Airline review: Emirates economy, Dubai to Frankfurt

The entertainment pack may be a bit dull, but the cheap Wi-Fi is a bonus.

THE PLANE

Airbus A380-800. Emirates operates 61 of these giants across its network.

THE ROUTE

Dubai to Frankfurt.

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Skywards. Passengers can also earn points towards Qantas Frequent Flyer (oneworld).

CLASS

Economy, seat 78G.

DURATION

Six hours.

THE FREQUENCY 

Daily.

THE SEAT 

The pitch is 32 inches (81 centimetres); the width is 18 inches (46 centimetres). There are 399 economy seats in a mostly 3-4-3 layout.

BAGGAGE

Checked bag up to 30 kilograms, plus one carry-on bag up to seven kilograms.

COMFORT

Having just endured a cramped Emirates Boeing 777 from Melbourne via Singapore to Dubai, I almost beg the gate attendant for a seat on this plane with no one next to me. She produces a boarding pass for 78G, way down the back. The row is directly forward of a galley bulkhead, so there's no one behind to worry about when reclining, though the recline is slightly reduced. There's a decent amount of leg room and width, and the cabin seems well-lit and airy.

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ENTERTAINMENT

A short-list of recommended movies appears as an "Emirates Picks" section on the seat-back entertainment system. This includes reasonable recent releases including several family options. The system's programmers had fun shaking up the usual menu options, with  categories including Middle Earth, Film Club, Disney Classics and Arabic Cinema. The TV collection contains tired comedy stayers such as Big Bang Theory, along with Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and dramas such as Fargo, The Code and The Fall. There are several other TV sections, including kids' shows, and a decent array of music and games channels. My screen's response to touch is poor, and I have to resort to the fiddly remote control.

THE SERVICE

The on-board staff are efficient and cheerful as they serve food and drink, and respond to general requests.

FOOD

Ours is an early-morning flight so we're served a continental breakfast after take-off. It's fairly unexciting; basically two salads: one fruit, one vegetable with cheese and labneh, a bread roll and croissant. Lunch choices later in the flight are more interesting: a brown rice and lentil salad followed by a choice of grilled chicken with a creamy herb sauce, saffron rice and green beans; or lamb in a creamy peppercorn sauce served with vegetables. I have the vegetarian special meal; cheese and spinach ravioli in a tomato-based sauce. It's very good, with lots of flavour.

ONE MORE THING

Emirates offers in-flight internet connection via Wi-Fi across its fleet of A380s. Speed can vary, but it's very reasonable on the wallet: free up to 10MB downloaded, then $1.40 for 500MB after that.

THE VERDICT

A comfortable and pleasant experience on this mid-range flight.

Reviewed by Tim  Richards, who flew courtesy of the German National Tourist Board.

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