We flight test Emirates’ Sydney to Dubai service, seated in Economy Class of the A380 jet.
Check in: 6/10
The service is quick and there are no queues for any class. The check in staff member, however, is preoccupied catching up on weekend gossip with another staff member and barely speaks to me during the check in process.
It’s an Emirates A380, and one of the best quality economy class experiences passengers can have. The seat is wide, the screen is just as wide, even the seat pockets are roomy and generous. The plugs and USB port all go a long way, with my seat mates all utilising the power source. The windows are large and the wood veneer finish makes it feel that little more luxurious.
On the menu for this late departing 21:45 flight is a moutabel smoked eggplant dip. That’s it for the nod to Arabic roots, as the two mains are beef stroganoff and roast chicken with oriental sauce. For dessert its red velvet cake.
It’s pretty standard plane food fare, unfortunately. Not quite as good quality as Qantas’ revamped economy class meals. Snacks throughout the flight include a lamb and rosemary pie or thai vegetable pie. For breakfast it’s fruit and scrambled eggs or a vegetable frittata with chicken sausage.
I love the feature on ICE entertainment of being able to scroll through movies and favourite, or heart them, for later viewing. Also, the touchscreen with slide feature makes navigating so much easier. The square headphones are some of the best available in economy classes. The movies are new and some are still in cinemas in Australia, such as Brooklyn and The Big Short.
The TV selection isn’t as impressive though, there aren’t any big name box sets like Game of Thrones or sitcoms like Modern Family. That’s the only reason it falls down a point.
The food delivery comes from both ends of the cabin, it is very efficient, so even if you’re at the tail end of the seat section, you get served quick smart.
I’m in a window seat so I pop on the call button to request an extra blanket – it gets frosty in here. After ten minutes no one arrives, so I give up.
The wi-fi is fantastic, although reception is intermittent. Only 10 MB is free and it runs out after a cursory check of facebook, a log-in to what’s app and a scroll of Instagram. Approximately ten minutes. But at $1 per 500 MB it’s cheaper than my phone data plan with Telstra. The fluoro stickers inside the headphone packet are a welcome extra, sticking onto the seat so stewards know what you want – whether that is do not disturb, wake me up for food or wake me up for duty free. Not sure how often the latter would be used, but the other two come in handy.
Emirates is one of the best economy class experiences you can have. The technology, seat and fit-out of the A380 is on point. They just need a little tweak of their menu and staff responsiveness to take it home.
Tara flew as a guest of Visit Britain and Emirates.