Flight test: This is what it's like to fly on the best Business Class

Travel News from Stuff - 20-11-2023 stuff.co.nz

If you’re an aviation lover, this flight is probably top of your bucket list: Business Class on the Emirates A380.

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Why? , and if you’ve ever been lucky enough to fly on one, you’ll notice two stairwells at the front and back of the Economy cabin.

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I call them the stairways to heaven because upstairs is Emirates Business and First Class – two of the best seats in the sky.

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The Emirates A380 is also home to the famous flying bar in Business Class, which puts it well ahead of any other airline flying to and from New Zealand.

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So, I ascended the stairs to give it all a try, and here’s what happened.

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Dubai to Christchurch, with a stopover in Sydney. The A380 also flies direct from Auckland to Dubai.

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Emirates has three enormous Business Class lounges in Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport – and you get free entry with a Business Class ticket.

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I tried the lounge in Concourse B, which is impressive. There’s a Costa Coffee shop inside, alongside multiple buffets, a health food centre, a Moët & Chandon Champagne bar with matching canapés, an ice cream cart, lots of showers and quiet spaces to unwind.

A five-year-old A380. Emirates has 116 of the super jumbos.

The entire upper deck of the A380 is Business and First Class.

We’re seated in row 25, near the back of the cabin, down by the in-flight lounge.

If there are two of you, the middle rows are a great option. There’s a privacy screen that you can retract, meaning you can chat with your neighbour.

If you’re travelling solo, I’d recommend going for a window seat as it has the most privacy.

A tip for beginners: avoid the last seat in the cabin. If the bar is busy, a bit of noise can overflow. To avoid this, select your seat early, and go as far forward as possible.

The flight from Dubai to Sydney is scheduled to take 13 hours and 40 minutes, although the actual flight time comes in quicker at 13 hours and eight minutes. For the short hop from Sydney to Christchurch, we’re just two hours 39 minutes in the air.

Like most things, Emirates leads the game here. The screen is 23 inches wide, and its ICE system (Information, Connectivity and Entertainment) has more than 6500 options from movies, TV shows, music, live TV, audiobooks and much more. You can also connect to the internet, but it does come at an additional charge.

Exceptional. Luckily it’s a long flight, because the food and drinks menu is extensive and takes 10 or so minutes to digest. I don’t drink alcohol, and it’s pleasing to see a considerable selection of non-alcoholic options, including “vitality boost” nutrient-rich drinks. Don't miss one of these if you're feeling a little jet-lagged.

My three-course lunch consisted of a mezze platter, succulent pan-fried beef tenderloin and a cheese board.

During the night, another round of meals were served – including a delicious fruit platter – and for breakfast, I chose the French toast.

It was – by quite some considerable margin – the best Business Class food I’ve had.

The in-flight lounge is a big drawcard for Business Class passengers. It opens shortly after take-off, with a dedicated bar host there for the entire flight, serving a considerable variety of drinks, snacks and canapés.

Each passenger gets a Bulgari amenity kit, with moisturisers, dental kit, a mirror, lip balm and much more.

The Emirates crew are world-class and make every passenger feel like a VIP.

The best Business Class experience to and from New Zealand. Don’t miss trying the Business Class lounge in Dubai too.

Emirates has daily flights from Christchurch to Sydney, then onto Dubai. It also has daily flights from Auckland direct to Dubai.

Business Class fares from Christchurch or Auckland to Dubai return start from around $10,000 to $11,000 per person. See:

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