Which Emirates flights from the UK have the best and worst business-class products?

Sep 20, 2019

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Although Dubai-based giant Emirates has a very simplified fleet of just two types of aircraft — Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s — these are fitted out with three very different business-class products, and the airline operates all three to the UK. This is how they are different, and here’s how to pick the best product.

Best product: Airbus A380

This is by far the best business-class seat the airline operates. All A380s have the same seat, which feature fully flat beds with direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration, providing plenty of privacy and storage. All its A380s also feature its famous in-flight bar at the rear of the business-class cabin where you can go and relax, socialise and enjoy cocktails and snacks.

Business class in 1-2-1 layout on the upper deck of an Emirates A380. Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy
Business class in 1-2-1 layout on the upper deck of an Emirates A380. Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy
An hour flight is just long enough to check out the bar.
Emirates A380 Bar. Photo by Emily McNutt / The Points Guy

Second best product: New Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates is the world’s largest operator of this aircraft type, but the new seat is only on a handful of its fleet as it is a new product. While the seats are fully flat, they are in a far less desirable 2-3-2 configuration (meaning seven seats across compared with just four on the A380). This means far less privacy and storage, and some passengers will get the dreaded middle seat, which is unacceptable for a new business-class product.

There are no in-flight bars on any Emirates 777-300s.

Emirates ‘new’ Boeing 777-300 business class

Worst product: Most Boeing 777-300ERs

This is the seat to avoid. Its a previous generation version of the new 777 seat, meaning it also has a seven-across 2-3-2 layout with hardly any privacy or storage. What makes this even worse than the new 777 product is that the seats are angled flat which can make for an uncomfortable sleep.

Enjoy Emirates 777 business class on a couple of short intra-Europe flights.
Emirates ‘old’ Boeing 777-300ER business class. Image by Shutterstock.

Which routes have which products?

While all three products operate to the UK, the airline has mostly dedicated different products to different routes, which makes it fairly easy to pick the right product:

  • Airbus A380: All London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), Birmingham (BHX) and Manchester (MAN) services as well as the afternoon departure from Glasgow (GLA)
  • New Boeing 777: All London Stansted (STN) flights
  • Old Boeing 777: All Newcastle (NCL) and Edinburgh (EDI) flights as well as the evening departure from Glasgow (GLA)

You can book Emirates business class with miles from the UK by using Emirates Skyward miles. This will cost you 68,000 miles per person from any of the UK airports described above to Dubai (DXB), one-way plus fees and taxes. You can transfer Membership Rewards points to Skywards at a rate of 1:1. If possible, I would recommend trying to book an A380 service over even a new Boeing 777 service because the seat is significantly better and there’s the added fun of the onboard bar.

You can read our guide to other airlines business class products to the UAE and how to book them with points and miles here.

Featured image by The Points Guy

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