A380 Extravaganza: Emirates First Class Singapore to Dubai

Introduction
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge San Francisco
Singapore Airlines Suites Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Suites Class Hong Kong to Singapore
Conrad Singapore
Shangri-La Singapore
Skyview Lounge Singapore
Cathay Pacific Business Class Singapore to Colombo
Araliya Lounge Colombo
Cathay Pacific Business Class Colombo to Singapore
Emirates Lounge Singapore
Emirates First Class Singapore to Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai to London Heathrow
Coworth Park London (Ascot)
British Airways Concorde Room London Heathrow
British Airways First Class London Heathrow to Seattle


If you haven’t read it already, be sure to check out my Emirates first class trip report from London Heathrow to Dubai from last December, which is a bit more thorough than this review will be (in part because much of this flight was a blur, so I can’t say I remember the entire thing). ;)

Emirates 355
Singapore (SIN) – Dubai (DXB)
Saturday, January 19
Depart: 9:35PM
Arrive: 1:00AM (+1 day)
Duration: 7hr25min
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 4K (First Class)

Upon boarding we were welcomed by one of the first class flight attendants and escorted to our seats. My friend was in 3K while I was in 4K, which feels pretty cramped since it’s in the back corner of the cabin. There are no center seats in row four and it’s close to the galley, not to mention there’s quite a bit more foot traffic because the flight attendants provide all their service from the galley behind the cabin.

My impression of the suite was similar to last time — the suite was blingy as could be, with a similar ratio of style to substance as Jersey Shore.


My seat, 4K


My seat, 4K


Entertainment console

I still can’t get over the snack basket, which has to be removed twice during the fight for takeoff and landing.


Snack basket

Or for that matter the minibar, since you can order anything to drink on demand and it won’t be room temperature…


Minibar


View from 4K

Once settled in I was first offered a beverage, and I ordered a glass of Dom, which quickly turned into three. At this point I was having a great flight, and we hadn’t even left the ground yet (though in my head it felt as if we had).


Pre-departure champagne

Speaking of alcohol, using the onboard telephone gets exponentially more enjoyable with each drink. I must have talked to half the cabin.


In-flight phone

In addition to a drink I was offered a hot towel, the menu for the flight, an Emirates beach bag of sorts, large pajamas, slippers, and an amenity kit.


Emirates goodie bag


Pajamas


Pajamas


Amenity kit and slippers

Interestingly I hadn’t gotten an amenity kit on my Emirates flight from London to Dubai, and didn’t get one on my flight from Dubai to London either, despite the fact that the flight is marginally longer than Singapore to Dubai. I’m curious what criteria Emirates uses for deciding whether or not to hand out amenity kits.

The amenity kit must have been one of my favorites, though. The bag it came in was awesome, and it even featured a box with some Bulgari amenities.


Amenity kit contents


Bulgari kit contents

Just before pushback I was offered Arabic coffee and a date. Around that time the captain came on the PA and informed us of our flight time of 7hr20min.


Arabic coffee and date

We pushed back and began a fairly long taxi to runway 2C, though I quite enjoy the evening traffic in Singapore, especially all the British Airways and Qantas aircraft headed to both Europe and Australia.


View on pusback

After a roughly 15 minute taxi we began our long takeoff roll, followed by a smooth climb out.


Nose camera

During our climb out I took the opportunity to browse the ICE entertainment system, and settled on a couple of sitcoms. Truth be told I forgot what they were, though.


ICE


Airshow

Passing through about 20,000 feet the seatbelt sign was turned off and service began. The purser, Jacques, made his rounds to welcome aboard each first class passenger. The spa attendant also came around to take shower spa appointments, though she said as long as I wasn’t planning on showering right before landing I didn’t have to make an appointment, so that worked for me.

At this point dinner service began, and the menu read as follows:

And the wine list read as follows:

I love the flexibility of Emirates’ a la carte menu, and if I had a criticism it would actually be that there are too many options, and it’s a bit like trying to decide what to have at the Cheesecake Factory. So as I did on my last Emirates flight, I started ordering appetizers and said I’d have my entree and dessert later in the flight.

To start I had some hot and cold canapes and mixed nuts.


Mixed nuts and canapes

Then I had caviar.


Caviar

Then the Arabic mezze, which was decent, though I still prefer the one served on Etihad.


Traditional local Arabic mezze

Then I had a salad, which was one of the better salads I’ve had on a plane.


Salad

And then I had green pea soup, which was also delicious.


Fresh green pea soup

At this point I had a five course meal without even having gotten to the entree, so I decided to call it quits and said I’d finish the meal prior to landing in Dubai.

As far as the service throughout the meal goes, in typical Emirates fashion I found it to be fine. Sincerity and attentiveness were lacking somewhat, though I didn’t at any point feel like I was offending the crew by asking for anything. On my Emirates flights so far I’ve found the crews to be overly friendly during boarding with smiles that make you feel like there’s no place they’d rather be, but that friendliness seems to wear off almost by the minute.

At this point we had about five hours to go to Dubai, so I decided to walk to the bar and see what was going on there.


