WednesdayÂ newslettersÂ always feature aÂ hotelÂ orÂ flightÂ review.
I recently enjoyed a relaxing long weekend in Dubai. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Emirates Boeing 777-300ER new Business Class Brussels to Dubai (today)
- Review: Armani Hotel Dubai
- Review: Six Senses Zighy Bay (Oman)
- Review: Emirates Boeing 777-300ER new First Class Dubai to Brussels
Today (November 28, 2018):Â Emirates Boeing 777-300ER new Business Class Brussels to Dubai.
On October 6th 2018,Â I flew in anÂ EmiratesÂ Boeing 777-300ER featuring the carrier’s newest Business Class productÂ fromÂ Brussels (BRU) to Dubai (DXB). Flying the Boeing 777-300ER is a different experience as compared to the Airbus A380, since Emirates has installed a different Business Class product & seat on both aircraft types. While Emirates’ Boeing 777 offers a highly enjoyable and luxurious onboard experience, its Business Class product with a 2-3-2 layout is somewhat inferior to the one offered on the airline’s Airbus A380 fleet, with the latter featuring direct aisle access for all passengers and aÂ well-appointed bar on the upper deck (read my review of Emirates’ A380 Business Class here).
Emirates features in my top 10 lists of theÂ best airlines for longhaul Business Class, theÂ best airlines for longhaul First Class, theÂ most luxurious A380 First Class products, theÂ worldâs best airlines for in-flight meals, the best First Class lounges, the best Business Class amenity kits, and theÂ best First Class amenity kits.
Have you ever flown Emirates’ Business Class? What was your experience? Leave aÂ commentÂ below.
- Trip:Â Brussels (BRU) to Dubai (DXB)
- Airline:Â Emirates
- Aircraft type:Â Boeing 777-300ER
- Aircraft registration number: A6-EQO
- Flight Number:Â EK184
- Date:Â October 10, 2018
- On time departure: yes (3 pm)
- On time arrival: yesÂ (11 pm)
- Miles:Â 3200
- Flight time:Â 6 hours
- Seat:Â 10K
- Class:Â Business Class
In this review (more information & photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Emirates chauffeur service
- Lounge at Brussels Airport
- Facts & figures about Emirates’ longhaul fleet
- Business Class cabin
- Business Class seat (+ best & worst suites)
- Onboard internet
- Other inflight experiences (views, crew, lavatory)
- My verdict (score)
Click to view slideshow.
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1. EMIRATES CHAUFFEUR SERVICE
One of the great perks about flying Business (or First) Class with Emirates isÂ theÂ complimentary chauffeur-driven airport transfers. The carrier whisks you to and from the airport at both ends of your journey. Chauffeur-drive must be requested online, up to 48 hours prior to your flight.
2. LOUNGE AT BRUSSELS AIRPORT
Although Emirates operates some of the best lounges around the world, unfortunately, it doesn’t have its own lounge at Brussels Airport. Its Business & First Class passengers get access though to the Brussels Airlines loungeÂ in Terminal B, called ‘The Suite’. The Suite is basically a spacious rectangular room, with floor-to-ceiling-windows on one side that offer nice views of the airport apron. The space is composed out of different areas for different travel needs:
- A working area (with desktops and laptop tables) is available for travelers who want to continue their work at the airport.
- A quiet zone is reserved for passengers who are (like me) in need of some peace and quiet before their departure.
- There’s also a reading corner, where you find a wide selection of international newspapers and magazines.
- Finally, a modest buffet is on display in a separate room, next to the main lounge. It offers aÂ variety of snacks depending on the time of the day. I visited the lounge during lunchtime, and the snacks comprised olives, cheese, several salads, soup, and a hot dish (meat balls with tomato sauce and rice). Belgian beer (including Leffe and Stella Artois) is also available at the buffet area.
The lounge was recently completely refurbished and upgraded. Compared to the previous lounge, The Suite has doubled in size and can now accommodate 160 visitors. At peak moments, the lounge has the ability to expand and accommodate 100 extra guests. As in everything Brussels Airlines does, the Belgian spirit is reflected in ‘The Suite’, through Belgian beers, Belgian media, Belgian culinary specialties and impressions of the surrealist art of RenÃ© Magritte.
While the lounge is decent, it does not come close to the quality of lounges that Emirates operates at select airports across the globe. I can only hope that one day the Dubai based carrier will open its own lounge at Brussels Airport.
3. FACTS & FIGURES ABOUT EMIRATES’ LONGHAUL FLEET
Emirates is by farÂ the largest Boeing 777 & Airbus A380 operator on the planet.
- With a current 105-strong Airbus A380 fleet and an order backlog for 57 additional aircraft combined, Emiratesâ commitment to the A380 program is worth over $ 60 billion USD. All Emirates A380s are being fitted at the Airbus factory in Hamburg including significant cabin interior work and final livery, and are being delivered from Hamburg. The Emirates A380 program creates and supports manufacturing jobs across the global aircraft manufacturing supply chain. Airbus estimates that Emiratesâ A380 orders alone support 41,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in Europe, including some 14,500 in Germany alone.Â Emirates currently operates the A380 to 48 global destinations.
