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BA Airbus A380: Which are the best seats? Master discussion thread

Old Sep 1, 13, 4:03 am
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Last edit by: SonicStar817
MMB/Expertflyer Aircraft Code: 388

Upper deck



Main deck



Summarizing based on comments thus far:

First

This post shows the seat map and individual seat ratings for First:

First Cabin A380 Seat Ratings
In order of rating:
  1. 2 A/K
  2. 1 A/K
  3. 3 A/K
  4. 2 E/F
  5. 3 E/F
  6. 4 E/F
  7. 4 A/K

Club World Upper deck
  • 50AB and 50JK: the B and J seats donít have anyone climbing over them. Thereís nothing else ahead of these seats, so this area should be fairly quiet. However, the A and K seats ... would have to lean forward a long way to look out of the single window serving this row. Good if you like having a very private space and donít mind stepping over someone to get out. Bad if you like looking out of the window.
  • 50J for longest bed is the best. However, you only have a curtain between you and the stairs and right hand side forward loo. Should be okay but might be noisy. Partial barrier around feet.
  • 51D and 51F: no half barrier either so very good for tall people and first row of CW cabin so good for food and ease of access to loo without any galley.
  • 53AB and 53JK: the window seats have direct aisle access, so in theory these would be a lot like 64A and 64K on the 744. Unfortunately, potentially noisy.
  • 56B has a bit of extra length but also a partial barrier.
  • 59AB and 59JK: the window seats here also have direct aisle access. However, as others have mentioned, because the CW and WT+ cabins partly overlap at this point, these seats (and particularly the heads of the 59B and 59J passengers) are directly in line with the WT+ centre bulkhead bassinets, so possible noise concerns if baby behind. You can see the close proximity in the photo above for 60 DEF
  • Middle seats: since there's only a single middle seat, it's rather nice and isolated and private, at least while the dividers are up. When dividers go down it's face to face with your seatmates to the left and right. Couples who are using a middle seat will probably be better off choosing EF rather than DE, because the extra space to the right hand side of the E seat means the E and F seats are closer together.

Club World Main Deck
  • 10J definitely winner for the most length but partial barrier around feet and galley noise may be an issue. However, also first to get food!
  • 10A and 10K for window seats only. The rest have absolutely NO view as the wing is massive and all you see is reflecting Silver and a lot of flex!
  • There is a reported experience from 13AB of in-flight vibration and resonances which were enough to disturb sleep.
  • Avoid 15AB and 15JK due to proximity to the two loos that are right beside and behind this seat. (CW loo behind 15B and 15J, WT loo beside these seats although behind a curtain, near continuous use!)
  • General note: due to the curvature of the fuselage, the window seats on the main deck have a greater gap between the seat and cabin wall than the equivalent upper deck seats, thus providing more wiggle room for your legs and toes.

World Traveller Plus Upper Deck
Photos: courtesy of PETER01
  • Bulkhead seats: The legroom in the bulkhead rows of 60DEF, 61AB and 61JK is fairly good, but Iím not sure that I would take these for a night flight as you can still get closer to horizontal in the rows behind. If thatís your favoured sleeping position, the absence of leg-rests in those rows wonít matter too much.
  • Row 67: The quietness of the aircraft will mean that the toilets at the aft of the WT+ cabin are much more likely to be disturbing in this area (particularly to 67AB, 67DEF, 67JK and 68DEF) than, say, to 15AB on a mid-J 744.

World Traveller Upper Deck
  • Centre block bulkheads 70DEFG and 80DEFG have tables in fixed armrests, as one would expect. This noticeably constricts the width of the seat. The armrest between D and E is a conventional lift-up armrest Ė so if choosing these rows, D and E are better than F and G. Another thing about these bulkhead rows, which are in line with the exits, and the adjacent exit rows (70AB, 70JK, 80AB and 80JK), is that there is a noticeable hissing noise from the slipstream.
  • 80D and 80E are the same and could be great for space or for couples that want to lift the armrest during the flight to get closer or sleep.
  • Rear cabin: any WT seat in rows 80 to 83 would be very nice indeed as long as: there is not a stag group pissing it up here when you want to sleep! Apparently, they may offer this cabin to groups so need to be a bit careful in selecting this exclusive cabin. Also, there is noticeable galley noise in this rear cabin, and it gets worse the further aft you get.

World Traveller Main Deck
  • 25D is the throne seat on the Main Deck in WT. (no seat in front of them).
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BA Airbus A380: Which are the best seats? Master discussion thread

Old Aug 12, 13, 5:29 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by dubbin View Post
What do people think will be the best seats on the 380?
The first class ones
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Old Aug 12, 13, 5:31 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by olybeast View Post
The first class ones
Most amusing . The thread started off as being about CW seats but was expanded to include all cabins so I edited the first post.
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Old Aug 12, 13, 5:06 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by juan516 View Post
@BotB: Thank you for your recommendations - I have not travelled on a BA A380 and see your point with recommending 51D and 51F.

