The Airbus A380

Because we’ve finished playing in the sun for today, and because Dylan asked specifically, here are my thoughts on the experience of flying on the Airbus A380.

We flew on Singapore Airlines, who were the first to fly the A380 commercially. They’re a very good airline: efficient and service-oriented, so that naturally colours things.

You may have seen seat layouts. Most of the main deck is economy, with seats in 3-4-3 configuration across the body. I hate having 3 at the edge sections, because when you’re a couple in those seats you’re always climbing over someone else, or being climbed over. The upper deck – which I didn’t go up to ’cause I’m not sure if I could, I’ll check on the return – has business class, the top-class private suites, and more economy at the back.

All seatbacks had full-on entertainment systems. Lighting was good: seat trays had this underneath light that meant if you wanted to read in the dark you could have a light that didn’t intrude in the space of others next to you. Huge head room, massive overhead bins. Comfy seats. Foot rests.

Sitting in any of the middle seats an looking straight ahead would make you think you could be on any normal, decent (i.e., non-North American) airline’s plane. The seats are neither particularly spacious, nor crowded. For most of the flight it felt like any other plane. However, the shape of the hull curvature means those at the window seats on the main deck have quite a lot of elbow room and you’ll feel like you have more space even if it’s not practically usuable.

Every once in a while I’d look across the plane and think, “Yeah, this is a little wider than a normal plane.”

Every once in a while I’d look up and think, “Whoa, there’s a whole other floor of people up there.”

Every once in a while I’d look out our window – which looked back over the left wing – and think, “Holy SHIT! That wing is ENORMOUS! It goes on forever. And LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THOSE ENGINES!”

It was very smooth in takeoff, flight, and landing.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience, though (in economy class, at least) it wasn’t miles different from flying on other large planes.


2 Responses to “The Airbus A380”

  1. April 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks Tim – have been waiting for this! I don’t know whether to be disappointed or excited now though – maybe it’s just time to start saving the pennies and splurge on a business class seat the next time I’m heading out that way?!

    Hope you’re having a great trip.

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