Review: Emirates Business Class A380 Dubai To Los Angeles

Introduction: Flying With Royalty (Or Not)
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Review: Royal Jordanian Business Class 787 Amman To Kuala Lumpur
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Review: Royal Brunei Business Class A320 Kuala Lumpur To Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Radisson Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
Review: Royal Brunei Lounge Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Royal Brunei Business Class 787 Bandar Seri Begawan To Dubai
Review: W Dubai Al Habtoor City
Review: St. Regis Dubai
Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai
Review: Emirates Business Class A380 Dubai To Los Angeles


I’ve reviewed Emirates first class many times before, though this was my first time in their A380 business class, so I was very excited to see how their business class product compared.

Emirates 217
Dubai (DXB) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Tuesday, January 10
Depart: 3:00PM
Arrive: 7:15PM
Duration: 17hr15min
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 18A (Business Class)

Since I decided to board through the gate rather than the business class lounge, I actually boarded through the door on the lower deck, walked up the staircase through first class, and then found myself in the business class cabin.

Emirates’ A380 business class cabin is massive, with 76 seats. There’s a forward business class cabin with 58 seats, and then a rear cabin with 18 seats. As you can see, the forward cabin is huge.

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Emirates A380 business class cabin

Emirates’ A380 business class product is in a staggered configuration, with each fully flat seat featuring direct aisle access.

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Emirates A380 business class cabin

I had assigned myself seat 18A, which was the window seat in the fourth to last row of the forward cabin. Emirates’ business class seats are staggered, meaning that in each row they alternate between being closer to the aisle and being closer to the window. As I explained in a previous post, you’ll want to select the seats closest to the window, if possible. That’s because these seats have significantly more privacy, and really feel like cocoons.

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Emirates A380 business class seat

As you can see below, the seats closer to the aisle don’t have nearly as much privacy, and feel quite exposed.

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Emirates A380 business class aisle seat

Meanwhile I was in love with my little cocoon.

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Emirates A380 business class seat

Generally speaking I find this type of staggered configuration to feel pretty claustrophobic, especially the area for your feet, which is often too small to be able to move your feet when in the reclined position.

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Emirates A380 business class seat

That wasn’t a problem in this configuration, as the area for my feet was quite large.

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Emirates A380 business class legroom

I loved the fact that I had two big bins along the fuselage of the plane just for myself. These staggered configurations often lack storage, though that wasn’t a problem with these seats, thanks to the bins. I was able to store all my cords, headphones, laptop, etc., in there.

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Emirates A380 business class storage lockers

Meanwhile to my right was the entertainment controller, seat controller, minibar, power outlets, and more storage

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Emirates A380 business class minibar, monitor, etc.

As you can see, there’s a small minibar at the back corner of the seat, with still and sparkling water, orange juice, and two types of soda. In order to remove a drink from it you need to lift the metal shield in front of it. This is of course a total gimmick, though still very cool.

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Emirates A380 business class minibar

Next to that was the entertainment controller, which was easy to use. You could browse the entertainment selection on there, or simply use it to control the actual IFE screen.

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Emirates A380 business class entertainment controller

Above that was the reading light, two USB outlets, a 110v outlet, and a headphone jack.

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Emirates A380 business class power outlets and reading light

Then there was a tablet of sorts that can control just about everything, from the entertainment to the seats to the reading light. It can be removed from the console and held as well.

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Emirates A380 business class monitor

Then the tray table could be extended from the right console.

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Emirates A380 business class tray table

I also appreciated that there were individual air nozzles above the seat. It’s something far too many airlines don’t have, but makes such a difference in terms of the overall cabin comfort.

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Emirates A380 business class air nozzles

Also waiting at my seat on boarding were a pillow and blanket. While the pillow was fairly comfortable, I didn’t really like the blanket — you’d think an airline like Emirates could do better than a scratchy, light blanket in business class.

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Emirates business class pillow & blanket

Also waiting at my seat were noise canceling headphones. They were fine, though not as good as the Bose ones I use.

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Emirates business class headphones

Also already at my seat was a plastic package with socks and eyeshades.

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Emirates business class socks & eyeshades

Inside the pouch there were also some stickers you could use if you didn’t want to be disturbed, wanted to be woken for a meal, etc.

