It’s no surprise that Dubai’s flagship carrier, Emirates, is considered to be one of the most luxurious airlines in the world. From pictures I knew it would be at least one of the most ornate, glamorous, ostentatious cabins in a commercial plane, ergo I had to find a way to fly it! Thankfully you can book Emirates flights with all of the major points currencies (Amex, Chase, and Citi). With Chase and Citi you need to transfer to partner airlines to book and with Amex you can transfer directly to Emirates’ program. For a sum of 170,000 Amex points I booked a couple of one way flights to Dubai from London in first class. I was super excited!
One of the awesome perks of flying in Business or First on Emirates is the door to door service. You schedule your pick up online and sure enough at the exact pre-arranged time a Mercedes S550 was at our hotel in London to drive us to the airport. Check in was a breeze and we were through security in no time. London is very premium traveler orientated always having separate security and immigration lanes for business and first class passengers. In other words within 15 min of arriving at the airport we were in the lounge. The Emirates lounge in London is a combined business and first class lounge which was a pleasant place to wait but had none of the over the top amenities that I had expected from an airline like Emirates. There was one exception which was awesome. We were able to board directly from the lounge which was amazing. Up to this point we were on the plane and didn’t have to wait in a single line, my type of travel!
As we walked in we were escorted to our seats which were the middle two in the second row. The seats have a mini bar, a vanity mirror with some amenities and a writing kit with stationary, envelopes and a pen.
The Champagne in Emirates first class is Dom Pérignon, of course. And unlike their western counterparts they serve all your alcohol right in front of you and in the proper glassware.
We were asked if we wanted to eat right away to which we said yes. The menu is presented in a restaurant worthy leather booklet. I opted to have the caviar as my starter which I must say that the quality of my caviar was significantly better than what Singapore was serving out of JFK.
As my main I opted for the salmon en papillote which was good although just slightly over cooked.
At this point I decided to head back to the bar which I had read so much about. The bar is located behind business class so you have to walk to the very end of the plane. It’s a nice, large area
One of Emirates clame to fame is that they offer the most expensive alcohol in the sky. Hennessy Paradis which retails at about $1000. Just as an aside a restaurant bar in Dubai had it at $150 per shot! I definitely took advantage of this and had me a glass, or two.
At this point I had the flight attendant turn my seat into a bed for me. A proper turn down service is one of the small differences between business and first class that I’ve come to love.
Although the total space in the suite is smaller on Emirates compared to Singapore I actually preferred the bed on Emirates, I found it to be more comfortable. I was able to doze off a bit although before too long it was time for my shower appointment.
Emirates was the first airline to offer a shower on board a commercial plane. The two bathrooms up front for the 14 first class passengers both have a shower. Both of the bathrooms are quite large, about 5 times the standard airline bathroom. There is space to walk around and changing in and out of your clothes is no problem compared to some airlines, even in first class, it’s a struggle to change into the pijamas they give you. The flight attendant accompanied me to the bathroom and asked me if it was my first time, when I replied that is was she gave me the tour. She began by saying, “let me begin with the worst case scenario: in case of depressurization . . .” I was thinking whoa that would be awful lol. Anyway after her spiel the whole thing went awesome. You only get 5 min of water although you can pause the water to prolong the shower in which case 5 min becomes more than enough. There is just something so cool about taking a shower at 40,000 ft.
Shortly after that we made our descent into Dubai where we breezed through immigration, waited about 15 min for our bags and then seamlessly stepped into our chauffeured ride to the St Regis Dubai which concluded the Emirates First Class experience. It was amazing! Although the seat can probably get a little cramped on a 14hr flight to the US, on a flight to London this may be hard to beat as the seat, service, food, and door to door experience is at an unmatched level.