British Airways is one of the most popular brands in the world of flying, with its vast history going back to August 25, 1919, when the world’s first scheduled international scheduled air service was introduced on the London- Paris route. With a marvelous century-long flight history, British Airways has evolved to the ever-changing demands of the customers by offering spacious cabins, better meals, and more personalized service. Since the introduction of British Airways Premium Economy offering on October 29, 2000, the carrier has continued to make proactive upgrade offers, redefining the end-to-end passenger experience and retaining the expert, attentive service travelers love.
British Airways Premium Economy, branded as World Traveller Plus, is one of the most sought-after products of the UK-based airline, explicitly targeted at premium leisure customers and cost-conscious business travelers. British Airways Premium Economy product takes pride in offering customers the chance to travel in comfort without breaking the bank. For those seeking special treatment at a fraction of the cost of business class, World Traveller Plus serves well by treating customers to a wider seat, longer legroom, priority boarding, improved food & beverage, and amenities.
British Airways Premium Economy offerings
UK’s second-largest airline, British Airways, takes premium economy offerings to the next level with the enhanced ground and inflight services, which continue to evolve. British Airways Premium Economy passengers are entitled to receiving the following facilities and services:
1. Upgraded seats
The new World Traveller Plus cabins are revamped with the latest, most enhanced seating, featuring a new leg and footrest and an improved fully adjustable six-way headrest to accommodate passengers of all heights. Developed in collaboration with a leading seat supplier, World Traveller Plus seats have greater width for enhanced comfort. Customers can expect wider seats, extra legroom (seven more inches than in economy), and a headrest with adjustable wings for better resting positions. British Airways Premium Economy seats have moveable armrests, greater recline, lumbar support, a cocktail table at the front, and a stylish quilt and cushion for an extra support layer.
2. Inflight Entertainment
To keep passengers entertained and allow for a more comfortable travel experience, the World Traveller Plus cabin features an in-flight Panasonic entertainment system with hundreds of films, TV programs, audiobooks, and games. The headphones are noise-reducing; HD screens are large (12 inches) and can be controlled by a personal handset like using a tablet. One can charge a range of different electronic gadgets at new USB sockets with additional power sockets for UK, US, and EU plugs, available at every single Premium Economy seat.
3. Meals and beverages
To ensure an improved dining experience, British Airways introduced a redesigned menu as a part of the ‘new generation’ World Traveller Plus rollout in Feb 2019, featuring a third main meal option and starters and desserts on the offer with the main meal. During the flight, customers can relish their culinary retreat with a glass of sparkling wine, a starter, a main, and dessert. They can have the same choice of main entrees as business-class customers. There is also a complimentary bar service offering beer, wine, hot and cold drinks, cocktails, etc.
4. Stylish amenity kit
The World Traveller Plus amenities are crafted from recyclable materials with sustainability in mind and include travel essentials such as luscious lip balm added from the Scaramouch & Fandango range, eyeshade, pen, and socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, an eye mask, earplugs, and noise-canceling headphones. As a part of its 6.5 billion investment plan, British Airways launched its new amenity kits on London Heathrow flights on July 1, 2019, and London Gatwick flights on August 1, 2019. Further enhancements include the availability of a new suite of comfort items, including a new quilt and cushion in a herringbone design that BA offers in its first-class cabin.
5. Other services
British Airways Premium Economy seats are smaller cabins with dedicated lavatory, separated from economy and business class by curtains. Besides cabin upgrades for added comfort and a touch of luxury, customers may find friendly flight attendants for on-demand service.
6. Generous baggage allowance
World Traveller Plus customers can leap the benefit of the generous baggage allowance British Airways offers, which is twice the allowance for most economy services. In addition to individual check-in desks, they can take both a cabin bag and a laptop or handbag on board, plus two bags with them on board. Depending upon the route and ticket, some customers may get even more baggage allowance to ease their exciting travel adventures ahead.
