Emirates has the largest fleet of A380s and has reactive a handful of them since the pandemic shut down the world in early 2020. Currently the A380 is flying between Los Angeles and Dubai and in early September 2021, my partner and I were able to experience Emirate’s First Class from Dubai to LAX. Dubai to Los Angeles fight time is approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes depending on winds. It’s a long time to be in the air, but the luxurious Emirates First Class makes the time fly by. Let’s take a look at flying Emirates First Class in the era of covid
Emirates Seat & Cabin
Emirates A380 cabin is massive. There are 14 seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. With 4 solo seats along each side, these are best for those travel alone. There’s also 3 pairs of seats in the middle. The middle seats are best for those traveling together. Yet, there is a large partition that goes up, so if you are traveling alone and end up in the middle there is still plenty of privacy.
The seats are beautiful and gaudy at the same time. With hints of gold and bright lights, the massive suites are ready to make sure you are comfortable and have privacy throughout the entire flight.
The seats have a large TV screen plus a tablet for seat and light controls. The large screen is also touch screen, if you prefer to lean forward. The seat comes with a make up mirror and a emirates branded pen and writing pad.
Each suite also has a hygiene kit with hand sanitizer and mask plus a personal snack basket. There’s also a built in bar in every seat which is controlled electronically.
Take care of your puffy eyes inflight with the small built in amenity kit which keeps your face moisturized through the flight.
Finally, each guest also receives an leather amenity kit and features BVLGARI toiletries. These are customized for men and women and feature lotions, a shaving set, and BVLGARI cologne.
On day flights Pajamas are only available by request. On long haul flights all passengers are offered pajamas and slippers shortly after boarding.
Emirates Meal Service
Emirates First class service is among the best in the air. Given the pandemic, some airlines have made changes. Yet, since summer 2021, Emirates’ First class meal service is back to pre-pandemic levels. Other than masks and gloves, you would never know you were flying during the pandemic. Upon boarding guests are welcome with a drink of their choice and all amenities. We went for the champagne.
Boarding took approximately 45 minutes and during this time flight attendants offered several rounds of drinks. Every time our glass was more than half empty someone showed up with a bottle of Dom Perignon 2008 and refilled our glasses with a smile.
After boarding and about 45 minutes into flight, meal service was available. Emirates offers a dine on demand service and allows customers to order whatever they want, when they want. As the flight leaves Dubai at 8 in the morning, there are both breakfast and dinner options. I always skip breakfast as I find airplane breakfast to be less satisfying than other meals. Check out the entire Emirates First Class Menu.
Long Haul Emirates First Class includes additional spirits not found on regional flights. However, all flights have the $1000 Hennessey Paradis. The real difference is in the additional gins and vodka.
Once in the air, service begins with a round of drinks and hot towel service. After towel service, meal service begins. I truly believe that Emirates is one of the few airlines offering hot towels in a premium cabin. Most airlines have switched to single use moist towelettes.
For starters, I opted to for more Champagne, Caviar and canapes. Emirates adjusted their caviar service since I flew Emirates First Class in April 2021. Service now includes a mother of pearl spoon.
Everything in Emirates First is served individually. The breadbasket is also back and is not individually wrapped. Flight attendants walk each dish out on a tray to serve customers.
I rounded out dessert with a delicious port and Chocolate Fondant. By this time my feast was over and I was ready to kick back and sleep. Later in the flight, my partner and I opted to order more food. With over 16 hours in the air, we we able to sleep, eat, sleep some more, and drink and eat again! Below are some photos of other items we tried throughout the flight.
The bar is located in the very rear of the top floor of the A380. The plane we were flying on had the old configuration of the bar. Several guests spent time in the bar while we enjoyed a couple of cocktails. It was nice to mingle with other passengers from both first class and business class. First class passengers were obvious since they were all in their Pajamas. As both Business class and first class were 100% full, the bar stayed somewhat busy.
In the rear of the bar near the bathroom is a self serve area with Water and snacks. There is also a large moving map to track the flight.
Our Bar tender was a lot of fun although she didn’t have a ton of experience. She only knew how to make drinks from the menu. We had fun teaching her how to make other basic cocktails. Such as a dirty martini. The purser also spent some time in the bar with us and insisted on taking some fun photos. It took several times to get it right, but also helped pass the time.
The crew also had a fun polaroid camera and snapped several candid photos of myself and Diego. Needless to say, we had lots of laughs during our time in the bar and during the flight.
Our bar tender showing off her newly learned Dirty Martini. Other than crafting cocktails, she also insisted pouring wine from the forward cabin. Our drinks never were empty as the crew was just excited to stay busy and interact with guests to help the time pass.
A380 Shower Suites
About two hours before landing I opted for a shower. I wanted to land fresh and not sticky. 16+ hours is a long time to be in flight. The two suites are in the forward part of the A380 and double as the bathrooms for first class. Each passenger received 5 minutes of water and there’s a countdown for the water. The large bathrooms feel like something from a spa. The floors are heated, and there’s a large changing space, hair dryer and every amenity needed. Currently the A380 flys with a single shower attendant.
The shower is large with a bench to sit down on. I actually preferred the Emirates Shower suite to the Etihad A380 shower. By the time I showered, I was so excited that I actually forgot to take photos of the shower itself. I took photos of me in the shower, but not any of the actually shower. Whoops! Thankfully, my fellow blogger has an extensive video review of the Emirates A380 shower.
One thing that remained different on the A380 is the forward bar in first class was never set up. It remained in Spa mode throughout the flight.
Emirates A380 Impressions
The Emirates A380 is a beautiful bird. Although I feel Emirates First Class on the 777 is a more private experience the bar and the showers are great on the A380. I would prefer to fly the Emirates gamechanger when possible though, but only if flying alone. Now if we could get the new First class suites on the A380, that really would be a game changer! Otherwise, I am actually just as content on Qatar’s business class Qsuites.
Overall, Emirates is doing a fantastic job restoring service. Everything felt normal. With the exception of the mask requirements. Yet even so, the flight was comfortable and truly all around amazing. I went out of my way to fly the Emirates A380 and I would likely do it again. Yes it’s a bit of a gimmick, but 100% worth it. Emirates First service is near spotless. Especially at a time when so many companies have reduced or cut service.