BUT there is still center seat 51E and its unknown occupant could cause trouble to the travellers who both had chosen 51D and 51F together and wish to chat...

BTW, what is your opinion regarding aisles (forward facing) 51J and 52J as well as window (backwards) 51K, which I had pre-assigned for our party of three adults ?

On this particular flight, all four seats in row 50 are gone since months...

On the return flight I got 50B, 50J and 51 J (all aisles forward facing) - any better ?

Cheers,
juan516.
Hi juan516,

Seat choice will always be a personal thing so please do bear that in mind when you read any comments on here, you may find something better than others do for different reasons or for an aspect that others do not consider important but you might. I hope others that have flown the A380 will also chime in with their thoughts on this question as they may have other opinions you may be interested in...but for the record:

-Agree with your comment about 51E possibly being a problem for those in 51D or F. I should have been more precise! My thoughts were that 51D or 51F are great seats for single travellers that wish to have extra leg room as these are the second best seats on the A380 for leg room on the UD that I can remember. I would NOT take them as a couple with a stranger sitting in the middle (although some couples may find that refreshing )

-your seats 51J/52J/51K will be fine and I would be happy personally to sit there, especially if you were not over 185 cm tall or 6'1" in old money and wished to get best food choice as well as exit the aircraft quickly at destination. The nice thing is that whoever you sit in 51K, they will only step over the feet of someone they know. ^

-your return flights should equally be quite good for seats, you should get first meal choice and be served first, you can access the loos quickly and should be off the plane first from the UD depending on what door you use, also, you should have quite good leg room as you can extend your feet beyond the foot stool as well. I see you like aisle access, which these would indeed provide.

I personally like aisle seats when in any other cabin on BA but for CW I have to say I prefer a window seat as it allows you to have a very private space and look out three windows (which I love to do). One does need to step over a person to get to the aisle but I don't personally find that an issue and let's face it, typically you'll only do it a couple of times at most on a flight.

Any UD seat would be great in my opinion in CW. You get a view, the cabins are smaller and have less people in them with the 2-3-2 config and it feels intimate without being too small.

This is why I would take the bulkhead seats if you like aisle seats in the first cabin CW on the UD: (I seem to remember this being about 3-4 inches of extra room over a standard CW seat).


Upper deck 51DF footstool space by BA_pics, on Flickr

Here is a picture of 50J which shows the leg room you would have:


50J Footstool space UD by BA_pics, on Flickr

And finally, this is why I wouldn't take the bulkhead seats in the second cabin, if I was after extra leg room! (there is none).


56DF UD footstool space by BA_pics, on Flickr

Anyone else have any thoughts or comments to add? Opinions welcome! @:-)
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Old Aug 13, 13, 5:55 am
  #49  
 
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Thumbs up Thanks BA.

We've just had the email changing our JNB-LHR in March from a 74 to a 380. I've grabbed 50 A&B having changed from 64 A&B. Any missing windows won't be a problem as it's a night flight! .

So far we have CW to ourselves.

I spent my working life in aviation & now in retirement I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning in a virtually brand new aircraft. Thanks BA.
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Old Aug 15, 13, 5:37 am
  #50  
 
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BotB - Thank you very much for your excellent and most detailed (beautiful photographs !) reply. We all three look forward impatiently to commencing our BA 380 RT to HKG in November.

All the best
juan516.
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Old Aug 16, 13, 9:44 am
  #51  
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Upper deck seating observations

The whole deck

My main conclusion was, sadly, that there are no outstanding upper deck seats. Every option that would normally be good on other aircraft is compromised to some extent here.

There are side bins under the windows along the full length of the upper deck. This means that all window seat passengers have side bin storage to use. However, I think that these are a bit smaller than the side bins on the 744 upper deck, plus they are angled rather than vertical.

The curvature of the crown of the fuselage means that headroom is limited above the window seats. You donít have to be very tall to risk hitting your head on the ceiling, so you do need to be careful. I found getting into and out of the Club World window seats to be more of a problem in this respect than the WT+ or WT seats. In particular, you almost have to reverse into the Club World seat, which could challenge oneís coordination when stepping over an aisle seat passenger in the middle of the night.

The curvature also has implications for men using the toilets at the sides of the upper deck. If youíre standing up, it can be difficult to get as close as normal to the actual toilet without deploying some spinal flexibility. The consequence: drips, including drips on the floor. You have been warned.

Club World

50AB and 50JK
The B and J seats donít have anyone climbing over them. These pairs are a little way from the front toilets, which in any event are a good size with the actual toilet some distance away from the seats. Thereís a curtain which will screen light from the toilet, but the toilet itself is pretty dark whenever the lock is in the open position. Thereís nothing else ahead of these seats, so this area should be fairly quiet.

