Overview: Emirates’ Disappointing 777 Enterprise Class

After an incredible few weeks in Europe, it was time to return to the US. I made a decision to return from Greece to the US in Emirates enterprise class. Whereas I had flown Emirates’ A380 enterprise class earlier than, I had by no means flown Emirates’ 777 enterprise class on an extended haul flight.

Very long time readers know I’m an enormous fan of Emirates’ first-class. It’s one in all my favourite merchandise on the earth. Enterprise class is a really totally different story, sadly, a minimum of on the 777.

I knew what to anticipate stepping into, and I assume the expertise was precisely what I used to be anticipating. On the similar time, I can’t assist however be shocked that that is the product supplied on the airplane that’s the spine of the Dubai-based provider’s fleet. It’s arduous to think about that Qatar Airways’ Qsuites enterprise class is even marketed as the identical class of service as Emirates’ enterprise class, as a result of each the arduous and mushy product are so vastly totally different. Anyway, let’s get into the evaluation…

How I redeemed miles for Emirates enterprise class

I really like Emirates’ fifth freedom flights between Europe and the US (from Athens to Newark and Milan to New York), and award availability tends to be actually good on these flights. For the date I wanted, Emirates had enterprise class award seats accessible from Athens to Newark on the next flight:

07/26 EK209 Athens to Newark departing 5:35PM arriving 9:20PM

The ticket value simply 62,500 Skywards miles, plus round $100 in taxes (it was simply me touring, as Ford was staying in Greece a bit longer, and I managed to get him a firstclass award seat #HappyHusbandHappyLife).

Emirates Skywards miles are straightforward to come back by, because of this system partnering with all main transferable factors packages. This consists of Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Final Rewards, and Citi ThankYou.

Sadly my flight had no first-class award availability, and since first-class was full, I wasn’t in a position to make use of the trick for upgrading to Emirates first-class on the day of departure. On the plus facet, this may enable me to evaluation Emirates’ lengthy haul enterprise class product.

Emirates check-in, lounge, & boarding

Earlier in the summertime I flew Emirates’ 777 first-class from Athens to Newark, so I gained’t evaluation the bottom expertise an excessive amount of. The expertise at Athens Airport was straightforward sufficient, because the queues at check-in and safety weren’t lengthy.

Emirates makes use of the Goldair Lounge at Athens Airport, which is okay, although lower than the everyday commonplace of Emirates lounges.

Goldair Lounge Athens Airport

The flight boarded from gate A12, only a quick stroll from the lounge. Boarding began at 4:50PM (45 minutes earlier than departure), with first and enterprise class passengers being invited to board first.

Emirates departure gate Athens Airport

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER enterprise class cabin & seats

I boarded by means of the second set of doorways, the place I used to be greeted by the purser and one of many enterprise class flight attendants, and pointed proper in direction of the primary enterprise class cabin. Emirates’ 777-300ER enterprise class cabin consists of a complete of 42 seats, unfold throughout seven rows in a 2-3-2 configuration.

There’s a mini-cabin forward of the second set of doorways with two rows, after which the primary enterprise class cabin is behind that, and options 4 rows. The airplane I used to be flying on was roughly 15 years outdated, and it positive confirmed its age too.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER enterprise class cabin
Emirates Boeing 777-300ER enterprise class cabin

It’s arduous to think about any half first rate airline nonetheless has center seats in enterprise class these days as a part of its commonplace product on its most typical lengthy haul plane.

Emirates Boeing 777 enterprise class seats
Emirates Boeing 777 enterprise class seats

I assigned myself seat 10A, the window seat on the left facet within the second to final row of enterprise class (I used to be making an attempt to be strategic and get an empty seat subsequent to me, and it paid off — the cabin ended up having 33 of 42 seats occupied, and the seat subsequent to me remained empty).

Emirates enterprise class seats Boeing 777

It’s humorous, as a result of in first-class I discover Emirates’ cabin finishes to be oddly charming, or a minimum of a part of the expertise, as a result of the product is in any other case so spectacular. Nonetheless, with the outdated enterprise class seats and purple upholstery, I discover the faux-wood to be a lot much less interesting.

