What do you think of the A380?Back to Forum
Anonymous20 Sep 2011
I love it!! I have travelled on the A380 a few times now, SQ in Economy (upstairs) and EK in Economy and Business and enjoy the roomy feel in all cabins, both in terms of height and width. It is a real pity that SQ are removing that gem of an upstairs Economy cabin – a (relative) haven of peace!! It might be my imagination but, as with all Airbus aircraft, the A380 seems to be considerably quieter than its Boeing alternatives (747, 777). Boarding works best where it is at two levels (as in Dubai) so that folk upstairs are not competing for jetway space with those below.20 Sep 2011
Interesting comments. I have always found the a340/330 series to be noisier but put that down to engine selection. Have to admit my prefernce for Boeing has kept me off a380 to date but will try it soon. Keen to know what is different about it? Anyone tried the showers? Are the toilets more spacious, are thegalley/bar areas more spacious. What are sthe stairs like? Are the aisles wider? How do the windows line up for visibility? Are the shut off suites claustrohphobic? Keen to know which airlines have best layouts in a380. Any input from posters?20 Sep 2011
Have done AF Business and QF First & Business.
Summary: Loved it.
MUCH quieter as others have noted, and none of that horrid filmy yuckiness after a longhaul flight which you get on most aircraft.
I think there is also a general feeling of airiness, both because of bigger windows and better ventilation (though let’s wait until the airlines start chopping around the interior cabins, which afflicts most airliners these days) and the higher ceilings; crew seem to get better rest and have better facilities in the galley (particularly more space). I’m not sure if they all come with a tail camera, but I think it’s a great idea.
Toilets were markedly larger, though didn’t try the economy toilets…
Boarding and the horrid word “deplaning” (though I prefer disembarking) are easily sorted with double or triple jetways, and there was certainly capacity for immigration and baggage belts at the airports I used.
A far more relaxing journey; roll on BA’s deliveries in 2013, though I’m not sure they’ll be rostered on the routes I fly most regularly.
Before I flew on one I viewed the Qantas A380 pages, and found them to be very comprehensive:20 Sep 2011
I did IAD-CDG on AF in August. It was almost too quiet 🙂 I could hear the movement of the seats going up and down, as well as the galley noise.
Very nice, simple to embark and disembark with multiple bridges to gates. VK is right, felt less beat up once off the aircraft.20 Sep 2011
Much as I’m a fan of the 747, it’s a 1960s platform; you can tell the A380 is very much 21st century, and has benefitted from years of experience elsewhere.
If I was to criticise the A380 it would be on two counts:
1. Its size (and maybe some technical gubbins) seems to make it undulate unpleasantly through turbulence rather than jolt around; this obviously has benefits but can lead to a sensation of seasickness which I’ve never felt on board a plane before.
2. The wasted space on the Upper Deck either side of the main staircase (which is indeed much wider than a 747 – with room for two side by side). I assume that’s where Emirates put the showers; this would be much more fun as a manicure/massage station (payment required!), or a sleep pod available by the hour for those in economy or kids gaming area; just something more innovative than an uncomfortable bench seat and a boring flat screen TV.20 Sep 2011
The A380 is an absolute gear change and I love it, well, apart from how it looks from the outside! Airbus have done an excellent job and it is quieter than even the A330/340 and I’ve always thought they were amazing especially when next to the 777.
Obviously beyond the things like air pressure, the cabin environment is quite different on each carrier so my impressions based on experience are:
SQ F & C, hard product in F is the absolute winner, C as I’ve said before, I don’t like and I expected better of SQ, the lack of imitation speaks volumes but of course SQ never get it wrong. It’s a shame they’ve cut the soft product so much as it does take the shine off a bit.
EK F & C, hard product in both classes is excellent though F lags slightly behind SQ, soft product is better in both classes.
QF F Completely different to SQ and EK but I still enjoyed it very much and the soft product beat SQ by quite a margin.
LH F Again very different but still excellent, the food is the strong point on LH and better than any of the others.
If I could pick and mix it would be SQ F seat, EK entertainment and shower, LH & QF food and SQ crew.
