Dubai to New York on Emirates—first class!

If you want to see the incredible food and drink you can get on Emirates, go to either this site or this one. They feature menus as well as pictures of the meals. I was quite impressed by the wine. Dom is about $200 a bottle, the Leoville-Las-Cases and Dominus are prime offerings (though 2004 was not exceptional for Bordeaux), and I love that Sauternes. (If they really wanted to go all the way, though, they could serve true vintage port rather than a single-vintage tawny.








Parts (but not all!) of the menu:


Dear Emirates Airlines:

As I have given your fantastic airline wide publicity here, would you possibly consider flying me first class to Dubai or back?

Yours beseechingly
Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus)

h/t: Grania


  1. Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Casey is one of just a couple of people on Youtube who I subscribe to who isn’t political. His video’s are an entertaining respite from the often depressing content I generally subject myself to.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Take a look at Tokidoki Traveller on Youtube as well. She’s a British-Australian who has moved to Tokyo to live and work and her videos of her life (& tiny 8m2 apartment) there are charming and funny.

    • docbill1351
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      A total character!

  2. bluemaas
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    O my ! I want. Too, I want.

    And PCC€’s “Dear Emirates / Yours beseechingly” – dispatch to the Airlines + its wines is reminiscent to me of this one which I just ran across the other day:

    “Dear Alcohol:

    We had a deal. You were going to make me prettier and funnier. And a better dancer.

    I’ve seen the video: We need to talk.”


  3. alexandra moffat
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Emirates – Yes, please give Professor Coyne a First Class flight next time. He deserves it-

  4. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    “Fly Emirates”
    shirts are very popular with the Drosophila researchers down the hall.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes, if you were lucky enough and old enough to do some flying back in the 70s, before deregulation and while Pan Am and TWA still ruled the skies, you always got service. I recall going first class due to miles upgrade, just flying from Dallas to Newark. Just enough time for a very fine dinner, wine, desert and all on white cloth. Normally saved all the domestic miles for upgrades on the long overseas flights.

  6. Roger
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ll stick with my Food Club American cheese slices with baloney thank you very much. Very delightful with lettuce and mustard.

  7. Christopher
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t fly much, hell, I don’t do much of anything these days, but all I want, seriously, ALL I WANT out of an airline flight or an amtrak trip is enough legroom for my 6’4 frame, the ability to comfortably recline without inconveniencing anyone in front of or behind me, and to have any loud, drunken bachelor or bachelorette parties thrown out of the plane or train when we’ve reached our altitude and/or top speed.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      Totally agree about the legroom, that’s #1 for me. I’d swap every single other thing on a flight for enough legroom. If you’re stuck with Cattle Class you could try an Emirates A380 – don’t know if it would quite suit your 6’4″ but it would come closer than anything else I’ve flown on.

      (The worst, I think – Air Pacific 747)


  8. Cnocspeireag
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I have always enjoyed port and agree with you entirely. The choice is much more for those who are impressed with rarity and cost rather than the wine itself.

  9. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Groovy menu

    Nice guy. Showering with shades – shades must be his signature or is it a humour thing?

  10. Billy Bl.
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ve only been upgraded once, to business class, but only between Calgary and Salt Lake City. Big whoop. A pack of almonds instead of peanuts.

  11. Charles Minus
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    No vegan option?!

    Screw that, I ain’t going.

  12. Heather Hastie
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I always wondered what could possibly justify the First Class ticket prices. Now I know, and I want to be rich!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      It’s kind of like that yacht you may have your eye on. If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Hey, Heather! I just came across an interesting little article of NZ relevance, if you’re interested.
      In “PICCARDI, L. & MASSE, W. B. (eds) Myth and Geology. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 273, 203-214.”
      Title : “Cosmogenic mega-tsunami in the Australia region: are they supported by Aboriginal and Maori legends?”
      Abstract : “Mega-tsunami have affected much of the coastline of Australia over the past millennium. Such catastrophic waves have left an imprint consisting predominently of bedrock sculpturing of the rocky coastline and deposition of marine sediments to elevations reaching 130 m above sea level. One of the largest of these events occurred in eastern Australia in the fifteenth century. This event may be related to the Mahuika impact crater round at 48.3 S. 166.4 E on the continental shelf 250 km south of New Zealand. A comet at least 500 m in diameter formed the crater. Maori and Aboriginal legends allude to significant cosmogenic events in the region, while Aboriginal legends about tsunami are common along the eastern Australian coast. Evidence for legends that could describe the impact of a cosmogenic tsunami also exists in NW Australia. Here geological evidence of a single mega-tsunami as recent as in the seventeenth century covers 1500 km of coastline. We term this event Wandjina after the artwork related to the legends. More attention should be given to oral traditions in searching globally for other sites of significant mega-tsunami.”
      Interested? At 7MB the files a bit chunky for email, but I’m sure we can come up with something.
      (Incidentally, if anyone else sees a need for something from the geological literature, drop me a line. I pay for access out of my own pocket, and I might as use it.)

