One of the most surreal trips of my life and I’ve finally managed to find some time to get just one highlight of this insane trip to Dubai written down. Here’s my Emirates A380 business class review.
Booking a trip to Dubai has been on my bucket list since I was 12 years old and I purchased a glass statue of the Burj Al Arab 7-Star luxury hotel.
It’s not officially a 7-star hotel as the maximum number of stars any given hotel can be awarded is 5 but the hotel stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the worlds offerings when it opened that it had its own coined term of 7 stars invented.
If I was going to book a night stay in a hotel I’ve always dreamed of staying in since I was a child I wanted to arrive there in style too and the choice was made to fly (one way) in business class with Emirates. An airline that just so happens to be one of the world’s best with one of the world’s best business and first class offerings.
Myself and a friend paid £2060 each for a return journey with the Business class offering being around £1500 of that (give or take) and whilst this may seem pricey by the end of the experience we actually felt as though we’d got our moneys worth, and here’s why.
Want to digest the trip in video format instead of reading this entire Emirates A380 Business class review? Check out our VLOG of the experience below:
Emirates First / Business Class Pick-Up Service
At the time of writing this review and when we booked the trip Emirates offer a pick-up service where you are picked up by a chauffeur and taken to the airport free of charge.
It’s included in your booking if you live within 70 miles of the airport you’re flying from. This service is offered to First Class and Business Class passengers and if you live further than 70 miles from an airport there is an added charge.
Travel between 71 to 75 miles costs £12 extra. Beyond 76 miles, the price per mile will be £2.75. Applicable tax/ VAT will be added.
Four hours before our flight (as Manchester airport is just an hour away from us) we were picked up in a stunning Mercedes with ample leg room, complimentary water and more comfort controls than I knew what to do with.
The driver arrived on time but the only issue I had with the chauffeur service was that once you had booked it, there was very little in the way of communication about your booking.
It was only the night before our flight that I received a call about the pick-up the next day. For those who like everything planned in advance and for peace of mind I had to give them a ring just to make sure someone was actually coming to pick us up on our travel day.
I wish they were more forward in providing updates (even text updates) as a reassurance for nervy travellers like myself who want everything organised before leaving.
After our exquisite car journey I was already feeling relaxed about a flight, yes me, someone who gets very nervous flying sometimes. On this particular day, I had no care in the world!
We were taken into a different area of Terminal 1 than the usual drop off point and instead were dropped right outside the Business Class check-in desk for Emirates. We literally stepped out of the car, walked through a door and our dedicated check-in line was right infront of us.
To the left of us was about 1000 people waiting for Emirates economy class to open and ahead of us was an empty queue line straight to the desk to check in.
Mission avoid eye contact began now as many passengers who had no doubt been standing around for quite some time had to watch me and my friend just walk through the doors and straight up to the desk.
Not awkward, at all.
Check-in was completed within seconds and Business Class passengers are also given free fastrack through security. Now let’s just tally up the value so far. A standard taxi to Manchester for us is £60, a chauffeur taxi to the airport is around £120 plus the security fast track and we’re currently at around £140 worth already.
When you arrive at your destination there is also a car waiting for you at the other side to take you absolutely anywhere in Dubai, there is no mileage limit on the destination pick-up whatsoever that I could find and that journey alone would have been another £120 (easily) on top had we booked a chauffeur service.
The value for money in this business class service is very quickly racking up.
Emirates Lounge Review
Located in Terminal 1 in Manchester airport is the Emirates lounge, a haven of elegance and relaxation as we had arrived at our lounge 3 hours before our flight. If we’re going to indulge in everything this business class experience has to offer I had to be there early and it was worth every second!
From the moment you step through the doors of the lounge the hustle and bustle of the airport vanishes.
You’re not sitting on hard metal chairs or twiddling your thumbs in duty free or staring at a waiting time board as your excitement and enthusiasm for your travel experience fades away. Surrounded by plush furnishings and food as far as the eye can see, you’re very simply, in heaven.
