morning and we didn't want anything other than a coffee and water anyway.
This was my first time in an Emirates Boeing 777 Business Class cabin. My first experience of EK Biz was in an A380 (read more about that unlikely op-up here) and that was basically all I could have hoped for.
Well, of course there was no bar in the air this time. For a 4.5 hour flight, this was actually fine, I didn't have enough time to miss it.
We chose two seats on the right window side. If you are a single traveller, this seat configuration is not the best of course, since one has to "walk over the other" when trying get out.
Service was warm and efficient, as expected from Emirates. The business class section wasn't full anyway and we were served our drinks and food without much waiting.
Breakfast was just ok, not super special. I am not fan of beans, so that was probably the reason. The eggs and hash browns were good, though.
After breakfast I started watching some tv shows and movies, while trying out the internet connection on my phone. This worked very well and as a Skywards member (only blue status is enough), it was free with unlimited volume for the entire flight. Take this, all other carriers in the world (I think).
The flight ended in Dubai without any problems. The magic for me happened when we got out to the Emirates chauffeur area. This was a first for me and I have to admit: the seamless process from flying to taking you to your actual final destination is pretty awesome. We didn't even have to wait. Not many people there and we got our BMW 5 series after a few minutes. We arrived at our hotel, the fantastic Palace Downtown Dubai (review will follow), relaxed and happy. This is what flying should always be like!
|Class||Business Class (Saver)|
|Flight No.||EK 706|
|Route||SEZ - DXB (4:35 hours)|
|Price||To-flight was ECO and both return-legs Business from ZRH: CHF 2876 (~ 2900 USD)|
All in all a wonderful experience, even with the old seat and Emirates decor. The service, IFE, and chauffeur service really turned a usually unpleasant aspect of a trip to a part of the vacation that was as good as a nice hotel stay.
A first for me this time was the chauffeur and I liked it a lot. I wish more airlines would offer this service, since in today's business world what you have to offer is not merely a product or service, but an experience or the fulfilment of the customer's goals. Which in this case is not a flight from airport A to airport B, but rather from a hotel in A to a hotel (or home) in B.