I flew economy on the 'world's best airline' -- and it wasn't that great

I recently made the trek from New York City to Entebbe, Uganda, which entailed nearly 24 hours of travel both ways — in economy class.

Prior to this, the most time I’d ever spent on an aeroplane for a single trip was only nine hours, so I wasn’t entirely thrilled at the idea of being stuck in coach for so long. That is, until I discovered that I’d be flying Emirates.

Emirates was recently named the best airline in the world for 2016 by the leading consumer aviation website Skytrax. It’s the fourth year in the row that the airline received the honour. So of course, I assumed I’d be flying to Uganda in style.

But I realised that flying coach on Emirates is basically the same as flying on any other airline. I was cramped and uncomfortable, and couldn’t wait to land.

This is what I had imagined my Emirates experience would be like: showers, bars, and Jennifer Aniston.

But of course, I was flying economy class for my 12-and-a-half hour flight to Dubai.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

Coach looks a lot different than the luxe first class cabin from the commercial.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

My seat came with a pillow, headphones, a blanket and a small mystery case -- but not much leg room.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

I was pleased to find that inside the mystery case was a toothbrush, tooth paste, ear plugs, socks and an eye mask.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

But what I really could have used was more space.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

On the plus side, economy class came with an epic movie library, including all of the Star Wars films.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

The bathroom looked just like any other airline bathroom, though.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER
Here I am, in the bathroom.

And the food was... ok. Nothing to write home about.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

I sat in my seat for over 12 hours, unable to sleep and feeling cramped, counting down the minutes until we'd reach Dubai.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

In the meantime, I ate some pizza.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

Eventually I reached Dubai... only to hop on a plane and have pretty much the same experience for another six hours.

Lisa Ryan/INSIDER

So all in all, Emirates' economy class is fine, I guess, but it isn't much different from coach on any other airline.

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