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This week we've been covering off the world's shortest and longest flights on one of the most exciting aircraft out there, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Thus, it's time to switch it up and have a look at some superlatives for the Airbus A380.
The Airbus double-decker is a superjumbo which can fly up to 853 passengers in an all-economy class configuration. Usually these planes are outfitted with several classes, and carry around 525 passengers, but airlines like Korean Air only pack in 407 travelers. With these kind of seat numbers, the A380 is usually reserved for long-haul flights to increase efficiency, but there are a few short hops for the massive plane.
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We heard that Transaero had some plans for their Airbus A380s, and now it sounds like we’re in for a real treat. The carrier that does its thing to and from Russia is planning on packing the double-decker aircraft, and it might just take the title for the world’s largest passenger plane—when counting the number of travelers stuck in the seats.
Plans call for cramming 652 seats aboard these Airbus A380s, and we can only imagine that’s going to limit our legroom and seat recline. These big birds are set to join the airline’s fleet at some point in 2015, so you’ll have plenty of time to stretch and prepare before taking to the skies.
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The very first A380s will be arriving soon aboard a carrier in Japan, as Skymark Airlines is getting ready to take some of these big birds high into the skies. The very first test flights sporting their livery and look just took off, and it will be later this year when the planes will be first packed, or not so packed, with people.
Things will be a little different for these planes when Skymark Airlines climbs into the cockpit, and we’re not talking about their plans for the uniforms of their flight attendants. These A380s won’t have any traditional economy seats at all. The carrier plans to load the double-decker with premium economy and business class seats only, so get ready to stretch those legs.
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The massive Dubai Mall may seem like it has everythingthere's an ice rink, aquarium, waterfall, gold souk, luxury hotel, and the title of "world's largest mall (by total area)"but up until recently it's been lacking the one interactive exhibit it needed the most: a flight simulator.
Of course, this being Dubai and all, it can't be just any flight sim; the rig is that of an Emirates Airbus A380 cockpit, complete with flight instructor. Seeing as how Emirates is currently the world's largest operator of A380s, such a superjumbo flight sim only adds to the Mall's UAE cultural attractions and obsession with the superlative.
Flight Attendants / Skymark Airlines / LCCs / Japan Travel / Uniforms / Airline Uniforms / A330 / A380 / → All Tags
Japan's third-largest airline, Skymark, is raising eyebrows this month after raising hems for flight attendants. A newer, shorter uniform is supposed to celebrate the launch of A330-300 flights from Tokyo-Haneda.
The miniskirt outfit are mod 1960s-inspired, and feature a form-fitting royal blue dress accented with a bright yellow neckscarf and a stylish wedge cap. No doubt they will turn heads when walking through any airport, but that's just the issue. The uniforms are facing opposition and criticism as they seem to sexualize Skymark flight attendants more than allow them to do their jobs in a professional manner (don't ask for help lifting your bag into the overhead bins!).
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Above: James' final leg, from Dubai to Sydney
24 hours ago, BBC Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May set off from London-Heathrow Airport with a final destination of Sydney, Australia. They flew on separate planes through different layover airports, and their arrival times were to be within thirty minutes of each other despite the incredibly huge distance traveled. The trip evolved into a Top Gear Live challenge, with the usual jokes and competitive spirit of a regular Top Gear challenge, except that it all occurred over Twitter.
Well, now that the guys have completed their #RacetoSydney journey and are on the ground Down Under, it's time to name the winner.
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UPDATE: The race has concluded, nearly 24 hours after it began. Check out who won, and how some twists made it a real nail-biter.
The sun has set for tonight in London, but it's already a bright new day over in Sydney. The miles and time zones between the two world capitals are many, and right now they're the focus of a new, live Top Gear race, as presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May challenge each other to be the first to zip across the globe and touch down at Sydney's Kingsford-Smith International Airport.
