With flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Dubai, onwards to Europe and also across the Tasman from Australia's east coast, Emirates' Airbus A380s are frequented by Australian travellers: thanks in part to the airline's tie-up with Qantas.
Offering business class passengers fully-flat beds, direct aisle access from every seat and even fully-stocked mini-bars, there's no such thing as a bad business class seat: but as is often the case, not all seats are created equal.
Emirates Airbus A380 business class
Emirates adopts two different business class layouts on its A380s – on most aircraft including on all flights to Australia, business begins with centre seats in row 6 and outer seats in row 7...
... while on the A380s fitted with only business class and economy (no first class), business class starts at row 6 with both central and outer seats, but with fewer rows overall:
Both layouts feature a small five-row cabin at the rear – numbered as rows 22-26 on most aircraft and rows 19-23 on those sans first class – with the rest of the seats in a single main cabin as rows 6-21 on all flights to Australia and rows 6-16 on the two-class birds:
(To discover which layout applies to your flight, head to the 'manage my booking' section of the Emirates website and visit the seat selection page: if there's a row 26, you have the traditional three-class aircraft which uses the first diagram. Otherwise, look to the second diagram.)
Emirates A380 business class: top picks
7A&7K (first layout), 6A&6K (second layout): For solo business travellers, these seats should be at the very top of your list. Nestled at the front of business class, the only passengers walking past you are the crew coming and going from first class (or economy) in front, with all business class amenities located further back.
With no alternating seat ahead of you, the footwells are also wider which help to make for a better night's sleep, and are located closer to the window than the aisle which minimises your chances of being disturbed by footsteps and elbows.
Bassinets for babies, however, can be attached to the centre bulkhead walls, but realistically if a child is screaming you'll hear this regardless of where you're seated.
First row of the mini-cabin: For extra room to stretch out but when the seats above are taken, look to the first row of the mini-cabin: that's 23A, 22D, 22G, 23K on most flights and 20A, 19D, 19G, 20K on two-class aircraft, which also feature larger footwells.
Forward window seats, for privacy: All business class restrooms on Emirates' A380s are found down the very back of the aircraft behind the bar area, which means that the further you sit from the front, the more people that will pass your seat to get to and from.
Also, the seats on the outer edges alternate between being closer to the window (A & K) and closer to the aisle (B & J), while the middle pairs switch between closer to the aisle and closer to the centre – for a real 'sweet spot', opt for a window seat (A & K on both layouts) as far forward as you can get, or failing that, a forward centre seat (E & F).
Any window seat, for extra storage: As common on all A380s, the upper deck comes lined with extra storage bins below the windows, which are a great spot to stash smaller items like your laptop bag and amenity kit. The A & K seats provide the easiest access to these, and while they're still accessible from B & J seats, you'll need to be flexible to stretch past the console in between:
The mini-cabin, for socialites: Being located directly in front of the business class bar, you're just a few footsteps away from your inflight bartender, the A380's lounge area and also the restrooms further back, so if you're going to spend most of the flight chatting to your fellow travellers and enjoying a little tipple, plant yourself in rows 22-26 on three-class aircraft or rows 19-23 on the two-class layout.
E+F seats, for duos: For couples travelling together or even colleagues who want to chat throughout the flight, plant yourselves in the 'honeymoon' E+F seats on either layout...
... which are directly next to each other and make travelling together a breeze. And hey, if you're on your lonesome and it's all that's available, you can raise a privacy divider in the centre to keep to yourself.
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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!