My Special Treat – First Class On The Emirates A380

As a special treat for myself I decided to upgrade my Australian flight Emirates offer from Melbourne to Dubai. Using frequent flier points I upgraded to First Class on the airbus a380-800.

Emirates First Class

Emirates First Class

 

To be honest I can’t really afford to fly business class, I’m fortunate enough to do so because work send me business class for long haul trips. So to fly First Class on a 14 hour flight is an exceptional event for me.

Emirates Airbus A380-800 - Awaiting my flight in First Class on the Emirates A380

Emirates Airbus A380-800

 

I am a long standing holder of the Emirates frequent flyer card Skywards. I’ve accumulated enough points for an upgrade and they’d probably just expire anyway, so what did I have to lose.

 

The journey began with a complimentary chauffeur pick up which took me to the airport. I was able to use the Emirates First Class check-in desk which helped me breeze through the airport.

 

The lounge by gate 9 makes no distinction between business and 1st Class. I think I’ve only seen that lounge distinction at Dubai airport.


Boarding was also quite stress free. There is a separate queue, tunnel and doorway onto the airbus a380 for business and 1st class travellers. This avoided the long queue for economy class passengers.

Boarding Tunnel For Emirates First And Business Class

Boarding Tunnel For Emirates First And Business Class

As one of the airlines using A380s in their fleet there is full advantage taken of the space on board.

 

My seat in First Class on the Emirates A380

Sat in seat 1K I was at the front of the upstairs cabin. The Emirates A380 seating plan has the upper deck exclusively assigned to First and Business Class. The slightly longer lower deck is all economy class.

Your First Class Suite Guide For First Class on the Emirates A380

Your First Class Suite Guide

My seat was much more than a seat, it could become a private room with shutter doors I could close at my leisure. Effectively it was my own private cabin or bedroom.

 

At the front of my cabin was an en-suite wardrobe as Emirates describe it. Here I could hang my coat or clothes and always have easy access. Hanging my clothes was certainly an option as I received a complimentary pair of pyjamas and slippers. After all this is First Class on Emirates.

Emirates First Class Pyjamas received when you fly First Class on the Emirates A380

Emirates First Class Pyjamas

I was also provided with a toiletries bag full of essential and non-essential goodies such as Bvlgari designer toiletries.

 

The seat was fully reclining with a massage function. It was very easy for me to get 7-8 hours undisturbed sleep on the 14 hour flight.

Emirates Brochure Shot Of The Cabin when you travel First Class on the Emirates A380

Emirates Brochure Shot Of The Cabin

Breakfast was easy to obtain as food is on demand in 1st Class. I just pressed the button to request service and my breakfast was prepared to order.

 

Showers in First Class on the Emirates A380

After a sleep I was able to partake in a unique experience. I’ll openly admit that I’m not a member of the mile high club (maybe one day) but I’m now a member of what is maybe a less desirable but I think currently more exclusive club. I took a shower at 30,000 feet!

The Shower At 30,000 Feet

The Shower At 30,000 Feet

Yes, a shower. The First Class Emirates toilets are fitted with a shower cubicle. You just advise a steward/stewardess and with 5 minutes notice they can have it all ready for you.

 

There is around a 10 minutes water allocation so I suppose this is what they need to prepare for you. They also give you a full body length towel so no worries about drying off.

Emirates Handbasin, Towels And Smellies when you travel First Class on the Emirates A380

Emirates Handbasin, Towels And Smellies

A stewardess provided me with a quick tour and explanation of the facilities, including a hair dryer (not that I need one!). In fact the bathroom is so large I guess it is bigger than my en-suite at home. I’ve been out done by an aircraft!

 

The bathroom even had a heated floor so no worries about cold feet. There were also a range of luxury toiletries for shower pampering. There was even a seat in the shower cubicle for those less mobile to use the shower.

Shower Seat

Shower Seat

The water was certainly warm enough and as a Grohe shower I think you get an idea of the quality.

 

Refreshed and smelling of Bvlgari aftershave I was able to return to my seat/cabin.

 

Refreshments in First Class on the Emirates A380

I wouldn’t be short of anything in there. Beside the seat is my own private drinks cabinet. This contained cans of Coca-Cola light, 7Up, normal Coca-Cola, a bottle of Voss water, Perrier and Mango juice (hmmm I love mango juice).

Private Drinks Bar On Emirates First Class

Private Drinks Bar On Emirates First Class

There is also a complimentary snack basket just in front of the 23” touch screen TV. This contained a packet of Pringles, Jila mints, Walkers shortbread, a Mars bar, a small Cadburys dairy milk plus a muesli bar. No need to starve on here.

Complimentary Snacks

Complimentary Snacks

If none of that took your fancy then at the front of the First Class cabin on the Emirates a380 is a quiet place that Emirates describe as “a chic, private, social area”. This has a water feature and a selection of snacks and drinks which you are able to help yourself to.

