You've seen the ads, urging you to 'Fly Better'.
Why Emirates Airlines is Consistently Disappointing To US
Under the gilded disguise of ultimate luxury, I find this airline consistently lazy, disappointing, and overly reliant on seats in business and first class to carry the entire marketing.
I've flown with them 9 times. First Class from Paris to Dubai, Business Class from Barcelona to Mexico City, and unfortunately in Economy from Dubai to Asia.
Their Economy experience is worse than anything you could imagine on Ryan Air, EasyJet or Frontier Airlines in America. It was so tight, loud, and miserable the entire flight. I have never been more relieved to exit a plane. The seats were crammed together, with almost no space to maneuver, and everyone's pained expression shouted let's get through this (6 hours).
Let’s Talk Business and First Class
Business class has a price tag above $9,000 per person, and first class regularly pushes more than 17,000 (per person), so you would think that if you have a special meal or dietary restriction booked months in advance, they wouldn't give you cold raw vegetables and beans and rice for your mains on each leg of your trip.
They put absolutely zero effort into your dining experience if you have any kind of deviation in your diet whether it's dairy-free, meat-free, so pack your own food before those long haul flights.
My husband found it really insulting, especially on a business class international flight, and just sent it back.
On our first class trip to Dubai from Europe, when I mentioned that we had a plant-based meal, the attendant (personal butler) told us they didn’t have any and she needed to ‘scramble something together from business class’. Never mind that we had ordered our meals more than 5 weeks in advance. Imagine having a personal butler, but the airline can’t order a gourmet meal for you, or any meal, with more than a month’s notice.
Imagine your $18,000 per person, 7-hour flight and they have to throw something together, generally consisting of more raw and grilled vegetables. Do they have any dairy-free desserts or chocolate or any special meals, anything comparable to the main menu, no.
It's also worth mentioning that those lie flat seats only have a space for your feet on the side, limiting how you can sleep. It's noted when your booking that you can be bumped from your seats (moved), if someone books later with a child and needs the space. I know, I couldn't believe it either.
The Sad Travel Bag
If your entire brand is luxury, and you're charging a couple $18,000 for a flight (business class), can you have a decent travel bag that you offer? Their bag is on pare with a premium economy on an American Airline for a domestic flight.
The socks are one-wear only, cheaply made, the eye mask is dollar store quality and the spray is eau de toilette. Disposable brush and discount lotion. Worse than being terribly tacky and cheap, it just seems really lazy.
How many organic or luxury brands would love to offer free products to Emirates business and first class passengers for inclusion into their travel Dopp kit.
Imagine opening up your business class kit and you have a curated collection of items; a luxury lipstick, real perfume, nice socks and a quality eye mask with rosewater spray and other goodies that would be more suitable for someone who claims to be a world-class luxury airline, especially when it would cost them nothing.
Even if you use your miles to fly business class, they're going to charge you the highest possible amount (similar to the economy fare) just for the taxes and ‘airline imposed fees’.
*It feels like they inherited a plane with really cramped economy seats, but really nice business and first class seats, but they got really lazy after that, and offer you a third rate discount experience.
If you have any special meal option, actually even if you don't, take your own food on those long haul flights.
Bring your own quality eye mask, earplugs and socks.
We found it to be more marketing than actual mystique. So many people really splurge on these types of flights because they've been advertised this unbelievable experience, and our overall feeling is just disappointment.
Yes, we love the lie flat seats (only for BC and FC), but everything else that they have any input in, the bar is set super low.