Thursday, 9 August 2018

Flying Emirates First Class A380 Dubai to London.

At the very end of last year I told you all about my epic First Class Suites flight with Singapore Airlines, and how I was now saving up my points for a first class flight with Emirates on their A380! Well, I did it. 85,000 Emirates points later I was in the air from Dubai travelling to London in their A380 suite. And yes, I even had a shower on the plane!! So, seeing as my Singapore first class and Virgin Australia business class reviews were so popular, let me tell you more about my Emirates First Class flight and how it compared to Singapore's First Class offering...

Emirates First Class Suite on the A380 plane Review

My journey on Emirates was much shorter than the 40-hour journey I took with Singapore, travelling from Sydney to NYC. Emirates charge a lot more for their reward flights, and so I could only afford to do Dubai to London with the 87,000 points in my account (find out how I earn so many airmiles here). Thankfully this was still enough time to test it all out for you guys ;)

The journey had been fraught with stress, and my great experience with Emirates began before I'd even arrived at the airport. Two days before my flight both of my grandparents were rushed to hospital, and I received one of those awful calls asking if I could fly back from Australia sooner than planned (I was in the process of moving from Sydney back to London), to say goodbye to them both. It was sudden, and something I hadn't prepared for. It was less than 24 hours before my first flight from Perth to Dubai with Singapore Airlines, so that one couldn't be changed. However I was supposed to have a few days in Dubai with Nige and Kristina, so I called Emirates to see if I could get on an earlier flight.

Excellent Customer Service From Emirates 

Thankfully because all First Class flights are flexi tickets, I called Emirates and the lovely man on the other end managed to get me on a First Class flight just 10 hours after my Singapore Airlines flight landed in Dubai. At such short notice and with such limited availability in First Class cabins, I was really impressed with how they handled it and squeezed me onto the flight. They also changed my chauffeur service for me from Heathrow to my parents' home, to Heathrow to the hospital which is over an hour and a half away from the airport but just within their radius.

The plan was to land and go directly to the hospital to see my Grandad, but unfortunately this changed when I landed, as my Grandad had sadly passed away while I was changing planes at Singapore's Changi airport. Thankfully Emirates were once again amazing, and re-arranged my chauffeur for me to go to my parents' house. Due to the shock of everything going on at home, I found it quite difficult to really appreciate the First Class experience, so apologies if this post isn't as 'WOWWW' as the Singapore Airlines one. Hopefully one day I'll be able to experience it again and truly make the most of it.

After my ten hour layover in Dubai (which involved me going for dinner with Nige and Kristina and freshening up), I arrived at Dubai airport for my First Class experience to properly begin. Check-in was very casual and blasé - but I suppose this is such a regular thing for those who live in the Middle East - and I then made my way to the lounge. The lounge was impressive, and I much preferred it to Singapore Airline's Private Room at Changi.

Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai Airport

The Emirates First Class lounge at Dubai spans an entire level of the airport, and is absolutely huge. There are luxury shops for you to browse in peace without battling the crowds and their trolleys, and numerous dining areas with sushi, sashimi, dim sum, baklava, and everything else you can think of on offer. And then there's the spa. Oh. My. Goodness.

Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai airport is filled with luxury boutiques

You get a complimentary 15-minute treatment but have to book as soon as you arrive at the lounge as it tends to get busy. I chose a head massage and it was pure bliss, I didn't want it to stop! Also, the toilets in the lounge have wooden hangers if you want to change and hang your clothes up while you're changing (which was much appreciated as I do hate it when you have to rest your clothes on top of the toilet seat lid - ew).

Emirates First Class Flight Experience

Despite the sadness and grief overtaking the space in my head, the flight itself was pretty dreamy, although I do always struggle with the staff on Emirates flights. I've never really had a flight where the staff were genuinely friendly and couldn't do enough for you, they always seem really quite arrogant and have an air of 'everything is too much trouble'. I've experienced this on every flight, in economy, business, and first class, and I just don't understand why. I don't know if it's because I'm so used to Singapore Airline's gracious and incredibly genuine staff, that everyone else just seems a bit off?

The row of suites in Emirates A380 First Class cabin

One of the things I really did love more than the Singapore Airline's First, was the Emirates Pyjamas. I was on a night flight from Dubai and was thoroughly impressed with how soft and luxurious the PJs were. They're also a much more stylish colour scheme of grey and charcoal, rather than Singapore's bold blue.

