My Emirates A380 Experience

You always hear about the A380 and the double decker plane from Airbus and how many Emirates Airlines ordered from them. Recently I had a chance to fly on one from New York City to Dubai. I heard some conflicting reviews about it so I wasn’t sure what to expect but my expectations were not high. Usually I like flying on the Boeing 777 LR as they are comfortable planes with a very good configuration and long range for for those DXB to US trips.

Now for the first time on the plane I was impressed, it felt like I was going into a building, the thing is huge, no joke, it fits a lot of people. The Average plane fits between 180 to 250 passengers on long haul flights but the Emirates A380 can handle 644 Passengers which is an insane amount 143 of those passengers were in business class which I was a part of. You walk in you can feel that it was a bit cramped but also cozy at the same time, the seats were comfortable and go completely flat. It was a 13 hour flight that got a bit interesting because of a technical delay but the staff managed to keep people happy and we made our connection at the end. Overall there were a lot of short comings that would make me not want to get on an A380 again, it was an experience that I would not like to repeat.

My Overall Opinion:

  • You are handling over 644 passengers and business class which is usually 40 seats increased to more then threefold to 143 passengers, and they didn’t increase the staff in the same capacity.
  • You don’t get that personal touch that you expect in business class, its still there in first but it feels like you are just part of the cargo in business.
  • Asking for a glass of water took 25 to 40 mins when usually it takes them 5 to 10 mins max.
  • Overall the experience wasn’t that good, the price for A380 is even a bit more expensive then a normal plane yet you don’t get that extra service.
  • Basically you are paying for Business Class seats with economy service, you really get lost with the crowd.
  • The Entertainment system in Emirates is excellent as usual, that isn’t even under question and I hope they keep it up.
  • The bathroom was another design disaster, usual business class is 2 to 3 bathrooms for 40 to 50 passengers, and in this case it was 4 bathrooms with two that the air staff closed so basically two bathrooms for 143 so initially it was 35 to 1 bathroom but in this case it ended up to be 71 to bathroom which you can imagine was a nightmare.
  • All of this was just one thing to take into consideration, when you land into any country with 643 passengers the lines at passport control and customs is a huge disaster, even when passengers from First & Business Disembark from the different walkway then Economy we all end up together outside which is a huge amount of people and the number of bags is a also humungous. Basically its as if you are dealing with three planes landing at the same time.

The A380 may have been a success for Airbus with Airlines but it isn’t an experience I would want to repeat to anyone or one that I think is a success for individuals. As a business case its fantastic for airlines, basically packing more people in and the whole plane was full so they will be making more money, for now I’m going to stay away from any flights on that plane and I will try my luck with the Boeing Dreamliner. Boeing may have been very late with the 787 Dreamliner but that is one plane that I am looking forward to flying on. They designed it so it would be more spacious for the person riding and bigger room, more headspace, overall more spacious and more effecient way of flying. So they improved the flight experience of the travel unlike the A380.

A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!


  1. Great post Marzouq, thank god i saw your review before i fly on a 380.
    Your right about the number of staff, bathrooms, number of people at the passport control and luggage it’s a headache :/
    Although Emirates is my favorite air careyer.
    I would like to try it once just to have a personal experience and i’ll be looking for the Boeing Dreamliner 787

    Thanks man

  2. @brownsuger – Same here! Emirates is my favorite carrier but this was probably my worst experience on Emirates ever, not including all things that happened around the flight that I wasn’t happy about! It was a one time thing and I don’t think I will be flying on them again. But it was an experience!

  3. Lady behind you is not very happy you’re clicking her pictures..

  4. 143 business class passengers??? And I thought MEA had a huge 18 row business class lol

  5. ali

    i actually took a flight on the A380 business class in eid holiday to london (fitir not adha) and the experience was marvelous… our flight crew were amazing and the service was even better than that of the british business class

  6. Dave

    Great info..makes me think before I take that flight

  7. Navin

    You sure the seat configuration for business is 144? From what I know the configuration is 76.

  8. Navin

    To be Precise: First Class-14 Seats; Business Class-76 Seats & Economy-396 Seats

  9. @Kuwait – Loool! I always take lots of pics!

    @Mark – Yup! It was ridiculous!

    @ali – I don’t know what happened with us, but it wasn’t what I was expecting from Emirates, thats for sure!

    @Dave – Yup, not gonna fly A380 again!

    @Navin – Still too many people for them to handle!

  10. Tim

    I suspected what you said may be true – too many business class passengers for good service; too many passengers altogether for immigration to be smooth and swift.
    Glad you confirmed it! I suspect it’s a similar issue for all airlines using an A380, not just Emirates.

  11. @Tim – Thats pretty much it! I won’t be flying on an A380 again thats for sure!

  12. I’ve flown it a w times and I agree that e staffing needs to match the higher number of passengers. But don’t you think its the quietest flying machine in the world?

  13. Ryan Terry

    You have clearly done almost no research whatsoever before posting this. The Emirates A380 has 76 business seats and NOT 143. God knows where you got that number from. Also, there are 5 bathrooms for 76 passengers NOT 4 for 143.

    If you want your posts to be credible, and if you are going to criticize a product in the public domain, it is your duty to at least get the bare minimum right. Google search is a free service, make use of it.

    Even after someone made the comment to correct your figure, you still left it up there. Just assuming ignorant readers wont know anyway.

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