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How to Check In to a British Airways Flight
British Airways offers three easy ways to check in to its flights. You can use the company’s app, check in through the website or do it in person at your departure airport.
Check In With the App
Using British Airway’s mobile app is one of the easiest ways to check in for your flight. You can check in up to 24 hours before you depart, download your flight information to your device and walk out the door. Just be sure to check in at least two hours before your flight is scheduled, as British Airways requires at least two hours for its U.S. routes. You don’t need to download different boarding passes to different devices, and you don’t need to do any printing. When you get to the airport, you can just drop off your bags and go straight to security. You can also access flight information and get notifications related to your trip. The app is free and available for iPhone, Android phones, iPad and Apple Watch.
Check In Online
If you don’t like managing your travel details through mobile apps, BA’s online check-in feature is another good route to go. Just go to British Airway’s website and choose the “Manage” option in the menu. Click on the link to check in, add your booking number and follow the prompts. Print out your boarding pass or download it to a mobile device.
Check In at an Airport Kiosk
If you want to check in when you arrive, airport kiosks are quick and easy to use, and they help you skip lines at the check-in desk. Just bring your booking reference number, fill in the information and print out your boarding pass.
Check In at a Desk
If you’re not particularly tech savvy and don’t feel comfortable with checking in on apps, websites or kiosks, you can also go to the check-in desk at your departure airport. If you’re going on an international flight, be sure to check in at least two hours before your plane is scheduled to leave, and you should leave some extra space in your schedule to wait in line. Present your booking reference and identification to the person at the desk.
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The Guide to British Airways Premium Economy
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Table of Contents
British Airways premium economy seats
Food and drink in british airways premium economy, amenities and other perks of british airways premium economy, british airways premium economy, recapped.
Flying in economy just isn't what it used to be. Over the decades, many airlines have reduced legroom, squeezed more seats into each row and cut back on services. Many travelers can't afford to pay for business class. Enter a Goldilocks middle ground: premium economy. Arguably, one of the better premium economy products available is British Airways premium economy.
Let's take a look at what you need to know about British Airways premium economy — which the airline calls World Traveller Plus — including what you'll find onboard and how the experience differs from what you'll find in economy.
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
For many passengers, the main reason to book premium economy instead of economy is the larger seats. And British Airways certainly delivers in this regard.
Compared with economy, British Airways premium economy gives you more space in all directions — more seat width, more legroom and more recline. Tall passengers rejoice: British Airways premium economy gives you around 7 inches of additional legroom — measuring 38 inches of pitch vs. just 31 inches of pitch in economy.
In addition to a substantial recline, British Airways premium economy seats offer both a fold-out legrest and a fold-down footrest.
Throughout the cabin, you'll find a large, fixed armrest between each seat. Although this slightly reduces seat width, it means that you shouldn't need to battle your neighbor for control of the armrest. At the front of each armrest, a cup tray provides enough space for two glasses. And you'll find a water bottle holder between the footrests in each seat pairing.
Depending on the aircraft type, the British Airways premium economy cabin is either arranged 2-3-2 or 2-4-2. This means there are two seats by the windows and either three or four seats in the middle column of seats. This arrangement makes British Airways premium economy a great option for couples traveling together who prefer to have their own two-seat row.
Each British Airways premium economy seat has a large and bright 12-inch touchscreen with seemingly endless entertainment options. All of this is a substantial upgrade from what British Airways offered prior to a recent cabin refresh.
Below the in-flight entertainment screen, British Airways installed a storage tray. This provides a convenient place to store your phone, passport, boarding pass or other items that you want nearby — but not in your pockets — while in-flight.
» Learn more: Basic economy vs. main cabin
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• You earn 3 Avios per dollar spent with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL.
• You get up to $600 a year (up to $200 per award booking) in statement credit toward the notoriously high surcharges, fees and taxes you incur when redeeming Avios for award travel.
• You earn a Travel Together Ticket each calendar year you spend more than $30,000 on your card.
• You earn 5 points per dollar on airfare booked through Chase and 3 points per dollar for other travel spending.
• Points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, or transfer them to partner airline and hotel programs, including British Airways.
• The card offers to $300 a year in statement credit automatically applied to travel purchases.
• You earn 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel.
• Points can be redeemed to book travel, or transfer them to partner airline and hotel programs, including British Airways.
• Perks include airport lounge access plus hundreds of dollars a year in travel, shopping and entertainment credits.
• Terms apply,
• You earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases.
• You can redeem miles for any travel expense by paying with your card and then using miles for a credit to offset the cost. Or transfer them to partner airline and hotel programs, including British Airways.
