First class bed home away from home emirates flat bed

First class upgrade | luxury travel |Dom Perignon vintage

Sexy and glamorous. Red carpet ready. Did someone say 'rescue fantasy'?

What’s the best sound a traveller can hear? It just might be the gentle ripping up of a boarding pass at the gate. More often than not it signifies an upgrade. Turning left to First, at the pointy end of the plane, turns out to be the icing on a Barcelona holiday cake.

So what do you get?

Couture cocooning. On this Emirates/Qantas A380 code-share leg from Dubai to Sydney (an Emirates plane), that takes the form of a compact suite with sliding doors, leather seat that becomes a 2.08m flatbed; pop-up drinks bar; tiny pull-out desk with writing compendium; a Hollywood dressing room-style mirror with sleep potions and balms beneath, and enough service and adjustment push-buttons to keep the geekiest passenger in seventh heaven. Even a ‘do not disturb’ light outside your door. There’s plenty of room to tuck away carry-on bags, duty-free, and the First class hessian tote containing pyjamas, Bulgari amenities kit, slippers, and eye shade.

Boarding pass Emirates First upgrade

Turn left to the pointy end: the dream upgrade. Photo Susan Skelly

But first, a Turkish rosewater coffee poured from a tall, elegant gold pot.

The house Champagne is Dom Perignon 2004. A nice coincidence. If Barcelona were a vintage, Dom Perignon’s French chef de cave Richard Geoffroy had said to me at the previous day’s launch of the ‘05 vintage (in Barcelona), it would be the ‘04. “It’s the one with greater dynamics, lots of energy. Further south [in Spain], things are not as dramatic; things are a bit more light-hearted. The ‘05 has the gravitas of the north.”

Of course you’ll have caviar with that: and all its frills – the chopped-up onion and egg, the sour cream, the blinis. On the Royal Doulton, and with the Robert Welch cutlery. You know you are in First when the juicy, pithless segment of lemon is wrapped in softest muslin and tied with a bow.

Sky spa

There are no set meal times, you just order, from a very elegant menu selection, whatever and whenever you feel like it. With a 14 hour-plus flight, there’s plenty of time to road-test a few.

emirates First sky spa pointy end

Book a shower in the relatively spacious Emirates First spa: you get 5 minutes of hot water, and the floor’s heated. Photo courtesy Emirates

But the bragging rights are probably the hot shower at 40,000 feet: in one of the two spacious First bathrooms, with heated floor, a timer so you can feel slightly virtuous about wastage, hairdryer and heaps of toiletries. Artful fruit and tea awaits, spa-style, back at this mini-me suite. Forget about landing.
Why not go round again?


Editor. Writer. Traveller. Keeping tabs on all things fab.

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Copyright © Susan Skelly 2020.