What’s The Best Emirates A380 Business Class Seat?

Yesterday I flew Emirates’ A380 business class for the first time, which was a pretty good experience overall. Given how big Emirates’ A380 fleet is, I figured I’d write a post about the best business class seats on the plane, because this is a plane where there’s a big difference in quality between seats. To start, here’s a link to the SeatGuru page for the Emirates A380, which is a good reference point.

Emirates’ A380 business class cabin is located on the upper deck, behind the first class cabin.

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The business class cabin features a total of 76 seats, spread across two cabins. There’s one massive business class cabin with 15 rows.

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Then there’s a partition due to the position of the emergency exit, and behind that are another five rows of business class.

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Then behind that cabin is the business class bar, which is a fun place to hang out.

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Then behind that are the four lavatories, and then the galley.

So, which Emirates A380 business class seat should you choose?

You want an “A” or “K” seat

These are the “true” window seats. Emirates has a staggered business class configuration, meaning that in each row the seats are in a different position.

The “A” and “K” seats are fantastic because of how private they are. The console is located on the aisle-side of the seat, so you really feel like you have a private cocoon.

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Furthermore, there are bins along the windows, so you have plenty of room to store things, and don’t feel claustrophobic since you’re not seated right against the fuselage.

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The “B” and “J” seats are also technically window seats, though they’re much closer to the aisle. They’re not nearly as private. It’s also tougher to reach the storage lockers from these seats. So they’d only be my second choice after the “A” and “K” seats.

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You don’t want to sit in the rear mini-cabin

Usually I have unusual preferences, as I prefer to sit in the very back of a business class cabin. Don’t do this on the Emirates A380 for a few reasons:

  • All the bathrooms and bar are at the back of the cabin, so there’s going to be a ton of noise and foot traffic in these seats
  • All the service is provided from the rear galley, so the crew will constantly be passing you, and there will be a lot of light from behind the cabin

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I actually sort of can’t believe Emirates sells the last row of business class on this plane, as it’s just a foot from the bar. I would hate to be seated in one of those seats if I were hoping to sleep.

You want to sit in the front half of the forward cabin

Everything is done from behind business class — it’s where the bathrooms and bar are, and it’s where service is conducted from. So if you’re seated in the forward part of the cabin, there’s virtually no foot traffic, which is great. However, you also don’t want to be in the very front of the cabin, since the first class galley is located in front, so there’s going to be some light and noise.

So my preference would be to sit between rows 9 and 16.

There’s another reason to sit in row 16 or up. Emirates’ business class service very much feels like an assembly line, and is done in two steps. First they do the service for rows 6 through 16, and then afterwards they do service for rows 17 through 26.

In other words, first they’ll lay out the tablecloths, bring out the appetizer tray, and serve wine, for rows 6-16, and then once that’s complete, they’ll do the same in rows 17 through 26. So by being in the forward rows you’ll get served much faster.

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So, what are the best Emirates A380 business class seats?

I’d say the absolute best seats in Emirates A380 business class are 9A/K, 11A/K, and 14A/K, since you get a “true” window seat and are towards the front of the cabin, meaning you have as little foot traffic as possible. If those aren’t available I’d choose 16A/K, 18A/K, or 20A/K, which will be good as well.

If you’re traveling with someone, it all depends how close you want to be with them. The “E” and “F” seats are often referred to as honeymoon seats, because you’ll be seated very close together, which some like. Personally I think privacy is the rarest commodity on planes, so even if I’m traveling with someone I want to spend time with, I wouldn’t choose these seats. Otherwise there’s no real difference among the “D” and “G” seats, which are all close to the aisle, and similar to the “B” and “J” seats.

Do you have a favorite Emirates A380 business class seat?

Comments

  1. Disagree. First row of the rear cabin A or K seat is the best. First, you have a much smaller cabin, so it does not feel as big and dormitory like as the main cabin. Second, it is quieter. Third, in the A/K seat, you are away from the aisle, so the added foot traffic is much less bothersome. Fourth, the view of the rearof wing is cool (as someone who only flies premium, it is a view I rarely get to see) — the engines on the A380 are quiet, so you don’t get much engine noise either. The two biggest drawbacks are: 1) meals are served front to back, so it takes longer to get served; and 2) it takes longer to deplane. Both are manageable in my opinion.

