In my opinion the Airbus A380 is a fantastic aircraft regardless of what airline you are flying. Some passengers comment the enormous size of the A380 makes them feel uneasy, yet other passengers find the size reassuring and comfortable. Personally I love this aircraft for its luxurious appointments and the lack of engine noise inflight. The upper deck of the Emirates A380 aircraft is exclusively for First and business class seats and the entire lower cabin section is for economy passengers.
For this flight from Toronto to Dubai, I was assigned seat 25A which was at the rear of the upper section of the A380 and fairly close to the lounge and bar area. It should be noted that any seat in the last 3 – 4 rows of the upper deck could experience a bit of noise pollution from the bar. The curtains that separate the bar from the main cabin are not effective in reducing noise from a congregation of revellers in the rear lounge. However if you find yourself in this section and you feel the noise level a touch disturbing … just mention it to the crew and they will happily advise passengers nearby to lower their voices. It really is not an issue as it depends on any given flight how many people are in the bar and having a chat. If you are assigned a seat in this section because the flight is full I am sure you will not be disturbed. most passengers appeared to be asleep for the majority of my flight anyway so noise levels were very low.
Entertainment is a very big feature on the emirates product regardless of what class of travel you are flying. E-mail and phone services are also available in every seat. There was a whopping 1200 channels of entertainment available to me. One of my favourite channels was of the external camera that can be accessed throughout the flight. When taking off I found it surreal to see the massive structure of this aircraft rising effortlessly into the night sky and then 12 hours later seeing the same camera vantage point coasting downwards into Dubai. Our route took us up and over the planet above England and then downwards to Dubai non-stop.
Every seat onboard in Business and First Class have isle access. every seat also has a small private minibar. there was a soft drink, Voss mineral water and Perrier available for your enjoyment. I was impressed that halfway through the flight my minibar was restocked.
All seat controls as well as TV remote options were displayed on a small removable PDA which can be seen in the above picture. I felt this was quite a nice touch to the seat’s overall features as I could hold a wireless device and scroll through my entertainment options or select a massage speed for my seat. having a full massage feature built into the leather seat was a welcome addition to my experience onboard Emirates.
Overall I liked the layout of the cabin for Business Class on the A380 and found my seat to be one of the best designs around. Mind you the British Airways Business cabin still seems more spacious and creates an open feeling. I am not sure I like having my feet disappear under the TV when in a flat bed position as is the case on Emirates. however it should be noted that on the A380 the emirates seat has the overall sideways space that BA First Class seats enjoy. The BA first Seat is an isle seat as well and no one is sitting next to you when seated by the window. Emirates pulls this off in Business Class on the A380. The similarities between First Class on the other Airlines and Business Class on Emirates does not end with the seat alone. I often found that the overall experience onboard this flight rivalled a First Class experience on other airlines. That is an impressive achievement for Emirates in such a globally competitive industry.