Emirates: A Review

Comfortable and modern planes combined with friendly customer service, good food, and fantastic amenities make this an excellent airline to choose.

Emirates, established in 1985 is the largest airline in the Middle East. Emirates is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In 1985 the carrier started with just two planes! In 2018 they have a fleet of over 250,  and fly to more than 150 destinations in 80 countries! Emirates is continuously expanding their fleet and destinations.

Emirates has been recognized several times as “world’s best airline,” and for having the “best in-flight entertainment systems.”

Emirates Airline

Emirates loyalty program is called Emirates Skywards, and they have partnerships with airlines, hotels, banks, and car rental companies. You can see a list of all their partners here.

TIP: Try requesting exit row seating (for extra legroom) during check-in. If a seat is available, they can give it to you at no charge! Keep in mind; you have to be capable of assisting in the event of an emergency if you do sit in an exit row. Check out their exit row/extra legroom policy here.

Continue reading for a review of two flight experiences with Emirates.

Route: Seatle (SEA) to Dubai (DBX) (Flight EK 230, Boeing 777-300ER)
Flight Duration: 14h 30m
Seat Class: Economy
Price Range: $999+

Check-in Experience and Customer Service: 5
In-Flight Service: 5
Comfort: 4
Overall: 4.5
Rating System 1-6 (6 is the best)

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Check-in Experience and Customer Service
You can check-in online, via their mobile app, or at the airport with a self-service kiosk or at a check-in counter. I checked it at the airport, it was quick and efficient, and the employee was polite and friendly. There were no questions about my carry-on baggage.

In-Flight Service
On this flight, the attendants were friendly and professional. The flight attendant that served the area I was sitting in was terrific. She was very professional and kind.

About 2-3 hours into the flight, dinner was served.

Emirates Meal


We were provided a menu off of which to order. I chose the Szechuan chicken with chow-main noodles.

Two hours after that we were offered drinks and snacks. Snacks included fruit, snack bars, or pretzels. 7 hours into the flight we were given a small pizza as a hot snack.

About two hours before landing we were given breakfast.

Emirates Breakfast


There was no shortage of food on this flight. It was all pretty good, and in general, I found it to be better quality than many other airlines.

The in-flight entertainment system was excellent. There was an extensive selection of movies (Bollywood, Arabic, Mandarin, French, Hollywood, and more). There were also TV shows, podcasts, music, and games to play. Each seat had an outlet, USB ports, and headphones.

Emirates InFlight Entertainment

Outlets at every seat

Blankets and pillows were provided as well as this little package of travel goodies.

Emirates Goodies

The bathrooms were horrifyingly dirty. I decided not to include a photo of the floor. It was horrible!

Emirates Bathroom

This was a very long flight, and it was full, meaning that over 350 people were using just a few restrooms. Still, there needed to be some occasional light cleaning.

Emirates Stars

The ceiling was pretty cool, with stars shining when the lights were off.

Emirates is good at maintaining the interior of their planes which ensures that the seats are comfortable and functioning. Seat Guru lists seat pitch for an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER to be 32 inches with a seat width of 17 inches. This seems to be pretty standard. Not small, but not any more spacious than other major airlines.

Emirates Seating

Though the bathroom wasn’t clean, the rest of the plane was spotless and in excellent condition.

The flight departed and arrived on time, and we reached our destination safely. There were no issues with luggage.

Unless you are sitting in first class, a 14-hour flight is long and tedious on any airline, but Emirates makes it as pleasant as possible. I  recommend this carrier for long-haul flights.

Route: Dubai (DBX) to Riyadh (RUH) (Flight EK 819, Boeing 777-300ER)
Flight Duration: 2h
Seat Class: Economy
Price Range: $150+

Check-in Experience and Customer Service: 4
In-Flight Service: 2
Comfort: 4
Overall: 3
Rating System 1-6 (6 is the best)

Check-in Experience and Customer Service
The check-in process in Dubai was similar to the experience I had in Seattle. They didn’t ask any questions about my carry-on luggage, and they were quick and friendly.

In-Flight Service
Unfortunately, the in-flight service was terrible. The flight attendants weren’t welcoming or friendly.

During the meal service, the flight attendants were rude. The passenger next to me asked if they had mango juice, one of the flight attendants told his co-worker, “just pour him whatever, and give it to him.” They also did not give us a choice of food, nor did they smile or say anything. They just handed out the meals in a rushed manner.

Were we given a hot meal about 45 minutes into the flight. This would have been impressive if the quality of the food and the service had been better. Many airlines don’t offer hot meals on short flights like this.

Emirates Meal

Like the flight above the in-flight entertainment system was very good. The only thing missing were outlets. The Emirates website says that not all Boeing 777-300ERs have outlets. Be prepared with a backup charger in case your flight doesn’t have any. 

We were given pillows on this flight, but no blankets or other travel items.

Like above, this was also a Boeing 777-300ER. However, the seats seemed a bit more spacious. That might have been because it was much less crowded. There were a lot of open seats, so there was more room to spread out. However, the plane was very cold, and since blankets were not handed out, this made it a bit uncomfortable.

Emirates OnBoard

The bathrooms on this flight were clean. The rest of the plane was clean too and in excellent condition.

The flight departed 15 minutes late, yet arrived 17 minutes early. There were no issues with my luggage.

This flight was quite disappointing. I was shocked that the in-flight service was so poor. I’ve flown with Emirates many times and have never experienced this type of service. Hopefully, this was a one-off type of thing and doesn’t happen often.

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Other than my experience on this flight I would still say that Emirates is an excellent choice for long-haul flights because of their superb in-flight entertainment systems, and comfort.


  1. Harmony, Momma To Go January 17, 2018
    • VoyageFusion January 18, 2018

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