Emirates A380 First Class: Amsterdam to Dubai

Emirates Logo
End of April, I flew Emirates First Class from Amsterdam to Los Angeles via Dubai on the A380. The revenue price of my ticket would have been €14988 ($20432), but thanks to Alaska Mileage Plan, I was able to book it for €1644 ($2241) using 100,000 miles. It was Ben Schlappig (OneMileataTime) who taught us at TravelMagic 2013 how to buy Alaska Miles on the cheap and use them to book Emirates First Class.
Emirates First Class Chauffeur Drive Service Mercedes-Benz S-Class Schiphol
Pic: Emirates First Class Chauffeur Drive Service
Emirates Business and First Class bookings include complimentary Chauffeur Drive service. I had the pleasure to enjoy a ride in a brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class from my hotel in downtown Amsterdam to Schiphol airport. A great start of my Emirates First Class journey! At check-in, I was offered the choice between lounge access or a €45 Food & Beverage voucher which could be used at any restaurant at the airport. I chose the latter, as Emirates doesn’t have a dedicated lounge at AMS and their partner lounge at Schiphol is known for its poor quality. As I wasn’t hungry, I used the voucher to pay the meals of a random family at a pizza place. You should have seen the looks on their faces, they were convinced it was a scam. 🙂 Instead of having a meal, I relaxed with a nice Spa treatment at XpresSpa.
Emirates A380 First Class Cabin
Pic: Emirates Airbus A380 First Class Cabin
Upon boarding, I was welcomed by one of the First Class flight attendants who escorted me to suite 3A. The Emirates First Class cabin is at the front of the A380 upper deck with 14 suites in a 1x2x1 configuration (seat map). The suites are slightly staggered to avoid looking directly into somebody’s else’s suite. Suites 1A and 1K have less space around them due to the proximity of the First Class bar and Shower Spas. Similar case for suites 4A and 4K due to the proximity of the lavatory and galley.
Emirates 1st edition First Class A380 Suite 2A
Pic: Emirates First Class Suite 2A (2008 edition) on A380
Emirates has two First Class suite versions on the A380, the original 2008 suite with 23-inch IFE screen and the in 2012 introduced version with 27-inch Panasonic HD Screen. Other minor differences between the two First Class suites versions are:
1) wireless IFE and seat control unit (looks similar to iPad in the 2012 version)
2) position of the lamp located next to the IFE screen
My EK148 flight from Amsterdam to Dubai featured the ‘old’ First Class suite, whereas my EK215 flight from Dubai to Los Angeles had the newest First Class suite.
Emirates A380 First Class Suite Seat
Pic: Emirates A380 First Class Suite 3A Seat
Bart Lapers at Emirates First Class Suite 3A Amsterdam Dubai A380
Pic: Bart flying Emirates A380 First Class from Amsterdam to Dubai
With only 4 out of 14 suites occupied, flight EK148 had a light load in First. Flight attendant Gretta used the opportunity to snap some pictures of me. 🙂
Emirates First Class Suite 3A Do Not Disturb sign A380
Pic: Emirates First Class Suite 3A – ‘Do Not Disturb’
Emirates First Class Pre Departure Drink Veuve Clicquot Amsterdam Schiphol
Pic: Veuve Clicquot was served as pre-departure Champagne
Emirates First Class Ready for Departure Amsterdam
Pic: Vanity mirror with kit consisting of Temple Spa branded toiletries
Emirates A380 First Class Shower Spa Personal Guide
Pic: The Emirates A380 Shower Spa menu
Before take-off, a flight attendant distributed the Emirates A380 Shower Spa menus (page 1,2,3,4,5,6) and made a round through the cabin to take reservations. I had my shower session scheduled two hours before arrival in Dubai. The Emirates A380 has two Shower Spas located at the front of the First Class cabin which are serviced by two dedicated Cabin Services Assistants. Yes, you read that correctly, two crew members whose sole job is to make sure the Shower Spas are in top notch condition at all times during the flight!
Emirates First Class Dom Perignon 2004 Aperitif
Pic: Dom Perignon 2004 with nuts, olives and feta cheese
After take-off, it was time for the more expensive champagne, Dom Perignon Vintage 2004. I was also provided with the extensive Emirates First Class menus (Intro, Bar Service p1 p2 & p3A la Carte Dining) and Wine menu (Champagne, Red, White, Dessert & Port)Emirates First Class EK148 Amsterdam Dubai Chilled Caviar Service
