Lap of luxury

Emirates business class is a flight straight from heaven.

Written by Bronwen Gora
Photography by Emirates

22 June 2023


Probably the most enduring memory of flying in Emirates business class from Sydney to Switzerland earlier this year is that of feeling so content from start to finish.

From setting foot inside Emirate’s salubrious Business and First-Class passenger lounge in Sydney Airport to exiting the plush A-380 upper-deck business class cabin for the last time, I felt completely comfortable and well-cared for.  And it made for one of, if not the, best flight of my life.

Emirates has whittled passenger pampering down to a fine art. In Business Class, this means free-flowing French champagne (the first glass of which arrives within seconds of taking your luxurious seat), exceptional wines, chef-curated menus and attentive staff for whom nothing is a problem.

The airline makes sure there is nothing for which its premium passengers are left wanting.

Any lover of fine French champagne will be interested to know that Emirates is currently the only airline in the world to serve Moët and Veuve Clicquot (Business Class cabins) and Dom Perignon (in First Class only).


The wines are exceptional, and many labels are available exclusively on Emirates, along with the 20-year-old Graham’s port.

Lovers of fine food are in for an equal treat, especially vegans and those who prefer to eat plants. The airline noted a 154 percent increase in requests for vegan meals between 2021 and 2022, when a record 280,000 plant-based meals were served on Emirates’ flights.

Emirates currently has more than 180 recipes available, and a new gourmet vegan menu in First and Business Class that includes dishes like pan-roasted king oyster mushrooms, jackfruit biryani, sliced kohlrabi and burnt orange and chocolate truffle cake finished with gold leaf.

I do my part for the planet by selecting a traditional Arabic mezze, a selection of vegetarian dips, each mouthful bursting with authentic spices, especially in the divine muhammara – a delicious blend of red peppers, walnuts, pomegranate molasses and olive oil.

When it comes time to sleep, I use the push-button controls in the armrest to lay my Business Class seat completely flat and nod off. I’m extra cosy thanks to the doona that the cabin crew place over my seat soon after take-off. The seats themselves are private, roomy pods, more akin to doorless mini cabins. Those on the A-380 come complete with generous side tables with small handy shelves filled with mineral water, and enough spaces here and there to store shoes, laptops, devices, books and more.

When awake and wanting to be entertained, Business Class passengers are spoiled for choice. Suddenly the journey to the other side of the world doesn’t seem long enough as I peruse the 3000 channels of on-demand entertainment including over 650 movies and more than 1000 hours of television programs (What to watch? The Biggest Wave? The White Lotus?) including 8 channels of live TV. There’s even live news, sport and business headlines updated via satellite.

If I were so inclined, I could spend much of the flight playing any number of the 40 video games on offer too. Fortunately, channel surfing is made super easy thanks to the tablet available in a charging dock on the side table plus the noise cancellation headphones available for all Business Class passengers, and I quickly immerse myself in the extensive list.

Over the ensuing legs of the transcontinental flight, I acquaint myself with one of the most marvellous features of an Emirates A-380 Business Class cabin – the on-board lounge. Here, passengers can prop themselves at the small, semi-circular bar, chat to cabin crew and order a beverage from cocktails to coffee.

The bar also features a cake stand with – yes – vegan bite-size treats and other little cakes. There is also enough room for a table on either side of the bar, with banquette seating at each. I settle at one later in the flight, sip on a blissfully hot cup of tea and nibble on a fresh biscuit.

When I need to freshen up, I dig into my Bulgari-branded luxury amenity bag, a miniature treasure trove with Bulgari perfume, lotions and plush eyeshades that, along with the little gold Bulgari bag, now serve as small but happy reminders of an immensely memorable flight.



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