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Flying to Singapore on Singapore Airlines’ A380

December 9, 2010

I’m sitting on a step at the back of an A380. It’s my first time on this beast of an aircraft. Scrap that. Just been kicked off my perch; apparently that’s not allowed. Anyhow, the spiral staircase makes me think of the Titanic. I do realise the absolute lack of similarity between the spiral staircase of the legendary cruise ship and this gargantuan plane, but there you go. Couple that sentiment with the recent string of A380 engine mishaps and you’re not left with a great feeling. The colour scheme on the other hand is based on shades of muted pastel which makes you feel a bit like you’re in the world’s largest nursery. So now I feel like an anxious overgrown baby.

I had been really excited to fly on an A380 when they first came out, but it’s now been so long and so many others have gone before me that the excitement, if I’m to be honest, sort of fizzled out sometime in 2008/2009. Ooh, they’re handing out snacks. Be right back!

Alrighty then… so were was I? Oh, right. Anyways, here I am finally. Overall I like it. My only real complaint is that the seating areas are incredibly ‘short’ and cramped. I mean, I’m only 5″3 and my knees are resting flat against the back of the chair in front of me. Push the recline button and your seat is pushed even further forward. In this moment, I’m glad to not be any taller! I like some of the little design elements they’ve introduced, such as the cup holder, the usb slot and the reading lights located under the screen.

I do wish I could have a look at the business class area and the first class suites. On the other hand, it might make returning to my seat in ‘cattle class’ a bit too depressing. Speaking of bad feelings, I turned a woman down when she asked if we could swap seats. I’ve never done that before; I’m terrible at saying no to people. She wanted to sit with her friends. Fair enough and I would have happily swapped seats with her except that her seat was a middle seat and I can’t stand sitting in the middle! If this had been a short flight, I would have done it for her despite this, but we’re stuck on board for just over 12 hours. I was slightly annoyed by the guilt I felt turning her down. I had done my research and picked out this specific seat online for crying out loud! For future reference, I’ve provided links at the bottom of this post to a few websites that can help you pick out the best seats on whichever aircraft you’re flying on.

The guilt has now passed for the most part as her friends are annoying me. They have spent most of the flight talking really loudly while other people sleep, hogging the arm rests and literally clambering over me. Wish they’d go to sleep. I’ve had more than my share of inconsideration this week. Absolutely fed up with it. I need to work on saying what I want and not feeling guilty about doing so and saying ‘no’.

Think I’m going to try and wrangle a couple more hours of sleep in. I turn away from the annoying French ladies and wrap the blanket snugly around myself. The grumpy-looking old man sitting across the aisle from me is still staring at me as he has been doing at regular intervals throughout this flight. Even when I catch him out and look at him, he maintains his scowl and refuses to look away. It’s creeping me out. What is his problem?!? Aaargh! Peoples….

On a more positive note, I’m proud to say that the service is as wonderful and attentive as always. I know that my headrest will not fall off mid-flight, the stewards/stewardesses will not be indifferent and unfriendly and the food will not be disappointing… unlike with some other “world-class” airlines (not naming names here, mate). Plus, I feel safe flying Singapore Airlines and that means a lot. All-in-all, I liked the A380… I’m just going to pick a better seat next time.

I can’t wait to see my good friend, Y, and eat up a storm in Singapore! When we get together, we eat. Whilst we eat, we talk about food. It’s awesome. Excited! Mmmmmakan, makan, makan!

 

N

 

UPDATE 05/01/2010: I flew back to Zürich from Singapore on the A380 last night and this time I had chosen a seat on the upper deck. Here’s a tip: book your seat online as early as possible! Hell, book it right after you book your flight if you can. I ended up choosing an aisle seat in the middle (4-seater) section of the upper deck. Somehow it seems the space was much more generous than it had been downstairs and I slept comfortably. I did some research online and apparently some of the side seats (the trio of seats) in the rear section of the lower deck are actually more cramped than the rest of the economy seats. Aha! So it wasn’t just my imagination! I also discovered that right next to the earphone jack in the armrest is a 110V power plug! Sadly, I only realised this as I was getting off the plane, but it’s definitely good to know for next time.

 

For suggestions on what seats to pick, here are some helpful sites:

* Seat Expert

Seat Guru

airlinequality

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