Review: Emirates A380 First Class, Dubai – Bangkok and Premium Arrival Service Bangkok

Previous Installments:

  • Introduction: Flying All 3 Big Gulf Carrier Airbus A380s in First Class on a Single Trip
  • Check-in and Houston Airport Executive Club
  • Air France and KLM Lounges
  • Emirates First Class, Houston – Dubai
  • Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai – B ConcourseI walked out the back of the B concourse Emirates first class lounge and walked to my gate on the same level of the terminal.

    Dubai Airport Concourse B First Class Level

    Dubai Airport Concourse B First Class Level walkway

    I could see everyone boarding below and I took the elevator down straight to the gate.

    Dubai Airport Concourse B First Class Level gate view

    Dubai Airport Concourse B First Class Level elevator

    Now, since I just reviewed Emirates first class on the A380 for the last segment of this trip report and I’ve written about the Airbus A380 before I’ll keep this installment manageable.

    The flight was sort of a ‘freebie’ since I was already booking Houston – Dubai anyway under Alaska Airlines’ pre-devaluation pricing it was only 10,000 miles more to go to Bangkok. And I was getting that in first class. On an A380.

    After I booked, though, Emirates introduced their new high-density A380 configuration that doesn’t have first class. And Bangkok was one of the first two destinations they put the plane on. Fortunately not all of the A380s flying to Bangkok are configured this way (they weren’t so much designating Bangkok as the high density route as much as assigning it to Bangkok as a destination reachable in a day in addition to putting it on a Europe flight). And I lucked out that it wasn’t the one I was going to be on.

    Emirates first class a380 cabin configuration

    My flight was going to be completely full up front, which surprised me because only a couple of days earlier it was booked with three total in first. The pre-departure procudures in first are the same on this short six hour flight as they were on the long flight from Houston to Dubai.

    So it was champagne, and pajamas, and amenities galore. As well as the deployment of the snack basket that would be removed prior to takeoff and then returned once we were in the air.

    Emirates first class a380 predeparture champagne

    Emirates first class a380 predeparture snack basket

    Emirates first class a380 predeparture snacks

    Emirates first class a380 amenities

    Once again I requested my shower time almost immediately upon boarding so I’d get the last slot prior to landing. I had just showered but between the layover and flight to Bangkok it’ll still work out to be 10 hours between showers. And I couldn’t bring myself to forego the opportunity.

    I thought about heading straight to bed, I certainly thought that I was tired but it was more of a jetlagged overtired feeling and while I would have given most anything to lie down before I left the lounge once I was onboard I was dead awake. So I nibbled on a few snacks off the menu though didn’t really eat much of any of them.

    Emirates first class a380 caviar

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok dinner service

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok dinner service curry

    Since I couldn’t fall asleep I fired up the laptop and tried to write a blog post. With the slow internet onboard Emirates a single post took me about two hours of frustration. There’s not any more bandwidth to the plane than there is to an American Airlines MD80, despite orders of magnitude more passengers and that some data is free for everyone otherwise just $1.

    By the time I ate and blogged it was time to shower based on an unusually quick travel time to Bangkok. The crew came to get me and I was happy to refresh myself before landing. It would help battle the drain of flying from Houston, connecting, and on to Bangkok for a morning arrival.

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok bathroom

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok bathroom sink

    I was going to use all 5 minutes of water to get myself going!

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok bathroom shower timer

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok bathroom shower head

    I marveled once again at the custom-designed bath mats made to butt up directly against the curved shower so there’d be no gap of floor between them. Then I got myself dressed and returned to my seat for the customary post-shower fresh fruit with sweet dip that I avoid largely because I don’t want to spill on myself.

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok bathroom shower mat

    Emirates first class a380 Dubai Bangkok fruit

    About 25 minutes later we were on the ground in Bangkok and had a surprisingly quick taxi to the gate, where I was met on the jetway by a sign bearing my name.

    Bangkok Airport Premium Arrival Service Cart

    I decided to test booking planeside meet-and-greet through Bangkok Flight Services with a golf cart from the plane to immigration. Here’s what they offer:

    BFS Premium Airport Service agent meets our guest at the arrival gate with welcome signboard. With or without electric cart, our agent takes the guest to the immigration via special pre-arranged channel and assists them through the process. At the baggage reclaim area, BFS assists our guest through customs and onward to the arrival curbside and to their ground transportation.

    Bangkok Airport Premium Arrival Service buggy

    Is this necessary? For me, absolutely not. I’ve done premium pickups before as part of promotions for prebooking a car service, but never booked direct and I wanted to try it out. Certainly some readers will value it, and I love to be able to set up services like this for friends visiting Asia for the first time and for older relatives since the walk inside the Bangkok airport to immigration can seem never-ending.

    Bangkok Airport Premium lane customs

    At current exchange rates it was $56 for two people.

    Bangkok Airport Premium Arrival Service rates

    It’s a splurge but certainly nice after traveling for a day to have someone else whisk you the final length of the airport, although the tradeoff of course is that you don’t get an immediate walk in after sitting for so many hours.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Did you settle on a food itinerary for this trip?

    I’m heading back out next month and curious how you digested (cue drum roll) all the information from your readers.

    Sawadee Krap

  2. We recently did the exact same trip. Due to a departure delay out of DXB we would have a tight connect for our onward domestic connection to Phuket. I explained this to our superb EK purser and her response was “Let’s see how I can help.” The exact service you describe (sans electric card) was awaiting us on arrival in BKK. They collected luggage and even escorted us to the front of the line at the Thai domestic check-in area. So nice!

  3. What other airports offer meet and greet with Emirates?
    We’re heading to Dubai, Singapore, Frankfurt and JFK

  4. @Paul Davis – this meet and greet had nothing to do with Emirates. Google the airport specifically you’re after. In Singapore I’ve used JetQuay (when it was half off through my hotel)

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