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Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited  
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6413 posts, RR: 38
Posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 22066 times:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W8S9jdpUI/AAAAAAAADX4/0Nuc7xf-yXA/s800/IMG_5237edittitle.jpg

Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited

Joyride
Noun: A ride in a vehicle taken solely for pleasure
Verb: A ride in a vehicle with no particular goal and just for the pleasure of it


Ok, there seems to have been a small goal to my joyrides: that of trying out new aircraft and (hopefully) new airlines.


2 International flights.
8 Australian domestic flights, 3 airlines, 4 states, 5 types.
6 New Zealand domestic flights, 3 airlines, 2 islands, 3 types.



Welcome to my next series of Trip Reports. These flights over 3 weeks, summarised above, includes flights on Air New Zealand, Emirates, Qantas, Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Jetstar; takes me through New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, Queensland and New Zealand while travelling on 6 different types of planes. I hope you enjoy my journey around eastern Australia and also New Zealand. At the end of the final TR, I’ll write up a comparison between the domestic carriers in both New Zealand and Australia according to my personal experience with them.

If you missed the first TR of the series, here’s the link:
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)

This TR will cover my AKL-SYD leg of the journey: my second flight on the EK A380, in Economy.

I couldn’t get enough of Emirates once I disembarked the first commercial A380 flight into New Zealand last February. It didn’t take long for the specials to start rolling in either. The Emirates website is very easy to use but the interesting thing is that they need you to provide valid passport details before they allow you to book. Luckily, my passport was still valid for a while so I booked this flight (for a bargain NZ$350 return) well in advance; in fact it wasn’t that long after my previous flight that I booked it! Apart from that, it is an easy website to navigate around. The other plus is the option to reserve your seat well in advance. If it’s not booked with Emirates, you’ll need to be a Skywards member to reserve a seat. On advice from other A.Net members, I decided to sit down the back for both flights and try it out. More details about this decision will be made clearer later.

I didn’t have much time to pack after arriving back from Christchurch the day before but managed to fit everything into the suitcase. Emirates have a very generous 30kg baggage limit for Economy – every gram was used wisely! Eventually the afternoon came around and it was time to head to the airport.

After driving myself to the airport, I found myself at the Emirates check in area. I was super early for the flight and there barely a queue. If you do happen to arrive at Auckland Airport flying Emirates about 2 hours before the flight, make sure you expect to stand in the queue for quite some time! That is, of course, if you don’t have Skywards Gold or Silver status (EK’s FF program); or aren’t flying First or Business. It was a breeze and it was interesting to note that I didn’t need to show anything other than my passport. Ten minutes later I was on my way, less one bag.

The Relatively Empty Check In Desks
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Boarding Pass
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FIDS
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Qantas/OneWorld Premium Check In Area
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Check In Counters
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Auckland Airport’s landside departure area in the international terminal has changed significantly over the last 7 months. There used to be many shops lining the walls leading to the security checkpoint. Now, a lot of those shops (including both main Duty Free stores) have disappeared in favour of a larger customs area and a larger airside duty free area (I’m assuming this will also grow in size) as you walk through towards the gate. I guess I won’t be going to the airport to have a nosy at what’s in the duty free stores anymore!

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Comparison Shot From January 2009(first image) With November 2009 (second image):

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Spotting From The International Observation Deck:

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Three Big Trans Tasman Rivals
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TG993 To BKK
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Air Calin Back To Noumea
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NZ105 To Sydney
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Any Idea What That Hatch Is Under The Door?
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QF25 To LAX
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Being rated in the top ten best airports in the world by Skytrax (yes, whoever believes in their surveys), I was out to try and find what made AKL so great. Here it goes. Public transport – they have only just implemented a 24 hour public bus service to some place in South Auckland in which you can change to a bus which goes to the city (this is excluding the well established Airbus service direct to the city which is much nicer than the real public transport of Auckland). Extra effort would be required to get anywhere else, such as the North Shore or out west. No trains get anywhere close to the airport. Taxis are extremely expensive (Upward of NZ$60 to get into the city). Amenities – no free Wi-Fi - it’s only free to check the Auckland Airport website which I use when spotting sometimes. Ok, facilities are clean, I give them that. But you’d expect that from any good airport. Signs are quite clear. Maybe the lack of hoards of people makes it popular. Duty free shopping – the same worldwide where they push you right through/past the shops on the way to the gate. It beats me to guess why Auckland Airport is rated so highly. And apparently only ICN, HKG, SIN, ZRH, MUC, KIX, KUL, AMS and NGO are better than Auckland. I think I should check out more of these airports before making a valid conclusion but it is by no means near the class of Hong Kong.

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Lines were rather long for passing through immigration and also for the security screening but once through that, it was easy going. Last time I didn’t give myself long enough to explore the new pier but this time was slightly different. I probably had too long there this time! It’s quite bare actually, there is only a little bookstore and some toilets down the pier. But I guess it doesn’t see the bulk of the traffic anyway. The original pier itself after the duty free shops hasn’t changed a bit.

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On The Main Pier
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EK435 To BNE DXB
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EK 407 To MEL DXB
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Smartgate is a new passport clearance system for those with NZ or Australian chipped passports. It allows you to clear customs by a machine scanning your face and seeing if it matches with that of your passport photo. There is a kiosk set up in Auckland which allows you to walk straight up to the machine without having to get your passport out at the other end.

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I made it to the end of the pier – Gate 16 – the gate where today’s A380 was sitting and waiting to head back to Sydney and Dubai. Boarding time on the boarding pass was 1800 and there weren’t any signs that boarding would take place soon. No gate agents were present. No announcements about what was going on. There were far too few seats for the number of passengers due to fly out that evening.

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Again, So Many Air NZ Planes
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A6-EDC, Operating EK413 To SYD DXB
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The new pier is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in New Zealand. It has solar panels and collects rainwater for use in toilets.

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Tonnes Of Room, Lack Of Seats
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Nice Pictures On The Wall
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Flight Information

19 Nov 2009
Routing: Auckland – Sydney (AKL-SYD)
Airline: Emirates
Flight: EK413
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1845hrs
Actual Departure: 1909hrs (pushback), 1931hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 2005hrs
Touchdown: 2032hrs
Flight time: 3hr 23 min
Aircraft: Airbus A380-861
Registration: A6-EDC
Seat: 74K

A6-EDC is Emirates’ 3rd A380-800. It was delivered on the 15th November 2008, making it just over a year old when I flew on it. All EK A380s use Engine Alliance GP-7200 engines.


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Photo © Sam Chui
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Photo © Mark H
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Photo © Kavin Kowsari




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Photo © Sarmad Al-Khozaie
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Photo © Dmytro Myrnyy




Plenty of people were waiting around the gate and it seemed like forever before the first boarding call was made. It was made about 20 minutes after scheduled boarding time which surprised me considering the A380 lays over in AKL for a good 4 and a half hours. Maybe there was a delay in the crew getting to the airport or something but it didn’t seem right to have such a delay. I eventually joined the long Economy line to board but because there were no F or J passengers around, a lot of people were ushered over to the F and J boarding machines. Down the long corridor we went. There’s one side for Economy which leads to an air bridge direct to the front door on the main deck and the other side is for First and Business passengers leading to the first door on the upper deck. A whole stash of newspapers, The New Zealand Herald (Auckland’s daily paper) to be exact, were on a stand just outside the door. No wonder why so few people had taken them – it was the end of the day already.

Queuing Up To Board
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Down The Economy Side Of The Air Bridge
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And so I stepped into the A380 for the second time. I must admit it didn’t feel as special as the first time. I was welcomed on board by one of the stewards upon presentation of my boarding pass: “Welcome aboard, Mr. Young, your seat is the window seat on the far side”. It’s always nice to get personal welcomes as you board the plane. I don’t think I get quite enough of that  Wink It does make you feel a bit more special than “just one of those 300 odd Economy passengers”. I made my way down towards the back of the plane, taking pictures as I went until I finally came to my row – 74 – situated in the middle of the 3rd Economy section on the lower deck. I took my window seat with someone already sitting in the aisle seat. I was surprised that EK hadn’t got rid of their in flight magazines yet – it was something that they said they were going to do to save weight. The IFE book is very thick as well. The windows – yes, I had kind of forgotten how hard it was to take pictures or see out of them. But I got a firm reminder of it when I sat down. It’s positioned rather high as well in comparison to other windows – much like the 737 vs A320 where the 737 window is lower than the A320. Maybe that’s just my experience from the airlines that I’ve been on. There is plenty of reflection from inside the cabin and it is definitely not photographer friendly by any means of the imagination. Below is a guide to how big it is, in comparison to my Nokia E63. I came up with that idea to show window sizes using a scale but I just never remembered on my other flights. One other thing that people don’t like about the A380 is the fact that the wall curves and is so far away from the seat. It’s very uncomfortable to lean against the wall and another few photos below show this.

Stairway To Heaven


First Section Of Economy
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My Row


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View
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Distance Between Wall And Seat
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Emirates, like all other A380 carriers, have their Economy Class configuration on the lower deck in 10 abreast, 3-4-3 layout. The seat wasn’t too bad but I retract my comment in the other TR about the seats being soft. But they weren’t too hard either however it’ll take a long haul flight for me to figure out if it’s entirely comfortable. Though, in saying that, it is a very nice seat for a 3 hour journey. The table is nice and folded to allow more room for the PTV and remote. The cabin is very spacious, although it must be that much better in the premium classes. They still do quite a good job in taking away most of the claustrophobic atmosphere. The ceilings are high and it doesn’t seem like there’s another level on top of you. There’s plenty of space to stand up in the seat.

Recline
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There is a power socket in every arm rest apart from the ones on the aisles and those on the walls. So it means 2 for the 3 people sitting on the side of the plane.

Power Socket



Thankfully, nobody came down to sit in between us so there was plenty of space to stretch out. I had a chat to him about various things including planes and he seemed quite interested in the mood lighting! It took just over 40 minutes from when I boarded the plane to when we pushed back. Hot towels were passed around the cabin and recollected just before pushback. The pilot came on over the PA and announced the various details about our flight, expecting the flight time to be 2 hrs 50 min, cruising at an altitude of 40,000ft. He also announced the languages which the flight attendants spoke – all sixteen of them! I couldn’t believe it when he said sixteen. Included of course were: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic and Mandarin. That is one very extensive list and I’d say it would be hard to surpass. And this is only for the AKL-SYD flight with quite a few people like me only travelling as far as Australia! It wasn’t long until we were moving under our own power. The taxi took us past all the buildings (on the other side of the plane to where I was) right to the base of Runway 23L. There were a few movements in the moments prior to us holding short of Alpha 1.

Safety Demo
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Pushback
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Alpha Taxiway And Unused 23R/05L Runway
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Two TV Screens Setup For Departure
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Holding Short
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We held short at Alpha 1 and waited for the last NZ 733 in the queue to depart. The soft whine of the EK A380’s EA engines signalled the spooling up and our imminent departure from Auckland. Late in doing so, however, at least we were on our way. Rotation occurred around the International terminal meaning we used up about 2/3 of the 3635m long runway. The wing flex is pretty cool as well although no way near as noticeable as the 787 – isn’t that going to be a thrill to fly in! I was surprised at how quickly the flaps were retracted. We were barely 2 minutes into the flight. We turned slightly towards the north and en route for Sydney. And about the same, the Emirates “information” programme started playing. Too bad it can’t be disabled because it takes out quite a lot of time out of such a short flight! I just want to get onto doing what I want on the system like looking at the cameras and watching the airshow. 15 minutes into the flight, the menu and arrival cards were distributed. It’s nice of EK to still provide menus in Economy.

Lining Up Runway 23L
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Power Away!
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NZ 6 To LAX
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Rotate! With International Pier In The Background: AR A342, NZ Planes
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W502O7RhI/AAAAAAAADUI/k-XhSOh9Y1Y/s800/IMG_5160edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W51gCzs9I/AAAAAAAADUM/4pIirhXGfFA/s800/IMG_5161edit.jpg

The Auckland Isthmus
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W52hzF-GI/AAAAAAAADUQ/l2WtBOawyhE/s800/IMG_5165edit.jpg

Levelling Off


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W55ami3LI/AAAAAAAADUc/d6KeWjV-qYE/s800/IMG_5173edit.jpg


The entertainment system, ICE, has been covered in detail by many and also by me in my other report on the A380 so I have decided not to do a complete overview again so if you have missed my other TR on the A380, the link is provided at the end of the TR. One thing I had missed out on however was the ability to view your own photos using the USB port next to the screen in front of you. I was shooting in RAW so I had to create a JPEG file to be able to view it. PDFs and music can also be played on the system. But the main function I like about the IFE is definitely the Airshow and the cameras situated in the tail, nose; and the camera looking straight down (the last one is very boring to watch when crossing the ocean!)

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W56fSAmQI/AAAAAAAADUg/urSD80ey8nA/s800/IMG_5177edit.jpg
USB Use
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W5-mzTGmI/AAAAAAAADU0/v4m8Stm6H2E/s800/IMG_5187edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W5_o6fr7I/AAAAAAAADU4/deZ-qMjJEM4/s800/IMG_5189edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6Aox3pqI/AAAAAAAADU8/G218L6CbtnA/s800/IMG_5190edit.jpg

I Can See Through To The Next Seat!  Wink
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6BvCy_uI/AAAAAAAADVA/2JcFHXtkGJA/s800/IMG_5191edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6DHvWZ8I/AAAAAAAADVE/DpgEi_2IBbc/s800/IMG_5192edit.jpg

Airshow
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6EEpL6HI/AAAAAAAADVM/LjfVgVBEpog/s800/IMG_5193edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6FFGD5iI/AAAAAAAADVQ/sF-4ww4su8c/s800/IMG_5194edit.jpg