The lounge’s spacious layout ensures that every guest finds their own private corner to unwind or work, making it equally appealing to both leisure and business travellers.
There is a business section full of computers for you to catch up on work and absolutely everything you see is complimentary. Want a bottle of champagne? Take one. Want unlimited beer and buffet food? Take it. For the three hours we were in there we had a 3-course meal and a ridiculous amount of cider and still had 2 and a half hours spare to just relax.
With chairs facing the runway you can see planes coming in, if you wanted some entertainment there was a football match on the big TV in the lounge and if you needed anything there were staff absolutely everywhere to help with anything you needed.
The staff’s professionalism and attentiveness leave a lasting impression. Their commitment to personalised service sets a standard for the hospitality industry and it gives you a mere taster of what the experience is going to be like on the plane.
Whilst in the lounge it genuinely felt as though we were already on holiday as Manchester faded away and we were now in the Emirates ecosystem.
Compared to other lounges at Manchester Airport the Emirates Lounge did feel a little dated in places but Terminal 1 as a whole feels very much the same way.
Terminal 2 is the newest and most modern with Terminal 1 being a blast from the past. Just imagining what a new Emirates lounge would be like in Terminal 2 was another exciting thought.
What didn’t feel dated in the lounge though however were the bathrooms as a marble finish lined the sinks, towels were stacked like you’d see in a fancy restaurant to wipe your hands and there were even those posh toilets that squirt water into your nether regions at the press of a button.
There were even showers in there should you fancy a refreshing wash before your flight, they had catered for everything!
The meals were so varied and tasty that the food could rival any top-tier restaurant and you could go up as many times as you wanted to grab whatever you liked. I had a lovely Thai Green Curry with rice and prawn crackers with a nice cider and it went down a treat, it tasted fresh, smelled fragrant and was absolutely delicious.
The quality of the food was easily something you’d pay £40-£50 for at a good restaurant and we were just indulging in every second. Holiday mode was in full effect. Ciders at a good restaurant are also hovering around the £7 mark so I made sure to have a good 5 of those before boarding my flight.
For those seeking serenity, quiet corners are available, where one can sink into a comfortable chair and lose themselves in a book or simply savor the moment of tranquility.
Travellers stay informed of their flights with boards around the lounge but there is also an announcement from the receptionist of when you should leave for your flight. They will consider how far your gate is from the lounge and advise accordingly so just sit back relax and wait for your flight to be called before you head off to board.
The lounge’s exclusivity not only elevates the journey but also underlines the prestige associated with Emirates as an airline.
Emirates lounge isn’t just a place to wait for a flight, it’s an experience and a mere taster of the impeccable service that the airline provides itself on.
The attention to detail is just something that you wouldn’t find provided by other airlines. Just get lost in this oasis of comfort which puts your mind at ease and your body in holiday mode before you’ve even left the ground.
Long gone are queues before you reach your check-in desk, long gone is the airport madness of security queuing and duty free crowds.
You’re in your own little world and that’s why for me I will always fly business class when heading to Dubai in the future.
If only I had the money to fly Business class there and back (if only to check out the official Emirates lounge in Dubai) but to even sample it once is an honour.
Our gate was called and our journey began. We reached our gate and saw a dedicated check-in line for Business Class passengers.
We once again skipped a very long queue of people standing up waiting to board and headed down our very own air gate.
With the A380 being a double-decker plane we were on the top deck and instantly it hit us the second we boarded. Utter and complete escapism and luxury.
On Board with Emirates A380 Business Class
As one enters the spacious Business Class cabin of the Emirates A380, a sense of grandeur envelops the senses.
The cabin’s design exudes a sophisticated blend of contemporary aesthetics and Middle Eastern charm, evident in the elegant wood finishes and soft lighting that create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
The layout of the cabin provides a feeling of exclusivity, with well-spaced seating arrangements that ensure privacy while still allowing for easy interaction with fellow travellers.
My friend was sat next to me in the middle of the plane as the cabin sported a 1-2-1 layout with 2 seats in the middle and one seat each by the window.
