The moment has finally arrived. As we step into DXB in the early wee hours of 5:00am, I can’t help but think how crazy it is that one of the most anticipated, rarest, and revered First Class products is just a mere 3 hours away from reality.
How we booked
Emirates has a generous stopover and change policy for one-way Flex Plus award fares. For 178,750 Skyward Miles, we originally planned to have a stopover in Dubai (at no cost) before heading to New York.
Unfortunately, our plans changed last minute. Thankfully, we were able to modify the itinerary for free and fly directly back to the states instead. For the points collectors, you can easily book this too since Amex, Citi, and Chase are all transfer partners for Emirates airline.
Dubai International Airport (DXB)
It’s a shame that the First Class lounge is closed in Dubai. Nevertheless, they have a dedicated First section in the Moët & Chandon bar at the side entrance of the Business section of the terminal.
Ok, I know. It’s barely 6:00am and I’m drinking Rosé Impérial. I know what you’re thinking…. I should try the Grand Vintage 2012 too
All First Class passengers also get a complimentary 15 minute massage at the Timeless Spa in the lounge. Coming from Thailand where its country has the best massages in the world, the service felt embarrassingly mediocre, but it certainly was a nice touch to experience before boarding the flight.
Private Suite 1E
This new First Class cabin is in 1-1-1 configuration. If possible, I highly highly recommend selecting the middle seat. Middle seat?! Yes, you read right. Originally 1A, the check-in agent was able to shift us to the coveted 1E virtual suite last minute (more on that below).
It felt like Christmas morning. As we step into the cabin, we see the fully enclosed floor to ceiling suites unravel in front of our eyes. It’s a marvelous sight to see. No matter what mood you’re in, believe me — it’s impossible not to be smiling ear to ear.
In the Private Suite 1E, the virtual hi-def windows are an immediate standout featuring real-time cameras mounted on the right side of the plane. Paul was in a state of trance. This is by far the best middle seat in the world.
The NASA-inspired room features a “zero-gravity” seats designed by Mercedes-Benz. Headphones from Bowers and Wilkins. And the most extra ridiculously extra extra feature…
A safari binocular
In Suite 1E, the binoculars are given more for amusement since the windows are virtual. But you can use it just in case the jumbo tablet in front of you isn’t big enough. If that tablet is too “small” for you… how about a jumbo 32-inch HD LCD TV.
For brunch, we started with Caviar paired with a grated egg, chives, warm nuts, and melba toast. Per Emirates tradition, we pair it with a glass of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008.
For the main course (pardon the presentation Paul was really hungry), we ordered Spinach Pine Nut Ravioli and paired with a glass of 2007 Chateau Leoville Poyferre — an intense flavorful French wine.
Looks like the Dom needs a refill. Decisions decisions… what to drink 1st…
And alas the dessert, we finished off with a Chocolate Mango Tart. To pair it, we ordered the Hennessy Paradis Rare Cognac — Emirates famous $1000 “eaux-de-vie” bottle… oh and hot tea.
Ahhh, what a delicious meal. Let’s pose and look outside the virtual window
Upon looking, we notice there’s even a HDMI input in the suite! Too bad our HDMI cord was not in the carry-on. It would’ve been extremely interesting to try this feature & to use the TV as a double monitor with our laptop.
The First Class bathrooms are double the size of the “old” Boeing 777 Emirates First Class. That being said, it still lacks the famous shower rooms that the Emirates A380 has. No matter how new the Boeing 777 aircraft is, there’s just not enough real estate to fit that amazing amenity on this aircraft.
Back in the seat, we started to play with the custom light and air controls in the aircraft. Cabin too cold? You can warm it up! Cabin too hot? You can cool it down! Virtual windows too bright? You can close it with a curtain or you can close it at a touch of a button. What is this sorcery!
Purple? Blue? Orange? Green? Red? Yellow? Take your pick.
In this fully enclosed cabin, you don’t need to ever leave your suite. Like a hotel room, there’s even a “Room Service” phone and video feature where you can call directly from your tablet.
Paul had a lot of fun using the video call feature to chat with his Emirates buddies. The opulent private cabin can get lonely sometimes… 😀
This “Room Service” function is amazing during a movie marathon since you don’t have to ever leave your enclosed suite.
At night, you can even change the mood setting to your liking. What a romantic date night for one…
Sweet dreams… good night
Overall, this 15+ hour flight felt like a hotel private jet in the sky. It is outrageously next level. It’s really hard to describe how it feels completely in words since most of the experience for this flight is sensory. The privacy, the exclusivity, the opulence, the tastes, and the fun is definitely something you have to try for yourself to fully understand on what an Emirates First Class flight is like.
Even with such a challenging year, Emirates unparalleled standards and services still surpasses almost every airline that we’ve ever flown. It is a benchmark of what First Class should be like for a long-haul flight.