How to Avoid the Angle-Flat Seats Emirates Still Flies to FLL
Emirates is currently in the process of retrofitting its fleet of 10 777-200LRs, the long-range version of Boeing's popular 772. As part of that $150 million renovation, the carrier is removing its first-class suites, and replacing the 2-3-2 angle-flat business seats with a much improved 2-2-2 lie-flat version.
It's a huge upgrade for biz travelers on some of Emirates' longest flights, including Dubai (DXB) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Santiago, Chile (SCL). The carrier's flight from DXB to South Florida clocks in at nearly 16 hours — with that much time in the air, the type of seat you land will surely make a difference when it comes to your overall experience.
This summer, Emirates was expected to offer the new retrofitted version on all of its Fort Lauderdale flights, however that plan has been put on hold for the time being — as a spokesperson explains, the older version will continue to operate on some days as well:
"Emirates can confirm that we will continue to deploy a two-class Boeing 777-200LR aircraft on EK213/214, between Fort Lauderdale and Dubai, on three of our five weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). The other two weekly flights (Fridays and Sundays) will continue to be operated by a three-class Boeing 777-200LR until further notice. This decision was made as part of our routine operational review, to ensure that our capacity is currently deployed to best serve customer demand across our global network. Emirates remains committed to the market with 101 weekly flights from the USA to Dubai."
Currently, the older configuration is scheduled to operate EK213/214 on Fridays and Sundays through February 24, 2019. With two-cabin flights on Thursdays and Saturdays, it's easy enough to avoid that Friday flight, but Sunday might be more of a challenge, since there's a gap until Tuesday. Still, if at all possible, I'd avoid booking a business-class seat on the three-cabin plane.
The easiest way to identify three-cabin flights is to search for a first-class suite on Google Flights — as Emirates confirmed, those are only available on Fridays and Sundays. Since the newer two-cabin configuration doesn't have first class, you'll want to avoid dates where suites are available to book — unless you're planning to fly up front, of course.
On that note, while you'll want to avoid the three-cabin plane if you're flying biz, this rollout delay gives you a bit more time to book a suite on the FLL-DXB route. You have a few options for booking suites, which we detail in this post, and availability tends to be quite good, especially on the Fort Lauderdale route.
Business class is easy to secure as well, especially if you have an abundance of Alaska miles. You'll need 82,500 each way, regardless of which product you land, so be sure to book a flight on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday if you're hoping to fly in comfort.
For more on Emirates business class and the 777-200LR, see: