Trip Report – Emirates A380 First Class LAX – Dubai (DXB) w/ Shower Spa Part 1

This is part three of a fifteen part trip report from my travels to the Maldives and Dubai. This picture report covers the first part of an Emirates A380 w/ shower spa trip report from LAX – Dubai (DXB). There were so many amenities on the flight besides the shower that I need two posts to cover everything…

Talk about waiting until the last minute…but I always say you find the best seats when you are extremely flexible and can hold out as long as possible. Here’s where being a risk taker benefits. I had reservations at the Conrad Hilton in the Maldives that were booked just prior to the HHonors devaluation at the amazing rate of 37.5K per night instead of the new rate of 95K per night. However, I had no flights to get me there even three days before the anticipated arrival. I was hoping for Emirates First Class to open up from New York, but as of the Friday evening before my Monday departure only business class was available for two seats on the JFK-DXB leg. However, the LAX-DXB flight had First open up and so I went ahead and pulled the trigger, booking with my Alaska Airlines miles (180,000 and $30 total, thank you Bank of America where churning is still acceptable). Unfortunately, there’s only one Alaska flight per day from the NY area (EWR-SEA-LAX) and it required an overnight layover in Seattle to get us to LAX, meaning I only ticketed the LAX-DXB-MLE legs. Instead, I booked a one-way 12,500 UA itinerary separately (in the end this trip was only 2,500 miles).

I was pretty psyched for my first Emirates First experience though, especially since it was on the A380 with an in-flight shower spa! Previously I had only flown Emirates in business – Emirates A380 Business – JFK-Dubai Trip Report. There were easier and available first connections available via Houston, Dallas, Toronto, Boston and Washington, but none of those locations would have given us the Emirates First A380 experience.

Emirates Booking

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The same one-way itinerary was pricing at $21,748.20 for the same exact flights…90,000 miles well worth it!

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As Emirates is still building their LAX lounge, there is no direct aircraft boarding and the Korean Air lounge is used instead – Trip Report – Korean Air First Class Lounge LAX – Maldives Trip Report Part 2. Note that complimentary chauffeur service is offered on both legs of the journey.

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There were three separate boarding areas – First, Business, and Economy, as well as two separate jet bridges (first and business/economy).

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Welcome to suite 2K – Dom and snacks waiting

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The suite has pop up compartments with skin products, a writing kit, and of course the mini-bar.

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We were immediately welcomed by several crew members – one offering drinks, one taking our coats, and others just coming by to say hello. Soon an Emirates bag was brought over to us…inside was an amenity kit, PJs, slippers, and socks.

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The leather amenity kit had an Art of Shaving razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, and a Bulgari men’s kit. The women’s kit had a female Bulgari kit and swapped the razor for a make-up mirror.  However, the bag is not leather like the mens…

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Pajama Bag – really comfy pants and v-neck shirt with Emirates embroidering.

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Besides champagne, Arabic tea and dates were offered…

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Next, we were presented with a pamphlet explaining the shower spa experience and listing each of the products. We were asked to select a time to reserve our shower spa. I had never showered in the air before so I asked for a recommendation. The flight attendant said two hours before landing would be nice and still allow time for a meal before landing. There are two showers on-board, but with only ourselves and two other passengers in First, there wasn’t much concern over selecting times. More details on the shower experience in the next post.

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Oh, and who doesn’t like automated window shades? All three of my windows could be controlled by buttons on the actual shades or via a controller by my seat. Each window had two shades, one that let it a little light and one that completely blacked them out.

My private suite had a 23” inch LCD screen but there was also a mini tablet screen and a separate remote (also with a screen). The tablet (which has been updated to HD and now looks like an iPad) could be used to browse the entertainment choices, view the moving map, view the multiple cameras, adjust the seat, shop, or simply as a remote for the main screen. In addition, you have a remote that also controls the main screen but also allows you to browse the entertainment choices, play games, display the moving map, send SMS, call other passengers on the flight, and more. You could essentially be watching a movie on the main screen, the cameras on the tablet, and the moving map on the remote all at the same time! There’s also the noise canceling headphones, dual USB inputs that allow for on-screen projection and personal media access, and a power adaptor. The ICE entertainment system itself is incredible – literally 100s of movies, 30+ new releases, live news, interesting documentaries and short programs, TV, music, even a series titled Ultimate Airport Dubai.

Three TVs at once…main one on the movie, tablet browsing what to watch next, and remote on the moving map. All three display the remaining time in flight.

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In-flight internet for a fee:

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The seat can also be controlled via four buttons on the armrest – one-touch dining, bed, and landing controls. One to close the doors of your suite as well…

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Multiple air vents in the suite – two above your seat and two near the windows.

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Emirates Night sky

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The First Class lounge – great liquor selection but it was empty since there was no one else really in First Class. Also stocked with a few sandwiches and snacks but you can order anything from the menu at any time.

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Instead we headed further back on the A380 top deck to the business lounge. It was happening with a bartender, multiple passengers chatting, and comfy lounge seating. Some were even ordering food to be brought to the lounge…pretty sweet! The flight attendant / bartender from Australia was very friendly and we had a good time with her and the other passengers.

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Up tomorrow – part two including the actual seat / bed, shower experience, and the food! Check it out here – Trip Report – Emirates A380 First Class LAX – Dubai (DXB) w/ Shower Spa Part 2

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Comments

  1. I’m flying this x2 in Oct from JFK and then onward to HKG – and your pictures are just making me drool. Sounds like that biz lounge is the happening place to be – may convince me to stay awake on the redeye portion.

    And of course, I’m giddy for the DXB First Class terminal treatment too…

    Thanks for writing this up! Excited to see the rest.

    • @D – You will definitely enjoy your trip. Yes, the last time I flew Emirates (in business on the A380) there was even a few passengers playing guitar in the lounge…pretty cool! First class terminal was unlike any lounge I’ve ever visited. That report is coming on Weds!

  2. I just read part 1/2, looks fab!

    How was it travelling with someone else? Did the divider go down enough? Easy to talk?

    I’m thinking about booking my partner a surprise trip in a few months, am just wondering if I should put him in First or Biz (there’s date-conflict issues).

  3. Great report. We are taking our Emirates FIRST flight this spring. The one question I have is how do they prevent all the “lookie Lous” from getting into the Spa area. We flew FIRST on British many times and it seems that each flight had that one Business Class traveler who just had to use the FIRST class bathroom all the time. It was annoying.
    Thanks again for the great trip report

    • @Kevin – No worries, I enjoyed reliving the experience! Emirates won’t tolerate that. There are actual “spa” bathroom attendants in place during shower times and at other times they are walking through the cabin regularly. I don’t think you’ll see the same thing. Enjoy!!!

  4. Suite! So to speak. $21,000+ one way is outrageous but there are those who pay it. First had only four of 14 seats filled and at least two were freebies. Was business class empty too? Any idea of how full first is normally? I have never flown first class internationally but plan to soon just to say I have done it. Many seem to enjoy the pajamas but I think I would feel slightly self conscious in pjs in front of strangers plus I would want to stay awake to savor every second of the experience.

  5. I am booking an Emirates First flight for next year and I am just wondering how much of the swag can you actually keep? I know they give you an amenities kit but what about the writing set and the set under the vanity mirror?

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