It’s almost 20 years since British Airways introduced its premium economy cabin, World Traveller Plus.
It has become increasingly popular in recent years, partly due to greater awareness, proactive upselling to economy passengers, and companies revising their corporate travel policies.
Whilst the cabin design has changed radically since its original inception (though you will still find the original seat on Boeing 747 and many Boeing 777-200 aircraft), the service itself has always been a slight variant of World Traveller economy.
Initially, partly due to cabin crew industrial relations, there was barely any difference. Over time, extra items such as pre-departure drinks, hot towels and a main course from the Club World menu have been added.
BA is this year launching an entirely new catering service with a dedicated menu for World Traveller Plus from February 2019.
In terms of the first meal service, the main changes appear to be largely presentational. There are new larger printed menus, a dedicated starter and dessert, all served on china.
The biggest, and most needed improvement, is to the second meal service. BA is now guaranteeing a hot option on all flights. This will be a snack on shorter flights and a meal on longer range flights. This will be welcome, particularly on shorter night flights, where the existing offering can be quite limited.
Some 15 years ago, our first ever long-haul flight on BA was in its premium economy cabin, World Traveller Plus. Having flown in the cabin on every type of BA long-haul aircraft, a review is long overdue.
At the time, BA and Virgin were virtually the only airlines to offer premium economy. Having overcome their fear of cannibalising business class revenue, most European and Asia Pacific airlines have followed suit. On the other side of the Atlantic, American Airlines, Delta and United are also rolling out premium economy.
More than any other cabin on BA, the value of World Traveller Plus is very subjective. Some see little difference from economy. Others see it as a welcome relief. There are also significant differences depending on which aircraft you are flying.
So here’s our guide based on a number of flights over the past 12 months or so.
World Traveller Plus on BA
World Traveller Plus is available on every BA long-haul flight from London Gatwick and Heathrow.
The one exception are flights on Airbus A321 aircraft to Amman, Beirut and occasionally Cairo, Moscow and Tel Aviv.
The one relative weakness compared to other airlines, notably Virgin Atlantic, is that you don’t get much extra in terms of ground services.
You do have an increased checked luggage allowance of two bags. There is priority boarding of sorts as you will board before economy under the group boarding system. But that’s about it. Some airports outside of London may have dedicated check-in desks, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.