a bar in a plane

Have you ever showered at 33,000 feet?

Any business or first class seat is always a treat, but the truth is – some are a whole lot more amusing than others. The more you travel, the more business or first class becomes about a good bed and solid rest, and less about putting the wine menu through its paces. But all bets are off on board the Airbus A380. It doesn’t matter how much you fly, how often you jet off – once you’re on board one of the best of these behemoths, amusement goes off the charts. If you’re looking for an amazing novelty experience in the sky, there’s no plane that’s more fun than the A380.

a bar in a planeThe Space

Not every Airbus A380 is the same, and your experience will vary by airline, but if you fly the A380 with: Qatar, Korean, Emirates or Etihad – you’ll find an experience unlike others. Whereas on most planes the business class experience centers around a lovely flat bed seat, nice food and attentive service, the A380, due to its extra large size, offers some extras. Truthfully, there were areas of the plane which airlines couldn’t install seats, so they decided to think outside the box.

a large airplane flying in the skyDedicated Boarding Doors

There’s a unique pleasure found in boarding in a completely separated area. Some A380’s are configured to have all first and business class passengers board through a separate door, using two floor gates and two floors of jet bridges to the airplane. This makes the very moment you step onto the plane into a pleasure, as you’d hardly every know hundreds of other people are boarding at the same time. It feels like something of a private VIP entrance when done right.

a group of people in an airplaneOn Board Cocktail Bars

Emirates, Etihad, Korean and Qatar each offer bespoke cocktail bars on board their A380 aircraft. You’ll find cool cocktail bars on both Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia planes as well, but these bars are bigger! The Qatar Airways bar feels like a buzzing space you’d gladly open the door to on the ground. Plush couches, a curved bar and of course – great views make it a spot to truly relish and remember. These bars create some of the most lasting travel memories, whether you’re traveling solo, with loved ones, friends or family. In all instances, both business and first class passengers can access these bars. And yes – the drinks are free! Nothing feels more golden age of travel than sipping a martini at a bar, cruising high in the skies.

On Board Showers

If you find yourself in first class, or are clever enough to persuade a friendly cabin crew member to let you break the rules (no judgement here) you’ll get to sample the only plane where you can have a shower at 33,000 feet. The novelty of this experience cannot be stressed enough. It’s no cramped bathroom either. On board Etihad or Emirates you’ll find full on shower suites fit for a king, often with a dedicated towel attendant! If you’ve ever felt disgusting in the air, this is the solution. It’s not just a novelty, it’s a triumph. Just don’t plan on spending too much time: showers are limited to roughly 10-15 minutes per person.

a spiral staircase with bottles of liquid on itOn Board Exercise

Staying fit while traveling can be a challenge, but much like the Queen of The Skies, the Boeing 747 – the Airbus A380 offers a great opportunity for exercise. With two decks spanning the entire plane, you’ll find sets of stairs which make stretching the legs more of a literal activity than a figurative one. There’s something oddly satisfying about walking up and down the wide staircase, and we think you’ll agree once you try it!

Have you flown the Airbus A380?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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