The highlight of the Business Class experience on the Emirates A380 is undoubtedly the seat comfort.
The generously proportioned lie-flat seats are a haven of relaxation, equipped with ample legroom and an array of customizable settings for recline, lumbar support, and seat firmness.Each seat comes with a little place to store your hand luggage and a mini bar stocked full of water and canned drinks.
A huge in-flight entertainment screen and a little cover to put your feet up with the option of turning your seat into a bed with the help of some motorised controls next to your seat.
The seat can move forwards, backwards and then down into the lie-flat position so you can get a good night’s sleep even at 35,000 feet above ground.
We were given a complimentary welcome drink and some olives along with a hot towel and a Bvlgari amenities bag (check out the video to see what was inside) and I just put the football on and smiled. I was so encapsulated by my surroundings that whilst I heard a loud noise I didn’t realise we had taken off already.
Emirates A380 Food
Emirates’ commitment to providing a gastronomic journey is evident in its Business Class culinary offerings.
Passengers are treated to an exceptional dining experience with a menu crafted by top chefs using only the finest ingredients. The airline’s dedication to accommodating diverse palates is reflected in its extensive range of gourmet dishes, catering to a variety of dietary preferences and requirements.
I started with some Salmon Nori which was delicious followed by a steak. After my Thai curry a mere 2 and a half hours ago my stomach couldn’t possible fit a dessert in there no matter how much I wanted to sample them.
You could tap on your screen in front of you and order unlimited drinks to your seat (including alcohol) and the fact you can ask for just about anything is yet another perk to the business class experience.
Eating food late at night (it was around 9pm at this point) is never a good idea let alone when you’re flying so I played it safe on this occasion and instead explored the in-flight entertainment for a bit.
In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity
Emirates has always been at the forefront of in-flight entertainment technology, and the A380 Business Class continues this tradition.
The ice (information, communication, and entertainment) system is an entertainment hub that offers an extensive collection of movies, TV shows, music, games, and more.
The intuitive interface allows passengers to easily navigate and select from an array of entertainment options, ensuring there’s something for every taste.
I’m a man of simple tastes and I always tend to watch the same shows when on flights so I popped on repeats of Friends and Big Bang Theory until my food settled.
What I will say is that the noise cancelling headphones provided were some of the best headphones I’ve experienced on a flight, without even putting any media on the whole plane went silent, no engine noise, nothing. Tranquil, quiet, bliss.
The Emirates A380 Business Class provides passengers with excellent connectivity options, allowing them to stay connected even while soaring over oceans. High-speed Wi-Fi ensures that work commitments can be fulfilled, and passengers can keep in touch with loved ones throughout the journey.
You not only get a screen but a fancy tablet and a PSP style handheld entertainment device which controls your main TV.
It’s device overload, it’s excessive and unnecessary but I loved it!
Now that the food had settled it was time to explore yet another perk of the Business Class Emirates experience, the on-board lounge!
A Sanctuary in the Sky – Emirates A380 Bar
One of the defining features of the Emirates A380 Business Class is its onboard lounge, a space that serves as a social haven and relaxation area for passengers.
Simply go up to the bartender and ask for any cocktail or drink on offer. It’s free. Sit down on comfy couches and chill out in this lounge in the sky as you can sip cocktails at 40,000 feet.
Here I was on plush seating with soft lighting, wearing just my socks no less putting the world to rights with my friend whilst laughing at how ludicrous this trip had been so far and we hadn’t even arrived in Dubai yet!
Constantly pinching myself at every opportunity and whilst at the lounge we met a few fellow passengers, got to meet all sorts of people and even had a cheeky photo that’s with compliments of the airline. Simply ask for an Emirates photo and they’ll bring out a polaroid camera and capture a memory which goes into a little Emirates photo holder as a keepsake of your flight.
It’s little things like that, that mean the world.
