Review of British Airways flight Frankfurt London in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA903
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 15 Aug 13, 11:10
Arrival at 15 Aug 13, 11:50
BA   #62 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 719 reviews
Leadership
By GOLD 12622
Published on 29th August 2013
Hello!

You now get the reason why I was heading to Frankfurt! Since the beginning of August and for a limited time only, British Airways decided to send their new Airbus A380-800 on selected LHR-FRA-LHR flights, this aircraft is of course intended for long haul journey: Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Johannesburg are the first destinations who will get to see this aircraft.

  1. Paris CDG - Frankfurt (Lufthansa, A320)
  2. CLICK-HERE
  3. Frankfurt - London LHR (British Airways, A380-800)
  4. [YOU ARE HERE]
  5. London LHR - Stockholm ARN (British Airways, B787-8)
  6. CLICK-HERE
  7. Stockholm ARN - Paris CDG (Air France, A320)
  8. CLICK-HERE

I had 1h50 between my LH flight originating from CDG and my BA flight bound for LHR, it may seems enough but FRA is just a mess and you never know if you gonna be bussed or if security checked are gonna take hours.

I have only been once in FRA and I struggled to find the train linking the terminals.

British Airways is using Terminal 2, check-in area E.

photo 1

I received my BP but unfortunately no more windows available, it’s gonna be an aisle seat then.

photo 2

The terminal is modern with a sleek and efficient design

photo 3photo 4

B787-8 ANA

photo 5

Press available

photo 6

Boarding is called by priority and by rows

photo 7photo 8

Here is the beast G-XLEA, the one and only A380 in BA’s fleet.

photo 9

Even if it’s a dedicated A380 gates with 3 jetways, only one was in use and for a good reason, First (Lower deck) and Upper deck are not receiving paid passengers on these special training flights.



Club World (Lower deck) is in a 2-4-2 configuration, seat design has been slightly updated, most noticeably with the use of brown instead of dark blue.

photo 13photo 14

World Traveler (Lower deck) is in a 3-4-3 configuration where all the Economy passengers get to seat.

photo 15photo 16

IFE is provided by Thales

photo 17

Adjustable headrest

photo 17bis

Mood lighting

photo 18

Economy cabin is quite packed

Unfortunately, PTV will not be in use even for the safety briefing, they performed a manual one.

photo 19

Safety card



The partial view I can get from my seat

photo 23

World Traveller (Lower deck)

photo 24photo 25

After chatting a bit with one of the crew member, I am invited to get upstair!

And it’s EMPTY, I am on my own in a flying A380!

World Traveller (Upper deck), 2-4-2 configuration



World Traveller Plus (Upper deck), 2-3-2 configuration

photo 30photo 31

Fully reclined seat

photo 32

Club World on the upper is divided in two cabins, the second cabin were filled with BA crews so I did not take picture of it. 19 cabin crews were on board, but only half of them were working! I feel like I was on a ferry flight and it was quite weird.

Club World (Upper deck), 2-3-2 configuration (1st cabin)



Full flat

photo 36

And this is the view you gonna get!



2 spacious toilets are located on each sides of the staircase (like on AF or MH)

photo 42photo 43

Staircase

photo 44

But what is that?

photo 45

New First of course, in a 1-2-1 configuration

photo 46photo 47

It feels A LOT more spacious than on the 744 even if the seat design is similar, I think they just make it bigger to fit the A380 width.



And we round-up with Club World (lower deck) occupied by Club Europe paying passengers on this flight.

photo 53

Service is the regular Euro Traveller one, Gin Tonic and crips for me

photo 54photo 55

We were lucky as ATC didn’t put us in a holding pattern but still, we had to wait 5/10 minutes before disembarking as a passenger had to be escorted by the Police.

photo 56

Partial view of our whalejet, gated at Terminal 5C

photo 57

Vidéo:
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Verdict

British Airways

7.9/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering7.0

Frankfurt - FRA

8.2/10
Efficiency9.5
Access7.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

London - LHR

6.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

It’s always fantastic to get a chance to fly on a brand new aircraft especially of an iconic airline like BA, however they did nothing to communicate nor promote this new aircraft when at the same time Air France did a lot of buzz when they sent back in summer 2009 their A380 on CDG-LHR legs.

This aircraft is indeed pleasant and a great addition to BA’s fleet, however cabin is pretty standard with no real evolution, still you will experiences A380 perks like the reduced onboard noise level or the side bins if you are seated on the upper deck with a window seat.

If you plan to travel in either Club World or World Traveller I would recommend to pick a seat on the upper deck, it feels more cozy and inviting.

World Traveller Plus may not be worth the money, seats are not reclining that much and are only marginally wider than World Traveller.

On the other side First Class seats (located on the lower deck) are bigger and feel more private than in 747.

Btw, BA plans to continue operating this aircraft on this route until mid-october.

Thanks for your reading, the dream journey is not over XD.

Information on the route Frankfurt (FRA) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 16 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Frankfurt (FRA) → London (LHR).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 45 minutes.

  More information

45 Comments

  • Comment 85560 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4958 Comments

    That's awesome that you got to tour the empty upper deck? What did you tell the crew that they let you up there? You should've asked to stay up there. There's no lounge area where AF has the museum? What does BA do with that space? Like most new A380s, there is no big revolution in products--it's pretty much the same thing as before only slightly updated. You would think the A380 would be a good opportunity to introduce a new and innovative product (like EK did with theirs).

    True, BA did not advertise that they are running A380s on short hall flights, but that is probably a good thing. AF promoted the flights to LHR, but every time the plane went tech and there was a cancellation or delay, it was a HUGE mess because now 500+ seats needed to be found to reprotect pax. Not to mention that there were a lot of disappointed and pissed off pax who purposely took the flights to ride on the A380. IMHO BA was smart about this by not selling the whole plane and avoiding those types of situations.

    • Comment 280604 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      Thanks Kevin for your comprehensive comment,
      I told the crew who I was and what was my employer, and that the only reason I was onboard was to take their A380.
      No lounge of any kind, If I recall maybe small bars like they have on 744.
      Indeed no revolution, bit of a shame for an airline who was the first to introduce full flat bed in J back in the 90's.

  • Comment 85567 by
    pititom GOLD 10250 Comments

    Thanks for this premiere. It was time for a CW upgrade....especially the IFE ! But I'm no way going for the 2-3-2 layout !

    The dream journey is not over... : I actually thought it would start from FRA ;)

  • Comment 85581 by
    777 609 Comments

    Thanks for this great report in this new BA A388. Really nice to have the opportunity to visit the whole aircraft alone.
    As Kevin said no revolution in the cabin that is a bit disappointing.
    THX

  • Comment 85605 by
    Hcl75 1572 Comments

    Awesome flight report :D
    I can't believe you almost upgraded yourself haha!! I can easily imagine you having the clearance to get upstairs and never come back ^^. Anyway it's great that you took time to use the seats of every classes and took many pictures of them, it's very valuable for FR. But that flight must have gone quick :o
    My only regret is that the aircraft type is not shown on the thumbnails (on the homepage), so if one doesn't click on it, he won't know that a 380 is hiding behind this banal FRA-LHR with BA...
    Thank for that FR !

    • Comment 280607 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      Lol, I had indeed plenty of time to try out the seats on the upper deck, but I was mostly interested by the CW cabin of course lol, I also had a nice chat with BA crews about their network and partnership strategy and so on.
      We decided to put the class of service instead of the aircraft type on thumbnail as we think it's a more important information, still if you are seeing a 3-4-3 on a FRA-LHR it's a hint that this flight was not operated by an A319 lol.

  • Comment 85616 by
    micahbzh 550 Comments

    That will be great if you can make this report in french too !!

  • Comment 85618 by
    SKYTEAMCHC TEAM GOLD 7801 Comments

    Thanks for this very unusual and great Flight Report. I envy you ! ;-) The tour on the empty upper deck must have been quite an experience. The cabin looks crisp and I did found the world traveller plus and First cabins very sharp and nice. The business Cabin is ok but , as in the other planes, altough oerhaps a little less appears a little bit cluttered and I do not like the back facing seats. Altogether a very nice product but it seems to miss a bar or a special place to meet like on EK , QF etc . I love the pics of the flue engines outside the window and I see that you are too a Gin& Tonic amateur , what else anyway on BA ? ;-)

    • Comment 280609 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      Thanks,
      You are right CW layout is a bit weird with some of the seats facing bacward, however they do offer great privacy.
      Yes a lounge is a must on A380 unfortunaly beside KE and EK nobody did it.

      Of course a G&T lol, it's my favorite drink when travelling in Economy in Europe, but I prefer Bombay Sapphire Gin used by AF over Gordons.

  • Comment 85621 by
    Stoogy 38 Comments

    How lucky you are ! It looks like you had the time of your life :-) Thank you for this great FR. I like the world traveller plus cabin. But I am surprised that BA did not take this unique opportunity to have brand new business and first classes. I agree with Skyteammateo. It is a missed opportunity in this competitive business. Fantastic pics. Cheers !

  • Comment 85632 by
    KL651 TEAM 4454 Comments

    Thank you for this long expected FR.
    You were really lucky to be able to go to the upper deck, I've read a couple of reports of BA A380 LHR-FRA flights where no one was allowed upstairs.
    The WT, WTP and CW cabins are nice, but the 1st class doesn't look that different to the business one, just a wider seat, the tones are the same.
    I just love the view of the RR engines from the lower deck.

    • Comment 280611 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      Thank you.
      Yes regular passengers are prevented to go upstair, but you may be persuasive lol.
      I can ensure you that First is clearly different from business in a 1-2-1 configuration vs 2-4-2. Used tones are similar though.
      View on the RR engines from the lower deck is taken from seat 3L, so you know which seat to book next time XD.

  • Comment 85633 by
    Bastien003 13 Comments

    I was on this exact same flight!
    I did a day round trip on the 15th of August flying BA902 in Economy and straight back on BA903 in Club (seat 10A).
    It's a pity not having been able to meet.
    Hope you enjoyed the experience as much as I did. Cabin crew in Club was fantastic.

    Were in in the JAL lounge before the flight? If not, well, let's say you haven't missed anything!

    • Comment 280612 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      Oh, such a shame, during boarding I talked with someone (around 45/50 i guess) who was taking a lot of pictures, and he was seated in CW too. But beside him I haven't seen other geeks.
      Do you plan on making a Flight-Report on your flights? I hope you do!

    • Comment 280620 by
      Bastien003 13 Comments

      Yes I remember him. He was my neighbour and sat in 10B. A lovely chap. He is retired and travels across Europe to spot planes.
      We swapped seats during landing for him to have a better view through the window.

      There is a page on Flyertalk where people flying with the A380 or the 787 can report which flight/day they are flying, which class and if they can guest people in the lounges.
      I did that and could meet 2 other guys from FT flying Club on that flight too.
      Maybe you can do that next time.

      I will not make a Flight Report as I do not have enough pics. However, I advertised the Flight Report website to the Flyertalkers I met that day. Glad to see now that FR is in English to accommodate a wider audience!

    • Comment 280673 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      Yes I have seen this page on FT, it was very helpful to know when and where are your best chances to get the A380.

  • Comment 85645 by
    frwstar2 1269 Comments

    Thanks

    Sadly this plan is used only for a limited time. In Asia a short flight with such plan is usual.

    If i remember correctly, Petitom explained BA used 1-2-1 configuration not a 2-4-2 in J.

    First class don't look compact with 14 seats ?

    Don't used a lounge ? Your not BA silver or gold ?

    • Comment 280616 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      I think you are missing some E on PlanE lol
      Yes it's a staggered layout in a 1x-x2x-x1 or x1-1xx1-1x configuration downstair
      First class may not be as spacious as on MH A388 but still, it's better than on 744.
      I am no more BA silver :(

  • Comment 85654 by
    marathon GOLD 9515 Comments

    How can you grumble against airline staff being liberally upgraded on AF flights when BA officially reserves the entire upper deck of all A380s in its fleet to crew, staff and friends ?
    Great pictures as always; thanks for this unusual report. The contest for the shortest A380 flight is on!

  • Comment 85655 by
    Scott05 565 Comments

    Thank you for this great report !
    Next step : BA's Dreamliner ? :P
    I prefer the new Club World seats' color, but First Class cabin looks way to big, even though it seems comfy ^^

  • Comment 85656 by
    Denzee 1773 Comments

    Thanks for sharing with us this first FR on the BA A380.

    You're amazing : time for a whole tour of this big bird and then a gin tonic on a such short flight :-)

    Dream or nightmare journey :-)

  • Comment 85660 by
    Bastien003 13 Comments

    One comment as I did this trip too - in both economy and club:
    I sat in 24A in economy for the outbound leg and I have noticed that the IFE box (located under the row A seats) is quite big taking a lot of leg room.
    So not sure if I would choose row A, shall i fly on regular BA A380 service in economy.

  • Comment 85669 by
    AirCanada881 1631 Comments

    Fabulous report Sir. The pictures are extremly well composed.May I ask what camera you are using?

    The A380 as always impresses with its sheer size and space, I think I lost count of how many cabins this one has!

    One thing I noticed is that there is one seat on the aisle, left side of the middle section with no IFE screen, what is up with that?

    • Comment 280624 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4958 Comments

      It's probably because there is no seat behind it. Often because there is either a trap door behind it giving access to the belly or because the cabin curves in towards the rear so has less seats abreast

    • Comment 280650 by
      Bastien003 13 Comments

      It is the former, ie: behind this seat, there is an emergency evacuation trap of a crew rest area that is on the basement level.
      Cannot remember where I read that, sorry.

    • Comment 280671 by
      AirCanada881 1631 Comments

      lol I am so blind, of course there's no seat behind it how could I miss that! Thanks for the explanation guys :)

    • Comment 280677 by
      Leadership TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4336 Comments

      No need for sir lol.
      I am using a Canon SX1 IS, which is clearly getting old now and I am considering changing it.
      One the lower deck you have 4 cabins (1 First, 1CW and 2 WT) and on the upper deck you have 5 cabins (2CW, 1WT+ and 2WT).

      Regarding the missing seat KévinDC and Bastien003 are right but I think the crew rest area is located at bins level (and not on the basement level, but I may be wrong.

  • Comment 85757 by
    Kottok 374 Comments

    WOW thank you for this FR ! It feels you have done long haul flight ;-) The A380' cabin of BA is, for me, the most beautiful one ! Thanks again :D

  • Comment 85828 by
    aurel-lil 4259 Comments

    fabulous report, thanks for sharing ;)
    The upper deck almost just for you, better than the first class, i'm so jealous !
    BA crew was really friendly on this flight, thanks a lot.

  • Comment 86058 by
    padawan 1448 Comments

    Thank you for this FR. Looks weird to travel on such a big plane for a short distance !
    The 2-3-2 configuration on Upper deck Club World is unusual. The central seat looks _very_ isolated.

  • Comment 86409 by
    A380B77W 4347 Comments

    Thanks a lot for this great FR :D !

    Great visit of this pretty cabin !

    It's wird to fly in a empty cabin ^^

  • Comment 87683 by
    offcm 966 Comments

    thank you flavien nice report, and nice cabin in eco for your flight!!! it's amazing to see in flight the empty business class and first!! beautiful tourism! hahahahaha

  • Comment 87755 by
    Hauru 24 Comments

    Oh my god !!! This is amazing !!
    How lucky you are

    =thanks for the first report for BA-A380

  • Comment 93509 by
    Chibcha 428 Comments

    Awesome trip, I wish offerings were as interesting on this side of the world, you did a very complete and cool report on the type, I personally didn't like it much...way too...gray.
    Saludos!

  • Comment 98331 by
    Julien75 472 Comments

    I take this aircraft for to go to LAX next month !

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