On Emirates: blankets made from recycled plastic bottles

With shower-equipped private suites on its A380 airplanes and Bulgari amenity kits and moisturizing pajamas for first class passengers on long-haul overnight flights, Dubai-based Emirates works hard to maintain a high-class image.

And they aren’t resting on their laurels.

As part of the airline’s recent ‘comforter overhaul,’ passengers flying long-haul in the First Class cabin sleep under faux sheep-skin blankets. Those flying Business Class get soft duvets.

And now economy class passengers on long haul flights – who already receive amenity kits filled with useful items such as an eye mask, earplugs, toothbrush, toothpaste and socks – are able to snuggle up beneath environmentally-friendly blankets made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.

Each blanket is made from the equivalent of 28 recycled bottles that have made using the ecoTHREAD patented technology that first turns the bottles into plastic chips, then into yarn, and then into threads of polar fleece material that can be woven into soft blankets.

“I found them to be softer and warmer than the standard blankets most airlines provide,” said Carol Pucci, a travel writer who documented her recent Emirates flight from Seattle to Dubai in the economy cabin.

Like many other airlines, Emirates has sustainability program that includes collecting and recycling aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles and paper, including magazine and newspapers, used on board.

The ecoThread blankets come to Emirates via Buzz, a company specializing in inflight products.

By adopting the ecoThread blankets for economy class, Emirates says it will reduce energy emissions and, after three years, will have diverted 88 million plastic bottles from landfills – the equivalent weight, the carrier notes, of 44 A380 aircraft.

And while Emirates now claims to have the largest sustainable blanket program in the airline industry, it is not to the first airline to carry the ecoThread blankets onboard.

That honor goes to Australian low-fare carrier Jetstar, which began using the blankets in 2015.


A380s for DFW – first Qantas, now Emirates

It’s been a big A380 week for DFW International Airport:

On Monday, I was pleased to be on board when Qantas began flying the world’s largest airplane – the Airbus A380 – on the world’s longest nautical route – from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.

The Qantas kangaroo got a makeover for flight from Sydney to Dallas

On Wednesday, DFW International Airport celebrated the arrival of another A380: this one belonging to Emirates and arriving from Dubai.

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As part of the celebration on the ground, not cupcakes, but cake.

Sleep tight on Qantas: new amenities for business class passengers

Qantas Airways has rolled out a few enhancements to its international Business service aimed at helping customers sleep better and eat better during the flight.

In the business class cabin, mattresses will be added to the Skybeds on international flights and duvets will be handed out instead of blankets. The airline will also be handing out Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade amenity kits that include, among other items, a biodegradable toothbrush.

The airline is also offering business class passengers a meal option called Select on Q – Eat. 72 to 24 hours before they board, passengers may choose their meals and choose when they’d like to eat them. The program was tested on the airline’s Los Angeles route and seemed to be popular, so now the option is being added to other flights beginning in mid -November.

A new after-flight amenity was recently announced as well: beginning in April 2013, business and first class passengers on flights longer than 12 hours will be able to take advantage of door-to-door car service; if the proposed partnership with Emirates gets regulatory approval.

On a hosted trip to Dubai from Seattle on Emirates a while ago, I was able to use this service to get home from the airport. After a very long flight, having a car waiting to whisk me home was not only incredibly convenient, it extended that “I’m flying business-class-and-I’m-being-treated-like-a-special-person” feeling all the way to my front door. A nice perk that I think about every time I have to make my way from the plane to the train and then to the bus in order to get home after a flight.

Emirates invites musicians to finish a campaign song

If you play an instrument or can hum a tune, you might enjoy Emirates’ new Harmony campaign , which lets you add a track to an almost-finished musical composition.

You choose three ‘bandmates’ from a pool of musicians playing harp, Taiko drum, bass guitar, saxophone, Shekere, Oudht and Indian Flute, and record yourself playing along on video or audio. If you like what you’ve created, you can upload your files to the campaign website.

Nice racket, Emirates

Instead of asking you to donate cash or cans of food, Emirates airline is having a tennis racket drive.

Emirates returns this year as the official airline of the BNP Paribas Open played in Indian Wells, California. The event is billed as the biggest tennis competition outside of the four Grand Slams and, as they did last year, the airline is asking fans to bring gently-used tennis rackets to the stadium for recycling.

Used rackets collected between March 10 and March 20 will donated to the non-profit National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network of Coachella Valley and anyone who donates a racket will have a chance to win two round-trip Business Class tickets from Los Angeles to Dubai. Nice.