Fifty minutes into the flight, the meal service came to me in the third section. The choices (also shown in the following pictures) were honey baked ginger chicken with rice and stir fried vegetables or grilled lamb medallions with thyme jus, oven- roasted parsnip, carrot, broccoli and sautéed potato cubes. Because we were in the third cabin (quite a long way down), the most popular choice had already run out – that of the lamb. We were told it would be a 20 minute wait if we did want to take lamb. I was really hungry by then so I gave up on the lamb and took a chicken. People around me were asking for the lamb and in the end I believe they ran out of that too and so some people had to settle for the chicken anyway. It was quite a nice meal although there wasn’t enough rice to go with the main and the chicken was a bit on the salty side. The dessert – sticky date pudding – was delicious and I wish they gave bigger portions. Strangely enough, the drinks weren’t following the dinner service closely enough. I was too hungry to wait around to have a drink with my meal so I ate it all. I think most people around me were long finished as well by the time the drinks cart came around. Twenty nine minutes later, yes I repeat, nearly half an hour later, the drinks cart finally arrived beside my row. I had finished my meal a good 10 minutes prior and definitely needed something more than the 200ml package of water to wash down both the salty chicken and the sweet pudding. This type of wait shouldn’t be necessary. I ordered a coke and a red wine. The red wine wasn’t too bad, a bit on the dry side but I do think that taste buds are affected by the high altitude. And the coke, like usual, came in the cute little cans.

Menu


Today’s Selection


SYD-DXB Part
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W583N3-II/AAAAAAAADUs/igz-tMwMyNQ/s800/IMG_5182edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W59dvN1eI/AAAAAAAADUw/BGajo3rYZnw/s800/IMG_5183edit.jpg

Dinner
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6G4Py-0I/AAAAAAAADVU/-5hYMsb9M4Y/s800/IMG_5196edit.jpg

The Waiting For The Drinks Continues
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6H1nTnyI/AAAAAAAADVY/mpHEIwkey80/s800/IMG_5197edit.jpg

Nice Sunset While Eating


Is That Drink I See?
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6J33ooNI/AAAAAAAADVg/1Mz-Z2h75PU/s800/IMG_5203edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6LPCawII/AAAAAAAADVk/MTBFKf3xRmU/s800/IMG_5205edit.jpg

Cleaning Up
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6MSDL0EI/AAAAAAAADVo/Oe5XC31UIvk/s800/IMG_5208edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6M1vhYoI/AAAAAAAADVs/SFSr11LQ_pM/s800/IMG_5209edit.jpg

There was one more thing that annoyed me during the flight. The call button was faulty on my seat and it kept on going off randomly. The good thing was that they were quick to answer it whenever it went off until most of the ones serving my area came to my side for me to tell them that there was something wrong. I’m glad that I could have got a drink at nearly any stage of the flight however! I seriously wouldn’t have liked to carry on to Dubai with that problem. It also seems that a fellow A.Netter, Foxecho, travelled on EDC but a row behind where I was sitting a few months before I took my flight and the FA call button was malfunctioning then as well. I wouldn’t have a clue about how long something like that would take to fix but with tight schedules for the A380, I don’t think it’ll be fixed anytime soon. Someone else about 3 rows in front of me had the same problem too.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6M1vhYoI/AAAAAAAADVs/SFSr11LQ_pM/s800/IMG_5209edit.jpg


After the meal trays were cleared up, I decided to have a wander around the cabin. First of all, I checked to see if I could pay a visit to my favourite Economy Class toilet. I got down to the front of the plane and to my anguish, the stairs to that particular toilet and the cockpit were roped off! It now has a sticker saying “Cabin Crew Only” on it. It’s such a disappointment that they took away the right for passengers to use this toilet but the crew must feel happy that they get such a big toilet to use. I had a wide angle lens too on this trip, ready to show everyone the size in one picture but it wasn’t to be. I had to settle for another toilet which was much, much smaller than the roped off one.

Over Wing View
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6NV0BxGI/AAAAAAAADVw/ysp1ZWLuL9s/s800/IMG_5211edit.jpg

Second Section
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6QN6ky0I/AAAAAAAADV0/7M2UIdiFFxQ/s800/IMG_5213edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6XD-JNPI/AAAAAAAADWI/vJkgJ2Kjj1E/s800/IMG_5223edit.jpg

One Day, First Class!


No! The Biggest Toilet Now Out Of Bounds!


Another Toilet


First Section
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6Vo3asnI/AAAAAAAADWE/AOhtNNEa4BY/s800/IMG_5222edit.jpg

Back Section
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6YG1EljI/AAAAAAAADWM/hFA9c4in5dk/s800/IMG_5224edit.jpg

I returned to my seat after a rather brief stroll up and down the aircraft.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6ZB-K6vI/AAAAAAAADWQ/nqFCFB3V-z8/s800/IMG_5225edit.jpg

Mood lighting is one great invention. I enjoyed watching the colour changes occur and I was lucky to see ‘stars’ appearing in the form of LEDs in the ceiling just before the cabin lights were brightened for disembarking. Here’s a run through of “sunset” according to the mood lighting:

Orange Stage
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6ZyJeKDI/AAAAAAAADWU/aeG-O4qmqVI/s800/IMG_5227edit.jpg

Part Pink Stage
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6bNgp9qI/AAAAAAAADWY/qh3fNzBWogw/s800/IMG_5233edit.jpg

THAT Call Button
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6cGpFyTI/AAAAAAAADWc/Va2gX0hhS04/s800/IMG_5234edit.jpg

Purple And Fading Orange
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It's all about the destination AND the journey.
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6413 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 22158 times:

Continued here:

Blue Stage
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6iAgBN4I/AAAAAAAADW4/aYxUP0E8aE8/s800/IMG_5247edit.jpg

Eventually it was time for descent. It was nigh on complete darkness in Sydney. It was a very smooth landing, one expected by the A380 in calm conditions. We stopped quite quickly and soon taxied for Gate 57, ending a pleasant, but slightly flawed journey across the Tasman. We docked half an hour behind schedule due to the late departure but we made up about 15 minutes in flight.

Closing In On Sydney
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6dOpE-3I/AAAAAAAADWg/0YP9AbKVmfE/s800/IMG_5235edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6gG8xk0I/AAAAAAAADWs/qcezx7hv-JM/s800/IMG_5245edit.jpg

Funny Kink In The Flight Path, Any Idea Why?
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6hCkWvuI/AAAAAAAADW0/LUEjwwV6z_E/s800/IMG_5246edit.jpg

The Line Didn’t Follow Us! Lining Up Runway 34L
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6iyeS0cI/AAAAAAAADW8/7X9trELEa1o/s800/IMG_5256edit.jpg

Short Final
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6j_SHi0I/AAAAAAAADXA/LR3-YfP6Jqc/s800/IMG_5259edit.jpg

Touchdown
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6k2WRKxI/AAAAAAAADXE/NcSstgpy0hQ/s800/IMG_5263edit.jpg

Disembarking this massive plane from the back takes a while. It does surprise me how many people decide to stand up, especially so far back because surely they’d know that they’d have to wait about 10 more minutes before they would move. I just took in the limited view of a QF A332 and an Air NZ A320 while I waited for the front sections to clear out. And eventually I made it off the plane and onto Australian soil. There was a seemingly long walk through the duty free area to Customs where I entered that card I was issued with at Auckland into the face scanner machine. The gates opened, I took the card back and away I was to collect my luggage. Because I was so quick to get through, the bags had barely started trickling out onto the carousel. It might have been just as quick standing in the line to see a person and also to get another stamp in the passport! It’s going to be boring for kids who only travel to Australia from New Zealand as there won’t be any stamps for them to collect in their passport! The card I took back from the face scanner machine was handed to the quarantine official who sent me straight out the door although I had declared some food that wouldn’t be confiscated. What a great end to the trip!

