Emirates A380-800 economy class Dubai to Los Angeles

Emirates A380-800 economy class Dubai to Los Angeles

Even long before writing this Emirates A380 economy class review, I knew exactly how I was going to start it. The plan was to start out with a funny joke about being woken up from a very deep sleep by my blaring iPhone alarm at 5am, only to immediately realize that I had to go sit in economy class for 16 hours.

It was going to be hilarious since it’s basically the kind of situation I hate most about traveling, and I knew that mixed with a bit of dry SANspotter sarcasm, it could have been my best into ever. It was going to be perfect.

Unfortunately, I edited the video for this flight and posted it to YouTube a week prior and it went viral (yay!)…but for all the wrong reasons (boooo!).

If you haven’t seen it yet, it was just a typical video in my usual style, showing the entire flight experience from start to finish to the beat of music – with a bit of dry humor thrown in to keep things entertaining. Despite how seemingly sterile it was, nearly half off the 250,000 people who watched it thought I was an egotistical prick with a vile hatred for Emirates – even though at no point in the video did I ever say anything negative about the airline. I may have overemphasized my lack of desire to sit in economy class for that long, but come on – it was supposed to be funny!

I’ve never received so much hate for a video ever, and it eventually reached the point where the comments were far more entertaining and funnier than the video itself:

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

Do I even dare starting out this trip report saying that I wasn’t looking forward to sitting in economy class for 16 hours (Emirates or not)? At the risk of starting another ****storm, no, I will not.

Dubai, UAE (DXB) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Aircraft: A380-861
Registration: A6-EOG
Duration: 15 hours 24 minutes
Seat: 60H (economy class)

emirates a380 illustration by norebbo
Emirates A380-800 “Year of Zayed 2018” (A6-EOG) side view illustration by norebbo.com. Yup, it’s the same exact aircraft I flew from LAX to DXB on just a few days ago!
dubai to los angeles polar route
Our Polar route from DXB to LAX today. I’m not really sure what’s happening in this image, but I assure you that our flight path was a lot smoother than this!

A word of warning before you click on the video below: It may be the most offensive thing you’ve ever seen on YouTube, full of bigotry and hatred, and totally insulting to anyone who has flown economy class before. It’s just awful:

Taxi to Dubai airport
The taxi ride to the airport. Little did this driver know that he was transporting one of YouTube’s most vilified AvGeeks!
Dubai international airport departures level
Dubai international airport departures. Is there anyone in Dubai right now who could check and see if my picture is plastered up there with a “Wanted Dead or Alive” label on it?
Dubai international airport departures
One of my goals in life is to walk into an airport as big as DXB, close my eyes and point to destination, and go wherever my finger lands. Someday…
Dubai airport interior
Just like everything else in Dubai, this airport is stunning and huge on many levels. No expense was spared it seems!
Emirates check-in counters Dubai airport
My caption about walking up to this counter and feeling like asking the agent if they knew who I was (jokingly hoping for an upgrade) was what set YouTube ablaze with SANspotter hate.

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

Main terminal DXB
Alrighty then! Past security now and out into the main terminal. Would it be egotistical and greedy of me to say that I was disappointed that I didn’t have lounge access this morning? The main terminal here at DXB is really nice though, so even “spoiled elitist American pigs” like me won’t have any issues hanging out with the masses.
SANspotter selfie Dubai Airport
All jokes aside, I do apologize to anyone who thought I was coming off as demeaning or elitist with the tone of my video. I certainly didn’t intend to come across that way, but I guess that’s just the way it goes with dry humor sometimes. Some people are going to get it, and others won’t. That’s ok. There’s no point in trying to please everyone and I’m just going to continue being me.
Dubai airport departures board
Holy crap, JetBlue flies from Dubai to Los Angeles! I wonder if there was actually anybody who came to the airport this morning thinking that they were actually going to fly JetBlue to LA?

One of the most interesting things about Emirates is how massive of an airline they are. The fact that they have a fleet of over 130 A380s at the time of this writing is simply hard to fathom from my US centric perspective, where all of the airlines in my world are not interested in flying anything larger than a 777.

And even then, they only want a small number of them to (lightly) augment their fleets of hundreds upon hundreds of boring little regional jets. Yeah, Emirates is pretty much the exact opposite of how the US airlines operate, and I think it’s pretty darn cool. Whether or not they’re actually profitable or not is anyone’s guess…

Emirates A380 gate Dubai airport
Queuing up to enter the gate area for flight number 215 to LAX.

Despite having over 130 different A380s in their massive long haul fleet, I was absolutely floored when I walked up to the window and saw that the A380 that would be taking me home to LAX was the exact same one which brought me here to Dubai just a few days ago. Calculating the odds of something like that happening gave me a lot to think about as I walked down the stairs to the gate area to go through the secondary security screening required to board this flight.

Emirates A380 Dubai airport
Really? Well hello again A6-EOG! I never thought that I would ever see you again so soon…
Dubai airport gate security check
Uh oh. I see security guards down there who are ready and waiting to rummage through my dirty underwear.
Dubai airport architecture
Check out this terminal! I’ve heard a lot of really good things about the Dubai airport over the years, and every single one of those things was absolutely true. This place is amazing!

I should probably also mention that I want very badly to write about how much I was not looking forward to boarding this flight, but I’m having flashbacks of all those brutal comments which were flung at me over on YouTube over the past week or so and I don’t want to ignite that inferno again. Emirates supporters are a feisty bunch, and I don’t dare say anything which would imply that I wasn’t interested in kissing the feet of the ground staff as a way of saying “thanks” for granting me permission to fly thier favorite airline. I love flying of course, but the thought of sitting in economy class for 16 hours never gives me a good feeling no matter what airline it is.

SANspotter selfie DXB
Enjoying the architecture in silence. It’s probably better than saying something snarky about having to go sit on an airplane for 16 hours.
SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class
Best. Comment. Ever. lol!
US passport Dubai airport
The “elitist American twat” pre-boarding shot.

The boarding process was very smooth and organized if I’m being honest, and I thought it was weird that nobody rushed the gate as soon as boarding was called. Everybody was generally very well behaved and remained seated until their zone was called – which was really nice and a refreshing change of pace from the way that it normally goes back home in the US.

Boarding emirates A380 Dubai
A super chill and relaxed mood in the jet bridge here as we make our way down to EK215.
Dubai airport jet bridge
Ever feel like the walls are closing in on you in tight spaces? It was actually happening in this case, as the jet bridge was getting smaller and smaller the closer we got to the airplane…
Emirates A380 up close
I wonder…did I look like a prick or a twat as I stood here taking this picture? I was called both several times each in the comments section of my video, and I’d really like to know which one it is.
Emirates a380 economy class cabin
I was tempted to claim one of those huge overhead bins as one of my own, and forgo the seat entirely. I would totally do the “pod” option if the airlines made it available!
Emirates A380 economy class seats
As far as economy class seats go, these look pretty sharp! Don’t tell anyone over on YouTube that I said that though…
Emirates A380 economy class seats middle section
My condolences to anyone stuck in seats E and F. However, as you saw in my Qatar Airways vs Emirates comparison, these aren’t all that bad actually.
Emirates economy class pillow and blanket
Complementary headphones, blanket, and pillow waiting at every seat. Something that every “Americunt crybaby” (like me!) loves to see.

I was also very impressed once onboard and situated into my seat way down there in the bowels of that big and burley A380. See pitch was fantastic actually, with plenty of room to move my legs in a variety of positions that didn’t involve bashing my knees against the seat in front of me. Also nice to see was that huge video screen right in front of my face, which may have possibly been the biggest video screen that I have ever seen in economy class on any airline.

