Which Routes Feature The New Emirates First Class?

Which Routes Feature The New Emirates First Class?

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I rank Emirates’ new first class as the world’s best first class product. Readers often have questions about whether a particular flight is scheduled to feature the new first class, so in this post I wanted to cover that in a bit more detail.

What makes Emirates’ new first class special?

While Emirates first class has long been a world class product, the airline took it to the next level with its new first class, introduced in late 2017. The new first class is available exclusively on select Boeing 777-300ERs, and features just six seats. It’s simply the most impressive first class hard product in the sky.

Emirates’ new first class seat
Emirates’ new first class seat

While there are lots of first class suites with doors nowadays, this one is actually fully enclosed, floor-to-ceiling. This suite also has an incredible number of gadgets, from temperature controls in your private suite, to lighting controls where you can choose the color and intensity of the lighting.

Emirates’ new first class seat

To get a sense of how awesome this product is, check out my full Emirates new first class trip report from a flight I took between Dubai and Brussels back when the product launched.

Which planes feature Emirates’ new first class?

Even though Emirates has a fleet of over 250 aircraft (exclusively Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s), only nine planes feature the new first class seats. More specifically, the last nine Boeing 777-300ERs that Emirates ever took delivery of have this cabin. Emirates took delivery of these planes between 2017 and 2018, and they have the following registration codes:

Nine Emirates 777-300ERs feature new first class seats

The above links go to the FlightRadar24 pages for each of the planes, so you can track where they’ve been flying.

Just to be perfectly clear, while Emirates’ A380s offer an incredible first class experience with onboard showers and a bar, no A380s feature the new first class seats.

Emirates’ A380s have onboard showers, but not new first class seats

How can you tell if your plane features Emirates’ new first class?

The best way to tell for sure if you’re scheduled to be on a plane with Emirates’ new first class is to look at the seatmap. If the seatmap shows eight seats in first class (two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration) then you’re scheduled to be on a 777 with the old first class.

Meanwhile if the seatmap shows six seats in first class (two rows in a 1-1 configuration) then you’re scheduled to be on a 777 with the new first class.

Let me once again emphasize that aircraft assignments are subject to change, especially if you’re still a long time for departure.

Emirates’ old 777 first class cabin

Which routes feature Emirates’ new first class?

Emirates is constantly adjusting its schedule at the moment in light of current travel restrictions, so I’m not going to fully list the exact dates, flight numbers, and routes that 777s with new first class are scheduled for, since that information will already be outdated within a few days.

That being said, most regularly Emirates flies 777s with the new first class between Dubai and the following destinations:

  • Brussels (BRU)
  • Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Geneva (GVA)
  • London (LHR)
  • Tokyo (NRT)
  • Singapore (SIN)
  • Zurich (ZRH)

While these are destinations that pretty consistently have 777s with the new first class scheduled, there are plenty of other routes where we sometimes see 777s substituted at the last minute. For example, recently we’ve seen 777s also flying to Amman, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Madrid, Seoul, etc.

Unfortunately no destinations in the United States consistently have Emirates’ new first class at the moment. That being said, last minute we do sometimes see US routes get one of these planes as a surprise. For example, in the past few weeks, the following US routes got a new 777 at the last minute:

  • Dubai to Boston got it on September 4
  • Dubai to Chicago got it on August 26, August 27, August 28, and September 1
  • Dubai to Dallas got it on September 12, September 16
  • Dubai to Houston got it on September 12
  • Dubai to Orlando got it on August 23
  • Dubai to San Francisco got it on September 5

The problem is that these assignments seem to happen within 24 hours, so there’s no way to really bank on it. I have a bad habit of checking Flightradar24 every couple of days to see if any of the new 777s are bound for the US. I fantasize about booking one back to Dubai if I do see it, but then realize that’s not a priority right now.

Emirates 777s with the new first class sometimes fly to the US

Will more planes get Emirates’ new first class?

Emirates introduced its new first class four years ago, and still only nine planes have the new first class. When can we expect more planes to get this new first class product?