Emirates enterprise class seats Boeing 777
Emirates enterprise class seat Boeing 777

Within the middle console between seats have been cupholders, in addition to trays the place drinks might be positioned.

Emirates enterprise class seat middle console

Privateness in Emirates enterprise class seats is superb. There’s an enormous partition between seats, so you actually do really feel like you could have some privateness out of your seat mate. I think about that’s particularly good for these caught in a middle seat, with a stranger on all sides.

Emirates enterprise class seat privateness partition

Additionally within the middle console have been the leisure controls, seat controls, and a touchscreen that might management numerous seat capabilities. All of them felt outdated.

Emirates enterprise class seat controls

There was additionally a 110v outlet. Nonetheless, Emirates’ older 777s don’t have USB retailers, which shocked the particular person seated a number of seats over. The airline does have a number of converters onboard, although, for individuals who want a USB outlet. Be sure you ask for one early, as there aren’t many onboard.

Emirates enterprise class seat energy outlet

The tray desk folded out from the middle armrest, and might be folded over in half.

Emirates enterprise class seat tray desk

There have been some primary seat controls on the left armrest, with three pre-set choices.

Emirates enterprise class seat controls

Whereas the remainder of the seat is sort of outdated, the leisure displays in enterprise class are large. There was additionally a seatback pocket, in addition to a compartment the place you could possibly retailer footwear.

Emirates enterprise class seat Boeing 777

Emirates has particular person air nozzles at every seat on the 777, which is a helpful characteristic for these of us who are likely to get sizzling on planes.

Emirates enterprise class seat air nozzles

One different good characteristic of Emirates’ 777s are that the enterprise class seats have window shades that may be managed on the push of a button. These aren’t just like the 787s with dimmers, however somewhat you’ll be able to open the window shade fully, decrease blinds so that you’ve got pure mild however can’t see something, or make them fully darkish.

Emirates enterprise class window shades

Only for context on the situation of my seat, I had nice views of the engine from 10A. You’ve gotta love 777 engines!

View from my Emirates 777 enterprise class seat

I additionally had a pleasant view of the cabin, as I get pleasure from watching the service circulate.

View from my Emirates 777 enterprise class seat

As I’ve typically mentioned, I believe Emirates will get an enormous halo impact from its Airbus A380 fleet and unimaginable first-class product. However the actuality is that the 777 is the first plane Emirates flies, and a overwhelming majority of 777s have this product (the exceptions are 777-200LRs, which have a barely totally different product, and 9 new 777-300ERs, which have the identical product however with higher finishes).

I’m sorry, however that is simply plain embarrassing, particularly when you think about what different airways are providing these days. It’s woefully uncompetitive. Fortuitously Emirates is contemplating introducing a brand new enterprise class product on a minimum of some 777s.

You understand how Emirates’ enterprise class isn’t nice? Usually when folks stroll previous enterprise class to go to financial system, you’ll hear them say one thing like “wow” or “I want I have been sitting right here.” I heard none of that, and as an alternative simply heard one particular person say “this doesn’t look very good for enterprise class.”

Emirates enterprise class facilities

With regards to facilities, there was a pillow and blanket ready at every enterprise class seat. The pillow had first rate padding, whereas the blanket was easy. This positively isn’t industry-leading bedding. There have been additionally mattress pads distributed after takeoff, which I’ll discuss extra about in a while.

Emirates enterprise class pillow & blanket

There have been a pair of headphones at my seat, which have been okay.

Emirates enterprise class headphones

Amenity kits have been distributed throughout boarding, and have been in all probability the most effective of the facilities. They featured merchandise from quite a lot of manufacturers, together with BVLGARI, Gents’s Tonic, and extra. The variety of gadgets within the package was spectacular.

Emirates enterprise class amenity package

On high of that, there was a separate pouch with socks and eyeshades, in addition to a package with a face masks and hand sanitizer.

Emirates enterprise class facilities
Emirates enterprise class PPE

The menu and wine record have been additionally distributed in the course of the boarding course of.

Emirates enterprise class menu & wine record

Pre-departure drinks have been supplied in correct glassware, with the selection between champagne, orange juice, and apple juice.

