A380 flight report to Tokyo

Since the A380 was inaugurated by Air France on its daily Paris-Tokyo route in September 2010, I wanted to discover Airbus' super jumbo. Ticket fees have not really increased with the introduction of the A380: you'll have to spend around 800€ on "normal" days for a set of round-trip direct flights. Note that the Osaka route is still performed by a Boeing 777.

From the beautiful 2E Terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport, you can already enjoy a view on the mastodon. With its 80-meters wingspan and 2 decks all along the fuselage, the A380 doesn't go unnoticed. Despite its 516 seats and the fact that the plane was full that day, boarding was quite quick. The use of a bridge per deck and many ground staff accelerates the process with fluidity.

But it's obviously once inside, that the A380 reveals all its charms to passengers. The cabin, even in economy class, offers improved comfort. There's a little more legroom and the seat angle is just a bit better. Additional luggage compartments under the windows, which give ample storage space and a wide armrest, are very pleasant. You can remove everything that has to stay on the front tablet or under your legs during a flight on other airplanes: smartphones, newspapers and magazines, cameras, computers and such... It offers a real feeling of space and provides a lot of comfort.

Having reserved seats on the upper deck, near the window there are only two seats side by side. That's great, especially for couples who can enjoy a little more privacy, instead of sharing the row with someone else. The individual screen is larger and displays a live feed of three cameras placed outside, especially on the fin and under the nose of the aircraft. Takeoff is also less shaky, announcing a better cruise comfort.

During the flight, the A380 is really less noisy. This is not necessarily shocking once inside, but coupled with mood lighting and less large cabins, such a 12-hour journey is less tiring. The economy class remains what it is, but on board the new Airbus, conditions are less spartan than other aircrafts. That doesn't mean I managed to doze off for over an hour, as I can't really sleep when I'm not in a horizontal position. But after tasting the superjumbo, I certainly won't want to fly to Japan on other aircrafts anymore.

Photo gallery

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Posted by Gael
Editor in chief
Gael is founder and responsible for Kanpai's publication. In love with Japanese culture, he travels to Japan regularly since 2003 and shares his information and tips.
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