Guide To The Emirates A380 First Class Shower Suite

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In my over four million miles of flying, possibly the only time I’ve giggled uncontrollably was when I took my first shower on the Emirates A380. The state of modern aviation never ceases to amaze me, when you look at how far things have come. You have everything from flat beds to endless entertainment to wifi.

But there’s something indescribably awesome about flying 500mph at 35,000 feet and showering!

So while Etihad now has a shower on their A380 as well, I think Emirates still takes the cake for their onboard shower facilities.

I get asked lots of questions from first time Emirates first class passengers about the shower, so figured I’d make a quick tutorial on using/booking the Emirates A380 shower. Perhaps the most “first world” tutorial I’ll ever write.

Emirates A380 shower basics

Emirates exclusively has showers onboard the A380. There are two shower suites at the front of the upper deck, one on each side.

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Due to the curvature of the A380 there couldn’t be seats there, so instead they decided to use the space creatively.

These aren’t just dinky showers, but actually shower suites that are probably larger than the average bathroom in a NYC apartment. It’s crazy.

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Reserving the Emirates A380 shower

Each first class passenger can shower once per flight. You can typically spend 30 minutes in the shower room (though in theory I suppose you could spend longer in it if it’s not otherwise booked), though you only get five minutes of water. More on that later.

Typically either before takeoff or immediately after one of the two showers attendant will come by your seat to present you with a brochure about the spa and let you make a reservation. Yes, Emirates literally has two full time shower attendants. They’re simply responsible for the showers and periodically cleaning all the other toilets.

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In terms of uniforms, you can tell the difference between them and the rest of the crew since they wear pants, while the rest of the female crew wear skirts. They also wear red vests during the flight.

Is it necessary to reserve the shower suite in advance? It depends on a few factors:

  • How full the first class cabin is — availability will be different if there are just two passengers vs. 14 passengers
  • How long the flight is — shower availability will be different on a Los Angeles to Dubai flight than a Dubai to Kuwait City flight
  • When you want to shower — the most popular time to shower is within two hours of landing

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to make an appointment as soon as possible if you’re on a short flight or if you want to shower close to landing.

Otherwise you can usually just play it by ear. For example, on an ultra longhaul flight I’ll typically just tell the attendants that I do want to shower around the middle of the flight, but don’t know the exact time yet. They’re always fine with that, and just tell me to give them a bit of advance notice so they can set up the shower.

Using the Emirates A380 shower

First of all, keep in mind that the shower suites can be used as bathrooms as well. There’s a third lavatory in first class behind the galley, but if the shower suites aren’t occupied you can use them at any time as bathrooms as well.

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For actually showering, the attendant will typically ask you if you’re familiar with the shower, and if you’re not, they’ll brief you on it.

While you’re of course free to bring a change of clothes and your own toiletries into the shower, it’s well stocked with Timeless Spa toiletries. It’s so well stocked that they have two lines of toiletries — “relax” or “revive,” depending on your mood.

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So the shower has good water pressure, much better than you’d expect on a plane, in my opinion. The controls for the shower are intuitive. There’s a temperature control knob, and then to the left of that is the on/off button.

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One common thing that confuses people is that you have to close the shower door before the shower will work. A lot of people want to “test out” the water first, and then are convinced their shower isn’t working. But the shower only works when the shower door is latched closed.

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As I said above, you get five minutes of water when showering. There’s a timer with green, yellow, and red lighting. The good news is that you can turn the shower on and off as often as you want. So you can wet yourself, then apply shampoo/body wash, then wash yourself off, and then stand under hot water for a minute giggling. I’m usually pretty slow in the shower, but it’s enough water even for me.

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When your shower is three quarters done it will automatically turn off as a warning, and you’ll have to push the button to turn it back on.

Emirates A380 shower FAQs

What happens in the event of turbulence?

In the event of turbulence you’re advised to sit down on the bench in the shower. There’s not a seatbelt, and there’s no need to return to your seat.

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Woah, I can really control the temperature of the floor?

Yep, not only does the A380 shower spa have heated floors, but you can even control how much you want them heated. Crazy, eh?

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Why was I given fruit after my shower?

As a standard offering, Emirates places a fruit appetizer with a honey dipping sauce at your seat after a shower.

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Can I join the mile high club in the shower spa?

