Flying on-board the world’s biggest plane! The Emirates Airbus A380


Travel Extra Editor-in-Chief Kevin Flanagan shares his experience flying to Asia with Emirates on the world’s largest passenger aircraft

Emirates A380


It has been my dream to spend January in a hot climate and this year I achieved it. I spent a month divided between India, Cambodia and Thailand. But first, I want to describe how I got to Asia and my experiences on one of the world’s great airlines – Emirates.

Emirates is an airline that constantly wins awards, such as the prestigious Skytrax World’s Best Economy Class and World’s Best Inflight Entertainment in 2022. The awards follow the airline’s announcement that it was investing over US$2 billion to enhance the inflight customer experience. This involved one of the largest retrofit projects in aviation history, spanning 120 aircraft.

I flew from Dublin to Bangkok via Dubai and enjoyed all the benefits of the Emirates experience, where Economy passengers can experience the ice system, where you can follow live news, send emails and watch movies all on one super-large screen and all at the same time!

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Ice offers over 5,000 channels of entertainment, with 4,000 hours of movies and TV. There are also around 3,500 hours of music and podcasts. This includes content in 40 languages! You can also check the status of your flight. Get a real-time view of the sky during take-off and landing from multiple camera angles (the aircraft’s nose, tail and underbelly). Along with this, there’s EmiratesRED; the world’s first inflight TV shopping channel and live TV.

Emirates dining

As for food – I got silver service with my Economy meal (a first) – so no bendy plastic knives to snap as I cut into my beef ragout. The food menu offers a range of regional foods. Emirates is big into offering local, seasonal dishes available wherever you are flying, while the drinks menu was extensive, with impressive wine options in both Economy and Business.

One thing that stood out for me was the airline’s cosmopolitan cabin crew. We had members from 11 nationalities on our flight, while overall the Emirates staff hail from over 130 nationalities. Crew members go through a rigorous training programme that was designed in partnership with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. A programme focused on mastering: excellence, attentiveness, innovation and passion. And it shows.  The service was actually first-class in both Economy and Business. And I like the environmental touches. In Economy Class, I got to snuggle up in soft sustainable blankets made of 100% recycled plastic bottles.

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Lounge on Emirates A380

Emirates Airbus A380

On the Dubai to Bangkok leg, I flew on the amazing double-decker Airbus A380 – the world’s largest passenger airliner. And it made Economy feel a bit like Business Class. There’s extra leg room, bigger seats and oceans of space to walk and stretch the legs. And one nice touch, when the cabin lights dim, stars appear on the ceiling, keeping both adults and kids entranced. 

Emirates flies to 161 destinations in 85 countries across six continents and the busy Dublin hub will connect you to the Americas or to Asia and beyond. But do try to jump on board the giant Emirates Airbus A380. With its massive wing span and enormous internal space, it will give you a once-in-a-lifetime flying experience and the quietest flight of your life!

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