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The Qantas A380 Inaugural  
User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 27
Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



M E L B O U R N E

Monday, October 20, 2008 – If one were a publicist for Qantas, one could indeed say how crisp spring mornings smell of sweet, fresh beginnings, or put springs into steps as one skips merrily aboard the world’s largest passenger plane. But alas, upbeat corny this trip reporter ain’t; more like grumpy, old cynic as he creaks to the rhythm of this sunburnt country that has bastard as a term of endearment. Putting things in perspective is not his forte today as he steps off the A380 in LAX a little worse for wear, and already regretting that he's mad enough to reboard the same plane for another 14 hour flight tonight.



That today is special is without question. A Qantas publicist would already be making some reference to history being made. But hyperbole has its risks. The self-styled “world’s most experienced airline” has, over the past months, been going through more than its fair share of experiences – all of them forgettable. Poor Qantas, needs all the good news it can buy.



pre-boarding

Aussie journalists have not been the kind to Qantas, and CEO Geoff Dixon sensing he’s got a better chance at winning hearts by using self-deprecating humor welcomed passengers to the first Qantas A380-800 flight by saying he’ll cut short his speech. “Based on our recent experience, I’d better stop now to ensure we don’t have any further delays,” says Dixon.



Media was out in full force at the gate area, and Dixon - who was a fellow passenger on QF 093 to Los Angeles – was the centre of attention.



But there were other distractions. Like a traveling band of musician-pilots who entertained passengers.



The Age is Melbourne’s local newspaper – special first Qantas A380 flight editions were printed.



And the arrival of the crew of QF 093 in their new uniforms - which are not so different from the old.



Here’s a peep into what other flights are serving Melbourne today. I love this RELAX thing they’ve got here.



Still, the highlight of the day is the bird sitting outside Gate 9. And what a beauty. VH-OQA “Nancy-Bird Walton” (Serial Number 014) was delivered to Qantas on September 19, and had spent the past month flying within Australia and to New Zealand on a series of test and promotional flights. Today, it is on its first scheduled mission.







departure

Boarding is surprisingly leisurely, even though only two aerobridges are in use. Qantas seats First and Economy classes on the lower deck, while Business and Premium Economy classes are located on the upper deck.
I wonder if traffic lights was an inspiration for Qantas designer Marc Newson. The first of three economy class cabins is the “red” zone.



Next comes the infamous “green” zone, which is so popular with A.net members.


And finally, the “orange” zone at the rear of the aircraft.



The seat-cushion colors are only apparent from the front looking back. As a passenger, all you see for most of the flight is the uniformity of the coal colored seatback.



My seat is 77A in the last row of the “green” zone.



The legroom in Economy is decent too. Comparing this with Singapore Airlines’ A380, I have to say that the Qantas offering is more comfortable. Fourteen hours was remarkably bearable. Twenty eight hours on the other hand...



One notable difference between Qantas and the other two operators of the A380 is the selection of overhead bins. Opting for the A330-type bins for the main deck, the Qantas cabin does lose a degree of headroom “spaciousness” compared with the others – but there’s no denying, the bins are huge!



Flight attendant Lesley welcomes me aboard, and is excited to be flying on the first Qantas A380 flight. She tells me the premium classes are all full, but Economy is going out with 60 empty seats – one of which ends up next to me, so I have no complaints. But considering both Singapore Airlines and Emirates were almost all full on their inaugurals, is this a sign of the times?



Lesley shows a passenger how to use the inflight entertainment system.



We push back on schedule at 11.15 a.m. Flight time to Los Angeles is 14 hours, says Steven Reid, cabin service director on board QF 093.



Captain Mal Stewart welcomes us aboard and says that “from a pilot’s perspective, this plane is absolutely outstanding.” The engines are almost silent.



Lifting off from runway 16, we first head south towards the coast.



We turn back to fly over the city of Melbourne before heading east towards the Tasman Sea.



amenities & inflight

Controls for the IFE are concealed within the armrest. There is also a touch-screen PTV.



Qantas offers some of the most interesting entertainment options aloft. It’s not about having a million movies on demand, but rather the selection that’s important.



The seat belt buckle design is a little different, and rather nice.



The legrest (or rather leg-net) may not seem like much but it works much better than the ones you currently find on some other airlines. And when not in use, its presence is hardly noticeable.



When Captain Mal Stewart comes for a walkabout, he is mobbed by passengers asking for autographs on their boarding passes. Qantas didn’t give out certificates for this flight.





Ian, my neighbor at 77C , looking mighty pleased with his autographed boarding pass.



