The Best Emirates Flight? Ever?

Filed Under: Emirates

I’m presently taking my dad on a surprise round the world trip to celebrate his “round” birthday. Even now the trip remains a surprise, as he’s just finding out what we’re doing and where we’re going on a day-by-day basis.

Here are the previous posts about the trip:

“If you have never flown Emirates first class you have never flown first class.”

At least that’s what my dad said to my mom when we were FaceTiming her this morning.

I remember my first time on Emirates, which was possibly the most excited I’ve ever been about a flight. That’s because I didn’t actually book Emirates, but rather for reasons I couldn’t figure out, British Airways rebooked me on them after a small delay, despite having a really long connection. The element of surprise on that trip was amazing, as I never thought I’d have the opportunity to fly with Emirates in first class.

And I think my excitement was reflected in that trip report.

Well, I think my flight on Emirates from Los Angeles to Dubai with my dad on Thursday was even more fun. I had a front row seat to a level of excitement that I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed before.

Emirates uses the Korean Air Lounge at LAX, so we got there at around 11:30AM.

“Benny, when does zha Emirates ay zhree aity get here?”
“Let me check. Hmmm, it looks like it lands at 12:30PM.”

12:25PM rolls around…

“Benny, zha ay zhree aity is almost here. Can we take a look?”

I’ve never been one to turn down the opportunity to look at planes, so naturally I agreed. And we walked through the terminal for about 30 minutes, as my dad wanted to look at every one of zha ay zhree aities in zha airport.

When we got up to the Emirates A380 his reaction was simply “VOW!”

Emirates A380 at LAX

Of course that was nothing compared to his reaction when we boarded. I wish he had some great one liner quotes, but he didn’t. He was literally speechless.

Emirates A380 first class cabin

Emirates A380 first class suite

After a glass of champagne…

“Dad, do you want to look at the shower?”
“Vhat do you mean?”
“Do you want to see the shower at the front of first class?”
“You mean zha bassroom?”
“No, the shower suite. They have two showers in the front of the cabin so you can shower at 39,000 feet.”
“Zhis can not be.”

So I showed him, and he was even more speechless.

Emirates A380 first class shower

Emirates A380 first class shower

Then the crew brought out all the goodies — pajamas, slippers, eyeshades, a Bulgari amenity kit, etc. He changed into his pajamas faster than you can say “more Dom, please.”

Emirates A380 first class amenities

Emirates A380 first class amenity kit

I’ve sometimes been a tough critic of service on Emirates, but this crew was just beyond fabulous. I think they were great to begin with, and they did such an awesome job playing off my dad’s excitement, which I really appreciated.

Working first class was Tina from Canada, German from Argentina (must’ve sucked to be him during the World Cup!), and Cheryl from India. Together with the purser Hatam from Egypt, they were fantastic. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. They were friendly, attentive, and took amazing care of my dad (well, and me).

My dad loved the dinner service. We each had a handful of glasses of Dom, followed by caviar and Arabic mezze. At that point we were so full that we had to take a break and go to the bar for a while. 😉

Emirates A380 first class Dom and nuts

Emirates A380 first class caviar service

Emirates A380 first class Arabic mezze

I first showed him the first class bar display, and specifically the Hennessy Paradis they have on offer.

Emirates A380 first class bar

I think it’s the most expensive beverage available on a commercial airline, at ~$750 per bottle.

Emirates A380 first class bar Hennessy Paradis

We had a couple of glasses of that, and my dad had a lot to say about it…

My dad loved zha ambiance of zha bar. SFS (Senior Flight Steward) John was manning the bar, and he was amazing as well.

Emirates A380 business class bar

As a matter of fact, I think my dad enjoyed the bar so much that he wants to come out of semi-retirement and be a volunteer bartender on Emirates. 😉

Dad at Emirates A380 bar

My dad showered about halfway through the flight, and then told me “vow Benny, I feel like a million bucks. I feel like I’m on top of zha world.”

