The golden age of travel is always a relative term.
Did you prefer the days when suits were standard minimally accepted attire, cigarette smoke filled the cabins and tickets cost more than a months salary? Or, is present day flying, with some ultra cheap deals, *sometimes* clean planes and sweatpants more your speed?
Planes themselves add complexity to the travel “golden age” question, and no plane in modern history has done more to revolutionize the flying experience than the massive double decker Airbus A380, dubbed the “super jumbo”.
When passenger numbers were down it looked like the end may have been near for the behemoth of the skies, but a recent surge in demand has changed the game, yet again. The A380 is finding a new, or returned place in the world.
Stunning showers for first class passengers, bars for business class and suites that rival some hotels are back. If you’ve got some A380 experiences on your bucket list, this is the time to tick them off.
Future Of The Airbus A380
Days are numbered for the A380, but certainly not over. Despite the A380 resurgence, many of the original frames are getting “old” and the trend in aviation points to dual engine, fuel efficient flight, rather than four gas guzzlers on the A380.
They’re back now, but probably not forever. It’s why there’s no time like the present to finally cash in for those seats, suites or experiences that last a lifetime.
While Air France and Lufthansa have either reduced A380 counts, or retired their fleets with immediate effect, airlines which always found the greatest success with the Airbus A380 super-jumbo are suddenly leaning on the planes to scale back up.
Add Emirates and Singapore Airlines, operators of two of the most jaw dropping A380 experiences to that list.
Airlines are struggling to get enough pilots, crews and staff ready to handle as many flights as they once did, but since an A380 can fit roughly two flights worth of people in one journey, the plane has proven to be a savior for time strapped airlines.
British Airways has recently used the A380 to operate high demand US routes. The A380’s unique ability to add passenger numbers with only modest additions to crew and staffing needs is a perfect storm.
Signature A380 Experiences
Ever wanted to shower at 40,000 feet, before returning in a robe and slippers to a suite with Dom Perignon waiting? That’s what Emirates First Class offers to passengers lucky enough to find themselves in the cabin.
Some A380 experiences offer things even private jets typically don’t.
With great availability using points, it’s an epic experience to tick off the list for any savvy traveler, not just one percent of one percenters. The business class experience with an on board cocktail bar isn’t too shabby either.
Singapore Airlines is yet another A380 experience worth flagging. The upper deck offers a marvelous business class cabin, but it’s the spacious first class suites with a separate bed and chair which rock worlds.
Qantas and others are quickly gearing their big birds up, so look out for more of these iconic experiences to return to the skies, as countries continue to open.
A380 Future: We’ve Had The Warning
Due to everything in the last few years, some A380’s retired from the skies, never to operate a commercial service again. Thanks to a perfect storm of crazy demand and a lack of readily available staff and capped airport slots, the comeback is in full force.
The thing to note is that it won’t be forever. It’s unlikely Emirates or Singapore will retire their A380 fleets anytime soon, particularly with Boeing 777X delays.
But if there is one thing that’s been proven in the last couple years, it’s that the future of the A380 is fragile. It’s not a great cargo plane — in fact, it’s downright bad — and if passengers pull another disappearing act, there’s only so long airlines will wait to keep these massive gas guzzlers in play.
Seek out any opportunities you’d love to experience and get them booked. Too many people missed out on last chances to fly the 747 as it was rapidly pulled from the skies by most airlines in 2020. Don’t let the same happen with the A380.