Nonetheless, after two years in business, Boeing's 747-8 has received more than 100 orders. Snyder points out that Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which seats up to 300 and has been in service for two years, has surpassed 900 orders. Compare that to the A380, which has been in service six years and has yet to crack 300.
So now Atlanta joins six other American cities where travelers can fly the A380: Miami, Houston, New York's JFK, Washington's Dulles, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Is the A380 opening new routes? Not really, says Snyder, although the Superjumbo has "enabled airlines like Emirates to put more seats on existing routes at a lower cost."
The 787, however, is opening new routes that traditionally haven't worked because of cost issues or range limits, he says, including United's from San Francisco to Chengdu, China. Or British Airways' from Austin, Texas, to London.
In the end, which will dominate long-distance flight? Will we regularly soar above the clouds in four-engined, double-decker hotels? Or will travelers prefer single-floor planes with two engines and fewer perks?
For Ehm and his daughter as they come to the end of their trans-Pacific journey, that's not really at the top of their agenda. They're just glad to be home.