Saturday, March 5, 2011

Aalto Airlines Elgin 474 in "Flightplan": Before the Emirates A380

Note: If you are looking for the post about Afdal Airlines and the plane featured in "Sex and the City 2", click HERE. That portion of the article has been separated into an individual article. This post now covers only the plane featured in the film "Flightplan".

Photo advertising the fictional Aalto Airlines Elgin 474 jet:
"The Alto Promise: Luxury service, always on time flights and
the best prices in the skies come standard. Experience the E424
to feel the difference that size can make."
"At 250 feet from nose to tail, Aalto Air E424 is as long as
five F-16 fighter planes."
"Ten professional basketball players standing on each other's
shoulders could barely reach the roof of the E424."
"Weighing in at 240 tons, the Aalto Air E424 is as heavy as
a pair of blue whales.
The Airbus A380 was part of the inspiration for the Jodie Foster film "Flightplan" released in 2005. Though the A380 was not yet in service and the film makes no reference that it's an Airbus jet (calling it instead an Elgin 474), the film does indicate the plane is two stories and plays the action in what appears to be every corner of the jet including portions of the planes passengers never see.

Jodie Foster runs up the aisle of the airplane set.
In the film, Foster's character has lost her daughter mid-flight on the fictional Aalto Airlines and is desperately searching for her on the jet. The problem is the crew and other passengers never saw the daughter whose name does not appear on the passenger list. Is the Foster character going crazy putting the jet and those on board in jeopardy?

Foster on the set's rear cabin stairway
The film's designers took creative license producing a generously sized interior. Although a chunk of the action takes place in the coach cabin on the upper deck, the story takes the action to the cockpit, galleys, restroom, crawl spaces, avionics and three stairways one of which is curved at the rear of the plane. The DVD documentary reveals that only one level of the plane's interior was designed. After filming was completed on one deck, the interior was refitted for scenes on the second deck.

Foster viewing the floor plan of the double decker jet.
Sean Bean and Peter Sarsgaard in the cockpit
Foster in the airplane set's galley.
Actress Erika Christensen (left) plays a flight attendant of the fictional
airline. Foster, center, with producer Brian Grazer, right.
Foster with director Robert Schwentke.
Foster and the film's crew take a break in filming. 
(above images: Touchstone Pictures)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Emirates A380: First Class

This post is one in a series about the Emirates A380.

The original post that inspired this series was about the shower spa in the Emirates A380 first class cabin. This brings the posts full circle by revisiting the first class cabin again. These articles are just wishful thinking about viewing the luxury jumbo jet from afar. It's possible one day as this jet becomes increasingly common at airports around the world that more passengers will experience flying in this jet albeit if only in the coach cabin.

The first class cabin holds 14 or 16 spacious suites (Emirates flies two versions of the A380), each with an electronic operated sliding door for privacy. The seat has a width of 23" and a pitch of 86". The airline advertises the following additional amenities: personal mini-bar, vanity table, mirror, wardrobe, 23" television screen and built-in massage system.

The first class lounge (or social area as the airline calls it) is located at the front of the upper deck and in front of it, the shower spa. Visit for more info about the features of their A380 jumbo jet. From all appearances these first class sanctuaries are like ranches compared to coach cabin seats on any jet.

(all images:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Emirates A380: Business Class

(all images:
This post is one in a series about the Emirates A380.

The unusual thing about the Emirates A380 business class configuration is every seat has personal aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration. Most airlines operate a 2-2-2 business class configuration where those seated by the window must step over or around the passenger seated along the aisle.

Every seat extends to a flat bed up up to 79" long and includes a built-in mini bar. Depending on the seat position along the window, some seats are situated closer to the window and other closer to the aisle (see photo above).

Like first class, business class also has its own onboard lounge but located in the rear of the upper deck. The airlines advertises that a lounge attendant is available at all times to assist with food and drink requests. Depending on the configuration, there are either 76 or 80 business class seats all located on the upper deck.

Although unlikely, if a U.S. airline picks up a A380 and includes just the Emirates business class amenities as a first class section, it will be a game changer for flying domestic.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Emirates A380: Economy Class

(credit for above images:
(image credit: telstar logistics)
This is one post in a series about the Emirates A380.

Can you imagine the largest jumbo jet in the world with only economy seats? The lower deck of the Emirates A380 comes half way. The entire lower deck is devoted to passengers flying economy. The seats are 18" wide with a pretty standard pitch of 32" with a 6" recline. The airlines flies two versions of the jet with economy seating for 399 to 419 passengers. Each row is comprised of ten seats. Three seats along each window and four center seats. Each seat has its own entertainment screen with 500 channels and a remote. On this screen all passengers are afforded a tail camera view of the jet. The tray table also contains a gyroscopic cup holder.

For comparison purposes, see the related posts about the airlines first and business class deck.

(image credit:
(image credit:
(image credit: moaksey; below images:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Emirates A380: The Plane

(emirate jet images:
This is one of a series of posts about the Emirates A380.

I've become slightly obsessed with learning more about the Emirates A380 after recently posting about the airline's shower spa. I've always had a fascination with passenger airplanes. Whenever at Honolulu International Airport for a flight or to greet family or friends I used love watching all the planes arriving, departing or waiting at the gates. This was before only ticketed passengers were allowed in the terminal. It's unlikely I'll be visiting Dubai or flying on an A380 in the near future but its nice to dream.

The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger jet ever. It has a capacity to seat over 800 passengers in a full economy configuration on its wide-body double-decks. But most airlines are opting for a three-class configuration with about 500 seats. Singapore Airlines was the first to fly the jumbo jet in commercial service in October 2007. Other airlines to fly the A380 commercially are: Emirates (August 2008), Qantas (October 2008), Air France (November 2009) and Lufthansa (June 2010).  Other carriers with jets on order are British Airways, Korean Air, Air Austral and Skymark Airlines. No carrier from the United States flies the A380. Over 31 of these jets were in service in 2010. The jet's 2010 approximate cost is $375 million which varies based on the customized interiors. The two decks are reach via one of two stairways.

Airports and airlines also had to adapt to the large jet with jetways to reach both decks and to find ways to efficiently board and deplane passengers.

But it is Emirates which is largest operator with 15 A380s in its fleet out a total of 90 on order that is setting the benchmark for the jet. The airline flies all its A380s from Dubai to destinations around the world and back. With the inclusion of an on board shower for its first class passengers, the airline is setting a new luxury standard for the industry. The business class seats are also seated on the upper deck. All economy seats are on the lower deck.

The photos below of jetways leading to the A380 show airports also had to accommodate the mammoth jet. For efficiency purposes separate jetways lead to the upper and lower decks.

(images credit:,,,;
jetway photos from

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...