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Airline Review: Emirates 777 Business Class

November 20, 2012, 1:36 pm Jeff Dermann Yahoo!7

Jeff Dermann test rides the Emirates 777 Business Class service between Sydney and Christchurch. What's the verdict?

Flight Review: Emirates 777 Business Class
Rating:

Jumping at the chance to test ride my first Emirates flight, I climbed aboard their shiny new 777-300 ER aircraft for a leisurely short flight from Sydney to Christchurch. With high expectations (word of mouth travels far), I was hoping my flight would live up to the hype.

Route: Sydney to Christchurch daily (7 times a week).

Aircraft: Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Flight Time: Three hours and five minutes.

Check-in: Check-in was seamless, I was greeted promptly and warmly on arrival and directed to the next available check-in desk. A pretty stock standard counter, nothing flashy to report aside from friendly service that was well organised and had me on my way to the lounge in a flash.

The Lounge: Emirates Lounge Sydney

The lounge in Sydney is fantastic and just what I needed after an early morning start. It’s a peaceful oasis in the middle of Sydney Airport with comfortable leather couches, free WIFI access for people like me who just can’t leave their work behind, and panoramic glass windows overlooking the airport gates.

A fully stocked bar was available with a selection of complimentary Spirits, Australian Wines and Veuve Cliquot champagne.

The food selection and presentation was excellent. A quality selection of both hot and cold breakfast options were on offer including cereals, yoghurt, fresh fruit and pastries through to eggs, sausages, grilled tomatoes, hash browns, toast, tea, coffee and juice. A comprehensive selection of newspapers kept me entertained in between work emails and a few cold beers.

I freshened up in the full bathroom facilities, indulging in the fancy toiletries available for use.

Overall the lounge was quiet, professional and unassuming.

Punctuality: The flight was on time departing and arrived on schedule, flying over the New Zealand Alps on a sunny spring day.

Seat and cabin breakdown: Business class, 2-3-2 configuration.

Credit: Emirates


The business class cabin was beautifully finished with comfortable ergonomic leather trimmed cloth seats and wood grain panelling, giving it a real prestigious feel. Each cabin features a unique, advanced mood lighting system, complete with a starlit sky which adjusts throughout a flight to reflect the time at the destination, and to help combat effects of jet lag.

The 42 new generation lie-flat business class seats feature a 10 zone in-seat massage function, large privacy dividers, hand held controls and a 1 inch personal entertainment screen.

Business class seats also include Emirate’s state of the art touchscreen ICE entertainment system (providing on-demand access to a full range of movies, games and information services). The massive screen made it a pleasure to use.

Legroom was spacious, with seats up to 79 inches long, and seat rows pitched at 1.17m / 47” apart respectively. Each seat also comes with an adjustable headrest, as well as an electronically operated footrest and lumbar support. Great for a short haul or long haul nap.

There were plenty of pockets and overhead locker space to stow away items, as well as a personal swivel table which provided me with plenty of room (I was even able to set up my laptop, a wireless keyboard and mouse, with room to spare). I was also able to recline my seat back in my very own pod without having to worry about cramping the person behind me.

Front row seats have more leg room, but you’ll end up having to trade off for a fold out digital touchscreen – mine jumped around a lot during the turbulence. My pick of the two options would be a seat behind with the fixed screen.

Business class passengers were also given exclusive access to two toilets.

Baggage allowance: Checked baggage allows 1 piece up to 40 kilograms, and 2 carry-on bags with a maximum total combined weight of 12 kilograms.

On board entertainment:

No shortage of things to do here and definitely no excuses for boredom. Emirate’s ICE entertainment system utilizes a large digital touch screen. Guests can choose from the latest movies, Disney classics for the kids, up-to-date TV shows, a large number of different music channels, games and multiple language options. The entertainment program booklet alone would take you a couple of hours to read through. The front and rear flight cameras are also a really nice touch – check out the take-off and landing live in action.

Service: Efficient, friendly and attentive. I struggled to find any faults here. The crew were very perceptive and they took the time to chat with me at the beginning of my flight to check if I had any specific needs.

Food and beverages: Complimentary champagne on arrival and a first class wine list, including French champagne, white wine and red wine labels with a couple of New Zealand options included in the mix when we got up in the air. All wines were selected to compliment set meals.

