Known as a premier airline, Emirates knows how to deliver fantastic service in the air. Both their first class and business class products are praised for delivering great value and service.
If you’re curious what’s the difference between these two offerings, we’ve created a comprehensive side-by-side. From the seats down to the food, here’s an Emirates First Class vs Emirates Business Class comparison.
- Quick Glance: Emirates First Class vs Emirates Business Class
- The Details: Emirates First Class vs Emirates Business Class
- Emirates First Class
- Emirates Business Class
- Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
- Wrapping Up
Quick Glance: Emirates First Class vs Emirates Business Class
|Emirates First Class||Emirates Business Class|
|Ground Experience||Excellent, especially when you’re flying out of their hub from Dubai since you can enjoy the Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International (DXB).||Fantastic, as a premium flyer, you can stay at the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai when flying out of DXB (Dubai International) or have access to partner lounges depending on the airport.|
|Seat||On the A380, seats are located on the upper deck. It has 14 suites in a 1-2-1 configuration and measures 23 inches wide, 86 inches in pitch, and 78 inches in length. On 777, there are 8 first class suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. It measures 20.5 inches wide, has a 69-inch seat pitch, and is 76 inches long.||On the A380, business class seats occupy most of the upper deck with 76 seats in a 1-2-1 layout. The seat pitch is 48 inches while the seat width is 18.5 inches. It lies flat. Meanwhile, in the 777, the seat pitch is 60 inches while the seat width is 20.5 inches. These don’t lie flat but come down at an angle.|
|Amenities||In-flight entertainment, multiple power outlets, amenity kits, headphones, minibar, individual air nozzle, closed suites, snack basket, pajamas, slipper, leather notebook, and pen, turndown service||In-flight entertainment, a power outlet, minibar, slippers, amenity kit, blanket and pillows on longer flights, access to the bar area in the A380s|
|Food and Beverage||Extremely personalized! Emirates offers dine-on-demand for first class guests.||Great service. Not as personalized as Emirates First, but you still receive attentive and professional assistance.|
|Entertainment||On the A380, the IFE measures 27 inches with a smaller tablet for controls. It’s preloaded with 600+ movies and 200+ TV series and shows. Includes rotating airshow and Bowers & Wilkins headphones. If you’re on the 777, the IFE measures 24-inches while the newer planes have a 32-inch screen. Both are touchscreen with a smaller tablet for easy controls. It’s pre-loaded with hundreds of films and shows. Also includes Bowers & Wilkins headphones.||On the newer A380, the IFE has a 23-inch screen with a smaller remote for easier control, USB charging, and a power outlet. When taking the 777, the IFE is 23-inches wide, there’s a power outlet but the older 777s do not have any USB outlets so if you need one, ask for a converter from the staff.|
|Lavatories||On the A380, there are two first class lavatories with shower suites. Aboard the 777, there are two first class lavatories provided.||On the A380, there are four lavatories. There is no access to the shower suites. However, aboard the 777, there are only two lavatories provided.|
|Bed||On the A380, the bed measures 28 inches wide and 78 inches when flat. However, on board the 777, the bed measures 26-27 inches when fully flat. Measures up to 76 inches long.||On the A380, the seats lie flat while on the Boeing 777s, the seats are angled-flat with nearly lie-flat seats.|
|Service||Excellent! Emirates is known for amazing first class service in the air.||Service is professional. However, it is mostly transactional. Some attendants go above and beyond but others sometimes drop the ball.|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi is available and complimentary to Emirates First guests.||On both the A380s and 777s, Wi-Fi is available for $19,99.|
The Details: Emirates First Class vs Emirates Business Class
Emirates First Class
Considered one of the best airlines in the industry, Emirates knows how to deliver a first class product. Whether you’re after the comfort, the service, or just want to indulge in absolute luxury—Emirates First will deliver.
Most first class products start with the ground service. With Emirates, the ground experience can be uneventful or it can be memorable, depending on where you’re flying out from.
If you’re flying out from the Emirates hub in Dubai, you can experience the amazing perks offered at the Emirates First Class Lounge, considered one of the best airport lounges in the world.
When flying from another location, Emirates usually offers access to premium lounges from their partner airlines. This gives you a chance to still relax in comfort while waiting for your flight.
Emirates First seats have slight differences depending on which aircraft you’ll be flying in. However, both versions of the seats are phenomenal so you really can’t go wrong.
If you find yourself flying on the A380, the first class seats are located on the upper deck of the aircraft. This injects an air of exclusivity to the space as if you’re flying on your private jetliner. There are 14 first class suites arranged in a 1-2-1 layout. There are 3 middle rows while the rest of the seats are situated by the windows.
