Goodbye To The A380 And Thanks For The Memories

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While I was traveling yesterday to the awesome LA Kosher Food & Wine event, the news broke that A380 production will end in just 2 years.

The airplane debuted less than 12 years ago, which makes the jumbo jet one of the biggest flops in aviation history.


I remember back in the aughts discussing with fellow avgeeks about whether Boeing was right with their 787 direction or if Airbus was right with their A380 direction, back when those planes were in development. In other words, was travel going to get more concentrated in hubs, which would favor the massive A380, or was travel going to offer more point to point flights and more frequent flights, which would favor the smaller and longer range 787.

If it wasn’t for Emirates and their massive Dubai hub, the A380 program would have been truly disastrous for Airbus. The plane simply didn’t make sense for any other airline to buy in bulk and flying long and thin routes made possible by the 787 like Sao Paulo-Tel Aviv, San Francisco-Chengdu, Houston-Sydney, and Chicago-Auckland is more valuable than dumping a massive airplane on a route like NYC-Tel Aviv. Passengers value the additional flight frequencies more than flying on an A380.

Emirates couldn’t negotiate a new engine option for the A380, so they will convert their orders for the plane into A330s and A350s.

I love the A380, there is no experience like it in the sky. But like the 747, the economics of a 4 engine plane no longer add up.

Using miles to fly first class on A380s from airlines Emirates, Etihad, Korean, and Singapore are some of my best experiences on a plane.

One of the nicest first class cabins on the A380 doesn’t actually exist outside of Airbus headquarters in Toulouse:

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#A380 #First

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I flew on a Korean Air A380, from Seoul to JFK on my way home from the Maldives in 2013 using Korean miles transferred from Chase:

 

I flew on the Singapore A380 “Couples SQuites” from JFK-Frankfurt on our way to Paris when they first became available for just 53K miles in 2012:

 

 

I used AA miles to fly on the Etihad A380 from Abu Dhabi-JFK in 2017 on the way back from the Maldives:

 

And I flew on the Emirates A380 from Washington DC-Dubai on the way to the Maldives with Alaska miles:

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#AllAboutThatBling #Emirates #ShowerClass #Suite

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#Bedtime from #Emirates #ShowerClass #Suite

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#Emirates #A380 #ShowerSpa #HeavenOfTheSkies

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The A380 and 747 will be flown for years to come, but their clocks are now ticking. Which A380s have you flown on?

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25 Comments On "Goodbye To The A380 And Thanks For The Memories"

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Hwr

This will also end first class much quicker.

Moe

Worried about this too 🙁

Hwr

Bigger flop than the Concord?

Lord Dima

Much bigger in every sense

Anonymous

Flew on Lufthansa A380 from Houston to Frankfurt (in coach obviously) and watched live the second presidential debate between Trump and Hillary while in mid air.

Lord Dima

My first A380 ride was on Emirates, going from Korea to Dubai and then onto Houston in First with Alaska miles just before the deval. It was nice, especially the freshly made mojitos at the bar.

I did the Etihad apartment with AA miles to Melbourne, snagging it as soon as they announced that route. It was grand but I was very disappointed with the hard product.

I didn’t feel like Singapore first on their A380 was anything too crazy, especially after crazy stupid connection in Sydney, having to go get my luggage and paying for the train ride to transfer between terminals, even though I was going from a Qantas flight out of Tassie onto the SQ.

Qantas A380 first was my favorite by far (not just for A380 but out of all premium airline cabins). The largest and the most comfortable seat/bed in the sky while also flying DFW-SYD (booked it while it was still the longest route but flew it when it became #2).

I also flew the Qatar A380 on SYD-DOH route in business because I was an idiot and forgot that the flight was actually on an A380 so I didn’t check for first space after I originally booked it in J. It was ok.

Moshe

AF A380 F
EK A380 F
SQ A380 F
LH A380 F

LH A380 J
EK A380 J

AJK

I’ve flown, in order of airlines by number of planes delivered:

Emirates First
Singapore First
Lufthansa First (can’t believe you haven’t done LH F A380)
Qantas First (can’t believe you haven’t done QF F A380)
Etihad First
Thai First (can’t believe you haven’t done TG F A380)
Asiana First (can’t believe you haven’t done OZ F A380)

Aside from perhaps BA F, I’d say KE F’s hard product ranks right down near the bottom of the bucket. And it is probably tied for ugliest with CZ, with AF quickly coming the rear.

Chaim

Flew with Quantas from JFK to China on the way to Australia.
Awesome Experience!

Chaim

My Mistake in previous post, stop in LA on the way to Melbourne

Jamie

Daniel: I think all the fancy trips you were privileged to take to glamorous exquisite destinations utilizing such a pithy few amount of miles is absolutely lovely, and such nice pictures of your airborne experience! Bully for you, oh master of deals!

yitzy

its not stopping to fly, they’re just not doing new ones, I’m sure it will still be around for another 10-20 years to enjoy, so why are we crying on it already??

Shoshana

For Singapore 380 business from London to Singapore and another segment to Melbourne. Was the most amazing travel experience I’ve ever had!

AJK

Have to say, though, even if it looks a bit tight, that Airbus First with the door and separate bed be sexy.

Shinebox

@Dan:
I’m surprised you haven’t written a post about Lufthansa suing that passenger for using hidden city fare

BC

@Shinebox
My guess is that most bloggers will either parrot the corporate line, i.e. agree with the airlines OR say nothing.
Hidden city fares are not a new phenomenon, travel agents used to do this till the industry started to bill the agents the difference after passengers skipped the last leg of a trip. The Travel Agents stopped very quickly.

למה זה תשאל את שמי

why would anyone agree with the corporate line here? just because they write it in the “terms and conditions” that studies show a very small percentage of people actually read? it isn’t necessarily fraud on the customers part, it should be considered price gouging on the airlines part. when will someone get consumer protection involved or bring a class action against the airlines for price gouging?

Achshell

Never did, and couldn’t care less if I ever will. Ugly whale .

AJK

You must be fun at parties.

Sam

TG A380 F BKK-CDG
QR A380 F DOH-BKK
EY A380 F AUH-MEL
SQ A380 J SIN-HKG
EK A380 F HKG-DXB DXB-JFK X2

Emirates was by far the best. Etihad was the most disappointing and Qatar was the most bland.

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