So we’ve all been curious of the giant in the skies, the ultimate in luxury, in size. I was fortunate enough to have recently interviewed Jay from International Fly Guy who is Cabin Crew for a leading airline and works frequently on the Airbus A380. So lets find out what it’s actually like to me a Crew member operating flights on the huge aircraft….!
1) So you fly on the A380- wow that’s one big plane! How long have you flown on it?
Indeed she is a beast!! The one I work holds up to 545 with crew. So that is a lot of hungry mouths to feed and look after. I have worked on the A380 for more than four years now.
2) Did you get a choice to fly on the A380 at all?
To be honest it’s much better to fly on than to work on. I LOVE flying on the A380 as a passenger. There is so much added comfort that comes with a plane that size. But that size is a reason I would say it’s not as enjoyable to work as say a smaller 777. It’s a popular plane so it’s always full which means loads of work and stress on the crew. Airbus seems to never develop a wide body aircraft that is crew friendly when you compare them to Boeing. I think poor design for the crew work areas results in added stress for the crew. But the fact that it’s so popular and people stop and stare and take photos and are excited to get on it makes all that added work worth it. You are proud to work on it.
4) The plane is very luxurious for passengers, but what about Crew? What are the Crew rest facilities like?
Each airline has different crew rest areas. Each airline could choose how they wanted theirs to be. Just say if you can’t say something nice don’t say it at all. Once again Boeing is better in this department.
5) Which routes do you fly on the A380 and do you like these routes?
I fly the A380 to over 20 major cities on five continents. The bulk of those cities tend to be located is Asia and Europe. A few in Australia and some in North America
6) What was the training like for this aircraft type?
Well when I joined the A380 we only had to learn one aircraft so it was very easy when compared to having to learn several types at once. Airbus made a lot of improvements with the A380 when you compare it to their older wide body aircraft. The hard part is having to learn all the equipment and features on a plane that large. It’s more like a ship than a boat.
7) Wow- that’s one big plane! What are the key differences between working on this aircraft compared to others?
Well the obvious, the size. Big planes take big crews. I was used to a crew size of around 15 before this aircraft came along. Now that’s a small crew to me. Working with a team of 30 can be very rewarding and challenging. I will never know everyone’s name. I forget faces and we will land at the destination and get to the hotel and I will be like “was she on our flight?” There are times I will do a 12 hour flight and wont see the crew or passengers on the lower deck because I’m too busy to go down there. More crew and passengers mean more drama to deal with. I’ve had a month where it seems like every flight there is a medical issue on board. So a plane this size takes lots of communication and team work to make it a safe and successful flight.
8) There has been some negative media coverage with regards to safety- has this given you cause for concern at all?
11) I’ve heard a rumor that a member of staff is employed specifically to look after the shower-is this true?!
That is true. I know some of the girls that work the Emirates A380 and their job is the spa attendant! Pretty amazing that you get to travel the world on the nicest plane in the sky and your main job is to only stock and prepare the showers after every use. No dealing with safety and medical issues, no food service. Not a bad gig at all.
12) Would you recommend flying/working on the A380? What are your highlights?
Wow what a plane! Thanks so much to Jay for his interview here and for any Crew/ passengers due to fly on the A380…good luck and enjoy! For more from Jay you can check out his website at http://internationalflyguy.com