Airbus A380 (less than one month old). Emirates has 75 of these aircraft in its fleet.
Manchester, Britain, to Dubai.
Skywards linked to Qantas Frequent Flier (one world).
Business – window seat 10K.
Before pushing back, "we need to remove some frost and ice," says the captain. Despite a late departure, we arrive 10 minutes early on a flight scheduled to take 7 hours 15 minutes.
My favourite. By the window in a configuration of 1-2-1, it's private with storage buckets, a mini-bar with water and soft drinks, large TV screen and when it's time to sleep, a flat bed with mattress and quilted blanket. Regulars will see changes on this new plane, introduced on some services to Manchester, Copenhagen, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in January. First class is no longer offered on these newly configured A380s. There are 58 business class seats on the upper level at the front of the aircraft. Economy seats number 557, on upper and lower levels. Economy passengers who want a quick getaway should opt for the small cabin space between the business seats and the door.
There are 500 movies among 2200 entertainment channels. I watch a BBC program with Graham Norton interviewing Adele as she promotes her new album, 25. This revamped plane has screens measuring 13.3 inches (33.7cm) in economy – the widest in-seat for any airline. If the business class bar can be termed entertainment, it's popular and unchanged in size with the new set-up but has a larger TV.
40kg plus hand baggage.
There are socks and an eye shade in the seat compartment with tooth brushes in the bathrooms.
Business class is full and you get the feeling they are a bit rushed but overall it's courteous and efficient.
Many passengers dine in the lounge before boarding for the 8.30pm departure. Here, there are eight mains, many with a distinctly northern English touch like smoked haddock bake, tikka masala and lemon meringue pie. On board, the theme continues and I choose parsnip and apple soup (chilled) and beef cobbler with a cheese scone. Dinner takes more than two hours to serve and clear so there's not a lot of sleep time. Food wasn't offered before landing.
There's something special about flying in a spanking new plane. There's not a scratch in sight, it looks sensational and there's a spring in the crew's step. A happy place.
Rating 4.5 out of five.
Reviewed by Sue Bennett, who flew courtesy of Emirates.