See card reviews for a full rundown on each option's rewards and perks.
Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express , see this page .
In addition to bigger and better seats, British Airways provides notably better food and drink service in premium economy as compared with economy.
This elevated service starts before the wheels even leave the ground. Flight attendants pass through the cabin offering pre-departure beverages of orange juice or water, served in real glassware. Although sparkling wine is available in-flight, it's not available on the ground in the World Traveller Plus cabin.
In-flight, British Airways advertises that World Traveller Plus passengers get "two delicious meals, complimentary bar service including signature cocktails (or mocktail)." Here's what that looks like in practice.
Flight attendants pass through the cabin shortly after takeoff to provide a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. In my experience, flight attendants proactively provide doubles of alcoholic beverages. Plus, you'll get a choice of wine to go with your dinner.
For meal choices, menus aren't provided to passengers. Instead, flight attendants note the meal options as they pass through the cabin. British Airways provides two options — typically one vegetarian and one meat-based meal. Meals are generally served with a salad, a packaged roll, a dessert and a choice between several types of wines — typically two reds and two whites.
While the first meal is hot and meets premium economy standards, the second meal is generally a cold, packaged meal served in a brown paper bag. Although perfectly adequate, I haven't found this meal to be particularly "delicious" — falling short of what British Airways advertises.
British Airways premium economy doesn't just provide bigger seats and better meals. British Airways World Traveller Plus passengers also get better amenities and additional perks like priority boarding.
British Airways premium economy amenity kit, pillow and blanket
At boarding, World Traveller Plus seats are typically stocked with a small pillow, blanket and a plastic-wrapped package including noise-canceling headphones and an amenity kit.
The British Airways premium economy amenity kit includes socks, an eye mask, lip balm, a pen, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Earplugs are available on request.
Other perks of British Airways premium economy
Extra baggage allowance: British Airways premium economy typically allows two free checked bags at no additional cost. Comparatively, some British Airways economy fares are "hand baggage only" and charge up to $175 each way for two checked bags.
Priority boarding: British Airways World Traveller Plus passengers board no later than Group 3 boarding. Meanwhile, economy boarding groups stretch to Group 9.
Universal power outlets: The recent refresh to British Airways economy cabins only provides USB power outlets in economy. However, you'll still find two universal power outlets between each pairing of World Traveller Plus seats in addition to a USB outlet.
British Airways premium economy is found on all long-haul international aircraft. This includes British Airways:
Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
Airbus A380-800 aircraft.
Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 aircraft.
Boeing 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft.
British Airways passengers can upgrade to premium economy using cash or Avios — either in advance or at the airport. However, you cannot purchase an upgrade once onboard. The cash upgrade price generally depends on the route and availability. However, Avios upgrade prices are set based on the Avios award price difference between the two cabins.
» Learn more: How (and why) to upgrade your British Airways flight using Avios
Thanks to a recent cabin refresh, the British Airways cabin now appears fresh and sharp. British Airways premium economy consists of four to nine rows of seating — depending on the aircraft — and is found between the business class and economy cabins. Each row is configured with two window seats on each side and either three or four seats in the middle section.
Yes, British Airways premium economy earns more British Airways Avios — or miles if you credit flights to another mileage program. When crediting flights to the British Airways Executive Club, you'll earn Avios at a rate of 100% or 150% of the flight miles, depending on the fare you book. Comparatively, you earn as few as 25% of flight miles when booking economy fares.
Likewise, American Airlines flyers earn up to four times more base AAdvantage miles when booking premium economy than economy. Since Loyalty Points are based on mileage earnings, you'll also earn quadruple the elite status credits. These extra miles and elite status credits can help justify the increased cost of premium economy for those debating if it's worth upgrading.
» Learn more: How to choose which airline miles to earn from your flights
» Learn more:
How (and why) to upgrade your British Airways flight using Avios
How to choose which airline miles to earn from your flights
British Airways premium economy represents a significant step up from economy. You'll get a bigger seat with extra legroom and recline. Plus, passengers get better food and drink options along with extra perks like priority boarding and extra baggage allowance. And mileage collectors and elite status members will appreciate earning extra miles and elite-status credits.
Photos by JT Genter.
How to maximize your rewards
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Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
On a similar note...
British airways' world traveller plus premium economy cabin: everything you need to know.
A look at the UK flag carrier's premium economy offering.
Today we will look at British Airways World Traveller Plus premium economy and see what it offers and if it is worth the extra money. While the concept of a premium economy cabin may sound relatively new, the idea of providing a nicer economy cabin has been around for just over 30 years. Taiwanese carrier EVA Air introduced premium economy seating on its Boeing 747-400s. Instead of calling it premium economy EVA Air called it "Evergreen Class."
