I’m Flying Emirates A380 Business Class For The First Time

As I first posted about a couple of weeks ago, I’m in the middle of a crazy review trip, which has me flying Air Canada, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, and Royal Brunei. I flew Air Canada from Tampa to Toronto, EgyptAir from Toronto to Cairo, Royal Jordanian from Cairo to Amman, Royal Jordanian from Amman to Kuala Lumpur, Royal Brunei from Kuala Lumpur to Bandar Seri Begawan, and Royal Brunei from Bandar Seri Begawan to Dubai.

That brings me as far as Dubai, though at the time I hadn’t yet decided how I’d get back from Dubai to the United States, and I was deciding between a few different options. In particular, I was considering:

  • Saudia’s new first class from Dubai to Jeddah to Los Angeles
  • Middle East Airlines business class from Dubai to Beirut to London, then United business class from London back to the U.S.
  • Etihad business class to London, then Ethiopian or Aer Lingus business class from Dublin to back to the U.S.

But then I eventually realized that this would already be a crazy trip as is, and I’d be dead tired at this point in the journey. So I looked at Emirates business class award availability, and much to my surprise, Emirates had space from Dubai to Los Angeles. So I redeemed 82,500 Alaska miles for the ticket.

Emirates-Business-Class

I’ve flown Emirates first class many times before, though have never flown their A380 business class. Meanwhile I’ve tried business class on Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, so I think it’ll be interesting to compare the product.

I’m very curious to see how their A380 product compares. At least this plane features direct aisle access from every seat, while even the newest version of the Emirates 777 seat features seven seats per row.

I’m coming in with fairly low expectations, at least on paper. Emirates doesn’t offer dine on demand in business class, nor do they offer pajamas, unlike their two biggest competitors. At the same time, they do offer a fun onboard bar.

Emirates-Bar

Stay tuned, this should be an interesting one. This will be my first time flying an Emirates A380 and not having access to a shower. 😉

If you’ve flown Emirates A380 business class before, what should I expect?

Comments

  1. I’m sure you know this but make sure you get one of the seats closest to the window. The aisle side seats don’t have a full length bed.

    Nothing about the experience will be that spectacular, however Emirates did do a cheese plate particularly well in business class with some interesting selections.

  2. I had the chance to try out their A380 business class product on a flight from Prague to Dubai last year. Overall, it was a positive experience (and a nice appetizer flight….my next flight was A380 first from Dubai to SFO).

    My only complaint? Some jerk in the lounge area (biz passenger) kept begging for a pour of Hennessy Paradis…he was annoying.

  3. “This will be my first time flying an Emirates A380 and not having access to a shower.”

    The indignities you endure for your readers.

  4. Lucky

    Looking forward to the review as I’m keen to try the Milan Malpensa to JFK route and looking through your extensive Emirates posts, I couldn’t see a business class report, so looking forward to it.

  5. Please spend some time at the bar – try to get a good sense of the atmosphere. I’m fascinate by airplane bars (it seems cool to be able to chat with fellow world travelers while in transit in a social setting).

  6. Emirates 380 Business Class is my least favorite long haul seats!!! Seats are cramped, windows are small (380 problem) and cabin temperature is not cool enough to sleep. Also, don’t care for the bling. On the other hand, service, entertainment and food are great! Really like the boarding process and young energetic FA’s.

  7. I’m just curious, but how can you as a gay male justify all the time you spend in these Arab countries and flying the Arab airlines?

  8. I flew Emirates Business on the A380 on BKK-HKG in August. Flight was blocked at 3 hours but only 2h15 in the sky in the end.

    Food and service were outstanding for such a short flight. The only issue I had was the bar, which was beautifully set up just after the seatbelt sign was taken off, was completely undone by the time the lunch was over, well before our descent!

    FAs took great care of me, playful, friendly, and constantly asking if I wanted another drink or a cappuccino!

    Hope you have a lovely flight!

  9. Its okay, must admit no where near as good as Qatar’s 787/350 Business class and to be honest, the food is really patchy – its either really good or really bad, not much in between.

    We’ve got a 4x A380 route in Q1 of 2017 on Emirates to the Far East – not expecting much – but at least its better than the angle lie 777 2-3-2.

    Been a bit too spoilt lately with better BC service – I don’t like the Emirate bling either, my dad refers to them as Air Lexus (based on the gaudy interiors the cars used to have).

  10. This is a major review! How many A380 business seats to Emirates fly every day? (All those double-deckers at DXB!) And you haven’t been there yet?

    Looking forward to this.

    For what isn’t worth, i loved the A380 business, but value maximization depends on how much you enjoy the bar, which is an epic product for a business ticket.

  11. Looking forward to your review but it’s too bad you didn’t fly today since Caroline Stansbury of Ladies of London is on today’s flight in business!