Little did he know, he actually was. 😉

Emirates Los Angeles to Dubai airshow

Oh, and did I mention my dad’s entertainment system was having issues for much of the flight? Hatam was absolutely relentless in trying to get it fixed, and every time we said “it’s okay, don’t worry about it,” he’d say “no, I want to, it’s my duty.”

At the end of the flight he gave the below to my dad as an apology for the entertainment system problems, noting how much my dad was enjoying the Dom during the flight. That will certainly enhance our time in the UAE! 😉

You can give me an inop entertainment system any day!

In addition to the videos, my dad’s trip report will be posted soon as well. When he woke up this morning at 4AM (in his Emirates pajamas, no less) I was already sitting at the desk on my laptop, and he pulled up a chair and said “can I write my trip report now?”


I really appreciate the comments you guys have left, you have no clue how much they mean. I read some of them to my dad, and they made his face light up. Thanks for being awesome, guys!

And I have to say, so far this has probably been the best trip of my life. Going new places is great. Flying amazing first class products and staying at five star hotels is great. But seeing a loved one have the time of their life is the greatest.

  1. WOW! Your parents are the luckiest people in the world to have you for a son. The Emirates plane is beyond belief. Something most people will never see.

  2. WOW! So great that you had an amazing trip. I love your Emirate posts today :). I just flew them myself for the very first time last month (business class) on a trip from Europe to Australia (777 + A380) and the experience was phenomenal: the 2 x 24 hours in the planes felt like too short, and I became a big Emirates fan! I posted a trip report about the A380 flight on my blog (with youtube clip): And will post one soon about the 777 flight (youtube clip already available: The great thing about flying Emirates (from Europe), is that you can book them under a Qantas flight number, and earn status miles with One World!

  3. This is so sweet! I love that I finally got to hear your dad say “ze ambiance”! What a cool guy. I know he’s having a blast! This is just the beginning!

  4. Lucky, thanks for sharing this. This is the best thing you’ve ever done on this blog. Seeing your dad’s reactions are brilliant and priceless. I took a similar trip with my Mom and I can honestly say that it was the greatest moment of my life. Those shared experiences are but a fleeting moment in time that, when your life flashes before your eyes one day, will probably be on the highlight reel.

  5. Sunday morning 0630 Sydney Aust … First webpage I checked was to see the Birthday trip report. It is so exciting to see how much of a fantastic time your father is having Congrats on organizing it. Will be reading every day


  6. Hey Ben, I don’t normally leave comments but i’m an avid reader of your blog. This trip with your dad is phenomenal so far! Do more videos, catch his reaction to things! I’m sure all of us would love to see that. Have fun!!

  7. Traveling on an aspirational journey with a loved one is one of life’s most sacred events……….enjoy…….

  8. Loving the video aspect, gotta see more video reviews and your dad is a natural on camera. His monologues capture the excitment and ze ambiance perfectly. Hoping for more video tours & reports through this amazing trip.

  9. “Benny,” I love this trip, and can’t wait for it all to unfold for your dad! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    And I’m smiling ear to ear that we got to hear him talk about “enjoying the ambiance.” 🙂

  10. This is sooo awesome! An ultra longhaul flight on Emirates is simply amazing, in my opinion. I believe this is your first ultra longhaul flight with EK and first planned award redemption! Enjoy! I have a feeling you’ll fly this again but with your mother this time.

  11. Your Dad is hilarious and obviously loving his time with you and the experience you’re giving him the chance to enjoy. I’ll be taking my hubby on Emirates First at the end of our Africa trip in January from Cape Town – Dubai – Los Angeles, and we’re both excited to enjoy our first Emirates First experience (and that shower!). Now, I know I’ll also need to eat a bit beforehand so I can swig some of that Hennessey Paradis, as well!

  12. What a special experience. Thanks for capturing his excitement and awe. Can’t wait to read your dad’s report. Happy Birthday to him!

  13. I agree with the others that this is the best series of posts. After seeing your dad in the videos I’m left grinning from ear to ear. It’s so fun to see someone enjoying themselves so much.

