airpearl
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The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:41 pm



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
 
PHXmd80
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:48 pm

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
 
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ATA L1011
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:07 am

Very nice, seems like it was an enjoyable experience!
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ual757
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:56 am

That is a beautiful plane!

Thanks for this wonderful TR! The cabin looks real nice, and same with your photos  Smile
 
aznmadsci
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:10 am

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 

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Jokestar
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:15 am

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.
 
midcon385
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:41 am

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

Tim
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MHTripple7
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:06 am

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.
 
luv2fly
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:16 am

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.
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N178UA
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:29 am

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
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
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allrite
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:53 am

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?
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QantasAirways
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:22 am

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
 
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:49 am

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?
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rogerbcn
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:54 am

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
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davescj
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:02 am

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

Dave
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ba319-131
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:06 am

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
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semsem
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:11 am

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.
 
DALCE
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:40 am

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!
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BOCHORA
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:46 am

Looks nice.
The "green zone" is very fashionable!
 
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OA260
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:04 am

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
 
chrisrad
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:31 am

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.
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anstar
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:28 am



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.
 
HeartDoc
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:09 am

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!
 
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BNE
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:11 am

Thanks for writing the trip report and adding the photos.
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CrimsonNL
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:22 am

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?
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noelg
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:34 am

Amazing TR, thanks so much for sharing!

Loved your photos, especially these two:





Cheers
Noel
 
ManekS
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:23 pm

Great TR  bigthumbsup . Can't wait for the return segment. Has anybody been on here all 3 (Sq, Ek, Qf) inaugurals?
 
LNv22
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:20 pm

Fantastic reading! Nice to see the A380 slowly beginning to operate different destinations  Wink

Congratulations being on the Inaugural flight!
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ronerone
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:52 pm

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 did tons more than EK on the media-front, which brings me back to the same question, why the hell did EK skip that step????

I really like the snack bar idea. It gives 'Club Kitchen' a trendier edge in some ways. Also the meals and especially the 'snack on' looked fantastic!

Wow! i wanna fly the QF A380 now!

Thanks a lot for sharing this great TR! Will you post the return?

Hope all is well with you!

Regards,
Roni
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iliribdl
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:47 pm

Excellent TR!!!  bigthumbsup 


Are there any restrictions for non-revs on the Qantas A380? I want to try both Qantas and Emirates sometimes in January.
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ojas
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:43 pm

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 me and my friend to do the same!!!)  wink 

QF did their way to to hike up the A380 product and I appreciate that. The seats look good, food as well.

Your pictures were excellent, and I believe QF will keep those standards high on their A380 throughout.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 28):
QF did tons more than EK on the media-front, which brings me back to the same question, why the hell did EK skip that step???

QF,SQ brutally assaulted EK on the media front. As I said, SQ's equipment upgrade itself called so much celebrations at BOM!
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pumaknight
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:51 pm

Cracking review and what an aircraft!!
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fraspotter
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:35 pm

Really enjoyable report. Well written and the photos made it even better!




An interesting choice on movie selection though...  Wink
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amritpal
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:55 pm

Great Trip Report. I want to fly in A380 so bad...
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AY104
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:43 am

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 interested in the longhaul economy reports, as that is where I will most likely be travelling.
I do like the choice of colours for the seats after all. The plain, vivid colours are much nicer than fabric with patterns I think.
That looks to be a very comfortable seat, and plenty wide, too, in addition to the legroom.
Cheers,
AY104
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9MMAR
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:26 am

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 for a treat with witty introduction, which somewhat throwing some dirty laundry to QF, which is great.

But then, the rest was quite dissappointing considering this is a special flight - dissappointing that QF treated it just like any normal flights with no special menus, goodie bags or even certificates - and even more dissappointing seeing a single sentence describing the respective accompanying photographs in this trip report.

Was this flight that bad that a writer of your caliber seemed to lost in words between the time zone? You know that I am a huge fan of your trip reports but this one is just so... not you.
 
ronerone
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:27 am



Quoting Ojas (Reply 30):
QF,SQ brutally assaulted EK on the media front. As I said, SQ's equipment upgrade itself called so much celebrations at BOM!

