Short but suite!
Experiencing Emirates first class usually means flying a long flight and going through Dubai, but there are a handful of short fifth-freedom routes where you can experience EK luxury for comparatively low cost in dollars or miles. Since getting to BKK from the US means stopping somewhere anyway, I opted to route through Hong Kong just so I could follow up my Cathay first class review with a little more luxury and a shower at 35,000 feet 😉 Because this was a short flight, I missed out on the full meal experience, but otherwise this was as first class as it gets…
- showering at 35,000 feet, of course!
- pretty much everything in the suite can be electronically controlled by the remote
- the seat is great for lounging and watching movies on the 24″ IFE screen
- I can’t stress how luxurious it feels to be in a suite with a closable door…
- traytable is in a fixed position, where I prefer to be able to move it forward/back (vs. moving the seat)
- with the doors closed the EK suite feels strangely less roomy than the likes of SQ and OZ
- the service is great, but I’m sure others will agree it’s not on par with the Asian airlines
As perhaps one the of the most well-known and most-photographed suites product in the air, there’s no denying that Emirates has created a unique experience with their flagship A380 — the highlight and main differentiator being the two shower suites at the front of the cabin. I have to say that being able to take a shower an hour before arrival is one of the greatest luxuries you’ll find in the air.
While you really only technically have 5 minutes, it felt like enough time for me, and arriving refreshed with no need to head to an arrivals lounge is simply awesome. For that reason alone I highly recommend the Emirates A380 if it fits your travel schedule and you don’t mind flying through Dubai — more on that experience in my review of Emirates 777-200LR and 777-300ER First class to Johannesburg…
Which seat and why
The first class cabin is pretty large on the Emirates A380, and with the exception of rows 1 and 4 (seats A and K) you’re pretty well set in terms of avoiding galley/lav noise. As always, I have a preference for the window seat as I generally travel solo, but the middle seats are a great option for pairs as you can either lower or raise the partition between the suites depending on what you desire.
I was in 3K and was happy with all aspects of that location in the cabin. Some quick notes on window seats:
- these have slightly more storage space than the middle seats
- the curvature of the cabin wall may make these suites feel more enclosed than the middle ones
- avoid row 1 window seats as these are close to the lav
Photos of Emirates A380 first class
At the end of the day…
Worth going out of your way to experience the Emirates A380? Yes, entirely worth it. It may not be my favorite suite in the air — there’s a lot going on and it feels a bit less roomy than Singapore and Asiana — but flying the Emirates A380 is a must if for no other reason than having the ability to take a shower at 35,000 feet and hit the ground running at your destination.
An onboard shower is truly luxurious and only offered by Emirates and Etihad, and Emirates has waaaayy more A380 routes than Etihad, and will for the foreseeable future. I would definitely say Emirates first class is a worthwhile points redemption if your travels take you on one of their routes. I didn’t sleep on this particular flight, but I’ve slept in Emirates suites on the 777 and I definitely got some good rest, so the suites are a win when it comes to redeye flights.
What are Your Thoughts on Emirates first class?
If you’ve flown the Emirates A380, let us know in the comments below! Or better yet, write a review of your seat here: link 🙂