What’s The Best Emirates A380 Business Class Seat?

Yesterday I flew Emirates’ A380 business class for the first time, which was a pretty good experience overall. Given how big Emirates’ A380 fleet is, I figured I’d write a post about the best business class seats on the plane, because this is a plane where there’s a big difference in quality between seats. To start, here’s a link to the SeatGuru page for the Emirates A380, which is a good reference point.

Emirates’ A380 business class cabin is located on the upper deck, behind the first class cabin.

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The business class cabin features a total of 76 seats, spread across two cabins. There’s one massive business class cabin with 15 rows.

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Then there’s a partition due to the position of the emergency exit, and behind that are another five rows of business class.

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Then behind that cabin is the business class bar, which is a fun place to hang out.

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Then behind that are the four lavatories, and then the galley.

So, which Emirates A380 business class seat should you choose?

You want an “A” or “K” seat

These are the “true” window seats. Emirates has a staggered business class configuration, meaning that in each row the seats are in a different position.

The “A” and “K” seats are fantastic because of how private they are. The console is located on the aisle-side of the seat, so you really feel like you have a private cocoon.

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Furthermore, there are bins along the windows, so you have plenty of room to store things, and don’t feel claustrophobic since you’re not seated right against the fuselage.

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The “B” and “J” seats are also technically window seats, though they’re much closer to the aisle. They’re not nearly as private. It’s also tougher to reach the storage lockers from these seats. So they’d only be my second choice after the “A” and “K” seats.

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You don’t want to sit in the rear mini-cabin

Usually I have unusual preferences, as I prefer to sit in the very back of a business class cabin. Don’t do this on the Emirates A380 for a few reasons:

  • All the bathrooms and bar are at the back of the cabin, so there’s going to be a ton of noise and foot traffic in these seats
  • All the service is provided from the rear galley, so the crew will constantly be passing you, and there will be a lot of light from behind the cabin

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I actually sort of can’t believe Emirates sells the last row of business class on this plane, as it’s just a foot from the bar. I would hate to be seated in one of those seats if I were hoping to sleep.

You want to sit in the front half of the forward cabin

Everything is done from behind business class — it’s where the bathrooms and bar are, and it’s where service is conducted from. So if you’re seated in the forward part of the cabin, there’s virtually no foot traffic, which is great. However, you also don’t want to be in the very front of the cabin, since the first class galley is located in front, so there’s going to be some light and noise.

So my preference would be to sit between rows 9 and 16.

There’s another reason to sit in row 16 or up. Emirates’ business class service very much feels like an assembly line, and is done in two steps. First they do the service for rows 6 through 16, and then afterwards they do service for rows 17 through 26.

In other words, first they’ll lay out the tablecloths, bring out the appetizer tray, and serve wine, for rows 6-16, and then once that’s complete, they’ll do the same in rows 17 through 26. So by being in the forward rows you’ll get served much faster.

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So, what are the best Emirates A380 business class seats?

I’d say the absolute best seats in Emirates A380 business class are 9A/K, 11A/K, and 14A/K, since you get a “true” window seat and are towards the front of the cabin, meaning you have as little foot traffic as possible. If those aren’t available I’d choose 16A/K, 18A/K, or 20A/K, which will be good as well.

If you’re traveling with someone, it all depends how close you want to be with them. The “E” and “F” seats are often referred to as honeymoon seats, because you’ll be seated very close together, which some like. Personally I think privacy is the rarest commodity on planes, so even if I’m traveling with someone I want to spend time with, I wouldn’t choose these seats. Otherwise there’s no real difference among the “D” and “G” seats, which are all close to the aisle, and similar to the “B” and “J” seats.

Do you have a favorite Emirates A380 business class seat?

Comments

  1. Disagree. First row of the rear cabin A or K seat is the best. First, you have a much smaller cabin, so it does not feel as big and dormitory like as the main cabin. Second, it is quieter. Third, in the A/K seat, you are away from the aisle, so the added foot traffic is much less bothersome. Fourth, the view of the rearof wing is cool (as someone who only flies premium, it is a view I rarely get to see) — the engines on the A380 are quiet, so you don’t get much engine noise either. The two biggest drawbacks are: 1) meals are served front to back, so it takes longer to get served; and 2) it takes longer to deplane. Both are manageable in my opinion.

  2. @Mark J mainly for superstitious reasons. Many airlines don’t have a row 13 because it is considered to be un-lucky. Many LH planes also don’t have a row 17 because in Italy and Brazil 17 is that unlucky rather than 13. In many Asian cultures the number 4 is unlucky so you will see a lot of airlines with aircraft lacking a “row 4” hope this helps!

  3. Also, I’d not recommend the rear of the J cabin lavatory-wise because, depending on the route, these can become very soiled very quickly. VERY quickly. And during meal services the FAs don’t have a lot of time to clean them up and the smells can be fairly onerous. I’ve been on more than one A380 flight in J where the lavs were absolutely disgusting because of the cultural norms at the origin/destination. Bottom line: forward is (almost always) better.