- Emirates has 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet, one of the most popular and advanced wide-bodied aircraft in commercial operation today. It also has a further 164 B777s on firm order, including 150 of the next generation Boeing 777x aircraft.Â Emirates is the only airline that operates all the variants of the B777 aircraft. Today, Emirates operates the Boeing 777 to over 140 cities on six continents from its hub in Dubai.
4. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
Business Class on Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER is located between First and Economy Class and spread over 2 cabins. A first Business Class mini-cabin contains 2 rows of 14 seats and feels quiteÂ intimate, while a second andÂ larger cabin contains 28 Business Class seats spread over 4 rows.Â The two Business Class cabins are separated by a galley kitchen, the lavatories and the main exit doors.
The layout of Emirates’ new B777-300ER Business Class cabin is identical to the carrier’s old Business Class product (which I reviewedÂ here). The seats are still arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, which implies that not everyone has direct aisle access: passengers in the center and window seats will have to scramble over their neighborâs legs to reach the aisle. Nevertheless, this âtraditionalâ layout is quite good if you are traveling with a group of friends or family. In comparison: Emirates’ A380 aircraft feature a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, which is much better for solo travelers (and which I reviewedÂ here); also, the carrier is currently in the process of refurbishing its B777-200LR aircraft (used for its longest B777 routes) with a 2-2-2 layout (instead of 2-3-2 across).
Emirates’ new B777 Business Class cabin has a more refined and sleek-looking interior compared to the old B777 cabin. The design and shape of the new Business Class seat is inspired by a modern Mercedez-Benz sports car, with a diamond stitch pattern on the full leather cover and ergonomically designed headrest. In fact, is the first time an Emirates product has been so influenced by another luxury brand. Except for this soft product upgrade, the B777 Business Class cabin still retains Emirates’ signature airplane decor with classy burled walnut veneer, gold trim and pearlised plastic framing the seats (some may find it kitsch though).
It is worth mentioningÂ that all of Emirates B777s (both older and newly delivered aircraft) feature excellent mood lighting, with theÂ colors of the ceiling changing according to the local time. Quite impressive are the stars on the ceiling – calledÂ StarLight – which is a technical feature unique to Emirates; it is pretty amazing lying down in your bed at 35,000 feet, opening your eyes and seeing stars.
For a seating plan of EmiratesâÂ Boeing 777-300ER, clickÂ here.
5. BUSINESS CLASS SEAT (+ BEST & WORST SEATS)
I had selected seat 10A for the 6 hour flight from Brussels to Dubai.
The new B777 Business Class seat is almost identical to the old B777 Business Class seat: it has aÂ width ofÂ 20.5 inch (52 cm) and also features touchscreen controls (one tablet and one handset) for the seat and inflight entertainment system, several personal lighting options, privacy panels between seats (so you can turn your seat into a little self-contained pod when not traveling with a partner), and a shoe stowage area. However, there are 6 major differences which makes this product a welcome upgrade as compared to the old B777Â seats:
- The seats are fully flat beds (and not angledÂ flat beds) and move into a fully flat sleeping position, which is a huge improvement.
- Each seat comes with an ottoman or footrest, covered in soft white leather.
- The seat has a more sleek look and also feels more comfortable.
- Thereâs a personal mini-bar in the arm rest (similar to what you find on Emirates’ A380s). The bar is on room temperature though (it’s not cooled) and only contains non-alcoholic drinks (e.g. Pepsi, Seven Up, fruit juice, and Perrier).
- The new seat has a pitch of 72 inches or 183 cm (compared to 60 inch or 150 cm of the old seat), making it more comfortable to get in and out of the seat when you are not seated next to the aisle.
- The new seats feature the industry’s largest personal in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens at 23 inches wide, which is considerably larger than the TVs of the old seats. In addition, there’s a small storage compartment located below the screen, that contains a bottle of water and a bag with socks & eyeshades upon boarding (but that can easily be used to stow away small personal items during the flight).
What are theÂ best Business Class seatsÂ onÂ Emiratesâ Boeing 777-300ER? Click here for a seat map.
- Seats in row 6:Â at the front of the small first cabin, these bulkhead seats immediately behind First Class have a little extra legroom for manoeuvring (and hopping over the aisle passenger if in a window or middle seat). In addition, the smaller cabin is quieter and further away from the noise and bustle of Economy Class.
- Seats in row 8:Â at the front of the larger second cabin, these bulkheads again have a little more legroom. But they are alsoÂ bassinet crib seats, so business travelers are slightly more likely to be moved for a passenger with an infant.
What are theÂ worstÂ Business Class seatsÂ onÂ Emiratesâ Boeing 777-300ER? Click here for a seat map.
- Seats 7AÂ & 7K: these window seats are missing a window, so if you lean back youâre just looking at a wall.
- Seats in row 11: all the way at the back of Business Class and separated from Economy by only a thin wall and curtain, these are right in front of the Economy Class bassinet crib spots. In addition, these seats also lack a window.
- Middle seats (designated by the letter ‘E’ on the seat map): these seats are flanked by other seats on both sides, so avoid them if flying alone, and if traveling with a partner aim for the window pairs (A&B or J&K)Â instead.
