Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dad's Review - Travel in Style (Part 2) - Emirates A380 Business Class

This is the third time I have traveled to Dubai from Bangkok by Emirates Airline Airbus A380.

shot from boarding lounge, notice the dual level embarkation tube

It wasn't a big deal traveling in the largest passenger airplane until recently when my boarding pass was rejected and torn apart by the Emirates staff at the boarding gate. You have been upgraded into business class according to the staff. I saw envious and prying eyes from my fellow passengers most of whom were Caucasian.

I calmed myself and pretended to be in relax mode though my pulse was starting to beat faster. I have been upgraded many times to business class by Emirates Airlines in their Boeing 777-300 ER but I've never expected that I would be lucky enough to experience A380 business class. This is one of my perks as Silver member of Emirates frequent flyer program.

As we have known, all economy passengers of A380 are restricted at the lower part of the plane while the upper part was solely for business and first class passengers; they even enjoy a different tube in embarking and deplaning from upper level.

almost empty business class area

The first class area is located as usual at the front while the remaining portion of the upper level is for business class. In addition, there is a bar and lounge at the end of the upper level which opens when the plane has reached its cruising altitude. I forgot to take a photo of the lounge but nevertheless it was truly the most amazing part of the A380. Not to mention the wide selection of free booze and lovely bar staff.

Regarding space and comfort, first class passengers enjoy a small or mini-room while the business class passengers have their own cubicle with shelf full of drinks such as Perrier and Cranberry juice. You have the entire area beside the window while the center area is reserved for two cubicles. In short, 4 business class seats or cubicles are occupying a space equivalent to 10 economy class seats. That how massive the seat of Emirates A380 business class.

Though it was my first time in Emirates A380 business class I noticed that there was no difference in electronics comfort compared to their Boeing 777 business class. Nothing differs with food and drinks either. The usual welcome drink (I usually asked for their Moet & Chandon Champagne), fine dining atmosphere and the usual 3 selections of main course while appetizers and desserts are served separately.

In my observation, the A380 business class has never been full in all those Bangkok - Dubai flights since the blanket had some dusty smell, a sign that it has been stored for a long period of time. The one inch thick mattress being laid on 777 business class seat when you were about to sleep was never offered to any of us. Moreover, there wasn't any "loot" or complimentary bag as well; a big let down for any Dad since the wife would definitely appreciate those Bulgaris and lovely pouch.

Inside the toilet, surprisingly enough, the seat has faux wood material while the usual business class amenities such as dental and shaving kits and sealed comb abound.

my side table with my favorite champagne
wider flat screen

It was announced by the cabin staff before our take-off that wifi facility at the upper level would be made available once the plane has reached 37,000 feet. I waited for the wifi connection but it seemed the staff forgot to announce that it wasn't free and quite expensive. Oh well, I decided to watch a couple of movies and had a short nap since the flight time was a little more than 6 hours.

It would be great if Emirates will make this behemoth plane available on their Dubai - Manila route so that an upgrade will be most welcome for any Dad who is going back to his job at the Middle East considering the flight time of more than 8 hours.

See: Travel in Style (Part 1)

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