Airshow after dinner


Business class

While it wasn’t especially lively, the purser did make an appearance, and we talked for about an hour. Emirates serves Hennessy Paradis in both business and first class, which retails for $600+ per bottle, so I had a few doubles of that, along with some Patron XO Cafe.


Bar


Airshow after the bar

With about four hours to go to Dubai I was feeling a bit tipsy and I decided to take a little nap. I figured I’d nap for 90 minutes, then shower, and then finish my dinner. I requested turndown service, which the awesome purser quickly took care of.


Turndown service

Unfortunately I woke up less than 20 minutes out of Dubai as we were on our final descent. Crap! I think I accurately summed up my disappointment in this post. One of my main reasons for flying Emirates first class was for the onboard shower, and I was too stupid/drunk to be awake for it. Though on the plus side I can’t say I had all that bad of a flight.


Airshow when I woke up

As the crew prepared the cabin for landing Fast Track immigration cards were handed out.


Fast track card

We touched down on time and had a quick taxi to the gate. Immigration queues were quite long given that a lot of flights arrive in Dubai in the middle of the night, and even the Fast Track queue took about 20 minutes.


Arrivals hall

Once through customs and immigration we headed to the Emirates chauffeur counter, where we were directed outside for our ride to the Park Hyatt.


Chauffeur waiting area

While Emirates offers chauffeur service for both first and business class passengers, the first class cars have “Emirates first” written on the side of them. I find this a bit odd since the cars are often in worse condition than the business class cars. This particular Mercedes had nearly 200,000 kilometers on it.


First class transfer

Anyway, the drive to the Park Hyatt took only about 10 minutes, though I was wide awake upon arrival due to the amount of sleep I got aboard.

On the whole the flight was pleasant. I thought the purser was awesome, though the rest of the crew was quite mediocre. The food was excellent, and the suite was blingy as usual. I’m miffed I didn’t get to use the shower, but I guess there are certain costs to consuming your ticket price in alcohol.

Comments

  1. Pranav M. says

    You have amazing posts. I started reading your blog about two months ago, but I’ve read almost every post since then. I have only had the pleasure of flying a premium cabin internationally once, though, on a United flight from Newark to Delhi.

  2. Wendy says

    He was too tipsy to eat it!!!! Although if it was me and one taste of Dom and I’d be wasted.

  3. Antonio says

    A shower at 35000 feet remains on my bucket list…and with the rest of the service like this….its an added bonus.

  4. lucky says

    @ Tony — Hmm, I’ve flown those of Lufthansa (3x), Qantas (3x), Singapore (2x), and Emirates (3x). Have plans to try more this year.

  5. Tony says

    Thanks also I am at a really young age and I enjoy reading your trip report. Also I am a. Airplane geek at around 11-14

  6. Sunrise089 says

    Great review Lucky. I’d way rather read about an unplanned lapse into first class drunkenness than have everything go perfectly all the time.

  7. Lantean says

    That’s odd you didn’t get amenity kits on the DXB-LHR and LHR-DXB flights… that seems very odd.
    anyone else with the same experience?

  8. lucky says

    @ Lantean — It was explained to me that it depends on the departure/arrival time of the flight. Still not sure what times qualify, though it is odd.

  9. Lantean says

    interesting… well, i am on the 7.45AM DXB-LHR flight and they’d better have amenity kits… because i want one for myself and i also want to ask for the female kit to bring as a souvenir to my mom.
    if they don’t have the kits I’ll be seriously upset…
    :(

  10. Sean says

    Hi Lucky, did you transit or stopover in Dubai? If transit only for less 24 hours, how to ask for limo to hotel? Would they also pick up from hotel to DXB?

  11. lucky says

    @ Sean — I spent a night in Dubai. The chauffeur service can be arranged in advance either online or through the call center. The airport transfer is roundtrip.

  12. Andrew says

    LOL at calling half the cabin. Sounds like a fun time!

    Must have been entertaining to be on the receiving end of one of those calls. Only on Emirates can you drunk dial another random first class passenger!!

  13. Sean says

    So even just transit only for one night stay in Dubai will be entitled for round trip chauffeur service? That sounds too good to be true..

  14. wwk5d says

    “Or for that matter the minibar, since you can order anything to drink on demand and it won’t be room temperature…”

    Hah! I’ve said it before, but that mini-bar is more style than substance.

  15. Adrian says

    Emirates – overnight flights above four hours always get the full spread of pajamas and amenity kits. Of course the long haul flights over ten hours always get them, but if it is a medium haul flight, such as Dubai to Europe or Asia, you don’t get the pajama and amenity kit if it is a daytime flight. You get the eyeshades, socks, slippers, earplugs and light amenities, but no PJ or amenity kit. If you fly from London to Dubai in the morning flight, the F/As will get you an amenity kit or a PJ if they have leftover from the previous overnight sectors. However, if the turnaround flights are also daytime, they don’t have any stocked. Emirates is very cost conscious and I guess since they offer many discounted F and J fares, they really don’t want to pass those things freely.