Familiar Sights
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6mFkQqbI/AAAAAAAADXI/_t33UsIX9y8/s800/IMG_5269edit.jpg



http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6pXfiZYI/AAAAAAAADXU/wTtN-uRlk4c/s800/IMG_5273edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6qRUMnyI/AAAAAAAADXY/SU8svm5DAv4/s800/IMG_5274edit.jpg

That sums up my second experience on the A380. I thank you for getting this far and I do appreciate those who have spent time reading this very long thing. The flight was full of mixed feelings about the service but what they provided was nothing less than decent. I should be trying out new aircraft on my next trans Tasman flight though!

Soon I’ll be onto writing my next report: SYD-OOL-MEL-SYD on DJ, JQ and QF so keep an eye out for that one!

Regards,
Nicholas


The link to this TR’s album can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/bogey.nz/TRAKLSYDEK412EmiratesRevisited
Search a little deeper and you’ll find other pictures of other TRs.


Previous Trip Reports:
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 1/2: AKL-ZQN-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 2/2: AKL-NPE-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air New Zealand: NZ105 AKL-SYD Economy (by NZ107 Feb 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
A Whale Of A Time: Emirates A380 Inaugural SYD-AKL (by NZ107 Feb 15 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 1 Air NZ AKL-WLG-AKL (by NZ107 Jun 24 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 2 JQ/DJ AKL (by NZ107 Jul 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21989 times:

Hi Nicholas,

Thank you for this very well detailed trip report from NZ to Australia. It really cheers me up to enjoy the summer sceneries you have beautifully captured over there while facing myself a severe cold in the the icing cold Holland.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Comparison Shot From January 2009(first image) With November 2009 (second image):

What a difference! I do however prefer the airy feeling out of the second image.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Smartgate is a new passport clearance system for those with NZ or Australian chipped passports.

Too bad, that is limited to NZ or Australian passport holders. It would be less hassle to expand it to let say European chipped passports.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic and Mandarin.

Are you sure there were no Dutchies around?  wink 

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Another Toilet

Still look great with the wooden interior.

Thanks again for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineGardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1522 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21982 times:

Hi.
Fab report and great detailed pictures. A + !!
AKL seems to have spruced itself up big tine since I was there last in 2007, good for them.
A shame the new pier at AKL lacks sufficient seating, I really hope they address the issue.


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8524 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 21774 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Nicholas,

Another superb trip, excellent pictures too!

AKL looks like a pretty nice airport, I'd sure like to visit and do some spotting from the deck one day - have to agree there are too few seats in that waiting area though!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I was surprised that EK hadn’t got rid of their in flight magazines yet – it was something that they said they were going to do to save weight.

- Yes, they made a big thing about this before teh 1st service, suprised they are still there.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It’s nice of EK to still provide menus in Economy.

- It is, kind of gives you a little something, though I though these might have been done via the IFE system by now.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Strangely enough, the drinks weren’t following the dinner service closely enough. I was too hungry to wait around to have a drink with my meal so I ate it all. I think most people around me were long finished as well by the time the drinks cart came around. Twenty nine minutes later, yes I repeat, nearly half an hour later, the drinks cart finally arrived beside my row. I had finished my meal a good 10 minutes prior and definitely needed something more than the 200ml package of water to wash down both the salty chicken and the sweet pudding

- This is a pet hate of mine. I too like to have a drink with my meal, sometimes I wait for the drinks to arrive but the meal is getting quite cold by then and I feel like a pratt for sitting with meal and doing nothing with it.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I should be trying out new aircraft on my next trans Tasman flight though!

Soon I’ll be onto writing my next report: SYD-OOL-MEL-SYD on DJ, JQ and QF so keep an eye out for that one!

- Great, look forward to the repots when they are on-line.

Best Wishes

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 offlineTR1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 266 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 21701 times:



Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Strangely enough, the drinks weren’t following the dinner service closely enough. I was too hungry to wait around to have a drink with my meal so I ate it all. I think most people around me were long finished as well by the time the drinks cart came around. Twenty nine minutes later, yes I repeat, nearly half an hour later, the drinks cart finally arrived beside my row. I had finished my meal a good 10 minutes prior and definitely needed something more than the 200ml package of water

NIcholas,

Fabulous report. I can't wait for the opportunity to experience this aircraft.

Interesting comment about the drinks service. The inability of the drinks cart to closely follow the meal cart was one (but not the only) reason why we now have a selection of drinks on top of the meal carts in our international economy service on the NW side of Delta. Granted its not a complete selection but it beats having to wait another 10-20 minutes for the cart. Whether or not this continues remains to be seen, however.

Looking forward to the next report.


User currently offlineDLATL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 21257 times:

Thanks for the report; may I ask what camera you use?

User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Spain, joined Sep 2003, 5153 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 21179 times:

Hey, Nicholas,

once again a very detailed and good-to-read story.

Never been on the A380 myself, so something more interesting to follow you´re
point of view.

EK doing well also here, so it seems.

Looking for the next part now.

Greetings from snow covered southern Germany,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Shopping and sun med style!.
User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 945 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 20982 times:

Hi Nicholas

Thanks for this report, a very nice part 2 to your latest series. Great details, excellent pictures! I especially enjoy the spotting pictures from New Zealand, perhaps it's the light that make even relatively mundane liveries stand out at AKL airport  Smile

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Qantas/OneWorld Premium Check In Area

Is this a new facility? I somehow only remember the premium NZ check-ins with private 'fast track' immigration clearance. Does QF have the same?

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It beats me to guess why Auckland Airport is rated so highly.

You're pretty harsh on your home airport  Wink Granted it may not have the design and architectural excesses of many of the others listed by Skytrax (yes, I agree that's questionable for a start), but it's quite a nice facility and, perhaps most importantly for me, has great close-up views of the tarmac and traffic. So it's aces in my book.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It was made about 20 minutes after scheduled boarding time which surprised me considering the A380 lays over in AKL for a good 4 and a half hours. Maybe there was a delay in the crew getting to the airport or something but it didn’t seem right to have such a delay.

