I started writing this piece some years ago but did not get around to posting it. It is still relevant, though. In the intervening years, I have flown many more times in the Emirates A380 Business Class section, and twice in First Class (a 16-hour haul to Toronto and a 9-hour leg from Seoul). The experience of flying on this aircraft continues to be awesome.
I just had to share this.
Having flown business class several times in the past, one has seen what it is like to enjoy premium class travel.
The experience of flying business class in an Emirates A380 was, however, quite something else. In the past, I have flown in the economy class cabin of A380, which was very comfortable even by current day wide-body long haul aircraft standards. But I had heard a lot about the business class on the A380, and looked forward with eager anticipation to this 13-hour intercontinental flight.
The sheer size of this aircraft awes you as you board, and it is a different feeling when you walk directly in from a door in the upper level, unlike in a Boeing 747.
The interior is awesome, and as I settled into my seat, I couldn’t help wonder about how much thought had gone into making each seat a personal comfort zone – amenities conveniently to hand, a place to stow one’s shoes, soft drinks and bottled water in a shelf next to the seat, and a personal cubicle kind of layout that ensured substantial privacy.
I watched the take-off on the large TV screen using the tail-fin camera view – something that is unique to this aircraft, and mentally willed this giant to rotate and lift off as it lumbered down the runway.
When the seat belt signs were switched off, I walked towards the rear of the business class section and came across a large lounge with a bar (that reminds you of a classy 5-star hotel), where one can hang around, have a drink and canapés, and pass the time.
After a reasonably good dinner, I decided to sleep. The seat reclined to full-flat position, a mattress was provided, and having covered myself with a blanket, I drifted off into deep sleep. I do sleep on long flights, but never for more than two hours at a time. This time, though, I slept for seven hours at a stretch, and woke up surprised that we were a mere two hours or so from our destination.
The A380 is an amazing aircraft, a marvel of engineering, and it was a pleasure discovering all those little details that go towards making long journeys comfortable – this applies to economy and business class. I have heard and read about the first class section – private suites, etc – designed to pamper the high net worth traveler.
I alighted with a trace of regret that the flight had ended so soon – it had been a wonderful experience.