  16. mohamed b says

    I find Emirates far better than singapore on the product offered,the suites are more intimate in emirates,even if you dont like many added amenities as the minibar,the interseats phone,the snaks,all that are extras but i ve the feeling you rate over the top singapore and lufthansa,anyway everyone have his preference and we still enjoy your posts.

  17. FlyingDoctorWu says

    Is it just me, or isn’t it quite odd that right above the caviar is listed… instant cup noodle?

  18. lucky says

    @ Carl — It wasn’t, as the complimentary hotel is only available if you take the next available flight, and there were several flights to London before ours.

  19. Jamie says

    That’s interesting about the amenity kits. We are hoping to fly ba first ord to lhr (still in the dreaming stages right now as our churns are on hold till refi is done). Do other airlines also only give amenity kits on some, but not all flights?

  20. mohamed b says

    @wwk5d
    as far as i can see from the posted pictures,singapore suites doors you can see through the glass while emirates seems to have more compact doors that can give you more privacy.

  21. Lantean says

    @lucky

    what time was your DXB-LHR flight departing? i should probably avoid the same flight just to get the kit!
    ;)

  22. Lantean says

    OK, well, i am on the 7AM now… so i guess no kit for me either! unless i switch to the 3AM flight, that one hopefully gets the kit… now i really want it! ha! ;)

  23. lucky says

    @ mohamed b — The shades on Singapore actually close for utmost privacy, and the walls are a bit higher than on Emirates.

  24. Joe C says

    Forgive me if I missed this. Where can I find your detailed post about how you earned/booked this trip? Great report!

  25. IS says

    Luky, did you get complimentary chauffeur service in Singapour before your SIN-DBX flight also and in London after DBX-LHR? Or is this service just for Dubai?
    thanks

  26. lucky says

    @ IS — I could have, though I forgot to book it and it was too late by the time I thought of it. I did get it in London as well.

  27. Stefan says

    Emirates does NOT service Paradis cognac in C (only in F), please correct. The cognac at the C bar at the rear is XO.

  28. Leonard says

    I loved the experience of this airline and I was only in business class. It would be fun to take a flight in first just for the experience and the Pajamas. I also had no idea that they had cars waiting for business passengers, we got lost trying to find the hotel car service we would have paid for and when asking Emirates they just sent us to a car , they said it was included. Thanks Ben for getting us there.

  29. lucky says

    @ Stefan — It was definitely in the business class bar, so I’m not sure if that was a fluke or what…

  30. Larry says

    Lucky — with which airline did you credit your EK miles? AS? Is there any way to take advantage of the fare you booked for your return on different airline combinations and credit on star alliance or AA?

  31. lucky says

    @ Larry — I credited to Alaska. You can easily fly OneWorld the whole way if you wanted to, or even do Star Alliance for many of the segments. The only restriction is that transatlantic travel has to be on an American Airlines codeshare.

  32. Larry says

    Thanks Lucky. Can you give any hints? I can find stuff on TG flghts in J, but the hard product on the 777 looks underwhelming. Basically, my goal is not that different from your trip. I want to use my miles to try SQ suites, but pay for premium class return, earning on *A. I seem to be able to find good stuff on EK and Qatar, but am having trouble finding any high quality hard product that earns on *A.

  33. MACABUS says

    Great trip report Lucky, I especially liked your veiled reference to unattended bottles of Dom at the bar outside the shower… But, I have a few rather complicated questions…

    EK is one of the few airlines I haven’t flown, but anecdotal reports paint it as a moneyed airline that has bought a global staff of flight attendants that are somewhat lacking in personalized service.

    Many of your trip reports over the years have lauded flight crews of countries that have flag carriers that impart hospitality with a “local flavor” that makes lasting memories…

    So, here’s my question: is the super-impressive EK F lounge/floor in DBX really that spectacular, or is the smaller, more personalized TG F lounge in BKK a more soulful experience?

    And how do your many flights on flagship airlines of countries with local staff compare with EK with their “mercenary” flight attendants?

  34. lucky says

    @ MACABUS — You need to fly Emirates first class so we can read about how many bottles of Dom you can down on a flight!

    Great question you have. The way I see it, service on Emirates completely lacks any local flavor or for that matter isn’t especially good most of the time. They can’t compete with a good Singapore or Asiana crew, or even a good Lufthansa crew, for that matter.

    But in many ways that truly is reflective of what’s “local” in Dubai, where it’s nothing but foreign labor doing the dirty work while the locals chill.

    As far as the lounge goes, it’s not at all an authentic or intimate experience, but it’s physically an impressive space. I do prefer the service in the Thai and Lufthansa lounges at their hubs, but for variety it’s also nice to experience Emirates.

    Let me summarize it this way — if I had to choose one airline to fly forever it wouldn’t be Emirates. I find most aspects of their product to be gaudy, like the gold trim and everything. But that’s also part of what makes them so interesting and a fun change of pace. They’re unlike the airlines we’re used to that are reflective at least somewhat of local culture.

  35. JD Choi says

    Hey! Great Trip Report! I was wondering if the cabin crew escorts you to your seat, or they just gesture towards the seat. Thanks!

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