2. Emirates Lounge at SFO
3. Emirates First Class San Francisco to Dubai
4. Conrad Dubai
5. Old Dubai, Ski Dubai, and At the Top
6. Emirates Terminal B First Class Lounge at DXB
7. Emirates First Class Dubai to Mahe, Seychelles
8. Four Seasons Seychelles
9. Air Seychelles Economy Class Mahe to Praslin
10. Raffles Praslin Seychelles
11. Island Hopping – La Digue
12. Island Hopping – Praslin, Cousine, Curieuse, St. Pierre
13. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa
14. Emirates Business Class Mahe, Seychelles to Dubai
15. 7-Star Luxury at the Burj Al Arab
16. British Airways Lounge at DXB
17. Cathay Pacific Business Class Dubai to Los Angeles via Hong Kong
18. 2014 BAcon Conference in Las Vegas + Mandalay Bay Hotel
19. American Express Centurion Lounge at LAS
_______________________________I’m not a morning person at all, so normally I’d cringe just at the thought of an 8:40AM flight. Thank goodness for jet lag, which had us wide awake at 4AM and ready to go. I had booked the Emirates chauffeur service pickup for 6:10AM, or 2.5 hours prior to departure which is the latest that they would allow. In general, online bookings can be made for pickup times that are 3 hours or more prior to a departure time, with anything less requiring a call.
After twiddling our thumbs for a couple hours, we headed down to the lobby at 5:45AM and figured that we’d just wait downstairs until the driver came. To our surprise, he was already waiting for us, and we jumped in and headed to the airport. In my 4-5 experiences with Emirates chauffeur service both in Dubai as well as in the US, the drivers have always arrived 15+ minutes before the scheduled time.
Even though we zipped through check-in and security, we were only left with about 2 hours before departure or 1.5 hours before boarding. This meant that it was decision time.
On the one hand, I really wanted to go back to the First Class Terminal located in Terminal A which we experienced last year. Put simply, it’s the most ridiculous and awesome airport lounge I’ve ever been to. But given that our flight would be departing at the other end of the airport from Terminal C, we wouldn’t have more than 30-45 minutes in the lounge after accounting for transit time.
The second option, which would be much more practical, would be to spend our time at the Emirates Terminal B First Class Lounge which is on the way to Terminal C. I must have looked like a fool standing in the security area while this internal debate went on in my head. Ultimately, I made up my mind to go with the Terminal B option and we prepared ourselves for a for a big letdown.
We took the elevator up to the 2nd floor, laughed at the people who turned left toward the Business Class Lounge (just kidding! Sort of…), and turned right toward the First Class Lounge. First thought? Holy crap, this place is nice!
Our fears about having to spend time in a sub-par First Class Lounge were completely unfounded. On the whole, this place is just as good as the First Class Terminal located at Terminal A, and in fact, I may even prefer the Terminal B lounge more.
Basically, everything that the Terminal A Lounge has is also here – stylish decor, ample seating, Timeless Spa, and of course a full service restaurant. From what I could tell, the only pieces missing were the shoe shine service, cigar bar, and nap room.
As you can imagine, this lounge is more crowded, but certainly not crowded in the way a United Club is. We had our pick of seats all around the lounge, and had just a couple neighbors here and there. In comparison, the Terminal A Lounge is almost too big to the point that you can go hours without running into another human being. I guess it all comes down to what you’re looking for at that moment, peace and quiet or a little more action.
We made a beeline over to the Timeless Spa in hopes that we could squeeze in a quick massage prior to our flight. Just our luck, openings were available and we both had a 15-minute chair massage. Not a bad way to start the day.
Afterwards, we went to the restaurant and ordered up a huge feast. Consistent with our last visit, the food here was really, really, really good and such a stark contrast from the food served on board the plane. My solution? Just give out to-go boxes in the lounge so that people can bring the lounge food onto their flights.
I was sad about having to miss breakfast at the hotel until I took my first bite from the pastry basket. That was followed by many more bites, after which I absolutely destroyed the breakfast buffet, which featured hot food selections, along with fantastic cheese and sushi spreads.
Up to that point, the waiters had probably been scared to interfere with my feeding time, but eventually made their way over with the breakfast a la carte menu. Even after devouring the whole bread basket and several plates from the buffet, we couldn’t resist the temptation to order up a few more dishes, which included mushroom crepes and Scottish kippers with poached eggs.
They must breed super chickens in Dubai, because the eggs over there are really something else. I don’t care how you like your eggs cooked, in Dubai you MUST get them with runny yolks. The yolks are seriously a color that I’ve never seen before, golden like the sun, and oh so delicious.
At this point, I was seriously considering pushing our flight out to tomorrow and just staying in the lounge for the next 24 hours. Funny as it is to think about, I actually looked and there was availability, and the change would have been possible to do for free. Gotta love award tickets and airline status. But my wife reminded me that we had places to go and things to do, and I begrudgingly left for the 20 minute walk over to our gate.
I know that the First Class Terminal at Terminal A gets all the attention these days, but the Terminal B First Class Lounge is absolutely nothing to sneeze at and is worth heading to the airport early just to experience it.