What’s it like to fly long-haul in Emirates Economy Class?
We give you the honest scoop here in our review of Emirates Airlines Economy Class.
Emirates Seattle to Dubai
Emirates flies from several major cities in North America to Dubai, including from Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Toronto.
On our recent trip to Africa, we flew economy on Emirates from Seattle to Dubai, then on to Lusaka, Zambia. (In Lusaka, we flew to Mfuwe for our walking safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.)
On the return, we flew from Cape Town to Seattle via Dubai, also in economy.
Both ways, we stayed overnight at Emirates’ Dubai Airport transit hotel in Terminal 3 to break up the long trip – highly recommended!
Review of Emirates Airlines Economy Class
Emirates’ Boeing 777 seating plan:
Emirates’ Seattle to Dubai planes are Boeing 777-300ERs
Economy Class seats are configured 3-4-3. If you get stuck in a middle seat in the middle row of four seats, you’re probably going to feel a bit confined. (We prefer a 3-3-3 configuration, which makes the cabin feel less crowded. Also, the 3-4-3 configuration means the seats are narrower.)
For our flight from Seattle, the Emirates gate agent kindly gave us an aisle and a window seat and blocked off the middle seat, so we had three seats between the two of us; that helped make the 14-½ hour night flight more comfortable.
The seats offered decent legroom (perhaps 33 inches?) and reclined quite a bit (everyone has to recline though, or you feel squished with the seat in front of you right in your face).
Emirates has three different layouts for their 777-300ERs (see here). For the best seats on Emirates’ 777-300ER planes (latest version), see SeatGuru; you can also check the other two layouts on SeatGuru too.
The interior of the planes looked as if they had been upgraded – the bathrooms had wooden cupboards and accents. When the cabin lights were turned off, twinkling stars shone on the ceiling, and the soft “mood” lighting turned from pink to mauve and aqua hues.
Emirates Economy amenity kits:
Everyone in Economy Class was given red-and-white amenity bags with socks, eye masks, ear plugs and toothbrush/toothpaste.
And we received a large-sized blanket and pillow.
Emirates Economy Class food:
What’s the food in Emirates Economy Class like? We found our meals quite tasty.
For example, on the night flight from Seattle to Dubai, the Emirates economy menu offered a choice for the dinner entrée (we chose lamb kofta with rice). A fresh salad (no limp brown leaves) accompanied that. We also had three choices of red wines – two French and one Spanish. Cutlery was metal; we didn’t have to saw away with plastic knives.
Mid-flight, a pizza service was offered. And before arriving in Dubai, we received a hot egg-and-cheese omelette.
On the next leg from Dubai to Lusaka (6-½ hours), we had a (cold) egg-salad croissant and fruit salad for a light breakfast.
Later, we were offered a hot lunch (a choice of beef in mushroom sauce with herbed polenta and stir-fried 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 inflight entertainment:
We give high marks to Emirates’ ICE entertainment system, which the airline is quite proud of. (ICE stands for information, communication and entertainment.) You can watch the news, send emails and watch movies.
It’s apparently the best in the world, with 2,500 channels, including over 95 movies. In the Skytrax “World Airline Awards,” Emirates was named the airline with the best inflight entertainment for the past 13 years.
We liked the big screens (almost as wide as the seat back in front) and big cushioned earphones (not the little buds that fall out of your ears).
Unfortunately, the sound streaming into one ear was broken for both of us on one of our flights – so we had to listen to our blockbusters lopsidedly.
Emirates has a good reputation. The world’s fourth largest airline, it’s rated one of the 20 best airlines in the world.
We were impressed with our Emirates Airlines Economy Class flights. For the most part, it was a comfortable experience (in as much as flying economy can be called “comfortable”).
Our return flight connections are where we downgrade our Emirates review.
We had a seriously long (9+ hour) layover in Seattle on our return home. We hadn’t planned on that. When we booked our tickets, our Seattle layover was going to be 3 hours, (before the final 30-minute hop home to Victoria). Our flights were changed on us unfortunately, after we’d booked and paid – resulting in this 9+ hour layover – and Emirates wouldn’t put us on an earlier flight home from Seattle because that was a non-partner airline.
Needless to say, we were very unhappy about this…
Photos are © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except lead image and where noted)
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We paid full regular fares for our flights, and we haven’t been paid to write this Emirates economy review.