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Emirates business class socks & eyeshades

Lastly, the menu for the flight was already waiting at my seat.

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Emirates A380 business class menu

Business class boarding was pretty efficient, and within about 10 minutes the cabin was pretty fully. Initially there were only about 25 people booked in business class, though economy was oversold by about 50 people, so the cabin ended up going out completely full due to operational upgrades.

Once I was settled in, the flight attendant who would be taking care of me introduced herself — “I’m from China and I will be taking care of you. Have you traveled with us in the business class before?” When I said I hadn’t, she explained the seat features, and told me to let her know if I need anything.

She also offered me a pre-departure beverage from a tray, with the choice between champagne, rose champagne, apple juice, or orange juice. I had a glass of champagne, and was also asked if I wanted the wine list for the flight.

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Emirates business class champagne & wine list

A few minutes later the crew distributed amenity kits for the flight, which were very similar to what you get in first class.

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Emirates business class amenity kit

The kit was well stocked, and featured Bulgari amenities.

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Emirates business class amenity kit contents

Then the crew came through the cabin with warm towels.

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Emirates business class hot towel

At around 3PM Captain Anders (who I believe was Dutch) made his welcome aboard on behalf of himself and first officers Sebastian, Peter, and Jay, and informed us of our flight time of 16hr10min. He informed us that we’d initially be cruising at 31,000 feet, and would eventually climb up to 41,000 feet. He also told us we’d have a slight departure delay due to the airport only using one runway, meaning we’d be delayed pushing back, and then would have a 20-30 minute taxi.

He still anticipated that we’d arrive on-time, given that our flight was blocked at over an hours longer than our flight time.

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Dubai Airport gate view

At around 3:20PM the door closed, at which point the Moroccan purser made her welcome aboard announcement and screened the safety video.

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Emirates A380 tail camera

At 3:35PM we began our pushback. Fortunately Emirates’ IFE works on the ground, so I could already start watching TV shows. However, I decided to watch the airshow and tail camera, which is one of my favorite parts of the A380.

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Airshow from Dubai to Los Angeles

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Taxiing Dubai Airport

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Emirates A380 Dubai Airport

We were holding short of runway 30R by around 3:35PM, though had about a 10 minute wait before we were cleared for takeoff.

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Waiting for takeoff Dubai Airport

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Waiting for takeoff Dubai Airport

At 3:55PM we were cleared for takeoff, right behind a FedEx plane.

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Waiting for takeoff Dubai Airport

Our takeoff roll was long, and during our initial climb out we had a stunning view of the Dubai skyline, which almost looked like a silhouette.

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View after takeoff from Dubai

Five minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off. The purser informed us that the crew came from 20 countries and spoke 16 languages — as usual, Emirates has among the most diverse crews out there.

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Emirates A380 business class cabin

After takeoff I checked out the lavatory. All four business class lavatories are located at the very back of the cabin, behind the bar. That really isn’t very many bathrooms for 76 passengers. However, there still wasn’t much of a wait, except for shortly before landing.

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Emirates business class lavatory

Once back at my seat I lowered the automatic window shade — it’s pretty cool that Emirates has automatic shades even in business class.

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Emirates A380 window shades

I then checked out the the entertainment system. Emirates’ ICE system is the best in the sky, with an incredible variety of movies, TV shows, etc. Inflight entertainment simply doesn’t get better than what Emirates offers.

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Emirates ICE entertainment system

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Emirates ICE entertainment system

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Emirates ICE entertainment system

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Emirates ICE entertainment system

I also appreciate just how many episodes they have of each show.

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Emirates ICE entertainment system

My only complaint about the IFE is that the audio portion of the entertainment doesn’t have any Shawn Mendes songs. That’s a real shame.

About 30 minutes after takeoff meal orders were taken. The lunch menu read as follows:

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The beverage list read as follows:

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About 10 minutes after that I was offered my first drink after takeoff. I ordered a glass of champagne — Emirates serves Veuve Clicquot in business class, which is quite nice.

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Emirates business class champagne

It was served with some mixed nuts.

