This will be more of a Trip Report instead of just focusing on the first class cabin. I will post the food photos from the second Emirates flight from DXB-ICN but that’s about it.
Emirates Airline 216 First class A380-800 LAX-DXB-ICN. The LAX-DXB leg was 15 hours and 40 minutes. DXB-ICN was 7 hours and 40 minutes. I also had a 8 hour layover in Dubai.
This was technically the route on the first leg.
I was searching on Alaska Airlines website for Japan Airlines first class to Seoul. I was having trouble finding availability but found some on Emirates first class. I was hesitant at first because it was about 110,000 more miles on Emirates than it was on Japan Airlines. But since I’d never flown Emirates and this route would give me over 23 hours in Emirates first class and a 8 hour layover in DXB I figured I’d splurge and just pay the very high reward rate of 180,000 Alaska miles and $27.60.
The cash value of this ticket was $13,318. I find it a bit strange because if I was flying the exact same LAX-DXB flight but not onwards to ICN the flight would have been much higher at just over $26,000.
Even though it cost 180,000 Alaska miles I was still able to get 7.40 cents apiece out of my points.
Emirates LAX Lounge
The lounge opened at 12:25pm. I arrived at LAX around 10am on a connecting flight so after waiting around for a few hours I was eager to get into the lounge.
I won’t go into much detail about the lounge. But here are some photos of the food options and seating area.
The lounge was outstanding. The service was impeccable, the food was decent, and overall this was a nice place to relax before my flight.
With about ten minutes before boarding I headed down to the gate to get a snap of the aircraft. It never gets old admiring an A380. Photos don’t do it justice. As you can see in the photo there are four lanes for boarding: two economy lanes, one business class lane, and one for first class. Not a lot to say about the gate area. Everything went off without a hitch.
The first class cabin is quite stunning. There are 14 first class suites on the upper deck. The seats have 86 inches of pitch and are 23 inches wide.
I sat in 4A, which is the last seat in the first row. There were only three other passengers in first class and the flight leader, Victoria, offered me another seat since mine was beside the galley but I chose to stay where I was. The noise from the galley never bothered me and I liked the fact that 4A seemed a bit more private since its kinda tucked away from all the other seats.
As you can see there’s a mini bar full of juices, water, and soda at the seat. It’s certainly more for show because they’re not cold but still a cool touch to the suite.
There’s a ton of storage in the suite. I couldn’t imagine someone needing more.
Each seat comes with its own closet for hanging clothes or jackets.
Unlike my first Singapore Airlines flight I managed to get the seat made into a bed. I think Cathay Pacific has a much more comfortable bed but I had no problems sleeping for about five hours. I think the two bottles of Dom and a bottle of Hennessy Paradis helped me with that.
The tablet beside the seat is detachable and runs everything from closing and opening of the door and lights to seat position and movie selection.
If you’d like something smaller to manage the TV there’s a small handheld remote in the armrest.
Up close to the TV is a small vanity mirror and some balms.
Another cool feature is the small snack basket at your seat. They do take it away for takeoff and landing. I didn’t partake in any of it because the menu was to good to waste on the snacks but it’s nice to have options, and health options at that.
In a small drawer below the TV was a writing kit. Another small detail that makes Emirates one of the best.
As you can tell the seat was awesome. I loved that you could put the seat in any position you wanted. The bed was comfortable, as was the bedding. I had plenty of space to move around and you can’t beat having a door to your seat. The privacy was just as good as Singapore Airlines A380 suites. The only drawback I notice was the cabin temperature. It was warm for most of the flight. I’d much prefer it cold to hot.
They handed out the amenity kit soon after I reached my seat. It had a variety of Bulgari lotions and cologne along with shaving and dental kits. Surprisingly, this was one of the more functional amenity kits. I hate when some airlines just put a bunch of useless things in them.
The pajamas and slippers were handed out with the amenity kit. I love that they were two-toned. It gave them a little better look and they were very light, thankfully. I still use mine from time to time.
Bathroom selfies are the best, said no one ever.
Emirates entertainment section is called ICE. It has a massive amount of movies, TV shows, games, and even offers some live sporting events on Sports24. The screen display is 32 inches so it’s one of the biggest of any airline. The clarity was also some of the best I’ve seen.
Another cool feature was the in-flight cameras. Take off and landing were especially cool to watch from the tail camera.
This was one of the most extensive collections of movies and shows I’ve seen on an aircraft. However, I found that they didn’t have many new releases. I ended up watching First Blood, Oceans 11, Oceans 12, Kill Bill 1 and some X-Files episodes. I forgot how good X-Files was.
WiFi was basically free. They charge you $1 for 500mb. It wasn’t the fastest internet I’ve been on but I was able to load Twitter and Snapchat throughout the flight so that was basically all I needed it for.