Large video screens Emirates a380 economy class
Video screens so large that you can watch what everyone else around you is watching. And since everyone can see what you’re watching, don’t make any embarrassing movie selections.
Emirates A380 economy class video screen and remote
With a large video screen only inches away from your face, is the remote even necessary? But wait! That wasn’t a negative comment, so hopefully none of those YouTube haters pounce all over me for interpreting that comment as “Emirates is the worst airline in the world!!” Sheesh.
Emirates A380 economy class leg room
Now, THAT’S how economy class leg room should be done. Take that Air Canada Rouge! Oh wait, was that too negative? Travel blogging is a lot harder when trying to avoid being called an elitist hater…
Emirates A380 economy class headphones
Full-size headphones too. This is nice!

Just as I was sitting there thinking about how nice these economy class seats were, the flight attendants upped the ante in a big way by coming through the aisles with amenity kits. I was totally not expecting that, and it ended up being a really nice surprise. Keep in mind that most of my long haul economy class flying experience is with US airlines, so it doesn’t take much to impress me.

Emirates economy class amenity kit
Whoa. Amenity kits too! Things have changed quite a bit since the last time I flew long-haul economy class.
Emirates economy class amenity kit contents
The people over on YouTube *really* didn’t like my comment about not being able to find an upgrade voucher in here. I mean, you never know until you check, right?

And just when I thought that I had won the economy class lottery, the menus came next – which revealed that there would be three full meal services on this flight. Wow! I was expecting two, but the addition of the third was just yet another little unexpected thing which made me realize that choosing Emirates for this trip was the right choice. See? I’m actually saying nice things about Emirates and we haven’t even pushed off the gate yet!

Emirates economy class menu
Let’s see what’s being served in long-haul economy class these days…
Emirates economy class menu options
Looks pretty good – though it’s going to be weird to be served breakfast first.

I was so pleasantly surprised with the way that things had been going so far that I didn’t even care that there was a 15 minute delay to wait for connecting passengers from other flights. I had plenty of legroom, a nice amenity kit to rummage through, and some thinking to do about the coming meal service (mostly just thinking about what I was going to choose to drink to complement each selection). While we were waiting, the flight attendants announced that there were 17 crew members on board speaking a total of 16 different languages. Just another little detail which makes Emirates such an interesting airline.

 Emirates A380 economy class cabin pic
Waiting patiently for connecting passengers to arrive, though this guy looks like his patience was running thin…
Emirates A380 safety card
Oops! I was so busy oogling over all of the freebies that I forgot to get a pic of the safety card. Why is there not a section in here about how to fend off angry penguins if we crash at the North Pole? Because that’s where were headed on our way to LAX today…
Emirates A380 safety video
I’ll bet he was trying to be funny on YouTube.

Just as we were starting the takeoff process, I started to feel like I might be coming down with a cold. You know that feeling you get just before you get sick? The sore feeling in the back of your throat that doesn’t feel quite normal, mixed with a few sniffles…a clear indication of a really annoying week ahead. To be honest I didn’t even really care about coming down with a cold, just as long as I could make it through this flight without feeling completely miserable.

Departing Dubai emirates a380
So long Dubai! It’s been fun, and I hope to return again sometime soon. It’ll be in the middle of winter though, because I don’t know if I could handle that heat again…

That amazing and multicultural Emirates cabin crew wasted no time getting the service started after departure, and I had breakfast sitting in front of me no later than 20 minutes after takeoff. It consisted of a rather generic airline-style omelette, which I paired with a glass of orange juice and “Daddy’s Home 2” on the video screen in front of me. The omelette and the orange juice hit the spot, but the movie left a lot to be desired and the only thing I could think was that I might have enjoyed it a lot more if I saw the first one. And remember what I said about making sure to choose a movie that won’t embarrass you once you realize that everyone can see you watching it? I think made the wrong choice.

