Emirates Lounge Dallas DFW Airport
A First Timer’s Thoughts On Emirates First Class
The World’s Most Over The Top Afternoon Tea
Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dallas To Dubai
Our Late Night Las Vegas Experience In Dubai
Review: Park Hyatt Dubai Park Deluxe Room
EK17 To Manchester: Having The Best Time And Keeping It Green While Ben Goes Amber
Review: Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai B Concourse
Arlanda Express: Speedy Transport For Dummies
Should A Few Instances Of Bad Service Spoil Overall Perceptions Of A Hotel?
Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dubai To Manchester
Review: Hilton Manchester Deansgate
First Time In Lufthansa First (With Two Celebrities): Review Of The First Class Terminal In Frankfurt
Review: British Airways Lounge Manchester
Review: British Airways Galleries First Lounge London Heathrow
Review: Sheraton Stockholm
First Time In Lufthansa First (With Two Celebrities): Review Of LH450 from Frankfurt to Los Angeles
Review: Aurora Lounge Stockholm Arlanda Airport
Review: Grand Hyatt Berlin
Review: Airberlin Lounge Berlin Airport
Review: Park Hyatt Vienna
Review: Austrian HON Circle & First Class Lounge Vienna Airport
Review: Austrian A320 Business Class Vienna To Frankfurt
Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt
Review: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt To Newark
I’ve reviewed Emirates first class several times before, most recently between Los Angeles and Dubai and then between Dubai and Singapore. Emirates offers one of my all around favorite first class products, thanks in no small part to just how fun the experience is. Even when service isn’t amazing, I still tend to have a great flight.
Dallas (DFW) – Dubai (DXB)
Saturday, August 22
Arrive: 12:00PM (+1 day)
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 2E (First Class)
Upon boarding we were greeted at the door by the purser and senior flight steward, who handed us off to one of the first class crew. As is the norm, the Emirates boarding music was playing, which always gets me in the spirit:
We were escorted to our seats, 2E & 2F. Emirates’ A380 first class cabin is on the upper deck, and consists of a total of 14 seats — there are four rows of single seats on each side of the cabin, and then three sets of two seats in the center of the cabin.
No matter how many times I fly Emirates first class, the amazement and bling factor never really goes away.
Once settled into 2E the first class crew came by to introduce themselves. The flight attendant working my aisle was Jacqueline, who was from the UK. Meanwhile the flight attendant working Matt’s aisle was Alejandro, who was from Spain. Then there were two other first class flight attendants — Georgiana and Rosielle — who primarily worked the galley, but also helped in the aisles.
All four crew came by during boarding to introduce themselves, which I find to pretty consistently be the case on Emirates. Even when the service isn’t great inflight, there’s a good amount of puffery on the ground to make everyone feel welcome.
As usual, waiting at my seat was the totally unnecessary minibar and snack basket. The minibar consists of room temperature drinks, and seems a bit redundant, given that you should be able to request whatever you’d like to drink at any point.
I used to think the snack basket was useless, but in the meantime I actually find it to be a vital part of any properly maximized Emirates flight. Specifically, those Mars bars sure taste good after a visit to the bar.
To the right of the seat was a monitor, which could be used to control the seat settings, lights, etc.
Behind that was the rather large storage compartment.
At the front left of the suite was the typical Emirates writing kit, which contains all kinds of stationary. While I don’t take the kit anymore, I always do grab the pen.
As usual, I found Emirates’ hard product to be outrageously blingy but also quite practically designed. It’s far from the most spacious suite in the sky (after all, Emirates crams 14 seats in the first class section), though given the limited footprint of each seat, I think it’s well designed.
Once settled in we were offered pre-departure beverages. Matt and I both ordered champagne, though decided to have just one glass. That’s because Emirates only serves Moet on the ground in the US, while they serve Dom Perignon 2005 after takeoff (they serve Moet on the ground in the US because they don’t want to have to pay taxes on the more expensive champagne).
Shortly thereafter we were offered hot towels.
And then the traditional dates and Arabic coffee… which I gladly took a refill on.
After that we were offered Fast Track cards for our arrival in Dubai.
Then we were offered the amenities for the flight, which are sort of like Christmas for any premium cabin airplane geek.
This included a pair of very comfortable slippers.
Then some pajamas. It’s worth noting that Emirates pajamas run really large. Medium is the smallest size, and they only typically load two of them per cabin, so if you want one you’ll want to ask for it as soon as possible. For what it’s worth, medium is huge even on me.
Then we were offered amenity kits, which were a new style I hadn’t seen before. While the bag itself was different, the contents seemed to be the same as before.