EVA Air's upgraded economy seating did not go unnoticed by other airlines and was soon copied by the United Kingdom-based airline Virgin Atlantic in 1992. British Airways did not want to be outdone by a rival and created its premium economy product shortly afterward.
Premium economy allows you a free second suitcase
Before we talk more about British Airways World Traveller Plus premium economy, it's worth pointing out that "economy" is the key word here. While you may have a slightly bigger, more comfortable, reclining seat and extra legroom, it is in no way comparable to flying business class.
There are, however, advantages to flying premium economy over regular economy. The first is being able to check in a second suitcase for free. British Airways would charge extra for a second bag, which, in some cases, may result in the same total price as what it would cost you to book premium economy.
A friend recently flew on TAP Portugal from Miami to Lisbon and needed to bring two suitcases. When he saw what the Portuguese carrier wanted for the second piece of luggage, it was a no-brainer upgrading to premium economy as it was nearly the same price.
Wider seats and more legroom
British Airways premium economy passengers also get priority boarding which means you are in tier three, with first and business class passengers boarding first. British Airways' World Traveller Plus cabin is between business and economy classes and configured in a 2+4+2 layout.
It offers 18.5-inch seats with an 8% recline, which is great for sleeping but not so good if the person in front of you wants to recline fully, as it intrudes on your personal space. Each seat has individual charging points, and legroom is a generous 38 inches with a footrest. Each seat has a 10.6-inch inflight entertainment screen allowing you to watch hundreds of the latest movies and TV shows.
Want answers to more key questions in aviation? Check out the rest of our guides here !
WiFi is available on British Airways flights, but sadly even though you are flying in World Traveller Plus, you still have to pay for it. World Traveller Plus passengers also get noise-canceling headphones and an amenity kit. Unfortunately, the World Traveller Plus cabin has no restrooms, so you share the toilets with economy passengers.
Food and drinks
World Traveller Plus passengers are offered a welcome aboard drink: water, orange juice, or sparkling wine. Meals vary depending on the time of the day. If you are flying from New York to London, for example, flights are generally in the evening so you arrive in the UK early in the morning.
After taking off, the cabin crew comes round with the drink trolley, and then a little while later, the meal service begins. If you expect to get the kind of food served in business class, you will be disappointed as it is only marginally better than what is provided in economy. Later in the flight, before landing, a second meal service is given, which is more like a snack than a meal.
A smooth ride across the Atlantic: A review of British Airways World Traveller Plus on the new daytime flight from Newark to London
I have a secret to avoiding jet lag when flying across the Atlantic.
While most flights from the East Coast of the U.S. to London depart in the evening and arrive in the United Kingdom the following morning, there are a handful of daytime flights that depart in the morning and land in the evening of the same day. And I cannot recommend them enough .
These flights are commonly under six hours in length, so too short for a good night's sleep regardless of the cabin. But by taking a daytime flight I can easily stay awake for the fairly short trip, sleep in a real bed in London at a normal bedtime hour when I get there and wake up the following morning with no jet lag.
When British Airways recently announced a new daytime service to Heathrow Airport (LHR) from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), it became a prime opportunity for me to revisit the airline's premium economy service on my preferred schedule and see what the product was like these days. Here's how the experience went.
Related: Why I don't think premium economy is worth the ticket price
British Airways operates two to three daily services from Newark to London depending on the time of year. While at least one service departs in the evening, the new daytime flight departs Newark at 7:55 a.m. daily, arriving in London at a civilized 7:45 p.m. It is scheduled at seven hours in length, though the flight is usually at least one hour faster than this because of the tailwinds.
Round-trip cash fares in British Airways World Traveller Plus (the formal name for its premium economy product) on this route start at $2,076 during the quieter winter months, about three times the price of World Traveller (economy) for the same dates.
One-way fares start from $940 in World Traveller Plus, or $586 in World Traveller, though you can expect to pay almost twice this much on busy summer dates.
There was good award availability for this new flight, so my ticket was booked using 26,000 Avios and $298 in taxes, fees and those pesky British Airways fuel surcharges for a one-way flight on an off-peak date. The fees, taxes and surcharges were paid with The Platinum Card® from American Express , which earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar on purchases made directly with airlines (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), picking up an additional 1,490 Membership Rewards points, worth $29.80 by TPG's current valuations .
