20 Tips for Flying in an A380

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A flight from Dubai to New York is 14 hours long; ample time to check out the awesome features onboard the A380. Here are some A380 flying tips to help you:

Before you fly

1. The following lower deck guide will help you secure the best seats when booking Economy Class on an A380:

  • Row 50 – A, B, C (front cabin left)
  • Row 51 – D, E, F, G (front cabin middle)
  • Row 52 – H, J, K (front cabin right)
  • Row 66 – A, B, C (middle cabin left)
  • Row 66 – D, E, F, G (middle cabin middle)
  • Row 66 – H, J, K (middle cabin right)
  • Row 79 – B, C (back cabin left)
  • Row 81 – D, E, F, G (back cabin middle)
  • Row 79 – H, J (back cabin right)

*disclaimer: The above seat guide is based on Seatguru’s layout for the Qantas A380-800. Be sure to check with your airline in case their A380 seat plan is different.

2. Pre-ordering a “special meal” means you’ll be served first at meal times.

3. When you check in ask for a FRAGILE sticker for your bag. Because there are so many passengers, your bag is likely to take more of a hammering than usual when you fly on an A380.

4. If your seat is near the front and you’re flying Economy then wait for everyone else to board first.

5. If you’re not seated in the front then board with everyone else otherwise you might find you’re left without an overhead compartment to store your cabin luggage.

6. The best seats in Economy are always in the very front row. They also the quietest + you get to exit quickly at your destination.

Up in the air

7. It’s a long flight so take advantage of the amenities offered by crew. Emirates will give you a hot towel, juice, blanket, pillow, eye shade, socks and headset – all this before you’ve even left the ground!

8. Marvel at the sheer size of the plane and wonder how it maintains a cruising altitude of 36 000 feet.

9. Check out the live footage on your personal screen that shows you outside views from the tail wing, underneath the wings and in front of you.

10. In Economy Class, inflight entertainment is always your best friend and even more so when you’re on an A380.

11. There will be tons of free alcohol that will dehydrate you.

12. You could phone your partner from an A380 at 36 000 feet but then you could also be charged $5/minute for the call (SMS & Email available on Emirates for $1).

13. Bring your own iPod, MP3 player etc. with. Most A380’s allow you to view or listen to your own media via the in-seat USB port.

14. Fairly cramped conditions in Economy increase the likelihood of you spilling on yourself at meal times. So… always pack spare clothing in your carryon.

15. If you tend to use the bathroom often then take an aisle seat. Deep sleepers will be happy in the middle seat.

16. Take a hike. The Emirates A380 bottom level alone accommodates 399 passengers!

17. Avoid tightly laced shoes for your journey. Same goes for clothing – opt for loose fitting clothes.

18. Bathrooms in the front of the planes tend to be cleaner than those located in the middle and back.

When you land

17. An A380 accommodates a lot of people and this will become even more evident when you get to the baggage carousel on the other side. Ensure you leave enough time to collect your bags and clear immigration if you have a connecting flight to catch.

18. If you really want to experience the luxurious trappings of an A380 in full flight then book Business Class.

Bonus tip: If you board the plane last you might want to try asking the crew to put your bag in their luggage compartment. It’s a sly trick and it may not always work.

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