That's interesting. Quite a contrast to my experience at BKK. I was surprised at how early EK was boarding its A380: Y class more than 1 hour before departure, on a 2h30 min turnaround.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Thankfully, nobody came down to sit in between us so there was plenty of space to stretch out

Often times, I don't hope for much in Y class. If I get an empty seat next to me, I'm as happy as a lark.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Twenty nine minutes later, yes I repeat, nearly half an hour later, the drinks cart finally arrived beside my row.

That's not great at all. I would have expected better of EK.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
First Section



Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Back Section

Having toured the plane and been on EK's A380 twice now, is there a section you would recommend/prefer in Y?

Thanks again for this wonderful report.

Cheers,
airpearl


User currently offlineFlightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 20778 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report. Always nice to see the A380 TRs

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
He also announced the languages which the flight attendants spoke – all sixteen of them! I couldn’t believe it when he said sixteen. Included of course were: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic and Mandarin. That is one very extensive list and I’d say it would be hard to surpass.

Nothing unusual about that with 24 cabin crew on the A380! Emirates as you know hires from all over the world, so there is bound to be at least one from a specific country. And here is the statement of 30 crew (total in all) by an Emirates crew member himself

http://clauderic.blogspot.com/2009/12/time-goes-by-so.html

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
And this is only for the AKL-SYD flight with quite a few people like me only travelling as far as Australia!

They wouldn't just have English only or Aussie crews for the Australia-New Zealand-Australia run, It's the same crew that originate from Dubai, have a 2-3 day layover in Australia and then a 24 hour in New Zealand, before staying again in Australia and finally back to Dubai.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 20565 times:

Hi Nicholas,

excellent report with many stunning pictures, enjoyed reading a lot. A380 reports are still something special.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I was welcomed on board by one of the stewards upon presentation of my boarding pass: “Welcome aboard, Mr. Young, your seat is the window seat on the far side”. It’s always nice to get personal welcomes as you board the plane.

Nice, I like that, too.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
There is plenty of reflection from inside the cabin and it is definitely not photographer friendly by any means of the imagination.

Indeed, one of the major negative aspects when travelling on the Whale.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):

Distance Between Wall And Seat

Good shot, shows well another negative aspect.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I Can See Through To The Next Seat!

Another nice shot!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Because we were in the third cabin (quite a long way down), the most popular choice had already run out – that of the lamb.

Oh no, EK and the lamb, the neverending story...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I think most people around me were long finished as well by the time the drinks cart came around. Twenty nine minutes later, yes I repeat, nearly half an hour later, the drinks cart finally arrived beside my row. I had finished my meal a good 10 minutes prior and definitely needed something more than the 200ml package of water to wash down both the salty chicken and the sweet pudding. This type of wait shouldn’t be necessary.

Too bad that this still hasn't been improved yet, quite annoying actually.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The call button was faulty on my seat and it kept on going off randomly. The good thing was that they were quick to answer it whenever it went off until most of the ones serving my area came to my side for me to tell them that there was something wrong. I’m glad that I could have got a drink at nearly any stage of the flight however! I seriously wouldn’t have liked to carry on to Dubai with that problem. It also seems that a fellow A.Netter, Foxecho, travelled on EDC but a row behind where I was sitting a few months before I took my flight and the FA call button was malfunctioning then as well. I wouldn’t have a clue about how long something like that would take to fix but with tight schedules for the A380, I don’t think it’ll be fixed anytime soon. Someone else about 3 rows in front of me had the same problem too.

Interesting issue. They should really fix that problem.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBedo From Spain, joined Jul 2009, 57 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 20416 times:

Hi Nicholas!!

What a great breakfast that i had reading you!!!

I flew the A6-EDE last November, DXB to LHR, it was a great flight with a great product from EK.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
It might have been just as quick standing in the line to see a person and also to get another stamp in the passport! It's going to be boring for kids who only travel to Australia from New Zealand as there won't be any stamps for them to collect in their passport!

This is what we have in Europe, you have to get out the continent to get an stamp on your passport.

Quoting Flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Is That Drink I See?
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0.../1Mz-Z2h75PU/s800/IMG_5203edit.jpg

What about the wine?? It's an Spanish wine.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic and Mandarin.

The four times that i flew EK never had the coincidence with spanish talking stewardess.

Thank you Nicholas, I'll be waiting the next joyride!!



bedo
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6413 posts, RR: 38
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 19947 times:

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of your comments!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):
It really cheers me up to enjoy the summer sceneries you have beautifully captured over there while facing myself a severe cold in the the icing cold Holland.

Hi Suryo,

Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad to have cheered you up - I can't even imagine being in Europe right now.. I have a few friends over in Europe at the moment too! Maybe the other pictures from SYD will thaw you out.. It got to 43 on one of the days I was over there.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):
What a difference! I do however prefer the airy feeling out of the second image.

What a difference indeed! I never thought that the area could be changed so dramatically but it feels like a completely new airport from where I took the photos from.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):
Too bad, that is limited to NZ or Australian passport holders. It would be less hassle to expand it to let say European chipped passports.

I'm sure New Zealand might start doing similar things but with Australia, you'll need a visa to get in and that may complicate things if some people are allowed to use the chip to enter and others aren't. Because once NZ and Australia introduce a single aviation market (SAM), there won't be a need for passports when travelling across the Tasman and all that technology brought in to speed up trans Tasman processing won't be needed. There must be some use for it afterwards!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):
Are you sure there were no Dutchies around?

Haha. I can't recall all of them but I wish I could have recorded the PA because it was so interesting hearing so many languages!

Quoting Gardermoen (Reply 3):
Fab report and great detailed pictures. A + !!
AKL seems to have spruced itself up big tine since I was there last in 2007, good for them.
A shame the new pier at AKL lacks sufficient seating, I really hope they address the issue.

Hi Gardermoen,

Thanks for your comments! Yes, as I mentioned above, AKL has done a bit of renovations. 2007 was a while ago now that I think about it and the new pier which houses the A380 wouldn't have been close to existence.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
Another superb trip, excellent pictures too!

AKL looks like a pretty nice airport, I'd sure like to visit and do some spotting from the deck one day - have to agree there are too few seats in that waiting area though!

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed it! I hope you're surviving the winter!
It'd be great if you could make it down here some day! It is a nice airport though. And another pro about it is probably the size - you aren't walking/travelling for miles on end to reach your gate.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
Yes, they made a big thing about this before teh 1st service, suprised they are still there

I really wonder if it's still on the agenda to be canned..

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
It is, kind of gives you a little something, though I though these might have been done via the IFE system by now.

Indeed, with a system like ICE, such a thing shouldn't be too hard to do!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
sometimes I wait for the drinks to arrive

I'd be surprised if you could hold out for 30 minutes if you were as hungry as I was on that particular evening!

Quoting TR1 (Reply 5):
Interesting comment about the drinks service. The inability of the drinks cart to closely follow the meal cart was one (but not the only) reason why we now have a selection of drinks on top of the meal carts in our international economy service on the NW side of Delta. Granted its not a complete selection but it beats having to wait another 10-20 minutes for the cart. Whether or not this continues remains to be seen, however.