This is one area that Emirates blows away the competition. Their first class bathroom is by far the best bathroom in the sky. It’s spacious and has the best shower of any airline. Along with the Bulgari toiletries in your amenity kit there are also some organic seaweed VOYA products in the bathroom for use.
I’m 6ft tall and I had plenty of room in the shower. The water pressure was strong and the water was plenty hot enough. You only have five minutes of water but you’re able to turn the water off and on throughout the process so running out of water isn’t a problem. The small dial beside the shower head lets you keep track of how much water is left.
I wish I would have taken better photos of the bathroom. I guess I was just too excited to pay much attention to what I was shooting. There are two bathrooms on each side of the first class cabin. In between the bathroom is a small bar area where they’ll have snacks and drinks during the flight. I wouldn’t think this gets used much. At some point though they turn it into a spa like environment, which I prefer much better.
You can schedule your shower time as soon as you get on board. I didn’t bother since there were only three other passengers on the flight.
Before you all say, “My god, that was a lot of food.” do keep in mind this was on both of my flights.
First drink while still on the ground was 2006 Dom Perignon followed by some Arabic coffee.
Once we were airborne food service began immediately. I started with the Caviar course followed by the traditional Arabic mezze. The caviar was good and the mezze was just ok. I’ve had much better but certainly not bad for a flight meal.
I was full after that so I finished off a bottle of Dom for dessert. At some point during the 15-hour flight I managed to have the seafood duo from the app list, pappardelle con rage di manzo, and the grilled seafood from the main course list. The pappardelle was fantastic while the seafood was a bit dry.
One of the things I appreciated most about the food service was anytime I ordered something to eat during the flight they would reset the tray table up with linens and dinner ware.
After I had finished off a couple of bottles of Dom I ended up switching to Hennessy Paradis Cognac at some point late into the flight.
From what I can tell it retails for about $800 a bottle and is one of the best cognacs I’ve ever had. During about this same time right before I fell asleep I ended up having the flight attendants make me a few Seelbach cocktails. Two of my favorite drinks put into one, Champagne and bourbon. Add a little Cointreau and bitters and you’ll have yourself a Seelbach. It was very delicious but not exactly what I needed after seven hours of drinking.
After I woke from a five hour nap we had about two hours to go before landing. I didn’t order a full breakfast. Instead I just had a smoothie as I wasn’t all that hungry from the food before. Shocking, I know! When I got out of the shower they had a small plate of fruit and water waiting on me at my seat.
That about does it for the first flight. For the second flight it was much lighter, I had the canapés and a beef dish with mushrooms. Both were really good.
I followed that up with a chocolate dessert. Which I don’t even remember but I assume it was good.
Just as with the first flight there was some fruit waiting on me after my shower before we landed.
Overall the food was decent. The seafood was dry, the mezze wasn’t as good as it could have been but all the other things were delicious. As for the drinks, they knock it out of the park. The Hennessy Paradis is outstanding and really puts Emirates in another category when it comes to liquor selection.
Here’s the full menu from the LAX-DXB leg of the trip.
Business Class Bar
The business class bar is at the back of the upper deck, behind the business class cabin. I figured I’d better go check it out at least once. There was one bartender and one other guy at the bar when I was there. I can see this being a cool spot for business class passengers or if you knew two or three other people on the flight and were wanting a place to hang out.
On my final leg to Seoul I didn’t bother even going to the bar. It’s not really something I enjoyed a bunch but if I was traveling with someone I could see it being a great place to hang out.
Emirates First Class lounge DXB
I won’t go into a full review of the lounge but rather just one part of it. I arrived at 8pm which is a super slow time at the airport. Most flights leave very early in the morning so it doesn’t start picking up until about 1am. I think I was the only one in the whole lounge for the first 3 hours I was there.
I spent most of my time in the cigar lounge. I ended up having dinner there then a nice Cohiba Cuban cigar followed by several glasses of Moet & Chandon Imperial Rosé Champagne.
The cigar menu was solid. I don’t think you’d have a problem finding something good to smoke.
I’ll give service a 9.5/10. Lynette was one of the flight attendants who took care of me throughout the whole flight. She was personable and charming and never missed a beat. Food service was impeccable and as much as I was drinking I never waited for a refill. This was probably the best service I have received on a flight. Even during my lounge stay the service continued to be on point. The associates working the cigar lounge were just as good. I really can’t say enough about how dedicated they were to providing great service.
Probably the most fun you can have on an airline. Between the cabin and seat, the business class bar, and of course the shower I don’t think it can get much better. I know spending 180,000 Alaska miles is a lot for a one way trip but I was able to fly almost around the world and shower twice onboard. I don’t regret spending all those miles for this experience and I’d probably do it again if an opportunity came up.