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Travel Guides – I went inside an exclusive first class spa onboard an Emirates Airbus A380 and saw why wealthy travelers pay a small fortune to live well at 35,000 feet

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Emirates Airbus A380 Refurbished Tour — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Emirates’ refurbished Airbus A380 at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

  • Emirates is known for its luxurious flight experiences, especially in its premium cabins.

  • The Airbus A380, specifically, offers amenities not found on any other Emirates aircraft.

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  • First class flyers have access to two shower spas with walk-in showers, wood laminate toilets, and Bulgari products.

Emirates first class is widely regarded as one of the best flying experiences in the world, and nowhere is the experience more glamorous than on the Airbus A380.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

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Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

The world’s largest passenger jet features 14 first class suites on the upper deck of the aircraft, quietly tucked away from the economy class cabin below and the 76-seat sprawling business class cabin behind.

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The first class cabin on an Emirates Airbus A380.Emirates

A veritable five-star hotel in the skies, travelers want for nothing whether it be Dom Pérignon champagne or even caviar. Meals are even served on an on-demand basis in first class while other cabins have set meal times.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

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Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

And for all of that luxury, there’s a small fortune to pay. “We like to say that JFK-Dubai in first class is the price of a small car,” one Emirates cabin leader told Insider.

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The first class cabin on an Emirates Airbus A380.Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Exclusive to Emirates’ A380 first class are two spas where flyers can have a hot shower while airborne. Here’s what they’re like inside at 35,000 feet.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

I was traveling on Emirates from New York to Dubai for the Dubai Airshow when the cabin crew asked if I wanted to see the first class spa. As an economy class traveler on that flight, I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to head to the upper deck of the A380.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

The top floor is reserved solely for business class and first class seating while the lower level is entirely economy class on Emirates’ three-cabin A380s.

Emirates Airbus A380 Refurbished Tour — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Emirates’ refurbished Airbus A380 at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

I was guided to the front of the plane where the main staircase leads directly to the first class cabin.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Discretion on this first class visit was paramount as VIP passengers were traveling in the cabin. We ascended up the stairs and found the two shower spas waiting at the top.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

The location of the two spas isn’t so much as secret as they are clearly marked. But access is highly restrictive given that first class passengers are also paying for privacy.

Story continues

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Inside was a room that could probably fit two of Emirates’ first class suites inside, lined with laminate wood paneling all around.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Besides the galleys, it’s probably one of the largest available spaces on the aircraft.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

The shower spa is basically a master bathroom in an apartment, complete with a sink and vanity with multiple mirrors around the room.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Above is a mural of a futuristic Dubai cityscape with the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, on full display.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Visitors can hang up their clothes using the hangar provided or fold them up and place them on the cushioned bench.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

The centerpiece of the spa, though, is the walk-in shower that’s incredibly rare on a commercial airliner and only available on the A380.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

The shower is just like one that can be found in any home, complete with a detachable hose that streams hot and cold water.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Something as simple as having a shower can go a long way in improving a traveler’s overall well-being while on the road. The flight from New York to Dubai, for example, is 12 hours long and business travelers could very well be going straight from the plane to business meetings in the city.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

A gauge lets flyers know how much time they have left before the water stops flowing.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

It helps so that nobody is left with a head full of shampoo when time is up.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

There’s even a bench inside for a sit-down shower experience.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Just outside the shower is a vanity perfect for applying makeup, brushing hair, or having a shave.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

On offer for Emirates passengers in the shower spa is a selection of Voya products including soap, shampoo, body wash, body moisturizer, and conditioner. Additional items include a shaving kit, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, and more.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

And there’s no shortage of Bulgari products, as is also found in the first class amenity kit.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

An electric outlet also lets flyers plug in a hairdryer or electric shaver, for example, or charge their phone while in the shower spa.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Hidden underneath the bench cushioning is a toilet of laminate wood.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

I could safely say that it is unlike anything I have ever seen on a commercial jet.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Private jet manufacturers have tried to emulate the A380 shower spa but even the largest purpose-built private jet doesn’t can’t offer the same level of spaciousness that the A380 can offer.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

See inside the world’s new largest purpose-built private jet that will soon fly passengers.

Flyers that leave behind their toiletry kits need not worry as nearly every item one might need is stocked in the shower spa.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

There’s even a hairdryer in one of the drawers.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

And once the shower experience is over, even more luxuries await back in the first class cabin.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Caviar is back on the menu in first class, with three of the eight passengers ordering the extravagant dish that comes with accompaniments like chives, egg whites, and a recommended shot of vodka.

caviar

Getty Images/Jean-Blaise Hall

Emirates’ top US exec details how the airline will build back up in the country without skimping on caviar, in-flight showers, and the A380

Some of the world’s finest champagne, including Dom Pérignon, is also freely flowing.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Each airline decides what to do with the extra space alongside the main staircase on the A380. When Air France flew the aircraft, for example, one side was a business class lavatory while the other was a small lounge.

Air France A380 Flight LAX-CDG

An Air France Airbus A380.Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

I flew on an Air France Airbus A380 2 years before the airline suddenly retired the world’s largest passenger plane — here’s what it was like

Only Emirates and Etihad Airways decided to outfit the A380 with shower spas.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

But the A380’s days are limited and this jet won’t likely be flying in a few decades once they’re retired by the few remaining airlines still flying them.

Emirates Airbus A380 Refurbished Tour — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Emirates’ refurbished Airbus A380 at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Once they’re gone, the next largest aircraft in the Emirates fleet very well might be the new Boeing 777X. And whether that aircraft will offer a shower spa remains to be seen but the reduction in open space suggests not.

Boeing 777X at Dubai Airshow 2021

The Boeing 777X at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Boeing just showed off its 777X flagship, the world’s new largest twin-engine passenger jet — take a closer look at the $442.2 million plane

Emirates has shown no signs of compromising luxury on its A380s while they’re still around.

Emirates Airbus A380 Refurbished Tour — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Emirates’ refurbished Airbus A380 at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Nearly half of the airline’s A380 fleet will be retrofitted with a new premium economy class cabin, the first of its kind for the Middle Eastern carrier, with improvements coming to all cabins.

Emirates Airbus A380 Refurbished Tour — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Emirates’ refurbished Airbus A380 at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Emirates just unveiled the swanky high-end design for its new Airbus A380 as most airlines say goodbye to the enormous plane — see inside

Shower spas will remain largely the same but include a new color palette and design features.

Emirates Airbus A380 Refurbished Tour — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Emirates’ refurbished Airbus A380 at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Perhaps most noticeably, the mural of Dubai is replaced with a ghaf tree, which is the national tree of the UAE.

Emirates Airbus A380 Refurbished Tour — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Emirates’ refurbished Airbus A380 at Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider

The improvements to the upper deck aren’t like to be seen by the majority of the traveling public. But for those that can afford the option, that’s what awaits atop the golden stairs on an Emirates A380.

Emirates A380 Flight New York to Dubai — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021

Flying on an Emirates A380 from New York to Dubai.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Read the original article on Business Insider

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