Hi TR1,

Thanks for your comments. It seems strange how on the other two flights on EK (one more TR coming near the end of the series) and on other airlines the drinks cart is quite close behind the meal one.

Quoting DLATL777 (Reply 6):
Thanks for the report; may I ask what camera you use?

Not a problem, DLATL777.

I use a Canon EOS400D (or in US terms, the Rebel XTi) with an 18-55mm IS, 70-300mm IS USM and I borrowed a 10-22mm lens from my friend.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
Never been on the A380 myself, so something more interesting to follow you´re point of view.

Hi Markus, greetings from the balmy subtropical warmth of Auckland! If I were where you are right now, I'd be so envious of the warm weather on the other side of the world!

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for commenting! With all that flying you did in those small planes, it's time you upgraded to something like a whale  

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
EK doing well also here, so it seems.

It is a peak season to travel in down here so I don't think there are too many surprises. EK also manage to keep prices down and are usually cheaper than NZ and QF on average. No business people who travel trans Tasman would use EK as the timing is really bad. I'd also assume quite a few people go all the way onto Europe too. Sometimes they get less than 100 onboard - this occurred quite frequently in 2009 I think but it's still cheaper than keeping it parked up in Sydney for that period of time.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
Great details, excellent pictures! I especially enjoy the spotting pictures from New Zealand, perhaps it's the light that make even relatively mundane liveries stand out at AKL airport

Hi Airpearl,

Thanks for your comments! You'll be glad to know that there are 2 more New Zealand domestic TRs coming up at the end of this series and I hope some of the pictures I took in Queenstown will further entice you to come down here!

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
Is this a new facility? I somehow only remember the premium NZ check-ins with private 'fast track' immigration clearance. Does QF have the same?

Been there for a while, at least 10 years by memory. It's just sitting at the other end of the original check in counters - the EK area is an extension to the international terminal completed some time around 2004. When I went to HKG in CX Business in 2005, I used the 'fast track' immigration clearance. So that answers your question - QF does have the same but there is no direct link to the lounge as I believe NZ has this. There's a small booth inside that check in area which is operated sometimes (could be occupied more frequently now) which gives you pre clearance to basically go straight through to the security checkpoint. Emirates has also got a pre clearance desk now - available for F, J, Skywards Gold and Skywards Silver passengers.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
You're pretty harsh on your home airport Granted it may not have the design and architectural excesses of many of the others listed by Skytrax (yes, I agree that's questionable for a start), but it's quite a nice facility and, perhaps most importantly for me, has great close-up views of the tarmac and traffic. So it's aces in my book.

Haha, yeah, possibly a bit harsh. I think I'll come to respect it fully once I experience a few more airports! I wish it had a better view of the tarmac though. They brought in pier separation only a few years ago and that allowed a view over both sides of the main pier. That was built and blocked any view of the other side of the pier. Not only that but all flights to the US depart from the far end and can't be seen very well from landside. And the new pier.. Well, that's just too far away!

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
That's interesting. Quite a contrast to my experience at BKK. I was surprised at how early EK was boarding its A380: Y class more than 1 hour before departure, on a 2h30 min turnaround.

That's what I would have expected on my flight! Too bad there were a few things that went wrong on my flight.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
That's not great at all. I would have expected better of EK.

So was I. But I'm glad that there was no repeat the second time around.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
Having toured the plane and been on EK's A380 twice now, is there a section you would recommend/prefer in Y?

I'd definitely recommend the front two sections. If you were wanting to take photos out of the window, getting in front of the wing would be good for starters and you can do that by being in either the first section or the first 3 rows of the second. I liked the seat I originally chose for my flight last February because you don't have the queues for the toilet like you might in the first section (although there is a big area where you can wait around in) and your meal service would be relatively quick along with getting the meal that you actually want to eat. I haven't even talked about boarding/disembarking either! But you can imagine sitting right at the back which I was doing on the return trip and having to wait for 390 odd people to get through that air bridge before you do!

Quoting Flightsimboy (Reply 9):
They wouldn't just have English only or Aussie crews for the Australia-New Zealand-Australia run, It's the same crew that originate from Dubai, have a 2-3 day layover in Australia and then a 24 hour in New Zealand, before staying again in Australia and finally back to Dubai.

Hi Flightsimboy,

Thanks for your comments.

I'm aware of that.. But it's so interesting!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
excellent report with many stunning pictures, enjoyed reading a lot. A380 reports are still something special.

Hi PH,

Thanks for commenting! Glad you enjoyed it! I must say I think I'm getting a bit tired of writing EK A380 TRs in Economy.. Time for a change of scenery I think.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Oh no, EK and the lamb, the neverending story...

Yes, the lamb. But this would have been New Zealand lamb which would make it that much better! That's the good thing about sitting in the front - something that I'll strive to do whenever I'm on an A380 in Economy (apart from SQ where I'd hope to get onto the upper deck)!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Too bad that this still hasn't been improved yet, quite annoying actually.

Yes, it is annoying. But I'm glad it was back to an acceptable time for my return trip.

Quoting Bedo (Reply 11):
What a great breakfast that i had reading you!!!

Hi Bedo,

I'm glad I enlightened your breakfast!

Quoting Bedo (Reply 11):
This is what we have in Europe, you have to get out the continent to get an stamp on your passport.

Yeah, not quite the same because there is an option for me to get my passport stamped but I don't think the time standing in a queue is worth it when the technology to walk virtually straight through immigration is available to you.

Quoting Bedo (Reply 11):
What about the wine?? It's an Spanish wine.

Oh, nothing about the wine. The caption was more about: "finally, I see myself with some drink at my seat" more than anything else. Half an hour is far too long to wait for drink, especially if you wished to have it accompany your meal.

Quoting Bedo (Reply 11):
The four times that i flew EK never had the coincidence with spanish talking stewardess.

Well I guess there was one FA on board who was multi lingual!


Thanks again for all your replies, I hope they keep on coming in!

Regards,
Nicholas

[Edited 2010-01-10 04:54:08]


It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 19833 times:



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
Maybe the other pictures from SYD will thaw you out.. It got to 43 on one of the days I was over there.

That sounds heaven. I wish I were there. It would have been much better than sub zero!  cold 



Friends forever
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 19784 times:

Hi Nicholas!

What an amazing Trip Report on the EK A380, and a great part two of your new TR series!

The pictures are simply amazing. Do tell more about that wide angle?

I think the tone of your pictures will really go well with HDR, something i am looking into off-late.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I think I should check out more of these airports before making a valid conclusion but it is by no means near the class of Hong Kong.

It is like comparing any IFE to ICE, where ICE is guaranteed to top it off. Same goes with HKG, where nothing compares to it. It will only be too harsh to compare any airport to HKG  Smile

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Smartgate is a new passport clearance system for those with NZ or Australian chipped passports. It allows you to clear customs by a machine scanning your face and seeing if it matches with that of your passport photo. There is a kiosk set up in Auckland which allows you to walk straight up to the machine without having to get your passport out at the other end.

