Priority Pass Lounge Review: DXB Terminal 3, Lounge at B

We own the Citibank Prestige and the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards, and both cards allow us access into select airport lounges around the world.   It is a perk that we’ve utilized extensively over the past year and we’ve taken full advantage, including on our return flight from Dubai to Seattle.

We had a 3:10 a.m. flight departure and we arrived to the airport around midnight, allowing us plenty of time to enjoy the amenities and free food.   Located on the second floor, the lounge had different seating areas from recliners to couches and eating tables to bar stools at the bar.

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Bar with free drinks

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Lisa goes with the healthy options

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Hot food buffet

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Desserts!

Emirates Dubai to Seattle In-flight Review

This is a quick overview of what to expect on the 14-hour, non stop flight from Dubai to Seattle on Emirates Airlines…

Our flight was scheduled for a 3:15am departure, but because of the recent electronics airline ban, our flight was delayed as passengers were processed and relieved of their electronic devices that didn’t meet the criteria (basically, only smartphones were allowed on the plane — no Chromebooks, e-readers, even headphones…). Despite not having these options available, I was plenty occupied with all the choices I had for movies, TV shows and music on the Emirates entertainment system.

3:15am scheduled departure

3:00am passengers are allowed to board the plane

4:10am plane pulls back from the gate (yes, we had over an hour delay just sitting at the gate)

4:40am lift off (30 minutes just waiting and taxing on the runway)

5:35am meals served – dinner

8:00am (9:00pm PST) cabin lights all out

12:00am PST pizza snack

4:30am PST breakfast served

7:30am wheels down Seattle landing

8:30am processed through customs and bags collected, out the door of SeaTac

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Dinner meal

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Breakfast

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Exiting the plane and getting a peek at the first class lie-flat seat accommodations

 

Priority Pass Lounge Review: LAX Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

We own the Citibank Prestige and the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards, and both allow us access into select airport lounges around the world. For our 3 hour wait at the Los Angeles Airport, we had the opportunity to hang out at the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, even though we were flying on Southwest Airlines and in a completely different terminal.  It was spacious, clean, and had a nice variety of simple lunch snack items to tide us over until dinner time.

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Nice big windows on the second floor of Terminal 2

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Self service alcohol bar

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Chilled wine and juices

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Beer on tap

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Refreshing lemon water

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Two soups: Vegetable and Ham & Pea

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There was also salad, hummus, couscous, chips , fruit , and cookies

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Fancy coffee machine; I got hot chocolate

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Free computers to use

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Emirates Seattle to Dubai In-flight Review

Here is our in-flight review for our 14 hour, 15-minute flight on Emirates Airlines.

Scheduled flight departure: 9:40am
Boarding time:  8:40am
Actual departure time: 9:45am

Lisa and I had seats 35 J and K towards the back of the plane, a window and a  middle seat.  However, Lisa wanted to get the aisle seat for this long flight so that she could access the restroom and take some stretch breaks without disturbing too many people.  So when our seatmate arrived, he agreed and actually preferred the window seat so it worked out just fine.  Here’s what to expect on this flight… (time is based on Pacific time zone)

9:50am lift off
10:10am lunch service begins
11:15am meal trays are collected
12:00pm cabin interior is dimmed, shades are down
1:15pm Lisa goes to bed
1:30pm I try to go to bed, but spend ten minutes looking for my lost eye mask and then having to make something else up
3:42am My eyes open, I’m back awake
4:00am snack served
8:30am breakfast service begins
10:47 flight lands safely

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Business class and first class passengers get these fancy lie-flat seats, but Lisa and I aren’t going to fork over a thousand bucks for this upgrade.

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Lisa is thrilled to have an aisle seat

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each passenger gets these cool little stickers that are used to inform the flight attendants whether or not to wake you up. I didn’t quite understand the Duty Free shopping sticker … they never came around with products to sell and most of the shopping was via a magazine.

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I didn’t read that you were supposed to place the sticker near the headrest of your seat — I thought you were just supposed to put it on your head. Fortunately for me I didn’t miss any meal service at all!

