Welcome to my return flight trip report on Emirates's A380!
Flying with this airline at this time was perfect timing as the airline introduced the Premium Economy Class to it's portfolio not too long ago, making it more affordable for passengers who wish to experience more comfort while without paying over the odds to enjoy the premium class. However the price difference was about $800 (SG), so I decided to save up the money instead.
A few days before my flight, I received this email regarding an invitation to enjoy the lounge, with a price of course. As my flight was taking off early in the afternoon, I could check in earlier and enjoy the lounge access. However, for the price of $202 (SG), I don't find it worth it when I can just buy some light snacks and enjoy the airport wifi at the seating area and that is much more economical in terms of value.
I wonder how many passengers took advantage of this offer.
Emirates in 2023
During the Covid period, many airlines were struggling financially and Emirates, with a massive fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER, was largely affected by the pandemic with many routes being cut or suspended which means aircraft getting grounded. The airline had problems filling up its smallest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER. Fortunately, aviation picked up in 2022 and recovered quite remarkably and right now the demand of air travel is stronger than ever. Right now? The airline has a massive fleet of 119 Airbus A380 and 144 Boeing 777-300ER and some of the aircraft are still on the ground being refurblished to add the new premium economy class to the aircraft.
As for now (October 2023), the airline has the following aircraft on order: 50 Airbus A350-900 (First aircraft to be delivered in 2024), 30 Boeing 787-9 (Expected delivery of the first aircraft in 2025) and 115 Boeing 777X (-8 and -9) to be delivered in 2025 depending on when Boeing will received the certification of this aircraft model. Once Boeing received the certification, airlines that ordered this aircraft model will be allowed to put the aircraft into commercial service.
Emirates A350-900 (Photo: Emirates)
Emirates Boeing 787-9 (Photo: Emirates)
Some photos of London
During the day at London, I went with my mum for my walk to explore the neighbourhood near her place. The weather was cooling and it was a great day for walk. Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end, I have to return to work the following day!
On the day of departure
Checking which aircraft was flying me home, A6-EVO gets the honour to do so.
After bidding my family farewell, I made my to the airport via Piccadilly line. I decided to use the longer way instead of the Elizebeth line as it was a lot cheaper.
Once I reached the airport, I made my way to terminal 3.
Checking the flight status, my flight was departing as scheduled.
This is where Emirates check-in counters are located.
It is Economy Class for me I am afraid. I would love to try the premium classes, perhaps when I save enough points.
At this point of time, I had 2 vacant seats beside mine. Will I get the whole row to myself? Read on to find out.
My boarding passes for both flights.
Security check took quite a while and thankfully, they removed the immigration passport check. That saved a lot of time.
The main concourse of the airside was crowded and yes, it was probably nice to relax at the lounge. However for the price of $202? Not worth it I feel especially when I had only an hour to spare before boarding time.
Making my way to the gate.
These are the other flights departing. I would love to fly back to New York with Virgin! G-VTEA (A350-1000) was operating this flight. As for Delta Airlines DL33, N828MH (Boeing 767-400ER) was operating this flight.
The Emirates Lounge
This is where my flight was departing from.
3 years old Airbus A380, A6-EVO.
There are even benches for you to lie down to rest at the gate area.
It was time to board! Goodbye London, U.K!
My ride: A6-EVO (Photo: Dn280)
This is how the aircraft looks like before the airline's livery is painted. Like any other aircraft, this A380 undergo many tests before being delivered to the airline.
Airbus A380-842 (Owned aircraft)
Delivered to airline on June 2021
Configuration: F14 C76 W56 Y338
Engines: 4 X Roll Royce Trent 972
268th Airbus A380
Age: 3 years old (June 2023)
Built in Toulouse (TLS)
Flight route: LHR-DXB
Date of departure: 15th June 2023
Aircraft type: Airbus A380-800
Load: 80% in Y Class
Schedule departure: 1420
Push back: 1429
Take off: 1454
Flight duration: 6 hr 30 mins
Actual flight time: 6 hr 29 mins
Schedule arrival: 0030
Actual arrival: 0023
Departure runway: 09R
Arrival runway: 30L
My seat: 85A (Photo: Aerolopa.com)
Welcome on board Emirates' Airbus A380!
My in-flight experience
Boarding was on time and I was able to be one of the first to board for Economy Class passengers and when I got to my row, someone was sitting at my seat. Fortunately the friendly crew sorted that out and he moved to the aisle seat. Later on, he moved to the otherside and both of us were winners. We each scored a whole row to myself and that is definitely the highlight of this flight.
Once everyone was settled, we pushed back and took off about 34 minutes after schedule departure. The traffic at LHR airport is always very busy and it is important for the airline to depart on time otherwise if they lose the take off slot, they have to apply for another and that means delay and extra charges for the airline.
My first impression of the new cabin is simple but I find the seat colour to be nice and pleasant. Seat comfort was ok, but nothing spectacular about it. I still prefer Virgin Atlantic's A330-900NEO Economy Class seats if I compare.
After take-off, there was a bit of turbulence during climb especially flying through some clouds. Once that was cleared, the cabin crew were released for duty. Like my previous flights, a set of crew would come around with a camera offering complimentary polaroid photos for the passengers and not surprisingly, they went past me. Like I mentioned earlier, the crew were not very friendly for most of them working in the economy class but that doesn't matter.