Emirates enterprise class pre-departure champagne

Emirates enterprise class lunch service

Let’s discuss in regards to the meal service on this 10hr15min flight. Lunch was served after takeoff and dinner was served earlier than touchdown (there’s no dine on demand in enterprise class on Emirates). The meals menu learn as follows:

Emirates enterprise class menu

The drink record learn as follows:

Emirates enterprise class drink record
Emirates enterprise class drink record
Emirates enterprise class wine record
Emirates enterprise class wine record
Emirates enterprise class wine record
Emirates enterprise class wine record

About half-hour after takeoff the service started. The crew got here by means of the cabin to take meal and drink orders utilizing smartphones. Drinks have been served round 20 minutes later, just below an hour after takeoff. I ordered a grimy martini, and was supplied some heat combined nuts to associate with it. I really like how Emirates has correct cocktails, which not many airways provide.

Emirates enterprise class lunch — soiled martini & nuts

About 20 minutes after that the meal service started. A tablecloth was introduced out, after which the meal was served on a tray, together with the glass of Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc that I ordered. As you’ll be able to see, the facet salad and bread have been coated and wrapped.

Emirates enterprise class lunch — appetizer & salad

For the starter I chosen the seared prawns served on wakame salad with beetroot and pepper chevre, dressed with wasabi and onion seeds. There was additionally a facet salad, together with some garlic bread. The meals high quality as such was nice.

Emirates enterprise class lunch — appetizer & salad

The issue with Emirates enterprise class service is that it very a lot looks like an meeting line and isn’t personalised in any respect. For instance, after I completed my starter and salad, my starter was eliminated, whereas the remainder of my accomplished dishes, together with the covers and wrappers, have been simply left there. You’d assume they’d take away them, however as an alternative they simply take away what they need to as a way to make room for the primary course.

Emirates enterprise class lunch — tray not being cleared

Equally, despite the fact that my martini glass was accomplished, it was simply left standing there, even when the crew introduced and eliminated stuff a number of instances.

Emirates enterprise class lunch — empty glasses

The principle course was served as soon as starters have been cleared, and there have been three selections. I chosen the grilled salmon with coriander pesto, saffron rice, sautéed carrots, snow peas, and courgettes. The dish tasted fairly good, although the presentation left a bit to be desired with the casserole-style dish.

Emirates enterprise class lunch — fundamental course

As soon as fundamental programs have been cleared, it was time for dessert. There have been a number of selections, and I chosen a scrumptious salted caramel and custard tart with mocha chocolate sauce. I used to be additionally supplied a cappuccino, together with some candies.

Emirates enterprise class lunch — dessert & cappuccino

I’d say general the meal tasted good, however the service circulate, presentation, and lack of customization was somewhat disappointing.

Emirates enterprise class leisure & Wi-Fi

Emirates’ ICE system is without doubt one of the greatest on the earth for inflight leisure, and there are actually limitless TV reveals, motion pictures, and extra. The choice is limitless. I additionally love listening to the Emirates World Interviews, hosted by Steve Harvey. They’re equal components fascinating and hilarious, given the apparent spin. For instance, one of many interviews I listened to talked about how prisons within the UAE are so humane, and are about serving to folks, somewhat than punishing them.

Emirates ICE leisure system
Emirates ICE leisure system

There’s additionally an airshow perform, although it was pretty low high quality when it comes to decision.

Emirates airshow enroute to Newark
Emirates airshow enroute to Newark

Sadly the 777 I used to be on was actually outdated:

  • It was so outdated that it didn’t have a touchscreen possibility, so that you had to make use of the distant controller
  • The distant controller was historical, and was extraordinarily unresponsive; it in all probability took about 5 seconds after pushing a button earlier than the system responded

Emirates’ Boeing 777s even have Wi-Fi. For $19.99 you could possibly purchase Wi-Fi for the whole flight with no information limits, which is what I did. Emirates gives OnAir Wi-Fi, which is thought to be among the many slowest on the market. On the plus facet, the speeds have been fairly first rate on this flight, and I used to be capable of work for many of the flight. I’ve usually discovered Wi-Fi on Emirates 777s to be higher than on A380s.