The kits are extremely well stocked, and include everything from shaving cream to deodorant to BVLGARI after shave, body lotion, etc.
As boarding continued, one other passenger joined us in first class, specifically in seat 2A. As luck would have it, he seemed to be on some sort of a raw vegetable and juice diet, which meant even more of the good stuff for us. 😉
At around 12:10PM the Irish captain made his welcome aboard announcement. He sounded like a nice guy, and introduced his three colleagues in the flight deck. It was a diverse group, as the other three pilots were Australian, Emirati, and Mexican (side note: the Mexican first officer was really attractive).
The captain informed us that our flight time was 14hr25min, which was a bit longer than usual. We’d be cruising initially at 33,000 feet, but would be climbing up to 41,000 feet as we burned off fuel. I also love that he added “it’s a nice day in Dubai, it should be about 46 degrees when we land tomorrow. That’s just a bit warmer than here in Dallas.” At about 115 degrees Fahrenheit, that was way warmer than in Dallas!
At 12:20PM we began our pushback, at which point the safety video began to play.
We taxied out to runway 18L, which took about 15 minutes.
Once at the runway it was five more minutes before we were cleared for takeoff.
This was Matt’s first flight on the A380, and not surprisingly he was shocked by how quiet the plane is. As an A380 regular, it’s something I’ve come to take for granted nowadays. Our takeoff roll was reasonably quick, and climb out was smooth.
After takeoff I immediately connected to the onboard wifi. Emirates is determined to eventually offer free wifi, though in the meantime they charge just $1 for wifi for the entire flight. That sounds nice in theory, though the reality is unfortunately that wifi on Emirates is outrageously slow. It’s almost unusable for anything other than social media updates, texting, etc.
About 15 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point one of the shower attendants came by to present us with the shower spa pamphlets. She asked if we wanted to schedule an appointment. Given that the other passenger didn’t want to shower and there were two showers for the two of us, she was happy to just let us decide when we wanted to shower later on.
Shortly thereafter the British purser, Gina, came by to welcome us aboard and present us with the menus for the flight. She was extremely friendly, and told us to let her know if we wanted anything at any point during the flight.
Gina asked if she could get us started with some drinks, and naturally we asked for some of the 2005 Dom. We were also offered warm nuts, along with cold and hot canapes. We selected the warm nuts and cold canapes to start, which were just lovely. Emirates is one of the few non-US airlines which heats nuts, which I really do appreciate.
Emirates has a dine on demand menu, whereby you can order what you want whenever you want. And unlike a certain other UAE based airline, they don’t generally run out of options. I love the freedom of being able to order from such a menu.
For what it’s worth, the menu read as follows:
Meanwhile the (incredible) drink menu read as follows:
With the airlines I fly most I tend to have “systems” for how I enjoy the flights. With Emirates I really struggle with the order in which to do things, since flying with them really is that fun. So my approach to a longhaul Emirates first class flight is typically as follows:
- Start with some champagne, nuts, and canapes at the seat
- Have caviar and Arabic mezze as a starter
- Hang out at the bar for a while
- Come back to the seat and eventually have a main course, though if full maybe wait a bit or otherwise take a nap before continuing to eat
Matt was kind enough to follow my lead on that approach, and I don’t think he regretted it. 😉
We started with the caviar service, and were offered a bread basket to accompany it. Emirates has a pretty decent caviar service, though I still slightly prefer the presentation of airlines which serve it in the tin, like ANA, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, etc.
After that we had the Arabic mezze, which was good as ever. I can never eat more than half of it without feeling like I’m about to explode.
After that we decided to explore the plane a bit further. First we headed to the first class bar, located in front of the first class cabin right next to the two shower suites and across from the stairs.
Naturally we most admired the Dom 2005 and Hennessy Paradis. Hennessy Paradis is possibly the most expensive drink served in the sky, and is in the process of being removed from Emirates flights.
Meanwhile Dom 2005 is one of the best champagnes I’ve had in a while (even better than Krug, I’d argue).
After that we headed back to the business class bar, located at the very back of business class. For what it’s worth, business class on this flight was reasonably full, especially for a Dallas flight, which usually has reasonably low loads. Business class was maybe 75% full.
Despite the full load in business class, the bar was fairly empty. There we met senior flight stewardess Laura from the UK (who was in charge of the business class cabin), and business class flight attendant Roxana from Romania. Both were absolutely lovely, and probably our favorite crew members.
