The Airbus A380 is a major component of the Emirates fleet. Operating the world’s largest fleet of the type, the airline has committed to flying the Airbus A380 until at least 2030. At the Dubai Airshow, Emirates invited us onboard their Airbus A380 to take a look around!
About the Emirates A380
Emirates’ Airbus A380 can carry a huge number of passengers. Emirates offers three different configurations of the type. On this aircraft, the lower deck is reserved for economy class passengers. Meanwhile, the upper deck contains the first and business class cabins.
The aircraft we toured has 14 fully closed first-class suites, 76 flatbed business class seats, and 427 economy seats, according to SeatGuru. This gives the total number of seats as 517. Let’s take a look around!
Our tour of the Airbus A380 started on the main deck in the economy cabin. We boarded via door 2 and were ushered to the right. Here you gain your first appreciation of the huge main deck cabin. The aircraft has a 3-4-3 layout in economy.
While such a configuration is usually frowned upon by travellers, it doesn’t appear to be an issue on the huge A380. In fact, travelling to and from Dubai on an Emirates A380, I had no issue with the 3-4-3 layout.
The economy cabin on the main deck is divided into four sections with the breaks being located around the exits, and housing toilets and galleys. Every seat has access to Emirates’ award-winning ICE inflight entertainment system too, meaning the flight passes in a flash!
For those little ones who may not feel like spending eight hours staring at a screen, Emirates has another special offering. The airline has a range of games and fun blanket friends for children. That’s not to mention their special kid’s meals.
Towards the rear of the economy class cabin is a spiral staircase. While the staircase is off-limits to economy passengers during the flight, we were able to head up the staircase to:
The first thing that is immediately apparent upon stepping into the Airbus A380’s upper deck from the rear is the impressive business class lounge. A place for travellers to unwind during their flight, and perhaps connect with other passengers.
The bar offers a variety of different options where passengers can chill out and discuss business or knock back a drink. There is a special standing table which the cabin crew can fit in front of the emergency exits. In addition, there is a seating area which, like Virgin Atlantics’ new Airbus A350 bar, has seatbelts. This means that passengers can remain in the bar during periods of turbulence.
Moving slightly forward reveals the aircraft’s 1-2-1 cabin split into two sections. The seats are staggered. This means that every alternate pair of middle seats is perfect for couples travelling together.
However, not every seat forces you to sit close together. If you prefer your privacy, there are a number of other options, including the window seats, which are all on their own.
Of course, the soft product in business class is a huge step up from the economy cabin as one would come to expect. The business class cabin could even rival some older first-class products. Each seat turns into a lie-flat bed. In addition, the food choices in the business class cabin are a vast improvement on those in economy.
However, if one keeps walking forwards, they will reach:
First-class is definitely something special onboard the Airbus A380. While the seat is not quite that of the Boeing 777 first-class, the cabin offers some extras not found on the 777. The cabin is made up of three and a half rows of 1-2-1 seating. That is to say, row 4 only has window seats.
However, while privacy is great, there is also an option for couples travelling together. The three pairs of middle seats have a divider between them which can be raised and lowered. Travelling by yourself you can raise it for privacy, however, travelling with others you can lower it to be more social.
Of course, if you’re travelling in first class, your belly will never go empty. Emirates offers an on-demand dining service for its most premium passengers. This means that passengers can order what they want from the menu when they want. The crew will then prepare it so that the meal can be enjoyed in the privacy of the suite.
After all of that food, however, you may be keen to sleep on your flight. The good news is that in first class, your suite converts into a lie-flat bed complete with duvet and pillow. When you decide it is time for your rest, the crew will come and make up the bed to your liking.
Last but not least, if you wander slightly further forward to the top of the staircase you will find two large bathrooms. One is for men, while the other is for women. Each of these bathrooms contains a shower, as well as enough room to hold a small party.
Have you flown onboard Emirates’ Airbus A380? Let us know how you found it in the comments!