Trip Report: Review of Emirates EK 406 Business Class MEL – AKL Airbus A380

Trip Report: Review of Emirates EK 406 Business Class MEL – AKL Airbus A380

I’ll admit it, I’ve somewhat avoided flying Emirates because…well… I’m an American and that’s what we are supposed to do…Avoid the ME3 carriers, right?

However, INQUIRING MINDS want to know AND we needed a way to get from Melbourne to Auckland.  It just so happens that Emirates operates that flight on their A380.  This was just the opportunity to give them a try to see what all the buzz is about…

Flight Details

Emirates flight  EK406
MEL-AKL Gate 11
Sunday, 21 January
Departure: 8:10
Arrival: 13:55
Flight Time: 3h + 07 minutes
Aircraft: A380 A6-EDA
Seats: 7K and 9K

We paid full fare for this ticket from MEL-AKL on Emirates.  It came to exactly $500.01 which to be honest, isn’t bad at all for an A380 Business Class product on a 3 hour and 7 minute flight.  What’s also great is that Alaska Airlines is a partner with Emirates and the earning points/miles potential is pretty big.

We booked in O, that is the fare class for our Business Class ticket which earns 225% mileage on that ticket.  Not bad at all, an easy 3,690 Alaska Mileage Plan miles into our pocket.

Plus, since we charged this on our AmEx Platinum card, read post here, we got an additional 5x points!

Recap of points from this purchase per person:

$500.01 spent
3,690 Alaska Miles (flown mileage)
2,500 AmEx Membership Rewards points (spend)

Before boarding, we headed to the Emirates Lounge @ MEL.   It’s important to note that Emirates operates a full, independent lounge at MEL airport.  We took viewers on a Facebook Live video tour of the lounge, you can see it by clicking below.

FYI….yeah, they had a water fountain there too!  You’ll find that it is a “theme” of Emirates…

We arrived at the airport a bit early for check-in.  There were some issues with our tickets, as our return had 4 hours transit time in Brisbane.  The agent insisted we needed a visa if we had a connection over 2 hours.  Which we will do a future post on the visa process for Australia, but it’s pretty cut and dry.  You get an electronic visa and you are set for one year.  We had a visa, but the agent couldn’t seem to find it and it didn’t seem to work for her, but we eventually got it all ironed out.

We left the lounge a bit early to get to the gate, once there we waited about 10 minutes before boarding started.  We boarded through the upper deck left door.

Seeing how this was our first ever Emirates flight we were highly impressed with their business class seat.  It has EVERYTHING you need, including a drink mini-bar built into the seat.  let’s take a look…

Tons of leg room

Your own personal mini bar

Power and phone in front of you with bag storage at your feet or in the overhead

And something I just can’t get excited enough about, AIR VENTS!  I want to SCREAM……YES!!!!!!!

Another great feature of this seat is the wireless seat and IFE control, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Quick seat controls above the mini bar

Waiting for us at the seat was a nice cotton pillow, duvet and a pair of noise reduction headphones.

Eye shades and socks were placed above your mini bar and toothbrush and paste were in the lavatory.

Boarding was quick and business class went out FULL!

During boarding, welcome drinks were offered: juice, champagne or water.

After take off, I was looking around my seat and noticed the WiFi, seems everyone gets 20MB free to use within two hours.

WiFi pricing isn’t bad if you are in need of internet.  I’d give you a speed test, however, if you open Instagram, you’ve pretty much used your 20MB.

After a swift take off, the captain turned off the seat belt sign and menus were passed out with the wine list.  The crew came by and took orders on an iPad.  I have to say, it seems Emirates gives their crews all the tools they need to really do a fantastic job on-board.

Just like our Virgin Australia flight, all trays and service was done by hand.  No carts.

We both had the Yogurt & Granola which was probably not the right choice for us as yogurt was already included in the breakfast.  Oh well, we will make up for that at the bar 😉

Once again a major attention to detail, a metal silverware ring

We ditched our breakfast pretty fast because, well…. when was the last time you had a full bar on your airplane?!?

Excellent choices and brands available

Snacks are also available

While the crew was so kind, attentive and fantastic, I just have to say that the star of this flight was the bar.  This has to be the biggest on board bar I’ve ever seen on an airplane.  We were told that because the flight was so short, they weren’t able to set up the bar tables that goes by the doors!

Just WOW! 

If you are on this plane on a long haul, I’d highly suggest avoiding seats near the back bar, but for shorter flights, it’s probably a better idea so you can get there faster!

Rui, the bar Flight Attendant was so sweet!  She made a killer Mojito and let us tend bar (pics of course 😉 )

We headed back to our seat as decent was to start soon into AKL.  We landed pretty much on time with a quick peak of our favorite airline, Thai.  This is TG’s new 787.

As we pulled into a remote gate, we disembark through the forward stairs and would you believe that Emirates has a full functioning waterfall in their FC area?!?!  Spare no expense!

First time we’ve EVER deplaned via air stairs from an A380

Overall thoughts?

Their A380 is by far, one of the best “Super Jumbo” products out there, IMO.  You can tell Emirates put some money into it by the huge business class bar on the upper deck, the large business class seat and the real live waterfall in First Class.

In fact, I’m reminded of the line made famous in Jurassic Park by John Hammond,

“Spared No Expense!”


What Emirates did right!

Once again, their A380 is a star.  The crew was fantastic and we were really impressed with the overall product. OH, and bless you Emirates for the air vents on the upper deck of the A380! Bless you!!!


Our final grades of Emirates Business Class International Product

Lounge (own lounge at MEL): A

Comfort of the Seat: A+

Cabin Space Seat Layout: A+++

Food: B

Amenity kit: N/A

Storage space: A+

Inflight cabin crew service: A++++

Ground customer service: B-

Have you flown on an Emirates A380? How was your experience?  Let us know in the comments!


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