My thoughts on the mile high club are well documented. Funny enough the shower suite does indeed say “Max. 2 occupants in shower” on top of it. The intent there is in case a second passenger requires “assistance.” Of course I suppose it depends how you define assistance. 😉

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In all honesty, no, generally it’s not appropriate. Is there a chance you could get away with it? Yes. Is there a chance you could get an angry purser that’s not happy if s/he finds out? Yes. Is there a chance if you have an awesome purser and ask nicely they may allow it? Who knows…

But no, generally I’d say your odds are much better off joining the mile high club in Singapore Suites than in the Emirates shower, for what it’s worth.

You Don't Have To Be Rich To Fly Emirates First Class!

I fly Emirates several times a year, always in first class. These flights would otherwise cost tens of thousands of dollars, but using miles means the price is relatively reasonable.

I earn miles through the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. These points are then transferred to Alaska Airlines which is a redemption partner of Emirates.

You can also accumulate Alaska miles directly with their Visa card or purchase Alaska miles during promos.

Should you tip the shower attendants?

It’s certainly not expected, and even as someone that tends to over tip for things that aren’t necessary, I don’t.

Hmmm, did the bar display just change?

The first class bar is located at the front of the upper deck, just opposite the two shower suites.

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However, you’ll notice that a few hours before landing (when most passengers want to shower) they take down the bar and instead set up a relaxing water display with some tea. Crazy to think we’re still on a plane, eh? 😉

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Bottom line

If you haven’t yet showered on a plane, add it to your bucket list. Even if you’re otherwise jaded by premium cabin travel nowadays, I think you may still find yourself giggling when you take that first shower on a plane.

If you’ve used the Emirates A380 first class shower, what was your experience like?

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Comments

  1. Ben, I got to use the shower on DFW-DXB a month ago, and like you, I couldn’t stop giggling. It was probably the most awesome experience I’ve had on a plane. I booked early in a 4/14 cabin so I got one of the last slots which was nice as it let me get off the plane nice and fresh.

    Also, the bathroom is larger and nicer than the one I have at home!

  2. While I love the brightness and spaciousness of the Emirates shower suite, I actually preferred the Etihad shower itself. It was roomier and just seemed less like a RV shower than Emirates. But, this is certainly just splitting hairs on the extreme first-world issue, as you said. 🙂

  3. @ Ben — Is it true that opening and closing the spa door will reset the shower timer, so you can get multiple increments of 5-minutes of water?

  4. I flew DFW-DXB in mid November and had no issues bringing a companion into the shower suite to join the club. The attendants didn’t so much as even look at us funny. Granted, we may have just had a good crew but I was determined to try. The most they were going to do is try to stop us from entering together.

  5. Anybody have any experience with shaving on-board? I shave both my head and face, so I’m curious as to if there are any limits on water usage for the sink.

  6. Someone posted a hack for the A380 shower to remove the time limit. I believe they posted it on milepoint and were asked by Emirates to take it down as the poster included a tutorial that showed a panel that could be opened to add more time. I’m assuming this is where the person prepping the shower resets the time. Though, most can ask for an extra 5 minutes and won’t typically have a problem.

  7. And to think, not too long ago we were just trying to get a plane off the ground. Makes me wonder what is next…..a hot tub?

  8. Thanks, I am curious if the bookings are not busy if they will give you more than the 5 minutes of water?? Also how is the 5 minute clock started or reset? I assume there is some sort of control panel, perhaps outside the suite? Have you checked that out? How are the towels? How is the temperature of the floor adjusted?

  9. @Mika
    You can ask for an extra 5 minutes but YMMV. There is a control panel inside the room that allows you to control the time. The tutorial on how to do this was removed. The OP now suggests you should just ask for an extra 5 mins.

  10. I’ve been lucky enough to take several showers aboard Emirates and not once did I think I needed more water. Not sure why all the interest in getting more time. It’s not like showering it home and the whole experience is awesome enough.

  11. @Brian I don’t know about “releasing”, but it sounds like Lucky might have peed in the shower:
    “First of all, keep in mind that the shower suites can be used as bathrooms as well.”

  12. Ben speaking of the mile high club wouldn’t you have preferred to shower with a fruit as opposed to being served a plate of it after?

  13. So, do they have a blow dryer for us ladies to dry our hair? Or at least a place to plug one in? 🙂

  14. @ Charlie — That’s funny, I actually far prefer the Emirates shower. I prefer the Etihad shower to be smaller, darker, and I prefer Emirates’ handheld showerhead, while Etihad’s is built into the wall.

