Route: Christchurch to Sydney
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Class: Business Class
Duration: 3 hours and 5 minutes
Flying with Emirates is nothing if not a lesson in attentive service and stunning attention to detail. From the elegant beauty of the top story cabin with its polished wood fittings to the glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne served before take-off, this is a business class experience that is nothing short of extraordinary.
The seats are private and suite-like, in a 1-2-1 configuration, my window seat affording me a little extra privacy. Centre seats would be ideal for couples, and come with an optional electronic privacy screen. The plush, fully reclining flatbed seats have simple, intuitive controls, though given the short length of the flight I don’t really have the need to use them. Each comes with a personal mini bar, stocked with snacks and beverages plus compartments for storage of personal items.
The Emirates ‘ICE’ inflight entertainment system offers a large 17-inch touchscreen with a linked controller, a detachable wireless tablet, and noise cancelling headphones. The selection of more than 2000 movies, TV shows and audio programmes, including live sports, is excellent. As a bonus, I have 20MB of free Wi-Fi to use within the first two hours of log in and further data can be purchased at a reasonable rate. There are also dual USB ports and an AC power outlet to keep all my devices powered-up.
The inflight menu offers a choice of one appetiser, three main courses, four desserts and the wine list offers two red and two white options along with tasting notes and suggested pairings. I select a sauvignon blanc that perfectly complements my main of Salmon Massaman Curry, which is cooked to perfection and served on white linen with crisp napkins and gleaming cutlery. Dessert is a luscious lemon tart served with berry compote, and a perfect pair of hand-made chocolates completes the dinner service. I can’t fault any part of it and could happily eat the entire meal again.
Instead I decide to visit the glam inflight cocktail bar and lounge, designed for the use of both Business and First Class passengers. There are two plush bench seats, plenty of standing space, plus a selection of savoury and sweet snacks, if you’re still feeling peckish. The attendants make a mighty martini and a mojito as good as any back on terra firma, or one can simply indulge in a little more of that free-flowing Moët & Chandon.
The Verdict: Incredible comfort and seamless service make this flight seem almost too short.