Economy Class, Qantas A380 Upper Deck – not always a good idea

Ever since Qantas decided to reconfigure their A380s, our members have been interested in what upstairs economy would be like. It’s not the first time a Qantas aircraft has featured economy upstairs, the 747s have had it in the past. But this time, your sharing it with two other classes, Business and First. What’s the service like in such a small cabin, are there good seats and are there any bad seats? One of our members decided to do a trip report just featuring that cabin, and the odd photo.

Thought I would try and get as many quick shots of the QF A380 upper deck mini cabin economy section. Just as a reference for those wanting to elect seats in this cabin. The mini cabin is nice. Having a toilet located there works well with minimal lines. The only real downside I can find is overhead bin space is very limited.

With just 30 seats on the upper deck, you would think there would not be much difference between them. The photos however, tell a different story. The first row, 32, is situated behind a bulkhead, and is normally reserved for the elite frequent flyers such as Platinum members. Offering some extra room for the knees, the bulkhead does not have a cut out for the feet, so tall members may find the feet more restricted than normal. With the armrest between the window and aisle seats removable, it’s no doubt a good seat when you have the infamous “shadow” or empty seat beside you.

The cabin also features an exit row, so the opportunity for extra leg room is available there as well. With overhead storage restricted at the exit row, there is a premium on storage. Overhead bins often fill early during the boarding with carry on luggage. Fortunately, just like the 747s, upper decks normally mean the windows get some relief in the form of a side locker for smaller items. The A380 is no different in that respect.

You would think such a small cabin with both a bulkhead and an exit row would make it hard to find a bad seat. It exists; in fact some might say it’s the worst seat on the plane.

Indeed, it’d have to be the worst seat imaginable. Whilst Economy seating in the A380 has many rows of 3 seats, they are next to the windows. This seat is next to a grey wall. It’s 36D if I’m correct. It ought to be sold at a heavily discounted fare, or allocated to the most obnoxious person at check-in.

For many travellers, getting a good seat means seat pre selection at a price long before check in opens. Thanks to this trip report, if you’re travelling on a Qantas A380 in the future and fancy economy on the top deck, you can now get a good idea of where to sit.

Have you travelled on the A380 on the upper deck, what was your experience like? Or perhaps you would like to ask an upper deck expert a question HERE.


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