A welcome feature on the Qantas A380 Economy are the Snack Bars, of which there are four. By far the largest of these bars is at the back of the lower deck. Mini pizzas, pretzels, soft drinks and fruit are on offer. Flight attendant Matt, replenishing the supplies, says passengers are snacking more too. “It’s all disappearing very fast,” he says.





The now obligatory bathroom scene.



The front galley between First Class and Economy. This is as far forward as I manage to go.



Some passengers also try to visit the upper deck only to be met by a crash barrier.





Mood lighting in Economy.



meals



Two meals are served on this flight. I quite like the journey planner which gives the passenger an idea about when the meals will be served.



Flight attendant Lauren serves lunch





Breakfast is served two hours before arrival.



And in between, a substantial bag of goodies is passed out.







arrival



An hour out of LAX, the sun rises on another Monday. Looks very overcast on the Pacific Coast.



Landing on runway 25L.





We are accompanied to the Tom Bradley International Terminal gate by LAX fire trucks, a convoy of vehicles carrying media and a chopper hovering overhead.



L O S ~ A N G E L E S

72 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePHXmd80 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Absolutely amazing TR!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Next comes the infamous “green” zone, which is so popular with A.net members.

Those seats look sooooo much better then the press release. I acutally like them a bit.

PHXmd80


User currently offlineATA L1011 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1378 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice, seems like it was an enjoyable experience!


Treat others as you expect to be treated!
User currently offlineUAL757 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 806 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

That is a beautiful plane!

Thanks for this wonderful TR! The cabin looks real nice, and same with your photos  Smile


User currently offlineAznMadSci From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 3658 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

WOW! Thanks for the first report of the QF A380! With your pictures, I actually like the seats in the "green zone". You said leg room was good, but did it have enough cushion or comfortable enough?

Do we get a return trip?

Thanks for sharing!  bigthumbsup 

Colin  wave 



The journey of life is not based on the accomplishments, but the experience.
User currently offlineJokestar From Australia, joined Apr 2008, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report!!! It's a relief to see that the economy seats actually look pretty good! I especially like the concealed remote and the fact that you can actually use the PTV on the ground now, unlike on other QF flights where the turn the system off ridiculously early.

Thanks for the awesome report.


User currently offlineMidcon385 From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Outstanding report. Would've loved to have been there! Thanks for sharing the experience!

Tim



MidContinent Airlines: We Know How To Fly!
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow! Great report on the inagural Qantas A380 flight. I think it's funny they have a 'gate' keeping the lower deck passengers from going into the upper deck.

User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

What a great read so far this is my favorite one on anet. Your story coupled with your generous amount of photos made me feel I was along for the ride with you.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineN178UA From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1660 posts, RR: 66
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Well done with the achievement Airpearl ! Your writing and commentary is no comparision with others. Top Quality TR as usual.

Personally, having been on the 1st A380 Singapore Inaugural, I think Qantas should up scale the flight by offer additional champagne, food for all class passenger and perhaps a small memorabilia to go with the memorable flight.

I hope you allow me adding a few (First, Business, Premium Economy) photos that is missing from your fine trip report.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/QantasA380/


Cheers

Sam Chui


User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2003 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thank you for the fantastic trip report!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The legrest (or rather leg-net) may not seem like much but it works much better than the ones you currently find on some other airlines. And when not in use, its presence is hardly noticeable.

Was the "foot net" any use for resting your legs on or was it only good for the soles of your feet like an ordinary foot rest?

Those windows look a little weird. Can someone tell me how their width compares with an A330?



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineQantasAirways From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1277 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for that amazing trip report! I didn't realise the inaugural flight had come up so quickly. The photos are fantastic and it looks like the Economy Class offering is superb. I actually don't mind the green seats at all.

I have to say I prefer the old stewardess uniform colour better though. This one seems a bit dull..

Thanks again for the report!



Spirit of Australia
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4742 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow you one lucky SOB... You managed to get on this flight. Except for the departure media mob, it seemed like a pretty run-on-mill flight eh?


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1197 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hola Airpearl!

Thanks for this inaugural TR. It looks a very nice layout on the Y cabin. I like the three color scheme on the seats, it is kind of not as boring as regularly airlines have.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Two meals are served on this flight. I quite like the journey planner which gives the passenger an idea about when the meals will be served.

From the pictures I can see there was no special meal service for the QA380 inaugural flight, wasn't it?

Salut,

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Terrific TR! It was cool to see the "actual" colors of the Y seats, and interesting to see another version of the A380.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8486 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report & thanks for getting it out so quickly!