Each seat is 23 inches in width and features an 86-inch pitch. When placed in bed mode, it’s 78 inches long – giving you plenty of room to stretch out. When sitting in the middle seats, you can raise the middle partition for privacy. If you’re by the window and want more privacy, you can close the suite doors and cocoon yourself.
On the other hand, on 777 you’ll find a total of 8 first class suites also arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. There’s no upper deck on the Boeing 777 so the first class section is on the front of the plane, right next to the cockpit. The seats have a width of 20.5 inches and a seat pitch of 65 inches. When fully flat, it’s 76 inches long. The 777 seats also close but it has a higher door compared to the ones on the A380, giving guests an extra sense of security when sleeping.
However, despite the minor differences, the majority of the interiors are similar. Both feature a beautiful plaque on the outside indicating the suite number along with a “Do Not Disturb” sign which lights up indicating you don’t want to be bothered. Inside, there’s a huge in-flight screen and a pop-up vanity filled with Byredo products. There’s a mini-lamp for added lighting, a basket of welcome goodies, and a private mini-bar with soda and water.
Right by the minibar is a pop-out tray table for dining. There’s an air nozzle so you can control the temperature in your seat as well. Within easy reach is a small tablet for controlling in-flight entertainment. It also works as a controller for in-flight games. You can also use the tablet for pretty much anything – from reclining your bed to calling for an attendant. Headphones from Bower & Wilkins are provided too.
Finally, both versions of the seat come with convenient power outlets and USB sockets for easy charging of your devices.
If you’re curious about all the juicy details when flying first class aboard the A380, we’ve done a comprehensive A380 Emirates First Class review that you can check out.
Emirates First showers its guests with almost everything they need for a comfortable stay.
First, there’s the travel hygiene kit. A recent addition, it contains masks, gloves, sanitizer, and anti-microbial wipes. Second, each suite comes with a brimming snack basket filled with chocolate, snacks, mints, and wellness tablets. These are waiting for you as you sit down. It’s also replenished throughout your stay.
Third, there’s the actual amenity kit. The contents vary depending on gender. All the goodies come in an exquisite black leather zip pouch. Inside the men’s kit, guests can expect a Bvlgari lotion, aftershave, lip balm, and perfume. There’s also a Lynx deodorant spray, shaving cream, dental kit, tissues, shaver, and comb.
There are also products from Byredo found inside the vanity kit. These contain face and eye cream as well as a pillow mist. Inside the push-open drawer, there’s a beautiful leather-bound notebook and pen that you can also take home.
As if that’s not enough, guests are also given an eye mask along with a beautiful wool pouch containing an extremely comfortable pajama set made from Hydra Active material. They even provide matching slippers too!
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Food and Beverage
Emirates continues its commitment to provide dine-on-demand service on their flight despite the pandemic.
The food and beverage service starts the moment you take your seat. An attendant immediately offers its signature Arabic coffee and dates. The coffee is poured from a gold-plated dallah and served in traditional finjan cups. You also get a selection of dates.
Menus are provided for the dine on-demand service. One menu is strictly for the food and drinks while another menu lists out the wines.
After an hour from takeoff, you can start ordering meals. If you love champagne, you’ll be happy on Emirates First. The airline offers Dom Pérignon as its champagne of choice in flight together with 4 other options of white wine, 1 dessert wine, 1 port, and 5 options of red wine. You can also order cocktails or other drinks anytime you like.
For the food, the options are plentiful. Caviar lovers can start with the caviar course paired with lightly toasted blinis. A bread basket is also brought out so you can indulge in five choices of bread. If you want to try the Emirates tea service, they offer Dilmah tea together with Walkers shortbread.
The second meal is provided 90 minutes before landing. Again, you can pretty much order anything from the menu including a host of drinks.
Although changes were made during the pandemic, Emirates still serves everything in beautiful glassware and tableware – no plastic utensils here.
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The only real difference when it comes to in-flight entertainment between the first class in the A380 and the 777 is the size of the in-flight monitor.
Aboard the A380, there’s a 27-inch HD monitor with a smaller tablet that’s within easy reach of your seat. There’s also a smaller remote control that doubles as a game controller if you’re interested to pass the time playing the in-flight game.
Meanwhile, aboard the 777, the newer planes are fitted with a bigger monitor at 32-inches. However, the majority of the fleet still carries the standard 24-inch monitor.
Both versions come preloaded with more than 600 films and over 200 series and shows. There’s also an airshow on the A380 so aviation geeks interested to watch the takeoff or landing can do so with delight.
