When it comes to a truly first class experience, the 'shower spa' on Emirates' Airbus A380 is one of a kind. It's more like something you'd expect on a private VIP jet than a commercial flight carrying almost 500 passengers.
But there at the very front of the first class section you'll find not one but two showers for what must be the ultimate inflight indulgence.
And you can forget about those too-small toilets: these spacious shower suites have ample room for changing clothes and generally making yourself look a bit more presentable after even the longest flight.
A recent trip in Emirates' A380 first class provided the opportunity to cross ‘showering at 40,000 feet’ off my to-do list.
The showers are available only to passengers travelling in first class, and you'll need to make an appointment with the cabin crew to secure your preferred time.
Appointments are made in 20-25 minute blocks, giving the two dedicated spa attendants a chance to completely clean and refresh each suite before the next passenger enters.
Inside the suite
As soon as you step into the shower spa you’ll notice a heated floor beneath your feet. That's the first sign that this isn’t any ordinary airplane bathroom!
Amenities by Timeless Spa are abundant, with a choice of shampoos and conditioners available, right through to dental kits, skincare products and disposable razors.
There are also designer Bvlgari fragrances for men and women.
The marble sink features a lighted vanity mirror, an adjustable shaving mirror and a power source if you’ve brought your own electric shaver.
It’s shower time!
Once you’re in the shower, you’ll notice a gauge on the wall advising of your remaining shower time:
All up you’ll have five minutes of running water, but you can press a ‘start/stop’ button to pause the flow. That's quite handy if you’re washing your hair and don’t want to run out of water.
By following this procedure, I had ample time to shower, shampoo and condition my hair.
To remind you of the time limit, the water automatically cuts off after four minutes but can be reactivated for that final 60 seconds at the touch of a button.
The shower pressure was excellent – it felt just like a shower at ground level, and the water took less than a second to become completely hot.
Although it might appear slippery, the shower floor is textured to prevent any in-flight mishaps. There's also a seat if you're finding it difficult to stand:
After your shower, you’ll be able to make use of the hairdryer tucked away behind a timber panel:
Alternating between English and Arabic, a built-in screen keeps you updated on the progress your flight, located next to a coat hook and hanger and a floor-to-ceiling mirror (not pictured):
At the end of a long journey, there’s nothing quite like arriving well-rested, relaxed and showered for the day ahead!
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About Chris Chamberlin
Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!