Looks life QF did a better media job than EK.

The 'Green' zone seats look much better than the previous pictures we saw, quite like them now.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The engines are almost silent

- Having flown both engine types, I think the RR version is quieter, at least that was my impression.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
A welcome feature on the Qantas A380 Economy are the Snack Bars, of which there are four. By far the largest of these bars is at the back of the lower deck. Mini pizzas, pretzels, soft drinks and fruit are on offer

- Nice touch, like this idea.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Two meals are served on this flight

- Both looked good too!

Hope to get on this bird myself in Feb, fingers crossed!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Interiors look nice. Uniform not very nice. Flew Sydney to LA in 1986 and we got 3 meals, but it was with a stop in Honolulu. Meals were a lot nicer than what they seem to serve now.

User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1676 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report, always a very interesting read about an inaugural flight.
I loved your writing style and your dedication of 28hrs of flight, just to show us A.nutters the EIS of the 380 in the Qantas fleet Big grin

Thanks for sharing, loved it!
Joost ( D-ALCE )



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineBochora From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2008, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Looks nice.
The "green zone" is very fashionable!


User currently offlineOa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26846 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Well done , fantastic TR . I love the Y class snack stations and the cabins look nice. It will still take me some time to get used to the Green LOL...

Thanks for the great TR

OA260


User currently offlineChrisrad From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1068 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Food looks pretty poor to me, no dessert? Nothing about this flight seems to be particulary enticing, same crap seat pitch, same crap food. Yet QF charge through the roof for it.


Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
User currently offlineANstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5161 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 20):
Nothing about this flight seems to be particulary enticing, same crap seat pitch, same crap food. Yet QF charge through the roof for it.

Pitch is slightly better than the 747... food is the same... and so is the price!
There is no premium in Y for A380 flights.


User currently offlineHeartDoc From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR, It amazes me why EK and now Qantas didn't do more with their inaugural A380 flights! SQ, I think did it right and created much more buzz around the world. Anyway, thanks for sharing the experience....Well Done!

User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3173 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for writing the trip report and adding the photos.


Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1844 posts, RR: 42
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Very nice trip report! I'm not a big fan of the plane but the tail camera is awesome! Is it available throughout the flight?


