BA brings the A380 to Chicago

The very first British Airways A380 before its inaugural long-haul flight to Los Angeles in 2013

Another A380 is set to fly regularly to the United States. Chicago is set to receive scheduled A380 service from British Airways starting next summer. The flight will be the first regular A380 flights to O’Hare. BA294/295, the earlier of two daily BA flights between O’Hare and Heathrow, will now fly on the larger aircraft; the later flight remains a 747-400.

This is not the first A380 to arrive at O’Hare. Emirates ran a one-off service in July 2016 as a proof of concept for the first A380-capable gate at the airport. That test was mostly successful, except the part where the jet bridge nicked the aircraft and delayed the return. Presumably they’ll be better going forward with enough time to practice.

The two larger BA aircraft join four daily American Airlines flights between Chicago and London, all on the 787, providing the Oneworld partners six total flights. That’s not quite as dense a schedule as the pair operate between New York City and London but it still offers well spaced flight times throughout the evening, plus the one daytime flight for those who prefer not sleeping on a plane.

Whoa…that’s a lot of ecomony seats. And yet still the smallest economy cabins of any A380 operator.

And for those passengers with some flexibility in departure time I’d say the A380 is now the second best option for the nonstop service, at least in economy class. The daytime flight is still my favorite, even with the tighter squeeze of 9-abreast seating on the 787. If flying overnight the A380 will give more space, particularly if you can secure one of the upstairs coach seats in the back. I’d rather it was also the later departure so I’m more likely to sleep, but there are various other substances I can use to help with that effort if needed.

Still no confirmation on the alleged 787 to Nashville, though. Actually, that just got announced, too: 5x weekly on the 787 starting next summer.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


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