Credit: Emirates


The menu was extensive, offering a choice of healthy lifestyle options, a full range of courses and bar service. I chose the Lemon and Parsley Chicken for lunch, featuring succulent marinated and pan fried chicken, with Moroccan spices, topped with a coriander jus, presented with sautéed courgettes, aubergine, tomato and golden roasted potato. All washed down with a glass of Chateau Cantenac Brown 2005, Margaux Bordeaux – one happy business camper.

Snacks were available during the flight and included mixed nuts, as well as tea, coffee and a full beverage service. The deserts were mouthwatering, I dowsed my taste buds in dark chocolate sweet cannelloni, and topped this off with cheese platters and a selection of fruits.

Flight Frequency: Emirates operates daily from Sydney to Christchurch, with return Business Class fares starting at $1616 including tax.

The Verdict: Understated elegance, exceptional attention to detail and sophisticated service. For once, my much anticipated experience did indeed live up to the hype. Perfection.

More Information

Emirates Website

The writer was a guest of Emirates

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8 Comments

  1. russet11:08am Friday 09th August 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I flew Economy Class Melbourne to Rome in May 2013 and departed from Venice apart from one Stewardess X MEL - DUBAI who had a ticket on herself I cannot complain about the Check-in Desk or the Flight Service or the Meals I would use Emirates anytime in fact I also used Emirates a few years ago from the UK to Dubai and also from Melbourne to Shanghai they have always treated me well.. I would use them again.........

    Reply
  2. Ron07:48pm Saturday 20th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    As a passenger on a CHC-SYD Emirates flight last May [2012] I think that I must have been lucky going by these various comments. I flew Cattle Class but have absolutely NO complaints to make. O.K., it is a relatively short flight but one's enjoyment, or otherwise, of anything is not usually dictated by time taken but by service offered. In that regard, the flight seemed very short. Too short, in fact, in my humble opinion. In other words, I could not offer any criticism of the service, crew or vehicle. I totally enjoyed the flight. And, no, I am not an employee of the Company, or a travel agent or any other connection who could expect Thanks, in one way or another, for making such comments. I am purely a not-very-frequent user of air services.

    Reply
  3. The Truth10:53am Friday 23rd November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    When I write about the Emirate Airline Staff, I should say, the cabin staff were good, although not as polite as Singapore or Malaysian Airlines, except one male steward, dark & tall, was very rude, on the connecting flight from Dubai to Sydney, via Bangkok, Flight No. EK0418 on 24th Sept., 2011. He looked South Asian, was in the flight from Bangkok to Sydney. From the time we got in to flight EK0004 from London on 23rd Sept. via Dubai & Bangkok, we had to go though TEN security check points, in London, Dubai, & Bangkok. After all that, when we were about to enter the aircraft, THAT CLOWN asked us whether we had a Boarding Pass, and wanted to see it. If he was trained properly, he should have known that a passenger CANNOT go though ten security check points, without a Boarding Pass. He showed his arrogance, probably very common to ground staff. If Emirates Airline wants to apologise, even after one year, they can trace back by checking our flights. We left Sydney on 30th Aug 2011, Flight EK0419 to Dubai, to Rome on EK0097 on 2nd Sept.(hope they still have details put in the computer). Other details are as above. I HAVE MY DOUBTS, THAT EMIRATE AIRLINE WILL HAVE COURAGE TO SAY SORRY FOR ALL THE INCONVENIENCE AND DISCOMFORT CREATED TO US. TIME WILL TELL. I paid for the flights on the 2nd June, and the Emirates mishap happened on the 2nd Sept, three months after I paid. Not bad interest for three months, and also deny the flight.

