Sometimes a rare event happens in your part of the world. Singapore Airlines had selected Singapore to Sydney as their first A380 route, which was the inaugural route for the A380. There had been a lot of speculation on when the first flight would be; how would you get tickets. Thanks to the members of www.airliners.net
I was able to keep up to date with all the news and how to purchase tickets for the inaugural flights.
Singapore Airlines were auctioning off the first 2 flights. The first flight was from Singapore to Sydney on the 25 October and the return from Sydney to Singapore on the 26 October. All seats were available by auction from www.ebay.com
with the proceeds of the flights US$2 million going to 3 charities.
I flew on the inaugural A380 flight from Sydney to Singapore. I chose the return flight as it allowed a weekend in Singapore, and a return on first revenue SQ
A380 flight, the one anyone could buy. The SYD
flight cost me US$1009.00, I had heard that some passengers were able to get seats for less than US$600.00
After winning the auction for the flight from Sydney to Singapore I was contacted by Singapore Airlines in Australia about 2 weeks after winning the bid to discuss other flights I may need. I asked for the price on the SQ221 from Singapore to Sydney on the 28 October. $399 was the price in economy and business class was available for AUD $ 1450.00.
I think I will take business.:D Currently you can’t buy business for much less than $2,000 one way.
After I got confirmed on the SQ
flights from Sydney to Singapore and return I booked some flights with Qantas to get me to Sydney.
Date: 26 October 2007
Flight Number: QF525
Aircraft Type: 767-338
I left worked soon after 11:00am for the 20 minute drive to the airport. Check in was quick and I went to the lounge to get a snack. I had selected the midday departure as lunch was being served on this service, and it should have left me with over 2 hours to change terminals and check in.
It should have been over 2 hours but then just before boarding a 20 minute delay was announced. You don’t want a delay just before you are trying to catch a connecting flight on a different airline. You might remember my previous trip.
The flight was operated by VH
-OGL which had been decorated in support of the Australia Rugby team at the world cup. The in-flight radio channels made mention of the Rugby World Cup; it was just a pity that the Wallabies didn’t make it to the final.
There were 2 lunch choices on to day’s flight; I had a chicken in a cranberry roll, something that you might buy from McDonalds. The McDonalds one is actually better.
I arrived at Sydney airport at 1:57pm which only left me 2 hours to change terminals; check in and clear security and immigration. Qantas operate a transfer shuttle bus which transfer passengers that are connecting from Qantas domestic services to Qantas international flights. With not much time I thought I would ask if I could get the Qantas shuttle bus. Everyone else was getting their boarding passes scanned before going downstairs to the bus. I had no boarding pass. They asked me, if baggage had been checked in, I didn’t have any. They asked for an itinerary and showed them my SQ
Thanks Qantas I was allowed on the bus.
Date: 26 October 2007
Flight Number: SQ380
Aircraft Type: 380-841
I guess there were some a.net members on the same flight some nice pictures were taken SQ380 SYD-SIN (Inaugural A380 Flight) (by Tsentsan Oct 27 2007 in Trip Reports)
and that we would have the similar experiences.
Passengers on the SQ380 inaugural flight from Sydney were given some privileges. Apart from a dedicated check-in, drop off points were also cordoned off for the passengers
Check-in at 12:30pm was said to be a little slow but when I turned up at 2:30pm I was straight to a check in agent. I guess I was a little late, securing sequence 461 out of 471 seats. Not every seat was full so there is a good chance I was last to check in. The early check-in was to facilitate a welcome function that SIA
had put together at gate 57.
A corner of the terminal at Gate 57 was cordoned off for the SIA
function. Folks from all classes on this flight mingled with champagne and nibbles.
Unfortunately, an afternoon thunderstorm soon came and halted all ground work on the aircraft, delaying our departure.
The weather was looking a bit grey outside.
The plane was 2 years late so a further delay of 2 hours was not that bad. It gave me a chance to look around the airport. In a way the delayed departed allowed for more chatting with passengers. Everyone was buzzing with excitement. Maybe free alcohol gives everyone a buzz.
The departure time was delayed time and time again, Boarding of the aircraft finally commenced at 1710 hrs.
Sydney’s Gate 57 has 3 aerobridges set up for the A380. Passengers were sorted according to: Suites first class main deck; Economy main deck and a third for both business class and economy class on the upper deck.
On this charity flight, a matte black laptop bag was placed on every seat that had a passenger. This bag contained the items that SQ
has provided to commemorate the flight. Inside the computer case was an SQ
A380 model with the words “Worlds First A380 flight SQ380 Sydney to Singapore 26 October 2007 as well as a luggage tag commemorating the flight. Included was some pens donated by Rolls Royce, a 2008 desk calendar and a special edition of the KrisWorld in-flight magazine. The only thing that it was missing was the A380 safety card, but they were to be found in the seat pockets.
My seat 44C was an exit row. I guess purchasing a business class for the return journey gave me a good shot at getting an exit row, as the person also in my row was returning in business class.
