On losing my A380 virginity
In Dubai terms, I’m late to the A380 party – so apologies to all of you who’ve been there, done that and stolen the in-flight socks, but this was a new experience for me. And, having heard about it from so many of you – including DH – I have to say I was quite keen to try the A380 myself.
But our paths never collided – the A380 may fly to London 100 times a day, but it only goes to Heathrow and I fly to Gatwick. It flies to KL – where I went last week – but only at 3.30am, while I plumped for a more “do-able” 10.30am on the Boeing 777.
Anyway as DH and I were choosing our seats for the return leg of our trip, he noticed that the seat plan said “Upper deck” – could it be true? Could I have inadvertently booked us onto the upper deck of the A380 without even noticing?
It turned out that I had.
And from that moment on, the holiday in Langkawi (lovely place, nice weather) paled into insignificance. All I could think about was the journey home. This involved enough connections with dodgy minibus drivers, iffy internal flights and baggage reclaims to make a control freak like me come out in hives: We could not miss that flight. (“What if they bump us to a 777?” teased DH, the rotter).
Thankfully the travel gods were smiling on us and we were installed on the A380 just in time for cocktail hour, at which point I was most delighted to see that the seating configuration in the upstairs cabin meant I could barely see my children.
“Tell me when it’s bedtime,” called DD across our two minibars before settling down to watch whatever Disney Classic took her fancy (DH was in charge of DS). I focused on the champagne. And then a G&T. And some supper. Then I called “Bedtime!” to DD, who dutifully flattened her bed and cozied up to sleep, and I, too, stretched out for a little post-prandial nap.
I woke some time later and decided to check out the bar, before taking a trip downstairs to see what that was like. The bar was far more raucous than any I’ve seen on Virgin Atlantic, with a flight attendant popping Moet corks like they were castanets. I swiped some salsa on a tortilla chip and then – I still can’t quite believe this – the captain’s voice came over the system. “Blah-di-blah Dubai. Blah-di-blah landing in 35 minutes.”
WHAAAAAT? Where had the last six hours gone? Desperate to check out the loo-with-a-view, I did a quick wee (couldn’t see anything in the dark) and went reluctantly back up to my seat.
“So? How was it?” DH asked as I reached his row.
“Too short,” I said. “Do you think he could go round again?”
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