Emirates is known for building high expectations with an extraordinarily strong reputation for service, comfort and outstanding luxury. The A380 is one of its newest flagships, designed from the ground up to be among the best aircraft anywhere.
Your plane ticket comes with free chauffeur-driven transport on both ends of the journey. At the airport, Business Class passengers can enjoy complimentary Emirates lounge access around the world.
In the Emirates lounge
There are over 30 Emirates lounges around the world, as well as plenty of partner lounges. With a boarding pass, Business Class passengers can enjoy complimentary access to these.
You’ll find dedicated Emirates lounges in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, and your ticket also lets you into the Qantas Club Lounge in Adelaide.
The lounges are as well-appointed as you’d expect, with showers, a business centre and seating everywhere. Powerpoints are abundant, so you can settle in almost anywhere you want.
However, the main highlight is probably the well-maintained buffet and self-service bar. You’ll find a quality selection of champagnes in the ice buckets, or you can mix a drink of your own. The food is even better, with chefs constantly hard at work behind the scenes.
Pick from a range of pre-assembled cheese platters, salads and similar, or head over to the hot food where you’ll find the meals of the day, from soup to steak to gourmet pies. If you have a Business Class ticket, it’s worth getting to the airport early so you can enjoy the lounge.
Express cards are provided at check-in for fast-tracking through border control and security screening. Australian passport holders can also fast-track through the e-Gates at Dubai, your main stopover on long-hauls with Qantas and Emirates.
Your complimentary chauffeur service
If you have a Business Class ticket, just book your car online at Emirates. You should try to do it at least 48 hours before departure.
You provide your location and the driver gives the pick-up time, chosen for punctual arrival at the airport.
However, you have to be within a certain distance of the airport and it’s not always available on flights between Australia and New Zealand.
- Adelaide - Within 60kms of Adelaide International Airport
- Brisbane - Within 60kms of Brisbane International Airport
- Canberra - Within 25kms of Canberra Domestic Airport.
- Hobart - Within 35kms of Hobart International Airport
- Melbourne - Within 60kms of Melbourne International Airport
- Perth - Within 45kms of Perth Airport
- Sydney - Within 40kms of Sydney International Airport
Frequent flyer perks
For Australians, the biggest Emirates frequent flyer perk is its partnership with Qantas, letting you spend points fairly interchangeably on flights with either airline.
Cultivating your Qantas Frequent Flyer status can pay big dividends if you’re flying on Emirates and can make getting into Business Class a lot more affordable.
You can also expect more perks if you’re higher up the Qantas and Emirates frequent flyer ranks.
Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers can use the first class check-in for an even more efficient experience, while Silver status and up increases your already-generous 40kg checked baggage allowance.
Silver: 52kg checked baggage
Gold: 56kg checked baggage
Platinum: 60kg checked baggage
And of course, there’s also the Emirates lounge access at airports around the world.
Space and seating
Emirates has two different A380 layouts, but all flights to and from Australia use the same one, with 76 Business Class seats situated right behind first class, occupying the second floor of the plane.
Most of them are in one big cabin, and right behind them you’ll find a divider with the emergency exits. Behind the divider there are a further five rows of Business Class seats, and beyond that you’ll find the bar and lounge for socialising or just hanging out during the flight.
You’ll find Business Class seats arranged in a 1-2-1 layout. If you’re travelling alone you’ll probably want one of those single window seats. The middle two-seater arrangement are mostly designed for travelling couples, but you can raise a privacy divider between them if needed.
All seats are more like mini-hotel rooms, with lie-flat beds and your own sizeable side table and room temperature mini-bar within reach.
You’ll also find a detachable tablet for your seat. This is the control for in-flight entertainment and lighting. You can also use it to electronically adjust the seat to your precise satisfaction, as well as control the seat’s massage features.
There’s ample storage space to have everything simultaneously out of the way and within reach, including a pocket for your phone while it’s charging, a compartment for your shoes and deep pockets along the window seats.
Your seat-side counter is the likely place for drinks and snacks, but if you want a desk in front of you, a table folds out from the side of your seat. It can be moved closer or further away as desired.
What’s the best Business Class seat on the Emirates A380?
The smaller cabin near the lounge and bar might seem like the place to be, but you’re probably better off in the main room. The lavatories and service areas are all behind the lounge so you’ll find more traffic the further back you sit.
The last row in particular is practically right next to the bar, so you probably can’t count on getting much sleep there.
However, head right to the front of the main cabin and your only passers-by will be flight attendants moving between first and business class.
Amenities and entertainment
You’ll get blankets, headphones, pillows and all the usual amenities. If you don’t, just ask. In addition, Business Class travellers on all long-haul overnight flights get Bulgari “Indulgence” amenity kits (charcoal for men and pale grey for women), with perfume, moisturisers and other skincare essentials to keep you feeling fresh throughout the flight. The decor might also be an amenity in its own right, with an abundant faux wood and ivory palette standing well apart from other airlines. It might not be subtle, but it’s undeniably stylish.
On a more practical level, you’ll also find multiple in-seat USB chargers and a power outlet for your devices, as well as the usual Emirates ICE entertainment. This system has over 2,500 channels, including a wide and up-to-date range of movies, TV shows, games, music, documentaries and live sports, news and other television.
Dining and refreshments
You’ll be greeted with a glass of Moët & Chandon on boarding, along with the in-flight menu and wine list for your anticipation.
Once you’re in the air, stop by the onboard lounge for cocktails and canapes or order more Moët to your seat. You can also expect a good wine selection, generally built for versatility and pairing with meals. The wine list makes some recommendations and suggestions.
You’ll receive appetisers and an in-flight apéritif promptly, and you’ll have several different options to choose from when the meal is served.
Expect multiple courses including mains, fruits, cakes and desserts, and as close to high-quality dining as you can reasonably expect within the confines of an airplane.
Where can I fly?
You’ll find the A380 flying out of Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth to Dubai, and more. From Dubai you can fly onwards to dozens of other cities on the A380.
Emirates has gone to great lengths toward building a reputation for quality and luxury. It’s also put a lot of effort into the development of the A380. Put them together and you get a fairly extraordinary combination. For practical purposes, the Qantas-Emirates partnership is also a real godsend, making it significantly easier and more rewarding for Australians to fly Emirates on long hauls.
The main thing to watch out for is the back seats. Business Class or not, being stuck in that last row before the bar might be enough to ruin a flight, especially if you were hoping for some quiet rest.
Pictures: Emirates and ShutterstockBack to top
Ask an Expert