The following amenities were offered during the 6 hour flight from Brussels to Dubai:
- A thin but comfortable blanket
- A decently sizedÂ pillow
- A duvet (provided by the crew during the flight to enhance the sleeping comfort)
- Emirates-branded noise cancelling headphones (you cannot keep these as they can only be powered within an aircraft)
- Flight socks and earplugs
Unfortunately, no amenity kits nor pajamas areÂ offered by Emirates on medium-haul flights. The carrier has phenomenal Business Class amenity kits but only provides them on longhaul flights of more than 8 hours. On a positive note, the lavatories are stocked with toiletries and Bvlgari perfumes (so it’s always possible to refresh a little).
7. FOOD & BEVERAGES
One meal was offered shortly after takeoff. The menu read as follows:
- Appetisers: choice of
- Roasted tomato soup with herb ravioli
- Poached prawns with seared scallop and smoky aubergine dip
- Bresaola served with creamy mustard sauce, green bean salad and parmesan
- A seasonal side salad and freshly baked bread
- Main course: choice of
- Slow-braised beef brisket served with braising juices, snow peas and mashed potatoes with carrots and onions
- Roasted duck with balsamic honey glaze, served with spÃ¤tzle and sautÃ©ed Mediterranean vegetables
- Pan-fried cod with saffron sauce, caramelised fennel, herbed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
- Dessert: choice of
- Tapioca citrus crÃ©meux served with raspberry compote
- Chocolate and hazelnut tart served with caramel sauce seasonal fruit
- An assortment of fresh-cut fruit
- Cheese board, with Garcia Manchego (hard, textured Spanish eweâs milk cheese, matured for six months), Cantal Jeune PDO (young, semi-soft French cheese) and Colston Bassett Stilton (classic creamy English stilton)
- Fine luxury chocolates
Food was decent and definitely above average for a Business Class product. While I found my starter (prawns) rather uninspiring, my main dish (beef) tasted excellent. The tapioca citrus crÃ©meux served with raspberry compote was an interesting but flavorful dessert.
About ninety minutes before landing, all Business Class passengers were served an ice cream. Personally, I would have loved the addition of another pre-arrival light meal service (especially because mid-flight snacks were not offered on the menu).
Emirates entertainment system, calledÂ ICEÂ (information, communications, entertainment)Â is the best in the industry, albeit a bit overwhelming when you are using it for the first time. You have three options on how to control the system: touching the screen (problematic given the seat pitch), using a small wired remote, or using a touch-screen monitor that is about the size of a small tablet.
ICE has an extensive range of new-release and classic films, television shows, box sets and audio options to choose from. You can choose from up to 1,800 channels of the latest and greatest movies and must-see TV shows, on demand and in multiple languages. You can also relax to music from around the world or play a range of fun games.
My favorite ICE feature is the outside camera that you can access on your screen. Emirates’ B777s are equipped with two cameras: one facing forward and once facing straight down (no tail camera like on the A380). When not in a window seat, it can be handy watching the aircraft take off via the cameras.
9. ONBOARD INTERNET
Emirates offers 20MB of free WiFi within the first two hours of log in across all your devices on board most of its flights. Thatâs enough data to browse your favourite social networks and send messages. If you like to use onboard WiFi for longer or you need more data, you can choose from one of Emirates’ data plans, with a pricing dependent on the fact whether you are a member of Emirates’ loyalty program ‘Skywards’ or not.
If youâre an Emirates Skywards Silver or Blue member, make sure you log in as a member and not as a guest so you can enjoy both the 20MB for free and then buy a discounted plan:
|Cabin class||Emirates Skywards tier||Plan options|
|First Class, Business Class||Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum||Unlimited free Wi-Fi throughout the flight|
|Economy Class||Gold, Platinum||Unlimited free Wi-Fi throughout the flight|
|Economy Class||Silver||Up to 150MB of data, for USD 4.99
Up to 500MB of data, for USD 7.99
|Economy Class||Blue||Up to 150MB of data, for USD 6.99
Up to 500MB of data, for USD 10.99
The following applies to non-Emirates Skywards members:
|Cabin class||Plan options|
|First Class, Business Class and Economy Class||Up to 150MB of data, for USD 9.99
Up to 500MB of data, for USD 15.99
10. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
#CREW:Â TheÂ Emirates crew on this particular flight did are wonderful job: they addressed me by name at every single occasion during the flight, presented themselves individually before take-off, thanked me in person for choosing Emirates, and explained the features of the cabin and seat to all passengers individually. They were doing all they could to make the flight as enjoyable as possible.
# LAVATORY: there are 2 decently sized lavatories for Business Class passengers in the galley between the 2 Business Class cabins. All lavatories were kept veryÂ clean during the flight.
# VIEWS: we enjoyed some stunning sunset views during the flight.
11. MY VERDICT
- Cabin design: 7/10
- Seat comfort (upright): 8/10
- Seat comfort (bed position): 8/10
- Food (quality):Â 8/10
- Food (quantity): 8/10
- Inflight entertainment : 10/10
- WiFi: 8/10
- Service: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8/10
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