The Emirates A380 economy is an incredibly comfortable way to travel. Emirates structures the two levels based on class, with Economy taking up the whole of the lower level. This allows for spacious seats and no questions over which bathroom you can and can’t use. The A380 makes the journey very pleasant, the noise isn’t quite as loud as on other aircraft, and the windows allow plenty of natural light in.
Emirates A380 economy uses a 3-4-3 layout. I was seated in 71E and had the luxury of having two empty seats either side of me. This meant from the 14hour journey, I slept close to 8hours. Being able to lie down across 2 or more seats makes all the difference. As a tall girl (180cm), I favour sitting in the middle section of the aircraft. That way when I stand up, I don’t have to crouch down with the lower side overhead lockers. The middle section lockers are placed higher, so there is more space immediately above. Aisle seats are also a winner for me, as you can kinda cheat the aisle and earn some extra space.
You’ll also find quite a comfortable amount of leg room. Emirates seats are made entirely of fabric, front and back. This means even if your knees of touch the seat back, it’s soft rather than hard plastic. The seat gives good support for you back, as well as decent recline. One of my favourite little touches is the lighting onboard Emirates. At night when main cabin lights are switched off, the aisles ceiling turns into the nights sky, with little stars simulated. It’s a really small detail, but really helps to remind you that you should sleep.
As always, the Emirates entertainment system “ICE” is a phenomenal system, featuring more movies that you could ever imagine. Each month, mountains of new movies are added to the new releases across multiple cultures like Arabic, Farsi, Indian, African etc. For this month, movies like How to be single, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Zootropolis were my favourite. Then in the final hour, I switched over to TV and watched Modern Family as I knew I wouldn’t finish a whole movie before we landed.
The screen sizes are very generous for economy. I’d go as far to say the biggest in economy you’ll get with any airline. Having flown Emirates a lot recently, the screen size also depends on the age of your A380. In older A380’s the screen has a black surrounding, and the supporting remote is black. In newer A380’s the surrounding is cream and so is the remote. The screen in the newer A380’s was also marginally bigger, which I found totally and utterly ridiculous. This airline really invests in everyone being at maximum comfort.
The touch sensitivity of the screen was great. The additional remote control placed below the screen rather than on the armrest was a nice when you wanted to simply lower the volume. Every seatback comes fitted with a airplane headphone jack and USB Port. These are found just below your mega TV screen, meaning you won’t rip out the cable anywhere near as easily as when it’s in the armrest. On aisle seats, the seat also has a universal powerpoint for faster charging of your devices. Just keep in mind that not every seat has a powerpoint.
The most dreaded thing about flying economy always seems to be the sub-par food. Everyone knows airline food isn’t great. But, a recent study found it isn’t because airlines want to make us miserable. It’s to do with the pressurization of the cabin and dry air. It was found that these factors reduce the sensitivity of your taste buds to sweet and salty foods by around 30%. So naturally, that means food tastes 30% worse.
Emirates have really tried to make every meal as tasty as possible. Whether they are healthy or not is probably another question. Regardless of what you order, I wholeheartedly believe this is the best economy meal in the sky.
I request a special meal, gluten free (GF) thanks to my recent intolerance realisation. Both dinner and breakfast were tasty. Dinner was grilled fish, rice with mushrooms, cauliflower, two gluten free pieces of bread, a small garden salad and a fruit salad.
For breakfast, I was served a tomato omelette, baked beans, roasted veggies, two gluten free pieces of bread, strawberry jam, plain yoghurt and a fruit salad.
A little bonus is that you’re served first, and if you want to sleep, you get to do so much faster than everyone else. Overall, I landed in Dubai content and happy with the meals that had been provided.
The flight attendants onboard are always very attentive, walking through the aisles often throughout the course of the night with water and orange juice. The flight attendants are all bilingual, with more than 15 languages spoken onboard by crew usually. Throughout the flight, I received a hot towel and a small amenity kit including a toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask, socks and ear plugs.
Emirates also take their meal game up to a whole new level, including 3 stickers in their headphone packets. These stickers are there to communicate with the flight attendants for when you’re asleep. The green sticker is in my opinion the most important one – Wake me up for food. These flights are usually pretty long, so I don’t want to miss out on eating and then wake up starving. If you don’t want to be disturbed, you can use the pink sticker, and the flight attendants won’t wake you during meal service. There is also a third orange sticker indicating duty free shopping, although I’m really not sure who ever uses this.
Emirates offers three flights daily from Melbourne. From November 2016, two services will be direct to Dubai, and the other Melbourne – Singapore – Dubai. The stopover in Singapore does add about three hours to the journey to Dubai, so unless it’s significantly cheaper, I would strongly recommend the direct flights, and the A380 option. It really does make all the difference.