After the launch of Singapore Airlines A380 in October 2007, Emirates were the second Airline put into service an Airbus A380, and since my first Singapore Airlines A380 review and subsequent Qantas A380 Premium economy flight review you can imagine my eagerness to experience the Emirates A380 first hand.
21 May 2009 was the date for my Emirates A380 Business Class flight, and having flowing Emirates business class in the past (not the A380) and having read most of what other sites have had to say about their A380 I kind of half knew the treat I would be in for!
Limo Pickup from home
When you fly Business or First Class on Emirates the experience doesn’t begin when you arrive at the airport it begins at your house, with a Limo pickup at your current location (home, office, and hotel) the same goes after landing at your destination.
With my Limo pickup booked in several days prior to departure, I received a follow up call, the morning prior to my flight and again the night before from my Chauffer confirming my pickup address and pickup time. My flight EK 412 was scheduled to depart at 7:50am so I booking in a 5:15am pickup. Spot on 5:15am I had a call from my Emirates chauffer Stephen saying he was waiting downstairs, ready to take me to the airport.
I have to say the whole experience with Emirates Chauffer Company Brunel Worldwide Chauffer Drive was exceptional, making the lead up to my flight both worry and hassle free.
Just less than 30 minutes after leaving home on Sydney’s north shore I arrive at Kingsford Smith International Airport (Terminal 1) and make my way to the check-in counter. Using the Business Class checking lane I am
checked in within no time at all, and given an eExpress ticket that allowed me to beat the crowds and utilize the eExpress customs queue.
The Emirates Lounge
The Emirates Lounge in Sydney is located on the arrivals level (level 1) near the transfer security check point, Note you need follow the signs to the lounge then come down an elevator to level 1
Picture 1: The Emirates Lounge in Sydney
The first thing I noted when entering was how quite and spacious the lounge was! Being an early morning flight the lounge catered a full breakfast, with the food you would expect from a good quality hotel, which beats many other airlines airline lounges I have been in over the past few years.
The Emirates Lounge at Sydney is a combined First Class, Business Class and elite Skywards members lounge, which is great for those travelling Business as The Emirates Lounge is a true First Class lounge in every aspect.
Boarding Emirates A380
At the Emirates gate, as you would normally expect there was a dedicated lane for Business, First Class and Skyward elite members, so we cleared the boarding gate fairly quickly and routed to an aerobridge that took us to first and business class on the upper deck.
Emirates A380 Business Class Cabin & Seat
For this flight I was allocated seat 23K which is a window seat in the last business section before the end of the aircraft and the Business Class Lounge & Bar.
My first impressions of the Emirates Business seat was wow impressive, even though I was in business and not first I felt I had my own personal space, a space which looks like it was designed for both work or rest. As you might remember from previous flight reviews that I have posted here on The Business Travel Guru leg room is a big deal for me and Emirates did not disappoint in this area, in that leg room wouldn’t even be an issue for someone 7ft tall.
Not long after getting seated a flight attendant came past offering pre-take off drinks Möet & Chandon Champagne, Orange Juice or Apple Juice. As I was flying in style I could not pass on the Möet and Chandon.
Emirates Business Class Cabin is configured with 76 full lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration
Picture 2: The Business Class Seat on the Emirates A380 Aircraft
Emirates new Business Class seats are very comfortable and include the following features/specifications:
- Lie-flat for a comfy sleep
- 47 cm (18.5 Inch) wide
- 99-122 inch seat pitch
- Up to 200 cm (79 in) Long when
in lie-flat configuration
- Side desk/bar area
- Each row configured in an
off-set configuration (see picture below)
- Built-in programmable massage
Picture 3: The Business Class Cabin on my Emirates A380 Flight
If you are allocated a window seat, between your seat and the window you will find a stowage compartment, mine had additional blankets and another pillow in it.
Apart from the full-lie flat feature my next favourite feature was the massage function, it was running nearly the entire flight.