  14. Thanks for sharing! I’m flying first class on Emirates in Feb. from SFO-Dubai-BKK, can’t wait! Post as many pictures and hints as possible… Any thoughts on lounge in SFO? Thanks!

  15. Absolutely stellar trip report! Enough can’t be said about your last comment.

    As always, thank you Ben!

  16. ‘Benny’ this may be the BEST trip report EVER!! I’ve truly enjoyed every aspect of this awesome adventure that you kindly are sharing with us all.

    Now, there are two things that have already killed me with laughter, one what your dad said in one of the videos: “…that we’re going from Tampa to LA in order to get to Dubai, now that’s ridiculous, ….FANTASTIC, unbelievable!” And second, your Dad with the Emirate’s flight attendance head gear manning the bar, PRICELESS!!!

    Needless to say, I look forward to more of this great new serie: ‘Benny & Dad’s World Adventures’!!!

  17. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun following along to your trip reports. Please keep the day to day updates and videos coming!

  18. Just makes me smile and laugh to read and watch the videos. Great to feel like we are all there with you and to see the different parts of the trip. Hennessy Paradis….$800 a bottle. The picture of your dad behind the bar – Priceless. Just laughed out loud when that came up. Looks like you guys are having an awesome time.

  19. The video snippets of your dad are just awesome, they really convey his reaction better than just reading words. I can’t wait to read his trip report!! Have a blast together. I kinda of feel like I am there with you!

  20. I have to say, I think the decor of the cabin is pretty kitchy. All this gold and bling… it’s just not very classy. Not that I’d say no to having a shower on a plane or to food like that. But singapore suites, or the new AF first class, looks better visually to me. It’s really sweet how much fun the dad is having though!

  21. I’ve been on many business and first class flights around the world and I can say that Emirates first was the best. I’m spoiled now.

  22. Aw your dad is adorable! That was a hilarious shot of him having a go at the bar and I do agree with him, what an unusual flight path that was!
    I agree that the best trips (best anything, actually) are those shared with a loved one.
    Looking forward to your dad’s trip report!

  23. You are the BEST son… but I’ve told you that before! I am so happy that your Dad is enjoying his birthday surprise! But what I love the best… is that he calls you “Benny” – thanks for sharing! Enjoy this most special of times spent with your Dad. You both will cherish for years to come!

  24. Thanks for sharing all of this Ben! It’s a real pleasure seeing your father enjoy the trip too, especially behind the bar!

  25. I’ve got a big goofy grin on my face after reading about your dad’s reactions & watching his video clips. I can’t wait to see how he likes all the other surprises you have planned for him on his birthday trip.

  26. Be sure to let us know when your dad starts his new part time job at Emirates. Seeing him behind the bar, I know he could help make sure everyone enjoys ze ambiance.

  27. Oh dammit, you made me cry finally. 🙂 This is so wonderful, I am thoroughly enjoying these updates and they’re a highlight of my day. It’s so great watching those you love experience something so wonderful for the first time; for me, watching their reaction is even more fun than when I experience it myself. Thanks for sharing and very much looking forward to the rest of the trip!

  28. Heartwarming. Being able to share these experiences with the people we love is truly the greatest gift of this hobby.

  29. Yes, yes, yes! Everything we do is so much better when shared with someone who is even more excited about it than you are. Love these updates, thanks for sharing them!

  30. This is too sweet! There’s no better feeling than giving back to your parents and seeing them that happy. Enjoy your round-the-world trip! 🙂

  31. Given that your father’s comments and reactions it seems that he doesn’t read your blog. If so, he would know what to expect from Emirates

  32. Awesome report! Emirates really do bling it don’t they! Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip reports (and your dads) over the coming days

  33. Hands down, best trip report ever!!! I love, love, love hearing what you dad has to saw. I have never laughed so many times when reading a trip report. I loved the bartender picture. That should be his Christmas card picture!

  34. Ben, I want to wish your father and happy and blessed “round” birthday. I was flying from KIX-HNL and was using DL’s wifi on their 744 when I received your Instagram post that you and your father had begun his birthday experience. You were on top of the world when you posted that while I was some where over the Pacific.

