I have travelled Emirates First Class a couple of time before, one which I reviewed here 3 years ago. Since then Emirates had started the gradual but ever so glacial rollout of the newer Gamechanger First. I decided to fit in a visit to the delayed Dubai Expo as part of my Lebanon trip and managed to find some good flights to and from Dubai. This review looks at Emirates 777 First Class on a mid-haul flight. This 777 First configuration exists in over 40% of Emirates fleet, the same product also features on the A380’s, with some differences I will elaborate on later. How is First Class travel holding up Emirates in this post Covid world?
Route: Beirut – Dubai
Flight No: EK958
Departure Time: 12:05
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seats/Suite: 1K First Class
I arrived at the airport just past 9:30am local time. Emirates (EK) doesn’t seem to have its own dedicated check-in counters at Rafic Hariri airport. Rather EK seems to use MEA airlines counters
Sorry for the low quality picture, I was busy taking videos as I loaded them as Instagram stories, so photos became an after thought!
There was a separate lane for First Class passengers alongside Platinum member of EK’s frequent flyer programme. What was rather confusing is they still had SkyTeam screens showing up around those counters. Anyway the Emirates boards are hard to miss!
There was a couple of passengers before but but I was checked in within a couple of minutes.
Emirates do not have their own lounge as Beirut airport and instead use the Cedars Lounge, which I have reviewed too.
Onboard Emirates First Class 777 Classic
Boarding seemed somewhat chaotic with a lot of people crammed into a small area. As is the case with many airlines it seems, they boarded all passengers who needed special assistance first. Then First Class passengers were called.
Boarding was through door 2. As soon as I entered, I was met by the First Class Cabin Service Manager, and escorted left through the mini Business cabin and onto the First Class cabin in front.
I ended up taking several videos that I forgot to take many pictures of the whole cabin initially…
While this is the same product as Emirates A380’s, an immediate difference you will notice is as opposed to 14 First Class Suites on the A380 cabin, these 777s feature just 8 First Suites. In 2 rows of 1-2-1. It’s much more intimate of a cabin. Secondly the Suites and cabin itself feels more bigger and spacious. This is because the fuselage of a 777 is wider than the upper deck of an A380!
As I was shown to my Suite 1K, another First Class crew introduced herself and offered me a choice of welcome drinks and hot towels.
Each Suite is equipped with a large seat that turns into a bed, a large high definition IFE screen, tonnes of storage, a lamp, closing doors, mini-bar and even a mini vanity unit with a mirror.
The choice of welcome drink off course had to be Dom Perignon 2008..
After the first drink, the crew came back for top ups while still on the ground and this time also offered Arabic coffee and dates..
A few minutes later, doors were secured and we made our way to the taxi-way for an on time departure.
Emirates First Class Lunch Affair
Soon after take-off the lovely crew served yet another round of drinks and warm nuts
This being a mid-haul daytime flight, the focus meal would be lunch. However as with all Emirates First flights, it’s still all on-demand. You can dine whenever you choose and pick and mix whichever dishes you fancy into your own meal.
The menu for today’s flight were as follows:
All the drinks & beverage choices are still the same as all EK flights, the choices of which are far too extensive to go through there, but you can browse here.
I chose to eat about 45 minutes after take-off, starting with the Arabic mezze and broccoli soup
The soup was delicious and fresh
The mezze however, was nothing special here. I am actually not the biggest fan of them since they tend to me rather bland and unexciting for me. And they were exactly that! Could not fault the presentation or quality here though, they were indeed top notch!
For the main, I chose the Bzar Fish..
This was rather lovely, and felt like a steak. It was still on the mild and bland side though 🙂
After the main, I took a little breather, and then decided to order the cheese plate, fruits and ice-cream all at the same time!
On a much longer flight I would normally order all these separately and take my time, but I had no plan to eat up all but rather just try each one enough to satisfy the taste buds.
Finally, I ordered a mint tea to help me digest the huge meal.
Emirates First Class Bed
Being First Class this Suite naturally comes with a decent sized flat bed, complete with shut doors for privacy. Normally you will have full beddings with the crew offering a turn down service. This being a shorter day flight, this is not proactively offered. Nor would I ask for it.
I did however just decided to chill in an almost flat mode for about half hour with the doors shut off
I still love the mood lighting and the star projections on the ceiling. About half hour later, the captain announced we are beginning our descent into Dubai.
And I managed to take a few more pictures after this point..
After deboarding I utilised the complimentary Chauffeur service to take me to my hotel 🙂
Flying First Class for a mid haul flight is always a very special treat. Especially considering in Europe/USA you don’t even get a proper Business Class product on 4/5 hour flights! I loved being back in an Emirates First Class Suite, it’s as fun as it’s ever been! The only thing missing from this flight compared to a more typical Europe flight is there were no Caviar service or amenity kits/PJs etc, but I appreciate how Emirates still manages to make this feel very special and offer true First Class service levels. In most 6/7 hour flights, I imagine most people won’t have much of a stomach to have two full meals anyway!?
The product itself is really becoming dated now, since this was affectively launched way back in 2008! There has been some minor updates with new plane deliveries over the years, such as the IFE/TouchPads etc but the bones are still the same. Emirates, really needs to retrofit the new Gamechanger First to more 777s and A380s, talking of which Emirates new Game Changer First was to be my very next flight a few days later! Stay tuned!