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Emirates Airbus A380 first class 'shower spa' review

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: emirates, Airbus A380, first class

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!


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 15/4/14 by Ben84

The shower spa is certainly no gimmick. Even though I was only flying AKL-SYD it was nice to be refreshed on landing. I can imagine how good it would be showering in the air on a long haul to DXB, having the added advantage of not wasting lounge time in showers on the ground. 

My only criticism of the shower spa is that the temperature was far too hot. They could lower it a little. 

1 on 15/4/14 by KG

After a longhaul flight it is really only good if you have one of the later spots. First choice is given to EK IO and PLAT and I think after to QF PLAT (not sure). If you are "unlucky" and in a full F cabin, your spot might be 7 hours prior to landing and that would diminish some of the fresh feeling when you finally land.

2 on 18/4/14 by trevor

You mean to say there's no option to choose your desired shower temperature?!

1 on 18/4/14 by Ben84

I meant the temperature in the shower spa area.

2 on 19/4/14 by Chris


You can definitely adjust the temperature of the water, but yes, not that of the room.

2 on 15/4/14 by Alvin

Now we need these in Business and Economy... :P

1 on 15/4/14 by Edward

Wouldn't that be awesome? However, the added weight of water for 70-ish business passengers alone (ignoring the time needed for showers) would make it impossible.

1 on 15/4/14 by Al

Not impossible at all. The water weight problem is easily overcome, the water used by business class passengers is pumped into economy showers. :P

1 on 15/4/14 by Alvin

Hmmm, new idea for Alan Joyce...

2 on 18/4/14 by trevor

By the same logic Business' shower water should be the dregs of First!

1 on 18/4/14 by Alvin

Then Economy showers would be useless... :P

2 on 15/4/14 by Ben84

Not to mention the loss of space for revenue raising seats. 

You could add a shower spa for business and offer it for a fee / high status loyalty customers. 

3 on 15/4/14 by AusFlyer

I was lucky enough to try this last year and I have to say that it was quite a luxury having a shower at 35,000 feet! I opted to have the shower before sleeping and it was a nice feeling tucking into bed after having had a shower. The rooms were kept spotless throughout the flight even if no one was using the shower... In fact I will go as far as to say that it was the cleanest toilets I've ever experienced on a flight!

1 on 16/4/14 by Chrisor

We'll get to experience this in a few weeks on a flight from JFK to DXB to SYD, looking forward to it. First time Emirates A380 first for us.

1 on 13/5/14 by Chrisor

We arrived back in Sydney on Saturday morning feeling refreshed after showering at 40000 feet over Adelaide. What an experience! Heated floors and everything you could possibly need is at your disposal. They are impeccably clean units with attendants on standby at all times. 

1 on 14/5/14 by AusFlyer

Great isn't it... Plus I think they are the cleanest bathrooms in the sky!

4 on 15/4/14 by Serg

It is a gimmick, no doubt about it. But it is so nice gimmick! And if whole setup is roomy enough how about 10 mile club? LOL.

5 on 15/4/14 by B. Andrew

So many things I could say but basically I want Chamberlin's job

1 on 15/4/14 by Chris

Feel free to call me Chris... or in this case, Mr 1A... :P

6 on 17/4/14 by MrEd

When the plane hits some turbulence and the Capt says return to your seats immediately do you run out in the nudi and return to your seat?

7 on 23/4/14 by julius-grafton

I was lucky enough to fly first on an Auckland flight some years back, and had a shower as an experience. It truly was brilliant! Best of all, the shower / toilet has a sign on the door, 'maximum two passengers' .... so you have a fair idea of the possibilities PLUS it is way spacious!


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