6 Things to Know Before Flying Emirates First Class

The famous Emirates first class experience is more enjoyable when you know what to look for when flying.
Josh Garber
By Josh Garber 

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


Emirates first class offers one of the most luxurious experiences in travel and, depending on the route and plane, can include perks like an onboard shower, two bars, and a Bulgari amenity kit. Of course, you also get bragging rights for life.

Before hopping on your flight, here are six things you should know about flying Emirates first class.

What to know before flying first class on Emirates

1. You can book Emirates first class with points and miles

Emirates first class flights are known to be expensive — a one-way flight from Los Angeles to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates can set you back more than $20,000.

Thankfully, you don’t have to break your bank account to fly Emirates first class, as you can book a flight using points and miles. Plus, by taking advantage of Emirates transfer partners, you can book Emirates first class from the U.S. for as little as 85,000 points.

2. Different planes offer different first class experiences

Before purchasing your first class flight, pay attention to the plane you’re flying on and the seat setup.

The Airbus A380 offers Emirates first class passengers such perks as:

  • A lounge only for first class.

  • Access to the business class bar.

  • The ability to shower during the flight.

Alternatively, passengers on the Boeing 777-300ER have the same seat and dining/drink options as the A380 but not the shower or onboard bars.

On its Boeing 777 planes, Emirates offers arguably the most luxurious seat in commercial travel, called the Emirates "private suite." These 40-square-foot private cabins include:

  • Zero-gravity seats.

  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors.

  • Binoculars to see out the window better.

  • “Windows” with HD projections of the view from outside, for middle suites.

3. Emirates offers chauffeur service

Your Emirates first class experience begins when you leave for the airport, as the airline offers its premium passengers complimentary chauffeur services to and from the airport, which even include gratuities.

In the U.S. you can be picked up or dropped off in a 50-mile radius from the airport, although you can also pay extra if you live farther away. In Dubai, you’ll be greeted when you disembark by a guide who will walk you through passport control and to your chauffeur.

To take advantage of the complimentary chauffeur service, be sure you've signed up for it either on the Emirates website or by calling Emirates after you’ve booked your flight.

4. Dining on your flight is on demand

Often when you fly first class, there's a meal service offered where all passengers order and eat at the same time. But not so on Emirates. The airline instead allows its first class passengers to eat whenever they want and to create their own menu. Food and drink are included with the cost of the ticket, so you don't need to pay extra for them.

Examples of items you can order include caviar, pan-fried beef tenderloin and Dom Pérignon. Since you can order throughout the flight, we recommend not filling yourself up in the lounge beforehand (or the day before the flight) so you can take full advantage of the tasty onboard offerings.

5. You get complimentary spa treatments in the Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai

Emirates first class ticket holders would be wise to include a few hours for a layover in Dubai to take advantage of the Emirates First Class Lounge. This lounge includes Emirates’ Timeless Spa, which provides first class passengers with complimentary spa treatments, such as face and body scrubs, massages and nail therapy.

6. There's no overhead space to store luggage

Perhaps the only downside of flying Emirates first class is that there's no overhead space to store your luggage. And while there is space under your seat, it can be a tight fit if you have both a carry-on and small bag.

If there are empty suites on your flight, a flight attendant will usually allow you to put your carry-on bags there. That said, you may be better off checking your bags to ensure you have as much space as possible in your suite.

Enjoying Emirates first class

Knowing the amenities Emirates offers its first class passengers is a great way to ensure that you enjoy all the benefits of your flight. Before booking, be sure to check the plane, seats and amenities offered on the flight to get the experience that you’re looking for.

Photo courtesy of Emirates.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.