Another highlight of this flight was the delicious meal that was served about 2 hours into the flight. The Tandoori chicken was absolutely delicious and for the rest of the flight, I converted my row of seats into a mini bed and took a short nap.
When we started our descent into Dubai airport, it was dark and we landed ahead of schedule and parked at this gate which later on I found out would be the same gate I be departing to Singapore.
This is the Premium Economy Class (Photos: Emirates)
On this aircraft, there are 56 seats configured in a 2-4-2 layout. These seats feature the new Recaro PL3530 seats which offer 19 and a half inches seat width, 40 inches of legroom space and 8 inches of recline, that is quite standard comparing with other premium economy classes of other major airlines.
Let's walk to my seat!
There are 338 seats in this aircraft's configuration and they are all located on the lower deck. Most of these seats have a legroom space of around 32 inches and they all have a seat width of 18 inches and can recline up to 5 degrees.
The cabin monitoring system
The wallpaper matches the cabin interior
The cabin crew's work space
The new cabin does look refreshed.
Each passenger gets a pillow and blanket.
The colour tone of the seat does looks nice.
Seat pitch is at a standard 32 inches.
There are lavatories between the Economy Class cabin.
This cabin crew (below) wasn't friendly. Fortunately she didn't serve my section.
The emergency row window seat is probably one to avoid, due to the misalignment of the window and the seat and also the presence of the emergency door reducing the legroom space.
This is the rear of the aircraft.
I was very fortunate to have the whole row to myself.
The view from my seat
More photos of my seat
The camera view from the tail of the aircraft.
The universal port charger
I like the wooden foldable tray.
The condition of the seat has certainly seen better days.
As you can see these upgraded Economy Class seats are lacking of the remote control.
The winglet of the A380 reminds me of the A310.
That's me again, enjoying the flight!
In-flight meals on this flight
I chose the Tandoori Chicken and it was certainly very delicious.
I could have a 2nd serving if the crew allowed. That is how good it was. As for the sidedishes, they were alright. Among the meals I had so far, this has to be one of the most generous meals in terms of quantity. This is something Virgin Atlantic should look at, improving the in-flight meals.
The amazing ICE (Information, Connectivity and Entertainment) entertainment system
It is really nice to be able to view outside especially for those without a window seat.
The massive selection of music, movies and other programmes.
The details of your flight including the registration of the aircraft.
It was nice to enjoy the view of the landing.
Here we are, we just arrived at Dubai Airport! Never did I expect I would return to this gate, on this same aircraft which took me home.
The First Emirates' A380 has been scrapped (A6-EDA), why? You must be wondering. It is because this aircraft is one of the early built and they are heavier and not so economical to operate which made the airline decide to replace this batch (older A380) with the newer ones.
WiFi was available on my flight.
However it was not free, only the app messaging was complimentary. These are the charges to use the WiFi (June 2023)
One of the movies I watched on this flight was this (Below).
I have to say how nice the interior of the lavatory is.
Water dispenser is available outside the lavatory
More photos of the cabin
This is located near the rear of the aircraft.
The impressive mood lighting.
Window shot photos
This is the start of our journey.
National Boeing 747-400 just pushed back, getting ready for departure.
It took us around 20 minutes before finally given the permission to take off.
Off we go!
Air India's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Goodbye London! See you in February!
It was nice to enjoy the view of the airport.
The weather looks great right? But there was turbulence due to the cross wind.
We hit a couple of rise and drop experience while flying through some clouds. Once we were cleared of the clouds, it was smooth for most parts of the journey.
During the flight, I opened the shade to enjoy the view. As it was getting dark, I was fortunate to enjoy the sunset.
By the time we were near Dubai, it was dark.
We touched down and taxied quickly to our gate.
Last look of my seat
My flight summary
To be continued!
Website/Mobile app: 4/5
Airport Ground Service: 4/5
In-Flight Service: 2.5/5
In-Flight Entertainment system: 4/5
Seat Comfort: 3.5/5
Cabin Ambiance: 4/5
Cabin Condition: 3/5
In-Flight Meal: 5/5
Overall rating: 39/50
I didn't find the new seats to be more comfortable than the old one. However, since I had the whole row to myself, I will comment on these seats on my next trip report as the next flight was full. The service on board this flight wasn't impressive with some of the crew came across to have the stuck up attitude. Only the crew serving near the rear (my section) were friendly. Like I mentioned before, flying with an airline with many nationalities, depends on luck on the type of crew you get and for this flight among the 4 flights with this airline, this is probably the worst set of crew. Aside from that, the flight was uneventful and overall a comfortable flight mainly due to the vacant seats, I converted it into a temporary bed to enjoy a few hours of nap. Another positive note about this flight is the delicious Tandoori Chicken, I thought that was really well done and as usual, the generous amount of sidedishes that came along with the meal. The points deducted is mainly for the overall poor in-flight srevice and the condition of some of the seats have a lot to be desire. For the overall review on this airline and more information on the new Y class seats, that will be done in my final installment of my flight experience with Emirates (2023).
For my previous trip report with Virgin Atlantic A330-900NEO (Boston to London Heathrow), click here
For my next trip report with Emirates New Y Class trip report Part 2: DXB-SIN, click here.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy it!