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Onboard the Singapore Airlines A380: The Grand Tour

January 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM | by | Comments (5)

On Monday, January 16, the massive Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 took off on its inaugural flight for the epic route JFK - FRA - SIN. This is flight number SQ 25, and we'll be sharing tons of details and photos from it for the next several days.

The Jaunted Singapore A380 Series:

1. The Grand Tour
2. The Singapore Girl
3. Eating (and drinking) all the way to Singapore
4. Everything you ever wanted to know about Business Class
5. Design details

We're going to be totally straight with you; jetting off into the sky onboard an Airbus A380 makes our eyes well up a bit. No, it's not quite tears, but it is being overwhelmed by the thoughts surrounding what exactly is happening right then. It's the fact that one can be cozy in an engineering masterpiece, a double-decker airplane, which can lift off from the ground as gracefully as any tiny aircraft and then manage to fly to places it once took weeks of travel to reach by uncomfortable boat.

On this route, the famous SQ 25 running New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore, Singapore Airlines has now traded the 747 for this fresh A380, an upgrade on every level and totally deserved by passengers who spend over 20 hours traveling on it. Just before zipping away on this first run, we quickly snooped around the plane, peeking into all the leather-lined nooks and meticulously clean crannies to discover just why the Singapore A380s have been causing a hubbub since debuting in 2007.

First, the facts:
· # of private cabins in SUITES class: 12, all lower deck
· # of seats in BUSINESS class: 60, all upper deck
· # of seats in ECONOMY class: 399, both upper and lower decks
· The pillowcases, sheets, blankets and etc are from French fashion house Givenchy
· In Suites and Business, the china is also specially designed from Givenchy
· Every seat has its own widescreen, seat back TV with on-demand KrisWorld entertainment
· Have to pee? There's something like 17 restrooms onboard
· Two staircases allow passengers and crew to travel between decks
· Business and Suites Class passengers may enjoy cappuccinos, made with an onboard cappuccino machine
· There are at least two varieties of the Singapore Sling cocktail available for imbibing

Next, the feel
The differences in flying an A380 versus any other plane are more than just aesthetics and space; there's also the feeling of it. This isn't our first go-round in an A380, but each time the sensations surprise. Some notes we jotted on this:

During takeoff, can still easily whisper-talk to neighbor and be clearly heard.
The big forward thrust is a nice, firm push into the seat without the usual jerk of acceleration or any shaking.
Turbulence over Cork, Ireland. Probably bad, but big plane means I'm still easily sipping hot tea.
Cruising over Bucharest. Cabin still so quiet I can hear several people faintly snoring.

Finally, the details:
So all of this sounds pretty expensive, right? Seeing as how each A380 costs an airline roughly $400 million just to buy (not counting operational expenses!), taking one of these for a ride to Asia certainly isn't a small deal. That said, there are seats to be filled and Singapore Airlines has offered this route recently for as little as $599 JFK-FRA or $888 (an auspicious number) JFK-FRA-SIN.

We checked the Singapore Airlines site for a random week roundtrip in early February and found this route going for $1,048 in economy, $6,645 in Business and $13,670 in Suites (all taxes & fees included). Rest assured we'll let you know when another $600 deal drops, but for now, $1,000-ish to fly on a Singapore Airlines A380 for 20+ hours is a pretty sweet deal.


Did you think Virgin America was the only airline with pinky-purpley mood lightning?

Tomorrow: All About the Singapore Girls (aka Singapore Airlines' distinctive and poised flight attendants)

Disclosure: Flights and some accommodation are as a guest of Singapore Airlines. Regardless, all photos and opinions presented are utterly and completely our very own.

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]

Comments (5)

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suites

that double bed in suite class is SUITE FOR SEXYTIME

Copy that

I'm about to have a double-bed tantrum and refuse to fly unless I get one of those things. Clicking through from that to the economy row photos made me want to cry.

Agree!

The double bed is BANANAS. Also I was wondering, what does the cockpit look like? And does the crew have a room for themselves to take breaks?

Cockpit

Didn't get to visit the cockpit this time, but it looks little different from the Lufthansa A380 one we did see in the past: http://www.jaunted.com/story/2010/5/20/231227/096/travel/Inside+the+Cockpit+of+the+A380+While+35%2C0 00+Feet+Over+Rotterdam As for crew, they have crew rest seats blocked off for their mandatory breaks, which are pretty substantial on a long flight like this. Plus, the crew changes in Frankfurt.

Wide seats,

The Business Class seats look wide but the legroom from these pictures appear to be rather stingy.

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