REVIEW | Emirates B777-300ER Economy Class (Athens to Dubai)


With my winter trip to Athens over, the time came for the trek all the way back to Kuala Lumpur. As our airline of choice for this trip was Emirates, our journey back took us once again via Dubai. This time, we would be travelling on EK 0210 from Athens to Dubai – the 2nd leg of the flight’s Newark > Athens > Dubai routing.

The return flight from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur was near identical to my experience in 2020. To keep things fresh on Urbanist Wanderer, I won’t be reviewing the Dubai to Kuala Lumpur portion of this journey.

Click here to read my review of the outbound sector on EK 209 from Dubai to Athens.

Buying my tickets

I bought my return Economy Saver tickets on the Emirates website. This fare gave me 1 piece of cabin bag (max weight 7kg), and a check-in baggage allowance of 25kgs. The entire return ticket (KUL-DXB-ATH, ATH-DXB-KUL) cost me RM 3,657.00 (incl. taxes & charges).

Earning Malaysia Airlines Enrich points on Emirates flights

Members of Emirates Skywards, the airline’s frequent flyer program, have the option of entering their Skywards membership number during the ticket purchase to earn Skywards Miles and Tier Miles. I didn’t think I’d be using my Emirates earnings that much, so I opted to enter my Malaysia Airlines Enrich Blue membership number instead to earn some Enrich points as Emirates is a partner airline of Malaysia Airlines.

Here is a breakdown of my Enrich points earnings for this trip with Emirates –

SectorEnrich Points earned
KUL – DXB860
DXB – ATH509
ATH – DXB509
DXB – KUL860

As Emirates is not a fellow Oneworld member airline, Enrich members cannot earn Elite Points on flights with Emirates. If you’re chasing status and if you fly Emirates regularly, signing up for a Skywards membership is the better option. Collecting Enrich points on flights with Emirates only makes sense if you intend to redeem Malaysia Airlines flights with your Enrich points without bothering about your tier progression.

Departure experience at Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos

We arrived at ATH on the X95 express bus from Syntagma Square, which dropped us off on the departure level. ATH has a compact terminal layout that is easy to navigate, with check in counters arranged along the length of the departure concourse and F&B options on the floor above. Uniquely for an airport, it also has dedicated space for a small museum of artifacts uncovered during the airport’s construction.

We managed to check in for flight EK 210 to Dubai after a short queue, and then proceeded to head airside. ATH separates departing passengers into Schengen and non-Schengen flows, and we were routed through the non-Schengen departure flow.

There was a short queue for departure immigration that moved quickly, and then we were airside on the non-Schengen part of the terminal. The corridor to the gates run through a new extension constructed in 2020 that also contains multiple duty free shopping outlets.

Gates at ATH are setup with an open concept with no individual security checks for each gate, which mitigates the compact layout of the departure area with an airy feel. There are more commercial outlets here, including various F&B options for hungry passengers.

Curiously, ATH is still hanging on to its (non-functional) legacy pay phones in a time when virtually everyone carries personal smart phones.

I found ATH to be a pleasant experience overall, and I particularly liked how it implemented its minimalist industrial style architecture without making it too barebones.

Boarding the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

The aircraft for this leg was A6-EQF, a Boeing 777-300ER delivered new to Emirates on 30.8.2017, making it almost 6 years old at the time of this flight.

We began boarding by rows at gate A8, and the whole process was quite orderly. I had earlier loaded my boarding pass on Google Wallet to negate the need to hold a paper boarding pass, but curiously the gate agent at ATH was insistent on seeing my printed boarding pass.

Boarding was completed on time, and soon we were roaring off runway 03R into the night skies over Attica (Αττική), out over Petalioi Gulf (Κόλπος Πεταλιών), and eastwards over Evia (Εύβοια).

Cabin & Onboard Amenities

This was my third time onboard Emirates’ B777-300ER, and the cabin was no different from before. The signature (and familiar) Emirates faux wood trimmings were featured from the toilets to the window frames, giving the cabin a more personalised Emirates touch.

The lights were dimmed for take-off, and the cabin was kept in that state until our arrival in Dubai with the exception of during dinner service.

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. These seats are more up to date than the myriad of Economy seats on the airline’s Airbus A380, but overall maintain a near identical product offering.

The Economy Class seats on this particular aircraft are identical to those on A6-EQA that operated my flight from Dubai to Athens a week before, and were slightly different than on my previous Emirates B777-300ER flight from London Stansted to Dubai. Instead, the ones onboard this aircraft are closer to Emirates’ 3rd gen Airbus A380 seats. As before though, the seats have slightly less padding that their counterparts on the A380.