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        It does sound interesting, though a lot of it is probably beyond my understanding.

        The Maori emigrated to New Zealand in one event, settling the whole country at once from a single but unknown location in the south Pacific in the early 14th century. I don’t know of any tsunami/flood legends, but we mostly learned ones that all tribes shared at school. There have never been many Maori in the South Island, especially right down the bottom, and I don’t know any legends specific to that region.

        If you’re okay with it (let me know) I could contact you by email – assuming you use a genuine email address when you comment on Heather’s Homilies, I can get your email address.

        • Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Why not write about it on your blog? Promises to be an interesting post.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            It’s probably not something I know enough about to write about, but I’d be happy for Aidan to do it as a guest post.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted September 22, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Drop me a line to the address on HH – I’m pretty sure I used a genuine address …….. yeah, there it is,
          “Subscribe to comments on I’ve Finally Found A Use For Trigger Warnings! on Heather’s Homilies!”
          The approximate date for the putative astrobleme was around 1500, and the article cites stories about the “coming down of Taumaatea” (which even I remember from that 1980s song). Meanwhile, boulders perched 130m above sea level on the sides of Lord Howe’s Island speak of something “interesting” happening. Again, I recognise that location, and leave finding space for a boulder as an exercise for the reader who is not pre-occupied with “How(e) the fsck do you land thre?!?!?”
          More distally, the Pacific is around 1/2 of the Earth’s surface. So about 1/2 of the impactors land there. And dropping a cubic kilometre of anything into an ocean basin is likely to generate a tsunami. This is not good news for people with beach front property.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 22, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Do you have a link that discusses these Lord Howe Island boulders 130m above sea level? Are they from the sea bed or the boulder beach?

            I saw a map with all the Earth’s continents arranged to fit inside the Pacific Ocean & in fact all the islands & other bits of land would comfortably fit in there too, but the Pacific is 30% of Earth surface area not half.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted September 24, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

              Well, the Special Publication itself is here here. The paper in question is at page 203 of that volume. I’ve got the PDFs – because I pay my dues – and that particular paper is at Chez Heather. I’ll write up a comment on it tomorrow.
              The copies I’ve downloaded have my download details on them, but for people with a genuine interest that’s not a big deal. (I apply the “photocopier test” – would I take the paper to the photocopier so you can have a good read and think about it. But once these things go out, they spread.) however, there are a couple of dozen other papers in that volume, many of which are interesting in themselves.
              Of course, there are other techniques for getting into the vaults of “the literature” – such as using (or other TLDs).

              Do you have a link that discusses these Lord Howe Island boulders 130m above sea level? Are they from the sea bed or the boulder beach?

              The references give that as “BRYANT, E. 2001. Tsunami: The Underrated Hazard. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.”
              “BRYANT, E. & NOTT, J. 2001. Geological indicators of large tsunami in Australia. Natural Hazards, 24, 231-249.”
              The first sounds like a read fun read. Under the bed covers, with a torch stuff. “imbricated boulders the size of box cars” is the stuff of bad nights and little sleep. But while I can find plenty of references to it, I don’t see a copy online. Probably a select audience for whom Hollywood’s scary stories just don’t cut the mustards.
              The second … that’s three times now that I’ve tried getting into Springer’s website (publishers of the journal) and they seem to be “down for maintenance”. Try again during the week, I reckon.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for going to the trouble. I found the book by Ted Bryant – but the cheapest copy seemed to be £50 on Kindle & well over £100 for paper at Amazon. Eventually found the paperback going for $5 so bought that although I fear from the one review it might be heavily leaning towards the technical with equations & such.

