Emirates

Emirates Ups Their First Class Champagne Selection Even Further

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Emirates already has among the most expensive alcohol selections of any airline, at least in first class. They pour Dom Perignon champagne (the vintages have varied over the years), and also serve the most expensive drink in the sky — Hennessy Paradis. A bottle of that retails for almost $800.

While the Gulf carriers are cutting costs, it doesn’t seem like their alcohol selection is part of that. Emirates, for example, has invested $500 million in their long term wine program.

Well, in case the 2003, 2005, and 2006 vintages of Dom Perignon that Emirates was previously serving weren’t good enough, they’re upping their game for a limited time. Emirates will be serving Dom Perignon 1998 for a limited time on select flights. Per the announcement on Emirates’ website:

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Emirates Is Cost Cutting Your Birthday

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Many people don’t realize this, but there are several airlines out there that will let you order a cake for your birthday, assuming you’re traveling with them around your birthday. It’s a great way to surprise a friend or loved one you’re traveling with, as a vast majority of people don’t expect that’s a “thing” you can do, and it really catches them off guard.

It’s something I’ve taken advantage of a few times for loved ones, because it always puts a smile on their face.

For example, Emirates will let you order a birthday cake for free.

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Ranking The Lounges At LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

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Over the past few years Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX has undergone a very nice renovation, and I’d argue it’s now possibly the nicest terminal in the US (though arguments could certainly be made for a few other terminals as well).

If you’re someone who typically flies in premium cabins or has elite status, you may also appreciate Tom Bradley International Terminal for the fact that it has some of the best airline lounges in the US. However, not all of these lounges are created equal, so I figured it would be fun to rank the lounges, from best to worst.

Up front let me add that the disclaimer that everyone is looking for different things when it comes to lounges, so there’s no objective, universal way to rank these from best to worst. Some lounges have great food, some have great cocktails, some are spacious, some are quiet, etc. I’ll try to mention those attributes below, though I’m not suggesting my ranking should work for everyone.

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Surprise: Airline Caviar Is Often Produced In China?!

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The topic of this post is exclusively to share something I found interesting, rather than to express outrage at airline caviar not being imported from the countries I was expecting. 😉

For many airlines, caviar is a big expense. For example, a few years ago Lufthansa’s CEO claimed that the airline is responsible for 5% of the world’s caviar consumption. It’s sort of crazy to think that a single airline serves that much caviar.

My assumption has long been that most airlines’ caviar comes from Russia, Iran, etc. However, a friend just pointed out something interesting about Qatar Airways’ caviar, which I wasn’t aware of — Qatar Airways imports their caviar from China. As you can see below, the label indicates that it’s from China, and upon further inspection, Gourmet House’s website indicates that they farm caviar in the Chinese province of Hubei.

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Emirates Is Launching Codeshare Service To Vancouver… By Bus

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Canada has one of the most protectionist policies when it comes to the Gulf carriers, which is why as of now Emirates is limited to operating 3x weekly flights between Dubai and Toronto. They’d like to expand further into Canada (there are even rumors of them flying to Buffalo as a way of circumventing this restriction), though up until now have been blocked.

Emirates also has quite a few airlines they codeshare with, including two airlines that help them gain more access to Canada — Alaska and WestJet. This is done primarily in the form of codeshare flights out of Los Angeles and Seattle to various points in Canada.

While perhaps not that significant in practice, here’s something that’s still interesting. Per @airlineroute, Emirates has increased travel options to Vancouver, and now puts their Emirates flight number on two daily Quick Shuttle services between Seattle and Vancouver. This represents Emirates’ first bus service within North America.

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What’s Causing Emirates’ Profits To Fall By 75%?

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Emirates has reported a 75% drop in their net profits for the first half of the fiscal year, to $214 million.

It’s interesting to see how various factors at Emirates have changed from one year to the next. Arabian Business has all the details on that, specifically comparing the results over the course of the first half of two fiscal years:

— Revenue was down by 1%, from $11.5 billion to $11.4 billion
— Fuel costs were 10% lower than the previous year, comprising 24% of the airline’s operating costs (compared to 28% the previous year)
— Operating costs grew by 5%, while overall capacity grew by 9%

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Rumor: Emirates’ Next US Destinations Will Be Phoenix And Buffalo

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Emirates is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, and their US route network has continued to grow significantly. Most recently Emirates has announced that they’re launching flights between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale as of next month, which caught many people off guard. However, I can certainly make sense of it, given Emirates’ partnership with JetBlue.

Well, crazy as it may sound, it looks like we now have a hint as to what Emirates’ next US destinations will be. Rumor has it that Emirates will be announcing flights from Dubai to Buffalo and Phoenix shortly.

Emirates’ online routemap shows all the destinations that the airline serves nonstop. Fort Lauderdale showed up as a destination shortly before the route was formally announced, though it has since been removed.

