British Airways launched its A380 service in October 2013, operating two daily services between London and Hong Kong on a superjumbo and a 777-300. The A380 departs from Heathrow at 1840 and the 777 at 2200. I tried out the A380 – read on for my review.
My trusty Rimowa suitcase was checked all the way to Hong Kong.
I picked the north lounge; it's a big space and there should, theoretically, be plenty of space to spread out. However, I found it difficult to find a seat, and I was not particularly pleased with the levels of cleanliness.
I finally plonked down at a long, white communal table, and tried to work a bit on my laptop (with a G&T from the bar within easy reach). There was a good selection of both food and drink - the only minuses being the slow cleaning efforts by staff, and that the lounge was so full.
Mind, there was a priority lane, but even this lane was fairly busy, and so I was only onboard some 15 minutes before scheduled departure.
If you haven't flown the A380 before, you need to be prepared for the sheer scale of everything - I will be honest and say that the boarding experience, in Club World, isn't quite as luxurious as you'd like it to be. One reason for this is that there are 97 seats in Club World - so it's a little more difficult to "stand out".
However, all was forgotten once I found my seat, which looked and felt new and comfy. Within a minute I was offered a nice chilled glass of Taittinger...things were definitely looking up!
In Club World, there are 97 seats, with the majority of these being on the upper deck (44 on the main deck and two cabins on the upper deck containing 53 seats). As customary in the BA Club World cabin (onboard widebody aircraft that is), seats are arranged in a herringbone pattern.
The main deck has a 2-4-2 arrangement, while the upper deck is configured 2-3-2. The seat extends into a six-foot flat bed and offers the comfortable option of a Z position for watching films in a nearly reclined position. A 12.1-inch touchscreen pulls out from the main unit, and an IFE control slotted into the seat’s side allows better access than having to reach all the way to the screen. A pillow, blanket, noise-cancelling headphones and amenity kit containing socks, eye mask, toothbrush and paste, and Elemis skincare products were provided.
I'd selected 52H, one of the "middle seats". I’d choose the upper deck for the more spacious configuration and seats that have a side storage area. Avoid seats D, E and F as these are in the middle of the cabin; you’ll want the window, so seats A or K are best for privacy with only one other person next to you. If you suffer from airsickness, a front facing seat is a better choice - although onboard the A380, you're unlikely to feel this (the calmness of flight being the A380's biggest advantage, in my opinion).
I found the service to be very polite and efficient, although not particularly polished (I noted that some of the staff had uniforms which did not appear very clean).
I was very pleased with the two Bloody Mary's (BA being one of the few airlines who actually know how to mix a proper one...) - and also with the red wine (a Weemala Shiraz 2012).
Breakfast was better than dinner - I really enjoyed the banana smoothie and the English Breakfast (it's quite decadent to be served breakfast in bed - and even more so onboard the A380....)
Immigration was quick, and my Rimowa was already on the belt when I got there. Flawless.