The 5 Most Amazing Airbus A380 Amenities!

I’m a huge fan of the Airbus A380. While it might not be the prettiest plane in the world from the outside, there’s no denying that it has had a huge impact on commercial aviation. Not only has it allowed airlines to add capacity on routes which are otherwise slot restricted, but it has also given airlines room to be creative with amenities, given that they have more room to work with.

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I’ve been lucky enough to fly A380 first class on every airline which presently operates the whale-jet, including the following:

I figured I’d share what I consider to be the five coolest A380 amenities. If you follow the industry closely you’re probably already quite familiar with all of these. That being said, a lot of my non-aviation friends don’t get why I’m so obsessed with collecting miles & points, so this might be a fun way to show them what they’re missing out on. 😉

Singapore Airlines’ Suites Class Double Bed

While I personally think trying to join the mile high club is hyped a bit too much, there is something cool about having a fully enclosed double bed in the sky. The only airline operating the A380 which allows you to convert two seats into a double bed is Singapore’s Suites Class.

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While I’ve only ever flown the Singapore double bed when traveling solo, it was still a heck of a 15 hour flight!

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Add in Singapore Airlines’ legendary service, and it’s one of my all around favorite ways to fly.

Korean Air’s Celestial Lounge

Awesome onboard experiences shouldn’t be limited to first class. Korean Air has the fewest number of seats on the A380, thanks in no small part to the amazing Celestial Lounge they have at the back of the upper deck, which is available for first and business class passengers.

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While other airlines have onboard bars, this feels much more like a lounge, with plenty of seating, TV, and a Jetsons-esque theme.

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Korean Air has teamed up with Absolut vodka for the onboard bar, and created some signature aviation-themed cocktails. I don’t think there’s a better lounge for killing time in the skies. This lounge is in addition to their other business class lounge, which is located at the front of the upper deck.

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But worry not, the cool amenities on Korean Air’s A380s aren’t limited to first & business class passengers. Korean Air even has an onboard duty free gallery at the back of economy class.

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Qatar Airways’ Business Class Bar

While Korean Air in my opinion has the best onboard lounge, I think Qatar Airways takes the cake for their onboard bar. Onboard bars don’t get better than this, from the decor to the ambiance to the drink selection.

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Possibly the best part is that they serve Krug champagne at the bar, which is ordinarily only available to first class passengers. But since the bar is shared between first and business class passengers, they offer everyone the “premium” alcohol selection.

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Emirates’ A380 First Class Showers

It’s impossible to explain the excitement one feels when showering on a plane for the first time. I remember the first time I flew Emirates A380 first class from London to Dubai in 2012, and I literally giggled for the entire duration of the five minute shower. It’s just unreal.

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Emirates actually has two onboard showers, available exclusively for first class passengers. Equally crazy is that they have two full time shower attendants on longhaul flights, who are exclusively there to clean the shower suites and bathrooms.

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But equally as cool as the shower itself is just how many amenities the shower room has. For example, it has heated floors. Not only are the floors heated, but you can choose how heated you want them, on a scale of one to nine.

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There’s not even a need to bring your own toiletries, as they give you enough toiletries to basically start a resale business. Toiletries are provided by Timeless Spa, and you can choose between the “refresh” and “revive” collection, depending on the mood you’re in.

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Etihad Airways’ The Residence

While this is something 99.999% of us will never experience due to the pricetag, Etihad sort of shook up commercial air travel with the introduction of The Residence, which is a private three room suite on their Airbus A380. The suite features a living room, bedroom, and private bathroom with shower. Best of all, you’ll have a Savoy-trained butler who is exclusively responsible for taking care of you.

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Here’s a video outlining the experience you can expect as a passenger in The Residence:

While I’m sure the experience is amazing, I do think the star of the plane is the First Class Apartments, which can be booked at a reasonable cost using miles.

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Bottom line

While the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 might be fuel efficient, the Airbus A380 is in a league of its own when it comes to passenger amenities. With Transaero and Virgin Atlantic still due to receive their first A380s, I can’t wait to see what they put on their planes.

What’s your favorite Airbus A380 amenity?

Comments

  1. Where’s the Asiana love? I don’t see it in the list of airlines that currently have an A380. 😉 hehe
    The first A380 plane I’ve ever flown in is the Emirates A380. I loved the business class bar at the back since it was so easy to network and simply lounge around. I’ve yet to fly on the QR A380 so am looking forward to that!

  2. my fav thing about A380 is not even an amenity… it’s how quiet and smooth the ride is.
    😉

    But out of those above i have only experienced Emirates shower (twice) and i loved it. Can’t wait for SQ F this summer.

    i hope Emirates shells out enough cash for Airbus to go on with A380neo.

  3. I’m not sure you’ll ever get to experience what Virgin do with their A380s as it looks increasingly unlikely they will ever take the aircraft. Delivery has already been pushed back twice and the airline recently described them as “an option” when discussing their fleet renewal plans rather than something they are definitely bringing into their fleet.

