According to a new poll, 75 per cent of people asked didn’t know the difference between an A320 and an A380 aircraft, one of the smallest, and the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet.

The A380 superjumbo has two decks and can carry 469 customers – almost three times more than its little sister.

A380 Captain, James Basnett said he was surprised that so many people didn’t recognise the A380: “The A380 is pretty huge – no-one likes to boast about size, but it’s the biggest commercial aircraft in the world. Our eighth A380 has just arrived, and I’m always surprised that some customers get on board without realising what they’re flying in, so they’re amazed by the space, and that they can travel upstairs.”

The British Airways survey also found that a third of people (32 per cent) were plane spotters, admitting to having visited an airport just to watch the planes take off and land, while 63 per cent said they indulged in a bit of plane spotting while they were waiting for their flight to depart.

Captain Basnett said: “Despite not being a hard core plane spotter myself, years ago I did spend hours at Manchester Airport with my brother Rick (now also a pilot). For many of our customers, plane spotting is a guilty secret. I often get taken aside in the cabin and asked questions about aircraft types when friends and family are out of earshot.”