Like little children getting overly giddy when they see a fair attraction – I’m the same when it comes to entering an Airbus A380!
The world’s largest passenger airliner, a mammoth mass of metal with wings, and two storeys. What’s not to like?
The wings on this thing are humungously huge. When inside and looking out they almost completely block the view of what’s below. They more closely resemble sections of a stadium roof than wings!
You’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve flown in these monsters aplenty before, what with all my travels I tell you about in this here blog. But you’d be mistaken. This is only my second time on one. The first time was a couple of years ago – Sydney to Dubai on Emirates.
So what makes this Brobdingnagian bird so special, apart from the blatantly obvious?
Well, first off – there’s the takeoff. It’s so smooth you hardly notice it. Ah, but before I go on, a quick caveat here: the A380 experience info you’re getting here relates to the experience I had while in business class on the upper deck. They say that in first class there are separate rooms with beds, there’s a communal shower, and all sorts of other niceties and pamperings. That’s what I’m told, at least. And no, you can’t go walkabout trying to get a peak. Let’s face it, a lot would if they could, no?!
And so, back to that takeoff. It’s like… in no way whatsoever aviation-like – the way a ride in a Rolls-Royce is not automotive-like. (Must be RR’s thing: the A380’s engines are RR!) It reminded me of a ski lift – it scoops you up, shakes you around a touch, then jettisons you forward and up you go. You don’t even need to put your Old-Fashioned down. After takeoff the experience gets back to resembling the more usual avia experience – having to wait for the fasten seatbelts sign to go out before you can get up and stretch the old legs, the line for the loo, etc., etc.
Now about the general milieu inside the plane.
We’re flying Singapore Airlines, my number-one favorite way of traveling by air (not including rented private jet, of course). Everything’s real nice, real Singaporean. However, I do get the impression that Emirates goes the extra mile on business class – their A380 seats are wider, with more gadgets and more poshness. Still, Singapore isn’t so bad, with a super nice interior – all modern and sleek, hi-tech and multifunctional, and with plenty of legroom.
I can’t give you any info about economy or first class as I’ve tried neither. If anyone reading this has tried – please let me know!
On Emirates’ A380 at the very back of the plane on the upper deck there’s a real swish bar and sitting area, where you can easily forget you’re on a plane. So it seems you have to try a few different A380s to get the full picture regarding their overall coolness. Must say, I won’t mind investigating different airlines’ takes on A380 customization from now on. I think I could handle such an assignment…
So, what else?…
Singapore Airlines, apart from the perfect service and special attention to security and rules in general, are extra special because of their stewardesses. See for yourselves (I wasn’t old-school man enough to take their pictures)! Just where do they find these glamorous specimens? In what incubator do they grow them?! Or maybe it’s all in the makeup? I must say there’s lots in evidence – particularly of the eye variety. They don’t seem to be Chinese, not Malayan/Thai, or any of the other Asian ethnicities I’m aware of! Just who are they? Again, if anyone knows, please write in. I’m real curious :)
Now, after all that (+), a little bit of (-): In the glossy promotional slides we were kindly assured that Wi-Fi would work onboard (yee-ha!). But in reality – zilch. Zero Wi-Fi. But just how are they expecting Wi-Fi to work practically in the stratosphere over the Australian desert anyway? Whatever, it didn’t work, so I wasn’t able to send my posts directly from said stratosphere. I think it’ll be possible soon though. It works on US internal flights, no doubt other flights…
Well, that’s all for now, folks. It’s farewell to Oz. Next end destination – Sicily!
PS! We flew into Singapore, dropped by the (Singapore Airlines) business lounge for a sharpener, tried the Internet, and guess what? The connection was worse than it was in Antarctica! The moral to the story? Never mix connectivity expectations with Singapore Airlines. Like oil and water, ketchup and kiwi fruit, or some other dumb combination – they do not mix!: A bit like Singapore Airlines’ A380 take-off – you get (a tiny bit) shaken, not stirred!