Emirates A380 first class is perhaps the single most aspirational commercial airplane ticket in the entire world. Known for its off-the-charts opulence, ritziness, and gigantic price tag, Emirates A380 first class is absolutely a bucket list flight to take, especially if it’s on a long-haul flight.
The first class product on Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft includes an enclosed suite with doors, your own motorized minibar, access to breathtaking private shower suites, and an outstanding food and beverage program.
Booking Emirates A380 first class using points is an unbelievable privilege that I look forward to time and time again.
Osaka-Kansai (KIX) – Dubai (DXB)
Saturday, December 14
Depart: 11:30 PM
Arrive: 5:45AM (+1 day)
Duration: 11 hr 15 min
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Miles Used: 206,250 Emirates Skywards miles transferred from Amex Membership Rewards (KIX-DXB-LAX)
Average First Class Ticket Price: ~$9,986
Average Economy Ticket Price: ~$552
Taxes and Fees Paid: ~$227.85
Booking Emirates First Class
Before this, we began our trip by flying from Los Angeles to Tokyo in Japan Airlines first class. After 2 weeks, we were leaving Japan and headed to Dubai. Since we wanted to go to the Maldives after touring Dubai, we ended up booking a ticket from Osaka to Dubai to Los Angeles, all in Emirates first class using points. For the flight from the U.A.E. to the Maldives, we booked Etihad business class from Abu Dhabi to Malé and then Etihad first class from Malé to Abu Dhabi.
We found availability in the Flex Plus bucket for 206,250 Amex points transferred to Emirates per person. Emirates first class also happens to be one of our best post-pandemic first class flight deals you can book using points, along with Lufthansa first class!
While we were actually visiting the U.A.E., you can book Emirates first class all the way to your favorite exotic vacation spot like the Maldives.
Using transfer partners is one of the core tenets of travel hacking. By transferring Amex points to Emirates, we were able to reduce the number of points we redeemed by almost 85%!
This ticket included 2 first class flights: from Osaka to Dubai (this review), a stopover in Dubai, and onwards from Dubai to Los Angeles. And if you’re trying to figure out places to go travel, check out our 5 best places you can visit that are open to U.S. citizens.
For this ticket, we paid $227.85 in taxes and fees per person.
Because this was a red-eye flight, we wanted to spend as much time as possible in Japan before heading to the airport.
Additionally, we know beforehand that the lounge that Emirates first class passengers can access in Osaka is the Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge. It’s a decent business class lounge, but we opted to skip it in favor of spending more time in the city.
Our check-in process was uneventful. We headed to the first class check-in line, printed our boarding passes, and were escorted to another uneventful security process.
Emirates’ first class cabin showcases some of the most ostentatious themes and designs in the entire world. With polished wood and bright gold finishes across the entire cabin, it’s easy to see why Emirates is indeed one of the world’s best airlines.
The first class cabin is located on the upper deck of the A380, and there are a total of 14 first class suites spread out across 4 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are only 3 middle rows, while there are 4 seats of window seats on each side of the plane.
We reserved the forward-most middle seats, 1E and 1F, which is right in front of the Emirates logo.
Each of the luxuriously padded seats is 23 inches wide (excluding the armrest, which can be lowered), 86 inches in pitch, and 78 inches long in bed mode.
Reserving 2 middle seats together is one of the best ways to fly in first class because it enables you to sit next to your companion and enjoy the flight together. And if you’re often traveling with your significant other, check out our best vacation spots for couples using points!
If you’d like a bit more privacy from your seatmate, you can raise the motorized privacy partition in the middle.
And on the outside of your suite, there’s a gold-plated placard that indicates what seat you’re in, as well as display signals like Do Not Disturb, and flight attendant service requests.
At the front of each suite is a recessed vanity with back-lit lighting, a face mirror, and Byredo toiletries. This toiletry kit consists of an allergen-free towelette, a 5ml tube of eye cream, a 10ml spray bottle of facial toner, a 3ml vial of sleep oil, and a 10ml spray bottle of pillow mist.
As I continued exploring the first class suite, I found a motorized minibar beside the seat, which was incredible. Emirates certainly excels in delivering the wow factor here.
The minibar contained a chilled glass, several soft drinks, and Evian water bottles.
