Emirates flight review: Sydney to London via Dubai
It's a long slog to London from Sydney but Emirates makes it a comfortable one. Even in an economy seat.
I've flown the Sydney–London route three times in my life (so far) and strangely enough every time has been on Emirates. This isn't because I'm a fan of the brand (although I am) but because of its competitively priced flights and minimal travel time.
This time around I chose it as prior commitments required me to depart on a Sunday, but I needed to arrive before 8am on Monday morning. Emirates offered a 6am Sunday flight that landed me in London at 7.30pm. Perfect.
So at 3am I arrived at Sydney Airport and away I went.
Emirates Sydney–London details
- Route: Emirates–London via Dubai
- Duration: 23 hours and 25 minutes, including a 65-minute layover in Dubai
- Flight numbers: EK415 (Sydney–Dubai) and EK009 (Dubai–London)
- Aircraft Type: Airbus A380-800
- Date travelled: 13 October 2019
- Class: Economy
- Frequent Flyer Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Points earned: 5,400 QFF points, 0 status credits
Stephanie Yip's Emirates review
- Generous legroom, even for economy
- Empty seat beside me from Sydney–Dubai
- Free Wi-Fi for two hours
- High quality food coupled with exceptional airline staff service
- Short layover
- Wide variety of in-flight entertainment
- No status credits
What did I like?
- Generous legroom. Sitting in economy I never felt I couldn't stretch my legs to their fullest during my flights. True, at 157cm I'm not the tallest person in the world but the seat pitch is 31 inches, which is roughly 79cm, to give you an idea of roominess.
- Empty seat beside me from Sydney–Dubai. Being a 6am flight on a Sunday it wasn't crowded in the least. In fact, I wound up with a spare seat beside me and looking around some passengers were even lucky enough to have the whole row to themselves.
- Free Wi-Fi for two hours. This wasn't widely advertised, but once airborne you can log in to Emirates Wi-Fi in a few clicks of a button. Passengers can access free and unlimited messaging for two hours or can pay for a more premium service throughout the flight. I opted for the free service and had no dramas with the speed or connection.
- High quality food. Our meals were delivered promptly and were complemented with Emirates' signature friendly service. Meals were generous and included a main, bread roll, salad, desert, snack and drink. I especially applaud how efficient the staff were in cleaning up after meal service concluded. It felt as though the moment I ate my last bite the tray was gone.
- Short layover. My layover in Dubai was just over an hour and was enough time for me to make my way to my new boarding gate where they were already boarding the first passengers.
- Wide variety of in-flight entertainment. This includes a mix of new release movies and TV series with Western and UAE options.
What didn't I like?
- No status credits. I'm a Qantas Frequent Flyer member which codeshares with Emirates but I booked my flight through Skiddoo as it was the cheapest option. My ticket was also issued by Emirates which meant I was only going to get a codeshare level of points. While I earned a nifty 5,400 QFF points for my journey, I earned 0 status credits, which was disappointing.
Would I use Emirates again?
Absolutely. Emirates might only be a 4-star airline but its quality is phenomenal. The service was professional and friendly, the economy seats were comfortable and the free Wi-Fi was an added bonus that I was grateful for.
It's common practice to arrive at the airport three hours before an international flight but something I learned from this trip is that airport security doesn't open until 4am. So after checking in at 3am a good handful of passengers and I were left sitting in the empty airport food court for an hour before we could proceed through security to the terminals. The moral of this story? Even if your flight departs at 6am, aim to get to the airport at 4am.