Emirates Permanently Downgrades Dallas Route From A380 To 777

Filed Under: Emirates

Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380, with 81 A380s already in their fleet, and a total of 142 A380s ordered. As a result, they’re not especially selective with the routes on which they deploy the plane, since it makes up almost half of their fleet.


As far as their US destinations go, Emirates operates A380s to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles.

For a while they also operated A380s to Houston and Dallas Ft. Worth, though earlier in the year both of those routes were downgraded to Boeing 777-300ERs.


This doesn’t really come as a surprise, given that the two times I took the Dallas to Dubai route it was almost completely empty. On one flight there were more cabin crew than passengers on the upper deck. This is probably a function of the amount of competition from Gulf carriers in Texas, and also decreased activity in the oil industry.

With that in mind, the Dallas to Dubai route was only supposed to temporarily be downgraded to a 777-300ER, through the end of August 2016. Well, it looks like that change is now permanent.

Emirates will continue to operate a Boeing 777-300ER between Dallas and Dubai, even after September 1, 2016.

While the capacity downgrade makes sense, this also represents a pretty big downgrade in terms of the passenger experience.

As far as business class goes, on the A380, Emirates has fully flat seats in business class.

Emirates A380 business class

Meanwhile on the 777 they have angled seats with seven seats per row, meaning there’s a middle seat in business class (even Emirates’ new 777 business class product doesn’t look very good).

Emirates 777 business class

Meanwhile in first class the product is more or less the same. If anything, the service is more personalized on the 777, as there are only eight seats, rather than 14.

Emirates-A380-First-Class-001Emirates A380 first class cabin

Emirates-777-First-Class-1Emirates 777 first class cabin

The major difference is that 777 first class doesn’t have a shower suite, and also doesn’t have an onboard bar (which both first & business class passengers have access to).

Emirates-ShowerEmirates A380 first class shower suite

Emirates A380 bar

Bottom line

This means Qantas will be the only airline continuing to operate an A380 to Dallas. I’m not surprised to see this downgrade made permanent, given that Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar, all operate flights to Dallas. Furthermore, Emirates doesn’t partner with American, so they’re having to rely almost exclusively on origin & destination traffic.


Is anyone impacted by this Emirates equipment swap to Dallas?

  1. Nooooooooooo! I’m flying to DFW specifically because that was the only A380 with F available in early October. Now I have to keep looking for LAX or others. I know it’s the same seat but it’s not the same experience.

  2. Bummer, but had the same experience in F when I flew DXB-DFW in Nov. 2014. When is Emirates going to finally start flying to Miami? Seems like a gaping hole in their NA Route Network, and QR seems to be doing very well with their flight to DOH out of MIA.

  3. Not good. My brother is scheduled to fly in December. I booked him and his fiancee this A380 flight as a honeymoon present. No shower now!

  4. Lucky, have you noticed that Emirates is not releasing any seats ex-USA in F after May 11 of next year? About 6 weeks ago, they just stopped loading them. Availability is fine in F ex-DXB. What do you make of this?

  5. @Ted — the experience is pretty MEH, to be honest. I flew the Houston to Dubai flight in the fall. It was my first, and definitely last, Emirates first award. Too many miles for too little incremental benefit. The food and drink is a little better, shower was a cool novelty, but this wasn’t a fun exciting flight everyone makes it out to be. And the ground experience highly depends on the lounge quality as well, neither DFW or IAH have a lounge worth talking about. I’d save your Alaska miles and book something else.

  6. The nicest airplane in the world avoids most of Americans airports, hahahahahaTrump should change that too !! Poor Americans…..

  7. @CanesLawMarty
    Emirates is not going to be flying to Miami at all, probably never. I have this on very good authority from the people at EK who actually make those decisions. For anything to work there needs to be a lot of Indians. The Miami area doesn’t have many Indians in their local population. QR KIND OF works because 1) it’s glamorous to fly to Miami and the Qatari government is willing to pay for the “glamour” and 2) it somehow gets connections from AA flights to fill it up. Fares are low and the biggest group of people on it are Philipino cruise ship workers who need cheap flights to / from Manila. That’s it. And that’s the type of traveler Emirates would be going for in Miami. So, no, they wont be going there any time soon.

