Why The First Emirates A380 Bar Still Has Overhead Lockers

Despite falling out of favor with numerous airlines due to its inefficiency compared with other modern widebodies, the Airbus A380 has been a hit with many passengers across the globe. The plane’s classy, spacious interior is one of the reasons why travelers love flying on board the superjumbo. This class is represented by the cocktail bar that can be found on the upper deck. However, those approaching the counter would have noticed overhead bins above over the years.

The A380 has several unique features across the aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

A backup plan

With the cocktail bar being a core feature of the A380 cabin, what is the need to have overhead lockers placed above? Well, the bar was not always the mainstay that it has come to be. Well, Emirates, which is the A380’s largest customer, and had an integral role in the design process of the quadjet, wasn’t so sure if the bar would be a success.

The UAE airline holds well over 100 units of the A380 and has still been taking deliveries recently. The airline’s leadership has revealed that in the early days of the program, it decided to keep overhead storage in place so that the bar could quickly convert into a business class cabin in case it wasn’t so popular.

“Even though we spent an awful lot of time and money designing the bar and gilding the lily a little bit, there was a degree of concern as to how it would work. We didn’t actually think that many people were going to use it, but how wrong we were! ” Emirates president Tim Clark told Executive Traveller.

“I designed the bar at the back of the aircraft on the upper deck, on the understanding that if it didn’t work, we could remove it in 96 hours and put eight more business class seats in.”

Airbus A380 Bar
The overhead bins can be pretty overbearing. Photo: Getty Images

Keeping it fresh

The bar has gone through several alterations since the first introduction. A significant transformation was in 2017. This was when it was updated with a lighter setting.

Social seating layouts were implemented and the seats were created to represent those found inside private yachts. Additionally, an automated lighting dimmer was implemented to improve ambiance inside the cabin wood grain and ivory patterns also came with the redesign.

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The bar today

Simple Flying hopped on the most modern A380 cabin this week at the Dubai Airshow. Notably, the bar area is much more open, and the old overhead lockers have made way to give a more spacious feel.

A380 Bar
There is more room for maneuver now. Photo: Tom Boon | Simple Flying

Emirates is still taking deliveries of the A380. Additionally, nearly 50 of its units are in service. We can expect the airline to continue operating the type for at least the remainder of this decade. So, there is plenty of time to still enjoy the famous bar.

What are your thoughts about the Airbus A380 bar? Have you managed to try it out over the years? Let us know what you think of the cabin of the plane in the comment section.


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