Big Plane, Heavy Plane! Short-Haul A380s with British Airways
British Airways A380 seating on the lower deck
- Big Plane! Heavy Plane! (The Introduction)
- Chiltern Railways to London, Heathrow Connect and the Holiday Inn Ariel
- To Heathrow T5 and a Sinking realisation
- Killing time in the F Lounge – an Airplane Art Special!
- A Look at the lower deck of the BA A380 – THIS SECTION
- BA910 London Heathrow T5 to Frankfurt T2
- A Frankfurt Stopover
- BA911 Frankfurt Airport T2 to London Heathrow T5
- The work of a photographer
- A bright future?
I was welcomed aboard the plane, and directed to my seat in Club World. But – what is the rest of the plane like on the lower deck? (the upper deck was not being used this training run).
BA have split their seating across both decks – rather than just have one deck of club, and the lower deck with First, World Traveller and World Traveller Plus. Whilst some have questioned this, it does break up the plane an awful lot – so you don’t feel like you are in a big big plane, rather a big plane with small components.
Admittedly, I didn’t get a good look at this until I got off the plane at Heathrow. For those who want to know, it’s an improved version of the PRIME seat that is featured aboard the 777-300ERs, and the refurbished 777-200s/747-400s. As this was a training flight, this was out of use – however, I suspect there was quite of lot of oogling as door M1L was used as the exit at Heathrow.
The seat (best I could do whllst everyone was trying to get off the plane!)
Or what I’d call “Oops”.
There are 14 suites in FIRST, in an open suite style as opposed to Singapore Airlines/Emirates style closed suites. If you like closed or open suites is a personal preference – I can see arguments for both, and it really depends if you’re travelling alone or with a partner.
The seat is akin to the current Club World seat – and the lower deck, it’s arranged in a 2-4-2 layout (what some would consider a flying dormitory) in a ying-yang seating style, with window seats in reverse.
Club World – Main deck
The centre seats could be good for couples…
On the lower deck, there are 44 Club World Seats – directly behind FIRST and in front of World Traveller (economy). As usual, these are fully flat seats that convert into a Club World bed. They have AV input, USB Power, Mains Power as well as a PTV. I’d say if you’re broad shouldered, these could be a squeeze, but they compare well to the product installed in the BA 747s.
If it was me paying for a long haul flight, I’d be looking at the back of the cabin or the upper deck, as the noise from the galley was audible from Row 10.
World traveller occupies a lot of the main deck, with 199 seats filling the back of the bus here. Seating here is again from the 777-300ER style – which means they are slimline. Simline seats offer lower weight and reduced padding, and not a firm favourite of mine (especially if I put my back out or my hips are aching from a long day walking) as I tend to find these sort of seats rather firm for a long flight (which is what these aircraft will be doing). The seats themselves aren’t that bad, with good neck support, but are a bit firm on the posterior for hours on end.
The seating isn’t that bad, in a 747-esque 3-4-3 down the back with 31″ leg room. All have power at seat, USB Power (something that’s becoming more essential than mains power these days I think due to people needing to charge tablets and phones on the way).
Whilst these new birds have the great Thales IFE system installed, I can’t help think BA skimmed over the integration costs and could had gone for a slimline unit at the base. Those things are going to impede on leg room.
Note the IFE unit on the side bolted to the seat. That’s BIG. Same IFE system as the 777-300ER’s
Seat 25D has a LOT of extra leg room due to the escape hatch. Handy!
Still, I can think of plenty worse seats in the skies.
After a look around, I went back into Club World, and took my own seat for the short hop over to Frankfurt.