The Best Seats in Economy Class on Emirates' Airbus A380

By John Walton, May 20 2011
The Best Seats in Economy Class on Emirates' Airbus A380

Which is the best seat to pick in Economy class on Emirates' Airbus A380 superjumbo flying between Sydney and Dubai (or Sydney and Auckland)? Australian Business Traveller brings you the latest in our series revealing the best seats in the sky.

The airline with the most A380s in the world, Emirates plans to have a full 90 of the superjumbos flying via its Dubai mega-hub. 

Emirates already has the biggest fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos in the world, with one dedicated to the Dubai-Sydney-Auckland run and back. In Economy, it's one of the most comfortable options around if you're heading to Europe, and the touchscreen ICE entertainment system is one of the very best in the sky. 

Picture: Christian Michel
Picture: Christian Michel

It's also a great (and comparatively very cheap) way to get from Sydney to Auckland in comfort and with proper service. 

An A380 with full meal service and top-class entertainment systems beats Qantas' rickety, squashed Boeing 737-400s, Air New Zealand's supremely irritating safety videos and low-cost carrier fare system, or Jetstar's squashed high-density cabin hands-down.

From Emirates' mega-hub in Dubai, Australian passengers for Europe and the Middle East destinations can connect on A380s to London Heathrow, Paris, Manchester and Jeddah -- as well as other destinations on smaller planes. 

The airline also uses A380s on flights to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Seoul, Shanghai and Toronto. 

The Economy Class cabin

Economy stretches along the entire main deck of the A380, in a 3-4-3 configuration. That means there are three seats (A, B and C) by the left window, four in the middle (D, E, F and G), and three by the right window (H, J and K).

The smallest (and therefore quietest) section is down the back between rows 80 and 88, with the next smallest at the front between rows 43 and 51. (That section has more seats in the middle, though it's still 8 rows long. Two longer sections from rows 52-66 and 67-79 are in the middle of the plane.

In general, it's a remarkably good plane for economy seating. But if you like to look out of the window, skip window seats between rows 52 and 72, where the wings are.

The best seats on the plane

The best economy seats on Emirates A380 are rows 68 and 81 seats A and K because of the ample leg room, abundant storage space, and a good chance that the middle seat will be empty. In general, we recommend sitting further forward rather than to the back of the aircraft because there's less engine noise and you're faster off the plane. However, if those seats are unavailable, read on to discover our top economy seat choices on Emirates Airbus A380.

(You may find it more useful to open the seat map in a separate window.)

68A 68K 81A 81K: these window seats aren't at the front of each section, so you might not notice them on the seat map, but there's no seat in front of them. So they've got heaps of legroom, and since the middle seat next to them isn't an exit row there's a greater likelihood of it being empty.

67B 67C 67J 67K 80B 80C 80J 80K: aisle + middle exit row seat pairs, these are unusual because there's no window seat next to them. The B seat is particularly good for a bit of extra elbow room.

41A 41B 41C 41H 41J 41K: sets of three exit row seats at the very front of the plane, these will have extra legroom, and there's no middle block of seats in this section, meaning it is likely to be quieter.

52A 52B 52C 52H 52J 52K: these bulkhead seats in sets of three by the windows on either side are at the start of the second cabin, so there'll be nobody reclining into your space. Bear in mind that they're bassinet crib positions so you may be moved to make space for an infant, which may also make noise of its own.

Seats D E F G in rows 45, 54, 67 and 82: if the other seats we recommend aren't available, consider one of these bulkhead seats at the front of the middle block of four seats, where nobody will be reclining into you. Again, they are bassinet crib positions too, so the usual caveats of being moved and noisy babies apply.


The worst seats on the plane

There aren't actually that many worst seats on this plane with reduced legroom or recline, or which are worse than any other rows for seating reasons. 

You might want to avoid rows 44-45, 64-66 and 86-88 because they're close to lavatories, or seats at the back of any section because they're close to either loos or the galley kitchens. But overall, it's a consistent experience no matter where you are on the plane.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

03 Nov 2011

Total posts 35

This is why I love ausbt. I google 'best seat on emirates a380 economy', and this article is right there for me, as an an answer better than I could have dreamt of :D.

love you ausbt <3

While the very narrow 777 seats on emirates are possibly the most uncomfrtable seats I have ever sat in for a long haul, the 380 3-4-3 configurations seats gives you a reasonable 18in width width and 32/34in pitch. However what I can't understand is why the singapore air 380 gives you a wider seat (19in) (although there are no 34in pitch seats). Perhaps the arm rests are narrower, but regardless, for long haul you need a seat with a width of more than 17.5in, otherwise its impossible to sleep. As a result the 380 pass this test.

I neglected to add, if you want to compare seats use the seatguru web site. Its an excellent web site to compare seats - critically important on long haul flights.


18 Jan 2014

Total posts 1

Excellent review so which one is the best? is row 82 Good?


28 Apr 2022

Total posts 1

Hi all,

Family of 4 about to prebook our seats on A380 from uk to Dubai 

I feel row 51 middle (back of 1st section) preferred seats for disembarking look great for space close to walk around. 

My issue is - Does anybody know for the seats recline in row 51?  They don’t have window seats in this row onky 4 in the middle. 

Thanks guys. 

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