Travel questions: Flights & layovers
December 13, 2004 10:25 AM   Subscribe

I have a fourfold question regarding an upcoming trip from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Manila (MNL) via six-hour layovers at New York (JFK) and Dubai (DXB). I'm flying Independence Air IAD-JFK, and Emirates JFK-DXB-MNL, and I'd like to know about the possibilities in the air and at each stop. More. Inside.

(1) I'll be checking-in at Dulles, flying domestic to JFK, then checking-in again for Emirates. I'll have six hours of a Thursday evening. Can a man check-in his heavy luggage early at the Emirates counter, then rush downtown (to the vicinity of Broadway and Franklin Street) by subway to surprise his loved one with some flowers, and make it back to JFK in time for his flight? If not, is there free wi-fi anywhere in JFK?

(2) On arrival at Dubai Airport, I will again have six evening hours to burn waiting for the connecting flight to Manila. Is this enough time to leave the airport and see any of Dubai by night, or is that stupid talk? Is there a bus tour or something? If not, again, is there free wi-fi anywhere in DXB?

(3) I'll be flying in an Emirates Airbus A340-500 for the JFK-DXB leg, and an Airbus A330-200 for DXB-MNL. I've heard wonderful things about on-board in-seat passenger entertainment on the Emirates A340-500s. Games. Movies. Bollywood. Are the things I've heard true, and if so, are they free, or do I have to pay extra by swiping a card?

(4) I've heard nothing at all about any such amenities on their A330s, but I hold out some hope. Is there entertainment? If not, is the seating at least as comfortable as on the A340?

(Oh, by the way, I no longer have to bring a Virginia Ham with me; another relative has taken care of that for me. Woo.)
posted by brownpau to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
And please remember to brief me upon the facilities at MNL upon your return ;)
posted by nathan_teske at 11:17 AM on December 13, 2004

3. I've never flown Emirates, but I've traveled on SriLankan (an Emirates subsidiary/partner) and entertainment was free. I very much doubt there would be a charge on Emirates. Most US airlines now have a nominal charge ($5, usually) for headsets in coach on international flights, but it's free on most non-US carriers.

4. According to the Emirates website, in flight entertainment is available at every seat on the A330.

BTW, FlyerTalk is an excellent website for questions like these.
posted by blue mustard at 11:27 AM on December 13, 2004

Don't know if you're interested, but Dubai's duty-free is top notch.
posted by Scottk at 11:36 AM on December 13, 2004

I second the suggestion to look in the appropriate fora on Flyertalk. Search first, post if you can't find the answer (just like AskMe).
posted by grouse at 12:35 PM on December 13, 2004

JFK -> D'Town take AirTrain to Jamaica Station, transfer to LIRR to Penn Station, take 2/3 to Chambers St (pdf) - MTA claims JFK to Penn Station in 35 minutes but add 15-25 minutes for 2/3 connection. I would schedule 1-1.5 hours getting to and from JFK (the worst airport ever to get to from Manhattan) so that leaves you with 2-4 hours (remember to think about the security check). Don't even think about taking a cab or the bus - you will be stuck on the highway for hours. Check with JFK to see if they can check your bags, and see if one of your friends could persuade your SO to come a bit closer to Midtown for you to surprise them.
posted by plemeljr at 3:39 PM on December 13, 2004

Response by poster: Just a followup. I'm posting from Dubai, and in both cases, I opted to be safe and stay in the airport. (Now I have two large bags of duty-free goods sitting beside me.) Thanks for all the help, everyone.
posted by brownpau at 12:08 PM on December 17, 2004

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