They took amazing care of us. Amazing care. Arguably thy took too good care of us. First we had some Dom. Then we did a whisky tasting. Then some espresso martinis. Then…
The funny thing is that I’m not someone who generally goes to bars. I far prefer lounges, where you don’t have to interact with strangers. But there’s something I love about the Emirates onboard bar setup. Not only do you get to interact with crew members from all walks of life, but equally fun is that you interact with all kinds of cool passengers.
Our trip to the bar lasted quite a bit longer than we were anticipating, as we were leaving North America by the time we got back to our seats.
At that point we were a bit hungry (or perhaps just realized that food would help us sober up a bit).
So we started with another round of caviar.
Then we had custom made salads.
And then beef striploins. The beef was quite underwhelming — it was chewy and hard as could be. That being said, the sides were great, and in particular the roasted sweet potatoes.
While I’m not usually a red wine guy, Matt insisted I try the Opus One, and I’m happy he did, because it was spectacular.
By the time dinner finished up we were just off the coast of Greenland. This flight basically goes right over Europe, unlike the flights out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, which generally take a polar routing.
I’m not sure how exactly it happened, but after dinner I fell asleep with my seat in the upright position. I seem to have slept for a few hours, as I woke up over Europe. Oops. So much for maximizing that fully flat bed!
At that point we had about five hours left to Dubai, so I requested to have my bed made in 3A, the seat diagonally across from mine. Suffice to say I feel asleep there within seconds.
I woke up just over two hours from Dubai.
I had a bit of a headache, so ordered some water upon waking up. I was brought a glass which was maybe 2/3 full, so it probably had 5-6 ounces in it. I requested a refill quickly. To be honest this wasn’t the most attentive crew on earth, and after my call button went unanswered for a couple of minutes I decided to take my water supply into my own hands, and raided the 11 empty suites for their bottled water. 11 bottles later…
After that it was time for a shower. As always, it was one of the highlights of my Emirates experience. Showering on a plane never ever ever ever ever gets old. Ever.
Once back at my seat we were about 90 minutes out of Dubai, at which point I decided to order breakfast.
I started with a French press coffee. I love that Emirates offers French press in first class (though it has to specifically be requested).
For breakfast I ordered a fruit plate, fruit yogurt, and some muesli with milk. And water. Trashy as it may be, I requested a big bottle, given that I was thirsty.
While I was given a small cup of milk for my coffee, oddly I wasn’t offered milk with my muesli. After about five minutes I followed up about that, and was informed “oh, we don’t have any milk anymore.”
- Maybe I should have been informed of that when being served muesli — am I supposed to eat it dry?
- Clearly the crew was enjoying some cappuccinos on the flight, because up until this point no one in first class had consumed any milk, so there’s not much excuse to be out of it before breakfast service
Matt perhaps took the smarter approach, and ordered chicken curry rather than breakfast.
At around 11:30AM Dubai time the captain came on the PA again to provide us with updated arrival information. He explained that it was quite busy in Dubai (which is odd midday, since that’s usually the slowest time at the airport), and that we’d have to enter a holding pattern.
So first we had to circle a couple of times over the Gulf, and then we flew inland.
As we descended the Emirates Dubai welcome video played, which is basically an Emirates-branded version of this awesome video:
We passed Dubai Airport, and then flew for another 15 minutes or so, before circling back around for our approach.
For landing I switched to seat 2K, so that I’d have a good view on the approach.
Inland there’s not all that much to see in the UAE, other than the sparsely populated land.
Eventually we finally circled back around and began our rather shaky approach into Dubai.
We touched down on runway 30L at around 12:20PM.
From there it was a quick five minute taxi to our arrival gate, A7.
There didn’t seem to be more than a dozen or so Emirates planes on the ground when we landed.
We bid the crew farewell, and stumbled off the plane, having had one of the best flights of our lives.
From there we took the escalators down to the lower level, and then took the train to the main terminal, where immigration is located.
There were no queues at immigration, where the agent who helped me was uncharacteristically friendly.
From there we headed to Emirates chauffeur drive, where we were offered a ride to the Park Hyatt Dubai upon presenting our boarding passes.
And by 1PM we were at the Park Hyatt, desperately in need of a nap!
Emirates A380 first class bottom line
Emirates first class is just such a fun experience. Ultimately the service on this sector wasn’t amazing. The crew was generally friendly, though wasn’t very attentive — in many cases plates wouldn’t be removed for almost half an hour, despite them not having anything else to do. The purser and crew at the bar in business class more than made up for it, though.
Furthermore, every other aspect of the Emirates experience is amazing, from the entertainment selection, to the food, to the shower, to the onboard bar, etc. I don’t think there’s an airline in the world I consistently have more fun on than Emirates.
I can’t wait to fly them again!