Cairo to Dubai flight
I arrived to Cairo airport after a day tour of the city with a couple hours to spare before my flight out to Dubai. I already had my boarding pass printed out so I went to the immigration desk right away. They looked at my self-printed boarding pass like it was the first time they saw one (same happened at the security check-point, the EgyptAir lounge, and even at the gate). Was I really the first person in the world to check-in online with EgyptAir? Although, after my previous horrendous experience less than 24 hours before, I was annoyed but not surprised. I still had to go back to the check-in desk to obtain the immigration form - for some reason they did not have them just laying around by the immigration desks. Oh well, by that point I gave on trying to make sense of any of this.
EgyptAir Business Lounge (CAI Terminal 2)
After sucessfully convincing immigration and security screeners that the paper I had was, indeed, a real boarding pass, I went on to find the EgyptAir lounge. Besides giving me the same blank stare when I showed them my boarding pass, they also asked for the lounge invitation (which is apparently given at check-in desk to all business class passengers). Why do you need a special invite besides the boarding pass that says 'business' on it is beyond me. Supporting the paper (or papyrus) making industry?
Nevertheless, after they made a few calls and another ten minutes, I made it past this hurdle and went to relax in the lounge. There were no showers (at any of the lounges at the airport), so I just had to settle for a quick shave in the bathroom. I checked my Facebook messages just to find out that my friend will not be able to meet me in Dubai in the morning and I will be on my own until he gets of work in the afternoon. Oh well, another frantic search for things to do and figuring out the story with public transit for me. What is new?
Since my flight was departing pretty late, I decided to have dinner while at the lounge so I could just sleep on the flight. As mentioned before, EgyptAir does not serve alcohol on their flights or at their lounges, so I just had some uneventful hot food and desert with tea. In retrospect, I should have probably checked out the Priority Pass lounge at the airport instead.
Cairo - Dubai Flight on EgyptAir
I decided to make it out to the gate just in time for boarding so I can beat the crowds to the very limited overhead storage space I encountered on the previous flight. However, once on board, I was blown away - this was an A330-300 aircraft and it (as well as the entire flight) was the night and day comparison to my EgyptAir flight to Cairo. The aircraft was new, there was plenty of storage bin space, the business class seats were the new lie-flat beds, and cabin service was much better. Too bad I pretty much passed out as soon as we took off and then woke up just in time to have a croissant and tea for 'breakfast' at 1am 'my' time.
Once on the ground, we taxied for what seemed like forever to get to our gate, but I did not mind as I got to see a bunch of Emirates' A380 double deckers - the most I have seen of the type anywhere yet. Interestingly, it did not look that humongous when they were all lined up next to each other at the gates.
[No] Arrival Lounge in Dubai
As with Cairo, I was not able to enjoy a refreshing stop at an arrival lounge in Dubai as the only lounge for arriving passengers is operated by Emirates and they are not a part of Star Alliance. Instead, I had to kill some time at the arrival area waiting for the morning to arrive so I could check out the city.