Emirates A380 Business Class Review

Emirates A380 Business Class Review

Overview:

We’ve got a big review for you today. We finally reveal our experience in Business Class on board Emirates in their flagship A380.

The hype leading up the flight was high with all the chatter and accolades Emirates has won over the years for its product.

We were excited to experience it and share the experience with you! Check it out!

Flight Details:

  • Flight Number: EK216
  • Port of Origin: Los Angeles International Airport, USA
  • Destination: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Flight Time: 15:31
  • Aircraft: Airbus A380-800

Booking:

I booked this flight about 7 months prior to departure using the Alaska Airline Mileage Program. After redeeming some racked up miles, the additional points needed to purchase the round trip business class ticket costed just over $2,000 USD. Check out the full article on how I booked this trip here

Lounge/Airport:

I arrived at LAX three and a half hours before my flight to get the full lounge experience. I had 2 lounges and one restaurant to cross off my list: KAL Lounge, Emirates Business class lounge, and a $30 credit at P.F Changs. The KAL lounge and P.F Changs credit is thanks to my Priority Pass Membership I have through my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.

KAL Lounge Entrance

I started at the KAL lounge which didn’t open until noon. This lounge is available to a number of SkyTeam Airlines as seen below.

KAL Lounge Partners

The lounge is spacious, and photography is limited because of the lounge rules. There is plenty of single and small group seating areas. Most seats have access to power outlets to charge up before your flight. 

KAL Lounge Seating

The lounge quickly filled up and so did the noise level. There is a small terrace to escape to if you’re in need of some, fresher air, as the terrace is still indoors inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal. 

KAL Lounge Terrace Seating

Small food dishes are available including vegetables, sausage, potatoes, and other small bites. Coffee, soda, alcohol, and other beverages are also available for your enjoyment. The lounge is a good spot to start your trip and gives Priority Pass members a good home base if you’re not traveling business class or higher on your flight.

I then went over to P.F Chang’s to claim my $30 credit. I was able to have a broccoli and beef dish with a glass of wine and was $10 over. A great way to fill up on a full meal before your flight.

P.F. Chang's at LAX

I then ended up in the Emirates business class lounge for the last hours and a half leading up to my flight. The lounge is currently being shared with Air New Zealand flights and I was concerned it would be too packed when in fact it was quiet and fairly empty. As it got closer to departure time, there was a small bump in traffic but nothing too noticeable.

LAX Emirates Lounge Entrance

The lounge isn’t the largest I’ve seen but they did a good job keeping it spaced out. There are multiple seating areas for individuals or small groups with power outlets at every location. There is also a small work area where computers are available to use.

Emirates LAX Lounge Seating

There are two food stations and two drink stations. The main station is against the back wall and features multiple hot plates ranging from meats to vegetables and soup. There is also a full bar with wine, champagne, beer, soda, juices, and liquors. There is also a small food station with cold dishes and appetizers and another drink station on the side wall with a smaller, but still full bar.

In all, the lounge is a great area to spend your time before your flight. My recommendation would to be use your $30 credit at P.F Changs if you have Priority Pass then head to the lounge for some quiet time before your flight.

Boarding:

Emirates A380

Boarding started roughly 30 minutes before our scheduled departure time and was announced overhead at the gate. 

Business class and first class boarded through the same gate but took the escalator to the upper jetway to board.

I was greeted by flight attendants and guided to my seat. My seat for the trip was 9K which is a forward cabin window seat just behind the first-class suites. The overhead bins on the window seat side of the plane seem a bit smaller than average. I was able to get seated without much hurry and the journey began!

Upper Deck Business Class Cabin

The Seat:

Leading up to the flight, the hype had been building surrounding the glory of the Emirates Business Class cabin. I was excited to say the least.

Once I saw the business class cabin, I knew everything had lived up to the hype. The wood paneling façade, the boarding music, the smiles on the flight attendants faces, it was everything.

Business Class Seat 9K

I chose seat 9K since I was flying solo and I love my window seats. On Emirates, the window seats have a staggered seating style. One has the cubby on the aisle side, and the other has the cubby on the window side. This creates one seat which is more secluded and one that is more open to the aisle.

Other Window Seating Configuration

Seat quality was excellent. The seat has a good amount of cushion and I never got sore or felt like I had to move around. After getting settled in, there’s a lot to see. We’ll start with the seat amenities.

At your seat are headphones, blanket, pillow, socks, eye mask, and your amenity kit.

The blanket was nice to have and wasn’t too heavy. Cabin temperature I thought was kept in at room temperature, never getting too hot or too cold. You also have control over your seat temp with two air vents above you.

The pillow was plush and comfortable to use as a headrest or lumbar support. The pillow worked out great when sleeping flat.

I didn’t open the socks or eye mask, but I can imagine they are decent quality. I saw another person on the plane using the eye mask and it looked fairly standard.

Middle Business Class Seats

The amenity kit was handed out shortly after sitting down and is gender specific. The male kit is by BVLGARI and features  a comb, razor, shaving cream, deodorant, tissues, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand lotion, cologne, and aftershave cream.

Amenity Kit

After running through all the fun goodies at your seat, lets tear into the rest of the hard product.

Starting on the window side, you have large storage bins for just about anything. You get anywhere from 1-2 of these depending on the seats and how they are staggered compared to the compartments. I found one bin offered plenty of storage.

Window Storage Bins

In front of you is the large entertainment screen. It looks amazing and will get into it more in the entertainment section.

You have a large footwell under the screen with is more than enough room to sleep in any which position. I was able to sleep on my back and side and didn’t have any problems with my legs getting stuck in awkward positions.

Below the footwell, is a foot rest which is also a nice place to put your shoes after you take them off.

