Review: Emirates EK417 First Class Boeing 777-300ER Sydney to Dubai

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Sydney (SYD) – Dubai

DEP 16:55 ARR 24:30
Duration: 14h 20m
Seat number: 2A FIRST
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Miles Redeemed: 155,000 JAL Miles + $126.04 USD

The Verdict 

  • PROS: Luxurious enclosed suite, beautiful design, prompt service of the flight attendants, “dine on demand’ food service, and excellent ground service in Dubai with special First Class bus.
  • CONS: Mediocre food, award booking options now becomes harder and harder to book. 
Emirates Boeing 777-300ER First Class Suite

Miles Booking
Emirates First Class is simply amazing. One First Class seat
can cost more than $10,000 easily. I redeemed Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank
miles transferred from the previous SPG program to snag one of those First
Class seats. Because Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank is distance based, I had
to be a little creative to take full advantage of that program. In the end, my
routes ended up being all in First Class:
The total miles redeemed were 155,000 JAL miles + $126.04 USD taxes for the distance between 14,001 and 20,000 miles flown. Unfortunately, JAL has devalued their award chart since November last year. So for the same itinerary now will require 190,000 JAL miles and taxes to book. Booking can be done online and Marriott points can be transferred to JAL miles at the ratio 3:1. For more information, check out our post on the The Ultimate Guide to Book Emirates First Class Using Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank

Check-In & Lounge Access
I found that the check-in process for First Class was nothing to write home about at the Sydney airport. The agent checked me in and told me about the Emirates First Class Lounge. After clearing the security, I went to the Qantas First Class Lounge instead as the reviews on that lounge is so much better in terms of space and food. I had plenty of time there, so after relaxing and eating at the Qantas First Class Lounge, I went to check out the Emirate First Class Lounge as well. Indeed, Qantas Lounge is definitely much better.

Emirates First Class Lounge at Sydney Airport
Recommend Use the Better Qantas First Class Lounge

After having a wonderful relaxing time at both lounges, I went to the boarding gate and started boarding along with other passengers.

Emirates Suite Seat
I want to mention that when I first booked this flight, it was supposed to be an A380 aircraft. Months later, Emirates decide to swap the aircraft and only use B777-300ER to operate this route SYD-DXB from that time on. Nevertheless, the experience was not disappointing at all. After entering the aircraft, I was guided to my seat which is a suite. The flight attendant greeted me and asked me questions whether it was my first time in an Emirates First Class Suite. She welcomed me after learning that it was my first time and showed me how things work inside the suite. I was blown away when I first saw the suite and kept telling the flight attendant how incredible the suite was.

The gold color wall panels and interior design of the suite felt very luxurious. The suite is spacious and full of amenities. Right when I fell into that big comfortable white leather chair, I started to play around with the privacy door. The door is completely enclosed. The design in the suite is simply beautiful. Here are one video and some pictures.

Touch Pad Controller

On the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, there are 8 closed suites with 1-2-1 configuration. Because I was traveling alone, I assigned myself seat 2A. Surprisingly, there were only 3 suites occupied that day. The ones in the middle were not taken at all. So it was quite wonderful. Another flight attendant came to chat with me and we talked about the Emirates A380. Emirates Boeing 777-300ER does not have shower and on-board bar like the A380. However, when I leave from Dubai to Washington DC, that Emirates flight will be an A380 aircraft.

Stunnning First Class Cabin

Drinks & Food “Dine On Demand”
There were three flight attendants that provided the service. One male and two females. They all were very prompt and friendly. I was offered some alcoholic beverages but I had to turn them down as I did not feel like drinking that day. I chose their great mock-tail selections instead.

Dining on Emirates First Class is a true VIP experience. The way it works is “dine on demand.” What this really means is that you can order anything from the menu and whenever you want. I was first served the small canapes that consist of duck, prawn and stuffed rice ball (arancini). For an appetizer, I asked for the Chilli and lime prawns. For my main dish, I went with the Braised beef short ribs. I was so full that I had to let go of the dessert. In my honest opinion, the food was really just okay.

Emirates Lie-flat Bed
After dinning, I decided to go change into pajamas. Meanwhile, I kindly asked one of the flight attendants to make my bed for me. After returning from my change, I saw a lie-flat bed inside my suite waiting for me. It was very inviting. Without hesitation and after taking a few pictures of that bed, I decided to lay down and remote controlled the privacy door in my suite. The door was fully closed and I felt super relaxed in my suite. I did not fall asleep right away, but rather I was simply enjoying the suite. I could not remember when I fell asleep after a few episodes of TV shows on that huge TV monitor, but when I woke up and opened the suite’s door, I saw stardust in the cabin. It was beautiful and mesmerizing.

Before Landing & Breakfast
Although it is “dine on demand” with Emirates First Class, I still followed the meal’s time as it was displayed in the menu. After getting up, I decided to order poached eggs with hollandaise sauce for breakfast along with some fresh fruits. Perhaps I did not eat much according to the flight attendant, she insisted that I should get some croissant and baked breads as well. They were delicious.

Right about an hour before landing, I decided to go change into my regular clothes. Upon my return, my suite was all cleaned up and the bed became a sitting chair. There was only one more task for me to do was to just sit back and relax while the plane was descending into Dubai.

Landed & Emirates First Class Bus
When we landed in Dubai, the plane did not go to the gate. In fact, they had to use buses to transport passengers to the gate at the terminal. What went through my mind at the time was “great, first in last out on the bus!” Well, I was completely wrong. Emirates has a special bus that’s only for First Class passengers. I was shocked to find that out, but it was real. There were only 3 of us in First Class and thus the bus was pretty much empty as there were only 3 of us on the bus. I took a look inside the bus while seated, the seats were all leather and the interior was pretty nice with hardwood floor like inside a motor home.

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