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Innovation aboard the Airbus A380

The Airbus A380’s suite ride
Staircases -- Airbus A380 at LAX
Qantas Airways

Staircases roll up to the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. The A380 is eight stories tall, has a 261-foot wingspan and can carry 555 passengers. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Economy class -- Airbus A380 at LAX
Qantas Airways

Each seat in economy class of this version of the A380 gets its own video monitor. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Business class -- Airbus A380 at LAX
Qantas Airways

Robert Wrigley of Airbus demonstrates seats in the business class of this version of the A380. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Airbus -- first class
Qantas Airways

Steve Duchesne, a guest from a public relations firm, stretches out in the first-class seating on the main deck of the A380. About 150 guests took a demonstration flight of the aircraft out of Los Angeles International Airport. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Singapore suite
Singapore Airlines

Two of the suites on a Singapore Airlines A380 are combined here, creating a large sleeping area.

The suites, designed by French yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste, are essentially hotel rooms operating at 30,000 feet. Each of the 12 suites aboard Singapore’s A380 features a 23-inch-wide LCD TV, a 35-inch-wide leather chair (with armrest folded away) that reclines up to 130 degrees and a large table. The suites also have blinds for added privacy and a chaise longue. (Jack Atley / Bloomberg News)
Qantas economy
Qantas Airways

Qantas is configuring its jets to hold 450 passengers -- 14 in first class, 72 in business, 32 in premium economy and 332 in economy (pictured). (Qantas Airways)
Qantas premium economy
Qantas Airways

Premium economy seats of Qantas’ A380 feature extra-wide seats, more leg room and an in-arm digital monitor. (Qantas Airways)
Qantas business class
Qantas Airways

Passengers in business class won’t have cabins, but they will have a private lounge with leather sofas, a large video monitor and a self-service bar. (Qantas Airways)
Qantas first class suite
Qantas Airways

First class will hold 14 private cabins that will offer a personal storage area for clothes, a dining table for two, a leather chair and an LCD TV. At 17 inches, Qantas’ TVs are smaller than those on Singapore, and the bed, though fully flat, will be converted from the chair. Nice touches include soundproofing and a multi-zone massage built into the chairs. (Qantas Airways)
Lufthansa head-on view

Lufthansa’s 550-passenger planes will house first and business class on the upper deck, and economy passengers will be seated on the main deck to allow for boarding on two levels. (Rolf Bewersdorf / Lufthansa)
Lufthansa in hangar

In designing the interior of its A380, Lufthansa said it conducted 6,000 interviews with passengers and sought the expertise of luxury hotel chains, auto manufacturers and yacht designers. Although the airline won’t yet release details of its A380’s interior, it said first-class passengers on long flights would have subtle lighting adjustments to help with jet lag. (Rolf Bewersdorf / Lufthansa)
Sir Richard Branson
Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic won’t yet release details of its plans for its A380s, but Virgin’s founder, Richard Branson, has hinted that amenities such as spas, double beds, gyms and casinos would be aboard. Virgin Atlantic plans to roll out its planes in 2013. (Scott Wintrow / Getty Images)
Flying palace entry
Flying Palace

Edése Doret Industrial Design Inc., a New York-based design company, is working on the interior of an A380 Flying Palace for an undisclosed buyer. This mock-up of the entry lounge on the main deck of the aircraft has seating for four. (Edése Doret Industrial Design Inc.)
Flying palace dining room
Flying Palace

Edése Doret’s design focuses on a “modern and minimalist” interior, as can be seen in the prototype of the Flying Palace’s grand dining room. (Edése Doret Industrial Design Inc.)
Flying palace grand lounge
Flying Palace

This prototype of the grand lounge features two groups of seating and a large flat-panel TV. (Edése Doret Industrial Design Inc.)
Flying palace bar
Flying Palace

In this mock-up, a bar sits next to the grand lounge.

What’s the cost of this luxury? The interior has an estimated price tag of $150 million. The plane itself cost nearly $320 million, making the final price tag $470 million. (Edése Doret Industrial Design Inc.)