  8. Son of a bitch! I booked a mid September flight over a year ago out of Dallas specifically because of the A380. I am not happy right now!

  9. After the A380 flew to Chicago last week, it is heavily rumored that Emirates is sending the A380 to Chicago.

  10. Also really god damn annoying is you can’t do an award change at the pre-devaluation mileage award rate so it would cost another 120k in miles to change to a city that still flies the A380.

  11. Did you know the LAX-DXB route will be downgraded from an A380 to 777 as well. I’m booked on the 777 (originally an A380) in October. I called yo be moved to the earlier flight but was told I had to pay an extra 80k points. After 20 min hold they said I have a courtesy change, since I booked pre-devaluation. But they don’t have any space earlier. =(. I was really looking forward the bar. My only hope is to wait until closer to departure to see if something opens up but I’ll have to pay $150.

  12. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! booked a380 flight dfw to dubai back in Feb, was looking forward for the a380 experience…now they cancelled … any possibilities on refund/reroute due to aircraft changes? booked with alaska pts

  13. I actually prefer the 777. The seat is angled but it’s wider. Also the service in business is sooo much better, on the a380 You get left after meal service as they expect you to go to the bar, but on the 777 the service is constant. However the bar is cool!

  14. I rarely feel that wording is inaccurate…. but….

    Lucky…. how do you feel about changing the headline to “Indefinitely” instead of permanently.

    I’d agree that Emirates has “indefinitely downgraded DFW-DXB” but to say “permanently downgraded DWF-DXB” doesn’t seem totally accurate.

  15. How sad that it’s permanent and they can never upgrade, downgrade, or cancel service again! DFW must have them by the balls.

  16. We were on the last 380 out of Dallas on May 31st. It was our first (and last due to the Alaska devaluation) time. It was fantastic even if we did have to fly SAN->SEA->DFW and spend the night at the airport Hyatt to take it. Thank you Lucky for the inspiration.

  17. I can’t stop giggling…..after observing the number of A380’s that EM ordered.
    I Predicted that the Brits, who sold them to a trump wannabe, best be looking for a quick escape route when the occupancy numbers start appearing…
    They may even have to escape by camel thru the desert when the narcissistic airline CEO starts blaming them for the downfall…
    Wonder what African transports will buy them up at ‘fire’ sales….

  18. while Emirates overall product is good, flying on the A380 vs the B777 is overall a better experience – bigger planes, more legroom, and overall more comfortable seating. I have flown both and definitely prefer the A380. you can check out my review of both in this article: http://wowtravel.me/surviving-a-long-haul-on-emirates-qatar-etihad/

    Emirates recently downgraded Houston from the A380 to the B777 and now Dallas — not looking good for Texas

  19. I was just about to book EK J back to Dallas from BKK September 1. I caught it in EF and was like ah crap! I will not give EK $4500 for a slanted business class seat! It’s like two different airlines flying.

  20. Meanwhile Emirates putting an A380 to Dubai to Kuwait??

    In Dallas we have Qatar, Etihad, Emirates from Dallas and they all use 777-300ERs. Matter of fact the Qatar 777-300ER was the most comfortable flight I had out of those carriers. The only reason for me to consider Emirates was the A380. If the Emirates doesn’t offer A380 then that’s it for me flying with Emirates. I think they are making a big mistake taking off the A380 from the Dallas as Dallas is one of the fastest growing cities in the US.

  21. Unfortunately I am sitting on the 777 as we speak. Didn’t realize the change ..go long delta stock since all hunters will go back to them. No 380. No emirates.

  22. I first flew on an A380 from DXB to DFW back in Dec of 2014. I flew Economy and ended up having a whole row of seats to myself. I can imagine how empty Business and First was on that flight! I’m sure EK did this to maximize revenue per seat and reassign the A380s to routes with more bodies to put in seats.

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