The flight we were on didn’t have first class so sadly there was no tour of the famous Emirates huge bathroom with a shower on board on this particular flight but the bathroom we had in business was quaint with some Bvlgari amenities such as aftershave to keep you smelling great.
Emirates’ reputation for exceptional service is truly exemplified in its A380 Business Class. The cabin crew’s attentiveness, professionalism, and dedication to passenger comfort are second to none. From the warm welcome upon boarding to the personalized service throughout the flight, passengers are made to feel like valued guests.
Chatting away to our American bar man he must have thought I was just the standard British Stoke on Trent ruffian asking for cocktails such as a Martini Shaken not Stirred.
I can’t be posh to save my life, I open my mouth and a Stoke accent comes out but I sure as hell wasn’t going to NOT order a James Bond martini that’s for sure! I played it safe after that and just had Prosecco.
I got back to my seat and noticed the night cabin lights had been activated with a starry ceiling reminiscent of the Rolls Royce car interiors. I put my bed into lie-flat mode (at this point the staff had already added a mattress topper to my seat whilst I had been at the bar) and for the first time in my life, I went sleep on a plane for more than an 5 minutes at a time. Two hours to be exact!
This was certainly not anyone else’s fault but my own, my and my friend decided to stay up as late as we could to enjoy everything and we spent a good 6 hours awake on the plane enjoying it all and 2 hours sleeping.
The activities we had planned the second we touched down really needed more sleep but we powered through and the second we landed we were 32 metres underwater doing an Aquatrek shark dive. We’re a little bit mad aren’t we?
After having breakfast in the morning (delicious by the way) we arrived at Dubai airport very relaxed indeed. It was here where you can once again skip the line and get entry into the country before heading to the very well signposted Emirates chauffeur service area to be picked up.
Simply approach the reception, give your name in and you are handed a ticket. Hand that ticket to one of the concierge guests in the parking lot and your driver will take your luggage and walk you to your vehicle. On this occasion we had a lovely BMW and not a care in the world as we were on our way to the Burj Al Arab.
I was smiling from ear to ear the entire way and Emirates had taken every ounce of stress out of my body on a flight that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Conclusion: Emirates A380 Business Class review
The Emirates A380 Business Class journey from Manchester to Dubai is nothing short of a lavish and unforgettable experience.
From the moment passengers step into the cabin, they are enveloped in a world of luxury, comfort, and unmatched service and that’s not even included the lounge that bring all of those qualities to the table before you even step foot on the plane.
The combination of sumptuous seating, delectable dining, top-notch entertainment, and a dedicated cabin crew ensures that the journey transcends beyond the ordinary and becomes an indulgent adventure in the sky.
Just a lad from Stoke who was made to feel a million dollars with friendly staff, incredible service and easily one of the best business class offerings in the sky from any airline.
Most airlines business class cabins always seem very plastic and cheap (Etihad being a prime example for me and British Airways too) but Emirates felt like a luxury hotel in many ways, a finely tuned and rather polished business class experience. Exactly how it should be.
It’s a choice of flight where memories are made as comfort and care-free are usually not associated with travelling and for the price we paid all of that stress was stripped away.
The sheer amount of food we had not to mention the pick-up service at home and again in Dubai was easily £400 worth knocked off of our flight let alone the lounge access itself and the fast tracks.
To have a carefree experience where everything feels catered for you, that’s priceless to me and I’d highly recommend the Emirates A380 Business Class service to anyone. If you’re travelling with a friend I’d even recommend the Emirates Business Class service over the Emirates First Class service
In Emirates First Class you’re in your own pod for seclusion and privacy whereas in Emirates Business Class you can talk to your friends and enjoy their company around you whilst still having that seclusion and privacy.
The Emirates First Class service experience is a dream of mine one day but only if I’m ever travelling somewhere alone, it’s the anti-social way to travel and absolutely targeted at individuals flying across the world as opposed to families or friends.
For those seeking a truly remarkable travel experience, the Emirates A380 Business Class journey from Manchester to Dubai is undoubtedly a journey beyond expectations.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Emirates A380 Business Class review!
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