The previous Emirates business class review was about the old Boeing 777. This time we’ll be discussing the Business Class product of their A380, which technically is already superior. That being said, because of the rather displeasing experience I had the first time, I lowered my expectations a little bit.
Still, the A380 product is something that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. I know it won’t be as grand as First Class, but there’s still that lingering curiosity of what the experience would be like.
I knew it would be a downgrade from first class but I didn’t think that what I experienced in my Manila – Dubai flight was going to happen again. It really opened up my eyes when it comes to Emirates. They may be the most luxurious First Class product, but they definitely need some improvements in their other seat classes.
PROs: They provided chauffeur service, great seats.
CONs: No amenity kits, the lounge had capacity constraints, and the service was still sub-par like before.
This flight is the last leg of the round trip from Manila to Madrid, to Barcelona to Manila. Which makes it part of the $2,600 price tag. You can check out the full details in our first review.
We were fetched by a van and brought to the airport. This happened a bit too early in the morning that the check-in counter wasn’t even open yet.
We used the time we had then to get the tax refund. After we completed all the necessary documents and tax refunds, we went back to the check-in counter which was already open.
Since we were traveling with our baby, we were allowed to use the fast lane through security.
In Barcelona, the airline lounge that Emirates uses is the SALA Lounge. Although it’s bigger than the SKYVIEW lounge, it still had capacity constraints.
There were so many people when we got it and it was very hard to find a seat for us.
The lounge had a few amenities in its name but it wasn’t anything special. Below is a picture of a salon within it.
In fact, I’d go as far
as to say that it’s not a decent lounge just because there’s hardly any
privacy, the place was cramped and I just find it very bland.
There were two gates, one for economy, and another for both Business and First Class. This is because the A380 is a double deck plane. Business and First Class cabins make up the upper deck while economy is situated on the lower deck.
There was a long line for Economy, but for us at Business class, everything went on smoothly.
Cabin Seats and Amenities
The A380 business class product is very elegant and beautiful. Their play on gold, white and blue sets the tone to make the cabin feel homey, in a way. Even though there were some overhead cabins, it still felt like the place was spacious.
The seats were placed in a 1-2-1 configuration with alternating positions. Odd-numbered window seats have their consoles to their right while even-numbered window seats have their consoles to the left.
Odd-numbered middle seats have their consoles by the aisles, providing more privacy for pairs who are seated next to each other. While even-numbered middle seats have their consoles between them—leaving them more open to aisle traffic.
I personally find this configuration a bit weird because of how the window seats are placed. This can bait some people to think that a window seat has the consoles by the aisle when in fact, it’s separating you from the window.
When flying Emirates Business Class, I’d suggest looking the seat plan itself up before you fly to make sure your seat is what you want it to be.
I got a window seat. It’s around 18-inches wide. Because of the seat configuration, my seat felt like a small suite. Just below the windows are two small compartments for storage.
The console to the left housed almost all of the amenities of the seat. There is a small mini-bar, a stand for the tablet used to operate the IFE system, and another compartment just above the minibar.
You’ll also find two USB outlets, one universal outlet, the audio jacks, the reading light, and the IFE remote right there.
There’s also a sizable foot cubby that extends your seat pitch to 48 inches. When you turn your seat into a bed, it then becomes 70 inches.
Their IFE is arguably one of the best. They have live television, numerous of the latest movies and shows, as well as free and fast internet for Skyward members for the whole flight.
They really put an emphasis on making sure that the passengers are as comfortable as possible when left alone.
As soon as we got on board, they immediately served welcome drinks. This was already an upgrade to my previous review, however, it was still too soon to assume the flight was great.
After the welcome drinks, the next showcase of their service didn’t happen until an hour after takeoff. What I did realize while waiting for the food service was that the flight attendants didn’t seem to be willing to help out anyone. They just stayed in the galley—probably preparing food service.
That being said, there’s probably something wrong when a passenger in Business class feels as if they’re not being cared for enough. But that’s just my personal thought.
I was a bit hungry once the food service started because the sub-par food in the Sala lounge left me with much to be desired.
For appetizers, we had the Traditional Arabic Mezze which consisted of Humous, muhammara, baba ghanouj, stuffed vine leaf, and Kalamata olives.
It was sort of hit or miss in some places, but overall a decent dish.
For the main course, we had the Prawn Machbous which is a dish of prawns marinated in a traditional Emirati spice blend served on fragrant rice.
It was tasty but had quite a strong flavor.
The food was decent, but that’s not my sentiments for the whole service though.
I found the service lacking in a lot of areas. The flight attendants didn’t have the initiative to actively help out passengers, the few times that they did, it seemed like they weren’t that willing to do so at all.
Just like my Manila to Dubai flight, I’m also disappointed in the service that this Emirates Business Class flight provided.
I liked the seat, I liked the fact that we were provided a chauffeur, but the service they provided was lacking. It’s still better than the business class flights on the 777 by a long run, but there are other airlines that have impressed me more with their business class products.
I do have to say that even though the trip wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, I did enjoy the fact that both First Class and Business Class passengers had access to the bar, which I really enjoyed.
On our four-leg trip, the three business class flights felt lackluster to me in a few ways. I wouldn’t have minded if it was just one unique flight. But having to experience the same business class product that is lacking in substance and warmth was just too much.
Emirates First Class might be the most luxurious First Class experience, but Emirates Business Class is definitely on the lower end of the spectrum—particularly with regards to the service.
After all that we’ve been through, I can honestly say that there are way better options for business class aside from Emirates.