As everybody settled down in their seats, the cabin crew started their rounds with hot towels. This crew was the same as that which operated the inaugural flight into Sydney, and they recognized a few of the passengers which came up on that flight. The crew on this flight were very relaxed and enjoyed mingling around, chatting with the passengers.
The PTV system used on the A380 is similar to that found on the 77W. The PTV system is accompanied by an input jack for your laptop or DVD player, USB port as well as an Ethernet port. I don’t really think the PTVs and their accessories got much of a work out due to the party onboard.
Captain Robert Ting came on the PA system to welcome everybody onboard, and introduce the other pilots – DY
A380 Chief Pilot - Claude Lelaie and an Airbus test pilot. He also gave his thanks to ExxonMobil who donated the jet fuel for the flight both directions.
Push back soon came and went. It seemed so smooth to the passengers, while in fact, pushback was asked for and cancelled twice. A British Airways Boeing 747-436 was to our right. The line up on 34L to the north was smooth, and takeoff power was applied without the holding. Our takeoff roll saw us pass a number of Qantas and Virgin Blue aircraft, which were holding on 25 and taxiing around. A gentle rotation saw us lift off after passing the Sydney Control Tower. Applause was heard all round. It was a great feeling. Does it fly I guess so.
Noise wise, this aircraft is really quiet on takeoff! At take off thrust, all you hear is quiet sound of air rushing by, no noise or groans whatsoever from the engine. You could hear folks on board saying ‘That’s very quiet.’
We climbed through the cloudy Sydney evening en route to our cruising altitude of FL340. Step climbs were given en route and we finally cruised at FL400.
Once the seat belt signs were turned off, the party really began. Passengers started getting up and walking around, discovering the plane. There was lots of taking pictures and videos and generally having fun. The crews were pretty relaxed, allowing everybody to take pictures of anything and everything.
The seats are a tan colour, and yes I was on the flight. Picture to prove it; plus the boarding pass; the credit card bill and maybe some Air NZ
Upstairs the colours are a grey and blue.
The aisles are slightly wider in Economy (lower deck). Lower deck economy reminds me of a 747 due to the 3-4-3 seating while upstairs is more like a A330/340; with 2-4-2 seating.
I guess the most unique feature of this aircraft is the spiral staircase at the rear of the aircraft.
Business class was a whole new world; something I would get to try properly on my return journey.
Since this is the inaugural flight, passengers received a certificate of flight. Premium passengers received theirs mounted, while Economy class passengers received ours in a plastic clear folder. Each certificate was individually handed to passengers by the cabin crew. Mine is now framed and hanging on the wall.
Meals were soon served. Being the charity and inaugural flight, our meals were specially catered for. Australian Chef Matthew Moran, winner of “Two Chef’s Hats’” and Singaporean Chef Sam Leong, 3 time winner of the ‘Asian Ethnic Chef’ award, provided the fillings for Economy class. The Australian selection featured Citrus Cured Salmon and Pan-Roasted Beef Steak, while the Asian selection featured Tiger Prawns and Stewed Canton Duck.
I had the Australian meal the Pan-Roasted beef steak tasted great, with probably a few too many mushrooms. Both meal choices for dessert were Movenpick Ice cream and chocolate.
Marie (MadamConcorde from a.net) also had her own cake on board as it was her birthday.
We could go around the whole plane and across the different classes without too much difficulty.
First class was dam big; These 4 people were having a bit of a party.
I spoke to Sam a.net user N178UA who got a seat in first class and he showed me around all the features of first class. Lots of nocks and crannies to leave your stuff behind when you de-board the aircraft.
The double bed in first class, the one you really don’t get to try out properly.
I am not sure if this is permanent, but there is no seat 47D in Economy. Therefore, 48D have ample legroom to stretch out. Lucky for Ants to get 48D.
There was a snack service about 2 hours out of Singapore.
Contemporary Delights by Matthew Moran; Asian Flavours by Sam Leong, Prawns and wok-fried udon noodles in black pepper sauce, or Our Signature Fare; Chcicken satay served with spicy peanut sauce and nasi goring fried rice, which I had.
The flight had its own printed menu with “The Worlds First A380 Flight SQ380 Sydney Singapore 26 October 2007”, as there is no way I would have remembered the meal details.
All too soon, it was time for the descent into Singapore, it was near midnight in Sydney and 2:00am in Sydney but many of us were still hyped with being on the A380.
Captain Ting came back on the PA system to inform us of our planned approach into Singapore, as well as the fact that we will be the first passengers to experience an A380 autoland. Touchdown was a greaser. Everybody showed their appreciation for the smooth landing by applauding the computers.
A slow taxi on EP
and we were soon docked at F31, the same gate where SQ380 departed the day before.
All the aerobridges (Believe its 3??) were used to unload the passengers this time round. A Malay percussion crew welcomed the passengers to Singapore and SIA
management was on hand to greet the passengers and handing out beautiful flower leis to all the passengers and cabin crew.
Immigration and customs was quick as per Singapore’s standards. I didn’t have baggage so I can’t confirm, although I heard 15 minutes was long by Singapore standards.