Posted by Sade Williams
Emirates has taken home three awards at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022, including World’s Best Economy Class, World’s Best Economy Class Catering, and for the 17th consecutive time, World’s Best Inflight Entertainment. The awards are a testament to the airline’s commitment to offer the very best customer experience in the sky, where travellers in Economy Class can look forward to spacious cabins, carefully crafted menus, an unmatched range of in-flight entertainment choices, thoughtful amenities like kids toys, and much more.
At a time when cost-cutting has become the norm, the airline is making long-term investments to further elevate its product and service strategy in every cabin class.
This latest recognition from Skytrax comes on the heels of the airline’s recent announcement that it is investing over US$ 2 billion to enhance its inflight customer experience. This includes one of the largest retrofit projects in aviation history spanning 120 aircraft which will soon sport the airline’s latest interior concepts, a new hospitality-focused service delivery model, and best-in-class product enhancements across all cabins, starting this year. Emirates will also be investing over US$ 350 million in next-generation inflight entertainment systems with Thales for passengers to experience the airline’s massive library of 5,000 channels on high-definition screens, along with a host of other high-tech features on its incoming fleet of A350 aircraft.
Customers flying Emirates’ Economy Class, no matter where they choose to travel on the airline’s 130 destination strong network, can look forward to a menu infused with regional and seasonal flavours, featuring hearty main dishes and sides, and an indulgent dessert inspired by their destination. Emirates also prides itself in celebrating unique cultures and traditions from around the globe by offering signature dishes for occasions like Diwali, Christmas, Ramadan, Eid Al Adha, Lunar New Year and more recently, Oktoberfest and Onam.
Emirates offers one of the most comprehensive and state-of-the-art entertainment and communications services in the skies. ice, the inflight entertainment system awarded by Skytrax for the 17th time this year, offers over 5,000 channels of entertainment, with 4,000 hours of movies and TV, and close to 3,500 hours of music and podcasts. Customers can also choose content in 40 languages. In addition to entertainment, Emirates ice offers a range of other useful features, such as: the ability to check the status of your flight; a real-time view of the sky during take-off and landing from cameras fixed on the aircraft’s nose, tail and underbelly; EmiratesRED; the world’s first inflight TV shopping channel and LIVE TV.
ice is also the only inflight entertainment system that offers exclusive programming from Shahid, with over 135 hours of highly popular Arabic content across 15 shows, with more to be added in the coming months. Emirates was the first airline in the region partner with HBO Max, offering exclusive hits only offered through the streaming service. Emirates’ on board product experience is complemented by the airline’s cosmopolitan team of cabin crew who hail from over 130 nationalities. Crew members, already trained on providing the very best inflight service, are further levelling up their hospitality experience through a rigorous training programme that was designed in partnership with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. The latest programme is focused on mastering the four service pillars: Excellence,
Driving radical changes in the customer experience also includes small touches that make a big difference, not only for customers but the planet as well. Economy Class customers can snuggle up in warm and soft sustainable blankets made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. The airline also offers sustainably-made amenity kit bags for Economy Class customers on select long haul flights, which have been newly redesigned to represent the four elements – fire, water, earth and air, as a reminder of the careful balance required to preserve for the future of our planet. The kit’s travel essentials – socks, eyeshades, toothbrush and tooth paste, as well as bookmark, are all made from environmentally-friendly materials and come in natural earth tones.
Little flyers travelling across all classes can also keep busy with special plush toys and blankets as well as a selection of ‘fly with me’ belt bags, duffle bags and backpacks. All children’s items and toys have been consciously made of 100% recycled raw materials including drinking bottles, and swing tags use non-toxic soy based ink printed on recycled cardboard.
On the ground, Emirates has been working hard to create a smart contactless journey for its customers. Travellers can choose to use its integrated biometric path in DXB to check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, and board their flights. Customers can also use the airline’s touchless self-check-in and bag drop kiosks at Dubai International (DXB).
The smart contactless experience continues on board with digital menus available on the Emirates app, and customers can also use the app to create a preferred playlist for ice.