Finally after seeing the A380-800 in so many airports around the world I got my chance to fly in one. And what an introduction. We left Toronto late in the evening and 13:33 hours, 11,093 kilometers, 3 meals and 4 movies later I arrived in Dubai late in the evening the next day.
The last time I travelled to the Maldives I had to go from Winnipeg to Vancouver, Los Angeles, Tokyo, overnight in Singapore and finally Male. This time it is from Winnipeg to Toronto, overnight in Dubai and direct to Male. That is an impressive time savings. And the cost was nearly half compared to going the long way around.
The waiting area didn’t even seem that full considering there was not one single empty seat on the flight. None. The boarding was amazingly quick and organized considering we are talking about 525 passengers.
The overhead bins are ample and everyone had space which is unusual for these long flights. Leg room on economy was adequate and the seat pitch was decent. Everyone on board slept (almost) the entire flight except me so I am not a good judge of comfort. Everyone seemed comfortable enough. The in-seat video monitors were bright and clear and I ended up watching at least 4 movies and still had time to sleep 4 hours.
The air was noticeably not dry and I didn’t get the stuffed up feeling I get on the A340 or B747. The cabin was amazingly quiet. No wind or engine noise. I didn’t even bother putting my ear plugs in. The cabin lighting along the high ceiling was a nice white light which felt more like daylight when it was fully lit. Another plus was the large toilets where I could stand up normally instead of having to bend over backwards from the lack of headroom while taking a whiz.
My only complaint – no booze or specifically no red wine. On the Air Canada flight from Winnipeg to Toronto the cabin attendant plied me with no fewer than 6 glasses of a gorgeous Argentinian Malbec. I don’t remember what the overhead bins, seat pitch, or videos monitors were like but I will long remember the spicy richness, peppery finish and velvety texture of that beautiful deeply cherry red wine.