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The Newbie Traveler Takes His First Flight on an A380: An Illustrated Journey

February 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM | by | ()

What would your life be like if you hadn't yet traveled? If you'd spent years reading travel novels and fantasizing over guidebooks, but hadn't made the big leap? This is the case for Andy Miles, who in his late twenties has just embarked on trips to hit cities for the first time. He's walking us through the emotions and observations of a true Newbie Traveler.

Contrary to what I learned as a youngster growing up in Texas, everything is not bigger there. Truth be told, everything is actually bigger in France—Toulouse, France to be exact. The reason for this is because that's where Airbus completes final assembly of their massive A380 airplanes.

After years of waiting, I finally got the chance to experience one of these incredibly beautiful planes myself, on a Qantas flight from Los Angeles nonstop to Sydney, Australia.

Seeing as how I booked my first A380 flight six full months before the day of departure, I had a lot of time to tell my friends about it, i.e. brag incessantly. The thing I forgot about bragging is that in order for it to work, you have to be doing something others care about. Unfortunately for me, I did not hang out with many #avgeeks during this time, so my brags usually fell upon deaf ears and I just came off as "nerdy" for caring about something as uniquely marvelous as a two-story airplane.

So my quest was born: How do I translate all the things I loved about the A380 into a brief, visually appealing introduction based on my firsthand account? How do I create something that would educate and inspire even the most hardened non-#avgeek and turn them into an A380 fanboy? Well, thanks to the 14+ hours I got to spend aboard one of Qantas' A380s, I doodled the entire journey...

1. From the outside, the A380 is intimidating. Thanks to its large, round build, it has even received some interesting nicknames such as "Sky Cow" and "Airboss."

2. The plane is so freakin' big that there's a lounge! I spent some time here reading magazines and generally lounging around.

3. But like, really big.

I got up to take a walk around the entire plane. Since I was upstairs in Premium Economy, this required walking all the way to the front of the plane then down the steps which lead to First Class, then all the way to the back of the plane, then back upstairs to Premium Economy. I got lost a few times on this walk.

4. There is a self-serve food and drink bar for those in Economy.

5. The thing is really quiet.

I always have a hard time sleeping on planes, but I was out for at least a few hours on this flight.

Read back on the entire "Newbie Traveler" series, including his first flight on a 747, right here and view more of Andy's illustrations on a previous story.

[Images: Andy Miles]

Archived Comments:

More Next Week?

Love the illustrations... want to see them for pretty much anything... haha!

Illustrations for the win!

I am so waiting for your next article.