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Emirates business class champagne and mixed nuts

About an hour after takeoff tablecloths were distributed, and then about 75 minutes after takeoff the appetizer and salad were served. Unlike Etihad and Qatar, Emirates doesn’t offer dine on demand in business class.

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Emirates business class lunch — salad and appetizer

For the starter I selected the mezze, which was quite simple. Personally the stuffed vine leaves are my least favorite part of a mezze, though seemed to be about half of this one.

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Emirates business class lunch appetizer — traditional Arabic mezze

The side salad was quite good, and I appreciated that they had a simple vinaigrette to go along with it.

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Emirates business class lunch — seasonal salad

I was also offered a selection from the breadbasket, and chose some garlic bread.

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Emirates business class lunch — bread

About 45 minutes later the main course was served. Most people don’t realize this, but most of Emirates’ main courses in first and business class are the same, but just plated differently. I ordered the chilean sea bass, which was fantastic. It was one of the best fish dishes I’ve had on a plane.

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Emirates business class lunch main course — Chilean sea bass

Then about 45 minutes later dessert was served. I had the decadent chocolate mango torte with a cappuccino. I was also offered a small box of chocolates to go along with it.

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Emirates business class lunch dessert — chocolate mango torte and cappuccino

The meal was done about 2hr30min after takeoff, which is quite long for a three course meal. Then again, it’s not like there’s much of a rush on a 16+ hour flight.

As far as the service goes, I think the crew was friendly, though I think Emirates’ service procedures in business class are way off. The entire experience feels like an assembly line, and there’s no personalization. They first serve the cabin through row 16, and then once that’s complete, serve everyone in row 17 and back.

You really feel guilty asking for things “out of turn,” since the crew is so stressed during the service, and has a very specific procedure. Perhaps part of the problem is that Emirates has a pretty big business class cabin, but at the same time Etihad and Qatar have big cabins as well, and manage to offer a personalized dine on demand menu.

So while it’s not the crew’s fault, there’s room for improvement on Emirates’ part.

At this point we were approaching Russia, and I decided to check out the bar at the back of business class.

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Airshow enroute to Los Angeles

This required walking through the mini cabin in the back of business class, which had another 18 seats. I’d do everything in your power to avoid the last few rows, because there’s not much separation between them and the bar.

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Emirates A380 business class mini-cabin

The Emirates A380 bar is such a fun place to go and stretch your legs. You can order a cocktail, snacks, etc., and there are even two benches where you can sit down.

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Emirates A380 business class bar

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Emirates A380 business class bar

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Emirates A380 business class bar

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Emirates A380 business class bar

It’s amazing how small of a world it is, because once at the bar I recognized the lead business class flight attendant, Ali. I had flown with him from Dubai to Manchester a bit over a year ago, and he was so awesome. Emirates has about 25,000 cabin crew and I don’t fly them that often, so it’s a pretty amazing coincidence that I ended up on his flight again.

We chatted for a while, and it was so great to catch up with him.

After that I decided it was time to get some sleep, so I went back to my seat, fully reclined it, and got some shuteye. I found the bed to be extremely comfortable, and as noted above, found there be plenty of room for my feet, which isn’t usually the case in a staggered configuration. I also wasn’t overheated, thanks largely to the individual air nozzles.

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Emirates business class bed

I slept for a solid six hours, and woke up as we were approaching northern Canada. I felt like I got really solid sleep, not just in terms of the amount of time I slept, but also in terms of the quality.

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Airshow enroute to Los Angeles

I checked out the tail camera, and at this point we seemed to be in a sort of permanent dusk. While it was dark earlier on, for the next several hours it stayed slightly light.

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Tail camera enroute to Los Angeles

While there’s no dine on demand for the two main meals, there’s a flexible “light bites” menu, which you can order from at any time. That menu read as follows:

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I ordered the chicken caesar salad, which was tasty, and a small portion (which I appreciate, because I wasn’t that hungry).

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Emirates business class snack — chicken caesar salad

I then ordered the chocolate cheesecake for dessert, which was once again excellent. I had a mint tea to go along with it.