                I’ve been reading some pop-sci write ups on his theories re a NZ/Aussie tsunami around AD 1500 [possibly due to asteroid/comet ocean impact] & also re the general worldwide frequency of the bigger tsunamis – it’s a subject that hasn’t attracted enough attention judging from the scant literature since 2001. I suspect we will pay for that down the road: busy looking up in the sky for asteroids/comets & grandiose plans for how to divert them while continuing to congregate our financial infrastructure on the sea shore despite a hazard that can’t always be diverted at all – given that most tsunami aren’t generated from space rocks

                I found a ref to the 130 metres & boulders too at Gum Getters Bay NSW: “Giant boulders, some the size of boxcars and weighing almost 100 tons, were jammed 33 meters above sea level into a crevice at the top of a rock platform sheltered from storm waves.

                Further field work found gravel dunes on a 130-meter-high headland and other massive boulders more than 100 meters inland”

                Also reading up on the boulders at Eleuthera, Bahamas which are the next octave up in scale

                Head for the hills!

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted September 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

                Do the Bahamas have ground that is 130m above sea level?
                I sent Heather a write up on the subject before this bloody eye infection took hold. not sure if she’s posted it yet, but it looks as if the Bryant hypothesis isn’t well supported at all. Which doesn’t make tsunami any the less dangerous. But they’re sporadic. Sea level rise that is baked in to the current state of the atmosphere is inevitable.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 29, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

                I’ve forgotten how to post an active link, but here’s something you can copy/paste to read up on the Bahamas thing:

                The guy in the article reckons these boulders weren’t deposited by tsunami, but by a ‘superstorm’ in the last interglacial warming before this one – however the expert consensus currently = tsunami

                Regarding your opening question to me: The boulders you first mentioned upstream in the comments were 100 tons & lifted 33 metres [not 130m] whereas the Bahamas example is 1000 tons & 30 metres up a cliff. The superstorm pushed water into a narrowing gap which concentrated the energy into a smaller region

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted October 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

                Hmmm, interesting. That waves can move big boulders has never been in doubt – TFA mentions boulders of hundreds of tonnes being moved on the wave-cut platforms of the Irish Aran Islands, but makes no mention of the 585 tonnes of the MV Plassy cast up on the beach in 1960.
                I’m a bit surprised at the dating they give – if I recall correctly, the sea level in that part of the Atlantic around 100,000 years ago was around 100m below present, as verified by U-series dating on sub-aerial speleothems from down in one of the Blue Holes of Andros. I’m also a bit surprised on the uncertainty on the dating of the rocks. Limestones are normally full of microfossils which are good for both dating and palaeoenvironmental analysis. I would have thought that would be their go-to method for answering “where did this come from” questions.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted September 23, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

            Cool. I’ll be in touch later today.🙂

  13. docbill1351
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    My wife flew business/first class a lot for business, not me.

    My first business class flight across the Atlantic, Houston-London, on a vacation splurge was so much fun, so relaxing and arriving in the UK ready to go, instead of ready to go to sleep, was so amazing I wanted a do over!

    Long story short, I haven’t traveled a long-haul flight in coach since. At least I have enough flights under my belt that I no longer embarrass my wife by playing with the seat buttons, exclaiming, “Look at this! Look at this!”

  14. Stephen Barnard
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I normally fly economy, but when I fly to New Zealand I fly premium business, which is essentially the same as first class. It’s pretty posh. The food and service are excellent and you get your own large area with a seat that folds down to a bed, and the Air New Zealand lounge in San Francisco is very good.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      My experience with overseas flying was that once I had been moved up to business class from coach or economy class as they like to call it, you never want to go back. The chair alone is 10 times better when considering the long flight you are on. It’s the difference between torture and a nice nap.

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      The NZ lounge at SFO is good. Any lounge with showers is good when you’re about to do a long haul flight back to London after working all day.

      The Virgin lounge at LHR is very good, and Virgin Upper Class (business) is very nearly as good as BA First (I was lucky enough to get an upgrade once) – and easily beats BA business.