Entertainment Screen and Footwell

On my left was the large cubby and table. On the table you have your entertainment tablet and a decent sized table for your tablet, headphones, drinks, or anything really.

Further back is a two-level storage cubby with the bottom level featuring two bottles of water, Perrier, and Pepsi. The second level is a smaller storage area which was perfect for my wallet and phone.

Also, on my left were the reading lights, headphone input, power ports, and entertainment remote. The power inputs include two USB ports and one AC port for charging your laptop.

Table and Cubby

Below the table are the seat controls. One for a seated position, one for a reclined position, one for a lie flat position, and the other to move the seat forwards or backwards.

Also, right next to the controls is the tray table. It hides itself well and is fidgety to use. Near the end of the silver line, is a handle that you have to squeeze tightly, and it releases the table which swings out in front of you. It locks into place and you have to squeeze the handle again to push it back into place. Putting it back in place does require some effort and you should hear a “click” when the table locks in.

Tray Table Release

 

As I’m sure you guessed, the seat is lie flat and Flight Attendants will supply you with an additional matress for when you sleep.

Lie Flat Bed

 

I found the bed to be great and not too tight. The seat layout offers a cozy sleeping environment with plenty of space and room.

Sleeping Selfie

 

As you can see, it’s a small slice of royalty. For all that is good, there was some bad. The seat seemed to be falling apart in some sport most notably under the left side of the seat. The small seat rest that comes out when the seat lies flat was a bit rickety and loose. There were other loose pieces near the feet where the plastic is getting loose. Aside from that, I was thoroughly impressed.

Entertainment System:

Entertainment Screen

The ICE (Information, communications, entertainment) system on Emirates has won numerous awards for being one of the best in the business. After you see this quick recap of it, you’ll see why it garners the awards and praise.

 

The system is operable through the direct touch screen, tablet, or remote. I used the touch screen as the tablet would not function unless it was docked and the remote just isn’t as cool.

Selfie Camera On-Board

The touch screen is very responsive, but I had a few occasions where there was some lag and I had to push the same button two or three times.

There are categories for movies, TV, music, audiobooks, news, shopping, and numerous other tabs.

The ICE system is not only vast with its content, but it does a superb job in organizing the content. There is more than enough content in the ICE system to keep you occupied on the almost 16-hour flight.

Flight Map

Meal Service:

Now that we’ve finished covering the hard product, let’s move onto the soft product.

Here is the food menu:

Here is the drinks menu:

Food service started with a pre-flight beverage of water, orange juice, or champagne. I went with the champagne which was a perfect way to start things off.

Pre-flight Champagne

About 30 minutes into the flight, meal service started. First, I was offered another drink where I chose champagne which came with some nuts.

Warm Nuts and Champagne after takeoff

My appetizer of choice was the crab timbale. The dish was quite good. Served with this was a salad with balsamic vinaigrette and bread roll with butter. The salad was crisp with small tomatoes and the roll was fluffy but not warm.

Crab Timbale Appetizer

My dinner dish was the chicken madras dish.

I seemingly find myself running into curry on planes and it’s mostly by accident (I need to read more about culinary dishes and terms). Although it isn’t always my first pick, I have found a new food to judge airlines by. 

Nonstop Dan selects vegetarian dishes which I think is a great method of judging airline food by but I have found rice to be a good judge as well. It sounds bizarre but if you go chomping on some overdone/underdone kernels of rice, it’s not pleasant.

Unfortunately, Emirates has a low “Rice Score”. There were a few bites of rice on my curry plate that were crunchy and hard.

While it was a few bites, the rest of the chicken and yellow lentil curry was great.

Chicken Madras Dinner

Dessert was a vanilla cheesecake topped with a chocolate mousse and served with a cherry compote. The chocolate was very rich, but the cherry compote was a perfect complement. My port wine was also tasty and complement dessert quite nicely.

Needless to, I was stuffed after this dinner meal.

Vanilla Cheesecake Dessert

Breakfast was served (at 1:30pm local time), and I went with the California omelette which was filled with avocado and peppers served with sautéed potatoes and roasted tomato.

The omelet was very good and well done throughout. It was not very runny. The fruit was fresh and delicious. Yogurt was great and the pastry was also a fun treat.

California Omelette Breakfast

About an hour and a half into the flight, our first meal was served. Options were a shrimp tempura dish, Chinese chicken dish, or teriyaki noodle dish. I went with the teriyaki noodle dish which is their vegan option. 

In economy, you get everything all at once on a small tray.

Service:

The Emirates flight attendants are some of the best. They are extremely helpful and friendly making sure that your experience on board is nothing but exceptional. I found them to be every attentive and making round just enough, but not too much in the cabin.

 

They recently (past year and a half or so) have been using a mobile phone app to take orders throughout the cabin. I was able to ask one of the flight attendants and they said that the system is helpful and works well.

 

Personally, I think it works well but I had two requests that seemingly got forgotten until one of the FAs came by and noticed I didn’t have what I asked for. A small inconvenience, but something that I think they could improve upon

Breakfast Selfie

I think one of the greatest things about the Emirates A380 is the lounge. The lounge is available to Business Class and First Class and is located in the rear of the cabin. There is a mini bar with couches and standing areas that offers a great area to stand up and relax or socialize with others on the flight or those you’re flying with. Seriously underrated.

Business Class Bar and Lounge

Overall:

Oh boy, does it live up to everything? Yes. I was out of this world excited to fly Business Class on Emirates and I was just as happy experiencing it. It more than certainly lives up to the hype and along with an impressive seat and cabin, the cabin crew really made it that much better with their outstanding service and professionalism.

I cannot wait to fly Emirates again and experience their other classes of travel and more than certainly wouldn’t mind another flight in Business Class. 

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