We were preparing to fly back to Australia from New Zealand for our much anticipated return to Malaysia. Down under I had mostly relied on Jetstar for flights because they were cheaper. However, the old adage of you get what you pay for very much fits Jetstar. When doing my search on my favorite site of Adioso, I noticed that Emirates was just a bit more expensive. After factoring in baggage fees on Jetstar, I decided the extra little bit was worth the comfort to fly Emirates.
The first time I flew with Jetstar, I couldn’t sit normally without my knees thrusting the passenger in front of me out of their seat. Subsequent flights had more leg room, but the flights just weren’t that comfortable. I will say that their ticket agents are quite friendly and helpful, but the great customer service ends there.
To make matters more complicated, they had previously changed a flight I had booked and offered a refund if the new flight was unacceptable. It took me over a month of constant nagging via email, Facebook, Twitter, and phone calls to get the refund issued.
One thing about Emirates I instantly loved was the free 30-kg baggage allowance. It’s increasingly rare these days to find any airline that isn’t charging baggage fees, even for international flights.
Then I kept reading their site.
Our flight from New Zealand to Australia was 3-1/2 hours. On that flight we would each have an individual entertainment center that has a huge selection of movies, television shows, games, and music. For free. In addition, we would be served a meal during a flight. They also offer younger children a free special care package that includes things to help keep them entertained during their flight and to make it memorable.
You don’t even have to ask for it. They walk through the plane in search of children to give their cool package.
You don’t just get any tiny meal, but a meal consisting of an appetizer, main, roll with butter, and a dessert. Drinks, including alcoholic beverages (but not champagne), are free. Yes, I enjoyed a top-shelf gin & tonic with my tasty lunch at no extra charge. There were also two different lunch offerings one could choose from.
And I was in economy.
I bought my Emirates ticket through a third-party site and encountered no problems with online check-in. Every time I interacted with a staff member, they were absolute professionals. The copilot evidenced a great sense of humor when they introduced some of their staff and ad libbed some details about them. Even the crew listened attentively to see what story he would weave about them.
Passengers who don’t speak English were very much in luck. Combined, the flight crew spoke over 10 languages.
The flight was an absolute pleasure. We even arrived at our destination 25 minutes early! I can’t tell you the last time a flight I was on arrived early.
Tigger was quite emphatic that we should definitely fly Emirates again, and I thoroughly agree. They are easily my new favorite airline. It’s no wonder they were recently voted the world’s best airline. It’s an honor they have definitely earned.
And they’ve also earned my repeat business.
I’ve definitely found that sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little bit extra for a “real” airline rather than a budget one, and sometimes when you factor in the terrible baggage fees, the budgets wind up actually being more expensive! When we were in Borneo, we opted to fly Malaysia Air several times rather than Air Asia because you get 20kg free checked baggage with MA, even on domestic flights, plus you get a little snack, even for flights less than 1 hour. One thing I found was that in the Philippines and here in Indonesia, there are many domestic budget carriers that strangely do offer free luggage, often 15 – 20 kg, which is more than we need, so we will generally fly with them rather than Air Asia, Tiger, or Jetstar if possible. Haven’t had the chance to fly Emirates yet, but it really looks like they spoil you good!
I love an airline that doesn’t charge me for bags!
I wouldn’t have even considered this but I guess for certain routes it makes sense. I hate it when the cheaper airlines nickel and dime you for everything, by that time it sometimes becomes more expensive then the nicer carriers.
Yes! And it makes it challenging to plan because you don’t always know ahead of time just how much extra you’ll be needing to spend.
I have heard amazing things about Emirates over and over. And they are partners with my favourite domestic airline, JetBlue. (They share flight miles!). I haven’t used Emirates myself, but I am looking forward to when I get a chance to.
I’m a bit disgusted with JetBlue after that recent fiasco with a Hindu passenger, but yeah I hope you get the chance to fly Emirates. It was really an incredible experience that even Tigger noticed.
Oops. I meant … they don’t fly Ho Chi Minh City to Brisbane.
Sounds like how airlines used to be. I remember my sister and I being treated like a princesses on an Ansett flight when we were 10 and 8. They even gave us extra packets of cake to give to the relatives who were meeting us at the airport. (We were flying as unaccompanied minors).
I can’t wait til an Emirates schedule suits where I’m going and I can try them out. They don’t, unfortunately, fly to Ho Chi Minh City.
Yep, the good ‘ol days. I remember flying as a kid and getting to sit in the cockpit, and they gave me my own wings pin. Now most airlines are just sit down, buckle in, and don’t bug us.
We had a similar experience with eva airlines. So glad you had a nice flight and now I know to add Emirates to my list of airlines to search for flights.
I’ve never heard of Eva. I’ll have to check them out.
I have had the same wonderful experiences over and over. We love Emirates and fly it when ever we can. We didn’t even mind the 18 hour long haul from Dubai to Auckland (well not much anyway).
It would certainly be a lot more comfy experience with them than some others!
Emirates is widely used by those down under flying to Europe. While slightly cheaper than Qantas between the US and Sydney, when I checked last year, connections were good going to Australia but there was a very long layover coming back. If I had taken Emirates and had that layover, it would have ended in paying for a hotel room or staying in The Gulf for a couple of days. That would have squandered the small savings. It also puts aside the fact that the entire flight experience would have been longer than on Qantas.
I was not charged for baggage on Qantas. Jetstar is, of course, another story.
Most of the international airlines do not charge for baggage, in my experience, when you fly over the Atlantic or Pacific.
It really depends on where they’re based. Most US-based airlines charge a baggage fee even for international flights these days.