So very true!

Altho EK did throw a media frenzy at LAX and SFO. Oh well!

Regards,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
InbarD
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:42 am

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 sharing
 
airpearl
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:50 pm

I must firstly thank you all for your comments. Before I respond to your postings, let me start by finishing mine  Wink I wrote and downloaded the pictures for this trip report during my 16-hour transit in Los Angeles, in between two A380 flights that each lasted almost as long. Insane? Maybe, just a little. But many of you would probably have done the same given the opportunity – and that speaks volumes for the bunch of us here… haha. Indeed, it was not just me doing the same day return trip to LAX: there were quite a number of “us” on board: some were unmistakably us, dressed to the hilt in everything Qantas or A380, or both; some gave themselves away by walking all the way from Melbourne to LA, camera in hand, strolling purposefully up and down the aisles more times than the flight attendants; while others more subtle, even looked like normal people - until they throw in the casual comment about flap settings or engine thrusts. Those are some of the elements making an inaugural flight so special.

I totally agree with the many of you who say that Qantas could have done more to make it an even more memorable experience – like thrown in some free champagne or a signed certificate, but the lack of such things strangely didn’t seem to matter. Had this been any other flight, I may not even have written a trip report - but this clearly isn’t any other flight. Speaking as an airline geek (and not as a nasty critic for a moment), knowing that it’s the inaugural flight is enough. The sense of aviation history-in-the making overwhelms you. I am just grateful I had the opportunity to be aboard this one, and glad I was able to share some of the highlights here. It’s far from perfect of course, and I didn’t see any of the premium classes, but many thanks to Sam Chui for providing a link to his excellent site. (I am envious of your privileged access Sam  Wink )



I shall not be posting a full trip report for the return flight, which became even more routine than the first inaugural flight – and well, okay yes, I was also asleep a lot of the way. Instead, I thought a short wrap-up, incorporating the return flight, and a few additional photos would be a better compromise.



But first a sense of where we are: Nancy-Bird is now back in Melbourne having been away for almost two days and completing, in the process, her first commercial flight as the new Qantas flagship. Here she is back at Gate 9.

There are certainly plenty of firsts. The flight QF 093 on Monday to LAX is not only Qantas’ first scheduled A380-800 flight, but it is also the first commercial transpacific A380 flight. The route of 6,883 nautical miles is the longest operated by the type.



The return QF 094 is the first westbound transpacific flight for the A380. With an official welcoming ceremony at LAX and a VIP joy ride already over Monday, the 23:40-timed return flight from LAX that night is predictably muted. An odd poster or two and a mention at the departure gate are the extent of the “celebrations.”



Perhaps it’s the lateness of the hour, but even the passengers seem to regard this as a routine flight. Of course, Tom Bradley’s exciting new interior décor - which seems to have taken a turn for the worse since my visit in May - could not have been a ‘better’ setting for the departure of the world’s most technologically advanced jetliner.



The area around departure gate 101 does give off a whiff of excitement but it doesn’t travel very far. Unlike at MEL, you can’t see most of the plane from terminal, so the “wow” factor is just missed when the huge girl isn’t visible. If only they could have used a gate like 120 (from where this QF B744 is headed for Sydney), the excitement level might have risen a couple more notches.



Aboard, there is an enthusiastic welcome by the captain and customer service director, but many of the passengers are just waiting to get settled in and go to sleep. I had been lucky enough to snag one of the most enviable seats in the economy class cabin.



Seat 71D has loads of legroom because seat 70D does not exist. Its floor is the escape hatch for the under-floor crew rest area. The same seat on SQ’s A380 is numbered 48D.



Despite being tired, I still manage to stay awake for very decent seared tuna supper (all meals on the two Qantas flights have been consistently good), before managing over 7 hours of sleep during the entire flight. Even if there weren’t so “special” the flights in general have been good – service, food and beverages all of quality - if these standards are typical, and using today’s barometer for gauging airlines, I’d say Qantas must surely be among the world’s leading premium carriers.