A Bowers & Wilkins headphones are provided so you can listen in comfort with quality headphones on hand.
Flying first class means you get free Wi-Fi onboard. Emirates has OnAir Wi-Fi installed on its planes which means you can do basic tasks like surfing, replying to instant messages, or any non-data intensive work.
The bandwidth isn’t enough for streaming or getting any intensive work done at all. Do note that the Wi-Fi cuts off when flying over the Arctic Circle.
Both the A380 and the 777 have two dedicated lavatories for their first class guests. The major difference, of course, is that the A380 boasts a beautiful shower as well.
Showering at 40,000 feet is a unique experience and something most flyers don’t want to pass up. Inside the lavatory in the A380, there’s a dedicated shower stall that lets you use the shower for up to 5 minutes. It’s fitted with a digital timer that monitors your time inside. You do have the option to turn the shower on and off as you need.
The shower spa itself is huge and fitted with heated floors along with a lighted vanity. There’s a toilet, plenty of seating, a hairdryer, drawers, towels, Voya and Bvlgari toiletries. Look around and you’ll find even more convenient items like cotton buds, combs, nail files, a loofah, and a shaving kit.
Despite announcing they’ll stop offering turndown service to guests, the Emirates staff still proactively make each passenger’s bed when it’s time for sleep.
The staff places a thick mattress pad, duvet, and comfy pillow to transform the seat into a sleep-worthy bed. Because the air nozzles can be adjusted, you can sleep at the right temperature and keep yourself cool even if you opt to burrow under the blanket.
Staff and Guest Services
Known for their impeccable service, everything here is on-demand. The staff are always attentive and make sure that the guests receive the service they are expecting. While there are a few minor changes after the pandemic, it’s still an amazing service.
Within a minute or sometimes seconds after pushing the attendant button, the staff hop into action. They’re also friendly and professional, offering a proactive yet personalized touch to whatever you need in flight.
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Who Is It For?
Anybody who wants to experience fine luxury in mid-air will love availing of Emirates First. It’s an experience unlike no other. From the amenities, service, and the product itself, you probably won’t want the flight to end.
Emirates First Class Gallery
Emirates Business Class
Emirates Business is often overshadowed by other premium business products offered by its competitors like Qatar’s Qsuites or even its product, Emirates First. However, with revamps happening in their fleet, the new business product is likely to level up and change the game for the airline.
In this comparison, let’s take a quick look at how Emirates business class compares to the first class product.
Emirates has an amazing business class lounge out of their hub in Dubai. So if you’re flying business class out of Dubai, you can experience one of the best airport lounges in the Middle East.
From there, the lounge is only a few steps away from the departure gates. This makes it even more convenient to use. However, if you’re flying out of other airports, you can still access partner lounges.
For the seats, the experience you get will depend on which aircraft you’ll be using. When Emirates pulled the A380s off the air during the pandemic, they decided to give it a little facelift. Now, most of the A380 fleet is fitted with better seats for all existing classes including business.
The newer business class seats are found on the upper deck of the craft, occupying the latter part of the aircraft body. It’s divided into two sections with the majority of the seats directly behind the exclusive first class section, and about 10 seats on the back half of the plane.
All 76 business seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving each guest aisle access. The seats lie fully flat when in bed mode and come with a seat pitch measuring 48-inches and 18.5-inch seat width.
The refurbished Airbus features champagne-colored seats with anti-stain leather. There are wood finishes all around, giving the seats a fresh and modern feel. Honeymoon seats in the middle section are great for couples while the window seats are perfect if you want more privacy. For true window seats, pick seats ending in A or K.
On the seat, guests can enjoy a small open minibar with bottled and sparkling water. There’s a small lamp, USB ports, a 110v outlet, and a tablet to control the in-flight monitor.
On the other hand, the Boeing 777 fleet still carries the traditional Emirates business product. This means lots of gold and gold hues all-around your chair. The business seats on the 777 feature a 60-inch pitch and a width of 20.5 inches. There’s a footwell, some storage, and a spacious side table for plopping drinks or any items. There’s also a personal nozzle so you have control of the temperature in your seat.
The amenity kits for business class are housed in a chic pouch and filled with branded items from Bvlgari, Gentleman’s Tonic, and Voya. Inside the pouch, there’s deodorant, dental kit, comb, lotion, razor, and more. They also hand out a separate pouch containing socks, slippers, and eyeshades. In addition, there’s a separate kit containing a facemask and hand sanitizer.
