Emirates’ fading Business Class

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  • Swissdiver

    This time I could not avoid EK as I usually do, as I do not like flying aboard lorries (read A380s). But their pricing was so aggressive I could not get better. So here are two reviews, one for the B777 service and one for the lorry. In short, this is the worst business class seat I’ve experienced lately. And the rest was just at par.



    This is not the Emirates I recognise.

    I took a 777 flight in J last Tuesday – the seat is angled, but hardly and I slept for 3 hours on a day flight.

    When I surfaced, the ICE system worked flawlessly and I was able to adjust the seat without using the ICE controller (hint, just take pressure off the button when the seat is where you want it to be).

    The food was excellent and the crew very nice.

    Emirates are not my favourite airline, but they deliver a decent consistent service.

    Hey Swissdiver – 7 across is pretty good compared to some airlines.


    Well I didn’t review the way back, but it was consistent, as you said, consistently below par.
    Yes, the crew was nice (they better be as they can be fired for one very basic mistake). But the seat is cramped for me (1.95), with the elbows constantly hitting the sides. Food was not even edible on the first leg (A380) and basic on the second one (B777). In addition, out of 4 long haul flights, I received only 1 wash bag as EK stoped distributing them on many flights.
    Even LH is better, and this is the worst European for me…


    Well, I think you should stick to BA, you obviously like them.


    Well comparing a BA’s business class fligths either on a B777 or a A380 to EK’s gives a very clear result: BA is better on all counts, at least in 2016!


    So long as it works for you……


    Shame you had a poor EK experience. I also would instinctively opt for BA over EK ( had a great BA experience last week) but the last 4 Emirates A380 flights for me have been faultless as far beyond the BA offering so I fear it was unlucky for you this time. As you say, the price is normally very attractive and I am about to book my next flight and will have to choose Emirates. Such a shame as I do value my BA status which will now downgrade but on balance EK is a clear winner right now


    Oh dear Swissdiver, you don’t seem to be having much luck lately:

    Where BA First class has gone?

    I don’t either recognise your experience of Emirates who I find to be solidly four star and consistent with it. The seats in C on the 773 are not the best but they do offer a chauffer service unlike BA F! If you wanted a better service you could have chosen EK F between GVA-DXB-BKK and enjoyed a suite all the way. As for seven across seating on the 773, well I know an airline that has eight on the same plane so seven is a significant improvement.

    Surely though the best choice would have been to connect in ZRH on to Swiss and enjoy their new 773 service to BKK? Or did you buy purely on price and are now not happy with what you got?



    There is not much room for luck here. And I will let BA First on the side since we seem to all agree on this.

    The client was paying for this flight. Since EK was really less expensive (25% less than QR, 30%+ below any other airline – only TQ was at par), I had to go with it, with the result you know. And the chauffeur service is in my view just a gadget as many equivalent services are available for a reasonable price.

    The main issue with EK, on either plane they fly, is the seat lack of comfort, narrowness and difficulty to operate (other than three preset positions). Add to this I hate flying on a lorry packed with people and you’ll have the picture.


    I am not defending EK or BA but I think your criticism of the EK SEATS ( wasn’t there for the service), is a tad harsh. The biggest problem for me usually is the bling! It’s just awful, but the seats suit me fine. Not as good as QR but better than BA. Still prefer AA or QR or QF. EK service on “the lorry” includes a car and a bar worthy of the name,( unlike Virgin), but not as fun as QR A380 IMHO! First world problems? I pay for all my flights so appreciate you may not have been able to secure your first choice.


    Good to see some healthy debate re: EK. In my experiences with them, I’d go with the following:

    Window seat on A380 with console on the aisle side – excellent, private seat for solo travellers
    Price – for J to Asia they seem to be offering lower prices now than 5 years ago
    AVOD – not a priority for me, but always a strong offering
    Car service – a nice added extra
    Wine – normally above average compared to other carrier’s J offering
    Coverage – flights from regional airports and generally multiple daily flights to a huge number of cities

    Angled lie flat seats on 773 – if TK can offer 7 across with a fully flat seat…
    Slow service on A380 in J – possibly due to one massive cabin on upper deck
    Food – while still fine I think it is not as good as it once was

    I try to pick the seat mentioned above on the A380 as ending up with one next to the aisle with the console on the ‘inside’ can result in having elbows bumped aisle side.
    Should also mention there is no car service in HK for J pax.
    While not an EK issue and perhaps I’ve been unlucky, but on all my recent trips there have been 30-40 min holding patterns before landing at DXB, and the same wait in a queue prior to takeoff.
    I’d still fly EK based on price, but as they are not (IMHO) as good as QR, the price difference would need to be significant. Though to be fair, and perhaps as they now have a substantial number of J seats to fill, their prices can be very good.


    Swissdiver, if you are 1.95 (over 6’4″) how on earth do you manage in a BA flat bed? They are only 6 feet long (1.83). I am 1.89 (6’3″) and I find them incredibly cramped. And they are eight across, not just seven


    Ian, you are right, BA’s a just too short (although I usually manage to have one of these “longer” seats). But compared to EK, it is wider around the shoulders and does not confine the legs in a box, which helps me finding my way. Actually I sleep well in it.


    “I try to pick the seat mentioned above on the A380 as ending up with one next to the aisle with the console on the ‘inside’ can result in having elbows bumped aisle side.”

    Absolutely. Having tried both, I could see the differences. The review above was after a flight on the aisle.


    Have to agree with Swissdiver – on the rare occasion I fly J on BA have never had an issue with seat – maybe because I am neither very tall nor very wide…Also I choose the front aisles that have no-one climbing over you, though you have that issue on plenty of much-vaunted carriers, depending on equipment. Layout also not a problem. Close the partition and you no longer have a neighbor.

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