IME all carriers manage boarding and disembarkation well in almost all circumstances for premium pax.
The shower is nice if you want one, it’s good at the end of a long haul where it might be a priority to dive in to the lounge in transit for a shower. I suspect many people use it because it’s there.
There’s no doubt it is the way forward, I very much doubt the 748 will offer any sort of similar experience as essentially it is an old product with a bit of a face lift. Once the A350 and 787 are in regular use, flying will be a very different experience to five years ago.20 Sep 2011
Superb aircraft on all fronts, even the look is growing on me now.
Most of my experience is on EK in F, the suite is excellent and holding up well, service, food and latest ICE are all well above the bar.
I’ve also experienced SQ in both F and C, F seat is no doubt the best but let down by miserly F&B offerings, definitely not F standard any longer. C is not so good, I’m no fan of the seat.
LPPS is right, it’s a gear change and once the A350 and 787 are in regular use, flying will change perhaps more than at any time since the arrival of the jet engine. I was on a 747 about three weeks ago and it felt like something from an antique age, after the A380, there’s no going back.20 Sep 2011
Interesting. As I expected a lot is dependent on what the carrier does with the new environment.
I wonder whether Virign will put a McDonalds or a Wetherspoons in theirs?
I would not compare a 744 with a 380 though, perhaps when the 748 and 788/9/10 and the 350x are flying comparisons will be more fitting. Though a large number of carriers have retired their 744’s already.
I wonder what plans BA have for their 380’s. Will they upgrade First with showers, lounges, private bedrooms etc or simply ram in as many coach and business seats as they can? Probably depends on routes they deploy on.20 Sep 2011
Clearly the experience will vary by carrier and cabin. My experience has been on Emirates on LHR-DXB and JFK-DXB routes mulitple times.
– Entire top of floor is first suites and business.
– Seat configuration in business is superb as they are staggered to avoid seating next to an unknown passenger and having to endure an awkward journey with someone you don’t know right next to you.
– The middle non-aisle seats are the only ones that are next to each other so that couples can share the journy in seats that are next to each other. This only represents 30% of seats in business.
– JFK-DXB departs at 23:00 which is a great time particularly if you are in business or first as you can spend some time in the bar/lounge at the back of the plane for hors d’oeuvres and drinks before turning in.
– In general, the aircraft itself is very quiet. The technology used for noise abatement is remarkable.
– Ingress/egress is not nearly as bad as once made out to be and what many still worry about. Jetways are typically configured to allow separate boarding and disembarking for top floor/bottom floor so you really end up feeling like there is no one below you (or I guess above you if traveling in economy)20 Sep 2011
I would expect BA will fit the A380 in the same style as the 773ER, after all, these are BA’s latest offerings and you don’t get a shift that often from them so the next one will be in about ten years.
Routes will be interesting. I would expect maybe SIN, SYD, LAX and SFO, maybe YVR. Possibly the concentration on longer routes may reduce the frequency where it is twice daily to once daily a bit like SIA did on SIN-ZRH. I doubt NYC will see it unless there is to be a reduction in frequency.20 Sep 2011
I’ve only flown the 380 once, last July, from JNB – FRA with the family. I loved it even though the business seat is the same as on the 340 and 747 which I think is a pity. The large locker next to the seat was fine for storing the pillow but as far as I was concerned not good for anything else.
I’m not sure if the flight over Africa was without any turbulence that night, but the whole flight was incredibly smooth. Cannot wait to fly it again.20 Sep 2011
I have flown SQ in J and Y and, while I found the aircraft to be incredibly quiet, very spacious and airy, I was disappointed by the J seat.
if you look at the SQ printed advertising for this product, the photo is taken at the front row in J where it shows acres of leg room. In reality I found the space between me and the TV screen to be way too small, almost claustrophobic. Also, the extra width of the seat is a novelty but that’s about it. I struggled to find any benefit from the wide seat.
I think SQ have been a bit naughty with their advertising.
Having said that, the aircraft itself is fantastic and I look forward to Thai getting theirs.21 Sep 2011