I know, I know. Emirates A380 First Class is one of those products that is pretty much reviewed-out. If you have been following my journey, you know that I recently reviewed my flight from New York to Dubai with the same product. I booked the ticket before Alaska Airlines devalued their Emirates award chart, so I spent just 100,000 Alaska miles on my itinerary. I visited Dubai for a few days, and continued my trip onto Singapore.
In many ways, both the soft and hard products on this flight to Singapore were pretty similar to my previous flight. However, just for completeness sake, I figure I would also cover this flight, albeit with a “lighter” review. Since this flight leaves in the middle of the night, and is much shorter in duration, there are some differences in service elements, which I will point out in the post.
This trip report/review is part of a series. See also:
- The Emirates Lounge New York JFK
- Emirates First Class A380 New York to Dubai
- Grand Hyatt Dubai Grand King Room
- Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A
Emirates (EK) Flight 354
Dubai (DXB) – Singapore (SIN) | Airbus 380-800
0305/1500 (7 hours 55 minutes)
First Class | Seat 2K
Emirates A380 First Class Seat
Emirates doesn’t have the most exclusive First Class cabin out there, with 14 seats on the A380. This is in contrast to, for example, Cathay Pacific’s 6 seats or Air France’s 4 seats on the 777-300ER, or even Etihad’s 9 seats on the A380. However, since each First Class “suite” on Emirates comes with a door, there is still a decent amount of privacy. All passengers also get direct aisle access, which is pretty standard in First Class in this day and age.
On this flight, I selected seat 2K, which is a window seat. Emirates’ First Class cabin might just have the most “bling” out of those from major international airlines, with gold trims on just about everything. The front of the seat also had a snack basket, a vanity mirror, and a night lamp.
The snack basket had a nice variety of items. While it doesn’t scream “First Class,” there is something nice about being able to grab a light snack right from your seat, immediately, without having to call over a flight attendant.
The vanity mirror was accompanied by a kit, with lotion and a “dry shower in a tube,” purpose of which (on a flight with an actual shower) I will never understand.
Hidden inside the “platform” was a drawer containing a writing kit. There was also a conveniently placed universal power outlet.
Emirates has a ton of A380 in their fleet, and there are some subtle differences depending on when the planes were delivered and furnished. For example, this plane had bigger in-flight entertainment screens than the one I had from New York to Dubai. I pointed this out to the flight attendant, and even she said she’s never noticed it before (or maybe she was just being nice).
The seat also featured a larger tablet for seat controls, and an enhanced remote for in-flight entertainment.
The seat itself was well padded and comfortable to lounge in, though not super wide, at just 23 inches. This is mostly due to the fact that much of the seat width is dominated by the minibar, which contained a variety of soda, juices, and both sparking and still water.
Above the seat was a reading light and an individual air vent, something I always appreciate.
There was ample storage around the seat. My roller board was able to fit completely under the “platform” in the front of the seat, and there was a nice compartment for my camera, phone, passport, etc. right next to the seat.
First Class Breakfast
This flight departed at around 3 in the morning, and Emirates offered an a la carte breakfast service onboard. Since I had stuffed myself at the First Class Lounge prior to departure, I wasn’t very hungry, but did want to have a bite before my nap. After all, it’s breakfast time in Singapore…
The flight attendant quickly set up the table, and breakfast started off with a fruit plate and a glass of orange juice.
I opted for a light Chicken Congee (rice porridge), but other entree choices included scrambled eggs with chives, a breakfast platter with grilled chicken, and a spinach & feta omelette. The congee was super delicious, and hit the spot for me.
After breakfast, I decided to take a short nap. Emirates provides First Class passengers with an amenity kit and a set of pajamas, which I had changed into before the plane even took off.
I am not usually a fan of 8-hour overnight flights. They are just too short to get a full night’s sleep, and if you encounter flight attendants that drag out meal services, your sleeping window could be significantly cut short. However, this is actually a daytime flight for Singapore, since it left Dubai at around 3 am (or 7 am in Singapore time). But since I hadn’t slept all day in Dubai, I wanted to get some sleep in.
The crew on this flight worked quickly throughout the meal service, and promptly set up my bed while I was in the bathroom.
I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory on the giant in-flight entertainment screen, and went to bed.
I woke up after a 3-hour snooze, and decided to stay up in order to get myself into the Singapore time zone. I got up and stretched out a little bit, and checked out the offerings in the First Class onboard bar. There was a decent alcohol selection, and pre-wrapped sandwiches and other light snacks available.
I didn’t visit the Business Class Onboard Bar/Lounge on this flight, which is near the tail of the plane. But here is a picture of the lounge from my New York-Dubai flight. It’s a nice place to social or have a drink if you’re traveling with a companion, or if you want to meet some fellow travelers.
The Shower Spa
The three-class Emirates A380s (like this one) feature a shower for First Class passengers. I decided to freshen up before landing, and schedule my shower for 2 hours prior to arrival.
There are two showers for First Class customers, located at the front of the cabin. They also double as bathrooms when the showers aren’t in use, and might just be one of the most spacious bathrooms in a commercial airliner.
The shower attendant showcased all the features of the shower, including the heated floor and the handles where I should be holding on in case of turbulence. She also informed informed me that I’d get 5 minutes of water, and 30 minutes in the Shower Spa. Perhaps it’s just because I am a guy with short hair, I don’t really need that much time in the shower, so 5 minutes was more than enough.
There was also a screen inside the shower spa, showing the route map and Emirates ads.
Prior to landing, when the shower spas are being use, the flight attendants transformed the First Class bar area into a “spa reception” kind of space. The warm lights, orchids, and herbal tea were really calming, and made for a relaxing greeting as I exited the shower spa.
There wasn’t an official pre-landing meal, but I decided to stick to the Singapore time zone and have a quick lunch. I ordered the Laksa Soup from the “Quick Bites” menu, which like other items, were made available throughout the flight.
Once again, the flight attendant quickly set up the table for my meal, and provided a bread basket along with the entree. Also on the menu were a steak and kidney pie, nasi goreng (Indonesian-style fried rice with accompaniments), and a selection of pastries.
The flight attendant also brought over a fruit plate with dipping sauce, which is the standard “post-shower refreshment.”
Overall Impression of Emirates A380 First Class
This was a solid 8-hour flight, and I was happy with all that Emirates had to offer in First Class. As always, I appreciated the comfortable bed and the privacy of the First Class suites with individual doors. The seat’s features were over-the-top, including the individual minibar and snack basket, which were perhaps unnecessary but nonetheless useful at times. Emirates has an incredible selection through their in-flight entertainment, which I took advantage of through the giant screen.
The meal selections on this flight were a bit on the lighter side, though that’s not totally unexpected with an overnight service. The Emirates Shower Spa is a feature that made Emirates First Class famous, at least in the general public’s eyes. Frequent flyers might brush it off as a gimmick, but the ability to shower onboard and really freshen up before landing will always amaze me.
All in all, Emirates delivered a great First Class flight that checked off all the right boxes. I still maintain that it’s not the single best First Class product out there, but is one that I’d be hard pressed to find anything to complain about.