    Many, many more wonderful years and good health to you father.

    You two are a classy bunch! Keep blogging! Loving every minute of it.

  35. hey ben, i have been following your blog for a couple of years only, but never wrote a comment.
    I just want to say that what you are doing is just amazing. I just love airplanes/airports/etc and i can feel the happiness your father is feeling. Hope you are having an amazing trip and, please, enjoy all this firat class for me! Hahaha
    Have a good one!

  36. Das ist einer deiner besten Trip Reports!! Ich glaube dein Dad ist total überwältigt von allem was er erlebt!!
    Ich liebe die Fotos, die Videos von deinen Vater!! Du solltest mehr von den Videos machen, nur so kannst du die Momente später nochmal genießen! Zu private Video bleiben im Familienalbum, den rest hier posten!! Mach es für deine Mum, die Family die nicht dabei ist!!
    Für euch!!
    Diese Momente kann man beschreiben, aber Videos halten die Gefühle des Erlebten fest!!
    Grüße an deinen Dad Benni, genießt das gemeinsam erlebte, was euch noch näher bringt und noch viel Spaß!!!

  37. Love this! I was able to get my mother in R/T biz class to our wedding in Thailand. Unfortunately, we had to go a few days ahead of her, but seeing how ecstatic she was when she arrived was fantastic.
    We are now working on her next trip in First. 🙂

  38. I am feeling guilty now for not taking my parents on such a trip before but then I dont have as many miles as you 🙂

  39. Benny, as your dad calls you, you are such a wonderful son. The excitement on your father is priceless! The pictures are adorable. Also loving the videos, because he really does talk as you type his speech. Its spot on.

  40. The greatest thing is being able to travel with you guys!! Awesome, and thanks for sharing everything with us.

  41. Awesome! Please remind your dad, as he writes HIS report, that many of us are living vicariously through him, and have also never had any experience like it. So, anything that surprised, delighted, amazed–every detail, we want to hear it! I love your blog, but this is really the best one ever.

  42. Lucky, as usual a great trip report. Just reading this made me smile. Isn’t it great to
    share these experiences with someone who makes you appreciate again how awesome
    it is? It’s like going with a kid to Disneyland for the first time. Although, this is
    Disneyland with Dom, caviar and Hennesy Paradis!

  43. This is the best report.

    I realized after doing this for the last 10 years, really aggressively collecting in the last 2-3 years, that even after Cathay F, LH F, and all the premium cabins, my happiest redemption is the one where I’m taking my mom to Japan next week.


  44. wow your dad looks just like my cousin. Does he have Turkish descent by any chance? I know Turkish people are the largest minority in Germany and are practically anywhere in the country.

  45. Absolutely fantastic, and as others have said, the best trip report on your blog by far. You two must be having a ton of fun. Love the videos.

    And he’s writing his part by hand?? Looks like you’ll have some transcribing to do… 🙂

  46. That photo of your Dad behind the bar is brilliant. Love the video updates too! Thanks for sharing this special trip with us all.

  47. Dear Benny:

    I’ve been a fan for a long time; I think I’m about the same age as your oh so neat Dad. I just have to write and tell you that I am so touched by you and the exceptional communication skills which you have and by the extraordinary love you have for your parents. The videos of your Dad sort of “close the circle” for the reason you write so well – you and your parents are the same- bright, kind and giving of yourselves. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of your family!


  48. Ben – I am having a blast reading your entries and look forward to each new post. It is so nice to see how special you and your Dad are together. Enjoy making new memories with each other and a big Happy “0” Birthday to your Dad!

  49. You are a Prince! Way to treat your dad to a great experience. He seems line a terrific guy and very much enjoying such a great experience you arranged for him. When it comes down to it, we are so lucky if we still have our dads in our lives. I travel with my dad as well – wish he would join me on my trip next spring SFO-DXB in F on Emirates, but alas – he wants to look up family roots in Nova Scotia – that wil be just as fun. Well done – i think what you did was great – thanks for sharing and enjoy all the time with your dad!