  12. Have flown Emirates A380 Biz a few times and it has always been a great experience. The service, food and product are generally better than most. Their touchscreen entertainment screens are also easy to use.

    The bar is obviously the highlight, as it is just such a cool experience. Get a window seat with the configuration where you have some extra space between you and the aisle. This provides some buffer to the aisle and is the best seat config for storage and surface space, IMO.

    Lack of Dine on Demand and Pajamas as a reason to have low expectations? That is pretty picky and a bit extreme.

  13. Told ‘ya before… You could have hopped to AUH and try AZ’s new J to MXP and still be able to catch an Emirates A380 to JFK.

  14. @ Anthony:

    Even when I flew first on the A380, I spent a few hours hours back at the bar area…it was a lot of fun, and it was great talking with some of the crew members.

  15. So Lucky, Emirates A380, but only Business Class, huh? You’re really slummin’ it now, dude You won’t run into Jennifer Aniston back there. What’s next, United in Basic Economy on an international flight? 🙂

    Could you also comment on the differences in DXB lounge access between First and Business? (We got to enjoy First lounge privileges there a few months ago thanks to Qantas First tickets booked with AAdvantage miles prior to the devaluation.)

  16. I have traveled in Emirates A380 twice from Dubai to the U.S. I first flew it in 2010 and then again last year – May 2016. You can see the full review of my most recent trip here: http://0504traveller.blogspot.com/2016/07/emirates-airlines-trip-report-economy.html

    While the service was still good, I did notice a drastic decrease in the seat comfort, width, and overall quality of bedding. The service was also a bit down – both in terms of attention to detail and quality of food. The nice parts of the A380 are aisle access and the bar at the end. The downsides are the drink holders (which look like mini-jails) and the odd placement of USBs and other pockets. Also, you cannot keep anything by your seat for take-off and landing.

    Hope you enjoy the flight

  17. I have traveled in Emirates BC on our honeymoon from AMS to DPS. Amazing experience! It was the first time BC for me so it’s hard to compare. I’m flying them again next summer, AMS to DAR. Already looking forward to it. Sound maybe weird but for me the “flat’ bed on the 777 was more comfortable than on the A380. Of course the A380 is a much nicer experience with the bar etc.

  18. There is a great difference between the 777 and the 380 Biz section. 380 much more comfortable and quieter plus you have the bar and snacks in the back. It will interesting to see what the new biz seats and the new 777’s look like. I have been told by a FA that the FC “cabins” will have a higher wall.

  19. Maybe I just had two bad crews but I was very disappointed with my first experience flying their A380 business class last year. Flew it from TPE-DXB-BCN. Wouldn’t fly it again.

    Both legs I was sitting in the first seat by the window and both legs no one came by to say hi, welcome me and ask if I needed anything after boarding. However people behind me and across from me got welcomed.

    Second leg they totally forgot to take my meal order. I saw them bringing food out to other passengers when I said something. When I mentioned it, no apologies. Just handed me a menu and took my order.

    I expected Emirates service to be welcoming and top notch. Instead it was cold and felt like they didn’t want to work.

    Hard product was fine but the service was terrible that I wouldn’t fly their business class again when there are many other choices out there.

    On the way back, I flew economy all the way back and the service there was actually friendlier.

    Flying Etihad’s A380 business class in a couple weeks so hoping that’ll be better.

  20. Also, I agree that not having meals on demand is a bit let down. I usually eat at the lounge before boarding and do not want to eat again for five or six hours. Even United has offered that for years.

  21. I have one last question or remark and that is how much longer do we all ( readers) and not just your blog have to see EK reviews ? Got to be the most written about airline going. Or is it you can hack free tickets ?

    Nothing personal, really

  22. The newest 777-300ER with the new business class product has just been delivered. You might want to try it as well, even though it doesn’t have direct aisle access. But the design as usual is blingy. It currently services DXB-GVA.

  23. Just flew Jan 05 SFO-DXB on 380 (14 EF)

    The food was excellent both in the J lounge in SFO and on the plane. Had the lamb and was the best lamb I have had anywhere in a very long time. Went very well with the Pinot. Wife ordered a special seafood meal ahead of time and stated it was absolutely fabulous.

    Enjoyed the bar at the back while the wife slept. Too bad the Champagne was not very good (much better on Cathay).

    Flying DXB-JNB on the old 777 (angle) and expect a much different experience. We actually flew SEA-SFO-DXB to avoid the 777 operating out of SEA. Angled seats in J. Boo Hiss. Mind you – EK has the WORST Y SEATS of any major airline and must be avoided at all cost.

    With the huge devaluation of AS points this is our first and last AS points trip on EK.

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