      All on the company’s dime, of course.


      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted September 21, 2016 at 5:32 am | Permalink

        Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class also has a nice arrivals lounge at Heathrow where you can get a shower and breakfast.

        • Posted September 21, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          There’s a slow echo here! 😁 (LHR = Heathrow.) The eggs Benedict are very good!


          • HaggisForBrains
            Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            Ooooh, eggs Benedict (drool)!

  15. Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Neistat makes advertisements for companies. His appeal to his clients is that he makes their ads seem like their not ads, so part of his shtick is to make it unclear whether it’s an ad or not. Although he does make some actual films, the default position of a viewer should be that anything he does is an infomercial paid for by whoever he’s talking about.

    • Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      “Neistat makes advertisements for companies. His appeal to his clients is that he makes their ads seem like their not ads, so part of his shtick is to make it unclear whether it’s an ad or not.”

      He always makes it very clear when he’s being sponsored, as he’s legally required to do, and when he isn’t being sponsored. That being said he doesn’t hesitate to make it clear when he likes a product, or service, and doesn’t discourage, and sometimes encourages perks he might receive for doing so.

  16. stevenh
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Singapore Airlines First Class offers Dom before takeoff and Krug as an alternative after takeoff. I find Dom over-rated, so I switch to Krug.

    Perhaps we could crowd-fund an upgrade to Singapore Airlines first class for PCC’s trip to Singapore later this year;-)

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Not that cruddy airline food again … what?, oh …

  18. Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    We flew 1st class on Alaska Air Austin to Seattle a couple weeks ago. Upgrades happened to be available for $100 when we checked in online 24-hours ahead. Free luggage is part of it, so $25 off that. And worth it! So, don’t give up on flying 1st. Just depends on when you leave so you happen to hit available 1st class seats.

  19. Posted September 20, 2016 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I spent 16 hours on planes yesterday – including a 12 hour hop across the pacific. That post resembles nothing that I saw in the cheap seats on united. I was offered rigatoni or “a chicken dish”. The guy didn’t have a more precise definition, so we didn’t press it.

    I was happy that they had at least one drinkable IPA. My expectations don’t even rise that high!

    My first time on a 787 so that was exciting.

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      What did you think of the 787?

      The cabin layout is entirely at the discretion of the operator (within the bounds of getting it approved by the FAA/JAA). So if you don’t like the seating, it’s the operator, not the airplane manufacturer.

      • Posted September 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Seating wasn’t bad – 3/3/3 configuration. The seats seem to swivel rather than the traditional recline, so I didn’t end up with the guy in front of me significantly closer to sitting in my lap than when his chair was upright. That for me (at 6’3″) is a huge bonus. I was in econ plus, the least cheap of the cheap seats, but there was at least an inch of air between my knees and the seat in front at all times.

    • Posted September 21, 2016 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      I hate Untied.


  20. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    I don’t know about First Class, but I can say, having flown Cattle Class on an Emirates A380, this is the first time on an airliner that I’ve ever had enough legroom.

    (Still doesn’t make sitting for 11 hours enjoyable but it does a lot to make it more tolerable).

    The best food I’ve experienced, though, was Air France. (And Air France, Etihad Airlines and Emirates all give you proper stainless steel cutlery, not plastic rubbish like Air New Zealand).


    • Dominic
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      First Class will cost 13.51 tonnes of carbon – the average American produces an insane 19 tonnes per year, the average European about 9 tonnes, the average Chinese person about 4.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:10 am | Permalink

        So – fly Cattle Class and save the planet as well as your money.

        I notice that calculator doesn’t include any factor for aircraft type or load factor – modern aircraft are reputedly more fuel-efficient and obviously a full plane is much more efficient per seat mile than a half-empty one. (Which is not to say that I don’t always hope the plane won’t be anywhere near full).


        • Dominic
          Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:19 am | Permalink

          No… well I suppose that would make it extremely complicated. If you did the same for a road trip you would be comparing a range rover with a Citroen C3 – “MPG 70.3mpg” according to What Car.