Emirates A380 economy class review
Five minutes later, and I smell food. They’re not wasting any time getting things started this morning!
Emirates economy class breakfast
I’m pretty sure that this was the fastest I have ever had a meal put in front of me on an economy class flight. Hey YouTube haters: that was a solid compliment!
Delicious emirates economy class breakfast
And the compliments keep coming with this pic showing exactly what I did to that omelette.
Emirates A380 mood lighting
Do what you can yo get comfortable, because we’ve got a long flight ahead of us yet.
Flying from Dubai to Los Angeles
I quickly learned that checking the in-flight map every 10 minutes or so was doing me no good. It was best just to ignore it and forget the fact that we still had 14 hours to go.

I switched over to listening to podcasts after the meal service, which eventually made me tired enough to feel compelled to actually give sleeping a try. I can barely sleep in lie flat business class seats, so getting any meaningful sleep in an economy class seat was going to be a challenge. Somehow I did it though, and I managed to get a few hours of shut eye that was mostly satisfying other than waking up with a very sore neck from having my head lay limp the entire time like a half-inflated balloon tied to the end of a stick.

Lunch was served exactly 3 hours after the breakfast service, and even though I wasn’t very hungry I still had no problem eating everything on the tray. It was a pretty good lunch as far as economy class meals go, and just as I did with the breakfast service, I paired it with another really crappy movie. This time I watched “Father Figures” (what’s with the dad theme anyway?), mostly because I couldn’t find anything else that I wanted to watch. I just chose something (anything) because I just wanted to start eating instead of browsing the in-flight entertainment system.

Emirates economy class lunch
Yellow chicken curry for lunch. Would it be “elitist American” of me to wonder what they are eating up in business class right now? Because the thought did cross my mind.
Dubai to Los Angeles route
Two full meals services so far and we haven’t even hit the Arctic Ocean yet. On a sidenote, it looks like we’re actually headed slightly east, which would mean that we were going to approach Los Angeles from the west. Neat!

There was absolutely nothing else to do after the meal service other than sleep again, so I did my best and tried to drift off into something that was somewhat related to meaningful slumber. Unfortunately, my body was having none of it and it was really difficult to get comfortable enough to drift off into A380 dreamland.

I got up and walked around about once every hour for the next five or six hours, and each time it wasn’t hard not to notice how empty this flight really was. Up towards the front section where I was sitting seemed to be crowded, but it was completely wide-open way back towards the rear – nearly everybody had an entire row to themselves. I was totally jealous of that since I didn’t have an empty seat next to me, but at least my seatmate was very quiet and not the least bit annoying so all in all it didn’t really matter that much.

Emirates A380 interior
Standing at the very back of the plane looking forward. Check out all of those empty seats!
Emirates A380 economy class bathroom
I’ve been in first class lavatories that weren’t this large! This must be the “Mile High Club” model, so huge props to Emirates for checking that box on the options sheet.

I wasn’t sleeping at all during this phase the flight, so I took advantage of the fact that the flight attendants were coming through the aisles with drinks on trays every 30 minutes or so. I slammed back a water or two every time they came through, so at least I felt hydrated and not like I was dying of thirst or anything. I also tried listening to podcasts again but I was pretty much tired of flying at this point and all I wanted to do was arrive at LAX already. I would’ve kept knocking on the cockpit door asking “are we there yet?” over and over again if wasn’t worried that it would get me thrown in jail or something.

Stay hydrated in flight
So thirsty that I was pretty sure that I was going to consume the entire supply of drinking water onboard today’s flight. They never cut me off though, so there must’ve been a lot of it!
 Flying over the north pole emirates A380
We better not crash now, because I have no idea how to handle flocks of angry penguins.
Direction of Mecca Emirates flight
Mecca thataway.
Open window shade overnight flight
A rogue open window shade pierces the darkness. Oooh, I’m saving that line for the opening of the book I plan to write someday about my travels!
Emirates flight from Dubai to Los Angeles
Dropping straight down on top of LA.