  2. @Mark J mainly for superstitious reasons. Many airlines don’t have a row 13 because it is considered to be un-lucky. Many LH planes also don’t have a row 17 because in Italy and Brazil 17 is that unlucky rather than 13. In many Asian cultures the number 4 is unlucky so you will see a lot of airlines with aircraft lacking a “row 4” hope this helps!

  3. Also, I’d not recommend the rear of the J cabin lavatory-wise because, depending on the route, these can become very soiled very quickly. VERY quickly. And during meal services the FAs don’t have a lot of time to clean them up and the smells can be fairly onerous. I’ve been on more than one A380 flight in J where the lavs were absolutely disgusting because of the cultural norms at the origin/destination. Bottom line: forward is (almost always) better.

  4. If you want a large foot cubby space, I would actually recommend Seat 7A / 7K.
    I flew that from LAX to DXB and it was really nice. There actually isn’t a lot of foot traffic because it’s only First class ahead of you. The galley noise isn’t really an issue because you are by the window and away from the noisy aisle. And the foot space is very generous in the bulkhead.

  5. @Ryan:

    I was going to say 23A or K myself. Like 7 A/K (first row of J in the main cabin), it’s bulkhead (extra footwell space), a window seat, it’s closer to the bar without being TOO close to the bar.

  6. @ JudgeRuth – A/K and B/J would be in different, alternating rows. So if you were in 11A, all that’s on your right would be a console (the feet of the person in 12B are in it, but such is life), and to the right of that is the aisle. So there’s no relation between any A/K and B/J seats.

  7. Completely agreed that if flying alone and trying to sleep, I’d go for K in the front cabin (I sleep on the right side so feels more private, and my usual route is LHR-DXB-LHR and a K seat offers much better view when landing in LHR on the 27s, as well as a potentially better view on the 12s in DXB).

    However I usually fly with work colleagues and we hang out at the bar quite a bit. For that, I will always choose 25K. It’s the closest seat to the bar and I’m not that bothered about service timing as I usually place my food order at the bar and get told when it’s ready at my seat. For lounging/watching a movie, 25K is perfectly fine with some good noise cancelling headphones (QC35 to the rescue 😉 )

  8. Thank you Lucky! I have a KUL-DXB-KUL coming up and had been pondering seat choice – had gone with 11K so I’m glad that sounds like a good seat as I would prefer to be away from the bar

  9. If you are flying alone,then seats A and K are the best,if you are flying with someone else I recommend seats in the middle of the cabin.One thing that made me ecstatic in Emirates business 380 is ,the two outside lavatories have window,which gives them very “homey” feel .

  10. Sorry I must say I prefer the E & F seats when travelling with my other half, so that we can at least have a conversation with each other. We will avoid flying with airlines that do not provide a suitable seating arrangement for couples in Business Class.

  11. I’ve flown this three times and before the first time I remember reading some reviews on the best seats and lots said that 23A&K were the best because of the extra legroom and shielded position offering extra privacy.

    My first flight a couple of years ago I was in 25A but because I was so excited for what was my first proper business class flight I didnt really pay attention noise, gallery light etc!

    Last summer I was able to select 23A. It was defiantly a better seat but it was also a night flight so after the dinner service nobody used the bar so there was very little foot traffic passing. The other time during a day flight I was in the forward cabin and from memory it was defiantly more quite with hardly anyone walking past.

  12. Seems odd that a review of the best seats doesn’t mention that half the seats (B, D, G & J) are 22cm shorter than the others when in bed mode.

  13. Totally agree with A and K seats being the best. 14A was definitely cool when I used it once. I just love the Emirates experience, business or economy.

  14. Emirates is the best airline I have ever flown. The, A380, is a very good plane and offers air travelers fine choices for their flight experiences.

  15. Lucky, I’ve been reading your reviews for a long long time and I’ve always wanted you to do a review for Emirates A380 business class (I see you’ve traveled multiple times in First Class)

    We finally took the plunge and traveled on the Emirates A380 last month in Business class from Mumbai to Milan via Dubai. Unfortunately only the Dubai to Milan flight was on the A380 and it was by far the best flight of our lives. My wife and I took the ‘honeymoon seats’ and they were PERFECT. Very spacious, and you don’t feel too close to the aisle. We really wished we had taken a longer flight!

