Today I am sharing our experience of flying to New Zealand from the UK with Emirates. This journey will cover flights from the United Kingdom to Dubai and then from Dubai to New Zealand. I’ll be sharing our experience, discussing the food, transit experience, comfort and thoughts on our Emirates experience. I hope you find this useful.
Booking a Flight to New Zealand With Emirates
Booking a flight to New Zealand with Emirates was pretty simple and an easy process. We visited the website and searched for the flights we needed and simply booked the best dates and prices to suit our needs.
As New Zealand is currently following strict quarantine rules, we had to ensure our flight was booked in connection with a New Zealand MIQ Voucher which we had to apply for from the New Zealand Government.
Managed Isolation Allocation in New Zealand is really important for preventing the spread of Covid-19 and so booking a flight and voucher at the same time is imperative.
Flight Cancellations to Dubai
Although flight cancellations is not the norm, our flights were cancelled and changed on 5 occasions which was quite stressful and impacted upon other travel plans such as accommodation, the booking of Covid PCR tests and so forth. Two weeks before we flew, the UK announced a ban on flights from Dubai to the UK and so we had to redirect our flights via Ireland. However a few days before we flew the rules had changed again and so we were able to fly out from Manchester instead which was our original plan.
Each time our flight was suspended or cancelled we had to ring Emirates. They were very helpful and changed our flights free of charge at no extra cost. It took only a few minutes to rebook and there was also an option to get a full refund.
Flying Manchester to Dubai
Flying from Manchester to Dubai with Emirates was an interesting experience. We had a full flight which was quite hectic and put a lot of pressure on cabin staff. We were welcomed on board the flight and treated well. Although the flight was supposed to be safe and social distancing was mandatory, the wearing of face masks was not followed by many, a lot of passengers refused to follow rules and kids ran up and down wiping hands on your seat arms – which had to be wiped clean. The flight was very noisy and busy and the staff actually ran out of food which was not great for a six hour flight. The in flight entertainment was good but it was not a restful flight at all.
Transit Through Dubai to New Zealand
After arriving in Dubai airport, we were required to wait for 8 hours for our connecting flight Dubai to Auckland via Kuala Lumpur. Once you arrive in Dubai you have to make your way to the departure terminals gates B and C. In order to do this, there is a mandatory x-ray checking area. You go through this area and once through can wait at Gates B or C for your connecting flights.
Dubai Airport had many shops and food options which were all open 24 hours. There are hundreds of chairs and even chairs with leg rests to allow people to try and sleep whilst waiting for connecting flights.
The airport is not too hot or cold and there are no announcements as the Dubai airport is a silent airport. If you need disability assistance, then there is a special designated area between gates B and C for those in wheelchairs to wait. This area however gets really busy and kind of limits your experience as you are expected to stay in the area which for us was full with no resting seats available.
Flying Dubai to New Zealand via Kuala Lumpur
Flying from Dubai to New Zealand was significantly different for us than the UK to Dubai flight. The flight was less full with more space available for social distancing. The rules regarding social distancing and the wearing of face masks was enforced properly and the staff were polite and kind.
During the flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we were served one meal and a snack later on during the journey. Drinks were available when needed and the in flight entertainment was good. We had a great selection of movies and people were able to sleep in peace and quiet. It was not hectic or crazy like the previous flight but relaxing and peaceful.
When we landed in Kuala Lumpur, all New Zealand passengers were required to stay onboard. A team of workers entered the plane and cleaned the toilets and kitchen areas, they checked all our baggage in the pull down lockers and tidied up the unused seats.
The passengers sat for one and a half hours on the tarmac before the plane took off again to our final destination New Zealand.
Kuala Lumpar to Dubai With Emirates
The final leg of our Emirates flight to New Zealand was the longest part but the most comfortable. We were given a meal and a mini pizza later on in the journey. There was a second meal one hour before we landed.
Upon arriving in New Zealand we had to sit and wait while the cabin was sprayed to disinfect the area. All lockers were opened as staff came through the plane and sprayed each locker and bag.
Once the baggage was disinfected, we were able to leave the plane and follow the process of going through customs, immigration and the mandatory health covid part of our journey. After leaving the x-ray area and passing to the arrivals entrance, we were sent to a desk and sent to a bus which would take us on to our Managed isolation hotel in Auckland New Zealand.
Is Emirates a Good Airline?
Based on my past experiences on other airlines – Lufthansa, American Airlines, British Airways, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines I’d say Emirates is a good quality flight. The service was great, however due to UK government restrictions, our first flight was not very well organised and was in fact unpleasant. The second flight and third leg were wonderful.
I do think Emirates is good. I would fly with them again. I was happy with the 30KG baggage allowance and we prepaid for extra baggage which was cheaper than other airlines when pre-booked. I would prefer a little more carry on luggage as one bag of 7kg only if a little tricky when travelling such a long distance but all in all I would fly with Emirates again.
The first flight I’d give a 4/10 but the second flight I’d give a 9/10 for sure.