          Shipping is unregulated & uses dirty fuel so is probably worse…

          • Posted September 21, 2016 at 12:51 am | Permalink

            Except close to port. P&O cruise ships change fuels accordingly. And there’s an annoying design flaw on the new flagship, Britannia: The balconies of the stern cabins end up covered with smuts.

            First-world problems, eh?


      • Dominic
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:15 am | Permalink

        Wow… including radiative forcing raises it up to 25.55 tonnes of CO2e!!!

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      The cabin layout is completely up to the discretion of the operator (within the limits of getting it approved), so that was completely up to Emirates.

      I have noticed that international flights usually (usually) have just a bit more leg room (one more notch in the seat tracks please, guys!) I think this is just an expected standard. (US) domestic operators are pretty much just cramming in as many as possible.

      Being 6′-5″ tall (almost 2m) and a pretty hefty guy, just one extra notch in the seat track can mean the difference between simple discomfort and misery.

      I will never forget being told by a friend how terrible it is to fly economy class. Oh, really? Never noticed myself! — This friend is 5′-2″ (1.6m) tall with shortish legs.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        “The cabin layout is completely up to the discretion of the operator”

        I’m aware of that. But I would say the size of the A380 gives the airline plenty of space to play with so they can afford to be (fairly) generous in their seating. For example 3-4-3 seats in the A380 give plenty of seat width.

        (Of course some domestic operators would fit 1357 pax into that space…)


  21. Gabriel
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Some of my friends are going to Dubai soon, they told me to go with them but I’ve been reading about the violations of human rights there and wondering if it is morally OK to travel to a sharia ruled totalitarian state just for fun…

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Looking at the state-of-the-art alcohol shown in this post, I searched for alcohol use in Dubai.

      “Non-Muslim residents of Dubai need an alcohol license to purchase alcohol from a store. In order to qualify for a license, applicants must be aged 21, non-Muslim and resident in Dubai, and must earn more than AED 3,000 per month… Licenses are valid for one year, and then need to be renewed.”

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 21, 2016 at 1:58 am | Permalink

        I seem to recall the airport shops selling alcohol. Presumably pax qualify as non-residents.

        (Not that I buy booze at airport prices. Not that I buy *anything* at airport prices).


        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 21, 2016 at 2:02 am | Permalink

          But then I would note that headscarves (even the styled hat-and-half-a-scarf of the Emirates uniform) seemed to be quite optional among the hostesses.

          I would conclude that the brand of Islam prevalent in the UAE is, shall we say, not incompatible with commercial reality.


  22. Posted September 20, 2016 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    The Emirates are building nuclear plants, perhaps with the idea of using them for baseload power along with solar when the oil runs out. So far they’ve been careful to follow all the IAEA rules, but you have to wonder where all that plutonium will eventually end up in such a volatile region.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Well that shows considerable foresight. Because at the moment the UAE has a huge income, which will drop to zero when the oil runs out.

      Nuclear power stations and commerce (airlines and airports) are about the only infrastructure investments they can make.


    • darrelle
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      (googles) Looks like the UAE reactors are South Korean designed and built APR 1400 APW (Advanced Pressurized Water) reactors. This type of reactor is considered to be fairly resistant to proliferation of material suitable for weapons. It does produce some plutonium but the percentage of “bad” plutonium compared to “good” is so high that the material is not considered suitable or practical for weapons. It is technically possible, as in not contrary to the laws of physics, to separate out the “bad” plutonium but it is not really feasible technically or economically with current technology.

      • Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        The distinction between “bad” and “good” plutonium can be a little blurry. Every isotope of plutonium with a reasonably long half-life, or any combination thereof, can be assembled into a critical mass. One should consider the implications of that fact, regardless of the tendency of Pu240 to produce copious neutrons due to spontaneous fission.

        Beyond that, there is the question of what happens if the current “moderate” government of the UAE is replaced by one of extremists. All they would have to do is load the reactors with fresh fuel rods, run them for three months or so, and remove the rods. Extracting the weapons grade plutonium would then be a simple matter of chemistry.

  23. Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I’ve flown first class domestically (when I worked for an airline).

    I’ve never flown first class internationally; but I’ve flown business class on Iceland Air and Aer Lingus (lay-down seat!). Both were excellent. You barely have time to settle in the seat before the flight attendants are plying you with champagne (I was forced to comply! 🙂 ).