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Emirates business class dessert — chocolate cheesecake

For the next few hours I tried to get some work done. Rather frustratingly, Emirates offers nearly free wifi. Everyone gets 10MB for free, and then it’s $1 for an extra 500MB. The problem is that it’s almost unusably slow, presumably due to how many people use it. So there’s almost no point in trying to use it for emails, but rather I use it mostly for texting, WhatsApp, etc.

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Eventually it got a bit lighter again, before getting darker again.

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View enroute to Los Angeles

About three hours before landing the pre-arrival meal service began. The dinner menu read as follows:

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Once again, service began with an appetizer and salad.

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Emirates business class dinner — appetizer and salad

I selected the chicken tikka appetizer, which came with curried lentil salad and mint yogurt.

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Emirates business class dinner — chicken tikka appetizer

The side salad was decent once again.

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Emirates business class dinner — seasonal salad

This time around I had a glass of wine with the meal, rather than the champagne. I decided to have the Spanish white wine.

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Emirates business class dinner — wine

For the main course I had the prawns with garlic and coriander, served with vegetables. The dish was excellent.

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Emirates business class dinner — prawns with garlic and coriander

Given that I already had two rich desserts earlier on the flight, I decided to have a cheese plate this time around. It was excellent, and was even served with a card explaining each cheese, as well as another box of chocolates.

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Emirates business class dinner — cheese plate

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Emirates business class dinner — cheese card

After the meal I had another cappuccino.

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Emirates business class dinner — cappuccino

At around 6:30PM Pacific Time, Captain Anders was back on the PA to provide us with updated arrival information, informing us that we’d soon commence our descent. Our descent was smooth (as was the whole flight). We came in over inland California, then turned east over Malibu, before eventually making a 180 degree turn to line up for landing at LAX.

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Airshow approaching Los Angeles

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Airshow approaching Los Angeles

We had a very tough touchdown on runway 24R at LAX at 7:05PM.

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Touchdown LAX

From there it was a quick 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate at Tom Bradley International Terminal.

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Gate arrival LAX

I bid farewell to Ali and the crew. I was both happy about what a good flight it was, and also happy to get off the plane — 17 hours on a plane is a long time!

Emirates A380 business class bottom line

There are things Emirates does exceptionally well, and also some areas they can improve.

What impressed me most was how comfortable and spacious the seat was, the fantastic storage bins, the incredible entertainment, the quality of the food (for the most part), the onboard bar, the air nozzles that meant the cabin wasn’t hot, and the friendliness of the crew.

At the same time, there are some areas where Emirates could improve. I thought the blanket wasn’t very comfortable, the service process felt a bit like economy (they need to either do full a la carte dining, or use carts, so the service is a bit faster), and the wifi is almost unusably slow.

So overall I had an excellent flight, though now I’m excited to try Etihad’s product on the A380, so I can compare.

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Comments

  1. Hi Lucky, random question, is the EK window seat in anyway similar to the OZ window seat on the A380 that they have? They are both staggered.

  2. At MEOW:

    They’re virtually identical save for the bells and whistles you find on EK’s planes. OZ has them on their 777-300ERs as well.

  3. Hi Ben,

    I really enjoy reading your review and I am using a lot of your tips when I book a flight! I am also impress with the quality of your pictures, can you share the type of camera you are using?

    Thanks
    Jean

  4. I’ve noticed the pictures of your reviews appear to be video taped (digitally). Edit them and post those too like Sam Chui and Avid Flyer. Maybe narration. Thanx

  5. “. All four business class lavatories are located at the very back of the cabin, behind the bar.”

    The seatmap shows a crapper between first and j on the right side in front of 7K – maybe thats for F only ?

  6. FYI, not only are the window seats more private, better for window gazing, and give you the storage bins, they are also longer when in bed mode. Same goes for the “couple” pair next to each other in the middle pairs. A, E, F and K seats are longer than B, D, G, J. The difference is significant if you’re taller than about 5’10″/178cms.

  7. I have read soooo many Emirates report on your site io am beginning to worry you are on their payroll. Please give us more perpective on other airlines.

  8. “My only complaint about the IFE is that the audio portion of the entertainment doesn’t have any Shawn Mendes songs. That’s a real shame.”

    Hahahahahhah!

