Travelling with Emirates on the latest super jumbo European Airbus aircraft, the largest plane in the world is an adventure and has managed to put some pleasure back into flying, particularly for most of us who are forced to fly economy class.
This magnificent four ‘engined’ aircraft handles beautifully and you are totally unaware of its full size when travelling in it.
During a familiarisation trip to Kula Lumpur and Dubai I had the pleasure of sampling economy class on the plane.
Riding the new A 380 was one of the highlights for me on the trip. We were fortunate to fly on this beautiful aircraft on all 4 sectors from Manchester. Our party was travelling economy class but that was even a pleasure. The first thing you notice is that the side walls of this whole bottom section of the aircraft are perpendicular and not sloping in and this immediately gives you a feeling of space, the seat pitch of 34’’ (opposed to 31/32’’) makes all the difference and although the layout is 3 – 4 – 3 you do not feel crowded. Also the ceiling seemed higher and the overhead lockers were huge and cleverly designed to be easily accessible. Emirates do not offer premium economy class and on this aircraft there is no need as it is probably equivalent of that. The toilets were sensibly placed, plenty of them, more modern and larger than normal – and looked pleasantly clean! The whole lower deck is economy and the whole upper deck consists of business class and first class together with their separate bar areas and the first class spa showers! We viewed the upper deck briefly and having the bar areas at each end of the top deck and being totally exclusive to business and first class really gives the premium passenger a feel of exclusivity. You can read all about the first class suites and business class offerings on their excellent website.
Meals, Service and Staff
The meals and service I found extremely good – most staff very friendly even with certain more boisterous passengers on one of our flights – the chief steward on one of the sectors was Irish so there was a good cross section of nationalities and languages spoken by staff on board. It was quite obvious that staff had been well trained and briefed – the staff uniforms were attractive while managing to retain some of the Emirates culture in their style. You are provided with different coloured stickers to attach to your seat which indicates to staff whether they should wake you up for meals or duty free if having a nap.
Award Winning Entertainment Channel
Their award winning ICE entertainment system was great; it is reported as having up to 1500 channels. The important thing was they all seem to work. I is for Information keeping up to date with sport and news plus you can view progress of the aircraft from 3 external cameras – the view from the top of the tail on approach to landing being the most entertaining! C is for Communication phone, SMS and email from every seat. E for entertainment – music, new movies and TV channels – I watched around 10 films on the whole trip which is a first for me.
Emirates the Largest Operator of the Super Jumbo
Emirates operates from 6 UK regional airports and has around 90 A 380’s in operation or on order and they will probably acquire a total of 120 within the next few years. They have even built a complete new huge terminal at Dubai to accommodate these planes and Dubai is developing into the complete world hub now that certain types of planes can fly as far as the west coast of America to Dubai. The A 380 operates from 3 UK airports at present, Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.
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All details quoted are thought to be correct at time of posting but are always subject to confirmation at time of booking
Photo: A 380 (Emirates) 121