A check list of my flying Emirates Top Tips before you book your hoildays
Most of us have flown many times before and we think we know it all, but there’s always something that comes to light through the booking process that I’d wish I’d known about earlier. That’s why I felt I should share my flying Emirates top tips with you.
These flying Emirates top tips are based on my recent travels and booking arrangements, I never use a travel agent but do everything myself.
Flying Emirates Top Tips
Hold your seats for 72 hours before you pay
I often book my flights via an Emirates call centre as I love the fact you can hold your seats for a few days before you pay. This is especially useful if you are waiting to hear back from a hotel.
The second of my flying Emirates top tips is that it is CHEAPER to book on line, so now you can book online but just before you go through to the final pay screen, there is an option that asks if you’d like to hold your booking for 72 hours.
The cost for saving 2 seats to London at AED 6000 was AED 150. The AED 150 is deducted from your bill if you go ahead with your booking within 72 hours. If you don’t go through, it will be charged regardless! I don’t think this facility is available for all destinations though. Check with the call centre to see if it’s available for your destination, then book on line to get the cheaper fares.
You can get the same person in an Emirates call centre to call you back
If you make a booking via the call centre and want to speak to the same person at a later date, they will call you back at a designated time. This is especially useful if you’re doing a complicated itinerary or you’re booking multi destinations for people travelling from different places. Many university kids start from and have to end up in London, so factor that into your holiday!
BUT they now no longer give you a booking reference or email you an itinerary if you’re just booking seats without paying for them. That’s really not helpful, so you cannot call and quote a booking reference and proceed or change your booking as before.
Virgin Dubai give you a booking reference as a matter of course even if you don’t immediately pay for your seats. I have been dealing with the same person at Virgin for 3 years now! Well done Virgin.
Book yourself a bassinet seat for extra leg room but..
Be prepared to be shunted elsewhere if people travelling with an infant ask for that seat.
This is an important one of my flying Emirates top tips if that precious bit of extra leg room makes a difference to your travel and comfort. Bear in mind just because you have choosen to book a particular seat, even the bassinet ones, it can be taken away from you.
Do you know if you’ve been moved to any old random seat before you fly? I don’t think you know till you get your boarding card, so keep checking that seat on line via your skywards log in. If you’re travelling with someone who has a gold card, then you’ll get some kind of priority.
Remember not ALL flights to London are A380’s yet..
I use flight guru to check the configuration of seats on any particular aircraft and then try and get the best ones I can, but remember to check the right model of aircraft. Not all Emirates flights to the UK are A380s yet. I travelled in May 2016 to Heathrow at 11.30 am on a 777. That was a very convenient time, but the compromise was the flying of the older 777, not the A380’s. This may have changed now.
Get access to airport lounges without having a gold card or business ticket
If you have an Emirates NBD credit card then I suggest you sign in to Lounge Key. It’s a free service and gives you access to certain lounges in many different airports. No you can’t get into the Emirates lounge though.
The lounge offered here in Dubai is a bit dark but there is free food and restaurant style seating. The corresponding lounge at London’s Heathrow is gorgeous! I used it for the first time in December 2015. Complimentary food is served whilst soft drinks, tea and coffee are also complimentary. WiFi is free and it’s a really comfortable spot. Finding it was a bit of a challenge though!
I suggest you ask where the special lounges are that you access by credit cards. I think American Express and Diners Club also work. It’s not far from the Emirates lounge at Heathrow, but it really isn’t that obvious to find.
Don’t dismiss Qantas it’s really good
Most of us know Emirates and Qantas have a codeshare arrangement so that means you could book an Emirates flight and actually travel on a Qantas flight and vice versa.
I travelled Qantas (by choice) for the 1st time in December 2015 on a Monday from Heathrow to Dubai and LOVED it. The economy seat pitches I felt were a tiny bit wider. My Asian vegetarian meal was excellent with more than enough room on my meal tray for everything. The wine was very good, even the quality of the pillowcase for the little headrest pillows was really good. So don’t dismiss a slot because Qantas is flying it.
Which days are best to travel on
I would opt for week days if you can, with a Sunday and Wednesday configuration if possible. Saturdays seem to be the worst days to travel, especially from London.
Cheaper ways to fly business class to the UK
Consider flying to a different destination in the UK that’s not too far from your original choice. So for example go to Birmingham instead of Heathrow, you may get an email offering an upgrade for AED 2000 if there is availability. This is an affordable option for those special occasions or surprises! Moreover the availability overall is usually better.
The Virgin train service from Birmingham to Euston is UK pounds 17.00 one way.
Checking in with Emirates
You can check in on line, but if you opt to check in at the airport, gold card holders and their companion travellers can all check in at the Business check in any country. You used to be able to do so with an Emirates silver card, that’s no longer the case!
Did you know you can now book yourself a VEGAN and or GLUTEN FREE meal on Emirates? But these may be the same as the Asian vegetarian meals!
The last Asian vegetarian meal I had on Emirates economy left a a lot to be desired. See the video above.
Do you have any flying Emirates top tips to add?
WIN a dinner for 2
Share your TOP TIPS for travelling on any airline this summer in a comment below, there’ll be a prize of dinner for 2 for the best one!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Stay safe and see you back at the end of August for more Dubai Food News.
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