Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Emirates A380 Economy class.

Feb 11th 2011, and I have just had my first flight on an Emirates A380.
On 1st September 2010 the first A380 arrived at Manchester Airport. The Airbus A380 is a double deck, wide body, four engine airliner, manufactured in Europe by Airbus. At the moment it is the largest passenger aircraft in the world. The seat capacity on the A380 can be anything from the standard 555 up to 800.

Today I flew on the Emirates A380, version 2, Economy class.
Economy class is located on the lower floor and has 419 Economy seats in a 3-4-3 configuration. The seat pitch is 32’’ and the with 18’’. It doesn’t look too crowded and there is mood lighting and fibre-optic star-effect lights in the ceiling.
The seats allocated to myself and partner were very good as they were against the bulk head, so we had loads of leg room. Seat number 67 F & G for reference. However, the bulk head were were up against, contained one of the 10 toilets on board. This compares favourably with the 6 toilets on the Boeing 777-300 ER (2 class) I normally use out of Manchester. But even on the short 6 ½ hour flight to Dubai the 3 toilets in our row were in constant use and provided us with much hilarity due to the antics of fellow passengers.

Next to me were an Indian family, consisting of two women, each with a relatively young child on their laps. One of the toddlers was squashed into a ‘Sky cot’ or ‘Bassinet’ (as they now seem to be called), shortly after takeoff. As you can see from the photos the cots fill up the space in front of the seats. (this photo is not an A380), this and the fact that our tray tables were down and in use, did not deter fellow passengers from trying to cross over to vacant toilets on the other side of the plane.
One fellow traveller had such an urge to get to the ablutions that she almost ended up in the bassinet, with the sleeping child, covered in my red wine. She also failed to lock the toilet upon getting to it and using it, so we all got a good view of her sitting on the lavatory when the door was opened by another un-suspecting passenger. Good entertainment if you are sick of the selection on 'ice' ? 
The engines on the flight were very quiet, almost a hum.
The ice entertainment system was as good as it always is.
The crew were busy all the time, but the food served was only just warm. In fact the rice and chicken were cold in the middle so I did not eat them. I wondered if this was due to the fact that there are more to serve on the A380, but it is only 34 more economy passengers than the 777 so it cant really be that. What I do know is that if Emirates gets an outbreak of food poisoning due to serving half cooked food it will be front page news.
The flight had been late arriving into Manchester, so was late leaving but it did make up a bit of time. Many of the passengers who had onward connections in Dubai were really panicking about getting the connecting flights. We arrived into Dubai at 01.15.
Dubai was a warm 18 degrees, and many passengers were Dubai bound and joined us in the long Que to get through customs.
After a warm sunny weekend in Dubai it was time to board the faithful Boeing 777-300 ER 2 class at 14.35 back to Manchester.
If asked to compare the A380 to the 777, I still like the 777 best and cant wait for Emirates to get the Boeing B787 Dreamliner or the New 747-8 launched last week for me to try!
PS......this is not EK19, DXB-MAN, but the 777-200 ER parked next to my flight!