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A tour of Airbus, then home

I spent today at Airbus in Toulouse, France, touring the A380 final asssembly plant and a mock-up center and interviewing three Airbus executives.

The mock-up center is an interesting place. Full-scale mock-ups of every plane in the Airbus fleet allow airline customers select their seating sizes, aisle widths, baggage compartments, galleys and all the configurations.

A mock-up of Airbus’ mega A380 two decker aircraft greets visitors with mood lighting, a bar and a roomy entry. It showcases premium cubby-like areas with doors that shut for privacy and seats that fold out for sleeping. Other areas showcase a variety of business class or economy class options.

And separated sections upstairs and down make the plane seem smaller. The point is to create a place where it doesn’t feel like a passenger is traveling with 500 to 800 others, officials said.

The flight crew areas can include a shower and bunk-like sleeping berths.

Tomorrow, I head for home — without a seat that folds out for sleeping.  A girl can dream, can’t she.

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