Living in Seattle has its trade offs, travel-wise. You’re closer to Alaska and Hawaii and Japan and places you’d never thought you’d visit, like the Yukon. But it takes an incredibly long time to get to the Caribbean, Europe or almost anywhere else, and there aren’t as many non-stop long-haul flights as you might wish.
Enter Emirates. By adding a non-stop flight from Seattle to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the airline instantly opens up easier travel to the Middle East, Africa and India – a boon for the Emerald City’s multicultural population. The flight to Dubai will take about 12 hours, with a 14 hour return.
The service launched March 1 with a press conference, appearances by flight attendants wearing the trademark Emirates pillbox hat and scarf and an arriving plane full of various dignitaries. As the headquarters of Boeing, Seattle has a rich aviation history and you could see the ground crews taking cell phone photos of the Emirates plane as it pulled through a water turret salute to unload at the gate.
Seattle isn’t the only West Coast beneficiary of recent Emirates expansion. The airline opened a 9,502 square foot lounge in San Francisco last month that boasts marble floors, Rolex watches and chauffeur service for Silicon Valley execs lucky enough to be in those highly regarded First Class private suites or Business Class.
Things aren’t that fancy up here in the Pacific Northwest. But one thing that will make Seattle frequent fliers happy: Emirates has partnered with Alaska Airlines for its mileage program. So maybe those lie flat beds aren’t as unattainable as you might think.