The Emirates limousine driver arrived on time despite the rainy weather this day in Hong Kong. I got in his Mercedes Benz SUV and we were off to the airport, arriving in about 30 minutes. A quick trip despite of the weather I thought. Of course I was anticipating my first Emirates first class flight but it wasn’t like I’d never seen the first cabin on the upper deck of the A380 jet. After completing the business class flight on Emirates in 2018 the flight attendant happily showed me the cabin as well as lavatory with showers. The would be my second time flying an A380 with a shower, and I would continue to be showerless at 40,000 feet.
With no special first class ground service at Hong Kong I went straight to the Emirates lounge which was a combined first and business class facility. In the reception area stands a beautiful model of their A380 aircraft. It is an attractive lounge, well appointed with plenty of food, drink and comfortable seating.
I was warmly welcomed into the lounge and offered drinks by a staff member. Politely I choose to have a look around first. Once seated I was again approached for drink orders. Certainly non-typical of airline lounges. however only of handful of people were in the lounge at this time.
Before long I decided to head down to gate 60, only a short walk from the lounge. Such a beautiful view of the Emirates A380 readying for its flight to Dubai with the unsettled weather and mountains in the background.
Boarding commenced slightly behind schedule but not so late to jeopardize a on time departure.
And the rains began again as we boarded.
Heather, the purser on this flight, talks to one of 3 first class passengers (including myself) on this flight. Heather introduced herself to me before departure and came through the cabin saying thanks and good-bye towards arrival, but that was about it.
The cabin holds 14 suits on the A380 and is quite airy even with this density, in part because all overhead bins have been removed. The suites themselves are smaller in terms of first class seat size on some other carriers, but well designed and very comfortable.
At the top of the A380 staircase a first class beverage display was set up. Unfortunately a short time after this flight, Emirates announced they would not be offering this first class display on A380 flights.
The lavatory is spectacular. While the cabin and suites have over the top bling, the lavatory is decorated in warm, natural tones that you might even want in your own home.
Toiletries are placed to perfection. And there are two of these lavatories, on either side of the staircase, for first class passengers only.
Under the monitor is where all carryon bags are stored. Unfortunately at the end of the flight when I was retracting the extended foot rest back to landing position, the foot rest caught on the corner of my luggage and bent the frame. The case was only on its second trip!
Your personal non-alcoholic mini-bar.
This was the older IFE system. The tablet weighed a ton. And it wasn’t very responsive at all. The storage compartment was broken, you can see that with the lid down it’s not flush to the table. Otherwise lots of bling.
At first I thought the hook was to hang something on, turns out it’s to support the dining tray which was extremely heavy.
Each suite has its own closet.
Amenities were outstanding, including excellent sleepware. Not so sure out the “moisturizing” part, but the pants are top notch.
I still don’t like upper deck A380 windows, but do like the LH A380 in its new colors. Also the Hong Kong Airlines A350 was the same one I flew in on from Taipei.
Off into the sunset.
Apple juice was offered before departure.
Due to the weather the ride was a but bumpy and made the Dom photos a little blurry. But it still tasted good.
Food and beverage menus.
Time for the flight to become disappointing.
As mentioned FA Heather was no where to be found. In charge of the first class cabin was Kimberly, a nice enough early 20’s I’m guessing inexperienced flight attendant. Service was slow in part due to the weather and probably about an hour after departure the table was set.
Except instead of bringing the Canapé, I was brought the caviar. At this point I was really hungry having not eaten anything in the lounge, so I didn’t complain. But to forget a complete course??
And the caviar was well, decadent as always.
I asked for another appetizer, the Arabic mezze.
It was absolutely terrible. Clumps of feta cheese, canned green bean salad, toubuleh that was basically parsley with oil, and fritters that reminded you of some bad crab rangoons at the local Chinese takeout. Oh, and some raw cauliflower and carrots just for fun.
I moved on to order the Chateau Pontert Bordeaux. “We don’t have that selection on this flight.”
The main course was a good business class meal. Over-sauced beef tips with so called fried rice mixed with vegetables and bok choy. Other than the plating I could see this meal on any of the Asian carriers from Hong Kong to Taipei in business class.
The good, or bad, news depending on your perspective, is Emirates pours your wine into a fairly good size decanter. After little food, a lot of Dom and then one or maybe two of these it was soon to me lights out.
But first I had the dessert which was a raspberry gâteau and it was nothing special.
I had planed for a shower 60 minutes before arrival as well as a visit to the bar in the back of the plane. My body had other plans. I awoke on decent into Dubai.
Initially this was going to be an Alaska Airlines redemption at 180,000 points (ouch). But when I called, the AS agent couldn’t find the DXB to ORD leg in first. So I moved to plan B which worked out better as I ultimately changed the date avoiding the AS change fee. Emirates waives change fees on first class redemptions. Plus I received the limousine service which has now been discontinued on award tickets.
Emirates charged 178,000 points from HKG-DXB-ORD which included a stopover in Dubai. Taxes were minimum because the flight was out of Hong Kong, however recently Hong Kong repealed the statute that prohibits airlines from charging carrier imposed fees out of Hong Kong. The good news as of early 2019, Emirates YQ charges out of Hong Kong are $75.
Date: February, 2019
Route: Hong Kong - Dubai
Flight #: 383
Aircraft:Airbus A380 A6-EDV
Configuration: F14/ J76 / Y427
On Time: Yes
Reward Flying Rating: 6.2 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Any first class cabin in an A380 is great. Emirates is not an exception. The suites are fairly small but comfortable with plenty of storage. The on board showers are something that one day I might actually try!
Cabin/Seats Rating: 7 out of 10 ✈
✔︎The amenities were excellent, the food was not. Other than caviar, everything else disappointed.
Amenity/Food rating: 5.5 out of 10 ✈
✔︎ This was the older ICE system. While having plenty of choices the system is cumbersome to navigate.
IFE rating: 6 out of 10 ✈
✔︎So much for the world renowned Emirates First Class Flight Attendants. I’ve have better FA’s on United. At least she allowed a 2nd appetizer.
Flight Attendant rating: 5 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Airbus A380. What more can be said, A380! However this was one of Emirates older A380s, if you can call an aircraft old at 7 years. The plane was immaculate.
Aircraft rating: 7 out of 10 ✈