Flying a Singapore A380 Without a Single Soul in Coach
Once in the life of each and every Airbus plane, it flies a route that it'll never fly again — from the Airbus factory or delivery center to the home base of its new owner. For Singapore Airlines' latest A380, that special flight brought the plane — and just 96 passengers and crew — from Airbus HQ in Toulouse, France (TLS) to Singapore's hub at Changi Airport (SIN).
With enough business-class seats to accommodate every passenger upstairs, there wasn't any need for anyone to sit on the lower deck, which was entirely empty for most of the flight — it was so quiet, in fact, that I managed to get some exercise by doing laps between the rear stairs and the main staircase up front, walking about a mile in total.
Hoping to swing something like this on your own? Unfortunately delivery flights — and perhaps the occasional charter — are more or less the only times you might encounter an entirely empty deck. Typically these flights are restricted to airline employees — since there aren't full crews onboard — but occasionally journalists are welcome to join.
As for this particular A380, the plane entered service today on its inaugural flight to Sydney (SYD) — almost every seat was taken in all four cabins, so passengers on board had a vastly different experience than we did on last week's delivery.
It's a great plane, though, with entirely new seats in suites, business and coach, plus a small cabin filled with Singapore's recent premium economy product. So even though you're likely to have other passengers in your cabin — and perhaps even a next-door neighbor — you'll still be in for a pretty comfy ride.
For more on Singapore's new A380, see: