Photo: Emirates A380 First class – © Gilles Riou / Top Snow Travel
Emirates First Class Review of the A380 from Sydney to Geneva
Gilles from Top Snow Travel reviews the Emirates A380 First Class flight experience from Sydney to Geneva (best international airport to fly into to get to the French Alps along with Lyon).
The Airbus A380 aircraft has 2 extraordinary features that the Boeing 777 aircraft doesn’t offer. Having flown on both the 777 and A380 aircrafts in first class, for me there is only one winner and that’s the A380.
This video covers the entire experience from Sydney airport including the review of the Emirates business class lounge in Sydney (no Emirates first class lounge in Sydney, so access to the business lounge is offered instead), in-flight service and entertainment, first class seating, delicious food, the bar, showers (there are 2 of them, one in each bathroom) and more.
Watch the video below to find out more:
Best airports to reach the French Alps
The best airports to fly into to get to the French ski resorts are either Geneva or Lyon airports.
The reason we recommend flying with Emirates.
Emirates, Etihad and Qatar only have one connecting transfer en route and that’s through their hub. All other airlines have at least 2 connections (not ideal when travelling with kids or if you want to get there the fastest possible).
Qatar and Etihad don’t have direct flights to Lyon which is the best airport for the southern ski resorts in the French Alps. Emirates has the most direct and best schedule not to mention one of the highest standards of service, comfort and the best in-flight entertainment of any airline.
Etihad would be my second choice but it only has one flight a day into Geneva which arrives early in the morning at 6:45am. This is not ideal for jet lag as you need to stay up all day after a long journey before going to sleep at night and you can’t normally check in to your accommodation until 3 or 4pm unless you pay for an extra night for check-in on arrival.
One of the best airlines in the world for sure, but the schedule is not ideal because of the return journey. Here is why.
Going to Geneva from Australia is perfect with a short 2-hour transfer in Doha (although you will most likely get jet lag as with Etihad, as the flight lands around 7am). However, the return journey from Geneva back to Australia is a killer!
On Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays, flights depart at 8:45am from Geneva airport, which means you have to get up and leave your hotel at most ski resorts by 3:30am (around 2-hour transfer time plus 2-3 hours prior to flying for check-in). You will also have at least a 4-hour wait in Doha to connect with your flight home.
Now for the interesting part. As you may or may not know, the vast majority of ski holidays for families and groups are for stays in apartments or chalets which are ONLY rented in blocks of 7 nights, from Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday for catered chalets. Qatar’s flight schedule for Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays have a good departure time from Geneva to Doha but a whopping 8-hour transfer wait at the airport from 23:55 to 07:55.
The flight from Doha to Australia (Sydney for example) departs at 07:55am and lands at 06:10am so again, higher chance of jet lag when you get home. Not the best way to end an amazing ski holiday!
There are 3 flights a day from Sydney to Geneva:
1) Departs Sydney at 6am arrives Dubai at 1:20pm / departs Dubai at 2:40pm arrives Geneva same day at 6:45pm (perfect for a good night’s sleep with a 1-night stay in Geneva on arrival).
2) Departs Sydney at 9:45pm, arrives Dubai at 5:15am / departs Dubai at 8:40am and arrives Geneva at 12:45pm which is an ideal time to get your luggage, transfer to the ski resort and arrive for a 5pm check-in time.
3) Third flight option departing at 4:55pm from Australia (Sydney for example) is no good as it has an 8-hour transfer in Dubai. So forget this one.
On the return journey from Geneva to Australia (Sydney for example), the best option out of the 2 choices is on EK90/EK414 which is perfect. The flight departs Geneva at 2:45pm arrives Dubai at 00:05am and departs Dubai at 2am arriving SYD at 10:30pm which is great to avoid jet lag and go straight to bed when you get home.
Flights to Lyon with Emirates have 1.5-hour connecting time on the way there and 4 hours on the way back.
Conclusion: Emirates is by far the best airline to fly with to get to the French Alps and the ski resorts which are best accessed from either Geneva or Lyon airports. No other airline has a schedule as good as Emirates.