    We reserved our seats in the main cabin but pretty much in front, so we were served soon enough. We agree with your analysis, the rear cabin has too much noise coming from the bar area which can tend to get slightly noisy (we sang “We wish you a merry Xmas” with the crew since we were traveling on Xmas eve), but luckily our flight was pretty empty so hardly anyone was in the rear Biz class cabin.

    The business class travel was supposed to be a one-off exception but I think we’re now spoilt for life.

  16. We flew DFW-DXB, DXB-HKG a few months ago. First leg in the 777, me and my wife in F, seats 2E and 2F, our daughter in J, seat 6K. Perfect because she was close to us and the FA’s didn’t mind her checking in on us once in a while. On the 380 to HKG she was in 7K, same reason. Being away from the bar gives definitely more privacy.

  17. It’s worth noting that on a 2 class the “aisle” and “window” ying yang is reversed ‘ so even numbers are nearer the window. Currently sat in 8K which is perfect

  18. I flew A380 business last year and had seat A18 both ways. Loads of room and privacy, but all I could see out of the window was the HUGE wing! The flight staff recommended seat A23 to me, so that’s what I’ve booked for my next flight…….. Will see how it compares!

  19. I have booked 9K on all flights London-Dubai-Beijing, and back, In July. I’ll let you know.

  20. We are flying B/Class Emirates in October B’ham/Dubai/Muscat and back in November Singapore/Dubai/B’ham (A380-800).
    Looking at the seat plans I cannot quite figure out if there are 2 (TWO) seats next to each other or as near as possible if one of us would like a window seat.
    Would be nice to converse with my travel partner from time to time..!
    Thank you for your time.
    Klaus

  21. We flew during the day MXP to JFK seats 23 EF and it was great. We liked being in the small cabin and near the bar area — it looks like there is room for eight or ten people in the various seats there and four more people standing up. We liked that access to take a break from our seats. The “bartender” had anything you wanted, We liked that the lavatories were close — no long trips. Food service was also great and we did not feel that we missed out on anything and even felt a little sorry for people further up who were served “too soon.” Earlier is not always better.

    To each his own, but we are headed back in these seats.

  22. My first trip Business class with Emirates from Melb to Paris in July.
    I have seat 7a to Dubai, then seat 9a to Paris. On the way home again 9a.
    Hopefully my travel agent has got me good seats!!!

  23. We have booked 20E and 20F for our trip from JNB to YYZ via Dubai on both flights.
    Will let you know how the trip goes.

  24. I have been allocated 8f on Emirates 777-300 and 8j on Emirates A380-800, I will be travelling business class solo. Are these seats ok or can I do better ?

  25. Hi,
    We are flying Emerates Lon-Brisbane change in Dubai.
    Are seats 11,14,15, E /F on 3 flights and the other flight on 777-300 seats 8 A/B
    are thes all good seats? We have never flown business class so I want it to be special.

  26. I fly Emirates every year from Australia….my first A 380 was 10 or more years ago from Dubai to LHR when the A380 first came into service and I had 23A to and fro . Excellent seat…very private….no noise….excellent food service.
    Nowadays,from Australia, 9 A is my choice, although tomorrow I’m in 7A to Dubai, so I’m looking forward to that. Next flight is up the pointy end.

  27. I am travelling solo Saturday 5/1/2019 on a380-800 business class to Dubai and been given sear 7d. Is this seat more for a couple. The next leg is to Brisbane on 777-300 and have seat 7f. Is the a good seat for a solo passenger. Thanks

  28. Regular flyer from Manchester-Dubai then Dubai-Singapore and return. Business Class.
    !0 times to date so that’s 40 flights. Several first class upgrades with accrued air miles.
    Seats Either 23A or 25A. (book early) for these seats or 23,25K
    Noise is not a bother, being by the window is away from the aisle, so “traffic” is of no relevance.
    Only once did not get the meal of my choice.
    Short walk to the bar and toilets (toilets ALWAYS clean).
    NOT over the wing!!! Good window view, But much better in first class which is in front of the wing).
    My wife only likes 18A or or 18K.