However, the A and K seats have a fairly large area of blank sidewall, and these passengers would have to lean forward a long way to look out of the single window serving this row. Good if you like having a very private space and donít mind stepping over someone to get out. Bad if you like looking out of the window.

53AB and 53JK
The window seats have direct aisle access, so in theory these would be a lot like 64A and 64K on the 744. Unfortunately, the fact that this aircraft is so quiet means that there is a lot of noise from the galley, and some could find it difficult on a night flight. This wasnít a crew being noisy Ė it was simply the ordinary sounds of galley equipment being used and normal conversational volumes. For perspective, my impression was that this area of the aircraft was quieter during the cruise than the 744 upper deck is when stationary on the ground. I think there are likely to be similar issues with row 56.

59AB and 59JK
The window seats here also have direct aisle access. However, as others have mentioned, because the CW and WT+ cabins partly overlap at this point, these seats (and particularly the heads of the 59B and 59J passengers) are directly in line with the WT+ centre bulkhead bassinets, and these seats are also immediately ahead of the side bulkhead bassinets. There is only a curtain dividing the cabins.

Now, Iíve seldom encountered a baby in WT+ that has been noisy after takeoff Ė a benefit of the quiet calmness of the WT+ cabin Ė but this is a distinct risk. Also, if WT+ service times are different from CW service times (eg breakfast being served earlier to WT+ than the CW cabin is woken up), these seats could suffer the most disturbance.

Those who donít like looking at other passengers on board should note that 59A and 59K will be looking not only at 59B and 59J in CW but also at 60DEF in WT+ whenever the curtain is open Ė and I think more so than on the current long-haul fleet because of the cabin overlap here.

Middle seats
I didnít find these to be claustrophobic or confining, in large part because of the extra space to the right of the right armrest. However, because itís asymmetric like that, couples who are using a middle seat will probably be better off choosing an EF pair rather than a DE pair.

World Traveller Plus

This is a large cabin in comparison to the WT+ cabins on the other long-haul aircraft, and has lost the sense of intimacy that they have. (Ironically, that can still be found in the aft WT cabin Ė see below.)

The legroom (foot-room, really) in the bulkhead rows of 60DEF, 61AB and 61JK is fairly good, but Iím not sure that I would take these for a night flight as you can still get closer to horizontal in the rows behind. If thatís your favoured sleeping position, the absence of leg-rests in those rows wonít matter too much.

The quietness of the aircraft will mean that the toilets at the aft of the WT+ cabin are much more likely to be disturbing in this area (particularly to 67AB, 67DEF, 67JK and 68DEF) than, say, to 15AB on a mid-J 744.

World Traveller

The size of IFE boxes is most critical in this cabin. Unfortunately, the window seats have IFE boxes that make it difficult to sit facing straight forward. Your feet are pushed towards the centre of the aircraft, so you're inevitably at an angle if you stretch your feet forward under the seat in front. I don't know what this will do to your back if you're sleeping for several hours, but I wasn't impressed with this - particularly as this difficulty could have been avoided if the IFE box had been mounted on the inboard side of this foot space.

The centre block bulkheads (70DEFG and 80DEFG) have tables in fixed armrests, as one would expect. This noticeably constricts the width of the seat. However, the armrest between D and E is a conventional lift-up armrest Ė so if choosing these rows, D and E are better than F and G.

Another thing about these bulkhead rows, which are in line with the exits, and the adjacent exit rows (70AB, 70JK, 80AB and 80JK), is that there is a noticeable hissing noise from the slipstream. I don't know whether this is because of the disturbed airflow around the edges of the door, or simply because the door means that there is less sound insulation and the slipstream noise simply enters the cabin here, but it's again the quietness of the aircraft as a whole which makes this more audible than on other aircraft. Fortunately, I think that this is the sort of noise which can be reasonably effectively screened by good earplugs.

The 4-row aft cabin has, ironically, the small intimate feel of the WT+ cabins on the rest of the long-haul fleet. However, there are two downsides here. The first is that the aircraft is distinctly less quiet here, as one would expect. However, itís still not too noisy to mask the galley noise from immediately behind this mini-cabin, and I think that this is likely to be the bigger problem. Again, not a noisy crew - just very audible normal galley sounds and conversation. This would put me off the mini-cabin for any night flight.

Last edited by Globaliser; Aug 18, 13 at 6:21 am Reason: Additional observation about seats near doors
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Old Aug 16, 13, 10:53 am
  #52  
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^ great detailed post, Globaliser
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Old Aug 16, 13, 11:17 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
The 4-row aft cabin has, ironically, the small intimate feel of the WT+ cabins on the rest of the long-haul fleet. However, there are two downsides here. The first is that the aircraft is distinctly less quiet here, as one would expect. However, itís still not too noisy to mask the galley noise from immediately behind this mini-cabin, and I think that this is likely to be the bigger problem. Again, not a noisy crew - just very audible normal galley sounds and conversation. This would put me off the mini-cabin for any night flight.
It's close to wine supply, so I went for it. Once properly wined, no noise will be noticed.
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Old Aug 16, 13, 11:21 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser
Unfortunately, the window seats have IFE boxes that make it difficult to sit facing straight forward. Your feet are pushed towards the centre of the aircraft, so you're inevitably at an angle if you stretch your feet forward under the seat in front. I don't know what this will do to your back if you're sleeping for several hours, but I wasn't impressed with this - particularly as this difficulty could have been avoided if the IFE box had been mounted on the inboard side of this foot space.
I find IFE boxes to be one of the worst irritations of Y class window seats, on any carrier. We already have such little space, why nick the most critical few cubic inches of it? If the boxes were mounted directly on the floor they could be pleasant footrests.

One wonders why shipping-container-sized IFE boxes are even necessary in 2013. I expect my MacBook could drive half a dozen of those low resolution screens without the cooling fans bothering to spin up. And it would fit under the lifejacket without anyone noticing.

If BA really does not want to invest in post-2003 technology for its newest fleet, surely the boxes could have been installed in the place of the rubbish storage side-bins on the upper deck?

Something about BA's outfitting of the A380 fleet feels a little ... half-hearted. At least, as described.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 12:04 am
  #55  
 
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[QUOTE=Globaliser;21284379]The whole deck


The curvature also has implications for men using the toilets at the sides of the upper deck. If youíre standing up, it can be difficult to get as close as normal to the actual toilet without deploying some spinal flexibility. The consequence: drips, including drips on the floor. You have been warned.

QUOTE]


That's easily overcome by sitting on the loo! Great post G, thanks. 50 A&B are still OK for me. Love your comment about just how quiet it is.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 8:38 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by fincastle84 View Post
That's easily overcome by sitting on the loo!
I know, but there will be many men (most?) who won't want to sit on the loo to have a wee. And it's the drips on the floor left by them that you need to worry about.

Even more than in the case of other aircraft toilets, these are definitely not loos for bare feet.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:38 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
I know, but there will be many men (most?) who won't want to sit on the loo to have a wee. And it's the drips on the floor left by them that you need to worry about.

Even more than in the case of other aircraft toilets, these are definitely not loos for bare feet.

Bare feet in any aircraft loo..............no way!
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Old Aug 19, 13, 3:22 am
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[QUOTE=fripperies;21155535]

For Mrs F and me the overriding criterion is a window seat with no step-over. We can survive 10 hours without handling each other in public and don't mind sitting apart so in CW we generally take 62A/K on 747 or 5A/K on 777. On the A380 the equivalents appear to be (main deck) 15A/K and (upper deck) 53A/E/K plus 59A/E/K. Do you experts out there agree?

QUOTE]

Have just experienced 15A. I would say 15 A/B/J/K will be amongst the worst seats. The plane is so quiet that the noice of the toliet flush is all you hear (despite signs asking passengers to close the tiolet seat BEFORE flushing to keep noise down)

Really annoying

Also there are 2 toilets on each aisle and a curtain closed diagonally across the aisle - in effect one toliet is within the eceonomy cabin and the other one in the club cabin. BUt the traffic from economy coming through to the club cabin to use that toliet was almost constant.

On a night flight I imagine sleep would be very hard here.

As an aside the view from the window at 15A/K is just this VAST VAST white wing!! It really is impressive watching the moment it flexes!

Overall the cabin lacked any character - there is no speedmarque plaque on the rear bulkhed for those facing rearwards, and no centre lampshades (which gave a certain feel on the 747 and 777)

Also the magazine racks on the forward bulkhead are positioned quite centrally such that I imagine you will need to stand infront of 10D/E/F/G to review contents.

Didnt get to look upstairs but for me downstairs will not be appealing at all, totally underwhelmed in fact although the Y cabin did look good ironically
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Old Aug 19, 13, 4:33 pm
  #59  
 
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Best solo seat for BA A380

Would appreciate advice for solo traveler on BA A380 flight from LAX-LHR in Club World who wants easy access to lavatory but least noise disruption to sleeping! Am leaning towards an aisle in upper deck but wondering if it is worth paying BA $$$ for advance seat assignment instead of free seat selection at check-in?!

Thanks.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 4:45 pm
  #60  
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Welcome to FT, learnedlady!
Originally Posted by learnedlady View Post
Am leaning towards an aisle in upper deck ...
For this, I'd suggest 51D; second choice 51F.
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