Both are traveling on commercial flightsJeremy's onboard Singapore Airlines SQ321 to Singapore and James is on Emirates EK6 to Dubaiand both on Airbus A380s for all legs. They're also due to share their travels on Twitter thanks to the magic of in-flight wifi, but only Jeremy seems to have gotten the hang of using the network onboard his flight, which is currently chasing James' flight across Germany.
But is this race really for BBC's Top Gear? All signs point to yes, as Jeremy notes that it is a "Top Gear race," and the video of their announcing it (posted below), was uploaded to a "Top Gear Live" channel. There's a hashtag, of course: #RacetoSydney.
Thai Airways / Thailand Travel / Airline News / Airlines / In-Flight WiFi / In-Flight Comfort / WiFi / A380 / → All Tags
Even with all the bells, whistles, and other accessories to check out aboard an Airbus A380 there’s always the chance for a little bit of boredom—especially on a long-haul flight. Thankfully Thai Airways is aware of our limited attention span, and they just flipped the switch on their in-flight connectivity.
In-flight WiFi is now an option on some of the carrier’s long distance journeys, as their A380 fleet is now equipped with the ability to access the internet in all its social media glory. Joining the A380s with the new technology are also some of the carrier’s A330 fleet, as the necessary bits and pieces needed for this kind of connectivity should be good-to-go on these planes as well.
British Airways / London Travel / Singapore Travel / BA A380 / LHR / SIN / Airline News / A380 / → All Tags
Yet another exciting destination is being added to the routes the latest British Airways aircraft are flying: the Airbus A380, which premiered at LAX in September, will be starting services from London Heathrow to Singapore Changi (SIN) on October 28.
Initially operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (with the return to London the following day), the route will go daily A380 from February 9 next year. Why Singapore? Heathrow to Changi is an important route for both corporate and leisure traffic and competition is intense, with the original A380 flyer - Singapore Airlines - offering several double-decker services a day between the two cities.
How fast can you run? Faster than a domestic cat, perhaps? What about a less-than-domestic double-decker aircraft with four Rolls-Royce engines? Your answer doesn't really matter, because it's less about speed and more about winning a trip to South Africa on a British Airways A380. Of course, once you've arrived to South Africa after the airline begins nonstop flights on the jet to Johannesburg from London (starting February 12!), you'll be turned out onto the tarmac to see who's faster: you, or the aircraft that flew you.
One of the first glimpses the public had of BA's new super jumbo was last August, when the airline challenged South African rugby player Bryan Habana to beat the speed of the aircraft on a 100-meter track. They started from a dead stop, and the winner turned out the be Habana (although it's not like the A380 can stop so easily, so it made a hasty exit into the skies).
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It's always sunny in Australia, or at least right now it is, during the Southern Summer. Oz is one of those destinations that can take a little more planning and a little more money to make happen, but it's worth it the moment you set foot on Aussie soil. All this week we'll be sharing our best tips for taking that leap for a first-time trip Down Under.
14 hours, 20 minutes is the average flight time for a nonstop between Los Angeles or San Francisco and Sydney. By the time you're onboard, all the stressful packing is behind you, you've already applied for the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) a while ago, and it's time to fully focus on adventures ahead.
Still, the long distance over the Pacific between continents is a destination all its own. If you're flying in Economy Class, it's a challenge to get comfortable for even a moment, let alone enjoy the flight, but these tips will definitely help:
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2013 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready to get going into 2014, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2013 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
It was in early June that a normal Singapore Airlines flight made Instagram and, by extension, the internet, freak out. The flightnonstop on an Airbus A380 from Singapore to Londonencountered severe turbulence for only a few seconds, but it was long enough to shake the double=decker superjumbo aircraft into what looked like a junior high cafeteria food fight.
Now comes the extraordinary part of the story, as passengers managed to snap and share "before and after" photos of the scene. The photos went viral and, to the credit of Singapore Airlines' crew, the world was awestruck at the efficiency of the emergency management of the situation.
Of course it was such a chance occurrencethat this would happen to the world's largest passenger plane, that it would be on an airline most known for their prim and properness, and that it would be a story told completely through social media.