Pic: Emirates First Class – Chilled Iranian Caviar Service
Emirates First Class EK148 Caviar Service close-up
A First Class flight isn’t complete without perfectly prepared chilled Iranian caviar presented with a traditional selection of finely chopped onion, chopped boiled egg, sour cream and lemon, served with crisp melba toast and soft blini pancakes.
Emirates First Class: Monte Vibiano Balsamic and Olive Oil
Pic: Monte Vibiano Balsamic Condiment and Olive Oil
Emirates First Class EK148 Amsterdam to Dubai Traditional local Arabic Mezze
Pic: Emirates First Class – Traditional local Arabic Mezze
Following the caviar service, I had the renowned Emirates Traditional local Arabic mezze: The Flavours of our home, presented as a generous spread of traditional Arabic savoury dishes, including hommous, moutabal, tabouleh, muhammara, labneh with herbs, makdous, marinated pickles, vine leaves, lamb bil ajeen, and falafel, complemented by local garnishes and breads.
Emirates First Class White Chocolate Croissant Pudding
Pic: Emirates First Class – White Chocolate Croissant Pudding
For dessert, I had the White Chocolate Croissant Pudding accompanied by a glass of Château Suduiraut 2007.
Emirates A380 Business Class Bar and Lounge
Pic: Emirates A380 Onboard Business Class Lounge
After lunch, I visited the Business Class bar located at the back of the A380 upper deck. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet Cristiano Ronaldo nor Pelé! 😉 I did have an interesting conversation with a Dutch business man traveling on Emirates on monthly bases. He confirmed the superiority of the middle eastern airlines (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, …) versus the ‘traditional’ European and American airlines.
Emirates A380 First Class Bar
Pic: Emirates A380 Onboard First Class Bar
The First Class cabin has its own bar at the front of the A380 upper deck. It isn’t as spectacular at the Business Class lounge, but features a number of premium brandies (e.g. Hennessy Paradis) which not available at the Business Class bar.Emirates A380 First Class Suite - Fully flat Bed
Pic: Emirates First Class – Suite 3E with seat in flatbed mode
After all the eating and drinking, it was time for some rest. I requested the flight attendant to prepare the bed in the Suite next to mine, as the flight had such light First Class load. The bed was really comfortable with an additional mattress put on top of the seat in combination with a duvet.Emirates First Class A380 Shower Spa Restroom
Pic: Emirates First Class A380 Shower Spa and Restroom
The absolute highlight of my Emirates A380 First Class flight was scheduled at the end: showering at 40,000 feet, what an exhilarating experience!
Emirates First Class A380 Shower Spa Flowers EK148
Pic: Fresh Flowers at the Emirates First Class A380 Shower Spa
Emirates A380 First Class Shower Spa
Pic: Emirates First Class Shower Spa
The Shower Spa had heated flooring creating a warm atmosphere. Aside from complimentary Timeless Spa products, I found fluffy towels, toothbrushes, shaving kits, cotton buds, combs and shower caps. There was even a hair dryer!
Emirates A380 First Class Shower
The Emirates First Class Shower Spa Experience lasts for approximately 20-30 minutes. The system is designed to give you a set shower time (5 minutes) which starts when you turn on the shower. You can maintain and control the water usage at your leisure. There is a time indicator located inside the shower cubicle so that you can check how much time is available. To let you know that the end of your shower time is approaching, the system will automatically pause the water flow with one minute remaining.
Emirates A380 First Class Shower Spa Mirror and Sink
Pic: First Class Shower Spa – Mirror, sink and plenty of towels
Emirates First Class Shower Spa - BVLGARI amenities
Pic: Emirates First Class Shower Spa – BVLGARI amenities
Emirates First Class After Shower Spa Signature Tea A380
Pic: Signature Shower Spa Tea & Fresh Detox Juices on request
Conclusion: My first Emirates First Class flight was a truly sensational experience. An amazing hard product combined with an excellent & attentive cabin crew makes Emirates First Class one of the best airline products I have ever flown! Next time I fly a competitor’s First Class cabin, my first question will be “Where are the showers?” 😉
PS: A special thank you goes out to the First Class crew of flight EK148 (Apr 27, 2014) for their excellent service.

