Surprisingly, this was my first time actually transiting in Dubai. Like this one, my previous trips on Emirates had been booked through Alaska Mileage Plan, which allows free stopovers at partner hubs on award tickets.
A stopover wasn’t really a compelling option on this trip, given we’d already delayed our original departure, but we still considered an overnight. And then I looked at the flight schedules.
Emirates has two different aircraft types serving the Dubai > Amman route. They’re both Boeing 777s, but the configurations are different depending on the day and time.
It’s only a ~1,200 mile flight, so it doesn’t matter tremendously, but if your schedule allows you want to choose the 77W plane with this seat map:
Not the 773 with this seat map:
So based on that, and the fact that we’ve both spent way too much time in Dubai, we decided to go for the short layover in Dubai. That would put us in Amman pretty late, but we figured the time savings the following day would be worth it.
Connecting in Dubai is easy, but not necessarily fast. It’s certainly faster than say, Paris Charles de Gaulle, but the terminals are large and don’t have sterile airside transit for connecting passengers, so it takes some time to move through them. It took us about 30 minutes from exiting the aircraft to entering the lounge (though we also made a very fast stop to change a handful of Dirhams to Jordanian Dinar).
The Emirates First Class lounge was typically empty, so we found a table near our gate and caught up on email for about an hour.
Even though we were departing on a 777, our flight was still leaving from an “A” gate, so we were able to board directly from the lounge.
An agent came to the gate to scan our tickets, and we proceeded down the hallway to an elevator, and then to the jet bridge.
The setup is actually really impressive, as it seems each gate has its own elevator? I’d never really thought about it before, but that’s the only way it works given where tickets are scanned. No expense spared…
Dubai (DXB) – Amman (AMM)
Wednesday, December 28
Duration: 3hr 40min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 2F (First Class)
Whenever I’ve flown Emirates previously, I’ve been on the A380. The bar and showers are of course fabulous, but the cabin of the 777-300ER is breathtaking. And I typically don’t like how Emirates styles their plane with the tacky gold almost-everything and faux-walnut everything else.
Although the seats are functionally the same, the combination of the high ceilings and the smaller cabin made it feel like a really special experience — something the 14-seat A380 cabin doesn’t always achieve.
I think this plane may have also been newer than the A380s I’ve flown, given the “stars” and mood-lighting, and the entire effect was just really pretty.
As this was a short flight, a small pillow and day blanket were waiting at each seat.
We took our seats in 2E and 2F, in the center of the back row of the first class cabin.
Once again, loads were light, and there were only two other passengers in first class by the time boarding was completed.
Given I’ve never been on an Emirates 777, I made sure to check out the lavs. While the first class lavatory doesn’t have a full shower suite, it did have a handful of toiletries and other amenities, and an abundance of faux-walnut paneling.
Have I mentioned how pretty the stars were?
Emirates 777-300ER first class mood-lighting
We were late leaving Dubai, but as soon as we pushed back the IFE suggested the flight time was only 2hr30min. It’s blocked at 3:40, so I’m not sure if the delays are built-in to the schedule, or what is happening there. That seems excessive as a buffer, but who knows.
My husband spent most of the flight making up for the broken IFE on our previous flight by going nuts with the interactive in-flight map.
Menus were presented in the same leather folio as you’d find on long-haul flights.
As this was a shorter regional flight, the meal was more structured, though the flight attendant assured us she could delay the meal until we were ready.
In addition to the 2006 Dom Pérignon, the wine list included:
- 2012 La Clarte de Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France
- 2013 Stonier Reserve Chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
- 2005 Chateau Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien, France (Thanks John!!)
- 2015 Clonakilla Shiraz – Viognier, Canberra District, Australia
I started with champagne and nuts.
Followed by the lentil soup, which was surprisingly light.
And then the roast chicken, though I substituted the tomato rice for potatoes.
Meanwhile my husband had the pasta, which he ordered due to it being the “safe” option after his experience on the previous flight.
He also had a cheese plate, which was nicely presented.
I read a few chapters in my book (a real novelty these days), but spent most of the flight appreciating the mood-lighting. Just wow.
As Ben mentioned in his report, arrival and immigration in Amman was very easy. We had changed enough money to have cash (40 JOD each) for the visa fee, so were able to go right to passport control. We had to wait in line for about 20 minutes, but all the desks were staffed, and the queue moved relatively quickly.
In the arrivals hall we divided and conquered — my husband dealt with the rental car (which always seems to take a ridiculously long time) while I picked up a SIM card, withdrew additional cash, and purchased some water for the car.
All in all, we were pulling away from the airport about 75 minutes after landing, which isn’t horrible, though was a bit longer than I was anticipating.
I loved this flight. The crew was friendly, the catering was nicely done, and the cabin was gorgeous. If I could be assured of having the updated 777-300ER on a longhaul flight, I might even choose it over the A380, as the cabin felt so much more luxurious and special.
But I would miss the shower.