  29. Travelled multiple times on Emirates 380 Business Class from USA and other sectors. Have booked upcoming trip on February 28th from Islamabad to Houston, Texas and back. Got Seats 14A outbound and 9A inbound. I have experienced these seats to be good. Bottom line is that Business Class itself is a great experience. We do need a great stop over rest experience at Dubai Airport for onward journey. Hope this helps.

  30. The best seat is any other airline. My experience with the Emirates business class was very disappointing, is by far the worst long haul business class I know, it has many cons and very few pros. Briefly: bad lounge at Dubai; poor seat and cabin comfort; and very bad cabin service, even worse than the economy class service of many carriers. As example, you’ll find in economy class in Qatar or in Turkish a better cabin service than in the Emirates business class.
    Facts from a business class round trip Emirates Barcelona to Bangkok, 4 flights in B777-300 and A380 planes:
    1- BOARDING AND UNBOARDING: UNCOMFORTABLE, AWKWARD, not at all premium. Score 2/10. In Barcelona Emirates boarded the 346 Busines and economy passengers all crowded together in the same finger to the B777-300; a second finger was reserved exclusively for the maximum 8 passengers of first class. There was not finger for landing on arrival in Dubai, disembarking in the middle of the track, under a very hot air at almost 40ºC. Business and economy passengers were transported together in the same bus, standing and crowded.
    2- UNCOMFORTABLE SEATS AND CABIN. Score 4/10 Business seats are very narrow: in the B777-300 there are 7 seats per row, 8 in the A380. As contrast example, the Qatar business cabin displays 6 seats per row in the B777-300, or 4 in the A380, they are much wider and more comfortable. (The economy seats in the Emirates are also narrow, with 10 per row in B777-300, compared to 9 in the same aircraft of other airlines, such as Qatar or Turkish).
    In fact, the Emirates A380 business cabin displays 4 seats per row, but 50% of the width of the business seat is useless for the passenger: it serves basically for the legs of the back passenger in bed position. It is a “chessboard” layout, but very badly achieved in Emirates. So the real seat width is equivalent to an 8 seats row. This A380 Emirates business seat is only 18.5” width, just 0.5” wider than the economy seat, so too narrow for a business seat.
    I am not an overweight person, but I feel uncomfortable in such a narrow 18.5” seat (the busines seat is a kind of shell limiting the shoulders on both sides, unlike the tourist seat. The feeling is like being embedded in a 50 cm wide can)
    As a comparison, the seat width in the same A380 plane with different airlines and classes: the Emirates Busines seat is 18.5 “; identical to the Qatar economy seat 18.5″; and smaller than the Air France Premium economy Seat 19”
    The bed position is also uncomfortable because the small hole for the legs (foot and legs in awkward position); I felt like being in a narrow sarcophagus
    The B777-300 business seat width is a more convenient 20.5”
    The Emirates A380 business cabin looks like a crowded and cramped hive, because the narrow aisles and spaces. Moving around is difficult for overweight and older passengers.
    The aisle seats have an insufficient length in bed position for passengers over 175 or 180 cm, because they are about 15-20 cm shorter than the interior seats, to allow access to the corridor. The non-aisle seats (window and central) have a bed length around 190 cm, the best choice for tall people; but moving to/from the seat is uncomfortable because of the narrow space, it could be even annoying and complex for some people
    3- VERY BAD SERVICE. Score 1/10. With no doubt, Emirates has the worst business cabin service I ever know. Service on board is insufficient, incompetent, and depersonalized, totally improper and unacceptable for a business cabin. The service does not address passenger calls. One of the causes of the very poor service is the lack of staff, in my 1st flight I only saw 3 flight attendants for the 42 business passangers!, absolutely insufficient.
    Examples:
    They forgot my welcome drink.
    Nobody answered my bell calls (I called about 8 times during 20 min, intending to get a cold coke*). Finally I had to get up for ordering it in person; even so, after waiting more 10 minutes I had to order the drink again. So 30 minutes and 10 attempts to get a coke! I never found a so bad and slow service, even in the worst economy cabin service in the worst carrier!
    There was not a drinks menu in my seat (There should be one per passenger). When I reported to a FA, she flashed me her menu, but didn´t give me a personal copy.
