Brilliant: Airbus Marketing The A380 Directly To Consumers

The Airbus A380 has been around for more than 10 years, and there are many things I love about.

Emirates-A380

The plane has really upped the game in terms of the passenger experience, in my opinion. The A380 is quieter and smoother than any other plane I’ve flown, and we’ve seen some really innovative amenities added in premium cabins, ranging from onboard bars to double beds to onboard shower suites.

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I’ve been lucky enough to fly every airline that operates the A380 in first class, and have enjoyed all of them. These airlines include Air France, AsianaBritish Airways, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad AirwaysKorean Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar AirwaysSingapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

The problem is, the A380 is really struggling, as Emirates seems to be the only airline fully embracing it. Other airlines far prefer planes like the A350 and 787, which are much smaller but also long range and fuel efficient. There are only so many markets where an A380 can be operated profitably. With the demand for global air travel growing, perhaps the plane just peaked a few years too early.

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Anyway, Airbus has launched a cute website to market the A380 — iflya380.com. On this site they feature rotating pictures from Instagram users who tagged the A380, so you’re getting to see what the “real” experience looks like (though unsurprisingly, the pictures are heavily skewed towards premium cabins).

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The website also talks about what makes the A380 unique, as well as the airlines and destinations served by the plane.

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You can also search for routes operated by the A380, and then you can look up the prices on a variety of airlines directly on their site. Once you find the flight you want, you’ll be redirected to the individual airlines’ websites to book.

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Bottom line

I doubt this will actually make a difference in the success of the A380, though I think it’s a brilliant idea as such. Aircraft manufacturers have long marketed to airlines, though there’s definitely potential value in marketing directly to consumers, to get them talking about the plane, and excited to fly it. In this instance I’m not sure the website will actually make a difference, and for that matter I don’t find their booking interface especially easy to use.

Still, I think the idea behind iflya380.com is smart.

Comments

  1. The A380 has actually only been in commercial service since late 2007, so not quite 10 years yet.

  2. Having flown the A380 twice, I would really prefer to only fly it from now on.

    And I don’t think that’s entirely because we were flying SQ Suites. 😉

    So smooth we were 500 feet in the air before I realized we were off the ground. So quiet I never bothered to use my Bose noise canceling headphones, even to sleep.

  3. It’s cool to fly the A380 the first few times — then the novelty (for me) wears off. Once I’m in the plane … I’m in most any plane.

    The shower was great the first time — wow, taking a shower in the air!!! — then, I decided the extra time sleeping/relaxing (which is the primary reason I fly premium cabins) is more valuable. Granted, I usually connect when disembarking a longhaul flight, so I’m going to the lounge anyway. And a shower in the lounge is more comfortable.

    I’ve never been a bar fly, whether on the ground or in the air. Maybe I’ll get a drink at the bar to chat with another passenger or the bartender — but then it’s time for a meal service or, with the time difference, I’d rather rest. Again, the first few time at a bar in the air is cool — and then it wears off.

    So, in the long run, I love to fly. And I love to fly the jumbos over the A350 and 787. But whether or not it is a A380 or 747 is not a big deal.

  4. This seems a useful tool. I have still never been on one, and that disappoints me to a point, but not enough to go out of my way to fly. I have previously changed an award to swap an A380 route for much more direct routing. With the A380, almost any routing is more direct to where I live.

    I am scheduled again on it in March, but am still looking at more direct routing. It’s just so inconvenient where I live and where I fly to for me to ever fly it. The only 2 cities that have A380 service that don’t add at least 1 stop to my itinerary from my home airport are Dallas and Atlanta. So far, they just haven’t worked. Now, if O’Hare would make the necessary changes to accommodate them, that would possibly be different.

  5. Great concept, wrong times – the story of A380. Although not an aircraft that I would consider ground-breaking technologically (regardless of what BBC would have us believe), it is still fun to be on and look down at all the of the other aircraft. I just wish they used sophisticated engineering from the 787 and 350 towards the little touches such as noise isolation and vibration reduction. The aircraft is smooth and quiet, but due to the presence of over 1 tonne of noise isolating fillers instead of addressing the problems at the root (engine, body density, wind shear, etc). Basically it exudes this feeling of a 1960s Rover in a Bugatti’s skin.

  6. I’ve only flown the a380 on EK and AF in business class and my experience was meh…I will fly QR a380 business class which I hope will be better. Not a huge fan of the 787. Loved the a350 the only time I flew it (QR business class)

  7. Everyone has a different taste. I love the 787 for flying in business class, the A380 for flying in first class (and btw, the aircraft is not actually that quiet in economy based on testing and evaluation), and the 747 for defining the meaning of modern commercial aviation and because I am licensed to fly one for hobby!!!

    Technologically, the 787 is leaps ahead of anything. It probably will define the future of commercial aviation and it is also the next aircraft I am working towards getting licensed to fly. I am really looking forward to the 777X also!

  8. I actually look at the plane I’ll be flying when making the decision to book and decide based on that. So far, I definitely prefer flying in a380, even in economy class, it’s often more comfortable. In Business class, it really shines. Haven’t tried Business class.

    I’d never fly economy in a 787 since most airlines have a 9 abreast configuration. 8 is fine but is rare. Likewise, 777 with 10 abreast is also hell and I’ll avoid it at any costs. I do like the Cabin Pressure of the 787 but that’s the only real advantage.

    I like the 747 but they’re a bit of a dying breed…

    Unfortunately people who decide on their ticket according to the plane are a small minority and I’m not sure if that ad will help (I do have a friend who flew a 777 recently in Economy that swore never to do that again and try to get an a380 if at all possible so maybe people do start paying attention)

  9. I find the 787 to be quieter, find that I need to use less cream and lip balm on a flight, and find that I never have headaches or the groggy feeling afterwards; so the combination of pressure, moisture and noise isolation are not trivial advantages. My experiences on the 787 and most airlines are only in biz/first so I do sympathize with the way airlines are stuffing the economy cabin on most aircraft leading to disrepute of the aircraft.

    I have never observed much benefits to the A380 from those perspectives since most of my travel is in biz and the only airline I fly in first is CX (I have homes in San Fran and Hong Kong). The thing that I dislike most of the A380 is the way it reacts to turbulence with a delayed spring action. For some reason I find the 787 to be much more comfortable in turbulence. Can someone explain why that may be?

  10. I also specifically select routings/schedules to be on A380 as long as it doesnt defeat the purpose of the trip which is to see a new place/culture. I find the tool exciting and look forward to using it to my advantage. Ive actually tried to google search for some sort of resource that would show this sort of information.

  11. The A 380 might be comfortable, but its an eyesore. Considering I fly cattle class most o the time, having a shower or a bar up front does nothing for me. Would rather fly a 747 just for its looks and speed. Eg, a 747 on BOM-LON takes about 15 minutes less than other comparable planes on a non stop.

  12. Not entirely related to this topic, but I recently flew the Bombardier CS100 in a Swiss promo flight and wow – man, it was definitely the best regional aircraft I have flown on in comparison to the A320neo and the 737s. It was spacious, quiet, comfortable, bright and quick! I wish Bombardier came up with a competition to the twin-aisle! Anyone else flown on it or looking forwards to flying on it?

  13. I fly about 35 times per year. I have flown on 26 A380 with 4 different airlines. They are without doubt the most comfortable way to travel long distance. In fact i have come to dislike short haul and will pay a bit extra for a A380 on the long haul. I for one hope they’re around for mony years to come.

  14. i flew back on 380 Thai Airways. on Economy Class. please could they have made the Passenger seats more comfortable. for long haul flights. uncomfortable on bottom.

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