Emirates Business Class on an A380: JFK to Milan

by Jenna Lee

Flying Emirates JFK to Milan in Business Class

Champagne, please!

Those were the first two words I uttered after boarding our Emirates JFK to Milan flight. We weren’t even in the air yet and the flight attendants were offering drink choices. Water, apple juice or champagne are available pre-flight to help passengers relax and get comfortable. We were about as excited to ride upstairs in the Emirates A380 as we were about the trip as a whole, and we had full intentions to soak it ALL in. Veuve Clicquot is not a bad start!

How are the seats on Emirates?

The seats are great! The Emirates A380 upper deck follows a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. The spacious and fully lie-flat seats were actually very comfortable and decked out with anything you would need throughout the flight. We chose seats 11A and 14A which are true window seats and not open toward the aisle. The “K” seats stagger along the window. You still have plenty of space; but your counter is against the window, leaving your seat open to the aisle. If you ever fly Emirates business, my advice would be to try to snag an A seat.

The center seats are fantastic if you are traveling as a couple. You will have the option to create your own space with the seat divider or take it down and cozy up! Since we weren’t very sure about how the middle seats were set up, we opted out of them; however, in the future, I think we would enjoy those more.

The seats we chose offered ample storage space. In addition to overhead bins, we had to two side bins, and a shoe box located underneath. There were also little trays and shelves on the mini-bar with plugs to charge electronics, etc.

Emirates Entertainment and Amenities

Emirates’ in-flight entertainment spread, ICE, is impressive. Each passenger is provided sound-proof headphones and their own 23″ screen loaded with 2500 channels, and these channels are loaded with an extensive selection of movies, tv shows, foreign films and live sports broadcasting. Don’t forget to pull out the remote control so you can lay you seat back and start binging! There is also a tablet docked on the side of your chair that controls your seat as well as the television.

Before take-off, The flight attendants pass out the amenity bags and I LOVED these! All bags were loaded with the toiletries by Bulgari, including perfume and cologne. Of course, it also included the basics such as a brush, toothbrush, shaver, etc. Women received a silver bag like the one shown and men received a leather trimmed bag.

So, what’s the bar like?

Here, I completed another first. I walked into a bar and ordered myself a drink – on an airplane! I still didn’t have to pay though, that’s all part of the Emirates experience! Emirates clearly has a goal to keep their flyers happy and that includes free alcohol for all. Though free alcohol may be standard for a business class ticket, it’s actually one of the Emirates perks that you can experience even in economy which is pretty stinkin’ awesome.

The bar is a nice little lounge area at the rear of the upper deck with couch-like seating and is exclusive to Emirates Business and First Class passengers. I wish I had taken a picture but somehow, I goosed the moose on this one. In the bar area, you can take a break from solitude and socialize with other flyers over a cocktail and nuts, a small treat, or hors d’oeurvre. I opted for a coffee with Bailey’s! I loooove coffee. For a few minutes, I was just like Jennifer Aniston! Ok, maybe that one’s a stretch…


I’ll admit, my expectations weren’t too high in this regard. After all, we are still on an airplane. The meals were very generous, surprisingly fresh, and quite tasty. On our flight from JFK to Milan, Emirates served dinner and breakfast. Shortly after take-off, the attendant took my first order. The menu consisted of 3 options in each category – appetizer, main course and dessert. My attendant (at least she seemed like she was mine!) was very gracious in explaining the options, and offered excellent advice on what I might enjoy most. For example, asparagus soup was an appetizer and, while I love asparagus, I would never have ordered it on my own. I wasn’t convinced, but she assured me it was delicious, and the best of all 3 choices, so I rolled with it.

When it was time for dinner, the attendants came around and set your “table” with linens, silverware, water and a wine glass (dinner). Emirates uses actual tableware – a small but elegant touch. Salad and bread was delivered first, then appetizer, and so on. To my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed the asparagus soup. My attendant pressed a little to make sure I wasn’t lying and even offered to replace it! I finished my dinner and the experience was topped off with cute little box of Godiva chocolates. I could get used to this!

Pre (And Post) Flight Advantages of Emirates Business Class

One of the most valuable perks of flying Emirates business class might be their chauffeur service. The airline will arrange car service to and from the airport, anywhere within 60 miles. All you have to do is give them an address and your driver will be waiting at a specified time. When you arrive at your destination, another driver will be waiting to take you where you need to go. Emirates even covers the gratuities! It definitely eliminated some stress and was a huge convenience.

We got to the airport a little early to have a couple of hours to enjoy the lounge. The lounge was spacious and clean with plenty to eat and drink. After trying out a few of the buffet items, I decided to take advantage of the shower. It was nice to be able to freshen up after a long day in NYC before boarding an 8 hour flight. The shower attendant was super friendly and kept the area spotless. Funny side-note: a guy about my age walked up while I was waiting for her to finish cleaning up the shower room I was going to use. You can imagine my and this man’s face when she ushered us both in! She thought we were there to take a shower together!! HA! We quickly cleared that up and had a good laugh.

The lounge is located directly above the Emirates terminal. When it is time to board, Emirates business and first class customers board directly from the lounge to the upper deck of the plane. This was pretty cool, because you never feel like you’re standing in line or waiting. Once aboard, you are greeted by name and led to your seat.

Our Overall Experience Flying Emirates JFK to Milan

Emirates business is definitely top of the line, especially when it comes to service. We never felt ignored or even as if they weren’t doing their absolute best to take care of us. I don’t recall ever needing to ask for anything, because they beat me to the punch. That’s rare on an airline, even in business class. Once, I came back from the restroom to a full glass of wine because, “I wasn’t sure if you would like more, so I went ahead and refilled your glass.” Whaaat?!?! I thought to myself, “This lady gets me!” They did get me. About the time I started to doze off while trying to finish my movie, an attendant quickly offered to make my bed. These folks have it down.

Coming from Oklahoma, we went out of our way to fly Emirates JFK to Milan and I’d do it all again. The Emirates experience was totally worth it and had we flown economy it would’ve been cheaper. If you’re on a budget, Emirates economy flights are very reasonably priced. There is often a special for Emirates JFK to Milan flights which you can find in the “Featured Fares” section of the Emirates website.

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