Reader Danie left the following comment in the “Ask Lucky” forum:
Never thought I’d say this, but I just took longhaul Emirates first class flights — one in a 777 and one in the A380. Of course the bar and the shower were awesome, but aside from that I unexpectedly enjoyed the 777.
Why? The ceiling was super high and felt so spacious, there were fewer seats, the concave of the fuselage didn’t curve into the seat, and the seat felt bigger (don’t know if this is from the roomier-feeling cabin or if it actually was).
Does anyone else have a similar opinion? I am shocked to be writing this.
That’s an interesting point Danie raises. I love Emirates first class. No, it’s not a perfect product — service can be hit or miss, the seat itself isn’t actually that spacious, and the product overall can be style over substance at times.
But there’s something still awesome about Emirates first class, which makes it one of the most fun products out there, in my opinion.
So, is it possible that the Emirates 777 first class product…
…is better than the Emirates A380 first class product?
Let’s take a moment to compare the advantages to the product found on the two plane types. And let me start by saying that we’re comparing the longhaul products here — Emirates also has regional 777s with a different first class product.
Emirates 777 first class
The seats themselves are almost identical on the Emirates 777 and A380 (the 777 seats are actually slightly wider). So what are the advantages of flying first class on the Emirates 777?
- The cabin consists of just eight first class seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration (as opposed to A380 first class, which consists of 14 seats)
- The cabin does feel more spacious — not only is the fuselage considerably wider, but the ceiling is also higher, so it’s an all around roomier cabin (keep in mind that Emirates has A380 first class on the upper deck, which is quite a bit narrower than the 777)
- On 777 flights under 12 hours, the purser works the Emirates 777 first class cabin, which in general should mean service is more polished… not just because the purser should be the best at service (in theory), but also because presumably the purser will also be observing the rest of the first class crew more carefully; on the A380, and on 777 flights over 12 hours, the purser simply manages the entire plane
So simply from a sleep, space, and service perspective, the 777 may indeed be a better ride than the A380.
Emirates A380 first class
I think most people would naturally choose A380 first class over 777 first class, but is it for good reason? What are the advantages of the A380 over the 777?
What the A380 definitely has working against it is that it has 14 first class seats, so the cabin is almost double the size of the 777. That means (at least in theory) that service won’t be as attentive and the cabin doesn’t feel quite as exclusive.
Emirates A380 first class cabin
But do other features more than make up for that slight negative? What are the advantages of flying the Emirates A380?
- It features two shower suites; showering on a plane is possibly the coolest thing ever
- There’s a bar in the back of business class, which is a really fun place to hang out and kill some time
- There’s a further small walk-up bar at the front of first class, where you can grab a drink; the 777 doesn’t have that
- The A380 is considerably quieter and smoother than the 777; you almost don’t feel like you’re on a plane
- All Emirates A380s have wifi, while only some 777s have wifi (unfortunately it’s outrageously slow on both planes, given that it’s free for all passengers)
The A380 definitely has a couple of downsides, though for me the shower and bar are half of the fun of flying Emirates, which is why I have a strong preference for the A380.
Danie‘s observation is interesting, and I’m sure there are others who feel the same. And I suppose I don’t disagree. If you take out the bar and shower, then the 777 is possibly preferable to the A380.
If all you want is sleep and attentive service, I’d choose the 777 over the A380. However, if you want the overall “bling” experience, you can’t beat the shower, bar, guaranteed wifi, and smooth ride of the A380, in my opinion.
If you’ve flown Emirates, do you prefer their A380 or 777 first class product?