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Emirates A380 First Class Review

I possibly chose the worst time in the history of Emirates to fly First Class from Bali to the UK. Yes, I flew Business from Bali to Dubai and then connected to my First Class flight in Dubai – just a day after the April 2024 storms that brought two years’ worth of rain in just 24 hours!

Despite my lame impression of a Tom Cruise Mission Impossible-style run through Dubai airport to make my connection, I did indeed make the flight departing Dubai to London Heathrow to allow me to bring you this Emirates A380 First Class review.

Snapshot Verdict

The Emirates First Class experience on the A380 is incredible. From the very attentive on board service to the chauffeur driven car home – the entire experience is as lavish and premium as you might expect.

With premium drinks, quality on demand dining and a shower in the sky – the A380 first class experience with Emirates is hard to beat.

If you can justify the ticket cost or book it with air miles then do it – and thank me later.

First Impressions

As I was rather hurriedly connecting flights, I unfortunately didn’t have time to access the Emirates First Class Lounge. So my first impression when I ran onto the plane as pretty much the last passenger to board, was that I was definitely the last First Class passenger to board.

just made the a380
Just about made the flight!!!

I had started my journey in Bali, which is renowned for having poor airport lounges and has no dedicated Emirates lounge (read my Bali Lounge review here) – and as Emirates do not offer a First Class service from Bali, I had travelled Business Class up until this point.

This was my first Emirates A380 First Class experience. Despite sweating, being horrendously out of breath and stressed because I was convinced I wasn’t going to make this flight due to a 3-hour delay at Bali, I was bowled over by the welcome.

A very personable greeting by my flight attendant and the immediate offer of champagne (or any other drink I wanted), a hot towel (although at this stage I really wanted a cold one), and then being shown to my suite, the first impression was exactly what I had expected – opulence.

First really is a big step up from Business.

Emirates A380 suite

The privacy afforded by the sliding doors, the attentiveness of the staffwho are with you within seconds of hitting the call button, and of course the large bathrooms– this had the makings of a very comfortable final leg of my trip home.

There was a sting in the tail end of this story, which I will get to later – but for now, everything was pure bliss as my heart rate lowered back to it’s normal resting range.

Pre-Departure

Despite my rushing to catch the plane (it was at final call before I disembarked my preceding flight), we had time for three glasses of champagne prior to take-off.

Jason drinking champagne on Emirates A380
Just about got my heart rate back to normal pre-takeoff

I asked for one, and the free-pouring flight attendant just kept topping me up as soon as he noticed I was nearing empty.

The Dom PĂ©rignon 2013 might not be the 2003 vintage that we used to see on Emirates, but at around $230 per bottle and a good year for the brand, it is still a very enjoyable sip.

I spent most of my time getting comfortable in my suite, which has ample space to keep your carry-on bag, as well as an array of snacks and drinks to keep you going during take-off and landing.

I also took this time to inspect the Bvlgari toiletries bag. This gifted a generous 30ml Bvlgari Le Gemme Gyan Eau de Parfum worth over $100, aftershave balm, emulsion, cleansing towel, razor, shaving foam, dental kit, deodorant, tissues, and a hairbrush.

Between swigs of champagne, I also checked out the Emirates pajamas, and got myself familiar with the ports and plugs for all my charging needs.

Before we took off, I was also asked when I’d like to take my shower. I opted for 90 minutes prior to landing. They also asked if I’d like my food straight after take-off. This was my preference, as it was a nighttime flight.

Main Service

I opted for skipping the breakfast options and went straight for the caviar (with all the trimmings) to start, followed by the mezze as my actual starter, and the spiced lamb with rice as my main.

Caviar meal on A380

I was asked if I wanted a foie gras amuse-bouche, which was hard to turn down – so the food was already flowing thick and fast.

In fact, if there’s one criticism of most First Class services, it’s that there’s simply too much food.

Anyway – the amuse-bouche was delicious, as was the mountain of caviar that I was presented with. I polished off the blinis and some of the melba toasts that accompanied it, and moved on to the mezze.

The mezze was my first mistake. I mean it was delicious, but it was a meal in itself. Even the flight attendant commented that it was a lot of food as he cleared my half-full plates.

Emirates First Class Mezze

Then came the lamb, which was slow-cooked, plentiful, and simply delicious. I had a glass of the Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Louis Latour 2012, which retails at around $200 per bottle. This was a very large glass as you will see from my photographs, but was very enjoyable (if not to my taste completely).

Spiced Lamb on A380 Emirates

What I love about the First Class experience with Emirates is that you can have what you want, when you want. I decided after the meal that I’d change into my pajamas, check out the lie-flat seat, and grab a few hours’ sleep.

The Bathroom

Before heading to my slumber, I visited the bathroom to change. This was perhaps the most impressive part of the whole experience for me. Having ample space to change into pajamas without feeling like you are performing some sort of contortion act is a real luxury at 40,000 feet.

