THE FLIGHT: I was travelling in economy class on Emirates flight EK9 from Dubai to London Gatwick, departing at 14.55 and arriving at 19.45 (local times). The service is one of three Emirates flights a day on the route and was flown by an Airbus A380.
THE PRE-BOARDING: After being dropped off at Dubai International I headed straight to security as I’d checked-in via the Emirates app the previous day (and selected a seat) and as I was only travelling with hand luggage. It took around 20 minutes to pass through security and passport control, and then I hopped on the airport train for the short transit to Terminal 3. I used my Priority Pass membership to visit a Marhaba lounge for a quick drink and bite to eat, before heading to the allocated gate almost as soon as it was announced. I was therefore surprised to see the boarding process already underway (and in surprisingly orderly fashion, given the number of passengers travelling on this A380), although that might be put down to the long walk between lounge and gate!
THE SEAT: I’d chosen an aisle seat (47C) in the forwardmost section of the lower deck of the A380. Just a few rows from the front, it enabled swift disembarkation on arrival and is in a more ‘intimate’ space than the some-what cavernous economy sections on the rest of the lower deck. Seating was in a 3-4-3 configuration with most seats occupied. It’s a pretty standard economy seat offering with a small amount of recline and in-seat USB points. I was impressed by the seatback screens (better than one business class offering I’d recently experienced) and the huge range of films, TV and music on offer. Wifi connectivity included limited free access, plus several paid-for options.
THE SERVICE: The truly global cabin crew were pleasant throughout the flight as they served a choice of three hot dinners and, later, afternoon tea. An additional drinks run or two would have been appreciated.
THE VERDICT: A good, comfortable economy class product and a slick experience on the ground too.
THE DETAILS: Emirates flies to Dubai six times a day from Heathrow, three times a day from Manchester and Gatwick, twice daily from Birmingham, Glasgow and Stansted, and daily from Newcastle and Edinburgh. Return fares start from around £379. emirates.com.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2019)