Review of Business Class Emirates Sydney to Dubai flight
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
3 weeks. Greek Islands. No kids. Every parent's dream right? Well ladies and gentlemen, I got to live it! And to add that cherry on top of my dream come true, we flew there business class on the Emirates A380.
The whole thing started as a joke. I cheekily asked my mum if she and my dad would watch the kids while hubby and I go on holidays, and to my surprise, she said 'of course'. Hearing this, I did not waste any time, quickly getting online and booking flights to Greece. We actually booked the tickets through Qantas, but because of the Qantas/Emirates joint venture agreement on flights to Europe through Dubai, we ended up on Emirates flights all the way to Athens and back, which suited me just fine because I have had many occasions now where I have been unhappy with Qantas service and organisation, particularly in business class. I only use Qantas at all because hubby travels a lot for work and collects many Qantas frequent flyer points (he is a Platinum member) so it makes sense to use those points and benefits on our personal travel. Travelling business class especially on long haul flights is such a luxury and makes me feel so fancy, but to be honest, I just wanted a break from my kids! You could put me on a freight train to Wagga Wagga and as long as I had no kids with me, I'd be over the moon! That's not to say that I don't love my 2 boys, I do very much so, it's just that I am a stay at home mum and care for them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so from time to time MAMMA NEEDS A BREAK!!!
The plight of the Australian traveler is that is takes forever to fly anywhere so a little extra comfort is very much appreciated and they do not hold back at Emirates. The experience actually starts with their complimentary limo transfer service to the airport, which I booked with them a couple of days before we left. Perfectly on schedule, a driver showed up at home ready to take us to the airport in a luxury town-car. Then we breezed through check in and headed straight to the Emirates Business Class lounge to kill time before our flight. The food selection was a mix of usual hot and cold breakfast items: eggs, bacon, cereals, pastries etc as well as a selection of middle eastern items such as dips, salads, cold cuts. There was a full self service open bar with premium wine and liquor choices. Our flight was a 6am and I knew we would be served breakfast on board so I just opted for a cup of tea and a dried date stuffed with orange rind, which was divine. I love middle eastern dates, they are so much better than what we get here in Australia. As we boarded I was disappointed to find out that even though we had booked seats together through Qantas, this was not translated into the Emirates system and we were seated one behind the other in window seats. This was despite me calling Qantas the day before to confirm we were sitting together and them assuring me we were. Yet again let down by Qantas. The Emirates flight attendants were very apologetic when they told us there were no more seats together so we accepted it and settled in for the 14 hour flight to Dubai. Once Qantas were out of the picture, the service from the Emirates flight attendants was flawless. The seat itself was wide and comfortable, reclining completely flat and covered with a mattress for extra comfort. The entertainment unit was made up of a large screen in front and a personal tablet docked on the side with all the latest and greatest entertainment options you could want. There was also plenty of storage in compartments under the window, power and USB outlets galore and even a mini bar in my seat unit so I could grab myself drinks whenever I wanted. These drinks were at room temperature however, so if you prefer yours chilled, you need to call for an attendant or head over to the on board bar. That's right, there was an on board bar!
Amenity kits were handed out and I was very pleased to see they are by Bvlgari, including a toothbrush and paste (although these are also stocked in the bathrooms), tissues, perfume wipe, hairbrush, body lotion, face emulsion, EDT fragrance and a mirror in a drawstring pouch. I used the contents of this one on the way over and saved the others I was given on other flights for my mum. We all love a #freebie!
Food options consisted of the meals served at your seat (breakfast and lunch on this flight) and a selection of cold and hot snacks in the bar. First up was breakfast where I ordered scrambled egg with truffle. Normally I would never order eggs on a plane. They are always very dry and tasteless but the truffle and the way it sounded on the menu lifted my hopes that this might be the exception. It wasn't. The eggs were dry and didn't taste of truffle, the salmon was overcooked and the potato scone was more like a pancake that I didn't really understand. On a positive note, the banana bread was lovely. I didn't eat much of this, but I wasn't too bothered because I planned on hitting the bar and trying everything else they had to offer, including the vast cocktail list.
I met up with hubby in the bar (as we were sitting apart) and we each had an aperol spritz with the early morning alcohol not bothering us at all. Turns out he had chosen the gingerbread french toast for breakfast and loved it. I hate it when someone else's order is better than mine! #foodenvy A few drinks later it turned out to be quite a social experience with all sorts of people converging in the bar area for a drink, toilet and chat. We actually had a great time, snacking on the readily available sandwiches, fruit, cakes and pastries. I asked what time lunch would be served and I'm glad I did because it was going to be just before we landed in Dubai which was more like 6pm Sydney time. There was no way I could wait this long till my next meal #girlsgottaeat so I ordered a beef burger from the bar menu. It was quite tasty, but this was only after I tipped the side coleslaw onto the burger. Without that it was quite dry, but with it, perfect.
Approaching Dubai we were served lunch where I ordered an entree of traditional Arabic mezze and main of confit duck. The mezze was a selection of 3 dips, vine leaves, salad and bread. The eggplant dip wasn't smokey, as is my preference, and again, I was searching for flavour. The hummus and the beetroot dip however were beautiful and very enjoyable. I washed all this down with a French Margaux wine which was very very good. I think the alcohol selection and quality is where Emirates really excels. In the lounges worldwide and in the air, the standard business class champagne is Moet, and the rest of the wine and spirit selections are premium. I should add that all meals were served with a white tablecloth and linen napkin, wine and water service and warm bread. Aside from some of the dishes that were lacking in flavour, it really was a lovely experience.
My main dish of confit duck arrived and although it looked a bit sad and average with the low lighting and not much green, it was delicious! The duck was perfectly cooked: tender, falling off the bone and full of flavour. I easily deboned the meat and shredded it for tossing into my noodles. All together with the noodles, the flavour was reminiscent of a pad thai with a salty, sweet, sour flavour profile. I ate this until my plate was clean!
Dessert for me was the cheese platter, I had already had quite a few sweets in the bar so I wanted something savoury to finish off. My time in the bar drinking didn't put me off booze though so I had a gorgeous glass of port to finish off. I made quick work of the cheddar and brie offerings but the blue was a challenge for me. I have only just recently started to eat blue cheese and this one was very strong so I could only enjoy a few bites before it became too much for me.
The verdict? Of course its a lovely way to travel and beats cattle class every day of the week. I didn't sleep on this flight because it was a day flight and I have never been able to sleep during the day, but I saw plenty of other people (including hubby) use the eye mask and full flatbed recline to catch some z's. On other legs where we were flying overnight, this was invaluable and worth every cent for me. Service from from the Emirates staff was impeccable and perfect from start to finish. Qantas could really learn a thing or two in that regard. The seat, facilities and comfort was all A-grade. The food was hit and miss for me, but when you're up in the air and food has to be re-heated, how good can you expect it to be? Above all, the MVP was the onboard bar and cocktails to order. What a fantastic addition to their service, especially for girls like me who like a drink and a chat #yolo
flies Sydney to Dubai daily.
*This flight was independently paid for.