A380 First Class Bathroom

The bathroom is even more spacious than I’d imagined after watching plenty of videos showing it. It is well kitted-out with a range of amenities, and has towels and additional toiletries should you need them.

Now you might think it would be too decadent to put a heated floor in the bathroom of an airplane, but that’s exactly what you get here. And when changing into your nightwear just before bed, that heated floor is just the ticket to help you feel relaxed.

More on the shower later… I headed back to my suite for a slumber.

Lie-Flat Seat

Back at the suite and I had made my bed lie flat. I have read that often the attendants will have made your bed for you, but as I hadn’t indicated to them that I was changing into my night clothes, they probably didn’t know to do this.

Anyway, I promptly made my seat lie flat with the touch of a button, and placed my mattress in place. I decided not to use the hefty blanket that was provided, as I was still quite warm – and on the previous flight I had been too hot when sleeping.

The difference between Business and First when it comes to the lie-flat seat is vast. This experience was as close as I have ever come to feeling 100% comfortable and as though I am in a real bed while flying.

What makes the experience even better is the sliding door to give you almost complete privacy. I closed the door, put my belt on, and went to sleep.

I slept for around 3 hours – which is a little less than I’d intended, but I’d already had around 2.5 hours’ sleep on my 9-hour flight from Bali to Dubai, so I was happy overall with that.

More Service

Upon waking, I pressed the call button and within 10 seconds the attendant appeared. I didn’t fancy breakfast or any of the other on-demand dining options, so asked for a cup of tea. I was promptly presented with a pot of tea and a selection of chocolates and biscuits.

pot of tea on A380 first class

All of which were delicious and some of which I saved to take home.

At this point I was gearing up for my in-flight shower, so used the supplied Emirates bag to pop my clothes into, and was promptly escorted to the bathroom by one of the attendants.

Emirates A380 Shower

The flight attendant offered to show me how everything worked in the bathroom – although it’s all very self-explanatory.

Shower on board Emirates A380

You get five minutes of hot water in the shower itself, but you can switch this on and off as required. They didn’t explicitly tell me how long I could spend in the bathroom, but I’m guessing around 25-30 minutes would be the limit.

Either way, I didn’t need anywhere near as long as that and was done within 15 minutes.

Emirates Shower inside

There is a helpful monitor that shows you how much hot water you have remaining, and this automatically shuts off at 25% remaining – just in case you are getting carried away, I suppose.

The heated floor is a lovely touch, the shower itself is pretty powerful – I’ve certainly had worse on the ground – and overall, this is a fantastic way to start or end your flight.

I was really glad to have chosen the end of the flight for my shower, as after two long flights I arrived at Heathrow feeling refreshed.

Emirates toiletries

The array of a VOYA toiletries and a fresh towel are placed in the bathroom for you when you take your shower. I didn’t use any of these, but I am sure they are all great.

There are also extra dental kits, shaving kits, cotton buds and shower caps should you need them.

Having space to dry off in the large bathroom and dressing with space to swing several cats (although not advised) is a joy. Then, it was back to my seat for some pre-landing treats.

Pre-Landing & Exiting

As I hadn’t ordered any more food, I was presented with some fresh fruits and a mint tea. All very pleasant and pretty refreshing considering it was now early morning local time (around 6.30am).

I was also offered more chocolates (which I decided to take home for the kids), the pre-landing clean-up had commenced, and we were very quickly on the ground.

fruit for breakfast on A380

There was an issue at Heathrow with the airbridge, so it took a good 15 minutes to leave the plane. First Class of course were first off, and the attendants were holding back the hoards of Business Class passengers who were almost fighting to exit.

Not the best experience at the end of the flight, but not something that Emirates could really do much about, I guess.

An Unfortunate End

Upon arriving at the luggage collection, it soon became evident that only a handful of people had their luggage. Due to the floods in Dubai, Emirates seemingly prioritized boarding passengers and not the luggage – as there were around 100-150 people without any luggage.

This might not have been a massive issue if there had been adequate staff to deal with the reporting of lost luggage – but this wasn’t the case.

To cut a long story short, I manage to fill in a form and hand it in (this took around 45 minutes) and my luggage arrived three days later to my house.

Although not all of this was Emirates’ fault, they are not off the hook entirely.

As mentioned, the airport staff was lacking at baggage claim – but there were zero Emirates staff at their desk on exit.

Emirates have a chauffeur lounge at Heathrow, where you can meet your chauffeur to drive you home. This was being renovated, so I was told by one of the builders to go to the desk opposite – but there was no-one there.

Luckily, my rather abrupt chauffeur had called me and told me where to meet him. He wasn’t easy to find, but I located him eventually and the journey home was swift.

Not a great ending to what was otherwise an exceptional flight and terrific experience.

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