In March, I flew to Delhi, India on Emirates Airlines. The first leg, from New York JFK to Dubai Airport was on an A380 plane. I have read many reviews of the “upstairs” quarters on this plane, including the fabulous suites and showers, but not many travelers from my circles have suffered to experience this 14 hour flight in Coach. Well, hello, I did. It was a mistake fare! I paid $225 for JFK-DEL round trip (well, I added an additional $200 to take a 3 pm rather than a 3am flight on the way home, so it added up to $425). For that price, I was willing to sit downstairs.
Here is my review in three words (or two words and one contraction if you want to be exact):
IT DIDN’T SUCK
Sure, I didn’t experience the ultra luxury and pampering of Business or First Class. Sure, I would have liked that. I certainly would not have said no if someone had offered! But, the ride was comfortable, the seats were adequate, the service was good and the food and drinks were plentiful. We even got amenity kits in Coach! (I note that, overall, the flight going from JFK to Dubai was better than the flight returning from Dubai to JFK. I credit that to the fact that I was seated in the front of the plane for the first flight. They tend to forget about you in the back!).
The cabin and seats:
In with the blanket were these cute stickers, which you could attach to your seat indicating whether you wanted to be woken for meals, etc.
The amenity kit is small, about the size of a fist. The contents were basic: a mini toothbrush and toothpaste, a mask and socks. But the case is nice – I think it is perfect for storing headphones or wires.
The inflight entertainment system was fabulous, and there were power ports to stay charged. The selection of movies was plentiful – I think over 1,000 choices. I watched a number of new movies, such as Birdman and Boyhood. That really helped the time go by quickly.
The safety video was kind of interesting – it felt very Houdini with people and objects appearing and disappearing.
I was so excited to learn that there was Wi-fi on the flight. The first 10MB was free, then $1 for the next 500MB. That all sounds nice, and even incredible, but I found that the wi-fi barely worked. In truth, it was very frustrating.
There were three meals served on this flight, and alcohol was free! (note: they had Drambuie!).
First, we had dinner.
Then a pizza snack:
So, all in all, it was fine. The pilot got the passengers both upstairs and downstairs to the same location.
In my opinion the quality of the service was much better than flying in economy on domestic US carriers. Probably, it was more like a notch (or two) below business class on many domestic carriers.