British Airways A380: What you need to know

British Airways took delivery of its first A380 at London Heathrow in July 2013.

The carrier has since received another nine superjumbos from Airbus and has a further two on order, making a total of 12 by 2016.

BA first rostered the A380 onto its Los Angeles route in September 2013, and now flies the aircraft twice daily to LAX; daily to Washington DC, Miami, Hong Kong and Johannesburg; five-times weekly to San Francisco; and three-times weekly to Singapore.

BA A380 takes off from Toulouse

BA A380

BA A380 lands at Stansted for the first time

BA plans to fly the superjumbo daily to both Singapore from February and Vanouver from May.

The layout of BA’s A380 features 14 seats in First on the main deck, followed by 44 Club World seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, then 199 World Traveller seats in a 3-4-3 layout. To view a seatplan, click here or see below.

The upper deck has a further 53 Club World seats in a 2-3-2 layout, followed by 55 World Traveller Plus seats also configured 2-3-2, and then 104 World Traveller seats in a 2-4-2 layout.

The first A380 aircraft painted in BA’s livery exited the Airbus paint hangar in Hamburg in April 2013, ahead of its delivery that July. To read Business Traveller‘s coverage of the Heathrow delivery, click here.

BA A380 Club World cabin

First cabin

BA A380 Club World

Club World

BA A380 World Traveller

World Traveller

MSN95 took two weeks to be painted in the airline’s red, white and blue colours, with 24 workers applying 2,300 litres of paint across 3,500 sqm of surface. The tailfin alone features 10,000 black and white dots.

The work was carried out using spray guns, traditional paint rollers and paint brushes, with a total of five coats being applied. The paint adds around 650kg to the weight of the aircraft, but is no thicker than a human hair.

BA was Airbus’ tenth customer and its first aircraft was the 106th A380 delivered.

In 2012, Business Traveller attended an event in France to watch BA’s A380 parts travelling in convoy to the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse (see news, October 2012).

And to watch a slideshow, click here.

Graham Smith

BA A380 seatplan

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  • Looks nice, generally.

    The layout of Club World is a missed chance. Too cramped, 8 across is the densest of all airlines.
    Not that impressive.

  • Club layout is totally Awful and not thought through by BA at all . I much prefer the layouts that have all the first & Business on upper deck and the economy are kept on the main deck. Sorry BA BIG BIG MISTAKE …

  • It will be used on European shorthaul routes before its trips to LA, for crew training. So keep an eye out for when it will land at a ‘very central’ European city … (Madrid will not be seeing the A380 for training)

  • BA missed again. I’ve been asked in surveys about seating on British Airways many times. The business class layout is a mess.go back to traditional forward facing layout, it works for every other airline,the airline never fills all the seats except in high season! You won’t make more money configuring seating like this!

  • i think the British airways a380 is spacious and more comfortable for the club world, world traveler and the world traveler plus kudos to British airways

  • While Club World certainly is an agreeable product right now, I have to admit that I am somewhat disappointed BA did not use the introduction of a new type of aircraft to improve their business class and make it a little more future-proof…

    The one element about this A380 configuration I have the hardest time to understand is the apparantly decreased number of available restrooms:
    – just 2 restrooms for 53 CW seats on the Upper Deck vs 3 for 50 seats on the 747
    – even worse: 2 restrooms for 199 seats in World Traveller on the Main Deck, really?
    …or am I missing something?

  • I agree with many regarding the Club World layout and product. If British Airways had anything remotely close to Singapore Airlines, for example, BA can command a higher premium with fewer seats. ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’ I think not.

  • BA BIG BIG MISTAKE, “and economy are kept on the lower deck” sounds like you think economy travellers are animals or something. BA should have started a new realisation by making all areas of the plane identical, after all shouldn’t all humans be treated in the same way?

  • Just to let you all know that BA have now updated their flight info system showing that the BA A380 is operating BA902/902 and BA910/911 rotations on 2nd August as revenue flights taking normal pax.

    They have swapped out a B767 in the morning and an A320/21 in the evening and it looks as if CE will be in CW and ET will be in WT all on the lower deck with First closed off and upstairs not in use.

  • Actually, the colour scheme is pretty decent when you see it in person. The layout is great for families and couples – but not so good for solo travellers who also suffer from changes to the privacy screens. They’re now down whenever the inflight power sockets are off, which means you’re face to face with a stranger for an hour or so.

    I’ve posted some video reviews in the BT forums, or see more detail at

  • Seriously BA, sort the stupid business config of 7 seats across vs 4 with emirates or sing. will avoid ba a380 where possible. Flying backwards – no thanks.

  • BA is late on the scene with its A380,so why didn’t they ask customers of other airlines,about preferences etc? Who ever designed the seat layout must have been in blinkers.

  • Just remember it can be dense and comfortable! The density keeps the cost of a relatively good seat and product low. Therefore I am happy with it! Good job BA.

  • @BA319131 “The seat numbers are wrong on the upper deck.”

    Hello. I’ve double-checked with BA and the numbers are correct. BA’s own seatplan can be viewed here:

    EDITED TO ADD: Yes, you are correct. I thought you meant the number of seats in each class on the upper deck was incorrect, not the actual seat numbers themselves, if that makes sense. We will have a corrected seatplan drawn up. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • How does one feel sitting or sleeping in the opp direction of the flight direction in CW. Anyone has that experience ?

  • @ T-S Andy It is absolutely fine. As you are not accelerating there is no unbalanced force acting on you, therefore it is a little like saying do you prefer sitting east or west whilst at home. When taking off and landing it is also fine, just like sitting in a train in the opposite direction to travel. Honestly CW is great and it is a little like having your own cabin when the divider goes up.

  • I have travelled in all classes of the Emirates A380 including the Shower / Spa. There is a notice on each of the two doors which reads as follows: ” No more than two persons allowed in the shower at any time “. I also travelled on the demonstration flights of Freddie Laker’s Skytrain which he took in person to all local airports in the UK. I flew Newcastle / Amsterdam / Teesside. It was a huge publicity triumph. Might I suggest that BA do likewise and bring an A380 to all local airports for an hour trial flight and charge passengers approx. £50 plus a free draw for passengers to sit in First Class / Business Class. How about it BA ?

  • The GBP50 flight what a great piece of PR, but wait what is that cracking noise I can hear? Got it; it’s the ‘beancounters’ choking on their pencils!

  • Sorry but I don’t want a J class price that doesn’t give me a flat bed and direct aisle access. .

  • The biggest issue in my opinion is the charge for choosing your seat after booking. It’s not cheap to fly business class long haul without this extra “tax”, especially if travelling as a family. Otherwise I liked the layout and product upstairs, downstairs I think could have been arranged better. Would generally fly BA when I can.

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