Behind the minibar was a niche for the in-flight tablet, which controls the TV among other functions.
Directly beside the minibar was the storage cubby for the tray table, which was as ornate and opulent as it was gigantic.
On the other side of the seat are a reading light and an individual air nozzle. Having an individual air nozzle is incredibly important for staying cool on the plane because the cabin temperature usually runs a bit warm. So having this was hugely appreciated.
2 motorized doors enclose the suite, which makes the first class seat truly private. Emirates actually has another, more private first class suite that is discussed in our guide of the best first class seats for maximum social distancing.
Emirates first class is one of the most breathtaking experiences you can have aboard a plane. The seat itself is holding up extremely well, and Emirates does a phenomenal job maintaining the seat for your comfort.
There are a ton of amenities distributed in Emirates first class. We already talked about the Byredo toiletries in the back-lit recessed vanity above, but this was just the beginning.
When we boarded the flight, there was already a brimming snack basket waiting at every seat.
We were handed a set of superb Bowers & Wilkins noise cancellation headphones after settling into our seats.
We were handed a hefty amenity kit made from leather. This time, the amenities were Bulgari branded.
The fully-loaded amenity kit consists of:
- 40ml bottle of Bulgari nourishing face emulsion
- 40ml bottle of Bulgari body lotion
- 7ml tube of Bulgari lip balm
- 5ml spray bottle of Bulgari cologne
- A spray bottle of Lynx deodorant & body spray
- A 50ml spray bottle of Gentlemen’s Tonic shaving foam
- A tissue pack
- A shaver
- A comb
- A Bulgari Oshibori refreshing towel
- A Colgate dental kit
This is definitely one of the most packed amenity kits out there! And the goodies don’t stop here.
Emirates provides slippers, which were comfortable, warm, and soft.
Eyemasks are individually wrapped aboard Emirates first class, and they felt soft like clouds to the touch.
Also, first class passengers receive another amenity bag, which contained moisturizing pajamas, the first of its kind.
Lastly, there was a drawer tucked just under the front of the suite that housed a leather notebook and pen.
Emirates pulls out all the stops for its first class customers, and it’s evident in the sheer amount of amenities, whether it’s from the Byredo toiletries, the loaded Bulgari amenity pouch, the moisturizing pajamas, or even the Emirates-banded leather stationery!
Food and Beverage
As you can imagine, Emirates invests a ton of money in every aspect of the first class experience. The food and beverage experience began upon stepping foot in the plane. The cabin manager and first class flight attendants helped us get settled in our seats.
And they offered a quintessential treat that we rarely get: Arabic coffee and Bateel dates.
The box of Bateel dates offered many flavors, including orange, plain, ginger, pistachio, and almond.
Served in a petite cup, the Arabic coffee hinted of cardamom and saffron, which was perfectly paired with the delicious dates.
Our flight attendants offered us a choice of welcome beverages, but we ultimately chose Champagne. And it ended up being a fantastic decision because Emirates was serving the 2002 P2 vintage of Dom Pérignon, which retails at an astonishing $400-$500 per bottle.
Wine and Champagne lovers will love flying Emirates first class because Emirates offers different vintages of Champagne and types of wine depending on what flight you’re on, so you’ll always be wondering what the next bottle will be!
After take-off, we were handed a separate wine menu from the main first class menu.
There were 4 choices of white wine, 5 choices of red wine, 1 dessert wine, and 1 port.
After glancing at the wine menu, we perused the main first class menu made of sturdy leather and debossed with the Emirates logo on the front.
We could also choose from numerous mocktails, soft drinks, cocktails, and coffee from the main menu.
Notably, Emirates serves Hennessy Paradis Cognac, which retails for $1,000 per bottle! If you’re a whiskey lover, you might be surprised to find Dalmore King Alexander III Scotch Whisky ($350 per bottle) and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky ($200 per bottle).
Since we were coming from Japan, we had the option to choose between Western-style foods or Japanese cuisine.
I started with the caviar service, which was impeccably presented. The blinis were lightly toasted and the caviar was perfectly savory. The accoutrements matched well with the caviar, but notably, a mother-of-pearl spoon is not standard during caviar service. Instead, you’ll be enjoying your caviar with metal silverware.
Then, we were each given our own breadbasket, which consisted of 5 different types of bread.
