Sitting in economy class, especially when you’re stuck in a middle seat, isn’t fun. I know this from lots of firsthand experience. Joe and I will try that trick of getting the window and aisle seats and cross our fingers that no one snags the middle one. More than half of the time someone does, so we take turns with who gets the middle seat (next time it’s Joe’s turn. 😉 )
If there’s one thing worse than being stuck in a center economy seat on a domestic flight, it’s being stuck in one on a long haul international trip. And unfortunately, in those huge planes with the 3-4-3 configurations, there are LOTS of opportunities to get a middle seat. Unless depending on your flight, you know where to look…
Airbus A380s are some of the largest planes out there. So besides the 50/50 chance of getting a middle seat (unless you pay for a seat assignment…but even then, if you’re a couple, one of you would probably be stuck in a middle seat), you’re also sharing the space with about 400 strangers. So it’s big and loud and…yuck.
BUT…depending on the airline and how they’ve configured their seats, did you know that some A380s have a small economy section in their upper deck? They’re not large sections – usually between 2 to 14 rows, depending on the airline configuration. And they’re not 3-4-2s, but 2-4-2s! So besides being in a smaller cabin, you also have the potential to snag 2 seats next to each other and not have to worry about who’s going to sit in the middle seat. Best of all, they tend to be hidden in the back of the plane, so some people don’t even realize they exist.
Each of these links below (that all go to Seat Guru) show the seating map for a bunch of airlines’ A380s. Scroll down to see the layout of the upper deck of each airline’s respective page. The 2-4-2 seats are usually in the back of the plane but one (Emirates) is in the front.
Here’s an example (this one is British Airways):
- Air France
- China Southern
- Etihad Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
So if you’re ever flying economy on an A380 and are picking out your seats, double-check to see if any of the ones in the upper deck are available. You might luck out!
*** Feature Photo (cropped): Phillip Capper/flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary