I love luxury travel but I begrudge paying top dollar for it. This blog is dedicated to experiencing the champagne lifestyle on a beer budget and using your frequent flier points wisely is one of the best money saving hacks there is. That’s exactly what we did for our recent trip to New Zealand. We blew a heap of points to fly across the Tasman on Emirates A380 Business Class for nix. Was it worth it? Read on for all the details …
Let’s Get Social!
The special privileges start even before you board when you fly on Emirates A380 business class. If you fly any route except the one we chose, you will be transported to and from the airport in chauffeur driven style. I gotta say, I was a little miffed about missing out. On arrival at the airport, a dedicated queue for check in makes the process much less of an ordeal and there was no one in front if us when we arrived. In Sydney, your business class boarding pass comes with an express pass which allows you to avoid the masses exiting the country. Sydney airport is under going major renovations and the express path entrance is currently near The Coffee Club. Once you have purchased your duty free and sorted your tax refund head straight to the Emirates Lounge Sydney for a bite to eat and to sample the premium booze before boarding. The A380 is the world’s largest passenger airline and boarding that many people is chaos when you are in the economy cabin, but the business class only boarding line makes it a breeze.
Emirates A380 Business Class Cabin
Emirates have 3 configurations on their A380’s and our version had 76 seats in business at the rear of the upper deck. The seats are cleverly offset and extend under the seat in front to make the most of the space. Each seat reclines to meet up with the foot rest creating a fully flat bed. We chose the ‘couples’ seats in the middle where the seats were closest together with the personal bar on the aisle side. The bar in each seat is a bit of a gimmick as the drinks are not cold and I’m not sure why you would drink a hot juice when you can order a chilled one from your attendant or visit the funky bar at the rear of the cabin. I couldn’t resist stepping behind for a quick pic! Unlike the out-of-this-world bathrooms when we flew in first class on Emirates A380, the bathrooms in business are your standard airline affair albeit with posher toiletries.
Food & Drink
Airline food has a notorious reputation for being appalling at the back of the bus, but airlines have been working hard over the last few years to shake that reputation and give their premium customers restaurant quality fare in the air. Passengers on Emirates A380 business class can expect monthly menu changes which are designed to showcase local flavours. On our flight we were served a three course lunch. All guests was served an entree of Wagyu Bresaola but could choose a main and dessert of their liking. I chose the Chicken Biryani while The Hubs went for the Thai Green Prawn curry and we both opted for the Chocolate and Caramel Dome for dessert. The dessert was the winner of the bunch in my book.
Emirates A380 business class passengers are spoiled for choice when it comes to having a tipple. Start with a chilled glass of Moet & Chandon NV as you settle in and choose from the small but premium wine list. I enjoyed a couple of glasses of Chablis Premier Cru La Chanterie Michael Laroche 2013 with lunch but decided on a classic Cosmo to sip with my movie. The flight across the Tasman was a shade under three hours and I made the most of the bar menu as The Hubs offered to drive our hire car from airport rentals when we arrived in Auckland. The man is a saint, what can I say 🙂
Entertainment & Connectivity
Emirates’ ICE (Information, Communication & Entertainment) system will keep guests entertained on even the longest of fights. I’d been meaning to catch Bad Moms for ages but never found the time so I was thrilled to find it on the movie menu. I just love Mila Kunis. Noise cancelling headphones come standard but honestly the A380 is whisper quiet anyway so you barely need them. Free in-fight Wifi is still a bit of a rarity but Emirates A380 business class passengers get a complimentary 10MB. It’s only a $1 for a gig after that, but it’s pretty temperamental so I gave up trying after a while. You can even use your own mobile phone on all Emirates A380s.
Emirates is clearly a premium airline and their business class offering is head and shoulders above our recent experience on Air Asia X business class and was similar to our business class trip on the Qantas’ A380 home from LA a few years back. While I would never shell out the $’s required to fly business, I love using my points to spoil myself. The flight across the ditch en route to our New Zealand road trip was very short so is a great way to sample the service for not a whole lot of points. If you are heading to NZ for the first time you should check out my New Zealand essentials guide which will help you plan an epic trip.
Have you traveled on Emirates A380 business class? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I paid for my Emirates A380 business class flights using frequent flyer points. As always, all opinions are my own.
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