As British Airways prepares to begin flights with their 787 and A380 aircraft we’ve been wondering how much an aircraft type influences a booking for a particular route.
Aircraft manufacturers promote their new jets to both airlines and passengers, showing off their new features, speed, how quiet and economical they are, their size, space and unique features.. As certain aircraft only fly on specific routes does an airliner type influence your trip?
With airlines specifying particular cabin layouts, cabin seating types and IFE you not only need to know destinations but also what each airline offers its passengers. Then you can decide which is the most important – or is just down to how low the ticket price is!
It used to be the aim of many 747 passengers to experience the flight from the upper deck. The higher view when close or on the ground is now open to many more passengers when flying on the A380, no matter what class seat you book. The majority of A380 airline customers have seen how much interest there is in flying ‘upstairs’. The upper deck cabins with most operators are configured in such a way that they can offer this ‘higher’ experience to a larger range of passengers.
A little thing we noticed on the upper deck of an A380, when we had a walk around one, was the easier seating and extra storage. Due to the slight narrowing of the fuselage on the upper deck their are usually only two seats next to the windows (in economy) rather than three on the lower deck.
The main benefit of this is it is easier to get in and out of your seat if you are next to the window. There is also an area between the seat and the window that the designers have utilised. In this space is a handy deep storage compartment so you don’t have to keep getting out to reach that overhead locker. This is something that isn’t often mentioned by airlines but can just make your flight a little easier – it’s the little things!
Do check with each airline as not all carriers have every class on each deck.
As yet we have not actually flown on the A380 so we can’t offer our views on what they are actually like to fly on or which is our preferred operator. We have spent time with the Malaysia Airlines A380 whilst on the ground and we where impressed with the cabin layouts, the feeling of space and the size of the stairs!
With the Dreamliner you are going to get a more calmer, spacious cabin and a quieter flight according to Boeing. Also they have developed Smoother Ride Technology which should give passengers a more comfortable flight.
What impresses us about the 787 is the size of the windows. If you have ever sat in an aisle seat or the centre seats and tried to get a view of the landing it is almost impossible as everyone else leans over too. With these larger windows it at least gives you a better chance to view the outside world – and it also adds to the impression of space within the cabin.
The real clever bit about the windows is the dimming feature. Gone are those pull down shades, now you just alter the tint of the window with the electrochromic dimming system!
It seems that the 787 experience will improve your flight with features you probably wont even realise – a lower cabin pressure, cleaner air and other hidden technologies. The actual IFE, food and service will be down to the airline. Unlike the A380 the 787 is normal looking aircraft, offering a more subtle improvement to flying – although the sweep of the wings and the new nose certainly make it impressive when you see it in the flesh.
We hope to experience the 787 first hand soon to give you a complete report on what this aircraft offers passengers. In the meantime if you have been on either the A380 or 787 then we would like to hear your thoughts on the flights and the airlines operating them.