Todd Lappin reviews the first class suite of the Emirates A380


Todd Lappin was invited to take a demo flight of the Emirates A380. He took a bunch of photos and wrote about it on his blog, Telstar Logistics.

It was the kind of offer Telstar Logistics cannot refuse: "Please join us for an exclusive opportunity to experience and fly on Emirates’ cutting-edge A380 aircraft during a two hour ‘demo flight’ and reception," they said. So we said, "Sure! Sign us up!"

And away we went. Dubai-based Emirates brought the airline's first Airbus A380 to San Francisco today to provide the locals with a first-hand demonstration of the aircraft's formidable bling. Airbus delivered this A380 less than two weeks ago, and Emirates quickly put it to use as a high-profile billboard to introduce the airline to the American public.

Flight Report: Airborne in an Emirates A380 at SFO

Previously on Boing Boing:
Warren Ellis' friend busted in Dubai for melatonin
Dubai is a creepy but intriguing place
Vanity site of Dubai sheikh who pardoned US music producer
UAE's very scary drug laws
Boing Boing banned in UAE, Qatar, elsewhere.


  1. A lot of cultures seem to put gold leaf and gold plate on everything. The whole thing is gaudy if you ask me.

  2. This new plane is a shiny bauble that they are waving around to distract us from the fact that in coach, they are the same as every other airline.

    While the first class are reclining in their sleeper cabins, those in the back are being gouged. Emirates has one of the smallest economy class baggage allowances on the planet, and charges 1% of the full business class fare for your trip for every kilogram you are over your allowance. I faced a US$700 charge for 10KG of excess.

    Add in punitive charges for flight changes and dishonest call centre staff, I have gone from a regular Emirates passenger to never again.

  3. Have you ever seen Putin’s (now Medvedev’s) version of Air Force One? It is tacky and bling beyond compare. Makes this A380 look like it was designed by black-shirted minimalist Mac-heads.

  4. Two important questions are not answered. (1) Is the partition removable? This will let you convert two adjacent single suites into a family suite. (2) Is there a door you can close and lock for total privacy?

  5. The reason 1st class passengers are allowed to disembark first is so the packed-like-sardines steerage passengers don’t attack them.

  6. @#4: You pay $7000 for a plane ticket?

    Also, why are those people just standing in the door-way looking at him? Pretty creepy, if you ask me.

  7. This sounds like something any minimum wage tourist could enjoy!

    boingboing, sometimes I think you guys think there are two classes: jetsetting wealthy and impovershed folks living in those nifty cardboard housing that the jetsetting wealthy are kind enough to give to them (along with laptops for their kids).

    Oh, and those that need storage space in some crafty manner.

    Admittedly I am being sarcastic. The middle classes at various levels of middle class contribute to the downtrodden. I just think BB forgets about them (us) now and then. Aside from storage ideas of course.

  8. @#8, Turn up at check in time and ask for a ticket from London to New Zealand, Business Class. That is the price that they work out the excess baggage charge. Not some Expedia bargain fare. Not 1% of the economy class fare fare you are actually flying on, but a full business class fare.

  9. Just considering a few points…

    a) yeah, the gold and other “shiny thingies” make it gaudy as hell..
    b) still, whatever works for people.. at least they’ll be paying for it through their noses..
    c) and except for the limited room (ie. less passengers/capacity for the pollution caused), it’s not really that bad, ecologically..
    d) since at least the passengers are paying through their noses..

    e) and for me, at least, this offers an interesting example of how usefulness and comfort (even luxury) can be fitted in small volume. I might even take some ideas from this for my apartment (excluding the gaudy parts, of course).

  10. I’m torn…on the one hand the seatback livecams are BEYOND awesome and I have wished for exactly that on the few times I’ve flown. On the other hand,if things keep going the way they are going in the USA, get ready for class warfare…..sooner rather than later. The open, hostile kind.

  11. I already saw it! It was flying above my house last week! :) Yeah, living in Hamburg is neat at times!

  12. Pretty sweet. I guess, for your money, it’s a toss-up. You can have a long decadent subsonic flight, or ten years ago, you could have had a short less-decadent supersonic flight. Progress? I think we’re stepping back technologically. This set-up could have been done on a DC-3. The A380’s main appeal, I guess, is the spectacle of its size, kind of like the Titanic at the time…

  13. Dubai to San Francisco? Is that over the Atlantic and North America or over Asia and the Pacific?

  14. The time has come for the return of the zeppelin. Sure, it takes you a little longer to reach your destination, but why settle for a comfy chair and some gold trimmings when you could have an entire suite?

  15. Are they serious? And this is suppossed to do what exactly? Show us poor economy paying passengers that gold leaf designs are back from the 80s? Who is that watching him from the door? In a world gone to hell so quickly, this only proves that excess and tacky excess is still very much en vogue.

  16. I found it interesting that the American 757 bound for Hawaii suddenly smelled smoke in the cabin and had to return to LAX about the same time this luxury airliner own by Arabs was due to land at LAX under a lot of hoopla. They cancelled the celebration for the Emirates A380. Racism in America

  17. Todd gets to do all the fun stuff :-(

    And now it looks like I can finally advertise for a sugar mama on BoingBoing. Wait, that means I could fly in that gaudy 1st class cabin!!! YAYYYYY ;-)

  18. Short of taking the lear, this is a greatly needed style of transportation. Why would anyone choose to fly coach?? I think that is where we keep our luggage on commercial flights. Remember, what one considers “gaudy” and “flashy” is merely disposable income to another. = )

  19. I’m wondering if the person in the doorway is the next person in the queue, there to have a seat once Todd’s ten minutes was up.

  20. shaddup, u people just can afford this stuff. And who cares about the lower class? As long as *im* comfortable, i dont have toher worries. And this is for people who actually like it, so stop complaining. Daddy goes on suites like this all the time.

  21. Heck yes I’d pay $7,000 for a ticket. I pay almost $10,000 for a ticket anytime I fly to Sydney from America on Qantas. Can’t wait for them to start using the A380’s later this year.

    First class is like TiVo and satellite radio. Once you have it, you can never go back.

    And frankly, my comfort is worth the extra money. There is no way I’m gonna spend 14 and a half hours (each way!) packed in like a sardine. The rest of you can have it. I’ll stick to my suite.

  22. I flew coach on a Emirates flight going from Dubai to New York and it was fine. Better than the flights I have had in U.S.

  23. If you can afford it, why not go for it? I would if I could. If you don’t like it go hug a tree.

  24. I see you never posted my comment. I am under the acute impression we will have a black male in the White House…………..

  25. And this thread has nothing to do with the White House or its future occupants. Are you in the wrong thread?

  26. I was on this flight tour at JFK last Friday and it was quite amazing. I especially liked the showers, the bar and the in-flight system. A business class passenger I interviewed said he was flying just because of the bar! In fact, there were 50 people at the bar on the Dubai-JFK flight, according to the Emirates President.

    You can check out my videos/interviews/pics from the inaugural Emirates A380 flight to JFK here:

  27. You guys who are complaining about the price and elitism don’t realize two things

    1. First class tickets are subsidizing the low prices we pay at the back of the plane, if not for the first class and business class folks a lot of us couldn’t afford to fly at all

    2. Emirates really is better in economy class than many carriers, especially American carriers, whose soft product has degenerated by so much at this point as to be embarrassing when compared with foreign carriers, especially Asian and Middle Eastern ones

  28. I’ve flown Coach on this new Jetliner and you cannot compare it to Coach on any other aircraft….Now, where possible I plan my trips to utilise carriers that have A380’s.

    It will change millions of travellers lives when hundreds of these are available!

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