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There is a ban on our return to the US for on-board electronics, so no Kindles or headphones or laptops. We should be able to survive, as Emirates has a huge catalog of new movies and entertainment options to keep us occupied for hours on end. During this flight, I read some tourist books and watched three movies.

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Food service menu. Lisa pre ordered the gluten free option, so here food selections were slightly different.

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Lisa’s gluten free lunch. She was mostly happy…

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My choice, the vegetarian lunch. I ended up trading the raspberry cheesecake dessert with Lisa for her fruit.

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Mid flight snack… this is a chicken and grilled eggplant sandwich on gluten free bread for Lisa.

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Meanwhile I received the cheese pizza, which I was able to get off one bite before trading with Lisa because she was really craving this one instead of hers.

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Gluten free breakfast. Lisa is not a huge fan of tomatoes, so she skipped out on eating hers.

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I loved my breakfast, choosing the frittata

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When meals where not being served, passengers could help themselves to these snack items. I took the last Kit Kat!

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Cabin interior with a 3 seat – 4 seat – 3 seat configuration.

 

Overall impressions:

Fourteen hours is a long time to be on a flight.  Fortunately for us it was:

#1 a nonstop flight

#2 we had an aisle seat so we were able to use the bathroom multiple times and get up to take a walking stretch whenever we felt like it

#3 it was on Emirates, which is considered one of the best airlines in the world.

Our seats were comfortable enough for our flight, of course we wished that he had a little more leg room and wider seats.  Each passenger received an amenity kit that included compression socks, eye mask, ear plugs and disposable toothbrush and toothpaste.  And our entertainment options were just about unlimited.  One of the coolest things they had was outside mounted cameras that I could access on the screen, so even though the window shades were closed I could always look out to see the clouds and the sky and views.  Our service was pretty good, as our flight attendants made frequent passes through the cabin with water and drinks.  Bottom line is that we had a good flight and would definitely want to fly with Emirates again!

Spring Break in Dubai: Part 1, Seattle Overnight at the SeaTac Inn

For Spring Break we are heading to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.   This was not on our radar at all as a vacation destination, but when Emirates Airlines announced special fares to promote their new service from Seattle, we jumped on them.  We booked these tickets back in May 2016 for less than $1299 round trip for the both of us.  I’ve heard great things about Emirates, so although the flight is over 14 hours long non-stop, I’m actually looking forward to this…

But first we have to get to Seattle.  Our flight leaves Saturday morning at 9:40am, so we had two options:

#1:  wake up early around 3:00am and drive up to Sea-Tac airport by 6:00am; we’d have to find some parking and leave our car for a week and hope that we didn’t have any mishaps on the drive up that might delay us from getting to the airport

#2:  leave Portland Friday night and fight through all the traffic up to Seattle and then pay for a hotel and pay for parking.

Lisa prefers the peace of mind of getting to Seattle early, so we opted for #2.  We packed up our car early this morning and left soon after work.  Instead of slogging through Highway 26 and then I-5 North, we followed the advice of the Waze app and took Cornelius Pass Road to Highway 30 and took this up to the Longview Bridge.  Aside from a major slowdown on the bridge, this was a quick and efficient way to go.  We made a dinner and outlet shopping stop in Centralia, and arrived to the SeaTac Inn a little after 8:00pm.

For less than $120, this motel provides a basic room for our overnight, parking for nine days, plus a free shuttle to take us to the airport.  If we were truly hardy, we could actually walk to the airport from our motel, it is that close to the airport!  Alas, while this is no-frills basic room economy, it does have a tube TV with plenty of cable channels, hot water, room to spread out, plus a small microwave and fridge that we won’t use.  As long as we don’t get any bed bugs or weird bites from mysterious critters, and my car is still here when we get back, I’ll give this place the full amount of stars on TripAdvisor.  I wish there were more outlets to recharge our electronics, but that is a minor inconvenience.

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Tube TV!

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No shampoo, but there are small bars of soap

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Very secure lock! Well, at least there is a deadbolt