I am, without question, a plane freak. I love them, loving being in them long-haul, and if I’m fortunate, loving being upgraded to business or first. It was a no brainer that I needed a weekend in London when British Airways announced it was launching the A380 from LAX to London. The A380 is superjumbo double decker that, from the outside, looks like a fat dolphin.
Since I have fond memories of Flipper, I don’t mind the resemblance. Flight booked and upgraded to Business, I headed to LAX under the brilliant light of a full moon. Unfortunately the only British Airways flight with a A380 is the 9:30pm flight. Oh the sacrifices I make. Imagine my surprise when I realized I checked in and made it through security in under 20 min. I guess one good thing about late night flights is the number of people is greatly reduced. More time in the lounge. Not complaining.
Yes, I know – I’m full-fledged plane geek mode! But I haven’t been to LAX International Terminal since April and suddenly I was giddy at being ‘home.’ I used to love the British Airways lounge, especially when I entered the First Class lounge. It seemed to have a sense of serenity that relaxed me in advance of a flight.
Oh, times have changed. First Class Lounge was Standing Room Only! Circling around looking for a spot to sit isn’t relaxing; thankfully, it was only 2 circles before a seat opened up. The lounge didn’t have Champagne but did have a nice sparkling wine from Bordeaux. Ah, I feel “relax” coming on.
I was glad I had 2 glasses of wine because I was unprepared for the NEW TERMINAL. The only words that came to mind as I exited the up escalators: STUNNING, GORGEOUS. As I got my bearings, I realized this is a Rodeo Ave/Beverly Hills shopping experience in an airport. All of the high end designer labels seemed to be represented.
I hadn’t realized that the NEW terminal opened in mid-September along with the inaugural British Airways A380. If I wasn’t awestruck by the sight, I might have felt clueless! Surprises still abound — boarding the A380 was different experience. Depending on your seat, you enter through 1 of 3 doors for main level or you go up a flight of stairs for upper level. WOW, just WOW.
And then ….. it all fell flat. The interior of the A380 is not spectacular. The one well-thought change is the bathrooms is at the back of the cabin, away from the galley. Brilliant. I was seated across from the bathroom — a godsend for me.
- British Airways A380 Bathroom – Club World
Take off was AMAZING as was flying. During takeoff, the wings flex up and you can see the air curving up and over. SO COOL!
The plane was so smooth and quiet. We were aboard a cloud.
Meh. The food was mediocre and the portion sizes ridiculously small. The champagne was delicious and the entertainment options were fantastic. I was thrilled to watch all episodes of Broadchurch and 2 episodes of Doctor Who. British drama at its best and well worth viewing.
I’ve forgotten how much I love London — its energy and diversity. And it’s Fall. Crisp, breezy and the trees are dropping their leaves.
Would I make an effort to fly the British Airways A380 in the future? Probably not. Heck, I’m not sure I’ll remain loyal to British Airways after this year. Overall, I’m not impressed with the plane or the reductions in service.
Onto the shopping and museums!