  15. @ Ron — Can’t speak to shaving head, but have shaved my face without issue. There’s no limit to the amount of sink water you can use.

  16. @ Alex — You’re only supposed to get one shower, though I suppose anything is possible in life if you ask nicely and there’s availability.

  17. @ Mika Pyyhkala — Typically you’re limited to five minutes. You can certainly ask, but you’re only supposed to get five minutes. I’m a slow showered, and even found that to be plenty of time.

    The towels are great, as nice as you’d get in a hotel. And there are temperature controls for the floor on the wall under the airshow.

  18. Ben, how clean and sanitary is the shower? Did you feel it was adequately disinfected? The germaphobe in me is wary of this concept. By the way, this is definitely a post for the 1 percent but that’s why I read your blog loyally – can’t get this type of intel anywhere else!

  19. With all the giggling you must do in the shower, I can only imagine what the FAs/shower attendants passing by the door must think you are up to…

  20. So with the water temp does it automatically start somewhat warm? If you’ve got to be in the shower for it to work it must. Is it easy to adjust water temp? At home many people take 1-2 min just on that so wondering how this is comparatively

  21. @ Dan — You can turn the nozzle all the way left for it to start warm, and the temperature adjusts quickly. Since it’s a handheld showerhead you can just point it away from you.

  22. I think this analysis is great, and a lot of fun. Since there seems to be a major problem getting first class space, it’s kind of like a last hurrah. Regarding the more personal details, those are best left alone.

  23. To be clear, Ben, it wasn’t your personal comments that bothered me. That’s what I get for not being clear.

  24. I defer to your knowledge Lucky, but I’m surprised the Singapore double bed out in the open m would be better for mile high antics than the fully enclosed shower.

  25. @ Sunrise089 — Except in order to get into the fully enclosed shower you have to pass the two shower attendants guarding the showers. Meanwhile in the dark in the middle of a 14 hour flight…

  26. I think it is worth mentioning that the bath products they use are made by Babor and can be purchased under their Khanya of Africa line of products.
    I bring this up because these are not organic based products, which is important to some of us. So while many may be impressed with the onboard selection, those who prefer or demand organic body products would be well advised to bring their own.
    Admittedly most of us who demand organic do so anyway, so just remember not to leave it in your checked luggage!

  27. At the risk of being that person, it’s “whoa,” not “woah.” Just figured someone who writes as well and as wittily as you do would like to know that for future reference. (And for other obnoxious people, the comma inside the quotes is standard American usage, as opposed to the British style, which places the comma after the closing quotation mark.). Carry on — I’ll see myself out.

  28. Motherfucking rich overprivileged assholes BITCHING about showers in fucking 1st class. Well bubba, I ain’t rich but l have done a fair bit of international travel myself on airlines like Lufthansa, Swiss, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Jet Airways – economy of course. I don’t give a shit if you overpriviliged morons paid $25000 to empty your dump on a gold plated lavaTory, flying for me is only about making it from Point A to Point B, understanding flight instructions carefully so in the event of a plane crash, I know what to do while you fat scumbags are complaining about the color of your champagne. Being an experienced backPacker, I bet I might have seen more of the world than many of you rich first class snoots. Seriously, if I had that kinda money to blow, I’d spend it all to buy a motherfucking horse than flush it down a 1st class lavatory seat, for what? 8 to 10 hours of your pathetic lives. I hope all of you die in some kind of plane crash. The world wouldn’t miss you shameless superficial scumbags.

    Viva l’economie class.

  29. Thinking about my first international flight for our 22nd wedding anniversery. How do I get prices and airport info? This might be dreaming a little, but after 22yrs and 4 sons my wife deserves it. Me to I think.

  30. @ SHI

    Just wondering, what do you plan on doing with/to the horse if you ever string up enough pennies to get one?

  31. @Lucky, you gave such a great detail description of everything that it makes me want to add this to my bucket list, and I’ve spent my life taking the bus to avoid flying because I’m so terrified of it! Great job!

  32. Thank you for the article! It helped me to really enjoy the shower spa on A6-EEO and A6-EOO even more. Once you have had the feeling of arriving at the destination perfectly refreshed, you won’t want to miss it. This is really First Class.

  33. @SHI…. it would seem to me that you are the one that really needs the shower more than anyone else…
    1. As you are a filthy, foul mouthed backpacking piece of trash.
    2. To wash the shit you dribble off…though there isn’t enough water in the world to take care of that.

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