  • There are no concrete plans for Emirates to reconfigure any existing planes with the new first class product
  • Rather the new first class product will be rolled out on Emirates’ upcoming Boeing 777Xs, as the airline has 115 of these planes on order
  • The catch is that Emirates was supposed to start taking delivery of the 777X in 2021, but that has now been delayed until 2024 at the earliest
  • Emirates also has A350-900s and Boeing 787-9s, but those aren’t supposed to feature first class

Unfortunately it sounds like we shouldn’t expect any more planes to feature the new first class for another three years, which sure is disappointing. Hopefully Emirates management has a change of heart, and reconfigures some existing planes with these seats. Unfortunately with the pandemic I suspect that’s unlikely, since airlines are looking to conserve cash wherever possible right now.

Emirates’ upcoming Boeing 787s won’t feature first class

How do you redeem miles for Emirates first class?

The best way to redeem miles for Emirates first class is directly through the Skywards program. The good news is that Skywards is transfer partners with all major transferable points currencies, including Amex Membership RewardsChase Ultimate RewardsCiti ThankYou, and Capital One, so there are lots of ways to earn Skywards miles.

First class award availability can be tough to come by on planes with the new first class, given how small the cabin is. That being said, we often see one seat released in advance, and then more seats released as the departure date approaches.

The real trick to scoring an Emirates first class award seat is to book a business class award, and then upgrade at the airport or on the plane using Skywards miles, as that generally gets you last seat availability.

Upgrading to Emirates first class is easy day of departure

Bottom line

Emirates’ new first class product is incredible, and I rank it as the best in the world. Unfortunately it’s only available on nine aircraft, so a vast majority of first class passengers won’t get to experience it.

Hopefully the above is a useful overview of what makes the product special, what routes you can regularly find it on, and how you might be able to even fly one of these planes last minute from the United States if you keep an eye on flight tracking software.

If you’ve flown the new Emirates first class, what was your experience like?

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  1. The DZ

    The old first class is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better (the 2008 suites and the 2-2-2 SkyCruiser 2005 First Class). And I'm NOT being sarcastic!

  2. Humz

    Come on, a product that is almost 5 years old still being called "new"? by this blog??
    sums up approach of EK to pretend it has a better cabin experience (seat, privacy and food) than Qatar - agree with others pure marketing gimmickry

    1. Eskimo

      Come on, a city that is almost 360 years old still being called "new"? by everyone??

      sums up approach of NY to pretend it has a better city experience (attractions, people and food) than Boston - agree with others pure marketing gimmickry

  3. TT

    Starting on Dec 15 EK will fly new 777s between DXB and HND as well as NRT.
    If you're creative with your routing and start from OSL, ARN, ATH, TUN, or BRU you can get a round trip in F that includes the new first on the DXB to TYO leg for a somewhat reasonable $5k to $6k.

  4. maccymac

    "Meanwhile if the seatmap shows six seats in first class (two rows in a 1-1 configuration) then you’re scheduled to be on a 777 with the new first class."

    Shouldn't this be "two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration?

  5. codyrain s.

    Humble yourself some, first class fliers.

  6. DCA Will Always Be "National"

    I may be in the minority, but having flown both the new F on the 777 and the old and newer A380 F, I prefer the A380. While the "suites" on the A380 are smaller and don't have as many gadgets, I like that they're still open to the cabin for airiness and to be able to talk to your travel companion if one of you is window and the other is in the middle....

    I may be in the minority, but having flown both the new F on the 777 and the old and newer A380 F, I prefer the A380. While the "suites" on the A380 are smaller and don't have as many gadgets, I like that they're still open to the cabin for airiness and to be able to talk to your travel companion if one of you is window and the other is in the middle. Plus, how often do pax use all the gadgets after the initial wow factor has worn off? That's gimmicky nonsense to me. Beyond that, though, I'll 100% take a pre-landing shower and a bar to enjoy - both of which I use consistently, especially the bar - over a floor-to-ceiling wall/door and some dippy LEDs that change color. Heck, even my car does that.

  7. BB

    I actually planned a trip to Milan August 3rd-August 12th around catching this plane. It was pretty regularly flying from Dubai To/From JFK, though on a limited Thursday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday schedule (or similar).

    Took the A380 out to Dubai from JFK August 3rd, followed sadly by an old 777 (hefty wireless tablet that felt like a brick and worked wirelessly about as well as one) from DXB to MXP August 5th (time change/layover). What...

