Review: British Airways World Traveler A380 Los Angeles to London Heathrow

Review: British Airways World Traveler A380 Los Angeles to London Heathrow
Review: British Airways World Traveler 777-300ER London Heathrow to Mumbai
Review: British Airways World Traveler 777-200 Mumbai to London Heathrow

YOUTUBE: British Airways: Los Angeles to London Heathrow
YOUTUBE: British Airways: London Heathrow to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: British Airways: Mumbai to London Heathrow


From my last flights on United to London to this flight, I did do some JetBlue flights and put them on YouTube, but did not formally write anything since there simply wasn’t much to write, but below the links in case you wanted to watch the videos:

JetBlue: Long Beach to Salt Lake City 2/14/14

JetBlue: Salt Lake City to Long Beach 2/18/14

Anyways, onto this next exciting flight. There are several reasons why I was very excited for this flight:

  1. After many years of traveling through Tom Bradley International Terminal, this was my first time after the renovation and huge improvement.
  2. I always love flying the A380, whether I’m in first, business, or economy class
  3. I’m always happy to be back in the air again.

This time, I took some more pictures, so hopefully, you guys will enjoy that as well. Ok so arriving at Tom Bradley was a madhouse at the time I arrived because of the volume of flights that leave at night from Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at night, not to mention how many of them are A380s. We have my British Airways, a couple Qantas 380s and a 747, China Southern A380, and many more departures. The line for BA was pretty long, and this time I, unfortunately, had a bag to drop, which means long line wait. Eventually, we got to the front:

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It sure felt good to be all the way at the front getting rid of my heavy India bag (Yes every time I travel to India I stuff my bag to the absolute legal weight limit), which was 50 Lbs or 23 Kgs. After that we went through security. Now at the time that I went here, the modification of the terminal was complete, but security was still on the ground floor. So if you go today to TBIT, security

After that, we went through security. Now at the time that I went here, the modification of the terminal was complete, but security was still on the ground floor. So if you go today to TBIT, security can be accessed by taking an escalator from two different sides of the terminal, and the entire general security, TSA pre-check, Global Entry, etc is on the upper floor from which you can access airside. But when I went, the security is still on the main floor on both sides of the terminal. There was no TSA pre-check line. When we crossed some under-construction sections and into the main terminal, MY GOD! It was beautiful. I instantly fell in love and was so happy that such a wonderful structure was right here in my hometown. Here was a quick clip I took just after security. Unfortunately, I was so in awe I forgot to take pictures.

I love that clock tower. Now The point of this is also to help you guys out, and apart from the reviews out of LAX on this page and channel, I’ve flown out of this terminal numerous times now, so for all you alliance elites and premium class passengers, here’s a rundown of the lounges at TBIT and who gets to access what:

  1. Star Alliance Business Class Lounge
    1. All passengers traveling in First/ Business Class on a Star Alliance airline same day
    2. All Star Alliance Gold members traveling in any cabin on the same day
  2. Star Alliance First Class Lounge (access via the business class lounge)
    1. All Passengers traveling in First Class on a Star Alliance airline the same day
  3. One World Business Class Lounge
    1. All Passengers traveling first/business class on a One World Airline on the same day
    2. All Passengers who have One World Sapphire or Emerald Status traveling in any cabin on the same day and MUST BE TRAVELING ON An ONE WORLD AIRLINE
  4. Qantas First Class Lounge
    1. All Passengers traveling in First Class on a One World Airline the same day
    2. All passengers with One World Emerald Status and MUST BE TRAVELING ON An ONE WORLD AIRLINE
  5. Los Angeles International Lounge
    1. Passengers Traveling in a premium cabin on the following airlines:
      1. Air Tahiti Nui
      2. Fiji Airways
      3. El AL
      4. Philippine Airlines
      5. Japan Airlines
  6. Korean Air Business Class Lounge
    1. All Passengers traveling in Business/First Class on a SkyTeam Airline the same day
  7. Korean Air First Class Lounge
    1. All Passengers traveling in First Class on a SkyTeam Airline the same day
  8. Emirates Lounge
    1. All Emirates First/Business Class Passengers
    2. All passengers with Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum Status traveling in any class of travel on Emirates
  9. Etihad Premium Lounge
    1. All Etihad Pearl Business/ Diamond First Customers
    2. All Alitalia Magnifica (Business Class) passengers
    3. All Airberlin business class passengers
    4. All Etihad Guest members with Gold and Platinum Status traveling in any class of travel on Etihad

To get to these lounges, after you pass security and enter the main departure hall, simply turn right and go up the escalators in front of you and turn right again and there will be directions to all the lounges. Anyways, I did some spotting of my own while waiting for boarding. I even came early enough to watch my flight pull in:

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BA A380 arriving from London Heathrow
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BA A380 arriving from London Heathrow

After she had parked, I went to a food court near the lounges and ate some pizza. There are many other food places as well as cosmetic shops throughout the terminal, and there’s even a Vino Volo, which is a rotating wine bar restaurant concept that I’ve seen now at LAX, SNA, and Seattle.