Fly DC-Jets!
25 Post contains images Noelg : Amazing TR, thanks so much for sharing! Loved your photos, especially these two: Cheers Noel
26 ManekS : Great TR . Can't wait for the return segment. Has anybody been on here all 3 (Sq, Ek, Qf) inaugurals?
27 LNv22 : Fantastic reading! Nice to see the A380 slowly beginning to operate different destinations Congratulations being on the Inaugural flight!
28 Ronerone : Holy cow! That was quick! haha .. Well done Mr. Airpearl! What an ourstanding trip report! Excellent pictures, and the best writing style on a.net! QF
29 IliriBDL : Excellent TR!!! Are there any restrictions for non-revs on the Qantas A380? I want to try both Qantas and Emirates sometimes in January.
30 Ojas : Excellent TR Airpearl! but hey I am not falling for the trap like I did for the Biman DC-10 trip!!!! (in case if you forgot your DC-10 trip inspired m
31 Pumaknight : Cracking review and what an aircraft!!
32 Post contains images FRAspotter : Really enjoyable report. Well written and the photos made it even better! An interesting choice on movie selection though...
33 Amritpal : Great Trip Report. I want to fly in A380 so bad...
34 AY104 : A most excellent TR! I love your style of writing. The trip looked great from the perspective of both you and your seat mate. I am always most interes
35 9MMAR : Hi Airpearl. I was surprised to see the trip report, being uploaded so fast but with such a lousy title, which is so not you. Then, I thought I was up
36 Ronerone : So very true! Altho EK did throw a media frenzy at LAX and SFO. Oh well! Regards, Roni
37 InbarD : I envy you, you get to fly on the damn A380, oh well i will fly on it some day. Absolutly fantastic trip report, looks like you had fun! Thanks for sh
38 Post contains images Airpearl : I must firstly thank you all for your comments. Before I respond to your postings, let me start by finishing mine I wrote and downloaded the pictures
39 Zkpilot : Firstly great TR! thanks! I was quite surprised by the lack of acknowledgement for this flight... a certificate would have been a nice, simple touch a
40 SXDFC : Great TR!!! I enjoy seeing these TR on the first A380 flights, and this one makes me look forward to getting a hold of my Qantas A380 model that is co
41 Econojetter : Thanks for reporting. Brilliant as usual. The carbon fiber seatbacks... hmm me not like so much. Like the seat cushion colors though. This photo is us
42 September11 : I am just amazed by these interior shots!
43 Luv2cattlecall : Great TR! I think it's the first I've actually read in its entirety. The tail mounted cam is great...wish more airlines did that. I think I remember r
44 Flyboysp : Nice TR Airpearl. How did you find the seats?I have currently got seat 76A on the A380 coming up soon, and was wanting to see how it was, if i could n
45 A342 : Thanks for this awesome TR! Hope to fly on a A380 myself one day. So it seems there isn't a lot of padding at the armrest, right? When I complain abou
46 Kimberlyrj : Great report my friend. Just to add, those FA's have the WORST uniform I have ever seen, it looks HORRID! Kimberly. Ps. Have they updated the uniform?
47 B747forever : Brilliant TR of this flight The pics are really good. I have to admit that the A380 seats looks much better now than they looked in the press. Thank y
48 Airpearl : Again, many thanks all for taking the trouble to respond. Sorry for the delay in replying to you - returning straight to work after the trip Wednesday
49 Smi0006 : [Superb Report! Top work! Yeah the vast majority of the A380 crew who are Australia based are new, as QF have two pay scales for their FAs the recent
50 QantasAirways : Hahaha. Are they still giving the other options? From the photos it looked like everyone chose the print dress.. I have to say I prefer the brown sti
51 Smi0006 : Yeah the other options are still about they simply changed over the scalf ties and pochets (the things in the breast pocket) and kept the rest of the
52 Jmc1975 : Awesome trip report! Amazing you caught me in four of your photos!
53 Airpearl : Thanks Smi0006 for the info, very interesting indeed! It looks as if airlines are finding all sorts of ways to cut cost. What other a/c types do the
54 Abrelosojos : Thanks for a wonderful trip report. I am disappointed that Qantas would not mark the flight with additional fanfare, and not provide even a certificat
55 Econojetter : It does seem as though censorship is taking a backseat in the age of AVOD entertainment. On a recent SQ flight with the latest IFE system, I noted th
56 Eoinnz : While QCCA maybe a 'new' company, majority of the crew have a lot of experience with Qantas already. They were either MAM (casual short haul operators
57 Jetblueguy22 : That is sweet. Looks mike I need to plane a trip for Melbourne! Blue
58 Luka : Great report and great photos. All respect that you managed to publish the report after flying so long and changing so many time zones. The cabin look
59 Airpearl : Yes, quite...you're not the only one disappointed. I think QF decided to market the aircraft to the media, and this it did quite effectively without
60 Eoinnz : The Bangkok base has been around for sometime. 737s are operated by short haul crew. Short haul crew can also operate on the 767 and A330
61 Globetraveller : It is always great to see how every airline launches their A380, and this trip report was no exception. Thank you for the wonderful narration and the
62 Econojetter : That EK is no fun... lol I believe you if you say so. I haven't flown on QF in a long long time. The SQ seat wasn't too bad NRT-SIN, but on SIN-CDG i
63 Zkpilot : It is a FAA/US Dept of Homeland Security requirement... in theory I guess a group of passengers could assemble a weapon or as a group cause trouble a
64 PlaneHunter : Fantastic report about this special flight, finally found some time to read it. That uniform design looks a bit strange. I can't help, but the green s
65 Smi0006 : I disagree the old school long haul FAs will never operate on the A380. As the A380 presence in the fleet increase less and less 'good flying' will b
66 Zkpilot : I know what you mean. Remember however, that QF seems to be pushing the whole VR package a lot and will probably continue to do so... As it is I hear
67 Babybus : What a great read. Not sure for how much longer they can have a free snack bar in Y. I can imagine all the backpackers running off with the lot to kee
68 Post contains images Bruin787 : I'm pretty late for this thread (Fantastic report btw!!!), but here was your arrival into LAX:
69 HAWK21M : Fantastic TR......Felt Like being on that triip. Wonderfull pics. The galleys looked fantastic. Nice to see the crew friendly too. regds MEL
70 Akhmad : Hi Airpearl, I am sorry for not noticing this report earlier. Luckily, Roni has pointed it out. Great job! Especially knowing that you posted it short
71 Airpearl : Hi Suryo Wow, you've searched the depths of this forum to revive this thread hahahah Please don't worry about it... and thanks for your kind words. R
72 Post contains images TBloemink : I flown on exactly the same aircraft from LHR to SIN on June 21, 2009. But I was seated in 67E, in the middle row
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