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Ridiculous: Emirates Launching 40-Minute A380 Flight

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Emirates is by far the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380. The airline has a total of 85 Airbus A380 aircraft in their fleet, with another 57 yet to be delivered, meaning eventually they’ll have a fleet of 142 A380 aircraft.

So while most airlines operating the A380 have just a handful of them, Emirates has so many that they fly them just about everywhere. Emirates already has the title for operating the world’s longest and shortest A380 routes. The world’s longest A380 flight is from Dubai to Auckland spanning a distance of 8,824 miles. Meanwhile the world’s shortest A380 flight is from Dubai to Kuwait City, spanning a distance of 530 miles.

Well, it seems that Emirates’ sub-90 minute Dubai to Kuwait City flight wasn’t short enough for them, and they’ve now announced the world’s new shortest A380 flight.

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Emirates’ Renovated Lounge Has A Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar

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While I’m a big fan of Emirates in general, their Dubai ground experience for premium cabin passengers has typically left a bit to be desired. Their B-concourse lounges are past their prime, and while their A-concourse lounges are impressive in terms of scale, they feel extremely sterile.

Well, the good news is that Emirates has just wrapped up an $11 million renovation of their Concourse B Business Class Lounge at Dubai Airport, and it looks like a significant improvement.

While the furniture has been upgraded, I’m perhaps most excited about the new “zones” that they’ve added as part of (what I assume is) a marketing partnership. While a lot of airlines integrate some partner brands into their lounges, often there’s no noticeable benefit for consumers. Emirates got creative in that regard.

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WHOA: Emirates Launching Flights To Fort Lauderdale

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Here’s a route that sounds crazy on the surface, but actually makes quite a bit of sense. Emirates has just announced that they’ll be launching daily flights between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale as of December 15, 2016. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR with the following schedule:

EK213 Dubai to Fort Lauderdale departing 3:00AM arriving 10:25AM
EK214 Fort Lauderdale to Dubai departing 8:20PM arriving 7:40PM (+1 day)

The flight is blocked at 16h25min westbound and 14hr20min eastbound.

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Emirates Unveils Their Latest Jennifer Aniston Ad

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Last year it was revealed that Jennifer Aniston signed a $5 million deal to be the star of Emirates’ new ad campaign.

A couple of months after that was announced, Emirates unveiled their first ad starring Jennifer Aniston, which was hilarious:

In the ad, Jennifer Aniston has a “nightmare” that she’s on a US airline and being laughed at when she’s in her bathrobe looking for the onboard shower. Finally she wakes up, and realizes she’s actually on an Emirates plane, and proceeds to tell the bartender about how horrible her dream was, asking if they could maybe just keep the plane in the air a bit longer.

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Emirates Is Considering Unbundling Business Class

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Over the past several years we’ve seen the US carriers add an almost endless number of fees for passengers. Fees are really what’s driving US carriers into profitability. While we’ve seen fees for things like bags for years, the biggest trend we’re seeing nowadays is US airlines truly unbundling economy.

This is an area where Delta innovated with their “Basic Economy” fares, where increasingly their cheapest fares don’t come with seat assignments, aren’t refundable in any ways, and offer no upgrade opportunities.

Initially these were introduced in markets where ultra low cost airlines like Spirit operated, but they’ve expanded significantly. American is planning on rolling these out over the coming months as well.

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The Most Excited I’ve Seen Anyone About Emirates’ Onboard Shower

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Yesterday I posted about how popular YouTuber Casey Neistat flew Emirates business class from New York to Dubai last week. While he does some sponsored content, this wasn’t among it, as the airline didn’t know he was on the flight. The video he made was simply incredible, and I was grinning ear-to-ear for the entirety of it:

I think Seattle Eric summed it up perfectly in the comments section:

“This is fantastic. Casey has such a wonderful enthusiasm, and I love his infectious excitement as he is truly amazed at his experience. The joy of international premium travel!”

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch all of Casey’s videos, though I love his positivity and his excitement, and perhaps there’s nowhere that’s more evident than in this video. If you fly enough premium cabins you can lose sight of just how amazing it is that there’s a minibar at your Emirates seat, or that there’s an onboard bar.

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The Best (Unpaid) Emirates Ad Ever

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As those of you who follow the industry probably know, there has been a big controversy between the US and Gulf carriers for the past couple of years, though it’s finally mostly resolved. The US carriers have been emphasizing how the Gulf carriers are subsidized, while the Gulf carriers have been emphasizing how the US carriers provide a horrible product.

Emirates had an ad campaign with Jennifer Aniston highlighting this, which they supposedly paid her $5 million for:

The ad is pretty funny, and drives home the point of how Emirates provides a better product than US carriers. However, at the end of the day it’s an ad, so you can only put so much weight on it.

Well, I think Emirates just got some of the best publicity ever, and it didn’t even cost them a dime. One of the most popular YouTubers is Casey Neistat (his videos collectively have over a billion views). Even if you’re not into YouTube, you may remember I wrote about him earlier in the year — he made a video about how American took away his comped Concierge Key status, which is their invitation only status level.

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