Emirates serves all 3 major London airports. For this return leg to Kuala Lumpur in December 2019, Stansted was a more convenient option than Gatwick and Heathrow as we had spent the final few days of our trip touring southeastern England.
For a more recent review of Emirates B777-300ER Economy Class in 2022, click here.
First posted 25 March 2020. Updated 4 March 2023.
- Departure experience from London Stansted Airport
- Cabin & Onboard Amenities
- Onboard Catering
- Arrival at Dubai International Airport
- Final Thoughts
Departure experience from London Stansted Airport
Stansted airport is one of the few exceptions to the usual droll UK airports. Opening in 1991, it is more reminiscent of landmark airports that opened in the 90s with an airy departure concourse.
While the architecture is sound, airlines have free reign with the design of the check in counters. This meant an inconsistent visual architecture with Ryanair utilising an island layout, while Emirates made do with its own branded, linear layout counters. That, plus the arrivals exit located on the other end of the terminal on the same level, gave the concourse a bit of a messy feel.
The baggage carousels were having some work done to them on the day, so checked in luggages were carted away manually by staff. This definitely wasn’t something I was expecting at a major air gateway.
Our check in went smoothly, but as we took a closer look at our boarding passes later, we noticed that the counter staff had switched our seats to lump our travelling group together without informing us. This moved me from my window seat to aisle seat 20H. While I can understand why Emirates would lump travelling groups together, I would have appreciated the counter staff informing us that she was changing our seats. This is because we had actually specifically selected our original seats to give ourselves a window seat.
With check in sorted, we headed through the usual departure security screenings and through to airside. Stansted, like every other major UK airport, has had multiple retail and F&B options cramped into its airside space. As the terminal complex is designed around a remote pier concept, this meant the main terminal building itself has no gates, and thus in theory more space for retail.
This doesn’t translate into passenger comfort though, since the sheer amount of passengers passing through makes the retail areas cramped. On the plus side, F&B options are numerous, which is helpful if you wish to have a bite or two before heading for your flight at one of Stansted’s 3 piers.
With boarding time approaching, we boarded the people mover to pier Satellite 1. The system uses Adtranz C-100 vehicles, itself the predecessor of the Bombardier APM 100s used in KLIA. Like many other fancy things back home, Stansted’s Adtranz vehicles were more well kept than their KLIA counterparts.
Satellite 1 is well lit, and has a slick, modern look to it. It reminded me of the new terminal at Vienna, but on a smaller scale.
Boarding the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
The aircraft for this leg was A6-EQH, a Boeing 777-300ER delivered new to Emirates in November 2017, making it just over 2 years of age at the time of writing.
Cabin & Onboard Amenities
Like their Airbus A380s, Emirates has customised the cabins of their B777-300ER aircraft with faux wood trimmings in the toilets and the window frames. Again, I’m not really a fan, but it does give the cabin a more personalised touch than others.
Emirates B777-300ER Economy Class seats
Emirates’ B777-300ER Economy cabin is configured in a 3-4-3 layout, with 32 inches of seat pitch. The seats installed are more up to date than the ones on their Airbus A380 but overall maintain a near identical product offering.
One thing I must point out is that these seats have noticeably less padding than their counterparts on the A380. This made my attempts at catching some sleep a bit more uncomfortable than usual, as it felt like my lower back wasn’t receiving enough support.
Each seat was outfitted with a 13.3 inch touch screen (the largest in the world for Economy!) for the IFE, running on top of what looked like an Android based software. I did not notice a power plug affixed to the back of the seat, but there is a USB port attached to the bottom of the IFE screen that can also be used for charging.
Inflight Amenities – Emirates ICE inflight entertainment
Like all of its other planes, the IFE onboard this aircraft was Emirates’ own ICE system with its huge selection of content. ICE also feature views through cameras installed on the exterior of the aircraft, which gave a unique view during take-off and landing.
Having flown on EK’s A380, I must say that the camera feed on the B777-300ER is much sharper.
As per usual, the menu for the inflight meal service was handed out by cabin crew during the final stages of boarding at Stansted.
The meal service for this flight was to consist of a dinner service after departure, and a simple breakfast service before arrival at DXB.
Emirates STN – DXB Dinner service
The dinner service commenced 2 hours after takeoff, with the flight’s menu offering a choice of either chicken makhani or braised beef with root vegetables. I went with the chicken makhani for my main course, and a gin & tonic for drinks.
To their credit, Emirate’s onboard catering is consistent in its good standards – the dish was tasty and the rice sufficiently fluffy. I also particularly enjoyed the chocolate delice dessert. For the gin lovers, the gin served by EK was the Beefeater Gin.
Emirates STN – DXB Breakfast service
I had gone to sleep after the dinner service, and woke up to the discover that the cabin crew had completed the breakfast service without waking sleeping passengers. This was a departure from my previous KUL – DXB flight where passengers were woken up for the breakfast service.
I was left feeling rather confused, but the cabin crew were kind enough to give me my pastry when I asked for it. The small pastry was tasty, but it didn’t quite measure up to the freshly baked flaky ones you can get on the ground.
Arrival at Dubai International Airport
It was a straight in descend to DXB for us from the north, and we were rewarded with great views of the city’s skyline on the final approach to Runway 12L.
Touchdown was firm and we were at our gate in no time.
Emirates’ service quality on this flight dipped slightly for me. I certainly didn’t appreciate having my seat changed without any notification, and the seat could also use more padding.
But considering this was a relatively short 6.5 hour flight, it was a decently pleasant one nevertheless.