Emirates air hostess Phetogo Louwfant is at the entrance of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER with a big smile on her face. Dressed in the signature Emirates outfit comprising of a red hat, cream scarf and beige suit, she shows us around the cabin before offering us something to drink.
The airline invited a few guests for a static tour and food pairing in celebration of their First Class cabin launch in Durban. From June 14 to August 4, travellers to and from Durban can enjoy the First Class cabins on the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER. The launch is in conjunction with the airline’s seasonal frequency increase of four additional flights a week.
Holding a gold coloured dallah, a traditional Arabic coffee pot, Louwfant pours them into dainty cups and tells us to enjoy this popular pre-flight treat. She serves it with dates, which paired with the coffee offers a perfect flavour combination. Louwfant, who usually services the economy cabins, is the perfect host and no question is too hard for her. When she leaves to tend to another guest, I head to one of the cabins. I soak in every detail of the private suite, envious of the travellers who will fly from the coastal city to Dubai later that afternoon.
First Class passengers have their own private suite that reclines to a full-flat bed. Guests can slip into their pyjamas with Hydra Active Microcapsule Technology, or ask for the staff to prepare them a signature drink. Amenities kits-yours to keep after the flight- will have you feeling fresh throughout the long haul flight.
There’s plenty to eat and drink. Aside from the cleverly crafted cocktails and spirits, there are appetisers of caviar, chicken consommé and Thandoori prawns with curry mayonnaise. Mains celebrate the city of Durban. The airline has included many local favourites on their menu, including a lamb bunny chow with carrot salad and tomato-onion salsa and peri-peri chicken with sweet potato carpaccio. The meals are paired with some of South Africa’s finest wines. For those who want to catch up on some entertainment, there's a touch screen Wireless Integrated Passenger Seat with controllers for the In-flight Entertainment (ice) and seat function and a 32” HD LCD screen.
I found the static tour rather short. I expected to spend at least an hour on the plane, receiving the luxury treatments that stars like Bonang Matheba have come to love over the years.That said, this experience gave me a taste of the First Class lifestyle and has enticed me to save up for a ticket in the distant future.