After eating I started making my way to the south concourse of the terminal where my flight would be departing from gate 154. I took some pictures along the way:

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Air France 777-200 heading to Papeete
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Qantas A380 heading to Sydney

Here’s another look at my plane before we board the plane:

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British Airways

LAX-LHR A380-800

Here’s another picture from onboard:

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Seat 74K

Now to the details of the seat. Each seat in economy has a headrest which is a nice touch and does help passengers sleep a little better. I was on the upper deck which meant the seats were configured at 2-4-2 rather than 3-4-3 on the main deck. I like to get up a lot and just walk around the cabin, which is why I would prefer to disrupt the minimal amount of people. The upper deck seats also have a smaller overhead bin at each seat, but to make up for that, there’s a storage compartment by the window at each window seat to allow more storage. Those storage compartments are pretty deep as well. This is also why whenever I would fly business class on the A380, and they have business on both decks, I would choose the upper deck seats because of that extra storage. The cabin does become more compressed, but that’s hardly noticed in the long run.

One disadvantage of the seat is that all the window seats have that dumb, lazy entertainment box under the seat in front of you which quite so restricts the legroom. Also, even though the seats are alright, the material was fairly firm, which made my rear end start to hurt after a while, but that’s just me. Pushback and startup all took place about 20 minutes after our scheduled departure time which is not bad at all. Here is a picture I took on the taxi out:

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Looking back at TBIT from north side

Departure was a quiet roar which is another feature I enjoy of the A380, especially if you happen to be sitting behind the wing. This was no exception. After the departure announcement was made by a flight attendant with quite a loud and distinct voice (no insult intended, sounded as if she was yelling into the microphone) but service began shortly after. I did not photo it this time, but BA serves these particular pretzels; it’s their signature, and it is quite delicious, though not the healthiest I’m sure:

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Next course was dinner, and I noted that the process was carried out quickly. Essentially as soon as they finished serving snacks to the last person in the economy cabin, they brought the trash cart out and began to clean immediately. After they had cleaned the last economy passenger’s trash, the main meal cart was brought around. The flight attendants were not particularly rude, but they showed no emotion, kind of as if they were just going through the motions. Dinner below consisted of a salad, bread with butter, Chicken Tikka, and Lemon cake.

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Dinner

The salad was alright, but better enhanced with the provided dressing. I much prefer ranch, but Balsamic Vinaigrette is perfectly fine as well. The chicken Tikka Masala was cooked well but didn’t taste the best. The texture was perfect, and it wasn’t too hard, yet it wasn’t uncooked either. So a round of applause to the crew for warming it perfectly and good job to the cooks who mass produced this. However, there was some lack of taste. Now I’m Indian, so I know what a good Chicken Tikka Masala tastes like. This wasn’t it. I will attribute some of it to the fact that altitude does have an effect on taste buds, but even then it was almost like eating chicken with water-flavored gravy that had some taste. The lemon cake dessert was lovely, and definitely was one of the better desserts I have had in the sky in economy, but not the best, but that’s for another flight on Etihad I took in July 2016 anyways 😉. After dinner, I actually watched a movie, something I do not

After dinner, I actually looked at a movie, something I do not do very much on an airplane. But my inner child kicked in, and I watched Ice Age 4. I love that entire series. I fell asleep somewhere in the middle thanks to the lovely headrest that the seat had, I woke up a little before dawn broke:

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Photo before dawn

Morning eventually rolled around and breakfast time was upon us. Here is the box cover, and I definitely was a fan of the design:

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The “breakfast” box was not very impressive. The croissant was cold and hard (At least United’s croissants were warm and soft), the raisin cookie provided was rock hard, and that’s all we got anyways. We also got a side of our choice of drink of course, for which I chose apple juice.

Like my last LAX to LHR flight, I was disappointed, even more so this time. I’m still not getting why airlines like to make the second meal a small snack box on a 10-hour flight. I was unhappy on my United flight, but that’s a US carrier so it is what it is. But this is not a US carrier, and British Airways sure does pride itself on having “world class” premium service in all cabins, and if anything, here it appears that they are going through all the efforts to avoid the “premiums” aka extra payment. So breakfast was not satisfactory at all. Thank God LHR’s terminal 5 has one of my favorite airport restaurants in the world!

At least the views were enjoyable towards the end of the flight, and my oh my the cloud formations and rich sky color made a wonderful sight to see! And no it’s not this one below:IMG_0365

It’s this one! :

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View while starting descent

The next picture I have was parking at the gate, but the views of London were great again, and the touchdown was smooth, which I’ve consistently found the case to be with most to all of my A380 flights. IMG_0373

Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought the flight was decent: I got plenty of sleep, I got to watch some of my favorite movies, the seats weren’t too bad, and the A380 is always great. Despite this, I thought the food could use some improvement. The quality was not amazing or stellar, and the quantities were meager, especially with that second “breakfast” so-called. I would definitely be ok with flying BA this route, but I would like to see some improvements in their soft product (food, service, etc). I have two more flights with BA after this one and of course, I am not expecting these changes to be present there, but I hope it will be a topic of discussion at BA headquarters. A decent job to BA for the flight.

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