A380 Vs. 777: Which Emirates First Class Is Best?

A380 Vs. 777: Which Emirates First Class Is Best?

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I recently flew Emirates’ new Boeing 777 first class on a long haul flight for the first time, and a reader asked me in the comments section whether I prefer Emirates’ “new” 777 first class or “old” A380 first class. So I wanted to address that in this post.

Emirates’ two types of first class seats

While Emirates has a fairly consistent fleet of just Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, the airline has some different premium products. In this post I wanted to address whether I think Emirates’ A380 or 777 first class is better. On the surface you may say “well of course the new first class is better than the old first class,” but the A380 has some unique amenities that give it an edge in some ways.

Emirates “old” A380 first class pros & cons

Emirates is probably most well known for its Airbus A380s, as the carrier has by far the largest A380 fleet in the world. Ironically in terms of the cabin itself, Emirates’ A380 first class isn’t that cutting edge.

Emirates Airbus A380 first class cabin
Emirates Airbus A380 first class seats

The cabin has 14 seats, so doesn’t feel especially private (though often the cabin isn’t full). Furthermore, in terms of the footprint dedicated to each seat, there’s not actually that much space. As a point of comparison, Singapore Airlines puts just six first class seats in the same space on the A380.

In terms of the cabin as such, I’d argue that Emirates’ “old” 777 first class is better than the A380 first class. That’s because 777s have just eight first class seats, and the cabin on the 777 is also wider than on the upper deck of the A380, so it feels more spacious.

But the A380 has two features that make it oh-so-fun, which for many of us never get old:

  • Emirates has two ridiculously over-the-top shower suites in A380 first class, which are unlike anything offered by any other airline; the novelty of showering on a plane just doesn’t wear off, in my opinion
  • Emirates has a bar at the back of A380 business class, which is a great place to stretch your legs, socialize, and just generally have fun
Emirates Airbus A380 first class shower
Emirates Airbus A380 business class bar

I should note that there are mild differences between the cabins on various A380s, depending on when they were delivered. Some have slightly have different finishes, some have different bars, and the seats have slightly different technology. However, the “bones” of the cabins are consistent.

You can read an Emirates A380 first class review here.

Emirates “new” 777 first class pros & cons

I rank Emirates’ new Boeing 777 first class as being the best first class product in the world. Each 777 has just six first class suites, and they’re better than what you’ll find on the A380 in just about every way. They’re incredibly spacious, they’re fully enclosed (floor to ceiling), and there are endless gadgets, from temperature controls, to lighting controls, to the ability to order room service by video, to virtual windows.

There’s simply not a first class product in the world that offers this much privacy or opulence.

Emirates Boeing 777 first class seat
Emirates Boeing 777 first class bed
Emirates Boeing 777 first class cabin

What’s the downside to Emirates’ new 777 first class?

  • There’s no onboard shower
  • There’s no onboard bar
  • It’s not ideal if you’re traveling with someone; you have so much privacy that you won’t even really be able to spend time with your travel companion, as there’s no option to dine together, to combine two suites into one, etc.

The other major consideration is that Emirates’ new 777 first class is only available on very select routes, as only nine 777s feature these cabins. So a vast majority of 777s don’t have this new first class.

You can read an Emirates 777 first class review here.

Which Emirates first class product is better?

If you haven’t flown Emirates’ new first class and have the opportunity to, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a spectacularly good product, and then there’s the novelty of it. But let’s say you haven’t flown either product, or you’ve flown both products multiple times.

Here’s my philosophy on which product is refer:

  • If traveling alone, I’d choose Emirates’ new first class for the huge amount of personal space and unrivaled privacy
  • If traveling with someone, I may choose the A380, for the ability to sit together, shower (not necessarily together), and go to the bar; I consider Emirates first class to be the most fun first class product in the sky, and it’s a lot more fun with company, and that’s something you’re giving up with the new first class
  • However, if I were traveling with someone in Emirates first class on an overnight flight where I mostly intended to sleep, I’d choose the new first class, as it’s much better for sleeping
Emirates Boeing 777 first class privacy

Bigger picture, with so few planes having Emirates’ new first class, there are limited situations where you’ll be choosing between the two products. Emirates has 250+ jets, yet only nine feature the first class, so the cabin sure is tough to come by.

Bottom line

Emirates is known for its first class product, and personally I love both the carrier’s A380 and new 777 first class. The new 777 first class is in my opinion the best in the world, and offers an unbelievable amount of privacy and some amazing gadgets. The A380 first class offers showers and a bar, which are some of the coolest amenities you’ll find on planes. On top of that, the A380 is great if you’re traveling with someone and want to enjoy the flight together.

I’m curious to hear what OMAAT readers think — which Emirates first class product do you prefer?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Scott Guest

    Have you ever flown Air France La Premiere on 777-300?? Amazing space, service and ambiance. No doors, but very chic curtains instead. Only 4 seats. Beats Emirates...in my opinion.

