Why Is Emirates First Class So Expensive?

Right now, a fully-flexible August round-trip flight from London to Sydney in first class will cost about $12,200. Alternately, the same trip in economy class can be as low as $1,800. What do first class passengers get for the extra $10,400? And is it worth it? Let’s find out.

Emirates first class suite
Pictured here is a fully-enclosed first class suite with virtual windows. Photo: Emirates

The pre-flight experience

Your first class experience begins before you even arrive at the airport. With Emirates’ Chauffeur-drive service, passengers are picked up and driven to the airport. This service will also collect you at your destination airport and drive you to a location of your choosing, within a set distance. The distance is set by city.

Once at the airport, passengers have access to the Emirates first class lounge. The main features that set these facilities apart from other lounges include luxury shower spas, cigar bars, and elevated dining experience.

When it’s time to board, passengers have direct access to the aircraft from the lounge, complete with priority boarding, of course.

Why Is Emirates First Class So Expensive?
Emirates has its own lounges not just at Dubai International, but also at other destination airports around the world. Photo: Emirates

The seat and space

Stepping aboard your Boeing 777 or A380, you’ll enter your private, fully-enclosed suite. This means total privacy with a floor-to-ceiling wall and door. In this suite, there’s no need to worry about seat pitch as there is room to stretch out fully. Your seat will convert into a fully-flat bed for which crew can be called upon to make up sheets for a night of sleep.

For those flying on the A380, there is the opportunity to take one shower during the flight. The shower room can be booked for 30 minutes, with five minutes of water per guest.

Luxury, high-end amenities are also available throughout the flight for passengers.

Emirates Shower Spa
The A380 is equipped with showers. Photo: Emirates

The fine dining

Passengers in first class won’t need to worry about being disturbed for a set mealtime. Instead, dining is on-demand and can be requested at any time during the flight.

Then, of course, there is the quality of food – which is some of the world’s best. Meals are also served on fine china with high-end cutlery:

“We work with the some of the world’s best chefs and suppliers to offer you meals inspired by your destination. If you’re flying with us to and from Australia for example, you can expect to find Australian Angus beef and cheeses from the Yarra Valley on the menu.”

If you wish, your meal can be accompanied by some rare and exclusive wines and liqueurs. Exclusive whiskeys and limited edition wines and champagnes are just some of the alcohol mentioned by the airline.

Furthermore, A380 passengers have access to the Onboard Lounge. Here, hot and cold snacks, such as smoked salmon and chow mein noodles, are available along with drinks.

Life is pretty sweet in Emirates’ first class. Photo: Emirates.

The entertainment

Finally, in terms of entertainment, first class suites come with a personal widescreen that acts as a private cinema. Premium headphones come with this system to cancel out noise and provide an immersive entertainment experience.

Before the current health crisis, WiFi and Live TV were included in the flight experience. However, cutbacks have meant that WiFi is now an added cost, and Live TV is simply no longer available (for the time being).

First Class
First class suites are fully-enclosed, complete with lie-flat beds. Photo: Emirates

For those in first class suites without windows, passengers have ‘virtual windows’, which connect to cameras outside the aircraft and display the world outside the aircraft.

Is it worth it?

So, the big question: Is this experience worth it? Well, with over 20 hours of total flight time, across two flights, first class ticket holders are paying about $600 per hour for the journey. If we add an extra five hours of airport lounge and chauffeur-drive time, then we’re looking at just under $500 per hour.

The question of whether or not this ticket is worth it will be up to the passenger, and how much value they place on these exclusive inflight services- as well as the cost of avoiding the ‘discomforts’ of lower-class tickets.

We’d love to know if you think the price of an Emirates first class flight is worth it! Let us know in the comments.