27 Comments on “Emirates A380 First Class: Amsterdam to Dubai

  1. Bart, i love the way you edit your photos! Any tips on how you can that lighting so perfect on board first class cabins? Do you use any additional lights?

      • Thanks Bart! I know it’s a while ago but what ISO do you shoot at? In lightroom is it just a matter of bumping exposure and adding a touch of clarity or do you have a secret formula? 😉

  2. Hey Bart, great feedback and totally agree…I was fortunate to be upgraded (free) on a trip from Dubai to New York. From Business to First…what an experience. So good that I have upgraded myself to First on my next trip from Amsterdam to Durban SA, via Dubai. Can’t wait.
    Great photos BTW!

  3. Oh wow how I wish I could fly like that. Thank you for sharing as this will be the closes to it ever in my life!

  4. So I’m thinking if you want a window you should go for either row 2 or 3, is that correct? My wife and I are flying SFO-Dubai and then Dubai to Rome and 1 and 2 A are gone. I booked 2k and 3k because of your report. This is a bucket list kind of deal so I want it to realize the best trip possible. Thank you!

  5. Great report, and will definitely try out the first some day. We have just returned from Bangkok, via Dubai to London on Emirates, business class. It is always a wonderful experience to travel with Emirates; the crews are the very best! Earlier this year we flew twice to the USA with BA. Not so good! And on one flight we upgraded to First, but we’re sorely disappointed.
    Thanks for your informative report.

  6. Holy cow! Dat ziet er luxe uit. Douchen in een vliegtuig, aan die gedacht moet ik nog even wennen denk ik..

  7. Off-topic : What scene mode did you use on the RX100 for those outstanding pictures? Or all set in P mode? Have the same camera – but photography n00b 🙂

    • Hi Aerts, I make most of my pictures in ‘P’ mode in RAW format. The main improvement comes afterwards, when I post-process the pics on my Mac.

  8. Pingback: Emirates A380 First Class: Dubai to Los Angeles | bart.la

  9. informative review! makes me wanna try it out myself… ok random question… but all of your pics look fantastic… which camera did u use? =)))

  10. It seems not possible to buy Alaska miles anymore withous US CC . is this correct?

  11. Bon en ik ben al blij met een business class ticket naar NYC! Jammer genoeg, zoals je zelf zegt, kan je deze maatschappijen niet vergelijken met hun concurrenten uit het Oosten. En wat mij vooral stoort, zijn de verschrikkelijke lounges in JFK & EWR van de amerikaanse maatschappijen. Maar ben al dolgelukkig met een volledige lie-flat en goede service. Ah ja juist en miles sparen dus, ben nog niet helemaal mee met dat systeem maar als ik het zo zie, heb ik al een vlucht laten schieten. BTW heb gehoord dat emirates (denk ik) rechtstreeks vanuit Brussel naar Dubai zou vliegen?

    • Thank you for your feedback Mrs K. Correct, Emirates will be one of the only airlines offering First Class service from Brussels Airport!

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