  9. I’m a very loyal EK Business Class flyer and while I love most parts of their product it each and every time leaves me shocked that they cannot offer dine-on-demand in such a sophisticated plane. They cannot heat up anything so if you asked them to just serve your dinner towards the end of the flight, it’s not possible. Normally I wouldn’t mind but they need so long for dinner service which steals a lot of sleeping time on a ~5-6 hours flight.

    Still love EK.

  10. @LG Thomas, you clearly didn’t even read this one. Lucky clearly explained why he did this review. It wasn’t redundant at all.

  11. “…you need to lift the metal shield in front of it. This is of course a total gimmick,…” Really? I would have thought it was there to stop the drinks falling out on take off, landing or in turbulence?

  12. Chas, I think he means the “mini bar” is a gimmick. Even in First they are just sitting there at room temperature, so unless you like warm soda you’ve got your get a glass of ice from the FA. It’s the gimmick of providing “more” and something unique.

  13. @Lucky – I’m surprised that they permitted you to board via the front stairs if traveling in Business Class. The policy is that Business Class pax who board from the main deck have to use the rear stairs so as to not disturb the First Class cabin when they walk through. Only First Class passengers are permitted to use the front stairs.

  14. I endured LHR to AKL and return with EK in business on their 380’s and never again will I be flying with them.
    As you stated the cabin is huge and my wife and I found it very cramped looking and claustrophobic. The gap to get into one of the inner seats was only as wide as my iPad, so if you’re a large person, they might not be suitable for you. The seat backs, fake wood window trims are all shiney and reflect other tv screens.
    I found it incredible that EK provide a chauffeur service (in fact the only good thing about them) but even on the world’s longest commercial flight, do not offer pyjamas, which would cost them a few dollars each!!! Having been pre warned, we took our own, I was going to wear my QR one’s, but was told not to by the wife.
    As you said, there is no ‘dine on demand’. The meal service was very busy, with the FA’s rushing up the aisles carrying two trays at a time, so if your unlucky enough to be in an aisle seat in the rear cabin like me, you have a constant stream of traffic tooing and frooing.
    The only toilets are at the back of the plane in between the lounge and galley. On the flight back I was at the front, and there was a fairly steady stream of pax venturing forward to use the toilets, only to be turned around by the first class FA’s.
    I decided to miss my lunch on the DXB-LHR leg and decided to sit in the lounge and snack on their excellent cheese rolls. Big mistake! The FA’s were rushing about taking up trays and then clearing trays. Then the pax started to drift down queuing for the toilets, so it doesn’t have the ambience of the QR A-380 lounge.
    On our next AKL flat, we’ll be flying QR!

  15. Oh wow Andy sounds horrific! Not sure how you managed to survive? Must be that those individual AC nozzles stopped you from melting, my dear snowflake.

  16. The Emirates experience was far superior than the Ethiad experience in every way especially the friendliness and professionalism of the extraordinary flight crew.

  17. My Daughter is an FA for Emirates. Been there now almost a year. We are going over for our first time and in business in three weeks. She loves reading all the Emirates comments on Boarding Area

  18. DRAV.
    As someone who actually has to pay to fly, it took a lot of overtime to be able to afford the £8.5k price of the tickets.
    I had been looking forward to the trip, with all the positive reviews, but was grossly disappointed.
    It would make the FA’s task so much better if their was a dine on demand option, rather than spend a mad two hours serving/clearing etc.
    I wasn’t impressed with the food either, cold hard rolls and pastries, and not just ambient cold, but really cold like their cutlery.
    I have flown with QR since they first started, A-300’s from Europe and B-727’s around the Gulf, at least 14 flights at my own expense, and have always been very impressed with the service.
    Unfortunately we did not find EK at an equivalent standard.

  19. Ben – thanks for the fantastic review. Would you say that the EK business class experience is similar on the 777 vs the A380 that you flew? The cities I am near operate the 777 to and from DXB and per your earlier posts, redeeming AS miles for EK business still seems to be a reasonable value.

    Many thanks!

  20. Andy- What difference does it make if you have to “pay” to fly? Is your opinion deemed more valid because of this? To “endure” means to suffer patiently. I wonder how the 350+ serfs in economy felt on this flight while “King Andy” had to suffer? Your comments would almost be comical if they weren’t such a sad peek into how so many human beings truly feel.

