Trip Review: Flying The Airbus A380 With Emirates In Economy Class

Following a successful time at the Dubai Airshow, it was unfortunately time to fly back to Europe. In order to travel back from the Middle East, I flew in the economy cabin of the Airbus A380. Let’s take a look at how it went.

emirates-premium-economy-excitement
Simple Flying flew on an Emirates A380 from Dubai to London. Photo: Emirates.

Getting to the airport

Getting to Dubai Airport isn’t too much of a task. The airport is located on the city’s main metro line. I decided to use the metro to get to the airport, however, as my flight didn’t depart until 3 in the morning, I stopped off at the Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Mall on the way to kill time.

Upon arrival at the airport’s metro station, a long escalator which turns into a travelator takes you into the airport on the departures level.

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Dubai Metro, Emirates, London
The Dubai metro connects the airport and the city. Photo: Tim Adams via Wikimedia

Check-in

Checking in for the flight was relatively painless. Online check-in is open up to 48 hours before your flight. I checked in online with relative ease and chose a seat. Once at Dubai airport I just had to drop off my bag.

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Terminal 3 in Dubai is primarily used for Emirates, and as such, there were many Emirates check-in desks. I was having trouble finding the relevant desk. However, due to the confused look on my face, I was permitted to use an area reserved for frequent fliers as “it’s not busy”.

Emirates, Dubai, Check-in
Emirates check-in process was seamless. Photo: Emirates

Airport experience

Having checked my large suitcase in, I proceeded to make my way through the airport towards my gate, A10. First, it was necessary to clear a border checkpoint where I received a stamp signifying I had left the UAE. Next, it was time to clear security, which was quickly accomplished.

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Having cleared emigration and security, I was required to take a train to get to the A gates. While this took a little while to arrive, it was fairly quick traveling to the satellite terminal. I popped into the Emirates duty-free store where the airline was selling Boeing 787-10 models, despite switching its order for the 787-9 the previous day,

Emirates, Duty Free, Boeing 787
Emirates was selling the Boeing 787-10 in duty-free. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Boarding

Despite the huge number of people boarding the A380, the boarding process was actually fairly seamless. My boarding pass and passport were checked, and I took an escalator down into a holding area. We were boarded in groups depending on which part of the aircraft we were sitting in.

The seat

The seat flying to London was actually fairly enjoyable. I had ample legroom, which, at 6ft 3, is always a huge bonus when traveling. As the seat next to me was unoccupied, I was able to place my bag under that seat, further increasing my foot space. The only unfortunate thing I came across with the seat was the table. The arm was slightly rusty, meaning it was a pain to pull out.

Emirates, economy, Airbus a380
The seating onboard Emirates’ Airbus A380 seemed spacious. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Inflight entertainment

Emirates’ ICE inflight entertainment has won multiple awards, and it’s not hard to see why! There is literally something for everybody including movies, television, and music. On this flight, I noticed the absence of live TV as the cabin is yet to be refurbished. However, I opted instead to watch some true crime documentaries.

Emirates, ICE, IFE
Emirates’ ICE IFE has won multiple awards. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Meal service

The meal service is the only thing which I believe let down Emirates. Shortly after takeoff, the first meal service took place. This saw passengers presented with two half cheese sandwiches, in addition to a small cup of water and a soft drink of their choice. Following the collection of the trays, the cabin lighting was dimmed as the flight was taking place overnight.

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The cheese sandwich was plain and simple. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Around two and a half hours prior to landing at London Heathrow, I awoke to find that the cabin lights had been switched back on. After the crew spent at least half an hour giving out special meals, the general meal service began. There were two options for breakfast. I opted for the cheese omelet. Strangely, this was served with a small chicken sausage, potato rosti, and a mushroom tomato side.

Emirates, Catering, Airbus A380
The omelet was marginally better. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The omelet was pretty flavorless, with the chicken sausage not being the best. The rosti was nice, however, the strange mushroom tomato mix seemed to have too much flavor for my liking. Meanwhile, the croissant was very dry and chewy.

Arrival into Heathrow

The arrival into Heathrow was the worst part of the journey to London. Due to the number of passengers, tied with only 15 e-gates, the queue for immigration wound back down the approaching corridors. It took 50-60 minutes to clear immigration, and as a result, my belt number was no longer being shown in baggage reclaim. However, it must be stressed that this was not the airport’s fault.

Overall views

Overall, the flight was enjoyable, and one that I would take again. Despite a couple of things here and there, such as catering, not being up to par, the staff were incredibly friendly and attentive! While I want to fly on British Airways’ Airbus A350 next time I head to Dubai, I wouldn’t rule out Emirates.

Have you flown in emirates between London and Dubai? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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Hiranya Fernando

Emirates is the far superior airline – I’ve flown it a hundred times (including on much longer legs then Dubai – Europe routes) and there’s really no other airline that comes close. The only comparable airlines are the rest of the Middle Eastern ones – Qatar, Etihard etc. British Airways? Maybe back in the 1908s… I am a little confused: your article is 70% on aspects of your journey that have nothing to do with your flight or Emirates. Anyway, sorry! I just was provoked to jump in here because your experience felt pretty one-off to me. Fly it a… Read more »

Ksa63

Sorry – Singapore Airlines in all classes beats Emirates by a mile. And I’ve flown both plenty of times.

VHAQ

Nice to see you enjoyed the Emirates A380!
Just a quick question: what airframe did you fly on?

Cahpek

Thanks for your review report on your flight.

However, from what you described, if I were you, I would not have thought it to be an enjoyable flight. Too many people in a ten abreast seating (seen from one of your photos) , still no live TV as the TVs for IFE have not yet been refurbished, food not too great.long queue at immigration upon landing.

Guess one man’s meat is another man’s poison, as they’d say. You probably enjoyed it,but such a flight would not be for me. Sorry to have a difference of opinion.

Nadira Singh

I flew dubai to London in September 2019. Flight was awful. No leg room,food disgusting and stI’ll cannot understand why the alcohol trolley is after the food trolley. My mind boggles. However, was a disastrous flight. Hate flying Emirates. The staff is not negotiateable for anything you request. Even if it’s reasonable . They look at you with a blank face and say no it’s not possible. Emirates is a nightmare to fly on

Tunji Omotayo

I flew Emirates few years ago. The routes was Lagos-Dubai-London return. The Dubai-London A380 return was awesome. I will definitely fly Emirates again

Stephen Watts

Took a flight from South Africa to London with Emerates return. I had 4 chicken curries. I was unable to get my knees behind the chair in front. Having an isle seat whilst asleep a hostess rammed the trolley into my kmee with very painful and damaging results. On arriving back to South Africa I received an email asking me about my experiences whilst on board. These replies are obviously not read and probably put into file 13. I requested to be contacted with no luck. I even sent an email.again with no luck. Shame really because i fly twice… Read more »

SAS

I used to LOVE Emirates but unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to fly with them since 2003. Maybe someday…….