Emirates flights between Sydney, Dubai, London and Paris now feature a fourth cabin option for travelers willing to trade their regular economy seat for a more ‘premium’ experience in everything from comfort to food and beverage.
Melbourne will also soon be added to the mix, along with New York, San Francisco, Auckland and Singapore, as the airline’s premium economy offering takes flight on additional routes, starting in December.
The launch will include flights to:
- New York JFK (EK203 and EK204) starting December 1.
- Auckland (EK448 and EK449) from January 15.
- Melbourne (EK406 and EK407) from February 1.
- San Francisco (EK225 and EK226) starting February 15.
- Singapore (EK354 and EK355) from March 1.
An elevated version of the premium economy
Executive Traveler boarded one of the airline’s A380s in Sydney for a tour of the new product with Emirates Vice President for Australasia and New Zealand, Barry Brown.
“This has been in the planning for over four years,” Brown said. Executive Traveler.
“In fact, it’s been flying since earlier this year, even though we didn’t launch the product (then), so we let our frequent flyers who traveled coach a lot experience the seats, but without the bells and whistles that we’ve had. put on now
Brown said the market reaction to the new product has exceeded expectations.
“Customer feedback has been just phenomenal, and I think what you saw today is a taste of what our customers can expect. It’s a big change from the economy versus a change from the business.”
“[Premium economy] it’s appealing to leisure travelers right now and even more so in the senior market,” said Brown.
“The 65+ market has the dollar to spare, but they don’t want to pay businesses to upgrade and their feedback is fantastic – they love the product.
While it is currently only available on six of Emirates’ A380s, from November 2022 Emirates will begin a $2 billion modernization project that will see a steady stream of aircraft emerge from the hangar offering the new product.
Once completed, nearly half of Emirates’ fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft will feature the premium economy cabin.
“It’s a very comfortable ride up there,” Brown said.
You have your own individual cabin. You have your own individual cabin crew looking after you, and another important fact that probably doesn’t get talked about much is the forward toilets. [are] dedicated to that cabin, so there are very good considerations about the product design concept.”
On the A380, Premium Economy is located forward of the lower deck, where you’ll find 56 seats arranged in a 2-4-2 layout, housed in your own private cabin.
Emirates premium economy: what is it like?
The Dubai airline’s new premium economy class is a bold and strategic move for the Gulf carrier, which throughout its 35-year history has only offered first, business and economy class.
Like other airlines offering similar seats, Emirates caters to budget passengers who may be tempted to part with a little more bang for their buck for a better long-haul travel experience.
“[Premium economy is] probably where business class used to be and in some cases where it used to be for the first time in the old days, 30 years ago,” Emirates Chairman Sir Tim Clark said earlier. Executive Traveler, describing the seat as similar to a railway-style ‘sleeper’.
Emirates Premium Economy: How is it different from economy?
Passengers looking to upgrade from economy class will find themselves cradled in this roomier seat with a pitch “up to 40 inches” compared to 32-34 inches in economy.
Seats are slightly wider than their economy counterparts (19.5 inches compared to 18 inches) and arranged in a 2-4-2 layout rather than the more crowded 3-4-3 in economy.
A reliable, if not perfect, replacement for legroom, the pitch between seats is around 38 inches for most rows (about standard for premium economy on most airlines) with two inches extra seats for the front row, so there is definitely less pressure around the knees compared to economy.
Emirates Premium Economy – The Seat
Emirates’ premium economy seat has been calibrated to be a marked improvement in economy without cannibalizing the appeal of business class. In other words, it is for improvers instead of degraders.
The cabin adopts a similar color scheme to Emirates’ latest business class design, with seats upholstered in cream anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood-panelled finish. “The seats look like a Mercedes, with bold colors on the walls as well,” says Clark.
While flat beds remain the domain of business class, the extra eight or so inches of recline and a generous leg rest that lifts up front help travelers get from A to B with plenty of Zzz.
This is complemented by a six-way adjustable padded headrest and a clever platform for your feet to set a comfortable stage that will help you drift off to sleep.
You’ll find USB-A and USB-C ports located below the 13.3″ video screen in the seatback, with a universal AC power outlet shared between every two seats.
Meals from the Premium Economy menu are served on a polished woodgrain dining table that folds down from one side, with a separate end table where you can place your drink or snack.
The airline’s Airbus A380 superjumbos have 56 premium economy seats forward on the lower deck, in a dedicated cabin with two dedicated bathrooms.
(On the relatively few A380s that lack first class, premium economy will be added to the upper deck, with three bathrooms where the two first-class shower suites would otherwise be.)
At the time of writing, only six of Emirates’ A380s feature the new premium economy seats, but 61 more are on the way.
The airline’s fourth class will also be installed on 53 of its 124 Boeing 777 aircraft as part of an 18-month, $1.5 billion modernization program that will begin in late 2022.
The single-tier Boeing 777 will feature up to 24 premium economy seats in a dedicated cabin located between business and economy class.
Emirates Premium Economy – Meals and Service
Emirates Premium Economy passengers can choose from a rotating menu of dishes served on Royal Doulton china with stainless steel cutlery.
with meals”inspired by business class,” you can expect inflight dining to be seriously elevated beyond budget, along with a series of wines not available further back.
Before takeoff, guests will be welcomed on board with a drink served in fine glassware.
There is a self-service snack bar if you get hungry, although premium economy passengers are not admitted to Emirates’ iconic inflight lounge at the rear of the upper deck, which remains the exclusive domain of first class and airline passengers. business.
Emirates premium economy: how much does it cost?
At the time of writing, Emirates appears to be shrewdly pricing premium economy, almost halfway between economy and business.
Prices in mid-October 2022 on the busy London-Dubai route show cheap fares of £520 and £867, depending on how flexible the fare is with respect to changes, representing an “average” cheap fare of £693 .
Emirates Premium Economy Class is priced at £1,326 (this is a fully flexible fare, equivalent to the most expensive economy option), while Business Class is pegged at £2,648.
Emirates Premium Tourist: Lounge Access
Lounge access is not included in Emirates Premium Economy fares; however, travelers can always pay more to use these facilities.
The airline currently sells access to its main Dubai business class lounge and similar ones around the world for US$130 per person, with a US$100 discount for Emirates Skywards members.