    The meals were excellent. I would have one of those little bottles of Port with dessert. And then another and another (it was vintage character, either Grahams or Warres, um, I er, forget which) until I fell asleep and pretty soon it was time to get off the plane. (They would just keep bringing them to you! 🙂 )

    By the way, flying Iceland Air to Europe is very pleasant (if your local airport is lucky enough to be served by them), we’ve done it a couple of times. Six or so hours to Reykjavik get off the plane for an hour or so to stretch your legs, then three hours or so to your destination in Europe. Very civilized. Nice to break up the trans-Atlantic leg. And many people like to spend time in Iceland. Pretty much only Iceland Air flies in and out of Reykjavik, so they aren’t going to lose your bags!

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I had to take a business trip from NY to Paris a couple months ago and Iceland Air was one of the routes I considered. Obviously, the company was covering my flight, but since this trip happened to be in summer, my wife wanted to tag along. The direct flights to Paris were about 3x the flights routed through Iceland or the U.K. so we didn’t want to shell out that amount of money.

      The most convenient flight through Reykjavik was an 8 hour layover from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM, so that didn’t seem too appealing. We ultimately settled on flying to Heathrow, staying the night in a hotel in London and taking Eurostar the next day to Paris. Eurostar was worth the experience in itself as it is seemingly a century or so ahead of the best trains you can find in the U.S. The two hours and fifteen minutes it took to cover the nearly 300 miles was only about twice the time it routinely takes me to cover about 1/10th that distance in my daily train commute to work.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        My one mild disappointment with Eurostar (and the French TGV’s, which the Eurostar sets are based on) is that they accelerate so smoothly there is hardly any sense of speed. Other than passing another 18-car Eurostar set going the other way which takes 2.4 seconds at full speed – whammmmm-zap! and it’s gone.

        (For a real sense of speed take e.g. the Central line of the London Underground heading London-wards from Stratford – you get a real sense of speed as the old 1992 stock howls its way up to 60 mph in the tunnel)

        The other thing I like about Eurostar is its anachronistic terminals – St Pancras with its magnificent old fake-Gothic Midland Grand Hotel station frontage and its historic glass roof on cast-iron arches*, and Gare du Nord with its equally magnificent Greek-temple facade.

        *And, fittingly, a statue of John Betjeman who helped campaign to save the station – and the adjacent Kings Cross – from demolition in the 60’s.


  24. Mike
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Doomed as I am to travel Economy, I don’t think I’ll fly again after seeing that

  25. Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I think the price difference between business class and coach is simply a reflection of the opposite end of the race to the bottom with discount airlines offering extremely low prices and then fees for everything. Spirit is the industry leader is this, though leading in this area is hardly something to brag about.

    I’ll never fly Spirit again as a few years ago they changed my flight from 5 PM to 7 AM with no notice at all. I mean this literally as in they simply failed to notify us by email, text, or phone call. We luckily discovered it because we happened to check in around midnight the night prior. That left us with about 4 hours to sleep and flying with two young children who were not prepared to get up at 4:30 AM to head to the airport. The one upside to the story is that Spirit’s service is so shoddy that I disputed the charges on the basis that they were in violation of agreement to transport us at an agreed upon time, and flying at 7 AM is materially different than flying at 5 PM since it is effectively a whole day missed. Spirit never responded and my credit card refunded me in full. Nevertheless, even a free trip is not worth putting up with the miserable excuse for service that Spirit and their ilk offer.

    I’ve never experienced first class on a long haul flight as the prices always seem to be a 1000% to 2000%+ markup. I’ve happily paid for Premium seating with extra leg room many times and often get my drinks comped (I’m guessing because I’m one of the rare people who is polite to the flight attendants). Until I either get enough miles or enough money, I suppose I’ll accept this compromise. Paying five figures simply isn’t worth some decent food and some top shelf drinks.

  26. Posted September 20, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Shame I am usually too motion sick to eat while flying …

    But those of you who can … enjoy!

  27. David Duncan
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve flown Business Class on British Airways – very much nicer than Cattle Class. The nicest thing about it is the extra width, leg room and reclining seat.

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