When it comes to long-haul flying, typically the bigger the aircraft the better. Whether it’s the Boeing 747 or Airbus A380, theseÂ are the aircraft typically associated with extreme luxury – private suites, on-board showers, and maybe even a fully stocked bar. Sometimes, though, smaller might actually be better.Â British Airways operates a pair of tiny Airbus A318s between New York JFK and London City Airport (LCY) with a business class-only configuration featuringÂ only 32 seats (by comparison, Air France carriesÂ 131 passengers onÂ their A318s). It sure is a strange (butÂ great) way to fly. To give you a sense of just how small the A318 is, here are some numbers to help size it up: The Airbus A380 sports a total length of 238 feet with a 261-foot wingspan. The A318 isÂ just 103 feet long with a wingspan of just under 112 feet.
I was recently able to flyÂ from JFK to LCYÂ and experience what it’s like flying into London on the A318. Spoiler: It’s wonderful and actually quite a different experience.Â While the London to New York flight involves a stop in Shannon, Ireland for fuel, the reverse flight is non-stop.