Inside The Airbus A380: The Aircraft With 2 Internal Elevators

Simple Flying has been working with British Airways to bring readers exclusive behind the scenes access to the airline. Yesterday we took a look at the exterior of the Airbus A380. However, now it’s time to take a look inside the cabin…

British Airways, Airbus A380, Interior
British Airways granted Simple Flying exclusive behind the scenes access to its Airbus A380 maintenance site. Photo: British Airways

Into the cabin

Having descended the scaffolding carefully placed to reach the top of engine number one, we walked underneath the giant aircraft to some more scaffolding. This took us up to the second starboard entry on the aircraft’s main deck. It proved to be an exciting moment for me, as it was the first time I had boarded a commercial jet from the right-hand side.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Interior
Club World was the first cabin that we set foot in. Photo: British Airways

On most A380s, this would put you in the middle of the economy cabin. However, British Airways has opted to put its first-class cabin on the main deck of the Airbus A380. We turned left and started our journey through the lower part of the Club World cabin. Here, a team of engineers were hard at work checking and replacing everything from IFE screens to the decor in the galley. The lower floor also houses an economy cabin in addition to the First cabin.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Interior
While rather cozy, the crew rest area seems like a lovely place to take a nap! Photo: British Airways

No detail has been left unchecked in the cabin. This includes in the crew rest area which is hidden away. We entered the area, and I was shocked at how much space was available. On previous visits to British Airways, I had seen in the A350’s crew rest area. Reminiscent of a hostel, the area has a bed for each member of the crew.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Interior
British Airways’ A380 economy cabin is split across two levels. Photo: British Airways

Up the spiral staircase

At the rear of every Airbus A380 is a staircase connecting the two passenger decks. After climbing over a dedicated worker fixing something on the floor, we had time to admire the upper economy cabin. Unlike the 3-4-3 layout on the main deck, the upper cabin is laid out with a 2-4-2 configuration. This makes it slightly more pleasant when traveling, and as such, it is my cabin of choice.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Interior
Maintaining the Airbus A380 doesn’t just apply to the exterior. The interior, including seats, were also being checked over during our visit. Photo: British Airways

Ahead is British Airways’ premium economy cabin, which it calls World Traveller Plus. The cabin is a slight upgrade from the upper economy cabin with a 2-3-2 layout. However, the real upgrade comes from the enhanced soft product in the cabin. At this point, Heeran points out one interesting element of the Airbus A380. The aircraft actually has two elevators which are able to move standard-sized galley containers between the floors.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Interior
The British Airways Airbus A380 houses its World Traveller Plus cabin upstairs. Photo: British Airways

Moving forwards

Moving forward once more, we reach the Club World cabin, otherwise known as business class. British Airways is currently in the process of rolling out a new Club World cabin on a number of its aircraft.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Interior
All of the maintenance work took place inside one of British Airways’ giant hangars. Photo: British Airways

The Airbus A380 is set to be the last aircraft to receive the new Club World cabin. As a result, they are currently stuck with a 2-4-2 layout on the lower deck. This is 2-3-2 on the upper deck matching the premium economy layout. At the front of the cabin are two large toilets. These are the reason that most carriers put the first-class cabin on the upper deck.

Want to read the final part of our three-part journey around the British Airways Airbus A380? Just click here!