United Club San Francisco, International Terminal
United Business Class San Francisco to Seoul
Asiana Airlines Business Class Lounge Seoul
Korean Air Lounge and Singapore SilverKris Lounge Seoul
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Ambassador Transit Lounge Singapore
Singapore SilverKris Lounge Singapore
Changi Airport Free Singapore Tour
Singapore Business Class Singapore to Colombo
Lotus and Araliya Lounges Colombo
Qatar Airways Business Class Colombo to Doha
Qatar Airways First Class Premium Terminal Doha
Qatar Airways First Class Doha to Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai to London Heathrow
British Airways Concorde Room London Heathrow
British Airways Galleries First Lounge and Club World Lounge London Heathrow
British Airways First Class London Heathrow to San Francisco
Dubai (DXB) to London Heathrow (LHR)
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Duration: 7h 30m
Aircraft: Airbus 380
One great thing about the First Class Lounge is that there are gates in the lounge, so again, there’s no need to interact with the riffraff to get onto the plane. This was my first time on an A380, and it’s quite a marvel. The plane is enormous, and they were using three corridors to board everyone on time.
Similar to the First Class Lounge, my first impressions were that of excess. The suites are enormous, there’s a minibar at every seat, the screen is the largest I’ve ever seen, and they even have a vanity mirror.
Funnily enough, the cabin itself felt a little claustrophobic to me, especially when people had their suite doors closed, but that’s just a natural consequence of having giant, extremely private suites. When your doors are closed, you’re in your own world because the walls are so high, but it also makes the aisles feel crowded.
I had a lot of fun playing around with everything in the suite: there are multiple light sources, including a lamp next to the entertainment screen; the minibar is motorized and goes up and down; the in-flight entertainment and seat are controlled by a removable handheld touchscreen device, and there are multiple massage options.
The flight attendants also went around introducing themselves to everyone and offered numerous amenities, including incredibly soft pajamas, slippers, eye shades, a large amenity kit, and a bag to hold everything in since they give you so much stuff.
And of course, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. The bathrooms are enormous: each bathroom is larger than the bathroom in my apartment in San Francisco. The bathrooms are well-stocked with toiletries, and they have a little pyramid of towels you can use to dry your hands, which is mostly just for show since they have a dedicated bathroom attendant that will replace the used towels so each time you enter the bathroom, the towel pyramid is once again intact.
Shortly after takeoff, a flight attendant asked if I wanted to take a shower, and of course I said yes, even though I had just showered in the lounge. When it was time for me to shower, the flight attendant escorted me to the bathroom and explained everything in the bathroom to me–not just the shower–down to how to flush the toilet. She was quite thorough.
When explaining the shower itself to me, she noticed that the flooring of the shower moved slightly, so there was an awkward interaction where she asked the bathroom attendant to tell the purser about it since the flight attendant was worried about passenger safety, but it was more like a power struggle since the bathroom attendant didn’t seem to like the flight attendant and just sort of ignored her, which led to a passive aggressive exchange. In my mind, I was just like, “I don’t care about safety! I just want my shower on a plane!”, and eventually, I was able to convince everyone that it was okay and that I was a strong, young man who can keep his balance in the shower in spite of a moving floor, but not before I was trapped in the bathroom with a flight attendant, bathroom attendant, and purser for several minutes.
Anyway, the shower was amazing. You only get 5 minutes of water (but the flight attendant said that I could request more, likely because most passengers weren’t taking showers), but I honestly didn’t need even that since you can turn the water on and off. It was honestly a better shower than I’ve gotten in some hotels (and definitely better than most airport lounges) since the shower was super clean, the toiletries were awesome (they even had special scrubs), and the water pressure and temperature were good. And then I got to change into the super soft pajamas and blow dry my hair. On an airplane.
Since the flight was a red-eye flight, most passengers just slept the whole way. I was slightly surprised by the fact that the cabin was completely full and that no one except for my friend and me seemed that excited to be flying in Emirates First Class on the A380. You can shower! In the sky! This seemed lost on all of the business travelers.
This also meant that there wasn’t a full meal service, and the on-demand dining options weren’t as extensive as I would’ve expected from Emirates, but the drink options were as ridiculous as one might expect.
I wasn’t very hungry after having feasted in the lounge, so I just opted for some lighter fare. The food was generally good, although I was a little surprised that the fruit wasn’t that ripe.
After eating, I decided to nap for a little bit. The seat converts to a fully flat bed, and it’s quite spacious. Lots of room to roll around and do whatever. And since you can close the door completely, you don’t have to feel self-conscious about drooling/curling up in a fetal position/masturbating. I’m actually curious if flight attendants have to deal with that.
I intentionally didn’t sleep for long as I was trying to readjust to San Francisco time, so I then spent some time exploring the plane. At the front of the first class cabin between the bathrooms, there’s an extensive self-serve bar stocked with very high quality alcohols. There’s also a larger bar in the very back of the upper deck which serves both business and first class that’s meant to be a social area. There weren’t very many people there given that it was a red eye, but it was a nice area to visit. There was another flight attendant who was extremely friendly and offered to take pictures of me behind the bar and gave me a picture souvenir using a Polaroid camera.
When I got back to my seat, I of course had to use the call button at least once. Mostly because they label the call button as calling “room service”. A flight attendant was quick to attend to me within 5 seconds of my hitting the button.
I spent the rest of the flight using ICE, Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system. They have a vast selection and overall one of the best in-flight entertainment systems I’ve ever used.
Flying Emirates First Class in the A380 is one of the most extravagant experiences I can imagine. You could actually live on one of these planes, given the showers and amount of space they devote to each first class passenger. This, along with the First Class Lounge in Dubai, should go on the bucket list of any serious miles aficionado.