Very interesting! I really like that idea.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Tonnes Of Room, Lack Of Seats

Definitely agree here! Wouldn't want to be there when that A380 is overbooked!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
A whole stash of newspapers, The New Zealand Herald (Auckland’s daily paper) to be exact, were on a stand just outside the door. No wonder why so few people had taken them – it was the end of the day already.

I always thought that on evening/night flights, the newspapers should be replaced with magazines. Newspaper readers would have already read the newspaper by then!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
And so I stepped into the A380 for the second time. I must admit it didn’t feel as special as the first time. I was welcomed on board by one of the stewards upon presentation of my boarding pass: “Welcome aboard, Mr. Young, your seat is the window seat on the far side”. It’s always nice to get personal welcomes as you board the plane. I don’t think I get quite enough of that It does make you feel a bit more special than “just one of those 300 odd Economy passengers”.

It is now customary that each and every passenger is addressed by name once boarding an EK flight; for the very least, an EK A380! Quite nice actually!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
One other thing that people don’t like about the A380 is the fact that the wall curves and is so far away from the seat. It’s very uncomfortable to lean against the wall and another few photos below show this.

Totally agree!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The seat wasn’t too bad but I retract my comment in the other TR about the seats being soft. But they weren’t too hard either however it’ll take a long haul flight for me to figure out if it’s entirely comfortable.

The Y class seat on the EK A380 is actually very comfortable. I managed to get a decent 6 hours of deep sleep on this seat!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
We held short at Alpha 1 and waited for the last NZ 733 in the queue to depart. The soft whine of the EK A380’s EA engines signalled the spooling up and our imminent departure from Auckland. Late in doing so, however, at least we were on our way. Rotation occurred around the International terminal meaning we used up about 2/3 of the 3635m long runway. The wing flex is pretty cool as well although no way near as noticeable as the 787 – isn’t that going to be a thrill to fly in! I was surprised at how quickly the flaps were retracted. We were barely 2 minutes into the flight. We turned slightly towards the north and en route for Sydney.

That was incredibly well-written and so detailed! I think that was the best take-off description i have ever read! haha  Smile

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I was shooting in RAW

I am also just starting to experiment with RAW. Much better than shooting with JPEG!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Because we were in the third cabin (quite a long way down), the most popular choice had already run out

Seems to happen quite a lot on EK. I really wonder how airlines calculate the ratio of meal choices that should be loaded on board. I would think it would be quite a challenging task to get it as accurate as possible,

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I wouldn’t have a clue about how long something like that would take to fix but with tight schedules for the A380, I don’t think it’ll be fixed anytime soon. Someone else about 3 rows in front of me had the same problem too.

They could have taken care of that by putting EDC on BKK and delaying the flight (or even switching it to a 77W if need be) .. BKK used to act as the buffer point that would absorb all A380 operational glitches. But now that the two higher-density birds entered service, things could be different now.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
First of all, I checked to see if I could pay a visit to my favourite Economy Class toilet. I got down to the front of the plane and to my anguish, the stairs to that particular toilet and the cockpit were roped off! It now has a sticker saying “Cabin Crew Only” on it. It’s such a disappointment that they took away the right for passengers to use this toilet but the crew must feel happy that they get such a big toilet to use.

All lavatories on the higher density aircraft have now moved to the back i think. And that big crew bunk is no longer there, and has been replaced with more seating.

Now i am in the mood to write up my EK TR!!! ..

Thanks a lot for sharing this very detailed report filled with excellent pics!!!  Smile Looking forward to the next installment!

Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 19764 times:

Thanks for the detailed report. Excellent pictures and commentary as well... I'm still waiting for a chance to get on my first A380 flight  Sad


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 19754 times:



Quoting SQ772 (Reply 15):
Thanks for the detailed report. Excellent pictures and commentary as well... I'm still waiting for a chance to get on my first A380 flight

You love SQ, you are from SQ's territory, and SQ has the A380  Smile ... Hop on one and tell us what you think  Smile



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 19731 times:



Quoting Ronerone (Reply 16):
You love SQ, you are from SQ's territory, and SQ has the A380 Smile ... Hop on one and tell us what you think Smile

Unfortunately they don't fly to places that I need/want/wish to go to...  Wink



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 19669 times:

Hi again, Nicholas. A very nice and interesting report, with some great pics. Love those wide-angle shots  Wink

The pics from the gate area really gives an impression on how big the A380 really is, I haven't really thought much about the rather great amount of people it can carry. Those massive lines at boarding, and the huge crowd during de-boarding, seems like quite a hazzle to fly on the A380. But I suppose that price is worth paying  Smile

The IFE system in EK looked great, and it seemed pretty cool that it was possible to use your own media!

The food on EK looked nice as always, and the portions seemed pretty big to me.

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8524 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 19627 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
It'd be great if you could make it down here some day!

- New Zealand is on the list, don't worry, I'll get there!

Keep the excellet reports rolling my friend.

BTW - Have you thought of getting on the AR A340-200 to SYD? - Quite a rare beast!

Best Wishes

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 offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6413 posts, RR: 38
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19379 times:



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 13):
That sounds heaven. I wish I were there. It would have been much better than sub zero!

It isn't very comfortable but I'd be sure to take it over -20C!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
What an amazing Trip Report on the EK A380, and a great part two of your new TR series!

Thanks for your comments Roni! Good to know it gave you some motivation to write your EK TR  Wink

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
The pictures are simply amazing. Do tell more about that wide angle?

I think the tone of your pictures will really go well with HDR, something i am looking into off-late.

Thanks! The Canon EF-S 10-22mm obviously only fits the crop Canon cameras. It isn't a fisheye variety but obviously has a bit of distortion at 10mm. Too bad it doesn't have IS because that would make it such a good lens. Great quality down to f/3.5 too although I was shooting around f/8 for a lot of them, just to keep depth of field and sharpness up. One lens I truly recommend! I might buy one for myself sometime soon to stop bothering my friend..

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
It will only be too harsh to compare any airport to HKG

Yes it would be.. But if nothing can be compared to it and if AKL is 10th, then it makes you question what other airports worldwide are like. I wouldn't have thought AKL was comparable to the others further down that top ten either like ZRH and AMS.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
Wouldn't want to be there when that A380 is overbooked!

Nope, nor would I. I hope it doesn't take too long before they commence with the next phase of the pier and complete the other side.. They really need something else down that long corridor.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
Newspaper readers would have already read the newspaper by then!

Oh well, they're rich enough.. Could be leftovers from other flights earlier in the day..

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
It is now customary that each and every passenger is addressed by name once boarding an EK flight; for the very least, an EK A380! Quite nice actually!

Very nice. One thing I'll always be looking forward to when flying EK, that's for sure!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
The Y class seat on the EK A380 is actually very comfortable. I managed to get a decent 6 hours of deep sleep on this seat!



Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
That was incredibly well-written and so detailed! I think that was the best take-off description i have ever read! haha

Haha, I think this makes up for my lack of the Ryanair sense of humour Big grin

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
I am also just starting to experiment with RAW. Much better than shooting with JPEG!