 

If you want something a little more social you can head down the cabin into the Emirates Business Class and find the bar area.

 

If you want to relax then it is easy to settle. Emirates have mood lighting throughout the plane. The main lights are dimmed and star like little lights appear on the ceiling. It is just like being under the stars at night.

 

Resisting this is possible as you have control of three lights in your 1st Class cabin. There is a table lamp, reading light and a seat light. All of these can be operated from the hand held controller beside the seat.

 

Entertainment in First Class on the Emirates A380

The controller also allows you to operate the Emirates ICE system. ICE stands for Information, Communications, Entertainment. There are over 1200 channels of entertainment and games, from latest films, classics in the Film Club (including Gone With The Wind and Rebel Without A Cause). Also to be found are music videos such as the great performance by Adele at The Royal Albert Hall. I opted for some comedy and watched Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The Emirates ICE TV Screen

The Emirates ICE TV Screen

Facilities also include a satellite phone and internet wifi. I didn’t use the wifi as it is chargeable. However reading the t+c’s it appears to be a satellite system and some restrictions apply such as e-mails don’t come with embedded images. You might have to pay a small extra fee to receive these.

 

There is free wifi in the lounges so I see little need to use what could be a slow and limited service whilst in the air.

 

I’ve travelled Business Class on the a380 super jumbo jet with Emirates before. However this was clearly a step up. I loved the shutters for complete privacy. The 4 stewards/stewardess’ to the cabin meant premium attention. I’ll also never forget taking a shower on a plane!

Watching Us Take Off On Screen Via The ICE System

Watching Us Take Off On Screen Via The ICE System

 

I’ll have to save up my points for another upgrade very soon.

 

Have you ever travelled on an A380? What was the experience like for you?

 

I really enjoyed my special treat; first class on the Emirates A380.

 

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Comments

  1. Sounds like a fantastic experience, had no clue about the showers, would love to test it at some point but I guess I am in the wrong group for this since I tend to always fly Star Alliance…. Feels admittedly less glam!

    • Hi Malin, I’m with Star Alliance too. I’ve been Business Class on the Singapore A380 yet it seemed like Business Class on any other Singapore flight. I’d love to try First Class on the Singapore A380 though with its rumoured double bed cabin.

  2. Now that’s one cool experience.

  3. Wow – that is pretty amazing. You lucky dog. Now that is the way to fly in luxury!

  4. I officially hate you (OK, I don’t but you’re kind of making me hate you) :D

    I wish I could fly on an Airbus A380. I sometimes daydream and look for price tickets on an Airbus A380 from Frankfurt to New York, probably the nearest location to an Airbus A380. It costs around 400 euros, not very expensive actually. Well anyway, the next time you travel think of me for a second, or raise the glass of champaign for me :) It’s going to be some time before I ever board this king in the sky :)

    • Hi Gabriel, no worries I’ll think of you the next time I get the benefit. It is actually surprising how reasonably priced the Emirates A380 (and Emirates flights in general) are in comparison to other airlines. No wonder they are often full.

  5. The bathroom looks amazing. What’s the price difference between 1st class and 2nd class flights?

    • Hi Agness, I’m afraid it is never a straightforward answer. It depends on the route, length of the flight, time of day and any special offers. I would guess maybe around £2,000 but I’ve genuinely no idea. It cost me around 35,000 frequent flier points to upgrade for a 14 hr flight.

  6. Wow that surely does sound like a luxurious experience!
    Don’t think I’d be able to sleep though. I’d probably want to try out everything there was to try out:)

    • Hi Sofie. I know what you mean. I was fortunate enough to be able to upgrade a 14 hour flight so I got plenty of time to sleep and play :-)

  7. DUDE!! this is frickin awesome! I’m so jealous right now. A shower on a plane is up there with joining the mile high club I think. I also think it would be great just to be able to sleep laying down on a plane but that’s just me ;)

    • Many thanks Ardun. It sure was class, I’m keen to save up my points to do it all over again. Oh the joy of frequent flyer points :-)

  8. I’m trying to work out how to take a geek-out trip on the Emirates A380 full stop, let alone in first class! I may have to wait for my return to the UK but I am determined to make it happen!
    Shower at 30000ft is brilliant though and I would want to try and steal the PJs, haha!

    • Hey Bennett I’m sure Emirates can route you back from China. One of the three daily connections from Dubai to Manchester are on the A380; am not sure about flights to London though.

  9. Wow! Thanks for letting me live this luxurious experience through you. Heated floors too? I have only flown business class once on airberlin and it wasn’t this luxurious.

    • Many thanks Suzy. Hope you get to experience business or first class soon. Generally the larger the plane/longer the flight then the better the experience on board.

  10. Wow – always wondered what life was like in these new cabins. Hope to get to see for myself one day

  11. I don’t even want to admit this, but that bathroom is nicer than any hotel room I’ve ever stayed in or any apartment I’ve ever had. And it’s not even close.

