The Airbus A380 today entered commercial service with an inaugural seven hour flight from Singapore to Sydney, in the process wowing passengers who'd snapped up seats in Singapore Airlines' charity eBay ticket auction. Tony Elwood, who enjoyed a private first-class suite with his other half Julie, enthused to the BBC: "I have …
Herd of cattle
This sounds like a bad second prize. Instead of flying on a single deck plane sardined with other passengers you're flying in a double decker plane, both sardined with other passengers.
Aside from that, the exponential rise in passenger numbers mean this is a necessary thing.
"Laurence Watts said during the flight: "I'm actually sitting in the economy class on the lower deck of the plane. The most amazing thing is here you have two classes of economy, split over two decks, with stairs in between the two, which I think is a huge novelty for everyone."
Reported breathlessly like it's somehow a GOOD thing. I would hope he's just being very English and understated in that classic colonial old buffer style: 'Well there I was minding my own business on the plantation when a gang of the buggers caught me and pushed burning bamboo into my eyes. That was certainly a novelty.'
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Lovely! Wish I was there...
With the seating plan it is, in a way, a bit of an eye-opener for those flying in cattle class... the first class suites are not visible anymore really, and those privileged to fly upstairs will enjoy the fact that they are pretty much as exclusive as the 747 bubble used to be, with only business class up front.
It'd be interesting to see what Virgin's layout will look like when they get their 380's in 2013... Utter fabulousness perhaps? They'll certainly be learning from any mistakes the early adopters will make.
Question is, once the novelty wears off, are there actually any costworthy benefits?
That's what did in the Concorde - lovely as it is, if people aren't prepared to pay a premium, they're not going to get the customers.
"I can look out the window to my right at the moment and I can see a wing that looks bigger than most ordinary planes."
It would have certainly been a bit worrying to sit in the biggest passenger plane in existence and see a wing that DOESN'T look bigger than most ordinary planes.
""Laurence Watts said during the flight: "I'm actually sitting in the economy class on the lower deck of the plane. The most amazing thing is here you have two classes of economy, split over two decks, with stairs in between the two, which I think is a huge novelty for everyone.""
For everyone who lives in a bungalow maybe. I've got stairs in my house - not exactly a novelty and it cost a lot less than an A380, too.
Follow the link to the Singapore Airlines website and you'll see they've compared the A380 to kiwis and giraffe. Although official Reg Units aren't used, it certainly helped me to size up this beauty.
Two classes of economy!
So that would be cattle class and sardine class then?
True story. Short-haul European flight, curtain between business & economy. Drinks trolley clinks its way down business class:
"Good afternoon Sir, would you like a glass of wine? We have Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon".
Curtain pulled back, same trolley comes through into steerage.
"Hello, would you like some wine? We've got Red or White".
Despite all the Eco Talk about the dreamliner this genuinely uses less fuel per seat to take people to the other side of the world. Much less than the Dreamliner if they are both fully packed to the brim.
Who cares about sardines what we know is that people talk and talk but when it comes to down to it they buy the cheapest seat that they can find.
It certainly helps to know that it's take-off thrust is 2500 family cars.
And that it has a volume of 4.5m tennis balls.
I think there is someone there reading the Reg and having some fun!
The whole super-plane concept is doomed...
With 555 passengers, there will be at least five of them get themselves so pissed in the airport bar they will not actually make it to the plane, and hence anyone wanting to go anywhere on an A380 will always be two hours late due to the off-loading of unaccompanied luggage.
I travel a lot and I think that we will end up with the same situation that you have with a 747 which potentially has 3 boarding doors but only one is ever used (more expensive for the airline to board through 2 access tunnels). If you are in coach boarding 600-800 people on the A380 how long beforehand will we board now. No thanks, I will be sticking to point to point travel rather than hub and spoke.
..aeroplane humbug. back in my day, you caught the charabanc to town of a Staurday, and the train to Llandudno in the Wakes week, and the rest of the time, you had to rely on Shank's Pony. Young people today, flying in sardine cans around the world, it's not like it was when the Graf Zeppelin flew over.
I'll get me coat (it's bitter out!)
"It'd be interesting to see what Virgin's layout will look like when they get their 380's in 2013... Utter fabulousness perhaps? They'll certainly be learning from any mistakes the early adopters will make."
Either you are smoking crack or you work for Virgin (or both).
It's a constant source of amazement to me as to where they get their reputation for customer service from. I flew back from Shanghai with them and it was an experience I can only describe as "fucking shite".
The seat would have provided ample space for a hamster, but not one that wanted to read a book or stretch his little legs. Being rather larger than a hamster, I felt like my knees were behind my ears.
Then they ran out of proper food so we had to have the insipid veggie option. Perhaps they thought I really was a hamster. By the time I got home I was so hungry I could have eaten the curtains.
Every time I see Richard Branson on telly I want to punch his smug little fungus face. He should get down out of his fucking balloon and sort out all the Virgin brands that aren't working properly any more, like trains, planes and the recently-renamed-but-nobody's-fooled NTL.
There, I feel much better now.
>>aeroplane humbug. back in my day, you caught the charabanc to town of a Saturday, and the train to Llandudno in the Wakes week, and the rest of the time, you had to rely on Shank's Pony. Young people today, flying in sardine cans around the world, it's not like it was when the Graf Zeppelin flew over.
Am I missing something here?
All this talk of space, surely the airlines will just fit more seats in, so the average passenger will be just as cramped as they are now?
Would still love to fly on one though
"with stairs in between the two, which I think is a huge novelty for everyone."
Yep, Australian all right. Stairs are a novelty down here, like those new-fangled fancy-ass hoighty-toighy DOORS. And what about those escumaltor-thingies? Strewth, mate, that's bloody NASA tekernojelly that is!
Righto! Crack tubes!
787 outselling A380
Much like HP Proliants outsell IBM zSeries.
The closest market competitor to the A380 is the new (as in yet-to-exist) 747-8i and even that is targetting the lower-end of the "Very Large Aircraft" space.
I just wish they'd find a way of setting up the pricing so that tightass IT companies have no option but to fly their staff in premium economy, at least.
Maybe block sales of cheap seats 3 weeks ahead of travel? Aussie flights used to fill up in the back six months ahead, which was great.
Al Quaeda's dream
Who needs two planes when one can do, and even if you miss you still take out more people :o
Don't understand the fuss
I really don't understand why people are making such a fuss about this.
Sure, Airbus have built a bigger plane; all that means is that the airlines can fit more seats into it, to make more money.
Forget them sacrificing any seat room to provide more legroom or stuff like that - the more passengers, the more profit, and that's always going to be their priority.
Now even more people will be able to say.....
.."I was on the same flight as Paris Hilton".
That's got to mean something, to someone, somewhere, right?
mile-high club house
I bet once they got airborne, the fusilage was being stressed from all those 1st class passengers bonking behind closed doors...
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