  2. Mark Guest

    Etihad A380 first suites are my favorite, especially the configs where the beds are together

  3. Rob Guest

    If you fly business class on A380, do you still get access to shower and bar?

  4. Crosscourt Guest

    Use the shower on board because the showers in the EK first lounge at DXB are awful. they are soooo hot. It's like being in a sauna. I and others have made the point to EK and nothing is done. There's no air in the lounge showers. Avoid.

    1. Leigh Gold

      That's interesting. I have the exact same issue with the QR Al Mourjan shower lounges at Doha..I walk out feeling like I'm dripping...though I haven't experienced the Al Safwa F lounge at Doha, which I hope would be better.

  5. Nkoloogi Joseph Guest

    Really,, God created the earth but you people made A380 vs.777: on earth, first class is best. Thank you.

    1. Guy Guest

      "God created the earth"

      Source?

  6. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Having flown the 777 new first class two weeks ago, and connecting directly to the A380 first class, I can say that I prefer the new 777 new first class hands down.

    That said, I don’t view the 380 shower as a “novelty” - when flying IAD - DXB(777) - JNB(380), the shower was wonderful and refreshing an hour from landing in Joburg.

    Still, I’ve got to say that when I was shown to my...

    Having flown the 777 new first class two weeks ago, and connecting directly to the A380 first class, I can say that I prefer the new 777 new first class hands down.

    That said, I don’t view the 380 shower as a “novelty” - when flying IAD - DXB(777) - JNB(380), the shower was wonderful and refreshing an hour from landing in Joburg.

    Still, I’ve got to say that when I was shown to my seat on the DXB-JNB(380) leg, my first thought was “Why are they seating me in business?” and it took me a second to realize how huge the difference was between new 777 first and the A380 “classic” first. There is just so much space in the new 777s.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      The shower is as novelty as flying the Concorde.

      You have to try it once. You don't mind trying it again but there are better alternatives.
      But you know it will disappear in the near future and you will scramble to try it one last time.

  7. Michelle Guest

    I have flown Emirates business class on the A380 and loved it. I have the opportunity to fly Emirates long distance (30 hrs)on the A380 again. Do you think the price difference between Business and First is worth it?

    1. Pranas Guest

      On the A380, I don’t think the difference between J and F is worth it unless you plan to use the shower. The J offers pretty reasonable privacy compared to F which does not have the floor to ceiling enclosed suite.

  8. Jan Guest

    I had the opportunity to fly EK A380 F. Simply put, the bar and especially the shower is an experience, full stop. No other plane currently operating offers that, while there are plenty of other airlines offering superb/luxurious suites (SQ, AF).

    That said, if I find myself using EK again I would try the 777 F. It does look really good and I’ve already crossed out the A380 in the experience bucket list.

  9. GroeneMichel Member

    Are you actually allowed to shower together on the A380?

    1. Stuart Guest

      I’ve flown the old 777 and 380 in First and would always choose the 380 for the shower. I don’t find it to be a novelty at all. It feels so refreshing to get off the plane after such a long flight having showered. I really wish other airlines offered showers too. Having the bar is a plus too.

    2. Sam Guest

      That wasn’t the question OP asked :-)
      Curious as well if one can shower together.. I assume no.

    3. Ned W Guest

      Yup, done that with the wife, SYD - DXB. One of the best luxuries in the sky.

    4. loungeabuser Guest

      The sign inside says "maximum occupancy 2"

  10. David Guest

    Have flown the 777 in F and fully agree it’s the best first class product on the planet. On the A380 have never been in F, only J, but was more than satisfied with that. J gives you access to the same bar as F, and the shower as you say is a novelty, I would say it is a gimmick. I really don’t need or want to take a shower even on a really long flight to/from DXB.

    1. Steve Diamond

      Yup seems pretty clear to me as well, a380 for J and 777 for F.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TravelinWilly Diamond

Having flown the 777 new first class two weeks ago, and connecting directly to the A380 first class, I can say that I prefer the new 777 new first class hands down. That said, I don’t view the 380 shower as a “novelty” - when flying IAD - DXB(777) - JNB(380), the shower was wonderful and refreshing an hour from landing in Joburg. Still, I’ve got to say that when I was shown to my seat on the DXB-JNB(380) leg, my first thought was “Why are they seating me in business?” and it took me a second to realize how huge the difference was between new 777 first and the A380 “classic” first. There is just so much space in the new 777s.

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David Guest

Have flown the 777 in F and fully agree it’s the best first class product on the planet. On the A380 have never been in F, only J, but was more than satisfied with that. J gives you access to the same bar as F, and the shower as you say is a novelty, I would say it is a gimmick. I really don’t need or want to take a shower even on a really long flight to/from DXB.

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Mark Guest

Etihad A380 first suites are my favorite, especially the configs where the beds are together

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