After visiting the rather disappointing Plaza Premium lounge Kuala Lumpur I was even kind of looking forward to my 18 hours trip on Emirates A380 economy to Barcelona via Dubai.
Maybe it was a mix of the fact that the lounge was not much better than an economy flight and that I just wanted to be done with the trip but in the end the trip was still pretty decent. Now I won’t start flying these distances for fun in economy but if I have to Emirates is definitely a solid option.
On this trip I experienced Emirates newer A380 seats on the leg from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Dubai (DXB). While the seats are basically the same as in the older version the IFE screen is vastly bigger and full HD. Also every seat features a small handset touch controller rather than the classic controller.
Emirates ICE is by far the best entertainment system with an incredibly selection of movies, series, music, news and even live TV. No matter in what class of service you fly ICE will be a huge advantage over other airlines.
At the seat I already found a blanket, a pillow and Emirates branded earphones (take note Shanghai Airlines) which were of decent sound quality for economy but I do recommend to bring your own headsets, especially if you have noise cancelling ones.
The seat on Emirates A380 has a decent pitch and width. While the padding is not great it is better than on most other carriers and if you bring a neck pillow + the ability to sleep in rather close distance to other people and maybe with some noise (pro tip: ear plugs) it should be no problem to get some rest in these seats.
The seat layout is 3-4-3 which is standard for the A380 and does not feel too tight. Keep in mind that the plane is huge and there are hundreds of seats in the economy cabin. ‘Unfortunately’ Emirates does a good job in filling those seats up so I had people next to me on both flights without any empty seats to switch too.
One thing that was very disappointing was the catering on these flights, when I left Kuala Lumpur it was late night and only a very light snack was served. Not so good since I did not catch any food in the lounge.
There was a continental breakfast before landing which I skipped since I have access to Emirates amazing business class lounge in Dubai where I expected much better food. I was not disappointed but have to note the breakfast variety in the lounge is not all that big. Nevertheless I got a nice hot shower and some tasty food so I was ready for the second leg to Barcelona.
The catering on the second flight was a miss again, while hot food was served shortly after take off it was not tasty at all. Chewy chicken and some sauce that reminded me of cat food.
Besides that the product was almost the same as on the first leg, with the only difference being the old IFE with smaller screen. Also my headphone port did not work so I couldn’t use ICE. While the crew tried to reset multiple times it seemed to be a hardware damage. Emirates rectified this just a week after my arrival with some bonus miles an an apology. Kudos to them and their service is definitely the way to go, sadly not all Gulf carriers are up to speed as I am still waiting for an response from Oman Air 7 months later now…
Concluding Emirates economy long haul is a very decent and solid product, with friendly service by Emirates great crews, an outstanding entertainment system and above average seats. Only the catering is an area where Emirates certainly has room to improve.