Each seat is outfitted with a 13.3 inch touch screen for the inflight entertainment system, running on top of what appeared to be an Android based software. There are universal power plugs under the seats, as well as a USB port beneath the IFE screen that can be used for charging.

Inflight Amenities – Emirates ICE inflight entertainment

The IFE aboard this B777-300ER was Emirates’ own system, given the name “ICE”. ICE is known for its huge selection of content, but I decided to go with a re-watch of Steven Spielberg’s excellent The Post. Headphones are given to every passenger to use with ICE, but to be quite frank the quality of the headphones aren’t that great.

ICE also feature views through cameras installed on the exterior of the aircraft, which gave passengers a unique view during take-off and landing. This was how I caught the bizarre sight of a rabbit sprinting across the runway just as we began our takeoff roll. Fingers crossed it ended up safe!

Having flown on EK’s A380, the camera feed on the B777-300ER is much sharper.

Inflight Amenities – Emirates Onboard WiFi

Onboard WiFi is available on all of Emirates’ flights for a fee, with the price depending on the package of your choice and the duration of the flight. Passengers get to choose between a package limited to text apps like Whatsapp, costing between USD 2.99 and USD 5.99, full internet access between USD 9.99 and USD 19.99, and a USD 9.99 package named “Easy Connect” in selected regions for a 30 minutes access without data limits.

Things are a bit more generous if you are an Emirates Skywards member –

  • If you are an Emirates Skywards Blue member, you get complimentary access to text apps in Business Class, Premium Economy, or Economy Class, and full internet access in First Class;
  • If you are an Emirates Skywards Silver or Gold member, you get complimentary access to text apps in Premium Economy and Economy Class, and full internet access in Business Class and First Class; and
  • If you are an Emirates Skywards Platinum member, you get free Wi-Fi no matter which class you’re flying in.

All this only works if you keyed in your Skywards membership number when buying your tickets. As I was crediting this flight to my Enrich account, I wasn’t able to make use of the complimentary internet access to text apps.

Inflight Amenities – Economy Class toilets

I took the opportunity to visit one of the Economy Class toilets after the lunch service. The toilet at this time was very clean, and was kept clean by the crew throughout the flight.

For those interested, Emirates keeps a 100ml bottle each of The White Company’s Noir Eau de Toilette and Hand & Body Lotion in their Economy Class toilets. I found it interesting that the bottles were kept in a locked perspex box.

The Hand & Body Lotion was Amber, Mandarin & Sandalwood scented which I thought was quite nice. I can’t find this exact product on The White Company’s online store anymore, but the closest thing is a 300ml bottle of Amber Mandarin & Sandalwood scented Moisturising Hand Cream, which will set you back £18.00.

Onboard Catering

Emirates serves only one meal service on the sector between Athens and Dubai, with the dinner service commencing around 1.5 hours after take-off.

The airline used to hand out paper menus to passengers in Economy Class. Covid-19 put a stop to that, and Emirates now presents its onboard Economy Class menus using the onboard Wi-Fi.

To access the menu, passengers have to connect to the onboard Wi-Fi network, click “Continue” on the welcome page, then click the menu banner on the top of the flight information page. As usual, both English and Arabic menus are available.

Emirates ATH-DXB Dinner service

The dinner menu for this sector offered Barley and Lentil Salad for appetisers, and a choice of either Beef Goulash or Pesto Chicken with Marinara Sauce for the main course. Dessert was an Apple and Blackberry Torte and a chocolate square.

I hadn’t had goulash in a while, so I opted for the Beef Goulash serving. Quite interestingly the goulash was served with fusilli and sautéed green beans, which was a combination I had never tried up until that point, being used to goulash with Spätzle or Knödel. The goulash tasted good, but I felt it was otherwise pretty ordinary.

The only criticism I have is that the plastic plate holding the main course is a bit too shallow to be dealing with somewhat slippery pasta. I resorted to poking them with my fork and dipping them one by one into the goulash like I would french fries with ketchup.

Arrival at Dubai International Airport

We arrived at Dubai on time after some 4 hours and 25 minutes of flight time. Our aircraft maneuvered to a remote stand just off Terminal 3, and all of us de-boarded by stairs and were shuttled to the terminal in a bus – a first for me at DXB.

With this leg of the journey done, we headed through to the transit and departures area for our onward flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Final Thoughts

This was another great flight with Emirates in economy, and it was nice to see the airline’s consistent service standards. The ATH experience was also great, and I would definitely consider ATH as a connecting option in the future.

Athens in Winter
Read more from our trip to Athens and Delphi in winter 2022.






One response to “REVIEW | Emirates B777-300ER Economy Class (Athens to Dubai)”

  1. […] This review is about flight EK 209 from Dubai to Athens. For my review of EK 210 on the return sector from Athens to Dubai, click here. […]

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