Official: British Airways A380 Returning To Service!

Official: British Airways A380 Returning To Service!

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Update: British Airways will begin flying the A380 between London (LHR) and Dallas (DFW) as of March 26, 2022, which is now reflected below. Dallas sure is getting a lot of transatlantic oneworld capacity, with Finnair and Iberia also both adding service to the airport.

In October we learned that British Airways would be putting its Airbus A380s back into service. The airline has scheduled the A380 initially on short haul flights, and then as of December on select long haul flights. This is an especially awesome opportunity for travel within Europe, given how much better the A380 is than typical short haul aircraft.

British Airways A380 flying as of November 2021

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

In November, British Airways is operating 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
  • As of March 26, 2022, British Airways will begin flying the A380 to Dallas (DFW) on BA192/193
British Airways A380s are returning to the skies

This is a huge development for British Airways. As you can see, three of the four long haul routes will be to the United States, and that clearly reflects the United States reopening 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:

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 has brought back its biggest transatlantic schedule since March 2020.

First of all, British Airways has increased frequencies in markets that are already served:

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

On top of that, British Airways is restoring many routes that had been suspended:

  • By 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 is returning Airbus A380s to service. The planes are currently flying within Europe for crew familiarization, and then as of December will begin long haul service, initially to Miami, Dubai, and Los Angeles, and then eventually to Dallas.

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 (43)
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  1. Scarlett_C New Member

    I'm flying on an A380 in a couple days, and I am Incredibly exited, my family are flying in business on the upper deck forward cabin!

  2. Diego Dave Guest

    The A380 is not flying the LAX-LHR route effective Jan 10, per ba.com.

  3. Julianmaba Guest

    The A380 benefits mentioned only relate to the inside cabin experience, but there is much more to enjoy from the A380: A very quiet cabin resulting in peaceful tranquility, such a comfortable and peaceful place to be. A spaciousness and open airy cabin with room to move around. And, an extra large airframe that can adsorb turbulence better than smaller airframes. It’s not only cabin decor and service, the airplane itself offers much more

    1. Willard McCoy Guest

      I would love to fly in the A380. Any chance it will fly out of NY or Boston Aany time soon?

  4. Atz Guest

    Just flew to MAD to fly on the A380 for my first time. Last minute equipment change to A320. Please kill me.

  5. Colin Clarke Guest

    My wife and I are booked BA LHR to San Francisco, and return, in June/July 2022 on BA285/284 and these are showing as A380.
    So, that looks like a wider remobilisation of the A380 fleet.

  6. MDA Guest

    One of the QF A380s landed back in Australia a few days ago. LAX to Dresden then onto Sydney.

    1. Mike C Diamond

      Yes, but it was in Dresden for extensive maintenance, not just a stopover. It then flew non-stop from Dresden to Sydney, another of the Qantas' series of ultra-long flights over recent months. Qantas made a big deal of the significance of the first of these jets returning to Australia.

  7. Cwyfan Guest

    I am waiting for BA to reintroduce Calgary, which is probably seasonal.

    Can anyone remember what dates they had as their season pre-Covid?

    Thanking you in anticipation.

  8. Crosscourt Guest

    BA's A380 has the worst first class bathrooms I've ever come across on an aircraft. In fact same on all their planes in first.

  9. Kent Guest

    Cool for those who love the A380. I don't think the A380 is sustainable long-term and nor do I find it an exceptional aircraft, but it's nice to see the joy it brings to those who adore it.

  10. glenn t Diamond

    While this article focusses on the BA A380 hard product, the soft product should not be overlooked as this can make or break the flight experience.
    In this regard BA has been notoriously inconsistent like, forever. When they're bad they're really bad, but when they put in a bit of effort they shine, so I hear.

  11. Apso Eyot Guest

    Club Suites on the British Airways A380 would be awesome. Along with putting doors on their first class (like on the newest 77Ws) and a new onboard lounge (pub?). Unlike many others, their home Heathrow is congested and they’re going to need those whales for a while. Hopefully plenty of time to retrofit.

  12. Adam Auxier Guest

    BA have added an A380 service on LHR-SFO too btw. Flight BA 284

    Adam

  13. BRMM Guest

    Sitting in the T3 Galleries lounge at LHR and just watched a BA A380 tow by. :)

  14. LAS Guest

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

  15. Alan Lewendon Guest

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

    1. Gary Guest

      And after getting rid of thousands of loyal long standing staff they are now rehiring ?? Ermmmmmm

  16. JOHN Guest

    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?

  17. Jetsetgo Guest

    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.

  18. Doug DeNunzio Guest

    The a380s return to service are gradually going well!

  19. TPK-CA Guest

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

  20. DorranJ Guest

    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.

  21. Neil G. Guest

    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 Guest

      Your negativity is not impressive. Considered therapy?

  22. James W Guest

    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 Diamond

      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.

  23. George Custor Guest

    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.

  24. Andrew Guest

    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.

  25. Legend717 Guest

    "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.

  26. JB Guest

    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.

  27. Greg Guest

    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 Guest

      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.

  28. shoeguy Guest

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

  29. Creditcrunch Diamond

    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.

  30. Chris Guest

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

    1. Trey Guest

      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.

  31. Briggy Guest

    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 Diamond

      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.

  32. First to the left Guest

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

Featured 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 Guest

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.

4
Trey Guest

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.

3
Scarlett_C New Member

I'm flying on an A380 in a couple days, and I am Incredibly exited, my family are flying in business on the upper deck forward cabin!

1
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