As I mentioned above what I loved about Emirates Business Class seat on their A380 was the scene of person space, which is great for working, for example you are working away and dinner is served, in Emirates new Business Class seat you no longer need to shutdown your laptop and pack your work away, simply move you work from the try table to the side table and start dining, when you dining is finished move you work back.
Emirates A380 Business Class In-flight Entertainment System ICE
Emirates In-flight entertainment and information system is called ICE, (short for Information Communication & Entertainment) all the stats I had read about ICE prior to this trip were impressive, over
1200 programming options, which included everything from TV Sitcoms to the latest block buster movies, along with a large selection of CDs
The Information area of ICE included the latest headlines from the BBC, flight information that displayed the current flight path, flight cams (Nose, Tail and ground view of the sky, sea and land outside of the aircraft)
Linked to the ICE system in Business Class on Emirates A380 is a huge 17 inch LCD Screen that displays a very high quality picture, and is the largest LCD screed I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing on a business class flight, this in addition to ICE made my relativity short flight that much better, fortunately or unfortunately depending on the way you look at it I had the opportunity to watch an entire movie on my return flight, no Bar/lounge because of turbulence.
Picture 4: The 17 Inch LCD Screen in Business Class
The screen and ICE system can be controlled by the following 3 means:
- Touch Screen
- The IFE/Phone Handset
- Wireless remote console
A little later in the journey I had a chat with the Customer Service Manager and he pointed out that I could save my seat and In-flight entertainment system preferences to a memory stick, so that when I take another Emirates flight my seat setting can be uploaded into the ICE system and my seat is configured to my originally saved personal preferences. Not having a memory stick on this flight I did not get the opportunity to try this feature.
Another unique feature of Business Class on Emirates A380 aircraft is its wireless remote control that can be used as another method to control the ICE system and also to activate the seats massage feature.
Emirates A380 Business Class Dining & Wine List
The menu & wine list for both my flight over to Auckland and back was quite extensive.
The following selection was on the menu for the flight for Brunch (Sydney to Auckland)
Fresh Seasonal Fruit
chives scrambled eggs
Lemon curd Tart
Picture 5: A Glass of Moet& Chandon
Business Class First Class Bar & Lounge
The combined First & Business Class lounge on board is a real draw card which you don’t really get the feel for and appreciate until it has been experienced. I would have to say after the service the Lounge Bar area was the highlight of the flight.
The lounge seats around 8 to 10 people and is equipped with an impressive 42 inch LCD screen, the bar premium wines spirits and liqueurs, and is also the place to go to pick up a quick snack.
During the flight over to Auckland a lucky guys from Economy Class was invited up as it was his birthday, and to top that the Flight attendants had a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to him. It was truly a unique experience, one that not too many airlines would even contemplate doing!
Picture 6: The Combined Business/First Class Lounge
Picture 6: A wider shot of the Combined First/Business Class bar
Picture 7: The massive 42 inch LCD Screen in the First/Business Class Lounge
Picture 8: It was this lucky guys birthday, flight attendants sang Happy Birthday
When I reflect back on my Emirates A380 flight what comes to mind first is service with a capital S, it was top notch and spot on. So much so that you really feel that the crew always had my best interests as their first priory, they actually went out of their way to for fill l all of my requests.
The next thing that comes to mind was the aircraft and the business class cabin implemented on their A380. The seat was extremely comfortable, especially when converted into the lie flat bed configuration. A long haul on Emirates A380 would be a breeze.
Brief overview of highlights of flight and Emirates A380 Business Class:
- Flight Attendants – Great service very friendly
- Business Class Seat –Comfy, great personal space & outstanding for working in-flight
- Business Class Lounge Bar – Guys this is a big draw card, a great social area
- LCD Screen and In-flight entertainment System ICE
- The Emirates Lounge in Sydney & Auckland
I would defiantly fly Emirates again, especially if it’s their A380, the entire Emirates A380 Business Class experience was number 1
For this flight I was a guest of Emirates Airlines flying from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand, Return