Just one warning with RAWs - don't try taking an entire TR series in RAW or you'll end up like me in this one. It's a real pain and it took me an age to edit the 120 odd photos I posted up here. Yes, the quality is great but there was a lot of extra and possibly unrequired effort which went in.. And it also means that it'll take a while for the series to be completed! Especially as you wouldn't have as much free time as I do, stick to JPEG unless you're wanting A.Net photos (I guess that was part of the reason why I shot in RAW). RAW images are the best to make HDRs out of as there is no movement like you would if you were shooting handheld with brackets.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
Seems to happen quite a lot on EK. I really wonder how airlines calculate the ratio of meal choices that should be loaded on board. I would think it would be quite a challenging task to get it as accurate as possible,

I always thought they had equal portions of each choice onboard.. But yes that lamb is something special and ellusive for those who sit at the back!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
They could have taken care of that by putting EDC on BKK and delaying the flight (or even switching it to a 77W if need be) .. BKK used to act as the buffer point that would absorb all A380 operational glitches. But now that the two higher-density birds entered service, things could be different now.

Oh right.. Is there a seat map for the high density configuration out yet?

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 14):
All lavatories on the higher density aircraft have now moved to the back i think. And that big crew bunk is no longer there, and has been replaced with more seating.

Interesting. It'll make the front section a very nice area to be seated in that case. The back would also feel better and less claustrophobic.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 15):
Thanks for the detailed report. Excellent pictures and commentary as well... I'm still waiting for a chance to get on my first A380 flight

Hi SQ772,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 17):
Unfortunately they don't fly to places that I need/want/wish to go to...

A short trip to HKG doesn't sound too hard to me  Wink

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
A very nice and interesting report, with some great pics. Love those wide-angle shots

Hi Jonas,

Thanks for your comments! Yeah, those wide angle shots are something special. I was amazed at how much could fit into the screen!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
The pics from the gate area really gives an impression on how big the A380 really is, I haven't really thought much about the rather great amount of people it can carry. Those massive lines at boarding, and the huge crowd during de-boarding, seems like quite a hazzle to fly on the A380. But I suppose that price is worth paying

I'd like to see the high density A380 gate area.. Now that would be one freakish sight! Luckily the airfare was so cheap I didn't exactly mind but if you are sitting at the front of the plane, it's a much smaller problem and you probably wouldn't realise that there were so many people.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
The food on EK looked nice as always, and the portions seemed pretty big to me.

If I hadn't starved myself, the meal would have been very good. I do like their portion size though, much more generous than Air NZ.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 19):
New Zealand is on the list, don't worry, I'll get there!

Keep the excellet reports rolling my friend.

BTW - Have you thought of getting on the AR A340-200 to SYD? - Quite a rare beast!

And a TR on NZ!  Wink
I'll try but I need a break from all this photo editing.. I'm wishing I hadn't shot the entire trip in RAW!

I have thought about the A342 but I tend to overlook it.. But after that trip to Aussie to try out the A332 and A321, I think I'm keen to try more! Maybe one way A342 then back on an EK A345 from MEL. I acutally think I'd prefer a long haul journey though! Trying at the moment to get a seat on a CV-580 which would be a nice and unique TR if I can secure it.

Thanks guys!

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8524 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 19330 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Maybe one way A342 then back on an EK A345 from MEL

- That sounds like a good idea, wish I was there to do it myself!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Trying at the moment to get a seat on a CV-580 which would be a nice and unique TR if I can secure it

- This would be a major coup, good luck!

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 offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 19119 times:

This is your second EK A380 trip but you still make it sound interesting!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Spotting From The International Observation Deck:

I really like that view.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I Can See Through To The Next Seat! Wink

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6BvCy_uI/AAAAAAAADVA/2JcFHXtkGJA/s800/IMG_5191edit.jpg
Haha... clever trompe-l'oeil. For an instant you had me thinking EK had introduced a new "Your forward seat neighbor's hairy neck" camera view.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Twenty nine minutes later, yes I repeat, nearly half an hour later, the drinks cart finally arrived beside my row. I had finished my meal a good 10 minutes prior and definitely needed something more than the 200ml package of water to wash down both the salty chicken and the sweet pudding.

I've had out-of-sequence service before, but not quite this bad!


Nice lavatory. One feature I like (that I've only noticed on SQ so far) is the foot pedal for opening the lid of the trash bin; sometimes the lid can look a little nasty and you don't really want to touch it. Doesn't look like this lav has it.

Thank you for sharing, Nicholas. Looking forward to your next trips!


User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 945 posts, RR: 26
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 19062 times:



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
I hope some of the pictures I took in Queenstown will further entice you to come down here!

Hehe... it doesn't take too much to entice me to visit New Zealand Nicholas... only thing it can't be done over a long weekend, which is the most I can be away for, at least for the next few months. I hope I can manage a trip this year though  Wink

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
Been there for a while, at least 10 years by memory. It's just sitting at the other end of the original check in counters -

Oh wow, didn't realize. I must have seen it and instantly forgotten it.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
there is no direct link to the lounge as I believe NZ has this. There's a small booth inside that check in area which is operated sometimes (could be occupied more frequently now) which gives you pre clearance to basically go straight through to the security checkpoint.

Used it once on NZ Business. Pretty cosy little arrangement actually - literally not more than 5 paces from check-in to a single immigration counter and then thru to security. Real easy. There's no direct access to the lounge though if I recall correctly.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
I wish it had a better view of the tarmac though.

The NZ domestic gates have a better view - do you agree? You get closer to the planes and all the heavies have to taxi past as well.


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 19029 times:

Hello NZ107,

I think this is the first time I read a report of yours. Pretty good. Do you have a FlightMemory account to show us all?

This is mine if you never heard of it. http://my.flightmemory.com/9MMAR


25 A1ring23 : Nice, that would've set you back quite a bit... No WA though.....maybe next time? Whilst convenient, it does offer less of a national identity to EK.
26 Post contains links NZ107 : I really wish I had more money, Mark! Hi Econojetter, Thanks for your comments. I try my hardest to make them interesting but I've got a feeling that
27 Post contains images nethkt : Such a perfect, complete, wonderful, fabulous trip report! I am sure I will re-visit the report once I make my mind flying EK A380 in the near future.
28 NZ107 : Hi nethkt, Wow, thanks for your comments! Bear in mind that if you are flying the EK A380 out of BKK, it'll be the higher density A380- hence it'll b
29 Post contains images nethkt : Even higher density on an already high density aircraft? hehe However, I know what you mean. And actually I'd rather not have the box in my sight!! E
30 PlaneHunter : Ok, it's time for a F Class report! Really? Remind me that I try NZ lamb when I visit the country one day. PH
31 Midcon385 : Outflow valve for cabin pressurization. Great TR! Beautiful A380! Tim
32 NZ107 : Hi PH, I nearly have enough Skywards points to upgrade myself to J on EK to Sydney! That could become an option one day. But F is definitely out of my
33 PlaneHunter : Ok, sounds really good. PH
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