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?

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