The feature I like most about the Qantas A380 is the self-service bar in economy. But ironically, flying to and from the United States, passengers are told that they cannot “congregate” there. There are still some minor kinks to be ironed out – hence the availability of tech guys on both flights to sort out IFE-related problems. The cabins too are a tad cold – some passengers complain to say they are freezing. But once these problems are solved, I am quite certain Qantas will have a very competitive product indeed.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Firstly great TR! thanks!  Smile
I was quite surprised by the lack of acknowledgement for this flight... a certificate would have been a nice, simple touch and wouldn't have cost much at all! (and saved the Capt from having to sign on the go!).

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
And the arrival of the crew of QF 093 in their new uniforms - which are not so different from the old.

Yes well I know a lot of QF crew and I don't think I recognised any of them there! Most of them are the new QCCA crew (most of which have only been flying a matter of months).
As for the new uniform... its a nice change but not very different as you pointed out... I like both.  Smile

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Flight attendant Lauren serves lunch

Well shes a naughty girl... she shouldn't be wearing her ID like that... QF policy. tsk tsk lol  Wink

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):

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

Finally!!! They were uncomfortable, annoying, and set off the callbell when you leaned on the old ones!

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 20):
Food looks pretty poor to me, no dessert?

QF offers a more personalised touch to the meal service by delivering dessert by hand to each customer after the main meal.
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SXDFC
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:22 am

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 coming in the mail!  Wink

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Flight attendant Lauren serves lunch

To be honest with you after seeing that picture I completely forgot all about the A380  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:52 am

Thanks for reporting. Brilliant as usual.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
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.

The carbon fiber seatbacks... hmm me not like so much. Like the seat cushion colors though.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
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...

This photo is useless without knees. lol. But the seats look a little plusher than SQ's.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
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.

O yeah... there's only one program worth watching here... lol

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.

What is the netting used for?

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 38):
while others more subtle, even looked like normal people - until they throw in the casual comment about flap settings or engine thrusts.

I thought it was normal to talk about aircraft registrations... until I see the fleeting look of puzzlement register on the face of the other person... followed by the knowing half-averted gaze that says "uhuh you are one of those weirdos..."
 
September11
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:36 pm

I am just amazed by these interior shots!
Airliners.net of the Future
 
luv2cattlecall
Posts: 649
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:25 am

RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:30 pm

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 reading somewhere that AA had Astrovision or something awhile back but removed it after the ORD DC-10 crash..any truth to that?

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 38):

The feature I like most about the Qantas A380 is the self-service bar in economy. But ironically, flying to and from the United States, passengers are told that they cannot “congregate” there. There are still some minor kinks to be ironed out – hence the availability of tech guys on both flights to sort out IFE-related problems. The cabins too are a tad cold – some passengers complain to say they are freezing. But once these problems are solved, I am quite certain Qantas will have a very competitive product indeed.

Any reason why they don't want you to congregate? I can understand the whole not gathering around cockpit doors thing...but what do they have against it elsewhere?

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 39):
Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):

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

Finally!!! They were uncomfortable, annoying, and set off the callbell when you leaned on the old ones!

Does the armrest go up? VX does the remote in the armrest thing which results in an armrest that can't go up.....
.
 
flyboysp
Posts: 385
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RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:02 pm

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 not get 80 ABC or HJK
#proudtobeabulldog
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:47 pm

Thanks for this awesome TR! Hope to fly on a A380 myself one day.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Controls for the IFE are concealed within the armrest.

So it seems there isn't a lot of padding at the armrest, right? When I complain about a seat, it's mostly the armrest design that bugs me.  Wink

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

Does this also apply to the noise level in cruise?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
kimberlyRJ
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:35 am

RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:03 pm

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? Can't remember seeing anything that gross before.
 
B747forever
Posts: 12879
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:25 pm

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 you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
airpearl
Posts: 849
Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:39 am

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, I finally have the weekend the recuperate (phew!) and sit back to read what you have to say.

Quoting PHXmd80 (Reply 1):
Those seats look sooooo much better then the press release. I acutally like them a bit.



Quoting AznMadSci (Reply 4):
You said leg room was good, but did it have enough cushion or comfortable enough?