  21. The isle seat is substantially less desirable. Would be disappointed knowing the guy in the row ahead paid the same $ for a vastly more private seat.

  22. Neil.
    I was referring to the business people who fly at their companies expense.
    I had to save up and do a lot of 12 hour shifts to afford our tickets.
    I’m sorry if I’ve upset the EK fan club, but my expectations were not met.

  23. @ Andy
    QR doesnt go to Auckland. So no, you wont be flying them (unless you fly them to SYD then connect to somebody else at Sydney).

  24. Nice review. I flew this just before you did. Agree with your points. Look forward to my return flight soon. Super fares ex-Cairo.

  25. I never have had the nerve to order a fish dish (other than shrimp or scallops) on a long haul airplane trip but I did order the fish on EK. It was delicious.

  26. My only food complaint for the whole trip was that the poached eggs for my Eggs Benedict were overcooked. Boo Hoo. Really fabulous trip, champagne, service and food was fabulous.

  27. I have enjoyed both Emirates and Etihad in business from Australia to the Middle East and Europe and found both of them to a pretty equal standard. But do admit I would specifically avoid the Emirates 777 as the hard product on those aircraft is an inferior product which is reflected in the price Emirates seem to charge as it is about A$1300 cheaper one way in the same fare category flying the 777 Brisbane to Dubai via Singapore than it is to fly the A380 Brisbane to Dubai direct. I know the non-stop service is probably a better option but A$1300 more seems to confirm that even Emirates admit the 777 is below par these days and I don’t think the new 777 business class seats will bring it any closer to the A380 experience.

    I am going to Barcelona and back in May-August and got all A380 flights

  28. Jason.

    QR start their DOH-AKL this Saturday using a T72-LR.
    Unfortunately this was too late to correspond with the NZ school holidays.
    We have travelled QR DOH-MEL and return before, with an ANZ connecting flight.

  29. The one thing that would be helpful to mention is that all of the lavatories are located at the very rear of the business class cabin.

    It is an extremely long walk back from the first row of business class.

  30. With all due respect, I don’t feel that you tackled the issue of the tardy mean/drink service sufficiently. EK’s approach to this, even in a 777, is absurd. More so than the intransigent dining conveyor belt which you referenced, the inability (largely) to score a drink before “the appointed time” is painful. Even your own timeline of the flight report indicates that you got your first drink a full 40 minutes (my goodness!!!) after take off. The meal service, pursuant to your timeline, only COMMENCED 75 minutes after take-off. These timelines are truly astounding and are totally out of synch with passenger expectations. Other carriers serve you a drink within mere minutes of the seatbelt light being switched off. When taking off from Bangkok at, say, midnight for a 6 hour flight to DXB there cannot be the expectation from EK that it is fine to serve the first drink at 00:40 and the meal at 01:15. The rear bar area also does serve drinks until well into the flight. That is entirely not OK and is a huge failing of EK. Again, too much corporate hype, not enough consideration of what works for a customer – this drinks service timeline is right up there with airlines using miniscule tea cups (well done to Thai Airways which introduced mugs of tea/coffee just recently), thimble-sized wine glasses, and trying to be too fancy with meal selections (what’s wrong with providing the possibility of a toasted sandwich, or other comfort food, after a midnight take-off instead of a faux fine-dining attempt?). Having to stay up for half the flight merely to get fed does not make for a restful flight or a happy customer experience. On a late evening departure, I would have thought that nearly the entire cabin would prefer a quick drink, a quick meal, and maximum snoozing time, instead of the drama of the EK meal service. Agree with some readers’ comments that other Gulf carriers, actually all other decent airlines, offer a far more obvious approach to their customers: feed and water ’em quickly, allow them shut-eye, basta!

  31. If you think you suffer in Biz, wait until you travel 1st! Now that cabin really is cramped and in the ailse seat, I felt very boxed in and I am only 5′ 10″.

