What is it like to fly with Emirates, is it really one of the best airlines as it claims? Stay to the end to find out what it's like to fly Emirates in economy class.
We tell you the truth in this review of what it's like to fly with Emirates.
Emirates Economy Class Review
Flying with Emirates reviews
Emirates, or Fly Emirates as it was formerly known, is the world's fourth largest airline, flying to some 160 destinations worldwide, including Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa.
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is the company's centre of operations. (There are 7 Emirates in the UAE(Dubai is probably the best known).
From North America, Emirates flies to Dubai from several major cities, including Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Toronto.
On our trip to Africa, we flew economy class with Emirates from Seattle to Dubai, and then to Lusaka (Zambia) (In Lusaka, we flew to Mfuwe for our walking safari in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park).
On the way back, we flew from Cape Town to Seattle via Dubai, also in Economy.
In both cases, we spent the night at the Emirates transit hotel at Dubai Airport, Terminal 3, to break up the long journey.
Read our review The transit hotel at Dubai airport is great for a stopover.
Emirates Boeing 777 seating plan
Emirates currently operates two types of aircraft, the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A380.
Emirates' aircraft from Seattle to Dubai are Boeing 777-300ERs.
Economy Class seats are configured in 3-4-3.
If you get a middle seat in the middle row of four seats, you'll probably feel a bit confined.
We prefer a 3-3-3 configuration, which makes the cabin feel less cramped. In addition, the Boeing 777-300ER's 3-4-3 configuration means that the seats are narrower than if they were arranged in 3-3-3.
But, sigh... The more spacious 3-3-3 configuration seems to be a thing of the past, as airlines are switching to a 3-4-3 layout in Economy.
On our flight from Seattle, the Emirates gate agent was kind enough to give us an aisle seat and a window seat and block the middle seat, so we had three seats between the two.
That helped make the 14.5-hour overnight flight more comfortable. (Of course, if the flight is full, it's unlikely you'll get a free middle seat between the two).
The seats offered decent legroom (maybe 32 inches?) and reclined quite a bit.
However, everyone has to lean back, or you feel squashed with the seat in front of you right in your face.
The interiors of the aircraft appeared to have been upgraded: the bathrooms were fitted with cupboards and wooden fittings.
When the cabin lights were turned off, twinkling stars shone on the ceiling, and the soft "ambient" lighting changed from pink to shades of mauve and aquamarine.
Emirates Economy Travel Kits
All Economy Class passengers received red and white toiletry bags with socks, eye masks, earplugs and toothbrush/toothpaste.
And we received a blanket and a large pillow.
Emirates Economy Class Meals
What is the food like in Emirates Economy Class?
We found the food quite tasty.
For example, on the overnight flight from Seattle to Dubai, Emirates' economy menu offered a choice for the main course at dinner (we chose lamb kofta with rice). It was accompanied by a fresh salad (no wilted brown leaves).
We also had three choices of red wines: two French and one Spanish. The cutlery was metal; we didn't have to saw with plastic knives.
Mid-flight, a pizza service was offered.
Before arriving in Dubai, we received a hot egg and cheese omelette.
On the next leg from Dubai to Lusaka (6.5 hours), we had another breakfast, this time a cold croissant with egg salad and fruit salad for a light breakfast.
Later, on the same flight, we were offered a hot lunch (a choice between beef in mushroom sauce with herb polenta and sautéed tomatoes, or Creole chicken in tomato sauce with steamed rice and vegetables), accompanied by potato salad with green beans.
Dessert was apple upside down cake with vanilla sauce.
Emirates in-flight entertainment
We give high marks to Emirates' ICE entertainment system, of which the airline is quite proud (ICE stands for information, communication and entertainment).
You can watch the news, send emails and watch films.
It is reportedly the best in the world, with 4,000 channels, including some 1,000 films. In the Skytrax "World Airline Awards, Emirates has been named the airline with the best in-flight entertainment for 15 years.
We liked the large screens (almost as wide as the back of the seat in front of us) and the large padded headphones (not the little buds that fall out of the ears).
Unfortunately, the sound coming in through one ear broke for both of us on one of our flights, so we had to listen to our blockbusters unevenly.
Emirates baggage allowance
Emirates Economy carry-on baggage allowance:
As an Economy passenger, you can only carry a piece of hand luggage on board.
For some reason, Middle Eastern airlines have strict carry-on baggage limits for economy passengers.
When we flew Qatar Airways, we also discovered (to our chagrin) that we could not carry the same rollaways and backpacks allowed on US airlines.
There is enough space in the overhead compartments and under the seats, so we don't understand why these airlines don't have the same standards.
You may be interested to read What is it like to fly Economy Class on Qatar Airways?
Only Emirates Business Class Business and First Class passengers are allowed two pieces of hand baggage.
Checked baggage allowed by Emirates:
In Economy, you can check in one or two pieces of luggage (depending on the fare), weighing a maximum of 23 kg each.
Other Emirates Airlines reviews
Emirates has a good reputation.
Among the top 20 countries in the world safer airlines.
In terms of service and comfort, it has a 4-star airline rating (according to SkyTrax) for things like food and seats, keeping it in the company of Air France, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, British Airways and other major airlines, which also have 4-star ratings.
Emirates Economy Class reviews: The bottom line?
We were impressed with our Emirates Airlines Economy Class flights.
For the most part, it was a comfortable experience (to the extent that flying economy class can be called "comfortable").
It is on the return flight connections that we downgrade our criticism of Emirates.
We had a very long (over 9 hours) layover in Seattle on our way home.
We hadn't anticipated this. When we booked our tickets, our layover in Seattle was to be 3 hours (before the final 30-minute hop to Victoria, Canada).
Unfortunately, they changed our flights after we had booked and paid, resulting in a layover of over 9 hours, and Emirates did not put us on an earlier flight home from Seattle because it was a non-partner airline.
Needless to say, we were very unhappy with this...
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I am a passionate traveler with an innate desire to discover the world. To date, I have had the privilege of visiting 31 countries and most of them have left an indelible mark.
During my travels, I have gained valuable knowledge on how to travel efficiently. I have perfected itinerary planning, accommodation selection, and making the most of each experience. I am proud to share my tips and tricks with you so that you can enjoy hassle-free and unforgettable trips.
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