I opted for the beef tenderloin, which was perfectly prepared at a medium-rare heat. The steak was accompanied by pan-fried gnocchi, edamame, and other vegetables.
For dessert, I requested the milk chocolate delice, which was served on a chocolate shortbread base and accompanied by a raspberry compote.
After the dinner service finished, we were each given an individually packaged set of turndown chocolates.
My companion opted for the Japanese kaiseki array, consisting of salmon trout with eryngii mushrooms and hajikami ginger. Like a traditional kaiseki experience, there were numerous pickles and preserved vegetables served with the plate. The meal was magnificent, light, and fresh.
There was also a first class bar at the front of the cabin with sandwiches and snacks. The bottles of alcohol were strictly for display — if you wanted a drink, all you had to do was order it.
Our flight attendants asked us if we were interested in having breakfast — we politely declined and explained that we’d rather sleep a bit more. So our flight attendants woke us up at the very last minute, in time for a shower and a cup of coffee to jolt us awake.
Emirates does an astounding job with planning and executing the food and beverage service. With tons of different courses and drink options, it’s hard to imagine anybody ever going hungry in Emirates first class.
Emirates first class is truly one of the most aspirational tickets you can ever book using points. We walk our students through how to book these exact flights, as well as all the other first class unicorns in our complete 16-week course, The Points University.
Entertainment & Service
Emirates’s in-flight entertainment system aboard the flight is known as ice, which easily takes the title for best entertainment selection in the world. With thousands of different movies, TV shows, live news channels, and more, you won’t have a problem finding something to keep you busy during the entire flight.
Emirates is world-famous for its incredible first class, and one of the biggest contributors to its success is its extraordinarily competent cabin crew. In a cabin with only 2 other passengers, we were constantly being cared for, which is a hallmark of excellent service.
We were treated like royalty throughout the flight, and all the cabin crew responded immediately to the call button at any given point. Also, Emirates’ cabin crew is renowned for being one of the most diverse in the world. It was incredible to learn about the commitment the cabin crew has to Emirates, as well as each flight attendant’s journey to being a part of a world-class airline like Emirates.
Also, our flight attendants simultaneously made our bed, which included a mattress topper, a nice pillow, and a comforter.
First Class Shower Spa
One of the most incredible benefits of the Emirates A380 first class experience is the ability to take a shower. While this might sound like a novelty, it’s even more underrated than you think, despite the hype.
That’s how luxurious a first class shower is.
There are 2 first class shower spas in the plane, 1 on each side. These first class shower spas are breathtakingly spacious. As soon as you enter, the pampering experience starts with heated floors.
And you’d only get this experience by flying on the A380 — Emirates 777 first class doesn’t offer it.
When you step into the shower, you’ll see a digital indicator of how much remaining time you have. With every shower, you will receive 5 minutes of water, but the catch is that you can turn the water on and off as needed, which can make the shower last longer.
If there is turbulence, there’s also a bench in the shower.
Located just next to the shower is the vanity, which comes equipped with an oval, back-list mirror, a make-up mirror, and plenty of hand towels.
The rest of the shower spa was dedicated to an oversized toilet and plenty of seating space for maximum comfort.
You really don’t need to bring anything because there is an entire tray of VOYA® amenities and numerous toiletries like cotton buds, loofahs, combs, nail files, and shaving kits.
Beside the sink, you’ll also find additional Voya and Bulgari amenities.
There are additional amenities in the drawers, plus a hairdryer.
The first class shower experience is one of the most unforgettable experiences aboard the Emirates A380. It is the pièce de résistance of Emirates first class. There’s simply nothing better than taking a refreshing shower in a plane.
It’s hard to imagine a more fun way to travel than Emirates A380 first class. When you fly Emirates first class, you will have so many different bells and whistles besides the comfortable airplane seat. In our case, we were able to take a shower in their first class shower spas, experience some of the best service in the world, and savor delicious food and beverage offerings.
The first class suite is on the smaller side, although the differences are less pronounced when the seat is fully lie-flat. Emirates’ OnAir wifi is one of the slowest, so don’t expect to have a blazing fast connection.
Overall, this flight perfectly executed, thanks to a remarkable cabin crew and nearly empty first class cabin. It’s safe to say that we were disappointed when our flight was over.