Some reasons you might not want to take an A380 flight

Let me start this post by saying the A380 is an amazing, groundbreaking aircraft which gives passengers a wonderful flight experience second to none. However, despite the numerous great features of A380 aircraft, there are some possible reasons you might not want to fly on it for your next trip. Many of these reasons are listed here.

Reason 1: the A380 isn’t going to the destination you want to fly to. Not all routes have enough passengers who want to fly between them to support a huge aircraft like the A380. This limits how many city pairs can fly the aircraft. Further, with airport modifications needed to handle the biggest aircraft, not all airports have invested in the capability to support A380s. So choices for A380 routes are still somewhat limited, even though the aircraft has been flying for several years now.

Reason 2: you don’t like crowds at the departure gate. With the capability to hold between 400 and 800+ passengers, a lot of people may need to congregate at the gate area before boarding such a large capacity aircraft.

Reason 3: you want to speed through customs. With so many passengers on this type of aircraft, when the aircraft arrives at its destination and passengers disembark, this can overwhelm the processing of people going through customs, possibly creating longer than typical lines / queues. This can become more of an issue of you are one of the last people to get off the plane. However, the cities the A380 flies to have major airports, which with proper scheduling should be able to handle such large numbers of arriving people. And lines at customs are often caused when multiple large aircraft arrive in close succession, not by just a single large plane.

Reason 4: you want a window seat. A big wide-body aircraft like the A380 typically has economy seats 10 across (in a 3-4-3 configuration). But out of those 10 seats, only 2 of them are right next to windows. Compared to smaller aircraft (e.g. in a 3-3 configuration, in which 2 out of 6 seats in a row are window ones). So, percentage wise there are often more non-window seats in larger aircraft. So your chances of getting a window seat may be reduced when choosing an A380.

Reason 5: you don’t like stairs. Being a double decker aircraft, carriers often configure the A380 with business on the second level, and sometimes some economy seats there as well. In most cases the boarding ramps / jetbridge at the airport will allow boarding to the upper deck directly and needing to use stairs wouldn’t be an issue at all. However, in the unlikely case the airports terminal isn’t configured as such and depending on seat selection, use of the internal aircraft stairways might be needed. Also, if one wants to visit the on board lounge area and if it is on another deck, then use of the stairway may also be needed.

There you have it, some of the cons (as opposed to the pros) of the amazing A380. All in all, I think the positives of the A380 greatly outweight the few negative factors. However, these are some things to consider and be aware of when deciding if you’d like to take an A380 flight. If it’s available to the city you’d like to fly to, the A380 can be a super choice, and it is what I would typically recommend. But it’s good to be aware of any possible downsides to flying it as well.