I’ve flown Emirates first class a few times (mostly back when the airline used to run the 5th freedom flights to Auckland), but I hadn’t ever flown it long-haul, and as I was attending the Dubai Airshow, I thought it’d be a perfect time to do so. I originally planned to book my flight out of Brisbane, but at the last minute, the seat was snapped up which meant finding another seat and luckily, Sydney had one award available, so I booked it immediately with 162,800 Qantas points.
I was happy kind of happy though as it meant I would be able to access the Qantas First lounge which never disappoints with the stellar food and accompanying service from the lounge staff.
To see a full review of the Qantas Sydney first class lounge, take a look here.
No visit to Qantas’ first class lounges are complete without having some of the famous salt and pepper squid:
As well as the extremely popular pavlova:
Boarding for the flight was announced in the lounge, and the walk to the gate is about 10 minutes at a leisurely pace, the gate for this flight was located at the opposite end of the airport right near the Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines lounge.
For this flight, I got auto-assigned seat 3A. To my surprise, the cabin was completely full in first and about 80% in business which is pretty fantastic considering the number of services that Emirates run to and from Sydney daily.
Each seat has a little basket full of snacks, a large and very high definition screen, a small vanity mirror with some cosmetics, a writing kit, a small self serve minibar (drinks are unfortunately not chilled) and an IFE/seat controller located either to the left or right of you.
Even though the product itself maybe a little old, I find it to be extremely comfortable and to have more than sufficient storage. I especially like the ability to store my luggage in front of me, which is fantastic as I’m always getting camera equipment out and need quick access to it.
Another thing I find with Emirates is the crew are usually quite consistent opposed to their competitors. The crew came around to introduce themselves to all of the guests in first and offered some reading material as well as a date and some Arabic coffee, I’m a big fan of the coffee so naturally had to have some.
The crew also came around to offer passengers pyjamas and amenities kit which is all in a carry bag. They also asked for our meal preferences, and this is where I placed an order for dinner.
Right after takeoff, I changed into my pyjamas and got comfortable for the upcoming 14-hour journey to Dubai. About 3/4 of the cabin had shut their suite doors and were sleeping, so it was tranquil, that’s to be expected when the flight departs just before 10 pm.
Emirates’ A380 was the first commercially operated aircraft to be fitted with showers on board. To this day, the feeling of having a shower onboard never fails to amaze me; it’s insane to think how far technology has come.
In the carry bag, you’ll find some slippers, an eye mask, seaweed pyjamas as well as an amenity kit.
Here are the menus for the flight, somehow I missed the wine lists, I blame the Dom…
After sitting in my suite, getting photos and listening to some music, I decided to head down to the bar behind business class to enjoy a drink or few. I always enjoy this area as it’s a great place and chat with the crew as well as meet and chat with fellow travellers.
After a few cocktails, It was time to enjoy the dinner service. For this flight, I decided to go with the Thai crying tiger beef, which was fantastic, to say the least. The catering, especially meat out of Australia is always excellent, and it’s usually my go-to option when departing Aus, we’re fortunate to have some brilliant agriculture here, and a lot take it for granted.
It was tender, full of flavour and the vegetables weren’t ultra-soft, a great consistency overall.
As I filled myself in the lounge a little too much, I ended the main course with a small cheese platter accompanied by some of the 2004 Dom, sadly the Rose onboard like on my Brussels flight a few months back.
After feeling quite full and relaxed, it was time for some sleep. The morning of my arrival was also the start of the Dubai Airshow so sleep was crucial on this flight and I managed to have nearly 9 hours of a deep sleep, that’s more than what I have when I’m at home…
About 2 hours out from arrival into Dubai, I was woken up by the crew (as requested) as it was time for my shower.
This flight was an excellent insight to see what Emirates’ long-haul experience is like and it made me impressed, the dine-on-demand meal service mixed with the shower onboard means that you’ll be arriving a lot more alert and feeling refreshed.
Sadly it was all over after just over 14 hours in the air, but ultimately I was excited as this was my first time attending the Dubai Airshow – something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child, some will still argue I am one 😉
Emirates first class is honestly a great product overall; the food is delicious, yes it’s not Air France level, but it’s perfectly acceptable. The crew on this particular flight were outgoing and loved using the 360 camera. I thoroughly enjoy the mattress topper that they use in first. It’s very comfortable opposed to some other carriers which are usually just a few mm thick.