Review: Emirates A380 First Class

Roger Hohl
Roger Hohl
Executive Editor Roger Hohl always reports firsthand. He has been gathering experiences and impressions in the luxury travel segment since 2006, from the South Sea to China and Asia, across Europe to Africa and America. He is always on the lookout for the most spectacular and extraordinary locations, combined with the best possible comfort and service. His focus is on independent and critical perception from the perspective of the most demanding clientele, as today's customers in this segment expect the highest quality. His motto: pushing the limits - but always fair!

Must Read

The Airbus A380 is the largest and most modern commercial aircraft in the world. Currently, the A380 is operated by 19 airlines (as of May 2016) in different configurations and especially equipped. These airlines include Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas, Korean Airlines, Air France, Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Qatar, and British Airways. The aircraft has a certification for a maximum of 853 passengers, although most airlines configure it for around 500 passengers.

The time had come for an A380 flight. In true style, it should not just be any A380 flight, but precisely with the airline that has two luxury bathrooms (including a shower) exclusively for first-class guests. After careful consideration and planning, a test flight with the Emirates A380 to the Far East (Hong Kong/Bangkok) was arranged.


Already at the check-in counter, more than 2.5 hours before departure, the choice of first class proved to be extremely “preferred.” The flight was fully booked in first, business, and economy class. Accordingly, over 400 people were queuing up with large luggage at a whole row of economy class check-in counters. Even at the four business class check-in counters, there were well over 80 people waiting for their boarding pass.

And indeed, passing the hustle and bustle of economy and business class, there was a deserted, lonely, and especially the only first-class check-in counter, cordoned off with a red carpet and red ribbon. Fresh flowers and plenty of space to wait for the staff were also available. Less than 10 minutes later, without spotting any other first-class passengers, I was “invited” to check-in. Yes, you read that right, “invited”! The staff greets you in front of the counter and takes care of the luggage. As soon as the passport is handed over, you are addressed in good English, with the appropriate salutation (Mister/Sir) and name. By the way, the free baggage allowance is 50 kg per person in first class!


As there was enough time, I went there and was a bit surprised. The view of the green courtyard of the airport area was rather “dreary”. The furnishings were somewhat “old school”. The buffet provided was quite comprehensive, but a bit smaller than the one in the Business and First Class Lounge of Emirates in Frankfurt. After an hour’s stay, I was already full to the brim for the first time!

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

Gate / Waiting Area

About 50 minutes before departure, I went to the gate. There were scenes like waiting for Noah’s Ark. Waiting areas in front of the gates that were too small forced passengers to sit on the ground or simply stand. In the fear of not finding a seat at all, I was proven wrong. As soon as I arrived at the gate, I was directed to a cordoned-off area right in front of the entrance/gate, with a request to take a seat here. And it was only here that I met other first-class guests for the first time. By the way, the Emirates A380 first class consists of a total of 14 suites.


When the boarding announcement was made, I was invited to board immediately and was directed to an upper part of the A380 via a dedicated gangway (jet bridge). Following the “Suite Class” signage, I promptly arrived at the aircraft door, where a multinational crew of four people greeted me and escorted me to my suite.

I had a laptop bag with me and wanted to stow it – as I usually do – in the overhead bins. However, I couldn’t find them and felt lost for a moment. I doubted my years of experience as a frequent flyer and searched for what felt like an eternity. I noticed that my fellow passengers had the same problem. However, the solution was quite simple: they don’t exist! Emirates A380s don’t have overhead bins, and carry-on luggage can be easily stored somewhere on the floor in the suite. It’s that simple! Wow…

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

As soon as I settled into the luxurious suite, the crew served drinks and snacks with appropriate address (Mister/Sir) and names. Seven flight attendants attend to a total of 14 First Class guests, meaning each flight attendant serves a maximum of two guests. This level of personalized service, perfectly executed, is a truly special experience.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

The Emirates A380 was pushed back from the gate and taxied towards the runway almost unnoticed. The engines and movements during taxiing were hardly noticeable. I was curious when the crew would collect the distributed glasses, nuts, and olives before takeoff. Conclusion: they didn’t! Like with the carry-on luggage, it seemed “okay” to have these items in the suite during takeoff. It’s a unique detail that makes the experience more “private.”

My expectation of feeling some sensation during takeoff was not fulfilled. Even at full power, the Airbus in First Class is not louder than a vacuum cleaner 25 meters away with two closed doors in between. Perhaps a slightly louder “whirring” noise best describes it.


Shortly after takeoff, the famous Emirates First Class service began. Those who travel with Emirates in First or Business Class know that generally, no catering service is possible in less than 2.5 hours. Here, everything the onboard kitchen has to offer and what is currently in vogue is really put out. Even the presentation of the dishes, which I have experienced and criticized on other Emirates flights (Business Class), is absolutely correct here. Since it was a day flight, Emirates called the catering service a “Light Meal”. This suited me just fine because I was still full from the lounge. However, what is offered as a “Light Meal” here would pass as a 5-course menu for a lot of money in good restaurants. Of course, you can choose from up to three different starters and five different main courses. There are also various variations for dessert.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

My menu choice:

  • Starter: Duck with plum sauce, sliced pear, and potato salad
  • Salad (intermediate course): Seasonal salad with various dressings
  • Main course: Steamed salmon fillet with wasabi sauce, kaffir lime, celery, with young potatoes, carrots, and broccoli.
  • Dessert: International cheese variation Chocolate: Chocolate and praline variation for coffee and tea
  • Of course, warm and fresh bread was constantly served in all variations (seed bread, white bread, flatbread, bacon bread, garlic bread, etc.)
(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

