After being a bit let down by Dubai airport and the Emirates business class lounge, I was a little deflated getting onboard my short 45min flight to Doha, from where I would be flying Qatar Airway's 787 Dreamliner to Singapore. However, my worries were short lived and I was pleasantly surprised by the Emirates business class beds.
The cabin is arranged in a 2-3-2 layout, this aircraft features on direct Perth-Dubai and Adelaide-Dubai services along with the 1 stop options from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Sometimes Emirates will have flight restrictions on their cheaper business class airfares and will not allow the direct A380 flights, pushing people onto the 777s. I had feared this would have meant a significant drop in product quality, but the beds were certainly adequate and if there was a price incentive I wouldn’t hesitate booking on this aircraft whilst checking the seat map to avoid the middle seats.
The best part of the setup is the audio video on demand [AVOD] system which Emirates call I.C.E. [Information, Communication, Entertainment]. It is by far the best AVOD I have used, with the controller having a small joystick and a separate touch screen tablet or sorts that can be used in lieu of the traditional handset. The screen is large and has a great resolution and backlight. There is a huge array of movies, TV shows, audio and games to choose from…significantly more than on Etihad’s business class who I had flown with just 12hours prior.
There is a powered privacy screen, good reading light and the bed can be reclined by the push of 3 buttons or more precisely using the tablet. There is a very good massage feature and the bed is quite long at 79”. I knew this was an angled bed and I’ve come across my fair share of average angled beds [Finnair and Malaysia Airlines I’m looking in your direction]. But this really wasn’t that bad, whilst I didn’t need to sleep on just a 45min flight I reclined the bed fully and didn’t have that slipping feeling you usually get from heavily angled beds, the angle really is minimal.
We had a quick snack service of cold meats, cheese and a quinoa salad which was nicely presented and tasty. The staff were a mix of nationalities with over 11 countries and 8 languages between them. They were extremely proficient and very friendly, I had a personal greeting from the manager even for such a short hop.
The feeling onboard Emirates was very luxurious, unlike in the lacklustre lounge, and after a positive experience I would certainly fly them again. Whether or not they warrant their premium price tag is another question, although one could argue their network strength and connections to so many ports is the real reason to pay top dollar to fly with Emirates.