December 5, 2015

Review: Emirates First Class A380 Dallas to Dubai

Planning & Booking
American Express Centurion Lounge DFW
Emirates A380 First Class Dallas to Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates 777-300 First Class Dubai to Male
Transfer to Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Park Hyatt Maldives - Resort & Park Villa
Park Hyatt Maldives - Water Villa
Transfer to Male
Singapore Airlines 777-200ER Business Class Male to Singapore
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Singapore Airlines The Private Room Singapore
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class Singapore to Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco

I can't begin to describe the excitement of boarding our Emirates A380 flight to Dubai. While I've had the opportunity to fly almost 20 international first class segments, this would be the first time flying Emirates...on the A380...with the shower spa...and the on-board bar.

Time to fly

For those that don't want to wait until the end of the post...this was my best flight ever.  I think Emily will agree.

Happy wife at the bar

Have you seen the Emirates Jennifer Aniston commercial?  Flying anything but Emirates seems like a nightmare going forward.

Both of us basically skipped down the jetway as we made our way to upper deck.  We were warmly welcomed and shown to suites 2E/2F by the flight attendants working our respectively aisles (Jessica and Georgia).  Service on the flight was outstanding.  We were addressed correctly by our respective last names throughout the flight and every crew member we interacted with was warm, friendly, and smiling.

Jessica and Georgia let us settle in while they opened the champagne (2005 Dom Perignon) and we started snapping pics and exploring the blinged out suite.  There are so many cool features - there is minibar with 5-6 drinks at room temperature.  While this is definitely about style and not substance, it was awesome to be able to grab a still/sparkling water without getting up or ringing the call button.  There is a snack basket which is totally unnecessary but I did manage to grab a couple of items for the road at the end of the flight.


Snack basket

Emirates A380 First Class Suite

Plenty of storage

Touch screen seat controls (and IFE controller)

There's a lighted vanity mirror, writing kit, "wellness" set of lotions, and a lamp which actually provides a ton of ambiance to the cabin.  Oh and there are multiple air vents - something you don't typically see on foreign carriers and proved to be invaluable during nap time.

Some say that the suite is narrow and I think that is a fair assessment.  23" wide vs. 35" on Singapore Airlines' A380 and 25" on Asiana's A380.  That said, I was comfortable during all stages of the flight and very much enjoyed the suite.  There are so may other things to do on the aircraft that you're in your seat for far less time than the average 14 hour flight.

Emirates Swag

Champagne arrived a couple minutes later and Jessica and Georgia took a couple of pictures of us before returning with what essentially amounted to Christmas morning.  Pajamas, awesome Bulgari amenity kits, slippers, eyeshades, and a tote/beach bag to carry all of the goods.


Arabic Coffee

Next up were dates and Arabic coffee which are just beautifully presented.  I should point out that (as is the norm) this was an international crew of 20+ speaking 16 languages....but with an American captain.  Something I didn't expect for whatever reason.

The door closed and it was just us and two other passengers in the first class cabin of 14.  Before pushback, Jessica swung by to take our shower spa reservations.  The whole showering on the plane thing is just awesome.  We made reservations for 3 hours before landing which I think was perfect.  We weren't rushed and ha plenty of time to relax/eat after before landing.

There are two identical shower suites at the front of the first class cabin.  They are both massive and also serve as the first class lavatories.  There are 2 dedicated shower spa attendants which do nothing else but clean and prepare the showers.  More on this later.

I watched the entire pushback, taxi, and takeoff (from the onboard camera) on my screen before digging into the entertainment center content which is among the most robust in the sky.

Only 8415 miles to go

I also signed on to the internet which is free for all passengers - up to 100MB.  You can also purchase 500MB for $1 which I did.  I was able to send/receive emails for the first/last few hours of the flight but there was a 7-8 hour deadzone (likely due to the polar routing) in the middle where the internet didn't work at all.  Given the price, speeds were incredibly slow anyway.  Emirates should definitely charge more or at least cutoff the complimentary access to improve speeds.

Emirates has a dine on demand meal concept where you can basically order whatever you want, whenever you want.  Given that we wanted to maximize our time at the bar, we started with a simple caviar course - which was beautifully presented.

Emirates caviar setup

After our meal we gleefully headed to the back of the plane.  Through the enormous business class cabin to the bar.  I'm not sure what is cooler - the onboard bar or the shower.  There bar is much bigger than I expected.  There's a horseshoe shaped bar manned by a bartender...lounge seating on either side and a handful of other standup table areas to place a drink.  There are snacks placed throughout.

Dom at the bar

Emily behind the bar

Happy hour

We probably spent a total of 3 hours in the bar during the flight and it was never overly crowded.  At most, there were probably a dozen people eating/drinking/mingling just as you would do at a bar on the ground.  The bartender will make you whatever you want - this is a full bar - but we stuck with Champagne.  The bar (open to first/business class passengers) serves Veuve but the crew had chilled a bottle of Dom just for us - pretty awesome.

Stuck at the bar during turbulence

We actually were "stuck" in the bar for almost an hour during a period of turbulence somewhere over Illinois.  We buckled in to our seats and enjoyed our drinks while staring out the window at the world below.

It was soon time to eat again and we headed back to our seats for a round of Arabic Mezze.  It was outstanding and I ate more bread than I typically do in a month.

Emirates Arabic Mezze

There is also a "first class bar" at the front of the cabin next to the shower suites.  The liquor is a step up from the big bar and at the back of the plane.  There's a bottle of Hennessey Paradis Cognac which retails for over $700 a bottle.  We each had a glass before bed - it was outstanding.

Emirates First Class Bar

Cleaning out the bar

When we returned out beds were turned down and were both slept soundly.  Emirates provides a full size pillow, mattress pad and super comfortable duvet.  That said, the mattress pad had a hard time staying on the bed properly.   Emily and I both had the same experience of waking up partially on the pad and partially on the seat.  Not a huge deal but probably something that Emirates should fix.  After sleeping for 5 hours we headed back to the bar to relax for a bit before our showers.

Flight attendants came to get us, escorted us into the shower suites and explained how to control the water flow, temperature, etc...Each passenger gets 5 minutes of water and 30 minutes in the suite.

Emirates Shower Suite

You can turn off the shower while you are shampooing your hair/washing your face to save water.  I did that and ended up using 4 minutes of water.  The water pressure was actually pretty good.  There are two lines (relax and revive) of amenities in the shower along with dental and shaving kits, etc...The best part is that the floor is heated.  In the shower.  On a plane.

Shower beer at 37,000 feet

During the "shower phase" of the flight the spa attendants actually turn the first class bar into a soothing spa setup with candles, a water feature, and hot tea.  Amazing.

Post shower relaxation

Just like the Jennifer Aniston commercial, I wish they would have just flown this thing around for another hour.  After spending time eating, go to the bars, sleeping, and showering, I was ready for more.  We headed back to the bar just as the crew was scrambling to put everything away before landing.

Last trip to the bar

We did manage to get a couple of pictures before returning to our seats and smoothly gliding over the piano keys at DXB!!

Perfect landing at DXB

This was the best flight I've ever taken.  Emirates is my new favorite airline.  Sorry Singapore.  The service, food, drinks, bar, and shower make Emirates just a ton of fun.  I am eagerly awaiting my next Emirates experience.  Next up - Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa!

No comments:

Post a Comment