This week Emirates Airline deployed not just one, but TWO giant Airbus A380s between Dubai and the US.
On Monday, the 489-passenger double-decker touched down at San Francisco International and on Wednesday another one landed at Houston Intercontinental.
Luckily, TravelSkills was invited to tour the new plane and to attend two of Emirates celebratory events in San Francisco, and both were, as expected, way over the top. Way. Like Moet champagne and canapes served by butlers at the airport, a private dinner on the stage of San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, thousands of deep red roses, and a special performance by a orchestral quartet. See photos of all of it below!
Emirates now has a whopping 54 A380s in service and has 86 more on order– more than any other airline in the world.
The journey from San Francisco over the North Pole to Dubai takes 16 hours– the longest commercial flight from SFO. With the upgauge, Emirates now has 135 more seats to sell on the increasingly competitive route from SFO to the Middle East and particularly to India. Another UAE carrier, Etihad, recently launched new nonstops from SFO to Abu Dhabi. Turkish Airlines arrives at SFO in 2015.
The A380 jumbo jet is too large to park in front of Emirates’ 10,000 square foot business/first class lounge at SFO (see photos), which means passengers must now walk from the lounge to the end of Terminal A at Gate 9, one of four gates with the three jetways needed to load and unload this behemoth. Previously, business and first class passengers could walk from the lounge directly onboard Emirates’ B777.
What are the two best all-around credit cards? Both currently offer 40,000 mile sign up bonuses!
Emirates’ A380 is currently the only commercial airline with showers on board. On this plane, there are actually two showers for exclusive use of those seated in the 14 first class seats onboard. Showers last five minutes, with a full stream of hot water for four minutes and a pulsating warning stream for the last minute. A flight attendant told me that nearly every first class passenger takes a shower on A380 long haul flights. (See photos below and here’s Emirates’ A380 web page)
Take a spin through our photos below and leave your comments at the end. Enjoy!
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