Included here are the first and last segments of a four leg trip (Manila to Dubai, Dubai to Madrid, Barcelona to Dubai, and Dubai to Manila). It’s the first time I’ve tried Emirates Business class. All I know is that First class is the one that everyone should try, but since there’s not a lot of talk about Business Class, I can only assume that it should be just as great as their First Class.
As much as we were excited, I can only emphasize that the trip was not cheap. Emirates, even when on discount, is still relatively expensive.
Sometimes expectations can deceive you, maybe even lead to disappointment, especially if what you expected wasn’t what you got.
PROs: Unlimited and decent internet throughout the whole flight. The beddings for the seats were so comfortable that we got some decent rest for the flight.
CONs: Below standard food and service. It was very much a letdown and it affected what I thought about Emirates, particularly Business class
In all honesty, the whole trip would not have been worth it if I didn’t upgrade my DXB – MAD trip to First Class (see the review here!).
For $2,600, I was able to book two flights in Business class. One from Manila to Madrid, and the other from Barcelona to Manila, both of which have stopovers in Dubai, leading to 4 flights in total. Considering it was` technically 4 business class flights in Emirates, it was well worth the money spent.
I paid for them using my Citibank Premier Miles card so that they net me with 9,500 miles for each leg (Manila to Madrid, and Barcelona to Manila). I got to collect a total of 19,000 miles, with an added bonus of 4,593 miles equal to around 23,600 miles.
Our flight was in the evening, and even then, there was a very long line by security. Luckily, as I did in one of my previous reviews, I chose to go through arrivals. It’s not common knowledge but you can enter through it.
The business class check-in was fast because there was barely anyone lining up for it. Most of the people were lined up in economy class.
During check-in, the agents found that I booked another Emirates flight, this time in First Class from Dubai to Madrid. Because of this, they gave us first-class boarding tickets and priority passes, indicating that we should and will have the best treatment that they have to offer.
After a quick stop at the check-in counter, we headed straight for the lounge, in this case, the Skyview Lounge.
Emirates uses the Skyview lounge, which, to me, is way below the standards of its services. However, to complete the experience, I just had to go and check on the lounge itself.
The Skyview lounge is quite a walk away from the check-in counter. For the first-timer that will go to the lounge, you might get a little too excited because you’ll be passing two relatively decent lounges, the Silverkris lounge, and Cathay Pacific’s lounge, only to be faced with a slightly below-average one.
The lounge looked nice in front.
The exterior looked classy to an extent, but everything turned bad when you entered.
First off, the already small lounge is divided into two segments. One for cardholders, and the other for Emirates passengers.
Even before the separation, the lounge is too small for the number of people that are expected to stay in it.
Fortunately, our flight wasn’t during peak hours, so we got to sit down. But it’s fairly easy to assume that this lounge can get jam-packed with people quickly.
The good side of this lounge was that it did have some decent food.
I’ll be posting a more in-depth review of the Skyview lounge soon. But all I can say is that the lounge is not to the level that Emirates is.
It was smooth sailing during boarding because Emirates was very disciplined and organized during the procedures.
There was a separate boarding lane for Business class passengers. We were also the first ones to board the plane.
Cabin Seats and Amenities
The aircraft used by Emirates for the Manila to Dubai route is an old version of their Boeing 777 fleet. That still makes it rather old and outdated—but it didn’t affect my thoughts on the flight in any way.
Hopefully they’ll use the new planes for this route in the future.
There are 42 seats in Emirates Business Class and they’re arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. For me, this 2-3-2 is not a good configuration. I don’t like it because there will always be that one person that will be situated in a middle seat that, unless they’re in a group of three, will almost always be uncomfortable.
The cabin itself looked amazing. The iconic golden coloring of Emirates seats was enhanced by the equally golden mood lighting.
I had the aisle seat 6F. Although I dislike this seat configuration, it does have its advantages, especially since my wife and I brought our little angel with us. Each seat was 20.5 inches wide and had a seat pitch of 60 inches. They could also be laid flat.
Our seats are located at the very back of Business class. Directly behind us was the economy class cabin that also sported Emirate’s amazing mood lighting.
The first thing I realized was that there was little to no storage in business class aside from the overhead bins. All we had were the small compartments for the menu and a few pamphlets, but aside from that, nothing else.
Each seat came with its own 23-inch IFE screen with so many TV shows and movies to choose from.
There was also a tablet for every passenger that helped control the IFE system.
The more traditional handheld remote was also available at the side of your seat, beside it were earphone jacks.
It’s important to note that the amenity kits that Emirates provides are different between men and women.
The men’s amenity kit had a razor, shaving cream, a comb, deodorant, tissue, and several Bvlgari products.
The lady’s amenity had almost the same components, except the razor was replaced with a mirror. It’s also quite obvious that the bags they were placed in are different for men and women.
The table comes out of the chair’s console, and it folds out to provide an ample amount of space.
This is one of the few flights that I had very high expectations of. I was excited because of the Emirates brand, even though it’s just in Business Class.
To start, our ground experience was great, particularly because of the priority pass that they gave us. Check-in and boarding were both really fast.
However, things went downhill pretty quickly.
As I’ve mentioned, our seats were the last row in Business class. At first, I thought that this was a good idea, but as soon as we entered the plane we already encountered a dilemma. The space right in front of the seat was the area where the economy passengers go through.
Because of this, we had to wait until all of the economy passengers entered before we could experience their service. This wasn’t the start I was expecting for the flight.
It was the first time I experienced service in business class that started after the flight had taken off. That was when they gave us welcome drinks and the usual spiel. However, I think that the service they had was not something that you should expect for business class. Far from it.
30 minutes after take-off they began serving our food.
We got Crepe with scrambled eggs served with roasted potatoes and sautéed mushrooms with tomatoes. Presentation-wise, they looked awful, like the food was just put on the plate, particularly the crepe. The bread was hard, and everything was bland. It’s no secret that I was disappointed with the food.
Their in-flight service was also sub-par. It was hard to get the attention of the flight attendants, and in some way, I felt that asking for help was a burden to them. You know something’s wrong when you have that feeling.
A good highlight of the flight, however, is the very comfortable mattress for when our seats were laid flat. They were so good that we didn’t have any problems sleeping through most of the flight.
Our Trip Back
For the most part, everything was the same, the seats, the cabin, even the service was still sub-par. But there were a few more noteworthy things that I just had to share with everyone here.
Emirates Business Class Lounge Concourse B
There were several business class lounges in the concourse, but this particular one was the closest to the gate.
In all honesty, we spent most of our time in the bigger Business Class Lounge at Concourse A which was a whole terminal! Way bigger than any other business class lounge I’ve been to.
Nevertheless, the lounge was still pretty amazing by my standards.
Something unexpected that happened was that the boarding process here was very chaotic, and I mean very much. It seemed like people had no sense of lines, even the ones in business class.
I don’t know if there weren’t enough personnel ushering people in or if they were just being overpowered by the number of people.
I flew Emirates business class twice and on the same route, and I can only say that I was disappointed by what I experienced. The service was subpar, food was below average, and even if the lounge was great, the surprisingly chaotic boarding process in Dubai left a mark.
I’m not saying that it’s not worth it. Maybe I just got the short end of the stick twice.
But based on my expectations and the reputation that Emirates has built up, this service is just bad.