Flight reviews October 9, 2008
Best economy seat on the Airbus A380?
Since travelling to Singapore and back on the “Super Jumbo” I’ve been asked by a number of people what it was like and where is the best economy seat on the Airbus A380? So here’s my quick review of economy on a Singapore Airlines A380 plane.
Firstly when you walk up the departure gates at Heathrow and see it you realise it’s real size. It’s main body doesn’t appear taller than a Boeing 747 because they both have two decks at the front of the plane. The biggest difference it’s wing span. It’s huge! Much wider than any other plane I’ve seen. The tail fin towers over everything around you at 24 metres high.
Inside it’s pretty much like any other aircraft at first. Mainly because all the overhead compartments are down ready for you to pack your bags in to. Once they’re all up though you see the difference. There’s a lot more head room as the sides of the main deck don’t slant inwards, It does on the upper deck so presumably there’s less head room up there.
Firstly a little review of the plane
Take off is a non event. Getting 600 tonnes of plane doesn’t happen very quickly so there’s no sudden acceleration, Just a smooth take off you hardly notice. It’s also so much quieter than any other plane. You could easily sleep though take-off if you were knackered!
As the plane holds more people there’s more toilets and more galleys of course. Don’t be fooled by the little curtains the pull across, you are allowed to walk anywhere in your class so we headed to the back to find the staircase. It wasn’t as grand as it could have been but then i guess space saving and weight reduction is the key. The back of any plane moves around more than anywhere else on it so hold on when you’re going up! It was a novelty going up stairs on a plane to see a whole other plane up there, with loads more economy seats and 60 flat bed business class. There was talk of upstairs on some airline’s A380s being shops and health spas but with the current economic turmoil i think bums on seats is more likely.
So what is the best seat in economy?
The best seats in Economy are of course bulkhead ones although people tend to queue in front of you for the toilets. Not so nice. So the other best seat in Economy was mine! 48D is the one seat with no seat in front of it as there’s an escape hatch for the staff dorm room below. forward planning meant we’d booked this seat for both journeys on the day we ordered the tickets back in February. I’m 6’4″ and i couldn’t reach the seat in front. Perfect and had quite a lot of people tutting as the walked past, wondering why they hadn’t booked that seat for themselves!
On board entertainment on the A380
The on board entertainment is much like any other plane these days with on demand movies and TV shows along with a few rather cheap computer games. I managed to crash the computer in my chair so they had to reset it! Turns out they run a cut down version of Windows so that explains it! Some great features of it are the USB port you can charge your iPod up on or plug in your USB memory stick and work on your word documents. There’s also a video in connection for watching your home movies through the entertainment system. Every chair also has mains power although i think they’re all American style plugs or maybe there’s a special adapter you have to buy from the airline.
Landing an A380
Landing was fun at Singapore! Storm clouds meant it was pretty rocky but we landed fine. Coming back to the UK was very smooth. There are some seriously loud thuds and clunks when you’re coming in to land. The wheels locking in place made a few people wonder “is that normal?”. Also the flaps on the wings extending during landing makes a loud whirring noise as the extend to what looks like the size of a football pitch!
So all in all we enjoyed our experience on the Airbus A380. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s a pretty smooth flight and we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the Air over the next few months to America and the far east.