Emirates Business Class Tips And Tricks – Flight: EK764 Class: Business Class From: Johannesburg (JNB) To: Dubai (DXB) Duration: 8h15m Aircraft: A380 Seats: 11K In-flight frequent flyer status: None Booking type: Cash fare (LON-DXB-JNB r/t for £1376) Flight date: December 2019
Emirates is probably the most overrated airline in the world. The airline spends astronomical sums on advertising, often focusing primarily on its first-class product.
Emirates Business Class Tips And Tricks
The likely hope is that First Class will create a halo effect, leading customers to believe Emirates is one step ahead of the competition even in business or economy.
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In First Class, suites with closed doors, onboard showers, and $500 bottles of champagne undoubtedly top the list. In business class, however, the value proposition is less clear.
I’ve always found the Emirates A380 product to be solid but not great. The 1-2-1 seating configuration is similar to Garuda, China Southern or Etihad, but for some reason there are people out there who genuinely think this is the best product out there. Surely the addition of faux wood paneling and overboard bars isn’t enough to justify this? There must be something I’m missing.
This flight for me is about seeing if the hype is justified or if it’s the product of very vulnerable people who don’t have enough experience with other airlines to know more…
I booked a fare from London to Johannesburg for £1,576 per person in business class. I booked this with Amex Travel through the Amex Platinum promotion which offers a £200 discount on flight and hotel bookings over £600.
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This brings the total cost down to £1,376 per person: an incredible deal on Emirates Business Class flights from London.
After a usually overwhelming visit to Emirates’ Joburg Lounge, I was excited to finally try Emirates Business Class for the first time! The windows in the gate area gave us a perfect view of our whale jet for today’s flight to Dubai.
Over the years, Emirates has taken delivery of 123 Airbus A380s and every few years the interior has been renewed, particularly in 2017 when not only the seats but also the onboard bar were renovated.
Unfortunately, although the paintwork has been updated, the interior seems to be from the oldest generation offered. The new aircraft features champagne leather seats with darker walnut finish.
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This older generation aircraft has a much lighter combination of gray and purple skin color combined with light orange wood effect panels.
As soon as I posted a picture of the seat on my Instagram story, someone texted me that it looked like “baby shoes”. I would say that is correct.
In terms of cabin layout, Emirates A380 seats are distributed in a 1-2-1 formation. So far I have shown the seats in row 10: the window seat is separated from the window by a table and the middle seat also has a table separating it in the middle.
Meanwhile, the middle couple in that row also has a table outside. The central partition can then be lowered to create a sort of cocoon and private suite.
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Of all the seat types available, it’s best to choose a real window seat that ends with the letters A or K. These offer the most privacy, benefit from additional storage compartments and also offer a proper window view without any partitioning.
On my left is a narrow storage slot that can fit a small tablet device. Above it is a side table with a non-chilled minibar. This really seems like more of a gimmick than anything else as the space could be better used as a proper storage room.
If you ask for a glass of ice with your warm mini can of Sprite, you might as well order a cold Sprite and save space next to your seat.
A great feature is the personal air nozzle. I’m still not sure why so many airlines fail to include this in their premium cabins.
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Since this is an older generation aircraft, we have one of those Tamagotchi-style furry tablets to control the IFE (the window control buttons are on the tablet body). Again, the tablet looks a bit gimmicky and unnecessary, as there’s another IFE controller underneath the screen.
Both the tablet and the IFE screen appear to be touch-sensitive, although neither is so responsive that it’s easier to just use the buttons on the remote below the screen.
Emirates can easily remove the tablet and put a privacy screen in its place with extra storage. This will reduce the number of complex electronic components, reduce the weight of the aircraft and increase passenger privacy.
Despite being an older aircraft, the seat has been upgraded to include both USB and power outlets. Oddly enough, the Empower socket isn’t universal as it can’t accommodate UK/HK devices.
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One last thing I noticed about IFE is that the headphone jack is just below the screen. As a result, the cable dangles around in front of me the whole time. This doesn’t seem like a big problem, but with food service it’s annoying to have to be careful not to knock the cable over food or drinks.
In terms of screen quality and design, it really does feel like the IFE has been moved straight from the economy seat, with little regard for the differences from the business class product.
A final storage compartment is built into the back of the seat in front of me, containing the in-flight magazine and security card.
Amenity kits and slippers were distributed prior to departure. Slippers are still rare in business class cabins outside of East Asia. Not sure why, considering airplane lavatories are usually the dirtiest outside of East Asia… In any case, Emirates slippers are comfortable and of high quality. So are the noise-canceling headphones (complete with faux wood paneling).
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Emirates’ amenity kit is probably the best I’ve seen in a business class cabin. The set contains Bvlgari aftershave and body lotion as well as a small cologne, deodorant, shaving cream and a razor.
Everything is sized more like you would expect in a hotel than on an airplane. I really struggled to tell this apart from the first class amenity kit.
Laurent Perrier is a respected champagne and even a decade-old Bordeaux is impressive. However, the variety of drinks on offer is what really makes the drinks menu shine: 18 year old Scotch, cocktails, mocktails, cognac, campari, amarula, 1992 port.
Just like the Amenity Kit, this is a product offering more in line with First Class than Business Class.
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If you are used to flying in Europe, the choice of 3 starters, 3 main courses and 4 desserts will also surprise you very pleasantly. Unfortunately, Emirates doesn’t offer Dine on Demand (unlike their golf competitor Qatar).
As soon as I sat down, a crew member approached me and asked if I would like a drink before takeoff. Again I immediately compared this to Qatar where you can order whatever you want a la carte.
Emirates is taking a more expedient approach by handing out drinks poured from trays. No top-ups are offered.
Once in the air, dinner begins. We were initially offered pre-dinner drinks but when I ordered champagne I was left with an empty flute on my table. After 15 minutes of waiting, I rang the call bell to ask where my drink was.
Emirates Business Class
A very apologetic cabin manager appeared and said he wasn’t sure what happened. He quickly went into the kitchen and returned with a bottle of champagne. He professionally handed me the bottle and said, “Our champagne, Laurent Perrier,” before pouring me a glass. This is served with ramekins with cold mixed beans.
The lady FA who had previously left me with an empty glass came to serve my starter. No admission of his error was made.
He seemed to get off his feet in a hurry and unknowingly crashed into another passenger right in front of me (again without apologies). The rest of the crew seemed irritated by his lack of professionalism but were clearly too busy during meal service to fill the gap.
The dish is served on a serviette-wrapped tray rather than served directly – as is customary with premium carriers. The bread was inedible but I was glad to be offered a healthy side salad in addition to the starter.
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The rooibos smoked salmon was delicious, but the avocado puree tasted like the cheap underground guacamole you got at the movies in the 90’s.
After the female FA served my starter, one of her colleagues came over and asked what main course I wanted. When I ordered the bouquet, he immediately offered to pour me a glass of red wine so that he could breathe