Quoting Jokestar (Reply 5):
It's a relief to see that the economy seats actually look pretty good!



Quoting AY104 (Reply 34):
I do like the choice of colours for the seats after all. The plain, vivid colours are much nicer than fabric with patterns I think. That looks to be a very comfortable seat, and plenty wide, too, in addition to the legroom.



Quoting Allrite (Reply 10):
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?

Qantas didn't give a very good impression of the new seats initially, but in real life, they're actually rather nice. Nothing fancy mind you, but comfortable, which is what matters. The design features are subtle but the details work for me. The seat cushion extends forward and tilts up ever so slightly when in recline mode while the elasticated foot net in front (a simple but very effective design) provides support when you have your leg tucked into them. All in all, a winning combination imo.

Quoting ATA L1011 (Reply 2):
seems like it was an enjoyable experience!



Quoting Midcon385 (Reply 6):
Would've loved to have been there! Thanks for sharing the experience!



Quoting Noelg (Reply 25):
Amazing TR, thanks so much for sharing!



Quoting LNv22 (Reply 27):
Congratulations being on the Inaugural flight!

Thanks guys for reading. It was indeed a great experience. There were elements of the flight that could have been improved and perhaps I (and others) had expected more from an inaugural, but it doesn't detract from the fact that we're on a very special flight.

Quoting UAL757 (Reply 3):
Thanks for this wonderful TR! The cabin looks real nice, and same with your photos



Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 8):
Your story coupled with your generous amount of photos made me feel I was along for the ride with you.



Quoting DALCE (Reply 17):
Thanks for sharing, loved it!



Quoting BNE (Reply 23):
Thanks for writing the trip report and adding the photos.



Quoting IliriBDL (Reply 29):
Excellent TR



Quoting Pumaknight (Reply 31):
Cracking review and what an aircraft!!

Thanks for your kind words guys. Glad you liked 'em and hope you're enjoying the ride too.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 7):
I think it's funny they have a 'gate' keeping the lower deck passengers from going into the upper deck.

The first time I have seen anything like this on board. Frankly, it came as a bit of a shock when I reached the top of the stairs - practical it may be to keep the riff raff from steerage out but still... Of course, had I been traveling in J, my views may be completely different of course haha

Quoting AznMadSci (Reply 4):
Do we get a return trip?



Quoting ManekS (Reply 26):
Can't wait for the return segment.

Guys, I had meant to write a return trip TR but it was just too routine already to go into any detail. So sorry.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 9):
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.

Hi Sam, thanks for the nice words. I totally agree with you that the SQ's inaugural function trumps the QF event. Even on the EK inaugural, passengers were given some form of giveaway. Apart from the ceremony at MEL airport and a couple of special announcements aboard, the flight details on QF were routine. I think QF deliberately chose to splash out on other media-specific events rather than the inaugural. There was no media I could see aboard this flight but plenty at the send off, while the "welcoming" ceremony at LAX with John Travolta and others happened long after passengers disembarked.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
Wow you one lucky SOB... You managed to get on this flight.

Hey Ryan, wonderful as it was, I wouldn't be in a hurry to do it all again. Sounded so much better at the planning stage ... it's more a matter of "how to squeeze as many miles and as little sleep as possible for three days' leave" hahaha

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 13):
From the pictures I can see there was no special meal service for the QA380 inaugural flight, wasn't it?

Hola Roger, you are completely right. No special catering whatsoever. The meals were tasty though.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 13):
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 Davescj (Reply 14):
It was cool to see the "actual" colors of the Y seats, and interesting to see another version of the A380.



Quoting Bochora (Reply 18):
The "green zone" is very fashionable!

The cabin colors are agreeable to me too. Unfortunately the dark seat back - practical as they are - make the cabin look less attractive than the ones you see of SQ and EK (though I haven't seen too many of the Y class cabin on EK). And I must say I'm now a convert to the green zone!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
Great report & thanks for getting it out so quickly!

Thanks Mark... I was half expecting to see YOU aboard this flight  Wink I had to get this done quickly because I knew that once I got home, there wouldn't be much of an opportunity to "indulge".

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
Looks life QF did a better media job than EK.