    Sadly I notice that many bloggers seem to have been infected by the ‘airline-bull**** jargon’ and use phrases such as ‘travel experience’; an aircraft is transport – nothing more and by comparing the friperies instead of the cost, per class, per mile flown, you are ignoring the real issue. People seem to be commenting on the food etc instead of whether or not the trip was value for money. We are being ripped-off by airlines who, in real terms, are making more and more money per square metre out of us but if they serve the right Champange or Fillet Mignon, people seem to find that acceptable.
    EK is an average service by world-standards and not particularly cost-effective, no matter how much plastic-wood-trim they stick everywhere. They are only good value when their load-factors are down and then, they practically beg you to fly.
    Go figure!!!!!!!!!

    Major Bumsore
    40 years in; Economy, Business & First

  32. I also agree with the experience as recalled by ‘Andy’.
    I have travelled many times with EK; in all classes. and my daughter worked for the company for many years, but my experience on my last flights from Manchester to Saigon then back to Manchester from Hanoi left a lot to be desired.
    This was the first time I had flown on the two class A380, and I found the seating to be very crowded and tight. I had selected the window seats but this was changed by the airline and I ended up in the 2 seats together and it was so cramped almost like economy. The bar no longer has hot snacks just some dried rolls and was full of crew, there was hardly room for passengers! On the return flight I had to use the bar if I wanted to get a drink, as the harassed crew did not come round with them. The bar was very busy as all the passengers were having the same experience and the girl on the bar just could not keep up; not of her colleagues came to give her a hand, they were to busy in the galley chatting.
    At one point I buzzed and asked for a cup of tea and was given a very strong tea with hardly any milk, when I asked for more milk I was abruptly told to stir the tea as it was at the bottom, no amount of stirring would have made this tea milky. Anyway, it tasted of coffee so was vile. All the tea on the 4 legs was the same tasting of Coffee, I looked in envy at you photo of the coffee, I hope it didn’t taste of Tea?
    On the DXB –MAN leg the food was awful, two poor choices that ran out, ages between courses. You say the food is the same as first? If that the case I won’t be going first again with EK. I feel that they have cut back the business class product so much that it now is only a premium economy, the crew are harassed, robotic and rude. I think your experience is due to your blog, and the airline knowing that you review the flights through it, as I am also aviation obsessed I have a blog but not as well known as your (really informative) blog 🙂 

  33. We flew with the A380 from Munich to Auckland in the business class. It was our first time ever to fly business in a A380 plane and thank good it was with EMIRATES AIRLINE. It was the best flight we had so far, from the beginning until the end.

  34. I think an explaination to this economy-like service you describe is due to operational upgrades causing the business class to be always full. I have been upgraded for free three times in one year (Dusseldorf – Dubai) because they overbook the planes constantly. Might be negatively impacting the service.

    However I could not even phantom the thought that they would do this with 50 tickets, but that would also explain why I constantly got bumped up for that leg. Single traveller in holiday periods, part of the Skywards frequent flier programme (a shame I decided to fly with KLM in december this year or would have had silver by now) and not dressed like a beggar going on holiday is probably helpful. Emirates also kept sending me mails to upgrade to business class for only €250 for the Dusseldorf – Dubai leg.

    Now I have only experienced Emirates business class as I am a (premium) coach plebbian but I do find these reviews very enjoyable to read and hope it will be in my reach to fly business or even first without being a freeloader ;).

  35. Emirates A380 business class from DXB to SFO was strictly average, I’ve had better experiences. My key points:
    1. Seats are much small and space is compact. I am a broad shouldered guy and could barely fit on the flatbed, I can literally roll on an Aeromexico business class seat (Boeing 787 Dreamliner).
    2. Service is SURPRISINGLY below average. The staff seemed very inexperienced and lacked hospitality big time. It could be because not many ppl fly business on that route. I’ve had a better experience with China Airlines.
    3. Food was very average and they ran out of some entrees. Nothing compared to the top-notch menu on Air France business class.

    After flying Emirates A380 economy and business on DXB to SFO route, I find the economy much better bang for the buck. The seats are spacious (as compared to other flights), service is fantabulous (sadly much better than business class) and the food is great. As I said, it could be that Emirates values the economy flyers on this route, simply because unlike business, economy is ALWAYS full on this flight.

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