Link British Airways Airbus A380 800 (388)
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I had the window seat and my daughter the aisle seat of this Twin combo on the right side of the British Airways A380-800 aircraft. We swapped mid-flight so that my daughter could sleep while resting her head on the luggage bin.
I am 5'10" so generally suffer in Economy seats on long haul flights but I was suitably impressed with BA's A380-800's seats, which were roomier than Virgin's. Despite the entertainment box, about which many complain and that occupied part of the legroom space of my window seat, I was able to extend my right leg alongside the body of the aircraft and the seat in front so the box did not present an issue, at all.
The back-rest of the seat in front was broken and kept springing backwards but, apart from one jolt to my leg while I slept, this did not affect me in the least. Because our day had started at 4.00 a.m. with a four-hour drive and a 2.5 hour connecting flight, I was suitably tired when boarding our overnight A380 flight and, perhaps, any anticipated inconveniences became inconsequential.
However, while I am a huge B747 fan, I can confirm that our A380 was a lovely, clean, smooth and quiet aircraft, our steward was a great entertainer and the flight was a pleasant experience, overall. The window provided a great view outside and of the enormous wing to the front.
Our steward kindly warned us that because we were in front of the galley, there would be noise for one hour into our flight but, following dinner service, the curtain would be closed and peace prevail.
The cabin crew did not bother us with their dinner preparations. However, a couple of passengers irritated me as they pushed through the curtain, leaving it slightly open for the light to glare through. Each time, I was forced to close the gap in the curtain to return the cabin to darkness.
One should be mindful of the fact that because these seats are at the back of the aeroplane, the recline is not as great as those in the rest of the cabin, so these should be avoided if this is an important consideration.
The luggage bins in the Upper Deck were a huge asset since we always travel light with hand luggage and, therefore, did not require the overhead lockers.
BA's caterers are superior to the South African caterers who provided the JNB to LHR leg's food. The food was bland and uninteresting and I was surprised to find that they had provided margarine instead of butter! We selected the Ovo Lacto Vegetarian option and, for some reason, airline caterers seem to think that Vegetarians eat only pasta and fruit! Fruit for dinner and the same fruit for breakfast!
While the LHR-JNB leg's food was superb - and, yes ... included a delicious pasta meal - the JNB-LHR leg's menu was disappointing.
Two sets of toilets to the front serve the back cabin, which was small and intimate. Perhaps, because it was an overnight flight, there was not a constant footfall to the toilets, the sound of flushing, banging of the doors or blast of light into the cabin as the doors were opened and closed.
Many would not choose the rear seats but we found them to be perfectly acceptable. Perhaps, we were lucky with our particular cabin crew and fellow passengers or the fact that it was a red-eye flight. Whatever ... I do not have any complaints.
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