Bathroom alias Shower Spa

After being pampered by the crew for hours on end, I hardly knew how to move and wanted to visit one of the two onboard bathrooms, called Shower Spas, which are built into the nose of the Emirates A380 (left and right). As the First Class is located at the very front of the upper deck, it was only a few meters to the nose. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a flight attendant in a cleaning uniform who showed me one of the available bathrooms. Emirates does indeed have a flight attendant solely responsible for the two bathrooms who cleans and prepares them after each use.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

The First Class on Emirates is actually called “Suite Class,” as each passenger has their own private suite. After successful check-in, passengers receive a corresponding “Lounge Invitation,” an invitation to the Emirates Business and First Class Lounge in the terminal after the security check.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

Upon entering the onboard bathroom, I was initially surprised: the space was relatively spacious with many full-body mirrors, a screen with the flight route, and a shower stall. The bathroom was equipped with the luxurious products of “Timeless Spa” and perfumes from “Bvlgari”. The shower stall was spacious, similar to a hotel. Of course, there is underfloor heating installed as well. A hairdryer, cosmetic shelves, and a corresponding toilet are also available. If desired, a bathrobe can be provided. For the showers alone, 500kg of water must be carried per flight, equivalent to the weight of approximately seven passengers. Expensive! However, the shower time is limited to 15 minutes, and each guest officially only has a total of 25 minutes available for the bathroom or shower spa. In reality, the time limit is not strictly enforced. The only question that remains is: what is more decadent than showering at an altitude of 10,000 meters? Absolutely insane!

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

Private Suite

Back in the private suite feeling refreshed and relaxed, it was time to take a closer look at it. The first thing I found was a 20-page instruction manual for the suite. It covered everything from the lighting concept to the massage function, and even explained the audio/video onboard system with over 1,100 entertainment options. The screen has a diagonal of 53cm and is as good as a conventional LED TV at home, with excellent picture and sound quality (headphones)!

With the push of a button, the comfortable seat transforms into a 2m flat bed. Bedding, pillows, a pajama, and a mattress are provided upon request. The suite itself is equipped with lots of gold leaf and root wood. A fresh orchid is provided for each passenger and placed in the corresponding holder in the suite. Cheesy but useful: there’s also an illuminated makeup mirror for the ladies! The exclusive stationery set is probably the male counterpart to that! For safety reasons, the walls of the suite are only 1.40m high. Nevertheless, the feeling of private flight is definitely present.

Operating the suite requires a wireless touchpad, which is placed on the side in a holder for takeoff/landing and charging. During the flight, it can be removed from the holder and used for completely wireless operation of the suite.

Each suite also has a small minibar, which is built into the armature of the suite on the side. With the push of a button, a flap opens, and the chilled drinks emerge. Absolute top class!

Bar / View

At the rear of the upper deck on the Emirates A380, there is a bar for First and Business Class passengers. Of course, I tried it out as well. After all, the motto is: Everything for the reader! A corresponding report will follow in a few days in the “Emirates A380 Business Class” review. It is probably the only place in the world where First Class guests can be seen in bathrobes.

Special Service

Naturally, I wanted to test whether the crew could cater to guests’ special occasions according to Luxvisor’s standards. So, my companion and I pretended that it was my birthday. In reality, my birthday was not for another two days, but why not see if the Emirates A380 First Class crew can handle it and, most importantly, how they handle it.

Less than 15 minutes after my companion conveyed the information to the crew, four crew members presented a tray with a multi-layered chocolate and pudding arrangement in champagne glasses. Additionally, there was a corresponding Emirates card with the inscription “Happy Birthday Mr. Hohl.” I was overwhelmed… even more food!

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

However, a logistical problem also needed to be solved: since it is not intended for two people to occupy a suite simultaneously and the birthday catering was obviously too much for me alone, catering boxes were placed in the aisle, next to the entrance of my suite, to create a seating area where my companion and I could enjoy the multi-layered chocolate and pudding arrangement together. Personal service at its best, and therefore, absolutely Luxvisor approved!


But even the most beautiful flights come to an end. After an equally smooth and practically unnoticeable landing, the Emirates A380 rolled silently to the terminal. Feeling about 10kg heavier, I left the plane with friendly, cheerful small talk with the crew. Of course, even when disembarking, I was bid farewell by name.

Thanks to the First Class flight, VIP entry channels could be used. The vouchers entitling us to this privilege were distributed by the crew shortly before landing. This means that entry without a long wait is also not a problem.


Seat (First Class Suite)
On Board Entertainment
Lounge (Emirates Lounge Bangkok)


Traveling on the Emirates A380 is at the absolute top of comfortable flying with commercial aircraft. Although the number of passengers per flight may seem daunting at first, as a First Class passenger, there are few points of contact with other passengers. In addition, the First Class has another positive effect. Due to the relatively expensive flight tickets, pleasant and exciting fellow travelers are included in the ticket price! So, always happy to fly with them again...!

Disclaimer: Our content is reader supported, which means that if you click on some of our link that we may earn a commission. Our reviews are not affected by participation in such programs.

- Advertisement -


Interview: JUENMI Hotel Directors and Owners Martin Bodner & Ingrid Juen

In a captivating conversation, Luxvisor's Executive Editor, Roger Hohl, delved into the remarkable journey of Martin Bodner and Ingrid...


Traveling on the Emirates A380 is at the absolute top of comfortable flying with commercial aircraft. Although the number of passengers per flight may seem daunting at first, as a First Class passenger, there are few points of contact with other passengers. In addition, the First Class has another positive effect. Due to the relatively expensive flight tickets, pleasant and exciting fellow travelers are included in the ticket price! So, always happy to fly with them again...!Review: Emirates A380 First Class