Like I wrote in the introduction, we had already decided to head to Rome, and getting our tickets was the next step. Wanting to reduce our spending on this trip a little, we decided to spend our accumulated Skywards Miles to get our tickets on Emirates Dubai to Rome service.
As we bought our tickets about three weeks before we travelled, we were a little short on the number of Skyward Miles so had to use the Miles + Cash redemption option. In total, our Economy return tickets were 67,250 Miles and 5,300 AED (~ $ 1,440). Remember, this was a last minute redemption of sorts, so we were not after the perfect redemption.
Since we had done our web check-in beforehand, we got to the airport in well enough time to drop off our bags. The Emirates terminal is quite large, and not many flights were taking off at that time, so we didn’t face any crowds until the counter.
I could see the long queue for the Economy Class passengers, but thankfully there is a separate check-in area for Silver, Gold and Platinum Skywards members, which was empty. After having our tickets checked, we were allowed to the Skywards premium counter, and our baggage drop was a breeze. The flight was full, so we weren’t able to get seats together, but it was recommended to check with the staff at the boarding gate to see if they could do something for us.
We wandered around the airport for a while, as we did not have much time before we had to board our flight. I also wanted to get to the gate a little earlier, to ask for seats together. Once at the gate, we spoke with an Emirates staff member who somehow managed to get us seats together. The flight was full, so Emirates were upgrading certain passengers, but there was a long waitlist for that as well! We preboarded due to the Gold status, which was a win yet again.
Emirates EK 99
Dubai (DXB) – Rome (FCO)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Departure: 03:20 AM
Arrival: 07:25 AM
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-300
Seat: 26B (Economy)
Meal Service: Breakfast, Midnight Snack
Once on the flight, we were shown to our seats (window and middle) in Row 26. Thankful that we had seats together, unlike many other passengers, so we quickly settled in. The seats themselves weren’t very spacious, but we were able to have an easy journey to Rome. It was a red-eye flight after all but gave us the advantage of having a full day in Roma.
Around 45 minutes into our flight, the meal service started, and the crew came around to offer snacks. I ordinarily pre-order a low calorie/low cholesterol meal on long-haul flights because of my dietary restrictions. I also feel that 99% of the time, I appreciate the fresh, clean taste of my special meal rather than the heavy, normal meals passed around. This time, however, the snack option was a cold bun with a weirdly damp veggie mix inside. My husband got a similar option, with a tastier shredded chicken mix in it instead. Since we were quite tired, we ate as much as we could stomach and tried to fall off to sleep.
A few hours later, the primary meal service started. Breakfast was served. Again, my low cholesterol meal was a bit bland, but nothing that a bit of salt couldn’t fix. My breakfast had an egg-white omelette, smoked fish, half a grilled tomato, smashed herbed potato and grapefruit slices.
The rest of our flight was uneventful. My husband slept through most of it as he was already in holiday mode. Once we landed, we went through passport control and headed straight for the Leonardo Express train to central Rome.
Emirates European flights are nearly always comfortable with excellent onboard service. However, I was a bit disappointed with the food options.