It’s hard to distinguish the difference between this amenity kit and those handed in first class because they both contain similar premium items.
Noise-canceling headphones are also provided for in-flight entertainment. However, the cable does dangle in front of you which can be annoying. Another amenity that business guests aboard the A380 can expect to use is the lounge bar. You can grab drinks or socialize while up in the air.
Food and Beverage
Drink service starts with pre-flight drinks served once you’ve settled on your seat. Attendants drop by with pre-filled glassware, giving you a choice of orange juice, champagne, or apple juice. There’s no dine-on-demand service in business class so you’ll have to settle with meals soon after takeoff and just right before the plane landing.
A food and wine menu are offered from the start so you can go through it ahead of time and decide which one you want. The meal service starts about 20 minutes after takeoff. Noticeably different is that the meals are served in trays covered in white cloth.
The bread and salads are served wrapped in plastic, a post-pandemic change, but the rest are served open. Food quality is excellent but service and the pace can be a bit off. Unlike the personalized service in Emirates First, the business class meals can feel a little too assembly-line. Instead of clearing the empty dishes, only a portion is cleared from the table to make room for the next dish. There’s also no offer for refills when you’re here.
Overall, the food is delicious. However, there are issues with the presentation and service flow as the meals are served out.
The entertainment is similar for both the A380 and the 777, each seat includes a 23-inch touch screen monitor alongside a smaller tablet which can be used to control the screen. It’s preloaded with hundreds of films and shows so you have plenty of options to entertain yourself.
Emirates has a pretty good selection and provides HBO Max shows on their ICE system.
A power outlet along with some USB ports are within reach as well. It’s worth noting though that older 777s might not have USB outlets for you to use. In case you need one, ask for a converter from the staff. Just a tip, they do run out fast since they’re limited in quantity so make sure to ask once you get onboard.
To use the Wi-Fi, you can pay $19.99 for access throughout your flight. Emirates uses OnAir-Wi-Fi which is generally a bit slow, but most of the time (and depending on the route) the speeds are pretty decent, allowing you to work while onboard.
The bigger A380 has four lavatories available for business class guests while the smaller 777 only has two. Unlike the lavish shower suites on first class, these lavatories are modest. The size isn’t too large or small and toiletries are provided although not as extensive as those you’ll find in first class.
Once the seats are turned into bed mode, they are comfortable. As mentioned, the older Boeing business seats don’t fully lay flat. It might sound terrible but it’s not a big difference. It just feels as if you’re head is slightly elevated.
But, if you insist on getting a fully flat bed at night, then you might be better off making sure your flight is on the A380. The seats lie flat and have a good amount of room for you to rest.
The attendants provide guests with a mattress padding, a blanket, and a comfy pillow once they’re ready to tuck in.
Staff and Guest Services
Emirates is known for its amazing service. Of course, there can be one or two attendants that might not be as attentive but that can’t be helped sometimes. Generally, though, the attendants are friendly and helpful. The service in business isn’t as personalized as in first class but it’s still pretty good.
Who Is It For?
If you’re looking for a convenient long-haul flight but not ready to splurge on Emirates First, then business class seats would be good for you. Compared to other business products from other airlines, Emirates still needs a bit of work but it’s still a great thing to experience.
Emirates Business Class Gallery
Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
|Winner||What Makes It Great|
|Best for Food||Emirates First Class||Dine-on-demand is a huge perk most first-class flyers rave about.|
|Best for Seats||Emirates First Class||With more space, more privacy, and a lavish design – first class wins this one, hands down.|
|Best for Ground Experience||Tie||When flying off their hub in Dubai, guests can enjoy a fantastic experience at the Emirates First Lounge and the Emirates Business Lounge. Both are ranked as among the best airport lounges in the Middle East!|
|Best For Comfort||Emirates First Class||The first class seats are more private and generally bigger, so they offer more comfort.|
|Best for Families||Tie||Both provide a good experience whether you’re flying solo or with the family. The first class is a bit more exclusive though.|
|Best for Couples||Tie||Both business and first class have honeymoon seats available so you can sit right next to your partner.|
|Best for Service||Emirates First Class||With fewer guests flying first class, attendants can offer more personalized service to guests.|
|Most Exclusive||Emirates First Class||Emirates First wins this category thanks to its enclosed suites and a limited number of seats.|
If you’re ready to fly in class and style, then you can’t go wrong with flying Emirates.
Their first class product is a cut above the rest and will give you a travel experience of a lifetime. While their business product still needs improvement, they are taking the right steps with the newly refurbished business seats aboard the A380s. Only time will tell if they will have what it takes to topple competition with this product.