    Reply
  4. The Truth10:53am Friday 23rd November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    When I write about the Emirate Airline Staff, I should say, the cabin staff were good, although not as polite as Singapore or Malaysian Airlines, except one male steward, dark & tall, was very rude, on the connecting flight from Dubai to Sydney, via Bangkok, Flight No. EK0418 on 24th Sept., 2011. He looked South Asian, was in the flight from Bangkok to Sydney. From the time we got in to flight EK0004 from London on 23rd Sept. via Dubai & Bangkok, we had to go though TEN security check points, in London, Dubai, & Bangkok. After all that, when we were about to enter the aircraft, THAT CLOWN asked us whether we had a Boarding Pass, and wanted to see it. If he was trained properly, he should have known that a passenger CANNOT go though ten security check points, without a Boarding Pass. He showed his arrogance, probably very common to ground staff. If Emirates Airline wants to apologise, even after one year, they can trace back by checking our flights. We left Sydney on 30th Aug 2011, Flight EK0419 to Dubai, to Rome on EK0097 on 2nd Sept.(hope they still have details put in the computer). Other details are as above. I HAVE MY DOUBTS, THAT EMIRATE AIRLINE WILL HAVE COURAGE TO SAY SORRY FOR ALL THE INCONVENIENCE AND DISCOMFORT CREATED TO US. TIME WILL TELL. I paid for the flights on the 2nd June, and the Emirates mishap happened on the 2nd Sept, three months after I paid. Not bad interest for three months, and also deny the flight.

    Reply
  5. The Truth10:47pm Thursday 22nd November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    This IS what happened to me & my wife, flying on Emirates Airline, 12 months back. I paid for our CONFIRMED tickets, flew from Sydney to Dubai, for a two night stopover, on over way to Rome. On the third day, I went to the Dubai airport to get a flight to Rome, three hours before the flight. At the check-in counter, we were told, the flight was full, and we cannot to fly to Rome. I showed the e-tickets to the man at the counter, and told him, the airline accepted my money and confirmed the flights,but that man did not even say sorry. We were on our way to Rome for a Mediterranean cruise on the following day. After arguing for about 15 minutes, I said to the man at the counter, what our trip plans were,, and if we miss the cruise, and the flights after the cruise, to Paris & London, we will take legal action when we get back to Sydney, to recover all our losses, disappointment, and the value of the leave we had taken etc. That man was not bothered, but we saw him entering all that in his computer. We were kept waiting for over two hours, then the man called us, with a flick of his finger, and said, that the airline found two seats for us. I said to him, yes, I knew it will happen, as Emirates will not want to fight a legal case in Sydney & pay compensation. We were very disgusted, and the airline staff did not even bother to say sorry to us. On our return flight from London, when we went to check-in, the woman at the counter was very rude, and said to us we are not allowed to carry our two hand luggage bags, as they were over 8 kilos each in weight, But when I asked her to weigh them, both bags had a total weight of12 kilos only. I asked her, whether 12 kilos is more than 16 kilos or not, she had no words to say. I ASK ANY TRAVELER, WHO WANTS TO FLY TO EUROPE VIA DUBAI, NOT TO DO SO ON EMIRATE AIRLINE. THEY TREAT YOU LIKE RUBBISH. I have been on more that 500 flights in my life, but found Emirates had the WORST & THE RUDEST STAFF, I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS. THEY HAD NO RESPECT FOR ANYONE. SHAME ON EMIRATES. I wrote a letter to Emirates Airline, but they did not even had the decency to acknowledge. It may be a very regular thing the WORST AIRLINE, EMIRATES, do TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. DO NOT FLY EMIRATES. YOU CAN SEND THEM BANKRUPT. THEY SHOULD LEARN TO RESPECT THE PASSENGERS. NO POINT ASSUMING THEY ARE THE BEST, WHEN IN FACT, THEY ARE THE WORST.

    Reply
  6. Glib08:53pm Thursday 22nd November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Do not fly any airlines from countries ruled by religion.

    1 Reply
  7. Stanislaw03:34pm Thursday 22nd November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Flew a combined fare to Spain via Emirates on an 777 ER. Business Class was ok but not better than SAS. The Terminal in Dubai is way overrated. Overcrowded, queues for everything. Bad Coffee! Don't fancy circling the airport 7 times before landing and then landing out in sticks and having to bus it to the Terminal where we discovered the Boarding Gates changed!!!! Happened twice!!! Never again.

    Reply
  8. Andrew04:38pm Wednesday 21st November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Quality, well informed comment. United Arab Emirates, "Emirates" key word. Do a quick google search and slap yourself. As for the article, Emirates are strong in business class but if you are a frequent traveller, there are better loyalty programs out there with just as good Business Class service i.e. Singapore Airlines (and Star Alliance carriers)

    1 Reply