Earlier this week I flew in Emirates A380 first class for the first time, from Sydney to Bangkok.
I’ll have a full review of the experience soon, but in the meantime I thought it would be fun to give you a teaser of some of the over-the-top things that caught my attention during the flight (both good and bad).
Suffice it to say, Emirates is definitely not a boring airline to fly with!
1. The out-of-control bling
This isn’t going to be a surprise to anyone who’s flown with Emirates before, but the preponderance of faux wood finishes and gold trimmings is an assault on the eyes from the moment you board the plane.
In first class it’s even more pronounced, with the added LED lights, lamps, mirrors and flowers.
It’s so over the top, I actually kind of love it!
The extra-blingy first class cabin
2. The ‘shower spa’
Giving passengers the opportunity to take a shower during a long flight is a great idea, and it’s something only Emirates and gulf rival Etihad offer, and only in first class.
With Emirates, you don’t just get access to a shower cubicle, rather it’s part of a surprisingly spacious bathroom with heated floors, and there’s a dedicated crew member to set it up with towels and amenities and clean it after each shower use.
I found it both super fun and super refreshing.
Emirates first class ‘shower spa’ bathroom
Emirates first class ‘shower spa’ bathroom
3. The “hydrating” pyjamas
You don’t simply get “pyjamas” in Emirates first class, rather you receive the “world’s first moisturising sleepwear” that is “designed to prevent skin dehydration during flight”.
The fabric “gently releases naturally moisturising sea kelp, so your skin stays soft”, apparently.
You’re even encouraged to take the sleepwear home and re-use it, as the “technology” is locked into the fabric and isn’t diminished by washing, or so Emirates says.
The “hydrating” sleepwear
4. The gimicky seat controls
Your suite has doors that shut, a privacy divider that can be lowered or raised between middle two seats, and multiple lighting options.
The seat itself has several pre-set recline settings as well as variable controls, and also sports multiple massage functions.
There’s SO MUCH to play with – which can be fun – but it’s all controlled from a touch-pad that is both temperamental and overly complicated to use, with multiple touches required to get anything done.
It’s so user unfriendly that I imagine it would be the stuff of nightmares for Apple engineers.
The “wireless” touchpad to control suite and seat settings
5. The writing kit
If you’re bored with playing around with your suite controls (or have given up trying to work them out), Emirates provides a writing kit complete with pen, paper and envelopes.
First-class-inspired letters to home, anyone?
The boxed writing kit sits in a dedicated drawer just under your entertainment screen. It’s actually a very nice touch of traditionalism among all the technology and bling.
The writing kit
6. The in-seat mini bar
In both business and first class, Emirates provides a selection of drinks housed in your seat. They’re not chilled, so I’ve never been quite sure what the point is.
In first class you also have a button that raises or lowers the mini-bar electronically. I found it quite entertaining to play with!
The in-seat mini bar
7. The internet fees
If you were to spend $10,000+ on a flight, where expensive champagne, spirits and food are complimentary, how would you feel about being asked to pay to access the internet?
Internet access is free for Emirates Skywards members, but if you have another frequent flyer program attached to your booking (e.g. if you used Qantas Points to book, like I did, or you are crediting the flight to another program) then all you get is a measly 20MB of free access, which lasts about five seconds.
Seriously, Emirates, it’s 2018: give your premium passengers complimentary internet access!
These are just some of the distinctive features that caught my eye during the flight. There’s so much more to write about – the food, the service, the seat – which I’ll cover in my forthcoming flight review.
I really enjoyed the Emirates A380 first class experience and can’t wait to try it again. I’d also definitely recommend it as a great use of frequent flyer points (or, god forbid, cash).
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