  4. If you want a large foot cubby space, I would actually recommend Seat 7A / 7K.
    I flew that from LAX to DXB and it was really nice. There actually isn’t a lot of foot traffic because it’s only First class ahead of you. The galley noise isn’t really an issue because you are by the window and away from the noisy aisle. And the foot space is very generous in the bulkhead.

  5. @Ryan:

    I was going to say 23A or K myself. Like 7 A/K (first row of J in the main cabin), it’s bulkhead (extra footwell space), a window seat, it’s closer to the bar without being TOO close to the bar.

  6. @ JudgeRuth – A/K and B/J would be in different, alternating rows. So if you were in 11A, all that’s on your right would be a console (the feet of the person in 12B are in it, but such is life), and to the right of that is the aisle. So there’s no relation between any A/K and B/J seats.

  7. Completely agreed that if flying alone and trying to sleep, I’d go for K in the front cabin (I sleep on the right side so feels more private, and my usual route is LHR-DXB-LHR and a K seat offers much better view when landing in LHR on the 27s, as well as a potentially better view on the 12s in DXB).

    However I usually fly with work colleagues and we hang out at the bar quite a bit. For that, I will always choose 25K. It’s the closest seat to the bar and I’m not that bothered about service timing as I usually place my food order at the bar and get told when it’s ready at my seat. For lounging/watching a movie, 25K is perfectly fine with some good noise cancelling headphones (QC35 to the rescue 😉 )

  8. Thank you Lucky! I have a KUL-DXB-KUL coming up and had been pondering seat choice – had gone with 11K so I’m glad that sounds like a good seat as I would prefer to be away from the bar

  9. If you are flying alone,then seats A and K are the best,if you are flying with someone else I recommend seats in the middle of the cabin.One thing that made me ecstatic in Emirates business 380 is ,the two outside lavatories have window,which gives them very “homey” feel .

  10. Sorry I must say I prefer the E & F seats when travelling with my other half, so that we can at least have a conversation with each other. We will avoid flying with airlines that do not provide a suitable seating arrangement for couples in Business Class.

  11. I’ve flown this three times and before the first time I remember reading some reviews on the best seats and lots said that 23A&K were the best because of the extra legroom and shielded position offering extra privacy.

    My first flight a couple of years ago I was in 25A but because I was so excited for what was my first proper business class flight I didnt really pay attention noise, gallery light etc!

    Last summer I was able to select 23A. It was defiantly a better seat but it was also a night flight so after the dinner service nobody used the bar so there was very little foot traffic passing. The other time during a day flight I was in the forward cabin and from memory it was defiantly more quite with hardly anyone walking past.

  12. Seems odd that a review of the best seats doesn’t mention that half the seats (B, D, G & J) are 22cm shorter than the others when in bed mode.

  13. Totally agree with A and K seats being the best. 14A was definitely cool when I used it once. I just love the Emirates experience, business or economy.

  14. Emirates is the best airline I have ever flown. The, A380, is a very good plane and offers air travelers fine choices for their flight experiences.

  15. Lucky, I’ve been reading your reviews for a long long time and I’ve always wanted you to do a review for Emirates A380 business class (I see you’ve traveled multiple times in First Class)

    We finally took the plunge and traveled on the Emirates A380 last month in Business class from Mumbai to Milan via Dubai. Unfortunately only the Dubai to Milan flight was on the A380 and it was by far the best flight of our lives. My wife and I took the ‘honeymoon seats’ and they were PERFECT. Very spacious, and you don’t feel too close to the aisle. We really wished we had taken a longer flight!

    We reserved our seats in the main cabin but pretty much in front, so we were served soon enough. We agree with your analysis, the rear cabin has too much noise coming from the bar area which can tend to get slightly noisy (we sang “We wish you a merry Xmas” with the crew since we were traveling on Xmas eve), but luckily our flight was pretty empty so hardly anyone was in the rear Biz class cabin.

    The business class travel was supposed to be a one-off exception but I think we’re now spoilt for life.

  16. We flew DFW-DXB, DXB-HKG a few months ago. First leg in the 777, me and my wife in F, seats 2E and 2F, our daughter in J, seat 6K. Perfect because she was close to us and the FA’s didn’t mind her checking in on us once in a while. On the 380 to HKG she was in 7K, same reason. Being away from the bar gives definitely more privacy.

  17. It’s worth noting that on a 2 class the “aisle” and “window” ying yang is reversed ‘ so even numbers are nearer the window. Currently sat in 8K which is perfect

  18. I flew A380 business last year and had seat A18 both ways. Loads of room and privacy, but all I could see out of the window was the HUGE wing! The flight staff recommended seat A23 to me, so that’s what I’ve booked for my next flight…….. Will see how it compares!

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