A380 both ways
Air travel is ever evolving. Double decker A380 planes are now arriving in New Zealand with double daily flights in and out on a regular basis. The most recent airline to join this trend in Auckland – Singapore Airlines – was actually the first commercial airline to fly A380 planes. It was seven years ago I travelled on the inaugural flight from Sydney to Singapore on the sparkling new double decker – and at the time there was much fanfare around this new arrival. More recently I flew on the Singapore Airlines A380 from Auckland, all the way to London [ to attend the World Travel Market] and back. On the way over I was on the top deck and on the way back I was on the lower deck. I was travelling with the majority of passengers – in Economy – but somehow it seemed “special”. The first thing I noticed was the facility to plug in your iPhone or laptop. Yes, you could use the internet and send and receive emails while flying! The second feature for me was the “special” dining service. As I had put in a request for gluten- free meals, I seemed to be served first, along with other people who had requested vegetarian or other dietary requests. The menu featured authentic Asian flavours from traditional recipes, as well as Western cuisine with a modern touch. A wide variety of beverages on offer included the signature Singapore Sling. This is a classic created in 1915 at the Long Bar of Singapore’s Raffles Hotel and is now famous worldwide. It is a concoction of dry gin, Dom Benedictine, orange liqueur and cherry brandy shaken up with lime and pineapple juices and a dash of Angostura bitters and Grenadine. There was a choice of aperitifs, cocktails, spirits, liqueurs, wines, beers, soft drinks, fruit juices and hot drinks. So plenty of ways to keep hydrated. No need to be hungry either. On the flight to Singapore I was served two meals and on the next leg to London, another two meals. In- between all these delicious meals I took the opportunity to recline the seat, close my eyes and do a mixture of dreaming, scheming and dosing – as the A380 is both smooth and quiet. Being a long- haul flight, there was also plenty of time to watch a movie, read a book – and simply do nothing! How many other times do we get to do nothing? In this day and age we are always rushing around with not enough time in the day to do everything on the “to do” list. Now as the year comes to a close, I would like to wish all readers a happy Christmas and a prosperous and stimulating New Year.