Cranky on the Web (June 22 – 27)

American’s new 777-300 planes bring luxury to long overseas flightsFt Worth Star-Telegram
I was asked to comment on American’s spiffy business class on the 777-300ER and what people really want when it comes to the premium cabin.

Is the Airbus A380 This Generation’s Concorde?AdWeek
I was asked the titular question, and I think it’s hard to compare the A380 to Concorde, though some parallels can be drawn.

Dodging Airline Fees the Hard WayKiplinger
The author was able to fly Spirit without paying a single fee, but my quote was more tangential – about the possibility of legacy airlines charging more fees, like seats and carry-ons.

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13 Comments on "Cranky on the Web (June 22 – 27)"

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Seriously? More A380 bashing? Bottom line is this is an excellent aircraft that the rest of the world has embraced – it is vastly more comfortable than the 747 ever was (not that I’m dissing that great plane), and it smacks of jingoism that, just because no US carrier has placed an order for a single A380, that the plane is a failure. I have no axe to grind in the whole Boeing vs Airbus argument; I love the 777 as I do the A380, I can’t wait to try the 787 (and find out if it really is as… Read more »

Agreed. I live in Asia, and I usually travel on the big Asian and Middle Eastern carries, and from over here, it’s clear that the “failure” of the A380 in American markets doesn’t reflect badly on the plane, but rather reveals the decay and mismanagement of American carriers. Sure, Airbus hasn’t had as many orders as it projected, but just you wait: China. India. Oceania. East Asia. China. China.

David SF eastbay

AA 7770399

“””””Fernandez expects the incoming 777-300ERs will be used on similar, long international flights where there is demand for a premium travel product.”””””

So they don’t know what they will do with the aircraft on order? Is that how airlines work, buy a bunch of airplanes and they figure out what they will do with them once they get them?


1) If you’re Emirates, yes.

2) More seriously, I read that as them not willing to tip their hand publicly. We’re still talking about deliveries far into the future, right? There’s not much upside to committing a particular plane to a particular market far in advance, and I can think of a lot of downsides.

David SF eastbay


Like the picture comparing the two. Only time will tell but the A380 is not an aircraft that can just be used between any two major cities. At least the 747 was used between a lot of city pairs even within the USA that needed a larger aircraft, but could still fill it. There are other aircraft that can fly the same distance the A380 can, but with less people needed and less cost to operate.

If it wasn’t for Emirates, would Airbus have even built the plane in the first place?

Bob S.

My wife and I are taking the A380 from DFW to SYD non-stop on Qantas this fall and I’m looking forward to it. I understand that this is the longest commercial route in the world. We were originally booked on a 747 but it didn’t have the legs to go non-stop so we would have stopped in Brisbane first. We won’t be in first or business class but we’ll still be in the upper deck with only 2 seats across.


From a business perspective, IMO the 787 makes more sense for most airlines than does the A380, as its “convertible” design can be profitable on more stage lengths, and therefore can serve more markets profitably. The 380 is a fine airplane for the market it was designed to serve, but the 787 simply can serve more markets, which means more airplane sales…

Spirit FF
Regarding the A380 vs. the 777-300 – The one variable on international flights is cargo. In fact, there is so much belly cargo (the 777-300 has 44 LD-3 positions of capacity) many airlines are starting the park the freighters. Keep in mind, a 777 uses only about a 1/3 of the belly space for baggage. 2/3 of the space can be sold for freight – sometimes in excess of 80,000lbs. That’s huge when it comes to margin on the revenue side. The A380, has the same belly capacity as a 777-200, but carries twice as many passengers. On top of… Read more »