7. Priority boarding
As a part of the Premium Economy experience, British Airways avails priority boarding service, which means that passengers can enjoy the convenience of boarding earlier while avoiding the lines and getting to their seats sooner. Priority boarding elevates the flight experience by simplifying boarding, reducing congestion at the gate, and giving more time for customers to focus on the essentials.
British Airways Premium Economy aircraft
The flag carrier of the United Kingdom, British Airways, offers premium economy cabins on long-haul aircraft like Airbus A380-800, Airbus A350-1000, Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9, etc.
In 2019, British Airways launched its modern premium economy products on its fully refreshed Boeing 777 fleet. One can find British Airways Premium Economy seats on
- rows 60-68 of Airbus 380-800,
- row 12-14of Boeing 777-200 (3 class without first)
- rows 10-16 of Gatwick Boeing 777-200 (3 class without first)
- rows 21-25 of 4-class Boeing 777-200
- rows 21-26 of 4-class Boeing 777-300
- rows 10-13 of Boeing 787-8 and
- rows 16-21 of Boeing 787-9
With the rising trend of Covid-conscious tourists opting for premium seats, British Airways is now aiming to expand premium economy seats from 28-30 seats previously to 40, at the expense of luxury seats. The carrier has witnessed better earnings in the premium economy market with the surge in shifting of leisure fliers to roomier seats.
British Airways Premium Economy sectors
British Airways sells World Traveller Plus seating only on long-haul routes such as New York, Miami, Seattle, Hong Kong, Singapore, Toronto, Barcelona, Sicily, Mallorca, Dubai, etc. Unfortunately, the airline doesn’t offer this cabin on its short and medium-haul flights.
As compared to initial offerings, British Airways has upgraded its premium economy services with new and recently refurbished aircraft, new culinary offerings, enhanced comfort, and revised soft products. In the last few years, the carrier has rolled out a series of ground and inflight service improvements for World Traveller Plus customers. To make traveling more seamless, the airline has recently introduced a dedicated World Traveller Plus check-in zone to serve the travelers flying on the carrier’s long-haul services. With a goal for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, British Airways is committed to making changes to the customer experience with things like alternative menus, reducing plastic use for amenity kits and headsets, recycling programs in lounges and inflight, etc.
Rooms for improvement
Although British Airways offers an enjoyable in-flight experience with World Traveller Plus, there are several rooms for improvement. While the key selling points are amenity bags, revamped food service, a wide choice of complimentary alcoholic drinks, and a wide in-flight Panasonic entertainment system, some turning-off points are less legroom storage space in some seats no lounge access, hectic security procedures, etc.
British Airways Premium Economy Fare
Generally, Premium Economy fares are cheaper than Business class and more expensive than economy class. Depending on the route, time of the year, and day of the week, British Airways Premium Economy Fare varies greatly, from amounting to more than double the economy price to the same price as economy seats sometimes.
Premium Economy vs. Business Class
British Airways caters to all types of passengers, from luxury to budget travelers. However, the service provided differs as the business cabin features a 183 cm long flatbed with mattress -topper, pillow, and quilt, while the premium economy seat includes semi-upright 46cm-wide bedding with a pillow and blanket. Business-class passengers enjoy access to airport lounges, get a limit of 32 kg each for their luggage, and the HD screens in business class are 5 cm longer.
Premium Economy vs. Economy
British Airways has the highest number of rows and seats in economy class as opposed to premium economy seats, which only occupy four to five rows. Premium Economy seats are more spacious, have more legroom, and come with high-quality pillows and blankets. Although meals in both classes are similar, the only difference is the main course. The HD screens are 2 inches longer in premium economy seats. In terms of ground experience, British Airways doesn’t provide direct access to both class passengers unless they are members of the Executive Club.
About British Airways
British Airways is the UK’s second-largest airline carrying the British flag to all corners of the globe. Headquartered in London, it flies to the global network spanning over 180 destinations and holds a large fleet of more than 280 aircraft comprising mainly Boeing and Airbus airliners.