I added Toulouse to my itinerary purely for the two Airbus tours in English. The good news is that Toulouse is a wonderful city, well worth visiting; the bad news is the Airbus tour is sadly disappointing.
I took two tours - the A380 tour and the Panoramic tour. Our guide for both was Mathew. His English was excellent as was his knowledge. He toed the corporate line a bit too much for me, but that is not his fault.
My biggest complaint was that photography was not allowed. Seriously? We saw less on these tours than you can see on the internet; Boeing was not going to garner any corporate secrets from photos I might have taken. When I asked Mathew why the no photography policy, he agreed we saw nothing "secret" or even rare - rather Airbus was trying to protect its corporate image. What a load of bunk. I love my camera and any time I am prohibited from using it, I'm going to be very disappointed.
The A380 tour was only interesting when we got to the assembly building. You get to see whatever assembly is going on - we saw a BA and LH Airbus under assembly - and much of the information about the assembly process and how the parts are brought to Toulouse was fascinating. Standing outside, gazing over the flight line was also for me a wonderful experience. These are magnificent machines, and they deserved a picture or two :)
The Panoramic tour can be quite interesting. You are a bit at the mercy of what is going on on the given day. We saw a number of the "Beluga" transports, a new A350 under final assembly, many new A320's prepared for delivery to their customers, as well as the ATR and A330. Again, how I wish I had pictures to go back to.
The prices are very reasonable. I suppose for an aviation enthusiast like myself, it is a must do. But I really wish Airbus would review the no pictures policy. The gift shop is fine; I gladly parted with close to 100 Euros worth of T-shirts. There is no pressure at all to even visit the gift shop.
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