Fry Tweets Qantas A380 Failure

British actor and Tweetaholic Stephen Fry was en route from Sydney to London today aboard a Qantas A380 operating as QF 31. Four hours out from Singapore, the plane was diverted to Dubai due to engine problems. Bizarrely one year to the day since a Qantas A380 Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine shredded in what could have been a disaster for that airliner. Fry kept us entertained with a blow by blow account of today’s situation which a Qantas spokesperson said was not connected to last year’s issue (Oh yeah? how d they know?):

Stephen Fry

82 stephenfry:  Taking off from Sydney. Reluctant to turn phone off and tear myself away from @Quora, a service with which I’ve fallen hopelessly in love

stephenfry: That’s it. Phone off now. Starting to taxi. See you all the other side. Singapore first. Then London. Farewell and thank you, Australia. 3 Nov (retweeted by 59)

stephenfry:  A quick stop over in Singapore while they change crews, clean and refuel the plane and whatnot…15 hours ago (retweeted by 33)

stephenfry:  Just before phones off, don’t miss the sublimely talented@TheShowstoppers’s Improv Musical this Fri night 14 hours ago (retweeted by 32)

stephenfry:  Bugger. Forced to land in Dubai. An engine has decided not to play. 5 hours ago (retweeted by 77)

stephenfry:  My flight. Still on board. Not sure of we’ll be bussed to the airport lounges or kept aboard while they work on it…5 hours ago

stephenfry Still stuck on Dubai tarmac. No one seems to know how long we’ll be here. Should’ve landed in London at 6:20. That won’t happen! #qantas 4 hours ago

stephenfry @abcnews24 I think plan is to bus us to the transit lounge and await International Rescue. This plane, the crew tell me, is going nowhere 4 hours ago (re tweeted by 9)

stephenfry:  @abcnews24 I should in all conscience add that staff are being wonderful & that morale is high and the passengers understanding & cheerful 4 hours ago (re-tweeted by 21)

stephenfry:  On a bus from the plane to the terminal now. Who knows what treats lie in store? #qantas 3 hours ago (retweeted by 73)

stephenfry:  @abcnews and I’ve left my wallet on the plane – all my ID cards, money passes etc. I’m going to be siting here for ever and ever and ever 3 hours ago (retweeetd by 29)

stephenfry:  Reunited with wallet & cards so v relieved ! Hurrah. Qantas have gone to the trouble & expense of this: which is nice 41 minutes ago (retweeted by 42)


In the meantime, over at, the Chinese microblogging equivaent of Twitter, China Southern reported that its first A380 was back in the air after a two day grounding caused by a mechanical fault in the wing flap power-drive system. They had only had the plane for 12 days. Their next A380 is due December and at that point, we might know where they are going to take the planes internationally.


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  1. You’ve missed a few tweets from this timeline (albeit one I can understand due to the swearing).

    Also, Qantas replied to Stephen’s tweets, would be interesting to include to add value and context.

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