  50. Lucky

    You are a very very nice man.

    I never knew my father as he walked out of me and mum when I was young, while by contrast, my own twenty something son makes me smile almost every day. So I am reading this report with both a tinge of personal sadness, understanding, and a lot of joy.

    You are doing a really nice thing Lucky. Which is why I read your blog – for you inspire.

  51. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! This made me smile so much! This post right here is what traveling is all about! 🙂 Hope the rest of your trip is just as amazing!

  52. Great…was scrolling down for some pictures first and suddenly your dad behind the bar with the Emirates hat..haha.
    Enjoy your trip!!! Viele Grüße aus Deutschland 😉

  53. What a great way to document your trip not only for your own memories but for others to enjoy. I too am doing a big “parents” trip to Africa and beyond and look forward to making memories. As you said there is nothing better than enjoying an amazing holiday but seeing the look on your parent’s faces when they experience things for the first time is priceless. Enjoy and I look forward to reading and watching more of your updates.

  54. Hello Ben,
    I know exactly how you must be feeling right now as I took my mother to LA this summer on the UD of the new LH 748. I’m a premium travel nut just like you and enjoyed every moment of it, especially because I had made arrangements beforehand to be on this exact flight as I knew the head purser and she was from Nürnberg just like my mom. She was kind enough to bring Nürnberger Rostbratwürste with Sauerkraut on board, had them warmed up in the galley and served them just to us. Needless to say that my mother was speechless and that the HON sitting next to us couldn’t believe that we were getting a special treatment that he didn’t …

    Enjoy the rest of your trip and alles Gute zum Geburtstag to your dad!

  55. Seeing your dad’s reactions is nearly as enjoyable as taking my own friends and family on these sorts of trips. May this adventure be one of many more to come, Mr. S!

  56. I’ve read many of your trip reports, and I loved this one the most. I’m from UAE, and it gives me great pleasure and pride to see that you are enjoying Emirates. I simply never fly any other Airline (given the choice). Happy Birthday to your Dad and I wish you a great time in my city Dubai.

  57. I’m not sure which I enjoy more the video’s of you Dad having a great time or your written quotes of the way he expresses his joy. –Awesome!!

  58. So pleased you went with the video comments of your Dads trip, we feel we are on that A ze Aitee with you. Love the picture behind the bar too. Tears and laughter all at once as I read the blog. Cant wait for the next post! Thank you for including us on your very special trip.

  59. What a pleasure to read about your dad’s excitement and enthusiasm towards flying! I truly look forward to the updates you have as you go on this amazing journey. Thumbs up for being such an awesome son!

  60. Ben-

    Great job!!! Wonderful to see your true enjoyment is making pops happy.

    Your a good son

    Best trip report you ever did!


  61. Absolutely briljant! Such a sweet thing to do for your father. I imagine these memories will last a lifetime…

  62. Let me add my appreciation for this great series. I enjoyed EK 1st last month SYDNEY-DXB-JFK. But by myself. Would love to get my Hubby to come along ala Bill. :-). Keep on Enjoying ur Dad, his excitement, & the Trip. Also. Wish him Happy B-Day!!

  63. This series makes me happy! Your dad is so <3.

    I love traveling with loved ones who have no idea what's coming… I think I'm a succubus who gets off on their excitement. New experiences with family is totally the reason I love travel planning!

  64. Man Ben, I must say this is probably the best trip report I have ever read!! Amazing!!! Your dad in the Emirates hat was hilarious!! I showed my wife and she was loving it too!!! Thanks for sharing this!! Well done!

  65. what special memories you have created! life is short. amazing that you are getting to give yourself and him a fabulous trip. safe travels!

  66. Well, Lucky you ARE lucky with your dad getting that bottle of champagne and being able to keep it. We were in F for our 25th wedding anniversary on the A380 and they gave us a bottle of Argentine Pinot Noir that we both fell in love with. It was confiscated on disembarking, for as you know, they make you go through security screening immediately after getting off the plane even if you are just transiting. They found it in my carry-on via the x-ray machine and raised quite the fuss. You would have thought it was a satchel of cocaine. I am so glad your dad got to keep his and saved the embarrassment.

