British Airways’ new Airbus A380s contain an enhanced version of the airline’s highly-regarded first class suite, adapted to make better use of the superjumbo’s spacious floorplan.
“The A380 has a massive cabin so we just had to exploit that!” laughs Kathryn Doyle, BA’s Aircraft Product Cabin Interiors Manager.
“The first class seat itself is the same size as on our other aircraft, the difference is the size of the surrounding suite – there’s 30% more space in terms of the actual footprint” she tells Australian Business Traveller.
The extra room is most noticeable in width, especially at the foot of the suite when the seat converts into a lie-flat bed, compared to the same cabin on BA’s Boeing 777 or 747-400.
There’s also a welcome boost in storage space, with what Doyle calls “a little cubby hole” next to each seat. This nook serves two purposes.
Firstly, “it gives you somewhere to put you knick-knacks” Doyle says. ”Passport, phone, glasses, pens, all the little things that might normally end up rolling around your seat.”
It also contains the IFE controller plus an AC power socket, two USB ports plus RCA audio-video jacks (which we’re sure nobody ever uses) where you can can plug in your travel tech.
The personal wardrobe of each of the 14 first class suites on the A380 also gains significant space.
A wide door opens into the aisle, rather than being located along the edge of the suite, and is designed to fit a standard “IATA-sized wheelie bag so you can have this at your fingertips” Doyle says.
There’s also a deep top shelf for your shoes, laptop or purse.
All up, Doyle says this delivers “about 60% greater personal stowage than in our existing first class suites”.
BA plans to fly the A380 between London and Frankfurt in August ahead of its international debut on the daily London-Los Angeles BA268/269 service on September 24, to be followed by London-Hong Kong on October 22.
David Flynn is attending the launch of British Airways’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 in London as a guest of British Airways.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.