Emirates Airbus A380 first class 'shower spa' review

By Chris Chamberlin, April 15 2014

When it comes to a truly first class experience, the 'shower spa' on Emirates' Airbus A380 is one of a kind. It's more like something you'd expect on a private VIP jet than a commercial flight carrying almost 500 passengers.

But there at the very front of the first class section you'll find not one but two showers for what must be the ultimate inflight indulgence.

And you can forget about those too-small toilets: these spacious shower suites have ample room for changing clothes and generally making yourself look a bit more presentable after even the longest flight.

A recent trip in Emirates' A380 first class provided the opportunity to cross ‘showering at 40,000 feet’ off my to-do list.

The showers are available only to passengers travelling in first class, and you'll need to make an appointment with the cabin crew to secure your preferred time.

Appointments are made in 20-25 minute blocks, giving the two dedicated spa attendants a chance to completely clean and refresh each suite before the next passenger enters.

Inside the suite

As soon as you step into the shower spa you’ll notice a heated floor beneath your feet. That's the first sign that this isn’t any ordinary airplane bathroom!

Amenities by Timeless Spa are abundant, with a choice of shampoos and conditioners available, right through to dental kits, skincare products and disposable razors.

There are also designer Bvlgari fragrances for men and women.

The marble sink features a lighted vanity mirror, an adjustable shaving mirror and a power source if you’ve brought your own electric shaver.

It’s shower time!

Once you’re in the shower, you’ll notice a gauge on the wall advising of your remaining shower time:

All up you’ll have five minutes of running water, but you can press a ‘start/stop’ button to pause the flow. That's quite handy if you’re washing your hair and don’t want to run out of water.

By following this procedure, I had ample time to shower, shampoo and condition my hair.

To remind you of the time limit, the water automatically cuts off after four minutes but can be reactivated for that final 60 seconds at the touch of a button.

All done with about 15 seconds to spare!

The shower pressure was excellent – it felt just like a shower at ground level, and the water took less than a second to become completely hot.

Although it might appear slippery, the shower floor is textured to prevent any in-flight mishaps. There's also a seat if you're finding it difficult to stand:

After your shower, you’ll be able to make use of the hairdryer tucked away behind a timber panel:

Alternating between English and Arabic, a built-in screen keeps you updated on the progress your flight, located next to a coat hook and hanger and a floor-to-ceiling mirror (not pictured):

At the end of a long journey, there’s nothing quite like arriving well-rested, relaxed and showered for the day ahead!

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!




23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

The shower spa is certainly no gimmick. Even though I was only flying AKL-SYD it was nice to be refreshed on landing. I can imagine how good it would be showering in the air on a long haul to DXB, having the added advantage of not wasting lounge time in showers on the ground. 

My only criticism of the shower spa is that the temperature was far too hot. They could lower it a little. 



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

After a longhaul flight it is really only good if you have one of the later spots. First choice is given to EK IO and PLAT and I think after to QF PLAT (not sure). If you are "unlucky" and in a full F cabin, your spot might be 7 hours prior to landing and that would diminish some of the fresh feeling when you finally land.



22 Jun 2013

Total posts 98

You mean to say there's no option to choose your desired shower temperature?!



Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

Now we need these in Business and Economy... :P



Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 10

Wouldn't that be awesome? However, the added weight of water for 70-ish business passengers alone (ignoring the time needed for showers) would make it impossible.



10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

I was lucky enough to try this last year and I have to say that it was quite a luxury having a shower at 35,000 feet! I opted to have the shower before sleeping and it was a nice feeling tucking into bed after having had a shower. The rooms were kept spotless throughout the flight even if no one was using the shower... In fact I will go as far as to say that it was the cleanest toilets I've ever experienced on a flight!



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Apr 2013

Total posts 146

We'll get to experience this in a few weeks on a flight from JFK to DXB to SYD, looking forward to it. First time Emirates A380 first for us.




12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

It is a gimmick, no doubt about it. But it is so nice gimmick! And if whole setup is roomy enough how about 10 mile club? LOL.




17 Dec 2013

Total posts 51

So many things I could say but basically I want Chamberlin's job



24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2917

Feel free to call me Chris... or in this case, Mr 1A... :P




17 Apr 2014

Total posts 1

When the plane hits some turbulence and the Capt says return to your seats immediately do you run out in the nudi and return to your seat?



23 May 2012

Total posts 36

I was lucky enough to fly first on an Auckland flight some years back, and had a shower as an experience. It truly was brilliant! Best of all, the shower / toilet has a sign on the door, 'maximum two passengers' .... so you have a fair idea of the possibilities PLUS it is way spacious!



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 166

iv used this multiple times and love it. Again in July on route to Paris.

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