August 6, 2008

380 ways to say Dubai

On August 1, 2008, the Emirates Airlines new A380 arrived at JFK Airport in New York. Everyone's been fussing over this "flying palace." It's a huge, double-deck, wide-body aircraft — the largest passenger airliner in the world.

I think the Superjumbo Airbus A380 has the face of a mother dog.

the first Airbus A380The A380 has space and amenity pawsibilities heretofore unknown in the sky. The best-hyped is Emirates' "onboard super-spa" — the two showers in first class. Additional first-class offerings include 14 private suites, a lounge, and a snack bar. Other airlines' A380s all have big amenities. Popular are first-class double beds and work desks. In the future, look for onboard casinos and gymnasiums.

The very first A380, dubbed a "21st century flagship," made its debut flight in April 2005. The Airbus PR people said:

"For its first flight, the A380 took off at a weight of 421 tonnes / 928,300 lbs., the highest ever of any civil airliner to date. During the flight, which took the aircraft around South West France, the six crew members . . . tested the A380’s handling, using both direct and normal flight control laws with the landing gear up and down, and with all flaps’ and slats’ settings during the part of the flight at cruise altitude."
I'm glad I wasn't on that flight. I might've had to kiss my tail goodbye.

If you fly first class to or thorugh Dubai on Emirates, you could receive two nights' complimentary accommodations at The Harbour Hotel & Residence or at The Palace the Old Town. But not if you're a pet! Dogs and cats will have to say Dubai another way.

You'd think the Emirates A380 would have an onboard pet spa and a lot of space for us pets to travel in the cabin with our humans. . . . Nope.

Emirates has this to say about pets onboard: "No live animals — neither pets nor service animals — are permitted in the cabin of any Emirates® aircraft. They can, however, travel in the aircraft hold subject to certain conditions and extra charges."

Are we just "baggage" in the hold? . . . Assistance dogs are "baggage" too? . . . Is this the 21st century flagship philosophy?

If and when we dogs and cats do have to fly, we must always read the latest IATA Live Animal Regulations as well as our airlines' pet policies. Maybe we can find some airlines who like us if we dig through a dogzillion international flights — try searching at Airline Consolidator.
Star Plastic folding travel crateYou'll have to have a strong, air-travel-approved pet carrier, or travel crate. Talk to your vet about shots and stuff, and pack your favorite treats and books for the long flight.

Remember this advice from PJ O'Rourke: "Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it."

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I would love to see what that plane looks like on the inside.