QF did a lot more promotion before and surrounding the flight - unfortunately the A380 publicity was more than overwhelmed by the airline's other troubles.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
Hope to get on this bird myself in Feb, fingers crossed!

So you're planning on flying LHR-SYD? In F I hope, so we can get to enjoy it also!

Quoting Semsem (Reply 16):
Uniform not very nice.



Quoting Kimberlyrj (Reply 46):
Just to add, those FA's have the WORST uniform I have ever seen, it looks HORRID!

Not my favorite either, even if some people like them. Mmm, my observation of the problem is that floral type dresses accentuate size, so it's fine if all your flight attendants are as shapely as Singapore girls, but unfortunately not so ok on most other airlines.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 16):
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.

Ah indeed, those were the days. Multi-stop flights and real service. Of course now, we're considered lucky to be getting a meal at all.

Quoting Oa260 (Reply 19):
I love the Y class snack stations

The best feature of the QF plane imo - hats off to QF for thinking of us back in steerage. Neither SQ nor EK have anything quite like these.

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 20):
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.

Chrisrad, you're obviously a QF fan  Wink I have no strong feelings either way for QF, but I know many in Oz have... so I'll leave it at that. I have to agree though that even the lowest "you don't earn miles cheapskate" transpacific fares which I got are bloody expensive. No wonder SQ are so keen to muscle in on the action.

Quoting HeartDoc (Reply 22):
It amazes me why EK and now Qantas didn't do more with their inaugural A380 flights!

I think QF did - for the media but not the passengers, which is a shame. But I agree, nothing beats the SQ inaugurals. I wonder, with the economic crisis biting and the A380 becoming more of a "regular" plane, whether anyone else will do anything quite as lavish as SQ.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 24):
the tail camera is awesome! Is it available throughout the flight?

Qantas calls it the SkyCam and it's fantastic. It's the first flight I'd be on with a tail mounted camera. And yes, it's on for the whole flight. Those in premium Y and J have justifiably complained that the need to stow their PTVs for takeoff and landing takes away the best part of having the SkyCam.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 28):
QF did tons more than EK on the media-front, which brings me back to the same question, why the hell did EK skip that step????

Hey Roni, good to hear from you! Yes indeed, QF did do a lot more media work... as passengers though, I think EK's got more - I didn't even go home with a carrier bag with a picture of an A380 on it  Wink

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 28):
I really like the snack bar idea. It gives 'Club Kitchen' a trendier edge in some ways. Also the meals and especially the 'snack on' looked fantastic! Wow! i wanna fly the QF A380 now!

The size of the snack bar surprised me: I had expected this on J, not Y. The individual snack bags too were generous, something you'd not find on most other airlines. I'm sure you can take this bird as part of your epic A380 around the world trip hehe...

Quoting Ojas (Reply 30):
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 me and my friend to do the same!!!)

Hahaha... Ojas, I am sure you're allowed to take pictures aboard, if you feel inclined to fall into the 'trap' again! Thanks for your nice words.

Quoting FRAspotter (Reply 32):
An interesting choice on movie selection though

Yes indeed, quite a lot more of the adult content you don't normally find aboard planes. not that that's what I was looking for, of course... haha

Quoting Amritpal (Reply 33):
I want to fly in A380 so bad...

Would that be AF as the first to make it to Canada?

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 35):
I was surprised to see the trip report, being uploaded so fast but with such a lousy title, which is so not you...But then, the rest was quite dissappointing considering this is a special flight...and even more dissappointing seeing a single sentence describing the respective accompanying photographs in this trip report.Was this flight that bad that a writer of your caliber seemed to lost in words between the time zone... this one is just so... not you.

Oh dear, Mr 9MMAR, sorry to have disappointed you.  Wink You sound like a teacher who used to write on my report card: He is capable young man. Such a shame he chose the path of least resistance. I should have listened, then maybe, I'd probably be sitting upstairs haha.

Quoting InbarD (Reply 37):
I envy you, you get to fly on the damn A380, oh well i will fly on it some day.