  4. @ Gavin — Etihad has Le Labo toiletries, which are quite nice. I suppose you could take them with you if you wanted.

  5. I’ve never been on a plane with a bar, but am in Asiana first on an upcoming A380 flight. Is there typically seating at the bar? It looks like there are only 8-10 seats, and with a place so big I think it would be full. Or, is it something where you go and get a drink and then go back to your seat?

  6. “Korean Air even has an onboard duty free gallery at the back of economy class.”

    I doubt most economy passengers would consider that an “amenity” 😉

  7. “This lounge is in addition to their first class lounge, which is located at the front of the upper deck.”

    I thought you had mentioned in your KE A380 trip report ICN-LAX the front upstairs section was a business class bar: One of the captions read “Korean Air A380 forward upper deck business class lounge.” So is the upstairs a biz. lounge (which would make more sense, since upstairs is all biz.) or first? Not trying to throw your words in your face, I’m just curious as to what it’s supposed to be.

  8. @ AZR — You can go either way. You can have a drink at the bar, or take it back to your seat. However, keep in mind that Asiana doesn’t have an onboard bar, unfortunately.

  9. Surpsied you didn’t mention the LH FC bathrooms. No shower but very spacious and well designed.

  10. Josh G has a point. Don’t forget the male urinal in LH FC on the A380! Oh and the humidifier too. 😉

  11. We were worried when we say a Qantas A380 as the first picture… wondering exactly what amenities they would be offering to be in the top 5. We were relieved when we saw that they weren’t!

  12. I don’t know that the A380 has had a huge impact on commercial aviation. It is a technological feat and while I do hope Airbus can sell enough to keep the line open, it currently has limited commercial use – particularly in comparison to the A350, B777, and B787. Some airlines have put some interesting frills on their big busses, but while these are interesting, they are not game changers. From a creature comfort perspective, it is nice to have quieter cabins, a bit more humidity than older long haul aircraft, and the smoother ride that its sheer size provides. So definitely hope to continue to enjoy the aircraft and some of the frills and I do hope airbus can sell enough to keep making the things.

  13. @ Josh G — Agree I love them, but only so excited I can get about bathrooms as an amenity. 😀

  14. David says:
    March 11, 2015 at 5:53 pm
    I don’t know that the A380 has had a huge impact on commercial aviation. It is a technological feat and while I do hope Airbus can sell enough to keep the line open, it currently has limited commercial use – particularly in comparison to the A350, B777, and B787. Some airlines have put some interesting frills on their big busses, but while these are interesting, they are not game changers. From a creature comfort perspective, it is nice to have quieter cabins, a bit more humidity than older long haul aircraft, and the smoother ride that its sheer size provides. So definitely hope to continue to enjoy the aircraft and some of the frills and I do hope airbus can sell enough to keep making the things.

    This is clearly true, if the aircraft had had a huge impact on commercial aviation there wouldn’t be any talk of stopping production and it would have a 10 year backlog like some of the other models in production. Most passengers are still flying on smaller aircraft which have exactly the same cabins (Albeit updated for new products etc) that we were flying on before the A380. None of the novelties have been replicated on other models (of course space would be an issue here) but outside of establishing the Emirate business model (where it could be said the aircraft has had a big impact on aviation) this most incredible aircrafts impact has been I would suggest really rather limited.

  15. Agree wholeheartedly with the KE lounge. Airlines also offered neat amenities on 747s and DC-10s when they first came into service. The Pub on CO DC-10s was a favorite and it was open to those in coach too. The 747s and DC-10s, though, fell victim to the airlines’ relentless drive to cram in more seats. We will see how long some of these amenities last on airlines that have a desire to earn profits with the A380.

  16. Oh crap, John…you’re bound to be quite right about that. We’d better enjoy the amenities while we can.

  17. One additional point and one pseudo-correction.

    For me, the “game changer” here is that the A380 has finally given us a true non-stop DFW-SYD flight — albeit usually weight limited. Qantas doesn’t fly the 787 or the ultra-long range version of the 777.

    As for packing in more seats, that’s simply not going to happen anytime soon if ever. In fact, this is the A380’s biggest problem.

    Here’s why. The A380 has four engines and is therefore very significantly less efficient, per passenger seat-mile, than two-engine planes — as currently flown with some 500 or so seats. To better, for example, the 777’s efficiency, the A380 really would have to pack in the seats, maybe 750 or 800 of them. Bigger planes, after all, really are more efficient than smaller ones. But only if you fill them up.

    Now is anyone really going to “fill up’ an A380 and fly it with 800 seats? Let me count the reasons why not. No, on second thought, I’ll leave that for someone else. But let me put it this way. No way in heck. Not in my lifetime.

  18. I highly doubt I will ever have the luxury to ever be aboard one of these planes! But it is really cool how you document it! I thouroughly enjoyed it.

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