14:05 – Hello well-wishers; time for a quick update. After a nice quiet flight from Atlanta we have officially completed our first international flight and are in Heathrow airport in the United Kingdom (UK). Many of us were able to stay up during the entire flight and at least some who wanted to sleep were able to enjoy some rest. While flying over the world’s second-largest ocean, the plane offered a wide variety of entertainment including a few hundred albums and dozens of movies. The first flight, to Atlanta, also witnessed a spontaneous game of trivia among several of the students via the plane’s chair TVs/computers which displayed questions, kept track of scores, etc. We will be arriving in Dubai late in the evening but, thanks to this arrangement of flights, should not miss any appointments due to our original delay in Salt Lake City. The flight into Dubai involved a switch to Emirates Airlines, which is one of the companies we are going to visit later in our trip. The plane was one of the new A380s and is nicely furnished by Emirates on the inside- the screens in each seat are bigger, and have a bunch more functionality than I recall on Delta flights. The section we’re in has ten rows across, which is the same as the Boeing 777 models offer, and the seats recline nicely. The meal provided on the flight was also tasty and satisfying. Emirates seems to be offering several of these amenities to make flying on these eight-hour flights more tolerable, even enjoyable, for everybody.
14:06 – We’re in London, or at least within a short drive down the left side of the road from it at Heathrow Airport. Those of you paying close attention may be slightly surprised by this since the last time on the EMBA Middle East Show we were destined for Atlanta, which is not in the same country as London, and then to Dubai (again, different country). Perhaps you think I mean that we are OVER London, but I wouldn’t mention Heathrow if we were more than a couple inches off the ground (and the UK is quite a detour for a trip from Atlanta to Dubai). Allow me to fill you in briefly. As we arrived in Atlanta we found out that our flight to Dubai was already beyond reach, and then suddenly an angel spoke from the loudspeakers announcing that Dubai-destined passengers should all run to the next flight! The other passengers were probably confused why the dancing broke out spontaneously, but we then all ran a 5K and took a train ride to get to the correct terminal. Our gate, E8, had a plane waiting and we were invited to board without much fuss; attentive students and professors probably noticed we were not going to Dubai, maybe because most of us had two boarding passes. This was, in fact, a different flight that somehow we had been assigned to while en route to Atlanta, and so we embarked on a slight detour which promised to get us to Dubai in time for our first appointments. The stop at Heathrow was not perfect necessarily. Those of us with two boarding passes from Atlanta get to fly immediately on to Dubai from London, while those who were told that their second passes would be printed in London missed this second flight and are waiting for a later flight.