web Musings of The Global Traveller

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Emirates A380 business class

Source: Emirates

I recently got a chance to try Emirates business class on the A380, through the use of a nice mileage promotion. It has a different set-up to most seating configurations and I was keen to sample it. The layout is 1-1-1-1 in every second row and 1-2-1 in every other row, with each seat offset laterally from the seat in front. The picture above shows how it works - basically your legs fit underneath a wide tray and mini-bar of the seat in front.

This layout gives aisle access to every seat and ensures most business class passengers are not sitting close to any other passengers (the exception being middle seats in every 2nd row). However, it does mean less legroom than any other longhaul business class product and seat width is not great. The solid construction of the mini-suite is also quite confining and makes it seem that you have less seat space than you actually do.

I think the concept is good but I don't like the confined feeling, and legroom is a real problem if you are average or above average height. I certainly prefer Singapore Airlines "new" longhaul business seats (on A345, 77W and A380 aircraft) which has a similar set-up (feet into cubby of the seat in front and short pitch) but at least has plenty of room through the great width and much smaller seat walls.

Aisle seats have several inches more legroom than middle or window seats, and are less enclosing. The window seats are very private. Other than that there is not much difference in seating. The business class bar is at the rear of the second cabin and proximity to that may be a factor for some.

For the outer seats overhead bin space may be a problem on full flights - the bins are quite small and will not fit most rollaboards for example.

Service was okay. Food and drink were excellent as usual with Emirates. Disembarking can be slow since the crew wait until all of first class have left before allowing business class to go out - that is the drawback of having first and business class both on the upper deck. This contrasts to Qantas A380 which has first class at the front of the lower deck and business class at the front of the upper deck.

If Emirates' intention was to create a big difference in seat comfort between first and business class (a problem on some airlines as less people are prepared to pay for first when longhaul business class is so good), then they've succeeded in my view. However, if the opportunity arises again I think I'll choose a different aircraft type or airline, since I found the seats most uncomfortable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

u suck u loser!!!!! u dont kno how many people r just prayin to go on an emirates A380 business class!!! and u Mr.****** don't evn appreaciate it?! GO TO HELL!!!!!!!!!!