What’s The Best Seat In Emirates’ New 777 First Class?

A few days ago I had the chance to fly Emirates’ brand new 777 first class between Dubai and Brussels. The seat has a lot of innovative features, and because of the unique aspects of different seats, I’ve had several readers ask me what I think the best seat in the cabin is. I actually think some seats are better than others (even if the differences are minimal), so hopefully this post is useful for anyone considering flying Emirates’ new first class.

Emirates’ new 777 first class layout

Emirates’ new 777 first class consists of a total of six seats, spread across two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration. On the left side are seats 1A and 2A, in the middle are seats 1E and 2F (they’re not actually staggered like the seatmap suggests, as they’re immediately behind one another), and on the right side are seats 1K and 2K.

Window seats vs. middle seats

Possibly for the first time in history, some people may prefer to select a middle seat over a window seat. It goes without saying that all of these suites are massively spacious, so what differentiates them?

Well, the middle seats have virtual windows. That means you get the same view as you’d get in a window seat. These are surprisingly high resolution, and if nothing else, the novelty of this is pretty awesome. In seat 1E your virtual windows are on the right side, while in 2F your virtual windows are on the left side.

Furthermore, the middle suites are slightly more spacious than the window suites. We’re talking about a very minor difference, but basically in the window seats you have to deal with the curvature of the aircraft. So as you get towards the ceiling of your suite, the wall starts to curve.

That’s not a problem in the middle seats, so you’ll find that the suite feels a bit more spacious. As you can see below, there are two full minibar compartments in the middle suites, rather than just the one and a half (as seen above) you’ll find in the window suites.

What are the advantages of the window seat? Well, for one, you have access to real windows. But let’s get real. Why would you want real windows when you can have virtual ones instead? šŸ˜‰

The only other benefit is that passengers in window seats get binoculars for looking out the windows, while those in the middle seats don’t (which seems like a lost opportunity — why wouldn’t you want binoculars to look out of your virtual windows?!). This is entirely a gimmick, but it’s a cool one at that.

Up until this point I’d actually say that the middle seats are better than the window seats, but there’s one big advantage to two of the window seats.

Specifically, seats 2A and 1K are by far the most private, since they face a wall, rather than facing the opening to one of the middle suites. In other words, the entrance to suites 1A, 1E, and 2A is on the left aisle, and the entrance to suites 1K, 2F, and 2K is on the right side.

You’ll have a ton of privacy no matter what, but it’s especially nice to be able to keep your suite open and just have a wall across from you, rather than the opening of another suite.

Which Emirates first class suite would I choose?

Here’s how I’d rank my seat preferences in Emirates’ new first class from favorite to least favorite (again, they’re all great, and we’re talking about such minor differences here):

  • 2A — you have no one across from you, and you’re further from the galley
  • 1K — you have no one across from you
  • 2F — you have the slightly more spacious middle suite and the virtual windows, and you’re further from the galley
  • 1E — you have the slightly more spacious middle suite and the virtual windows
  • 2K — you’re further from the galley
  • 1A

Again, all the seats are absolutely fantastic, but if you have your pick of seats, that’s the order in which I’d go. However, if you’re flying this product for the first time, I certainly wouldn’t blame you for picking a middle suite in order to experience the virtual windows.

I’m curious — if you guys flew Emirates first class, would you choose a middle seat for the virtual windows, or go for a window seat?

Comments

  1. Would definitely go for the middle one – looks more spacious from my perspective – and the virtual window is a ‘gimmick’ but bound to get people attracted to them – i am!

  2. In these seats one has the sensation of full privacy but is that actually the reality? Is there no place where crew can look in or monitor by camera? Or could one completely one hang out in boxers same as you might in a hotel room?

    (Truth be told I would not really welcome people sleeping disrobed in an airline seat. I would also not welcome assuming I had full privacy and then learning crew had ability to see me….even if I wasnā€™t doing anything necessary to hide.)

  3. Steiner binos, very nice.

    I just can’t get over the Alfred Neuman shaped decoration…I’d have a tough time staring at that. I guess I’d put on the eye shades…

  4. @Lucky Why is the seat map inaccurate? What’s the problem with just depicting one compartment behind another? Also, are the minibars refrigerated?

  5. Can you flip the virtual windows so you can see out of either side of the plane? Clearly in one view the plane will (sort of) appear to be flying backwards and it would be very odd landing or taking off but at cruise it would be great if you can chose to watch the alps or the sunset/sunrise…

  6. Thanks for you thoughts

    My order:
    Window away from galley
    Window near galley
    Middle seat away from galley
    Middle seat near galley

    My rationale:
    I love looking outside. All over. (Up, down, forward, backwards)

    Noise comes from the galley, which could in theory bother me especially when sleeping

    But having somebody in a suite with a closed door across from me? Not so much.
    I have to wonder: are a lot of flyers agoraphobic or something?

    Iā€™ll probably never fly this because of the price and routes and because I donā€™t fly solo… but they are stunning

  7. The seat map with staggered E and F makes sense. If you are travelling as a pair, it would tell you which seats to choose. I would imagine the choices for couples go:
    Best – 2F and 2K
    2nd Best – 1A and 1E
    3rd and 4th best 1A and 2A or 1K and 2K.

    If for example you chose 2A and 2F as a couple, you would have a long walk to see each other.

  8. @Boco

    For the A380 F, here is my preference for someone traveling alone.

    1. 2K
    2. 2A
    3. 3K
    4. 3A
    5. 1K
    6. 1A
    7. 4K
    8. 4A
    9. 2F
    10. 2E
    11. 1F
    12. 1E
    13. 3F
    14. 3E

    If traveling with another person, then:

    1. 2E/F
    2. 1E/F
    3. 3E/F

  9. @ Malc — Nope, they’re not refrigerated. I suspect the logic of showing the seats staggered is to make it easier for people traveling together to pick suites that are logically better together.

  10. @ John — There’s no camera and you do have full privacy. Presumably there are circumstances under which they’re probably technically supposed to check on you (like if the seatbelt sign goes on), but otherwise you really do have an incomparable amount of privacy.

  11. @ Lucky – Would you agree that an even better seat would be one that is rear-facing? In 1970, I flew from Lyneham (UK) to Hong Kong in a RAF VC10. All of the passenger seats were rear-facing. – for safety in the event of a crash, I guess.

  12. You are all mislead by the inaccurate seat map.
    Easy, 2 rows of 1x1x1
    with the doors to the center suites opening at opposite sides.

  13. So let me get this straight. Mr Solar Powered prefers virtual sunlight to actual sunlight. Man, the contradictions.

  14. The question about the lack of binoculars in the middle seat was a joke, right? If not, I would suggest checking out an introductory book on optics. Optics is one of the more fascinating portions of physics.

  15. @Lucky

    How insulated are the quarters from noise in the galley, walkway or the other cabins? I don’t like to sleep with noise cancelling headsets.

  16. Iā€™ve flown it and had 2F, as someone who flies waaaaaay too much, the virtual windows excited me so much that Iā€™d MUCH rather one of the middle seats than a window.

  17. @ Lucky

    How many JAL Miles/Alaska Miles will be required to fly from London Stanstead to Dubai on this route?

  18. I have to say that virtual windows are a very cool gimmick. However I don’t feel comfortable exposing myself for hours to the artificial light of 3 additional big screens (plus 1 huge TV screen).

  19. @Mark – every time you write “it’s” without an apostrophe, it’s so irritating
    Having said that – I’d suggest we let Lucky just be who he is.

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