Flight Review: Emirates A380

Mention the A380, the Airbus that has revolutionised long distance air travel in recent years, and one immediately associates it with a double-decker jet plane, reclining beds, and flying in the lap of luxury. Even television advertisements subliminally link the name with business class and first class travel.

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Airbus A380 at Dubai Airport

But what is it like to fly in the A380 economy class?

For those of us living in Australia, long haul flights are a fact of life. We endure nearly 24 hours of travel time before we reach destinations such as Europe. Even if we don’t have to put up with screaming babies, reckless toddlers and the gigantic person in the aisle seat over whom we must climb in the middle of a flight to squeeze into the toilets, the journey is never as endearing as the destination.

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Sydney Dubai Long Haul Flight – Seat 69E Entertainment

For the Sydney to Dubai sector of our last European trip, we flew Emirates’ A380 for the first time.

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Tail Camera

Take off is extremely smooth. One second you are on the ground, the next second you are in the air with no feeling of the transition from one to the other.

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Inside the cabin

The A380 is undoubtedly a large bird. Once inside, you get a sense of space but Emirates have configured the cabin so as not to be overpowering in size. It is divided into sections which are more intimate than an endless row of seats. That is as intimate as you can be with 120 people in one section.

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Plenty of room to move around and stretch the legs

An hour into the 14 hour flight to Dubai, Mr G starts a conversation.

“Do you notice anything?” he asks.

“No,” I reply.


We are speaking in normal voices without having to raise our voices or put mouths to ears to carry a conversation. This is a very quiet plane. There fore you need to be discreet in what you are saying.

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Emirates engines

Quiet is good. There is no engine noise to distract you from sleep unless you are the type who takes comfort in listening to engine noise to let you know that you are flying.

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Retro 80s Music – Powering your Laptop

With more than 1,200 channels on demand, the ICE entertainment system aboard the A380 can keep you occupied for hours. From a selection of recent movies, classics, TV series and music as retro as you’d like to powering your laptop into the armrest of your seat and writing away, there is always something to do. Just be mindful of watching any comedy or your hyena laughter will carry through the entire cabin and start a chain reaction.

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Mood lighting with stars on the ceiling

When your body clock finally gives up, there is always mood lighting and star projections onto the ceiling to lull you into gentle slumber.

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Stairway to heaven

And if you suddenly feel as if you have ascended the stairway to First Class or Business Class heaven, remember, it is just a dream.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.