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mgarlow Jun 29, 14 11:23 am

First class vs business class on A380 is it worth it?
Hi everyone

My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary by going to Maldives this November.

We want to fly Emirates Airlines from Toronto to Male, its a 13 hour flight from YYZ to Male with a 14 hour stopover in Dubai, then 5 hours from Dubai to Male going there.

Coming home there are 2 stop overs, one in CMB and the other in Dubai.

We are not sure whether or not to go business class or first. From watching youtube videos on both cabins it seems as though first is all about the bling rather than substance. Maybe a little more space in first but you share a lounge with business class, there is a first class bar but its small and the wine selection also seems to be the same as business class.

To go from business class to first, for 2 people it would be an extra $10000 total flight cost increase for us. My wife doesnt know about this surprise trip by the way, she just knows we are going somewhere.

Any thoughts of why its worth it or not and the perks and differences between the both that can't be seen from videos or what peeople dont tell you? Thanks

subject2load Jun 29, 14 12:04 pm

Whatever you eventually decide for the actual flights, you've chosen a great destination - the Maldives are very special.

I have a good deal of experience of F class on the A380 but not business class. In short I would say that you have almost answered your own question. There is indeed a certain amount of bling in F and much is made of the on-board showers, which - whilst welcome - are ultimately more of an in-flight novelty factor than anything else. The F-only 'bar' you mention is essentially a display of premium brand drinks (+ canapés etc) whereas the main bar offers more in terms of atmosphere (and, in truth, comfort too) as a social 'hub' during the flight. Plenty of goodies available in this larger area.

It's fair to say you would find more privacy in F (14 seats v 76 ensures this) but the seats in J looked more than adequate to me for a long sector. Food + drink options are of a high standard in both classes and you have to ask yourself if the greater choice offered in F would really be worth the difference in cost.

As always, these decisions come down to personal priorities and subjective opinion. Given the significant difference in cost for two of you, I personally would encourage you to stick with business class ; others will no doubt push you the other way.

Maybe the question to ask yourself is this : what could you do with that extra $10,000 that would make your trip extra special, eg higher quality room at the resort ...... or perhaps even another holiday next year .....?? $10K will buy many luxuries/comforts lasting a lot longer than a few hours in the air, so IMHO it's ultimately a matter of personal priority and sense of value.

Best wishes for a happy anniversary trip :)

SFO777 Jun 29, 14 12:34 pm

Welcome to FT. Sounds like a wonderful anniversary trip.
EK First is worlds better and different than EK Business. But I can understand your question as whether it is $10K better. That is really up to you and your financial situation and comfort level. This may or may not be helpful, but here are some trip reports with lots of pics of mostly First but some Business EK flights.

FWIW, even though I can afford a $10K differential, I would never do so, since I know that there are ways to reduce that differential to much less than $10K. And since you are apparently willing to go via CMB, even more opportunities open up. Check ita matrix. CMB-YYZ is a lot cheaper than MLE-YYZ in all classes. And UL will fly you from MLE-CMB for $245 in J.

jackiedada Jun 29, 14 12:38 pm

If you have miles with a partner airline, just upgrade a single sector to F might be a much better way to experience F than upgrading the entire journey to F. I'd definitely recommend spending $10K on other things than getting a few extra inches of space in a long metal tube ;)

Enjoy the maldives. We were there just last month and so loved it...

Havoc10G Jun 29, 14 1:20 pm

First class vs business class on A380 is it worth it?
Agree with JackieD if you can upgrade a single sector that would be best value. Having travelled alot in f and J in the a380 my view is that F is a very relaxing way to travel. Meals on demand and close attention of crew vs J. I find that I tend to "waste" my F time as I spend most of the flight at the bar! So if you intend to mainly sleep, eat abit and use the bar then probably J best. If you tend to spend most of your time at your seat then go for F. It is a step up from J no doubt and the shower on a long flight can be quite refreshing. Personally I would use the 10k to get a better room / suite at the hotel but that is only because I tend not to sit at my seat much on the flight!

edy4eva Jun 29, 14 4:59 pm

Originally Posted by jackiedada (Post 23115446)
If you have miles with a partner airline, just upgrade a single sector to F might be a much better way to experience F than upgrading the entire journey to F. I'd definitely recommend spending $10K on other things than getting a few extra inches of space in a long metal tube ;)

Enjoy the maldives. We were there just last month and so loved it...

