Eating Abroad Hotel Reviews Travel Talk

Emirates Business Class – A Long Haul Flight Review

July 11, 2017

I’ve always considered air travel to be a luxury. The fact that we can fly across lands and oceans and find ourselves in a different country or continent within hours (ok, sometimes days for those of us flying home to NZ) will never cease to amaze me. Having the privilege of flying so frequently and easily is a luxury I don’t take for granted, but never had I flown in such luxury until I experienced Business Class with Emirates. It’s something I’ve always wanted to treat myself to but could never justify the price, or was never crafty enough to manipulate any loyalty programmes to help pay for it, so when Emirates gave us the option to upgrade for a fraction of the usual price, it was a deal we couldn’t turn down.

Even though we’re seasoned fliers, we’ve recently been spoilt with the short flight times across Europe and as a result, the thought of sitting on a plane for around ten hours at a time now fills us with a sense of dread. My bum goes numb at the thought of all that seat shuffling, my stomach turns a little with every flashback to those horrendous inflight meals, and there’s that waiting game to find out who you’ll have the pleasure of shuffling and snoring, I mean, sitting next to… Travelling with a partner has somewhat reduced that last anxiety, and now, travelling in Business Class has done the same for the first two. Here’s what we thought…

Business Class Seats & Entertainment

I am that person who does an internal happy dance when they discover they’ve got the whole row or even just a spare seat next to them in Economy so being treated to a huge seat and a raft of other extras was definitely an experience I’d happily relive over and over again. As a petite lady, the limited legroom on flights has been inconvenient at worst, but I can’t deny that it felt really good to be able to recline the seat at the touch of a button. We could both fully stretch out our legs, then have a proper sleep with the benefit of an additional mattress! I thought the seats felt private and quiet; sitting in your own little pod really blocked out whatever else was going on around and I hardly noticed people walking past in the aisle… a certain someone and I could even put up the screen between us for the ultimate isolation.

The entertainment offering on Emirates flights is pretty decent; they’ve got a good range of recent release films alongside a huge back catalogue of films, television series and documentaries, and music. For others like a certain someone who can’t sleep on planes, this wide range is a godsend as he can whittle away the hours a little easier by being able to alternate between movies and music. The offering is the same across all the flight classes, but the difference is all in the screen. It’s obviously much bigger in Business Class and you have the added bonus of being able to control the entertainment via a small tablet, as well as the touch screen or the small remote control.

Business Class Dining & Drinks Service

We enjoyed lunch, dinner and breakfast on board our flight from Auckland to Bangkok; all of it far, far more appetising than what you usually get served in Economy class but fine dining it is still not. Some of the dishes like the Thai-style prawn salad and the grilled chicken with roasted potatoes and ratatouille were actually very good, but others like the Thai green curry and the pepper steak were unmistakably from the ‘plane food’ category. I commend the efforts that carriers like Emirates are putting into their recipe testing but I still don’t think dining in the air will ever be as good as dining on terra firma because of all the funny things that happen to our senses at that altitude, and the practicalities of serving food on a plane.

The drinks, however, I think taste just the same. Emirates offered a great range of wines at each meal, but the drinks service throughout the whole journey was quite something. Glasses of Moet were offered as soon as we sat down, and continued to be generously served alongside other wines, beers, and cocktails. I even spent some time at the on board bar where I indulged in made to order cocktails, a good selection of snacks, and had a few chats with fellow travellers. For those of you who don’t fancy boozing on your flights, there are of course plenty of non-alcoholic drinks served too!

Overall Service & Amenities

As you would expect, the service and overall experience of flying Business Class was exponentially better than anything we’ve had in Economy. The staff made an effort to introduce themselves to us, were very responsive to any requests we had, and were generally quite chipper and friendly. All the amenities were also a bit better than the usual; the spacious seats were well-maintained, the pillows and blankets on offer were a good quality, and the Bulgari-branded toiletry sets were well stocked and presented in either a dark grey toilet bag for men, or a silver clutch purse for women.

You do get what you pay for, but then again you would hope so because you are generally paying a lot more. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to fly Business Class on every long haul journey, because I absolutely do… when we landed in Bangkok I felt more rested (being able to sleep on a fully reclined seat will do that to you) and more relaxed than all the times I’ve stepped off Economy. We thought it was worth every extra GBP we paid, however would we want to pay full price each and every time we fly long haul? It’s hard to justify that expense, so probably not – we’ll just hope for more upgrade opportunities or a random splash out here and there in the future!

Have you flown Business Class or First Class and did you think it was worth the expense?

Which is your favourite airline?

Pin It For Later?

Untold Morsels
Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

  • Dream come true. It is so tempting to shell out for these seats! We were bumped to first class en route to India and it was AMAZING. I didn’t sleep a wink because I wanted to enjoy every minute of it!

    • I tried to stay up too so I could enjoy it as much as possible, but omgosh, first would have been quite an experience!