  12. I swear the A380′s are avoiding me! dying to get on one but alas, I keep getting 777′s and 747′s… If you want me i ll be back in economy moping to myself… ;)

    • Hey Ash, I know the feeling. It seemed like ages since I first boarded an A380 even though I knew the carrier operated it on the route I was travelling. Then like buses, once you’ve done one they all seem to come along at once. More and more A380s are coming into service so hopefully you’ll get on one soon.

  13. Totally worth it!
    I got bumped once to business class in a LAN flight. Unfortunately it was just a short flight – from Madrid to Paris… but I soaked it up.
    And WOW! For all you got, you almost don’t want to sleep, to enjoy absolutely every little detail of the experience and all the luxury.
    As for the mile-high club, economy class toilets are nothing but a turn off- too cramped and totally dirty and smelly. I can’t understand two people actually getting it on in one of those… THIS however, THIS is the way to do it.

    • Hi Colleen, thanks for visiting. It certainly was worth it and I’ll upgrade again when I have the chance. Too true about the economy toilets, yet when you look at the room in the First Class toilet your mind does get a thinking……

  14. I think reading this post might be the closest that I will ever get to first class air travel. I didn’t even know that they had showers on planes. I always use my frequent flyers points for free flights rather than upgrades.

    • Hi Biance, thanks for visiting. Use points for free flights is I think the best and first option. I chose to upgrade here because the miles were expiring, I was unlikely to have time to redeem for a free flight and I really wanted to experience first class. Hopefully you’ll have enough points too to experience this.

  15. Wow, now that is some extremely classy flying! I’ve been wanting to try first class on Emirates myself, but like you said, it’s kind of out of my price range at the moment. Had no ideas about the showers, that is a new one for me. Wild stuff. And hey, anybody who likes Curb is alright in my book ;)

    • Hey Derek, hope you get a chance to upgrade soon, it is well worth it. I only ever seem to get to watch “Curb your enthusiasm” whilst flying so I make the most of every opportunity.

  16. So much envy here! You always have fun flying! :) Great reading your blog.

  17. I am so very jealous – A380 planes are my absolute favourite, and I adore Emirates. I doubt I’ll ever be able to afford to upgrade, but I find their economy seats far superior than other airlines I’ve flown with, so that will do me for now :)

    • Hi Emily, I can’t afford upgrades either but thankfully had enough points! If you fly frequently I’d certainly recommend collecting frequent flyer points; as you can see there are some great benefits :-)

  18. Talk about flying in style mate, that is an incredible way to fly. You might not want to get off the plane after treatment like that!

    Just out of random curiosity, did you see that article about the blogger who got kicked off his flight?

  19. I am gobsmacked. Another advantage, I’ve heard, is that when you fly first class, the airplane flies so much faster and the trip is so much shorter ;)

    • Hey Miss Footloose. I’ve not heard that one. If I’m flying in so much luxury I’d like the plane to take it’s time so I can enjoy the comfort and luxury. It’s taken a long time to accrue those miles to redeem them so it is rather special to go First Class!

  20. i’m looking to get to try the melbourne to dubai route in 1st class hopefully soon.
    If you have large expeditures say you’re building a house – you could always put all the materials etc onto the emirates mastercard that should give you that 1st class ticket.

    • Hi James, that is a good suggestion. Many airlines do offer branded credit cards and I’ve even seen websites dedicated to finding the best sign ups and offers for credit cards with airmiles.

  21. Hi,

    I’ve flown a few times in First on the Qantas A380 (a lucky lady, I know), which is great. But I’m told Emirates are far superior so this weekend I’m trying it out and, like you, I have seat 1K.

    What I can’t find out though is if that seat is right next to the bar and, if so, if it’s noisy?

    • Hi Adrienne,

      I hope you enjoyed your flight? As you’ve probably discovered seat 1K is the complete opposite end of the cabin from the bar. I quite liked this since it meant that it was very quiet by my seat. I know a lot of people like using the bar yet I also like the complete comfort of First Class :-)

      I’ve never been First on Qantas, was it a good experience?

  22. Wow! That looks yummy! Not even a bit similar to my business upgrade with Iberia :)

    • Hi Yana, it certainly was very yummy!

      How was your experience with Iberia? I’ve never flown with them although I recently flew with TAP Portugal.

  23. I have traveled 1st class and if you have the points (or the cash) it is an amazing treat but I’ve never had as good as you did on this flight. you had me with the special tunnel and doorway onto the airbus a380 but a shower? That is heavenly.

    • Thanks Maria, having a shower that high up was certainly unique. I don’t know of any other aircraft offering that, let me know if you find one.

  24. Definitely out of my reach but I hope some day I can too enjoy this – the shower and the social areas are pretty cool features.

    • Thanks Raul. Never say never, hopefully you’ll get the chance soon. Hey you got a free upgrade coming back from NYC so who knows when the next one will happen :-)

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