Another great thing about Emirates First Class is the vanity mirror, mini-bar, and snack bowl. You literally have your own mini bar built-in (although, disappointingly, Emirates stock Pepsi instead of Coca-Cola), and a bowl of snacks which was much appreciated (when I'm sad and emotional, I eat). The vanity mirror complete with Hollywood-style lights pops up and has some little mini beauty goodies inside, which was a lovely touch and felt very luxurious.

The seat inside the First Class suite on Emirates A380 Dubai to London
The seat inside the First Class suite on Emirates A380 Dubai to London
Ticket for Emirates First Class on the a380 dubai to london
There's also, weirdly, a notebook and pen in the suite. But I wasn't sure if it was something you were expected to take with you or leave behind - I mean, I doubt anyone would want to write notes in a notebook only to leave them behind for the next person to see? It confused me a little and so I left it behind.

Emirates notebook in the A380 First Class suite

As it was a night flight I'm afraid the photos in this post aren't of particularly good quality, but it gives you an - albeit rather dark - idea of what the First Class suites on Emirates are like. They really are a proper suite, with double doors you can close at the touch of a button. I also love the massage chair, and the mini tablet which allows you to control absolutely everything from one place, from the lights to the TV, and the massage functions and recline of the chair. Emirates' old first suites are much more technologically savvy than Singapore Airline's old first suites, and I would be really intrigued to see how the two differ with their newly launched suites when they eventually open them up to airmile reward tickets.

You control everything with a tablet in the Emirates A380 First Class suite
On Emirates A380 First Class you get your own mini bar

It was 1am when we got on the plane, and I had already been travelling for over 26 hours in a grief-filled stupor, so I instantly wanted to sleep. The staff kindly put my bed together while I changed into my PJs, and by the time I got back it was ready. The linens were luxurious and the bed pretty comfy, but the mattress was much thinner than Singapore Airlines' fold-down bed. I managed to get some sleep, and woke up with enough time to watch a couple of episodes of Hamish & Andy.

The Emirates A380 First Class bed set up
Sleeping in the Emirates A380 First Class Suite

The shower was one of my 'bucket list' flight experiences (my next 'bucket list' flight experience is to try out the new Suites on Emirates & Singapore), and it didn't disappoint. I was surprised at how huge the shower room is - you could have a party in there! The shower works where you have 5-minutes water time, but it can be paused while you shampoo and condition etc. You simply press a button to pause it. The shower room also has heated floors, and plenty of seating and amenities (you even get to choose from two different scents; lavender and rosemary, and rosemary and mint) .

The shower in First Class on Emirates A380 plane
Emirates First Class Shower in the A380 Plane
Amenities inside the shower on Emirates A380 First Class
The Shower in Emirates First Class on the A380 plane

After my shower it was time for breakfast, which was the only meal I had on the flight. I chose Eggs Benedict, and although we were on a plane, I was a little disappointed that the eggs weren't runny (am I being too demanding here?). I'm not sure if it's possible to get runny eggs on a plane, but you just can't really have a proper eggs benny if the eggs don't run and mix with the hollandaise.

Eggs Benedict champagne breakfast on board Emirates A380 First Class Dubai to London

The Bulgari amenity kit wasn't really different to the Business Class one other than it was presented in a slightly different (and very cheap/plastic feeling) bag. I much preferred the Singapore Airlines First Class amenity kit as they give you a full size bottle of Ferragamo perfume rather than mini's, and it just feels more luxurious.

Bulgari toiletry bag on the Emirates First Class overnight flight

Space-wise there's plenty of room for your cabin luggage. I comfortably stored my large cabin trolley, and a very large handbag. Emirates also provide you with a good-quality tote bag to take your PJs and slippers home in.

As we flew into British airspace and started our descent, I stared out of the window at the green fields of home peeking through the morning fog thousands of miles below. I raised my glass of champagne and shed a tear, Jerusalem filled my head and I just wanted to burst into song. After almost two years of living in Australia, I was home. I sipped on the bubbles and relished the silence and peace, knowing that as soon as I hit the ground my first few weeks would be filled with goodbyes, tears, and funerals.

Glass of champagne in front of the plane window
View of green England from the plane window
woman looking out of a plane window

Total Cost Of The Emirates First Class Reward Flight

I paid 85,000 Emirates Skywards miles for my one-way flight Dubai to London on the A380, as well as £328 in taxes. I also only booked it about 2-3 months in advance, so not too early compared to my year-in-advance Singapore Airline's first class flight!

Stay tuned for my review of my Singapore Airline's Business Class flight Perth - Singapore - Dubai! 

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