Emirates business class is one of the best in the business. Seats are comfortable, service is attentive, dining and beverage options are fantastic, and seats on the A380 even include a private bar. Emirates is a great airline, so we wouldn’t expect anything less. One downside is that flights are expensive and upgrades are difficult.
What to know about Emirates business class
Emirates business class is available on most international routes on 777 and A380 aircraft. Lounges or lounge partners are also available in many major international airports, and the chauffeur service is a nice and convenient touch. On board, the experience is luxurious and the service is excellent. If complete privacy is what you seek, first class offers spacious seats with closing doors, while business seats on the 777 are next to other passengers, and on the A380 are staggered in one cabin.
Best routes for Emirates business class
Emirates business class is available on most routes, but is best enjoyed on long-haul flights to fully take advantage of the experience and amenities. Business class seats on Emirates’ 777 aircraft are slightly larger than seats on the A380, but the A380 features an in-flight bar and has more aisle access due to the way seats are laid out. Flights from Los Angeles, New York, and Washington DC to Dubai fly in the A380, while all other routes from the US use the 777.
Examples of deals we’ve found on Emirates for Elite members of Going
- $2,561 roundtrip nonstop to Milan in business class
- $2,397 roundtrip to the Maldives in business class
- $2,992 roundtrip to Bangkok in business class
The Emirates business class experience at the airport
Emirates business class lounge access
Customers flying business class with Emirates have complimentary access to chauffeur pick-up and drop-off to and from their home or hotel to the airport. In Dubai, you’ll be picked up in a BMW 5 Series Touring car. The service is available in 70 cities and can be scheduled when you book your flight, or later through Manage Your Booking. When you land, stop at the Chauffeur-Drive desk to check-in. (Note that chauffeur service is only available to customers who book a business class ticket, not to those who book an economy ticket and upgrade to business.)
Emirates Lounges are available to customers flying in first or business class, and are open 24 hours a day. In Dubai, you can visit the Moët and Chandon Champagne Lounge, which serves four of the brand’s champagnes and canapés created by Michelin-starred chefs. In Dubai’s other Business Class Lounge in Concourses A, B and C, there are lounge areas; a dining room; bar areas with complimentary wines, beer, and premium spirits; a Health Hub with options like salads and smoothies; dedicated quiet areas and free WiFi. If your flight departs from Concourse A, you can board directly from the lounge.
Emirates also operates lounges or partners with lounges in London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow. In Europe, it has lounges in Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Milan, Rome, Paris, and Zurich. In the US, Emirates has business class lounges in Los Angeles International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, New York JFK, and San Francisco. There are also lounges in Auckland, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney Australia; Cairo, Egypt; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Bangkok, Thailand; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; New Delhi, India; Hong Kong; Tokyo; Shanghai, China and Singapore. Not all lounges are currently open due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Emirates business class check-in
If an Emirates flight has a business class option, there will be a separate check-in desk for business customers. Bags are checked with priority tags at check-in, which means they’ll be the first off the baggage carousel on arrival. You’ll also get a fast track pass (Pre-check in the US), and a fast-track pass for immigration if you’re entering the UAE.
Business class tickets include two checked pieces of baggage up to 70 pounds each.
The Emirates business class experience in the air
Seats in Emirates business class
- 777: Seats are laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration, so not everyone gets direct aisle access. They are plush cream leather with wood paneling and are 20.5 inches wide with a 60 inch pitch. Seats recline nearly flat, but not completely, and have a comfortable leg rest, optional mattress and plush bedding. TVs are large,but storage space is minimal. All seats have an outlet, USB outlet, and headphone socket. Amenity kits feature comfortable slippers; Bvlgari lotion, lip balm, cologne, shaving cream and razor; a full-size deodorant; and over ear headphones in a zip-up amenity bag.
- A380: Business class seats on the A380 are definitely superior to the 777. Seats are laid out in a 1-2-1 formation, so everyone has aisle access and more privacy. They are the same cream leather with wood paneling as the 777 but are slightly smaller at 18.5 inches with a 48 inch pitch. The seats lie completely flat, and each has a large ottoman and private drinks cabinet. Amenity kits are the same across both aircraft.
Benefits of flying Emirates business class
All business class passengers are offered a warm towel, welcome drink, and bowl of nuts on arrival. Before bed, a “turndown” service is offered, where you’ll get chocolates, a mattress, and a full-size pillow. Bathrooms are spacious and feature designer products. All passengers on Emirates have access to more than 2,000 movies.
The A380 features a round bar with leather seating and tables for business class passengers. A bartender is always staffed, and you can help yourself to snacks such as sandwiches, fruit and cake. There are also newspapers and travel magazines you can take back to your seat.
Emirates business class meals
All Emirates business class meals (no matter the flight length) are served on Royal Doulton fine bone china with custom-made Robert Welch cutlery, with a linen tablecloth and napkins. Long-haul flights feature breakfast, a snack (often a tofu poke bowl or lamb pie), and a three-course lunch or dinner showcasing Middle Eastern, Indian, European, and Asian flavors. Short and medium-haul flights include one meal. All come with a juice option (orange, watermelon, apple, mango, tomato), soft drinks, hot tea or coffee.
Emirates business class alcohol
Champagne, wine, beer, and a wide array of spirits (Aperol, Campari, Cointreau, Drambuie, Amarula Cream, Tia Maria, Chivas Regal 18 year, Glenfiddich 15 year, Jura Superstition, Jameson, Woodford Reserve, Hennessy X.O. Bacardi Superior rum, Belvedere vodka, Sipsmith gin) are available free of charge.
Emirates business class vs first class
Emirates describes its first class experience as “as close as it comes to your own private jet.” The biggest difference between business class and first class is privacy. In first class, you get a private suite with closing doors, a flat-screen TV, a bed and chair, a shower spa, and access to the first-class lounges.
In business class your seats are next to other passengers, so you don’t get the same privacy. You also don’t have a bed and separate chair, but a chair that turns into a bed. Meal options are similar and served on the same dishware in both classes.
>> Read more about business class vs first class across airlines
How to book Emirates business class
How much does it cost for a business class ticket on Emirates?
Ticket costs vary depending on route and time of year/week, tickets between US cities and the UAE or the US to Europe are generally between $3,500 and $5,000. Going frequently finds cheap flights around $2,500 roundtrip.
How to upgrade to business class on Emirates for free
It is very difficult to upgrade on Emirates for free. Every so often, Skywards members with lots of points will be upgraded randomly, something that happens more often if a flight is overbooked.
How much does it cost to upgrade to business class on Emirates?
The upgrade price depends on the flight time and route, and can range from around $300 to around $1,500.
How many miles to upgrade to Emirates business class?
Upgrades depend on your original economy ticket (saver, flex or flex plus). Upgrading a round trip ticket from New York to Dubai, for example, costs 190,000 miles if you have a saver ticket, 140,400 if you have a flex ticket, and 108,000 if you have a flex plus ticket.
Emirates business class is one of the most luxurious, from the chauffeur pick-up, to the lounge, very comfortable seats, excellent service, and dining options. It is also one of the more expensive, and hard to upgrade.