I arrived at the airport at about 3:30pm on Wednesday anticipating to board my flight at about 6pm. I had checked the status of my flight with Emirates and found that there was a hidden short stopover in Melbourne, AU. When I checked in, I asked the lady if there were any window seats available. She said not on the flight I was booked for but there was another flight directly from Auckland to Dubai (my connection point regardless of a flight change) and I would be able to have a window seat on that flight. That flight left at 9:15pm so I had a bit of a wait but that was fine; I don’t mind waiting. I had my book, my journal, my tablet… I was set for stuff to keep occupied.
My flight was on an A380 airbus. Those machines are huge! I’m impressed with how they get that thing to fly every time I see and get on one!
When we were taxi-ing to the runway, the captain was talking and then said “brace yourself” – referring to the impending flight time he was going to say: almost 17 hours from Auckland to Dubai. Youch. Good thing they had a pretty good selection of movies to choose and I had all of my New Zealand pictures to transfer from my phone to my tablet (all 4,100+ of them).
A short animation of the flight path from Auckland to Dubai.
I slept maybe 2 hours on the whole flight. It wasn’t very comfortable. I talked to my seat neighbor for a little while; he was a young guy from Poland who was on his way home from holiday in New Zealand.
My connection in Dubai was only about two hours and so there was not nearly enough time to leave the airport and visit the Burj Khalifa which is the tallest building in the world. Because of the small amount of time in the airport, I was hoping to at least catch a glimpse of it from the airplane (either coming into Dubai or leaving) but that didn’t work out either.
It was dark when we arrived in Dubai and on the departing flight, I sadly had an aisle seat and had not much chance to look out the windows.
It was another almost-7 hour flight from Dubai to Amsterdam Schiphol airport. Another movie or two, another period of watching the miles and time pass and feeling like the flight was almost over when there was still 2-3 hours left.
Thankfully, multi-day hiking friend I met in New Zealand was able to pick me up in the airport so I didn’t have to worry about getting myself somewhere after that extensive time mostly awake.
Flying into the Netherlands, everything looked so gray, flat, and boring at first. I had to remind myself that winter was just ending, that the grass and vegetation was going to green up in the near future. 🙂