Having flown Emirates first class on the A380 numerous times, I figured it was about time I tried out the business class cabin to see what all the fuss (if any) was all about.
Emirates's last remaining A380 route to New Zealand is from Sydney to Christchurch, so I decided to put my Qantas points to good use and lock in a business class ticket from Perth to Christchurch via Sydney and back, with the first leg on the 'new' Qantas A330 which I've reviewed before.
How To Book Emirates Business Class With Points
From Perth to Christchurch one way in business, the total price comes to only 50,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points and $170 (ouch!) in taxes courtesy of Qantas's extortionate fuel surcharge scheme.
The Sydney to Christchurch leg on its own would cost 36,000 QF points and $133 in taxes so for only 14,000 extra QF points you get an additional 5h in business class! If it's a cash fare you're after, check out our Emirates promo code to get a discount on your next flight!
After spending the night at the new Felix Sydney Airport hotel, I took a quick Uber to the international departure terminal for a quick check-in and express security clearance. Flights from Australia to New Zealand are not eligible for the Emirates Chauffeur-drive service (however, if you fly on a connection to Bangkok or Dubai, you will get chauffeur drive in both Christchurch and Sydney).
Emirates Business Class Lounge Sydney Airport
I decided to check out the Emirates business class lounge which has a great view over the tarmac but feels dated and tired. It's fairly spacious with a small dining area next to the buffet and all the other lounge amenities you would expect in an international lounge. You will find the lounge near gate 58 after taking one flight of escalators down. As a business class passenger you can also opt to use the Qantas business class lounge, or if you hold Platinum status, you would want to head straight to the fantastic Qantas First Class lounge.
The A380 Business Class Seat
The Emirates A380 has a 1-21 configuration in business class unlike the old and new 777 which has a 2-3-2 set-up which I would recommend you avoid. The old 777 seats are also on a slight slope whereas the A380 seats go fully flat… which is amazing considering Emirates's first class seats are NOT flat and slope down on an angle, even on their brand new 777 first class seat with virtual windows.
The window seats are staggered, so you have the option for either direct aisle access and the minibar next to the window. A more private (and my preferred) option is the one where the seat is right next to the windows and the mini bar between you and the aisle.
Talking about mini-bars… the A380 has one in each business and first class seat; because why not! It's handy if you want to grab a bottle of water, but all the other drinks aren't chilled so unless warm coke is your thing, there's not much point.
The window seats are A and K and are slightly longer than their B and J counterparts. Same goes for E and F which are around 20cm longer compared to D and G when fully flat.
Other than the width of the seat, it's actually a pretty spacious setup with ample room to move your legs around and plenty of storage to keep your belongings. The seat comes with a sizeable table which is perfect for work or dining.
A separate detachable touch screen remote allows you to control every aspect of your business class suite. Emirates loves their bling, and the A380 business class seat is no different, it's a bit over the top with all the gold and faux wood details, but I love it. The new interiors on the 777-300 released in 2017 are a great upgrade in the design direction of Emirates, and some of the elements can be found on certain A380's which feature the new and restyled bar area.
Emirates is probably best known for their A380 business class bar, which is located at the back of the cabin along with the 4 bathrooms available to business class guests.
Some people find the bar a waste of space, but I think it's a great feature and a fun place to hang out when you're travelling with others or if you want to mingle with the crew and fellow guests.
The bar serves a range of drinks and canapés throughout the flight and has a couple of seating areas on each side with a large flat screen TV mounted on the back wall for live sports and entertainment.
My least favourite part about Emirates business class is probably the food; it's not bad by any means but it's also not inspiring or anywhere near the level of Qatar Airways or Singapore Airlines. The food isn't plated that well and overall the whole dining process feels a bit budget.
Emirates Business Class Conclusion
I would say Emirates business class is a no-frills, fun product. The seat is private (if you pick the direct window seat) and comfortable.
While the food is "meh", we have to give credit to the Emirates bar which is a great distraction, especially on a long flight where one might like to stretch their legs. Are there better business class products out there? Yes! I rate Qatar Airways much higher, especially when it comes to the food and service.
Paying for a ticket on Emirates in economy, business or first? Check out our Emirates promo codes first to see if you can get a discount on your ticket price (usually between 5% and 10%).