Emirates Business Class vs Economy

by | Feb 17, 2020

Last year I was lucky enough to receive an upgrade from Economy to Business Class, on an Emirates flight to Turkey. We’ve since flown Emirates again, but this time we flew Economy.

This is a comparison in my mind:

Space and comfort:

Economy: You have enough space to sit, you may struggle to curl your legs up next to you or get a good nights rest unless you can sleep upright, however, I’m only speaking for myself. Dyllan passes out on flights and wakes up in 8h, feeling rested and refreshed. I, on the other hand, spend my 8h watching 2 of the latest movies on ice, listening to a rappers whole album and I prepare a few emails that will send when I connect to wifi again. Some flight have wifi, but not all of them do. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been uncomfortable on an Emirates flight, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely delighted when I had a row to myself so I could stretch out.

Business-class: Ok so the first thing you’ll notice is the space, this is the first big win. You’ve got a little cupboard to store a few personal items, and some shoes, you have your own little bar, and snack fridge, your seat goes all the way down so you can get some good rest and the big win for me, was that they bring you a mattress to sleep on, yip, a mattress. The bar and having my belongings close to me was enjoyable, but that good night’s rest was the big win for me. I arrived at my destination ready to travel. There’s also a difference in the blankets you receive, we all know what economy blankets feel like, in business class, you have one side warm blanket (similar to economy) and the other side has a silk finish.


Economy: The food on Emirates is always good, I’ve never had a bad meal with them, there’s always a good balance, lots of food and it always tastes good. The only thing is, depending on where you are on the flight, they may run out of your preferred option unless you request a specific meal when checking in online (no additional cost).

Business: Ok, so first of all, they bring you a white linen tablecloth (how fancy – a whole table cloth), you’re served your meals on white china, and your meals are accompanied by a tiny little salt and pepper shakers, and your own mini balsamic vinegar bottle. The food has slightly healthier and more delicious options (in my opinion) and the presentation is oh so IG worthy. I’m pretty sure the champagne they serve is a little better too.

However the types of meals are similar, for example, one one of the legs I was in business and Dyl was in economy, for lunch I had salmon sashimi and he had hake, on another leg I had chicken and so did he, the flavours sounded similar enough, the presentation was the main difference, on another flight Dyl had the steak and so did I, the only difference appeared to be presentation. On our next flight, I’ll take a side by side comparison, economy vs business class. The meals were all equally as delicious.


On the flight we took, the wifi wasn’t working in economy and business, so if the wifi is down in economy, know that it’s probably down in business too.


Economy: They offer basic drinks like wine and beer,

Business: Ok so firstly, there’s a whole bar at the back of the plane, and they make cocktails. It’s unreal.

Added benefits of business class:

  • Check-in: Honestly, I did feel really important being able to board earlier than the other guests, it’s so silly I know. It’s just ego, but I liked it
  • The slow lounge: OK so the Dubai slow lounge is incomparable to anything I’ve ever experienced before, that was actually a holiday on its own. You could have a shower (same as economy), there was great food (same as economy), but this food was divided into countries. So you could have Asian food, American food, etc. The big difference for me was the champagne garden, Dubai has a Moet Chandan champagne garden, with food pairing. It was 5 am, and yes I absolutely had 3 glasses of champagne, because the laws of society do not apply in an airport right? I was then put in my own sleep pod (yip and it’s part of the package), complete with blanket and all until I slept off my champagne excitement.
  • The nuts: When you’re settling down, about to watch your movie, they bring you these warm, slow-roasted, salty nuts and they’re honestly delicious.

Economy or business, Emirates is always my preferred carrier when flying internationally and after all, who doesn’t enjoy a layover in Dubai. Business-class would obviously be my preferred option, but that type of luxury does come at an added expense. Which in my opinion is totally worth it. P.S. @Emirates, if you’re ever looking for a brand ambassador to try out your business class flight routes, just shout, I am always available!

A menu comparison of a short-haul flight below (supplied by Emirates):

Medium and long haul flights have a lot more options obvs.


Economy: A selection of juices and soft drinks, hot drinks coffee and tea
From the bar – a range of red and white wine, beer, spirits, and liqueurs or treat yourself to a little extra: Moët & Chandon Brut 200ml for USD 20 (OK so I was wrong, the champagne isn’t better it just comes at an additional cost)

Business: A selection of high-end whiskeys, cognac, aperitifs, spirits and lacquers, beer and wine. Apple, pineapple, orange, tomato juice, sodas, mixers, still and sparkling water, tea and coffee (including cappuccino).


Economy: Fresh seasonal fruit, classic omelet, served with spiced potato wedges, sautéed mushrooms, and spinach, Spanish frittata, with pan-fried chicken sausages, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and tomato concassé, croissant served with butter and preserve.

Business: An assortment of seasonal fresh-cut fruit, lentil salad with chicken tikka and yogurt, with freshly baked bread.

If we had to do a cost comparison:

A flight to Dubai right now, 17 February from JHB-Dubai would cost:

Economy: R6899

Business: R31499

There’s a difference of R24 600. A business class ticket is 4,5x the price of an economy ticket. You need to decide for yourself if the price difference is worth it for you and your budget, remember to keep things like the slow lounge, early check-in, space, comfort, sleep, bar, and food in mind when making your decision.

It’s something I would recommend adding to your bucket list and trying just once in your lifetime #FlyEmiratesFlyBetter

I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!


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