An opportunity for a cabin tour of Qantas' Airbus A380 VH-OQA Nancy-Bird Walton was too good to pass up. Qantas' new flagship is certainly a great environment to "endure" a longhaul flight in, and the product in all four cabins are a noticeable step up from older aircraft. Co-incidentally, the last aircraft I stepped on board was also an A380 ... Singapore Airlines' 9V-SKA. I can now say I have been aboard 25% of all A380s that have been delivered to airlines (at time of writing, of course), and I have taken the opportunity to compare the two airlines' A380 configurations.
What a classy entrance to the upper deck.
Nancy-Bird Walton at night.
The size of the wing on an A380 never ceases to amaze.
As are the engines. Simply huge.
A true double decker.
Table is set for dinner ... it looks very cosy.
Time for bed.
Whereas the Singapore Airlines' Business cabin looks rather more cramped.
The Business Lounge at the front of the upper deck. The lounge is very red!
Very comfy ... in both the fully up and fully flat modes (and probably all modes in between, too)
Compare with the rather claustrophobic Singapore Airlines' seats
Premium Economy Class
I really like the colours of the seats, so easy on the eye. The completely separate Premium Economy cabin on the A380 makes it feel even more exclusive and with the "gate" at the stairs mean no Economy passengers would intrude! Check out the 2 rows of seats aft of the U4 doors where you wouldn't be able to see a window ... It's also noticeable how long the galley is on this aircraft - it that starts immediately aft of door U4L. Compare this to the Singapore Airlines' economy class in the same section below.
I'm not totally convinced that the fake carbon fibre pattern on everything plastic (and I mean everything!) is a good look. Simple black plastic on some surfaces (like the fold down trays) would be more classy.
Ah the infamous green section! Trust me it does look far better in real life. Check out the row where seat D is missing - seat D is where the underfloor cabin crew rest emergency exit is, hence the missing seat. Needless to say, the row behind would be one to go for.
Talking about a seat to go for, this one in the orange section, second row back from the M4 doors would be my pick. Unlimited legroom and a window ... bliss.
I like the car-like seat belt buckle.
Other interesting bits
For all you safety card enthusiasts.
One of the Economy Class galleys on the main deck.
The self-serve snack/drinks machine at the back of Economy Class cabin. I like the soft blue glow. I wonder how much snacks people can eat now it is all self-serve?
The lift ... no not for passengers, but for meal trolleys.
Upper deck galley for Premium Economy. The row of four crew seats at the back look almost like normal passenger seats in economy class!
Lotsa buttons to press ...
Hope you enjoyed the tour and hope you too will get a chance to fly on this wonderful aircraft soon!
Click here to see the A380's Welcoming Ceremony
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Last modified October 5, 2008
(C) K. Lo 2007