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Old Apr 22, 12, 11:48 am
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Near Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,454
Originally Posted by ajca View Post
Let me begin by acknowledging that this is an extremely first-world debate!

I found the whole Emirates J experience far below the standard of their SQ and even QF A380 competition. In particular, I thought the hard product needs to be completely rethought if EK are going to position themselves as a premium airline.

The seats are barely wider than Y seats, and seem just as hard. Maybe I just couldn't work it out (or had faulty seats) on 3 or 4 different sectors but they don't seem to go fully flat. Then there's the unmovable arm-rests on each side which make it even harder to stretch out laterally. The combination of these factors meant I found it very hard to sleep or even lie comfortably on my side.

There is also the claustrophobia-inducing feeling of sleeping in a small plastic container amongst a giant sea of plastic and fake wood panel. I think fundamentally they just tried to squeeze in too many J seats and as a result they compromised the product. Also the J cabin looks like it was designed by someone who flunked out of the Greyhound bus interior design school.

Combine this with other aspects - e.g. clearly stressed staff, slow meal service, the ridiculously overcrowded lounge with non-functioning wireless in DXB - and I can see why there are so many disappointed reviews of the EK A380 J experience online.

I guess a lot of my view is in the context of the SQ A380 J experience, which is a whole different world to EK - massive very comfortable seat that turns into a real bed, friendly staff, and efficient service. But maybe that is an unfair comparison.
I can't say I disagree with you. I don't fly the A380 much, but have mixed feelings about the A380 J product. Like you, I don't like the design and I do think it's cramped. I would however say that the seats are fine to sleep on and will go 180-degrees (or should).

However, the bar is a great place to spend 2-3 hours (especially if you are in a group), and I enjoy the quiet ride.

Give me row 7 in J on a 777 any day...
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