Famous for hospitality (and a seriously luxurious business class offering), the Dubai-based airline Emirates is the world's fourth largest airline based on passenger numbers. They operate more than three thousand flights every week, and are one of the few airlines that fly to all six inhabited continents. Emirates destinations include 140 airports across 70 countries. Their frequent-flyer program is called Emirates Skywards. As well as winning a raft of industry awards, it's free to join.Emirates currently offer flights from six UK airports: Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, London-Gatwick and London-Heathrow. The majority of flights are long-haul, with a short stopover in Dubai. Read on for more information about flying with Emirates, or pop over to our news site for our top things to see and do in Dubai.
Information correct as of March 2017
How to check in
You can check in online using Emirates' website or their smartphone app. This is available from 48 hours before scheduled departure until 90 minutes before the flight is due to take off. Checking on online gives you the option of downloading a mobile boarding card or printing out your pass to take to the airport. If you prefer to do things the traditional way, or if you don't have a printer, you can check in at Emirates' assigned desks at the airport free-of-charge. These usually open three hours before departure, closing 90 minutes before. Try to get to your gate early: boarding begins 45 minutes before and ends 20 minutes before take-off.
With their luxurious reputation, it shouldn't be surprising that Emirates seats are a bit larger than average. In economy class you can expect a seat pitch (the distance between your seat and the one in front) of 32 to 34 inches, as well as a width of 17 to 18 inches. If you're lucky enough to be flying Emirates business class, you can stretch out with a seat pitch of 48 inches and an average seat width of 18.5 inches. On Boeing flights you have even more space, with a whopping 60 inch seat pitch and 20.5 inch width. Advance seat selection is free for all classes apart from Economy Saver and Economy Special fares.
Emirates don't currently charge credit or debit card fees. There is a variable surcharge for each passenger if you want to reserve a flight without booking under the 'Hold My Fare' offering. The charge doesn't apply if you book your flight within 72 hours of reservation.
Service on board
Emirates are famous for their luxurious on-board experience, even in economy class (the slogan for which is 'expect the exceptional'). If you book an economy ticket you can still expect small details such as free drinks throughout the flight, a blanket to keep you warm during the flight, and delicious in-flight meals inspired by your destination. Each seat has an in-flight entertainment system embedded into the back, with around 2,500 channels to peruse. Emirates business class is famous for its extremely high-end offering, with massage chairs, private booths, and glasses of curated champagne to kick off your flight in style.
Emirates was the world's 32nd most punctual airline in 2016. That year, none of their flights were delayed by an hour or more: the average delay was 17.2 minutes. The majority (63%) of Emirates flights arrive within 15 minutes of the planned time.
Baggage allowances and fees
You can read about Emirates hand luggage allowances over on our guide to hand baggage sizes and weight restrictions. Hold luggage is detailed in the table below.
Emirates hold luggage allowance: size, weight and fees
Hold baggage size: 118 inches (300cm) total dimensions
Hold luggage weight allowance:Economy: up to 35kg. Business: 40kg. First class: 50kg
Number of hold bags allowed: As many as you need, within your weight allowance.
Cost of Emirates hold luggage: Free within allowance. Can pay for extra: 10% discount if purchased online.