    I actually planned a trip to Milan August 3rd-August 12th around catching this plane. It was pretty regularly flying from Dubai To/From JFK, though on a limited Thursday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday schedule (or similar).

    Took the A380 out to Dubai from JFK August 3rd, followed sadly by an old 777 (hefty wireless tablet that felt like a brick and worked wirelessly about as well as one) from DXB to MXP August 5th (time change/layover). What was a real head spin was taking an "ancient" 777 (1st class media tablet was tethered and nearly as small as my iPhone..) from MXP back to DXB Aug 11th. That same 777 will do a non-stop apparently and was showing it's age everywhere.. I can't imagine it for 10+ hours!

    Thankfully they didn't fly that same 777 out, and I was able to catch the 777 "game changer" at DXB Aug 12th. Talk about feeling like you're going from ancient to futuristic.. absolutely incredible experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. Only issue was the service "window" for my seat actually broke and wouldn't stay latched up at first - until the FA not so gently forced it and broke a cord/tether.. but it shut!

  8. Joey

    Back in fall 2020, Emirates flew the new game changer first class to JFK nonstop consistently and I was lucky enough to find award availability! Loved the whole 14-15 hour experience!!! Back then, US passport holders didn’t have to provide any covid test on US bound flights.

  9. JB

    I doubt they will fly it to Miami for the time being since the plane sits on the ground for a really long time (which would mean less aircraft utilization), incase you've been waiting to see it at MIA :)

  10. John

    Ben, after four years and in the total absence of any plans to further roll-out this product, I think it's safe to conclude that it's a marketing gimmick. This is unfortunate because I usually associate Emirates with a dependable and consistent (albeit homogenised and slightly boring) product right across their network. In fact, I'll go one step further and surmise that there probably never was a plan to have this on anything more than a...

    Ben, after four years and in the total absence of any plans to further roll-out this product, I think it's safe to conclude that it's a marketing gimmick. This is unfortunate because I usually associate Emirates with a dependable and consistent (albeit homogenised and slightly boring) product right across their network. In fact, I'll go one step further and surmise that there probably never was a plan to have this on anything more than a handful of planes(!) It's like the unicorn of first class. Nice to think about, but a waste of time and effort to obtain.

    1. Phillip

      I second that! And yet another way to hide a very poor business class product in all the marketing/advertising!

    2. Eskimo

      Consider that it was on the last deliveries of the 77W and all the new 777X.
      I think it's safe to conclude it isn't a marketing gimmick. The plans were all there, nothing absent. The plan was disrupted by 737MAX crashed that diverted Boeing's attention and Covid-19 slowdown. So rather then the planned 2020 delivery (when they ordered the 777X in 2014), it became a long gap.

      You might think it's a unicorn because...

      Consider that it was on the last deliveries of the 77W and all the new 777X.
      I think it's safe to conclude it isn't a marketing gimmick. The plans were all there, nothing absent. The plan was disrupted by 737MAX crashed that diverted Boeing's attention and Covid-19 slowdown. So rather then the planned 2020 delivery (when they ordered the 777X in 2014), it became a long gap.

      You might think it's a unicorn because blogger glorified these by chasing them, along with the Residence and Apartments. (Someone even started a Kickstarter campaign to pay for one) ;)

      I usually associate Emirates with overrated and avoid any EK except on the A380.
      Not only are they still flying 2-3-2 seats, they are among the first to squeeze the 3-4-3 on a 777.

  11. Stuart

    I honestly wish someone would post alerts when ad hoc sighted en route to the U.S. I would love to try and grab it last minute for fun if redemptions are available.

  12. AYL

    was lucky enough for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fly this in APR 2022 in F JFK-DXB making it the longest route flown. surreal experience and worth all the stress to make this happen

    1. Tracy

      Yes, time traveling is for sure a surreal experience.

Featured Comments Load all 18 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Tracy

Yes, time traveling is for sure a surreal experience.

The DZ

The old first class is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better (the 2008 suites and the 2-2-2 SkyCruiser 2005 First Class). And I'm NOT being sarcastic!

Eskimo

Come on, a city that is almost 360 years old still being called "new"? by everyone?? sums up approach of NY to pretend it has a better city experience (attractions, people and food) than Boston - agree with others pure marketing gimmickry

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