Except that no partner airline miles can upgrade any flight on EK.

Dave Noble Jun 29, 14 6:28 pm

If there is award availability and AS (like US) doesn't limit the number of miles that can be purchased a year, then a r/t from North America-Asia in 1st class on Emirates is 200,000 which is $5500 to purchase

Not an upgrade use of miles admittedly, but pretty decent

extramileage Jun 30, 14 1:15 am

Originally Posted by edy4eva (Post 23116501)
Except that no partner airline miles can upgrade any flight on EK.

No, but you can transfer AMEX points to Emirates' FF program (depending on where you card is issued, but US and - if I recall correctly - Canadian cards qualify).

blue2002 Jun 30, 14 2:01 am

Ask yourself whether you wife would want to spend 10K this way. @:-)

AirlineCateringManager Jun 30, 14 4:08 am

I'll make it easy for you :).

YYZ-DXB Fly First Class. The experience for your special moment is second to none. Plus, you can take a nice hot shower prior to landing!

During your 14 hour stopover in Dubai (since you will be well rested), go check out some nice places like the Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, and Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

From DXB-MLE-CMB-DXB, JC should be more than enough.

DXB-YYZ is your call, but why not end the vacation on a sweet note?

Either way, having flown JC many times on EK, it is more then sufficient, however the experience of First Class on the A380, if you have the means to do it, I would say you only live once.

Congrats and enjoy the vacation!

OzTennis Jun 30, 14 4:59 am

Eerily, I have just started reading Paul Theroux's excellent book, Ghost Train of the Eastern Star, which retraces his journey exactly half a lifetime before in the Great Railway Bazaar. He said something very poignant about being faced with travelling from Paris to Istanbul on either the Orient Express at $9,000 one way or 'the other Orient Express' at $400.

He chose the latter because 'one, it was too expensive .. two, luxury is the enemy of observation, a costly indulgence that induces such a good feeling that you notice nothing. Luxury spoils and infantilizes you and prevents you from knowing the world. That is its purpose, the reason why luxury cruises and great hotels are full of fatheads who, when they express an opinion, seem as though they are from another planet. It is also my experience that one of the worst aspects of travelling with wealthy people, apart from the fact that the rich never listen, is that they constantly groused about the high cost of living - indeed the rich usually complained of being poor'.

Not intended for anyone who travels first class, especially the OP:) but an interesting observation. He also views it from the perspective of a travel writer and getting good material for his book; not taking his wife on a special anniversary trip and he was travelling on the ground, not in a tube. As others said, there's other things you could spend $10K on.

nimeta Jun 30, 14 6:23 am

I love F and J on the A380, but the big difference is the ability to sleep in F with the private cabins and more comfortable seats. I find I sleep much much better - plus the shower is a nice addition.

That said, I usually fly for business and so it is important for me to catch sleep when I can - for leisure I would be perfectly ok in J knowing I was going to have a relaxing time on holiday anyway

Flyeagle Jun 30, 14 7:16 am

I have just flown in F for the first time from LHR to Seoul and am returning in J, again a first time experience, indeed I am sat in the Asiana lounge now at Incheon.

I found the whole F experience to be excellent, cabin crew on both sectors were great, the food and wine were both really good. From LHR to DXB I had the full lunch service, with Dom Perignon and good wines, on DXB to Incheon I slept and had a continental breakfast prior to arrival. I found the suites to be great, obviously private and very good for sleeping. I didn't use the shower but enjoyed the spacious size of the "bathroom". I spent sometime in the J bar and was the only person in there, the purser brought me Dom from the first galley. I had a three hour layover in DXB and thought the lounge great, shower and a light snack.

So I am looking forward to see how J compares on the way back but am sure it will be fine too.

Whichever you choose I am sure you will enjoy.

subject2load Jun 30, 14 11:33 am

Interesting thoughts .....!

The prospect of adding a hefty $10K to your travel costs in return for a bit of extra space + longer menu - but whilst still being delivered to the same destination - certainly concentrates the mind.

General consensus seems to be that you'll be happy enough in business class, leaving you oodles of spare cash for all sorts of other treats on the holiday itself.

Tell us what you decide !

m3red Jun 30, 14 12:45 pm

If the difference doesn't matter to you fly f. If it does j will be more than adequate .

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