After my rather unsatisfying flight to Dubai I wasn’t specifically looking forward to the return flight on Emirates Boing 777-300ER, since the business class product does not even feature direct aisle access on every seat.
Maybe it was due to my low expectations, the really nice time in the Emirates lounge in Dubais Terminal 3 at DXB or the fact this this 777 was equipped with the updated business class seat, but I ended up enjoying this flight a lot more than the A380 trip.
Emirates has 3 daily flights to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) from Dubai (DXB) whereas one is operated by an A380 and the other two by Boing777-300ER aircraft. Due to the more convenient timing for my return trip I opted for the 777 service, leaving Dubai at 9:40pm, which gave me a full day for meetings, and arriving at Kuala Lumpur around 8am, so with some good rest on the flight no wasted time and no jet lag.
This flight pushed back on time and the crew was much more friendly than on the previous flight. Pre-departure service was provided quickly after I boarded and after a short taxi to the runway we took off for the 6+ hours trip.
Emirates Boing777 product comes in a 2-3-2 setup, which is quite packed for a business class cabin and not all seats feature direct aisle access, which can be a problem if you are in a middle or window seat while your seat neighbour fully reclines the seat.
I assigned myself a window seat in the last row of the forward business class cabin, that consists only of 2 rows right behind the first class cabin. At the seat waiting was as usual a pillow and a blanket as well as noise cancelling headphone, which did not work but were replaced quickly by the crew.
As mentioned the seats in Emirates Boing777 have not all direct aisle access, while it does not necessarily need to be an issue (for example when the seat next to you is not taken or not reclined) it is definitely not specifically comfortable and also a bit disappointing for a carrier like Emirates. Another issue with these seats is that it does not recline to a fully flat bed but rather to an angled flat setup. I still manage to sleep on it, especially with a mattress pad, but it certainly is not as comfortable as a fully flat bed. Also the seat is not long enough when fully reclined, which is an even bigger problem considering that it is easy to slide off due to the angled position.
The IFE screen was huge and felt even bigger than the one on the A380. ICE is as mentioned one of the best in flight entertainment systems and offers a huge variety of movies, series, music and a quite extensive airshow.
This flight also had the new tablet to control the IFE, which is more slim than the one installed on the A380 and also more responsive with a higher screen resolution. The seat still has a traditional controller that features a colour display as well and in the storage compartment is a fast USB charger with a power outlet.
The meal service was again incredibly slow which was even worse than on the last flight given that this was a real night time flight. Service started around 2 hours after departure, which is just unacceptable on a 6h red eye. The food was solid but nothing to write home about.
Bottom line for this flight is Emirates Boing777 product is surprisingly competitive with the A380 setup. The updated seat features a better IFE than the one installed on Emirates biggest plane and besides the angled position without direct aisle access the seats provides ample of space. The crew on this flight was significantly better than the previous one, but meal service after take-off is still way too slow. A Bulgari branded amenity kit was distributed on this flight which was nice.
The aircraft was installed with WIFI, but it was never even possible to load the page on which you would select your package. I will stick to my previous statement: with the right price and schedule I will fly Emirates business class again, no matter of the aircraft, but I won’t go out of my for it.