By Chris Sloan, Airchive Editor-In-Chief: Published September 25, 2013
Los Angeles: British Airways has completed the inaugural of its first Airbus A380 service on its so called “Red Carpet Route” between Los Angeles and London Heathrow. Flight 269 departed LHR on Tuesday September 24th right on time at 4:15pm BST local time. Before departure from Terminal 5, passengers were treated by music from former Spice Girl Melanie C and Matt Cardle. BA ran a social media stunt called #RaceThePlane to promote the first flight with winners receiving tickets on the A380 between LAX and London.
In a creative publicity stunt, celebrities George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Daniel Craig checked in early for the flight, well their look a-likes did. This service marks the first and only Airbus A380 operating between LAX and London Heathrow and replaces a Boeing 747-400 on one of BA’s three daily flights between the two cities, initially 5 days a week. In true Hollywood fashion, BA is planning a party Wednesday night in conjunction with entertainment industry trade publication “Variety” called “10 Brits to Watch”.
Flight 269 touched down in Los Angeles after 10:27 aloft at 7:26pm PST. Reportedly, there was a delay in getting passengers off the flight as BA’s LAX ground crew were acclimating themselves to the new flight. After just over 2 hours on the ground, flight 268 turned around with wheels up at 10:17pm PST for its scheduled 9:11 flight time back to London. As mentioned before, The A380 will first operate five times per week on the route, but will increase to double-daily flights beginning April 10, 2014.
New Video of A380 Arrival into LAX via @SpeedbirdHD
BA received the first of their twelve A380-800, G-XLEA, on July 4th. Familiarization flights with passengers to Frankfurt began in early August. The second arrived on Friday September 20th with the third scheduled to arrive in October. Hong Kong is the next A380 destination for BA, beginning Oct 22nd, which will be the only A380 service on the LHR-HKK route. Johannesburg South Africa service will be BA’s 3rd A380 destination commencing on February 12, 2014 with an initial 3 times per week service. Miami has been rumored as one of the next destinations, but not confirmed. New York JFK would seem inevitable as this is one of the airline’s flagship routes at some point.
BA is now the world’s only current operator of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which inaugurated its service between Toronto and London on September 1st, with Newark-London beginning October 1st.
Rolls Royce will power the A380 with four of its Trent 900 engines. Seating only 469 passengers (less than other A380s), the 14 First Class seats will be on the lower deck, with 97 in Club World, 55 in World Traveler Plus (only on the upper deck), and 303 in World Traveler. The Club World and World Traveler seats are distributed about equally between the upper and lower decks. All seats will have on-demand audio and video options. The A380 first-class passengers will enjoy nightwear, a turndown service, fine dining, a champagne supper and 15-inch entertainment screens.
Additional Stories & Resources:
- Inflight Review: Onboard British Airways Airbus A380 Inaugural Long-Haul Flight
- BA Airbus A380 Safety cards
- Onboard British Airways First A380 Familiarization Flight
- British Airways A380 / 787 Dual Delivery Event
- Here’s a trip report on the flight from Airliners.net including the “A380 letter” and additional images of the first flight, including the off-limits First Class Cabin”.
- “The Telegraph” produced this interesting video tour of the aircraft.
- Videos of British Airways A380 First Flight LHR-FRA via YouTube
- Video Tour of British Airways A380 on July 4th Delivery Day