I am sure you will... being in Australia, you have a better chance of flying the A380 than most of us  Smile

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 39):
Yes well I know a lot of QF crew and I don't think I recognised any of them there! Most of them are the new QCCA crew (most of which have only been flying a matter of months).

Wow, that's a revelation - only a few months? Is there a reason why QF are putting such new hirees on their flagship?

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 39):
Well shes a naughty girl... she shouldn't be wearing her ID like that... QF policy. tsk tsk lol

Where should it be if not on lapel?  Wink

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 39):
QF offers a more personalised touch to the meal service by delivering dessert by hand to each customer after the main meal.

Yes, we had ice cream for desert after, followed by a delicious hot chocolate drink.

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 40):
To be honest with you after seeing that picture I completely forgot all about the A380

Ah, Lauren will be happy to hear that... when she saw the pic on my camera, she asked that it be "heavily photoshopped" - which I did not. See Lauren, you got fans already...

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 41):
This photo is useless without knees. lol

Hey Econojetter, oh, you and your knee-thing... get some therapy man hahaha

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 41):
O yeah... there's only one program worth watching here... lol

What can I say, you're just one predictable man.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 41):
What is the netting used for?

You insert you legs into the netting and the elasticated band will snap up and support your legs. Doesn't look like much but it actually works!

Quoting September11 (Reply 42):
I am just amazed by these interior shots!



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 43):
Great TR! I think it's the first I've actually read in its entirety.



Quoting B747forever (Reply 47):
Brilliant TR of this flight
The pics are really good.

Thanks very much guys and glad I could share them with you.

Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 43):
Any reason why they don't want you to congregate? I can understand the whole not gathering around cockpit doors thing...but what do they have against it elsewhere?

I think TSA rules now prohibit more than 5(?) passengers congregating at the same place, including by the lavs. There were no problems on the inaugural flight with the crew largely turning a blind eye, but on the return, a f/a told the 7-8 of us standing around the rear snack bar (some were waiting for one of the 4 toilets) that we should return to our seats due to the "non-congregation" rule. Passengers largely ignored the request and continued talking, and the f/a didn't pursue it.

Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 43):
Does the armrest go up? VX does the remote in the armrest thing which results in an armrest that can't go up.....

You're right, they don't go all the way up.

Quoting Flyboysp (Reply 44):
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 not get 80 ABC or HJK

The seats are very nice. See my earlier replies for more. The pic of the seats I took from above was of 76ABC. 80A and K are of course much sought after. Hope you have a good flight, and post a TR!

Quoting A342 (Reply 45):
So it seems there isn't a lot of padding at the armrest, right?

You're right, there isn't - even so, it wasn't noticable to me, though it might change after some wear and tear...

Quoting A342 (Reply 45):
Does this also apply to the noise level in cruise?

Hardly noticable, unlike on the triple sevens.
 
smi0006
Posts: 951
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:45 am

RE: The Qantas A380 Inaugural

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:35 am

[Superb Report! Top work!

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 48):
Wow, that's a revelation - only a few months? Is there a reason why QF are putting such new hires on their flagship?

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 hires (who don’t actually work for Qantas but for Qantas Cabin Crew Australia QCCA) have much lower wages, but it was possible for Qantas crew to transfer to the A380 but they would generally go down to the QCCA pay scale. Many did it as a promotion becoming CSMs and CSSs and also for the juniors gives them potentially better flying but once your on the A380 your on there for two years, and are unable to fly on the rest of the fleet.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 48):
Not my favorite either, even if some people like them. Mmm, my observation of the problem is that floral type dresses accentuate size, so it's fine if all your flight attendants are as shapely as Singapore girls, but unfortunately not so ok on most other airlines.

I like the new uniform print, but your right the bigger girls should choose the other options, one or two boomerangs across the bum is all good but not the whole coroberee lol  Wink
The skirts probably look best on the bigger girls (not the pants, or black dress. Even if you do like big butts and cannot lie!)

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 48):
Where should it be if not on lapel?

haha her ID should have been taken off before boarding started and then she should have put it back on after landing.


Was a shame they didn’t do more for the first flight but I suppose for the rest of the pax it simply was a normal flight with a newer plane as a note of trivia to tell the family when they got home!

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