In part one of my review, I covered the standard features of the first class suite and product on-board the Emirates A380. In part two, I will cover the unique features of the Emirates A380 available to premium class passengers including the Business Class bar/lounge.
For first and business class passengers, the bar at the rear of the main deck is the place to be and be seen on any A380 flight. It is truly a unique experience and comes complete with a dedicated bartender who will mix up your favorite drink.
Whilst first class passengers get their own bar at the front of the cabin, it tends to be a bit lonely and there is no where to sit; thus, I recommend the business class bar at the back. While the business bar does not have the same high-end beverages as at the first class bar, the crew will happily bring these premium beverages to you when you are in the business bar.
The bar is set up in a fashion akin to what I have seen on many private jets. There is the central bar with lounge seating on either side; this can accommodate up to five passengers on each lounge. In addition to the lounge seating, there is also ample space at the exits which have a standing bar arrangement with a table affixed to the exit which is quite handy when the lounge seating is occupied.
Aft from the central bar area is a large IFE screen that projects the airshow/tail camera. Whilst the whole bar area is a unique experience and you must try it at least once, I did find it to get a bit crowded on the daytime flight and, as such, I would recommend getting there early.
In addition to the many beverages available, there is an assortment of finger food, etc., also available. The crew will also happily provide you with items off the menu which are in the snack category.
The second unique feature of the Emirates A380, and the absolute highlight for me, is the on-board shower/spa. The shower/spa is for the exclusive use of first class passengers. On the A380, there are two showers located at the front of the upper deck.
Prior to departure of the flight, the dedicated shower attendant will come by the suite and provide you with the spa menu, and at the same time will take your booking for the experience. As this was a long flight, I elected to have my shower two hours prior to arrival.
As this was my first time using the shower, the attendant provided me with an introduction to all the features, as well as what to do in case of turbulence (there is a seat in the shower with a handle-bar just in case). The shower suite is very large and makes excellent use of the excess space at the front of the upper deck of the A380.
The shower suite not only contains the shower cubicle but also an oversized vanity and toilet which doubles as a seat in case of turbulence, as well as an IFE screening which plays the airshow channel.
The occupancy is officially stated as maximum of two people, but the shower attendant did inform me that only one person at a time is permitted to use the shower cubicle as a safety precaution in case of turbulence.
There is a vast range of premium shower/spa products provided, as well as all of the amenities you would come across in a 5-star hotel (including loafers). A large fluffy bath towel is also provided and the floor is specially heated to further enhance the experience.
The whole experience lasts between 20-30 minutes; you have five minutes of actual shower time when the water is running. There is a timer in the shower which shows the remaining time and also a start/stop button; this is a smart feature if you need to shampoo your hair, etc. The shower will automatically stop when there is one minute remaining.
While I found the water temperature to be very adequate, the water pressure could’ve been slightly higher. I have to stay the whole experience was very refreshing and welcome after spending 12 hours in the dry cabin of an aircraft.
After completing my shower, the attendant provided me with a special detox juice and a mini fruit platter. These items were served to me in the first class bar, which had now been converted to the spa relaxation area complete with a mini water feature.
I must say the shower/spa feature onboard the A380 was unique and I have never experienced anything like it on an aircraft before. Whilst some may view it as a cheap marketing trick, I like to think of it as a nice way of freshening up after a long flight. It is also a smart way of utilizing the excess “real-estate” on the upper deck of the aircraft. I find that it also adds to the exclusivity of the Emirates A380 and certainly delivers a big “wow factor” to the first class travel experience.