The cabin lights finally came back on with about two hours and 40 minutes of flying time remaining, and that meant it was time for another meal and a movie. This time the meal was a lot simpler, consisting of a piece of greasy pizza – which seemed a bit heavy for the final meal of a 16 hour flight. However, I finally made a good movie pick this time with “Into the Fire” – which just so happened to be another last-minute choice that I didn’t put much thought into, and it ended up being a really good movie that had my full attention all the way until the end. And it was actually a “cool” movie too, something that I wasn’t ashamed to watch with so many other people sitting nearby judging my film preferences.

Emirates economy class snack pizza
Meal number three on today’s flight!
Emirates economy class pizza
How exactly do I say that a slab of greasy pizza wasn’t all that appealing after flying for 14 hours without enraging all of YouTube?

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

We all got hot towels with about 45 minutes to go before landing, which was especially welcome after handling that gooey pizza. As I sat there wiping all that pizza gunk off my hands, I couldn’t help but to think that I was feeling surprisingly good for having spent such a brutally long time in economy class. My back didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would, and I could actually still feel my toes – which was a good thing because I would need those toes to get me off this airplane when we landed in about 45 minutes or so.

Full Emirates A380 Dubai to Los Angeles flight
On the homestretch now! And I was actually feeling good enough at this point that I wouldn’t have minded if the pilots wanted to do a few laps around California before we landed. Once you have been in the air about 13 hours or so, anything longer than that is cake.
 Emirates A380 tail camera view
You know how nervous you get when you’re in the back seat of a car and you feel like the person driving is completely out of control and you’re gonna crash at any moment? It’s hard not to have those same feelings when watching this camera view. Pick up the port wing guys – we’re driftin’ left!
Emirates A380 approach into LAX
“Maverick you’re at 3/4 of a mile. Call the ball.”
Emirates A380 arrival at Tom Bradley international terminal at LAX
We made it! Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the plane doesn’t break down out here 50 feet from the gate and we have to sit here for another two hours.
Emirates A380 arrival LAX
YouTube haters were also none to pleased about my comment about being happy that my legs still worked as I walked off the plane. But come on… it’s something we all think about after such a long flight, right?
LAX Tom Bradley international terminal jet bridge
I don’t want to speak for this guy, but I’m willing to bet anything that he was grinning from ear to ear that his legs still worked too…
Emirates a380 trip report Dubai to Los Angeles
So long A6-EOG. I thought that had already said goodbye to you once already, so I guess it wouldn’t be all that surprising if our paths cross again sometime in the future.

So what do you think? Did it sound like I was complaining too much or was that an informative and impartial Emirates A380 economy class review? Despite all the moaning I did about having to spend 16 hours on airplane in economy class, I’d like to state for the record that it was probably the best long haul economy class flight that I’ve ever been on. And it’s a good thing too considering that long-haul international flights are pretty much all that Emirates does, so it would be completely shocking and somewhat appalling if I wasn’t able to put them at the very top of the list of airlines that I want to fly again as soon as possible.

Anyway, before I wrap this up, I think it’s only appropriate to end it on a few more choice comments from the video:

SANspotter youtube comments Emirates A380 economy class

SANspotter youtube comment emirates A380 economy

SANspotter youtube comment emirates A380 economy

SANspotter youtube comment emirates A380 economy

SANspotter youtube comment emirates A380 economy
lol – looking forward to it my friend!

Sadly, I suspect that very few (if any) of those who slaughtered me over on YouTube are ever going to read these words. That’s ok I guess – my goal isn’t to please everyone, and I would much prefer to be myself without worrying that my humor is going to come off (incorrectly) as egotistical complaining.

SANspotter trip reports are definitely an acquired taste, and those of you who have been reading my content for a while deserve a long and hearty round of applause. Thank you so much for all of your support – it really does mean a lot to me!

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