Emirates Wi-Fi pricing

Emirates enterprise class mattress

Emirates has angled seats in enterprise class on the 777. In equity to Emirates, the angle is actually gentle. It’s not like a type of seats the place you’ll horribly slide down the whole time, however somewhat you simply really feel like your head is elevated a bit. So the angle doesn’t hassle me.

For that matter, one optimistic of all these seats is that there’s no small footwell you must put your ft into, so you’ll be able to stretch out fairly properly. That’s very true you probably have an empty seat subsequent to you, like I did.

Emirates enterprise class mattress 777
Emirates 777 enterprise class mattress

Instantly after takeoff the crew distributed mattress pads. These have been positioned on seats even when it wasn’t time to sleep, and added a little bit of padding.

Emirates enterprise class mattress pad

I’ve at all times appreciated how Emirates has lights on the ceiling that are supposed to seem like stars.

Emirates “stars” on cabin ceiling

Emirates enterprise class bathrooms

Emirates has two bathrooms in enterprise class on the 777-300ER, situated by the second set of doorways, between the enterprise class cabins. The bathrooms have been a great measurement, although in any other case have been fairly no frills. Whereas I wouldn’t say the bogs have been filthy, they positively weren’t as clear as I’ve had on previous Emirates flights, particularly later within the flight.

Emirates enterprise class bathroom

Emirates enterprise class service & snacks

Between meals there was a small setup within the galley with some packaged snacks, which passengers may assist themselves to.

Emirates enterprise class snack choice

Drinks have been after all at all times accessible on demand, so I ordered a few cups of espresso in the course of the flight whereas working. I used to be proactively supplied some cookies to associate with that.

Emirates enterprise class espresso & snack

The flight attendants working enterprise class have been pleasant and confirmed character, so I’ve nothing unhealthy to say about them. They have been good.

My normal concern with service in Emirates enterprise class is how impersonal it feels. There’s no dine on demand, and you actually simply really feel such as you’re a part of an meeting line that the crew is making an attempt to get by means of. There’s little or no in regards to the service that feels proactive somewhat than reactive. It’s simply in such distinction to service on different high carriers, the place personalization and interplay between passengers and crew is inspired.

Emirates enterprise class dinner service

About 2hr30min earlier than touchdown at Newark, pre-arrival meal orders have been taken. The meal was then served round two hours earlier than arrival. As soon as once more, dishes got here coated.

Emirates enterprise class dinner — appetizer & salad

To begin I ordered the Greek mezze with grilled aubergine with feta, octopus salad, dolma, tzatziki, and marinated olives. This was served with a facet salad and a roll.

Emirates enterprise class dinner — appetizer & salad

For the primary course I ordered the rooster with mushroom sauce served with honey-roasted pumpkin, steamed broccoli, turnip, and fingerling potatoes with herbs.

Emirates enterprise class dinner — fundamental course

Then for dessert I had the cheese board, which was properly introduced. I used to be additionally supplied a field of candies.

Emirates enterprise class dinner — cheese plate

A heat towel was supplied after the meal, which was the primary time in the course of the flight {that a} towel was supplied.

Emirates enterprise class dinner — heat towel

After the meal I loved the attractive sundown views, since right now of 12 months the flight arrived round sundown time.

View at sundown approaching Newark

We touched down at Newark Airport at 8:45PM, and had a really arduous touchdown. From there it was a brief taxi to our arrival gate.

Backside line

Emirates, I really like you. Your first-class is my favourite on the earth, and the A380s are unimaginable, and a pleasant journey in enterprise class. However the expertise drops off in a short time when flying 777 enterprise class on an extended haul flight.

Angled flat seats, a center seat in every row, no USB retailers, no touchscreen TVs, woefully outdated cabins and finishes, mediocre bedding, meeting line-style service, and no dine on demand? That is merely uncompetitive at this level. not simply in comparison with Qatar Airways Qsuites (which is a very totally different league), however even in comparison with your common, run-of-the-mill enterprise class.

I actually hope Emirates follows by means of with its plans to introduce a brand new 777 enterprise class product, and that the rollout doesn’t occur at a glacial tempo. Even then, there’s enchancment wanted with the mushy product.

For those who’ve flown Emirates’ 777 enterprise class, what was your expertise like?

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