  • What a treat! And it’s actually really nice to see an honest review from someone who paid out of pocket for their ticket/upgrade as that isn’t the case with so many airline reviews we see in blogs nowadays. I’d take if it was free (duh!) or maybe if they were offering an upgrade with a super saving or a once in a lifetime thing but other than that, I can’t say it has ever really appealed. I see people going to all sorts of lengths to fly business class, only flying BA (which I hate) or doing convoluted routes round the world and then I think, it’s all so wasted on me seeing as on my last economy flight, I fell asleep so soundly leaning on Pumpkin’s shoulder that I reportedly dribbled on his T-shirt!! I figure if a girl can sleep that deeply on Ryanair, then Business is wasted on her! 😀

    • Hahaha I’m that girl too – I can fall asleep before the plan even takes off and generally remind a certain someone to wake me when the food comes round! I know what you mean about the convoluted routes, some people have such dedication – I do wish I had joined some sort of loyalty programme but that wouldn’t necessarily mean I would be brand loyal to one company… we like to balance price with quality and find the best middle ground!

  • Business/First Class on a long haul is such an awesome treat! Looks like Emirates definitely know what they are doing. I’ve only flown business on Lufthansa and United, which were great. I totally agree, you feel more rested (THANK GOD for the fully reclining seats!) upon arrival and the whole trip feels more exciting than in the Economy. Sadly, it is too expensive, and we cannot justify the cost on every flight, but we also like to splurge once in a while to make the trip extra special. xoxo, nano |

    • Oh my, I didn’t think the reclining seats would make a huge difference for me as I fall asleep before the plane even takes off but they were incredible! We’re in the same situation – splurges will happen, but economy will continue to be our usual mode of air travel!

  • I’ve never flown Business with Emirates – good to get some insight as it does look better than BA.

    • I’ve heard really average reviews for BA – seems like the quality has slipped over the years?!

  • Now, this is how to fly through the heavens!

    • Definitely makes the lengthy journey that little bit (ok, a lot) more enjoyable!

  • Untold Morsels

    Have you seen the Seinfeld episode about travelling in first and not able to go back to economy? It’s hilarious. I used to do a stupid amount of business travel for work and reached the dizzy heights of Platinum Frequent Flyer with Qantas where I would get the odd upgrade. You do get used to the lovely champagne and perks of that lifestyle. Travelling with the kids in economy has been a bit of a shock to say the least 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your luxe experience #FarawayFiles

    • Hahah no, but I can definitely know the feeling of struggling to go back to economy! I think parents who manage to survive flying with kids deserve a medal – it must be quite the challenge!

  • Clare Thomson

    I love Emirates. I used to fly in business class all the time for work and it’s such a pleasure. It really makes air travel so much more glamorous and a pleasure rather than a pain. The trouble is that once you’ve travelled business it’s so much harder to going back to being squeezed in on the Standard flights. Add children into the picture and air travel goes from a fabulous experience to a rather more gruelling one. Great to read about your experience on #FarawayFiles

    • You are absolutely right… enduring our next long haul back in Economy was definitely a challenge haha! Having that extra space and privacy makes such a difference!

  • I haven’t flown with Emirates before but I hear so many amazing things about it and looking at your beautiful photographs its quite clear that the hype is real.

    I usually fly with British Airways, I love their business class that’s for sure and had an enjoyable flight with them recently.

    Really keen to try Emirates long haul, business class all the way (or first) 😉

    Laura xo

    • I’m so glad you had a great flight with BA – I’ve heard some mixed reviews lately so it’s good to hear that! I really like Emirates – even their Economy is decent, always really friendly and efficient service!

  • I like to think my sacrifices being squashed back in the seats in economy are better for the environment, but I would be willing to buy some carbon offsets to experience that luxury once! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • Haha yes, our suffering is all for the environment… but yes, every now and then, I’d be happy to buy some of those carbon credits to fly in luxury again!

  • I think if I got a deal I would def go for it with a 14 hour flight… really anything ~12 hours. I can deal with Economy for shorter flights, though having to sleep sitting up with nothing to rest your head on drives me mad.

    Food wise I remember pizza being served as a snack on one of our flights and everyone went mental. It was the best thing that had ever happened to us as we sat stranded in the middle of economy hell with the big stupid Indian Ocean taking forever to fly over. Basically, if I could tick a “pizza” box when booking a flight and be guaranteed only pizza and lots of it for every meal I totally would and I’d be much happier. As you say, fancy food just doesn’t really work. Just gimme comfort food.

    • They sneakily offered us an upgrade option again, but only for the Dubai to London leg… which is obviously shorter, but it was also more expensive!!! Outrageous – needless to say, we passed!
      I would happily eat pizza on a plane – my most dreaded plane meal is the breakfast scrambled egg… like seriously, who wants to eat something the texture of vomit on a plane?!?!

%d bloggers like this: