Official: British Airways A380 Returning To Service!

Official: British Airways A380 Returning To Service!

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Earlier this month we learned that British Airways would be putting its Airbus A380s back into service. The airline immediately scheduled long haul flights with these planes, but has now scheduled some short haul flights as well, which I figure some OMAAT readers may want to seek out. After all, flying on an A380 sure is better than the typical intra-Europe experience.

British Airways A380 will fly as of November 2021

Around the beginning of the pandemic, British Airways grounded its fleet of 12 Airbus A380s. The airline has now outlined plans to bring back five Airbus A380s in the coming weeks.

In November, British Airways will operate the A380 on short haul routes for crew familiarization purposes. Between November 8 and December 2, 2021, British Airways has loaded the A380 into the schedule for the following flights (and award availability is wide open, so what a fun way to fly):

  • To Frankfurt (FRA) on BA902/903 every day except Saturday, and on BA908/909 on Saturday
  • To Madrid (MAD) on BA462/463 every day except Saturday, and on BA456/457 on Saturday

After flying those routes for several weeks, the A380 will be returning to long haul service, and the plane has now officially been loaded into the schedule for the following flights:

  • As of December 3, 2021, British Airways will begin flying the A380 to Dubai (DXB) on BA106/107
  • As of December 5, 2021, British Airways will begin flying the A380 to Miami (MIA) on BA208/209
  • As of December 9, 2021, British Airways will begin flying the A380 to Los Angeles (LAX) on BA268/269

Initially there had been reports that British Airways would also fly the A380 to Dallas (DFW), but that’s not reflected in the official announcement or schedule from British Airways. I believe that’s because there are potential issues with A380 gate space there, which are still being worked out.

British Airways A380s are returning in the coming weeks

This is a huge development for British Airways. As you can see, two of the three long haul routes will be to the United States, and that clearly reflects that the United States is planning to open to vaccinated travelers from around the world. Dubai is also an obvious choice, given that Brits love the warm winters in the UAE, plus Expo 2020 is going on right now.

British Airways isn’t the only airline planning on returning the A380 to service shortly:

Qatar Airways is also bringing back A380s

Why I’m not all that excited…

As I said above, I’m generally a huge Airbus A380 fan, and am thrilled when these plans return to service after having been grounded for so long. However, in the case of British Airways:

  • The British Airways A380s have no special amenities (bars, lounges, showers, etc.), unlike A380s operated by some other airlines
  • British Airways has its new Club Suites business class product, which is now available on all A350s, and select 777s and 787s, and nowadays a good number of long haul planes flying feature these seats; this is a massive improvement over the old business class seat, which is what you’ll still find on the A380
  • British Airways A380s do feature first class, but that’s not all that much to get excited about, especially in comparison to the new business class
  • I’d say the real winners here are economy class passengers, as the A380 offers a superior economy class experience
British Airways’ A350 Club Suites business class
British Airways’ A380 Club World business class

British Airways bringing back transatlantic capacity

It’s not just Airbus A380s making a comeback. With travel restrictions being lifted across the Atlantic for vaccinated travelers, British Airways is also bringing back its biggest transatlantic schedule since March 2020.

First of all, British Airways is increasing frequencies in markets that are already served:

  • British Airways will offer five daily frequencies to New York in the coming weeks, and then eight daily frequencies as of December
  • British Airways will offer double daily flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington
  • British Airways will offer daily services to Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Seattle

On top of that, British Airways will restore many routes that had been suspended:

  • In October and November, British Airways will restart services to Austin, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego, and Tampa
  • In December, British Airways will restart flights to Nashville and New Orleans
British Airways is restoring transatlantic capacity

Bottom line

British Airways plans on returning Airbus A380s to service in the coming weeks. As of early November the planes will operate short haul routes for the purposes of crew familiarization (to Frankfurt and Madrid), and then as of December they’ll operate to Miami, Dubai, and Los Angeles.

I’m still conflicted — long live the A380, but at this point it’s also kind of hard to get excited about British Airways’ A380s (and perhaps that’s just a testament to how British Airways’ long haul product is improving).

What do you make of the British Airways A380 returning to service? Anyone booking a trip on the plane?

Conversations (27)
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  1. LAS

    Qantas has flown A380s DFW-SYD-DFW, so it is possible

  2. Alan Lewendon

    Does anyone know the BA flight numbers for the A380 flights to Frankfurt?

  3. JOHN

    I love the A380 especially Emirates version with the bar which makes the long flight from Australia to Dubai and then onto Europe a much better experience. Hopefully Emirates will bring them back on the Australian routes once the country reopens.

    I am booked on BA from LHR to JFK next August and am hoping they keep the 777 with the new business seats/suites and don't swap it to an A380. While I remember...

    I love the A380 especially Emirates version with the bar which makes the long flight from Australia to Dubai and then onto Europe a much better experience. Hopefully Emirates will bring them back on the Australian routes once the country reopens.

    I am booked on BA from LHR to JFK next August and am hoping they keep the 777 with the new business seats/suites and don't swap it to an A380. While I remember seeing the old BA business class lie flat seat about 18 years ago and thinking how great it was but wouldn't want to fly it now given a choice.

    Anyone know if BA are going to install the new seats on the A380?

  4. Jetsetgo

    I was checking availability of F awards between US and UK yesterday. They are basically nonexistent. Assumption here is hopefully there will be many more soon.

  5. Doug DeNunzio

    The a380s return to service are gradually going well!

  6. TPK-CA

    BA's Premium Economy on the A380 is very nice. I have flown LHR-LAX several times. Premium Economy is on the upper deck.

  7. DorranJ

    I am BA cabin crew and have mixed feelings about the A380 return. BA systematically makes cockeyed choices in many areas. The airlines that have dumped the A380 are not foolish low level players. BA always thinks whatever it does and whatever choices it makes must be good. Many are not and reversals are never publicized. In IFCE (cabin crew department) it is the crew who eventually and on limited occasions have foolish ideas reversed...

    I am BA cabin crew and have mixed feelings about the A380 return. BA systematically makes cockeyed choices in many areas. The airlines that have dumped the A380 are not foolish low level players. BA always thinks whatever it does and whatever choices it makes must be good. Many are not and reversals are never publicized. In IFCE (cabin crew department) it is the crew who eventually and on limited occasions have foolish ideas reversed or altered that cost a lot of money. The A380 is a whopper of an expense at a time we are being pushed to the absolute limit.

  8. Neil G.

    Apart from a percieved resentment you have towards British Airways, it reflects very poorly on you if your major consideration for a six hour flight is having a shower during that time and the rest of the time in a bar/lounge drinking . In the first case your personal hygiene problems are something you should discuss with your doctor and secondly a visit to AA may be required . I trust I am not being too facetious / flippant .

    1. Leigh

      Your negativity is not impressive. Considered therapy?

  9. James W

    Any idea how long the DFW flight use the A380? They used to fly a 747 on the route, and lately it was supposed to be swapped to a shiny new 787-10. Love seeing the A380 over DFW, and have missed it since Qantas buttoned up.

    1. Steve

      Same, not sure why they are having issue with gate space at DFW, there is a clear spot for the a380 with the double ramp still in place. Really hope this opens up and the a380 returns to dfw, plus it would be a big improvement on AA if you are flying in economy to lhr.

  10. George Custor

    Airbus is not a fan of its 380. Boeing is not a fan of its 747. Both manufactures will never build bigger is better aircraft. Also 4 is not safer than 2. Jets are considered bombs hanging on the wings If they could they would build single engine aircraft. The old ETOPS engines turn or passengers swim is the old hat recips where engines would fail due to 1000s of mechanical problems rocker arm or...

    Airbus is not a fan of its 380. Boeing is not a fan of its 747. Both manufactures will never build bigger is better aircraft. Also 4 is not safer than 2. Jets are considered bombs hanging on the wings If they could they would build single engine aircraft. The old ETOPS engines turn or passengers swim is the old hat recips where engines would fail due to 1000s of mechanical problems rocker arm or piston or valve or ring or jug or igniter or mag anything and every thing can and will go wrong engines. Engine are bombs the fewer the better.

  11. Andrew

    Yeah, I just took the 777-200 business from LAX to LHR a couple weeks ago. I'm definitely not excited about this... but I guess shareholders will be.

  12. Legend717

    "I'd say the real winners are the economy passengers..."
    So, basically, 90% of flyers. Let's keep that in perspective! And it is indeed better in economy than other fleet types; having flown them all, I'd happily chose the A380 any day.
    Also, I'm excited that it's going to DFW; that was historically a 747 route, and has since been a 777 or 787 route.

  13. JB

    I'm so excited to see the A380 coming back to MIA. I live under the departure/final approach path so it will be so amazing to see the A380 here (just like the Swiss A340 and LH747).

    As for BA's other routes, will the DXB flight be replacing their A350 flight (which would mean no more club suites)? And I don't ever recall BA ever operating their A380 to DXB. Can T1 handle an A380,...

    I'm so excited to see the A380 coming back to MIA. I live under the departure/final approach path so it will be so amazing to see the A380 here (just like the Swiss A340 and LH747).

    As for BA's other routes, will the DXB flight be replacing their A350 flight (which would mean no more club suites)? And I don't ever recall BA ever operating their A380 to DXB. Can T1 handle an A380, or will they depart out of T3 with Emirates?

    Also, the Dallas flight used to get a 787-10 with club suites as well, so the A380 will be changing that as well.

  14. Greg

    What's with all the bloggers going wet over the a380. Sounds very hail corporate. It's just a plane type, calm down

    1. Evan

      They are avgeeks at heart, and avgeeks love them some widebodies. I'm the same way with the 747 and, to a lesser extent, the A380.

  15. shoeguy

    BA's A380 provides a "superior" experience? Enlighten us please.

  16. Creditcrunch

    I know it’s a love hate relationship with BA’s old Club World seat and it doesn’t compare to the new version but I have always found it comfortable, reliable and functional.

  17. Chris

    In what way does the BA A380 provide a "superior economy class experience"?

    1. Trey

      I'd say, going from a 10-abreast economy on a 777 to a 10 on the lower floor or an 8-across on upper cabin of the A380 (especially window seats with extra storage) is generally a better experience.

  18. Briggy

    Well I'm excited, though as you suggested it's mainly because I'm travelling in economy (to MIA). Got 2 sets of pair seats in the upper deck with the extra storage, a better arrangement than most of the potential replacement planes.

    But yeah, if I was further forward it'd be 'meh'.

    1. Steve

      Are there some really solid economy seats? Figured upper deck in the back the 2 along the window are great probably not filled and cool to sit upper in 2-4-2 than a 3-4-3. Since there is no chance my upgrade on AA will clear figured id rather fly economy on the BA 380 than an AA 773.

  19. First to the left

    Maybe more (any) first class rewards seats availability? There are none currently.
    Much bigger bathrooms.

Featured Comments Load all 27 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Evan

They are avgeeks at heart, and avgeeks love them some widebodies. I'm the same way with the 747 and, to a lesser extent, the A380.

AG

Hey Sean Doyle!

Trey

I'd say, going from a 10-abreast economy on a 777 to a 10 on the lower floor or an 8-across on upper cabin of the A380 (especially window seats with extra storage) is generally a better experience.

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