  67. Ben, this trip report is fantastic. Your dad is awesome and you are a good man for giving him this special gift. Your blog is really, really great. Thanks for all that you do.


  68. @ Ken P — Hah, while they do make you screen your bags, I’ve never actually seen the security officer at the x-ray actually look at the screen. Seems to me to be 99.9% theater.

  69. First of all, I’m having trouble believing that your dad is about to celebrate a round birthday… he’s so eloquent and looks so young! Second of all, what a trip – I am loving following along with you both!! Enjoy!!

  70. Looks like you guys lucked out with a good crew. Some of your past experiences with Emirates’ crew were not as pleasant.

    It is true, a good crew can really make the difference in how much you enjoy your flight.

  71. OMG! I love how your dad is actually writing his review! It’s so charming!

    It is a pity so few take pen to paper these days!

  72. Ben Priceless experience–you’re taking the blog to new heights. And now it’s apparent from whom you get your unbridled enthusiasm. 😉

  73. Ben I’ve been reading this blog since the day you started it (I actually remember you asking me and others for advice on a potential name, I think I suggested Gettin’ Lucky, but I got shouted down at the meeting.)
    This is by far my favorite post you’ve ever done – I’d love to take my family for a whopper of a trip like this. The joy you brought to your dad…you’re both very lucky! Keep up the great work, Ben!

  74. Every new post with your dad is my new favorite post. “Zhis can not be” is definitely my favorite quote so far. His excitement is just contagious, even through a computer screen. I can see where you get your love of fying and enthusiasm for travel and trying new things.

  75. Ben, this trip brings me unexplainable joy. As much as we all enjoy your standard trip reports it is when you can share your little skill with loved ones that it really takes it to another level. All the minute detail of things like lounge finger food, amenity kits, angled-flat seats etc seems insignificant when compared with a 60 year old man expressing genuine joy about travel, like a kid on Christmas Day.
    I’m really enjoying this adventure with you and it is reminding me of the important things in life. Please film your Dads reactions to everything – they are brilliant.
    PS – I STILL dont know how you managed to get 2x QF F seats on SYD-LAX through AA. That is surely one of the worlds hardest routes to get F seats on?!?

  76. I’ve never commented on your site before, but I just love watching the videos, seeing the pictures, and living vicariously through this trip with your dad. It is just so nice to see how happy he is! You can tell how much he appreciates every moment, and even better is that you can tell he would be just as happy spending time with you anywhere at all. Have the best time!

  77. @ Lucky

    I do remember that you said in you first Emirates A380 trip report, that they never look at the screen. Well, this guy did and he pressed a button that shunted my carryon to a special receiving tray. Immediately, a woman in traditional dress came up and said that this was forbidden. She was so serious that I thought they were going to take me away instead of the bottle! And I am 68 and I was wearing a blazer and she acted like I was mule and questioned me on what else was I trying to smuggle in. The only glitch in a month long travel odyssey traveling in F on points (thanks to Points Pro). Thankfully, the Paradis in the first class lounge made the vision of the encounter go away.

  78. @KenP – if you are transiting then clearly the wine would not be allowed as it’s a liquid exceeding 100mL. Lucky was terminating in DXB and while there is x-ray screening after immigration that check is much more lax. (Don’t try it in DOH though).

  79. i agree on LOVING the idea of a video of your dad in German – the most fun refresher practice i can possibly imagine!

  80. Just a quick question: How come you don’t speak German with your Dad even though both of you do speak the language. And I bet your German is better “zen his Englisch”. 😉
    I (German) am married to an Ozzie woman and I will for sure speak German with the Kiddos. 🙂


  81. @ Lucky – so glad you are doing little videos of your dad’s reactions to the trip! Do you think his reaction is more in line with what Emirates gets/expects as a feedback? Meaning, while many think that it’s too blingy and ostentatious, less jaded travelers probably enjoy everything.

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