A380 – Good or Bad

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This topic contains 38 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  Vertrek 28 Oct 2012
at 15:31

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  • Anonymous


    Having read so many comments about the new A380 and forgetting for the sake of this dicussion the engine problems, I am very suprised to read so many mixed reviews.

    Initially, the reports were quite positive, perhaps this was the novelty factor, but lately, there have been more and more negative reports. From noisy F to cramped economy. The main exception is Emirates, who seem to have got it more or less right.

    So has this given Boeing an opportunity with both the 787 and the new 747 to increase passenger levels of comfort and service. How will the airlines still to take delivery (and there are many) react to the negative reports about the 380.

    I have to say I am somewhat suprised or are we just an extremely fussy and demanding lot.

    I cant recall posts from some of the forums statesman (or I may have missed them) about their experiences on the 380.

    Is the general consensus good or bad about the 380?


    I flew both SQ and QF A380, Cabin wise, SQ win for Business and service, but QF win for Economy (the best economy seat i’d had experienced).

    Equipment wise, it is very comfortable, very quite, and if you fly in Business, you can always walk ups and down the plane to stretch out, especially in Qantas where you can socialise in either Econ Self Bar or the Business one. Never flew first, so I can’t comment on that., but, overall, A380 is great.

    I usually prefer Airbus to Boeing when traveling since they are more quiet and they have better cabin ambiance especially on their short haul craft.


    I’ve flown the A380 with Emirates in Y and Qantas in J. The hard product in both is really good. The food in with Emirates is Y was pretty good while the food with Qantas is nothing to write home about (with the exception of the supper service, late night out of SIN. Last week I enjoyed a Duck Shepards Pie and have had some really good Laksa in the past too).

    I prefer the service on BA, no two ways about it. Best around. But the new Sky Bed from Qantas is better than Club World (in my opinion), and when you’re on a flight where you need to sleep, that’s the key consideration.

    I flew three sectors on the A380 two weeks ago (the fourth down to Perth on the dreadful Sky Slide). This is the first time I’ve flown it since the “incident” last year. It was as good as ever.

    Always pretty smooth. It lumbers down the runway though and it always amazes me that it manages to get off the ground.

    Fabulous plane.


    I have flown AF A380 albeit LHR-PAR-LHR in J. As far as catering is concerned what it would be like long haul I don’t know. The service was good.

    Its a great plane, quite, but what lets AF down is the J seat. It is not a flat bed. For a trip say PAR-NYC during the day it would be great, like a nice large leather armchair, but returning overnight, no thanks.


    I have experienced QF First. Crew were overly familiar and cabin layout not good if travelling with partner or family. Seat comfortable but I would rather fly facing backwards that at an angle, even with a cross over seat belt.
    For me the biggest issue is that Qantas have missed an opportunity to provide a truly luxurious space.(and I do not mean Bling!!)They have instead gone for a utilitarian beige environment. BA’s first refurbishment at least attempted to do this with blue blinds and the little lamp. The BA cabin looks very inviting, particularly at night albeit with reduced personal space.
    The A380 was quite and I found both takeoff and landing to be smooth. I also liked the ability to move around and use the upstairs lounge area (which was nothing special). I thought the stairs at the front of the aircraft were OTT and took up too much space especially in the First Cabin and made me wonder why the First Cabin had not been put upstairs with Business behind to provide a premium deck.

    In all I came off feeling that it had been a good experience but nothing special but it certainly and failed to live up to the hype. I am however a 747 fan from decades of flying on the wonderful aircraft. The nose section in particular will be hard to beat by any pretender to the 747’s crown.


    The AF version also had the stairs which were lit with coloured lights that gave the impression you were arriving at some posh hotel. But First was disappointing in that it was on the lower deck behind those stairs and compeletely open with small seats.


    I too flew Qantas First, and as Binman62 says the cabin is not suited to partners and families travelling together. I was tempted to select 1A and 1K as we prefer these seats in BA F 747 (who doesn’t?) but it would have been a big disappointment as they are a long way from each other and partially blocked by the staircase.

    Didn’t think that the 380 was any quieter than a 747 and suffered from the usual amount of turbulence.

    One area that really impressed me though was the IFE. Firstly, the system was on from the moment one arrived on board and remained so until one disembarked. We were requested to leave the headsets on our seats when leaving the aircraft, with none of the BA business of shutting down the system when the seatbelt signs come on and collecting the headsets before landing. The picture quality, size of the screen and the sound is excellent. TV programmes are more than just one episode of something. I selected ‘Top Gear’ and was offered no fewer than six episodes to choose from.

    The QF cabin staff lacked the usual (in my experience) BA warm and welcoming service. Pre take-off drinks were offered and served promptly, but we probably had to wait the thick end of an hour after take-off for further drinks. Good to see though that QF must have finally exhausted its stock of plastic knives as the cutlery was 100% metal on my flight!


    Recordman, I think, plastic cutleries are use because the UK government do not allow metal cutlery for all flight to The Kingdom for safety reason.


    DClinPsy, The UK government has permitted the use of metal cutlery since at least 2006. The Australian government relaxed their rules sometime later allowing all metal except knives and finally, I think in 2010 permitted knives too. I took a QF flight in mid-Jan 2011 HKG-SYD in F and it had the dreaded plastic knife, but the 380 flight I took in February 2011 had all metal. The crew told me that they had use up all of the stock of plastic. Up until 2010 BA flights to SYD via BKK used all metal LHR-BKK and then for the leg down to SYD had to use plastic knives!


    I have no experience from A380 but here is an interesting article from Boeing. In this article Boeing tries to convince how the new 748i is better from the competition (A380)




    DClinPsy – that is not correct, there is no such restriction any longer. If you travel, certainly in BA Club Europe and World and First you get metal cutlery


    A380 is good on several aspects – it is very stable aircraft – minimum bumpy ride even through turbulance; also the onboard noise is lowest among all aircraft. Also, being a new aircraft, all airlines fitted these with their best. I travelled only SQ business, it is very good. My daughter travelled economy – her verdict – economy seats have more space compared to a B747, but one has to bear with large number of people (issues – toilets, snoring, etc.)


    Inquisitive has a good point. bigger planes means more passengers and that will surely pose more issues.
    I hope airlines would get bigger planes but not fill them to the brim but rather give priority on passenger comfort. but then again, there are economics involved.. just a thought though.


    The 380 is a bus with no elegance or iconic feel. The plane is riddled with problems. Bigger in this case is not better. The 787-8 Intercontinental and 787 will take travel to the next level. These will have their problems for sure but the additional cost of retrofitting airports, break even point, and few airports with the 380 will be the final nail. Once the 747-8 and 787 start service, there will be no comparison and 747-8 Intercontinental will be the plane of choice. I have flown both and prefer 777 or 747-400. Ask any pilot if the prefer Boeing or Airbus.
    I cannot wait to see the many improvements. Any airline can put a shower, bar or big “suite” in the aforementioned planes. Cathay First 777-300 is a perfect example. Private, flawless service and proven.

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