    There was no a personal welcome presentation, neither an explanation about the not easy control systems
    4- MEAL SERVICE. Score 2/10 The service is very, VERY SLOW: they took about 2 hours to complete the dinner service; On a flight time around 6.5 hours, the fact was that 3 hours after the takeoff they still were serving desserts! The wine was also served too late, 10-15 minutes after the meal, which was already cold. Mediocre meal, bad for business class: the beef sirloin was overcooked, dry and tasteless
    5- INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: Controls too complex for self-understanding, and bad ergonomic design. Score 4/10. The screen touch control is modern but a little complex, difficult to operate without help, but the FA were too busy for spending time helping passengers. There is also a wire control, but impractical because it is fixed at 90º awkward position
    6- RELAXING TRIP?: POOR. Score 2/10. Emirates flight is inappropriate for relaxing of working, even for watching a movie. Not only because the very slow meal service: the first flight hour on board is very noisy, with frequent advertisement noising from the speakers (Emirates and others messages), and frequent warnings to the crew in several languages. As balance, in a 6.5 hours flight, you get less of 2 quiet hours for sleeping or working, hopefully
    7- BUSINES LOUNGE EMIRATES DUBAI: Very poor. Score 3/10 The Emirates business lounge in Dubai is very disappointing: large but very crowded (even at 2am!). Most users don’t seem business travelers, I wonder which are the Emirates rules to give access to this lounge!. Also it’s too hot, there is not air conditioning, and no roof (Maybe they think the airport general AC will be enough entering thought the roofless?). The Emirates business lounge is hotter than the rest of the airport: located at the airport 2nd floor, the airport cold air remains in the general lower area of the airport, but the warm air goes up heating the upper business lounge.
    OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 3/10, very bad for a long haul business class trip. Very poor cabin service, narrow and uncomfortable seats. Cabin layout looks like a compressed hive, intending to stack the maximum number of passengers in the minimum space, and with the minimum staff. The layout aim maybe is to give more privacy and direct access to the aisle to all seats, but the implementation is globally poor, for the bad design and skimped space as a low cost carrier.
    Cabin service conditions improve slightly in the A380, but the seat and cabin comfort is worse. The business class quality is still globally poor and disappointing, worse than most airlines
    Emirates don’t understand business class as a premium service, but a flock of sheep. We can find better seats and cabin comfort in premium economy in other airlines like Air France (except for the bed position). Even other carriers offer a better cabin service in economy class than Emirates in business class
    As positive points, just two: the free vip taxi service to / from the airport; and the thin pad on the bed-seat for sleeping, it avoids sweating and keeps clean the seat surface. These stand out over many other business class competitors.
    CONCLUSION: The worst long haul business class I never know; very poor cabin service, poor seat and cabin comfort, bad vip lounge, and very poor boarding and unboarding. I never again will waste 2500€ for such bad product, existing so many other competitors with much better quality.

    * Note: The business seat has its own “minibar”, but it is useless, because it is not refrigerated (only in first class seats), the drinks are warm. Who wants a hot cola or juice?

  31. You may want to try Qatar’s Business Class. I recently flew from Istanbul to Cape Town via Doha….excellent (very excellent!) service….good food…impeccable dinner presentation with a small candle on the table!
    The seats are the best in business class I have experienced….
    ..AND do not miss the business class lounge in Doha! Busy yes..but it’s huge and very comfortable..big choice of foods and comfortable seating etc….

  32. Dear Tomas
    I have just read your review.
    You must be a very sad and unhappy person.
    Think of those who have never experienced a flight.
    Open your heart to gratitude and close it to self importance.
    Next time you fly – travel economy and discover the norm for 90 percent of passengers then compare your business class flight.
    I felt sorry for the staff, listening to you constantly buzzing for attention and a coke.
    Just maybe the staff had a more important problem. Then again after buzzing continually for 2 minutes they decided to ignore your rudeness.
    Happy travels for your future.

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