You can earn enough Avios required to book this flight round-trip with a single welcome bonus. The British Airways Visa Signature Card earns 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. There's also a 10% discount on British Airways flights originating in the U.S. when booking through a dedicated site, up to $600 per calendar year in statement credits for those frustrating award flight fees year, and the ability to earn a Travel Together ticket after you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. Cardmembers will receive a $100 statement credit per reward flight booking in economy (World Traveller) or premium economy (World Traveller Plus), or an up $200 statement credit for all other reward flight bookings in business (Club World) and First.
British Airways has the frustrating policy of charging for seat selection in all cabins except First. Prices for my flight to London ranged from $60 for a center seat in the back rows up to $95 for a window seat in the front few rows of the cabin. Executive Club and Oneworld elite members, fortunately, can select their seats free of charge at the time of booking. So, with my Oneworld Sapphire status, I opted for a window seat in Row 18 at no charge.
I regularly fly out of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) , but this was only my second time at Newark and my first time at Terminal B, which was quiet as the sun rose for my early departure to London.
Terminal B had check-in areas spread over three different levels which, as a new visitor, I found very confusing. It took me quite some time from Level 3, where my Uber dropped me off, to find the British Airways check-in desks, which were relegated to a back corner next to luggage belts down on Level 1 with LOT Polish Airlines and Icelandair.
Oddly, there was no separate queue for World Traveller Plus passengers, as the signage directed them to use the regular World Traveller economy lane. However, there were dedicated World Traveller Plus desks, but no World Traveller desks. With the low ceilings, basement-like atmosphere and odd setup, it was not a glamorous start to my journey.
I was helped quickly as there were few other passengers around. World Traveller Plus passengers receive two 50-pound checked bags though I avoid checking in my luggage wherever possible.
Given British Airways' impressive check-in setup at JFK Terminal 7 , I think I'd choose JFK for my next departure from New York on the airline.
Security was very quick and I was through in minutes. British Airways' Newark flights operate from the B50-B58 gates pier, where the airline also operates its own lounge (immediately after security and up one flight of stairs). Lounge access is not included with a World Traveller Plus premium economy ticket, so instead, I wandered through the compact but pleasant terminal. I especially liked the huge dome where the gates were located as the sun rose on another New York morning.
There was plenty of seating around my gate area and a relaxed atmosphere.
Two boarding lanes were set up with groups 1 to 3 able to use the right lane, and groups 4 to 9 using the left lane. World Traveller Plus passengers were assigned to Group 3.
Boarding commenced slightly later than the scheduled time, around 30 minutes before departure, with groups 1 and 2 invited to board together, and after that was my Group 3. The flight departed slightly late but still managed to arrive around an hour early, as usual, because of the strong tailwinds.
Cabin and seat
The British Airways 777-200 aircraft that flew me to London had 235 seats in four classes of service. Behind First and Club Suites , there were 40 World Traveller Plus premium economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration across five rows. The cabin felt small and intimate, a key selling point of this cabin class compared with the large economy cabin behind me. The navy blue seats with herringbone fabric were smart both in appearance and their ability to hide stains and spills.
The seats were 18 1/2-inches wide, which was not overly generous given this was only 1 inch wider than the economy seats in the cabin behind, though I enjoyed slightly more elbow room thanks to the double armrest in between my seat and the one next to me. Legroom was 38 inches (normal for premium economy these days) and there was a comfortable fold-down footrest, though unfortunately, British Airways opted not to install leg rests on the premium economy seats.
The seat reclined a generous 8 inches. This is both a blessing and a curse: If you want to sleep, it's great to have your seat go back as far as possible, but it also means the passenger in front of you can recline a long way into your personal space.
The recline function was operated by a single button on the center console. Be aware that if you have a personal electronic device like a laptop open on your tray table, the seat in front can recline quickly and without notice, potentially damaging your device. You may wish to ask the passenger in front to give you a heads-up if you want to ensure any devices remain safe.
I liked how well cushioned the headrest was. The sides could be adjusted slightly in and out to cradle your head, and the entire headrest could move up and down and remain in place.
Storage was sorely lacking around the seat — beyond a large literature pocket in the seatback in front of me, there was nowhere else to place personal items. The bi-fold tray table, which stowed away in the center console, was large enough for my 13-inch Macbook, but you should forget about trying to work or watch anything on a laptop when the passenger in front has reclined their seat all the way.
Individual universal charging points were provided at each seat (with two in the center console I shared with my seat neighbor). There were also those odd audio-visual plugs I've never seen anyone use on an aircraft.
While the seat was not especially wide, and the lack of leg rest was a shame, it was still a comfortable and fairly well-designed seat.
Amenities and inflight entertainment
Awaiting me on my seat was an (unwrapped) fleecy pillow and blanket, an amenity kit and a pair of plastic-wrapped headphones. Both the pillow and blanket were a good size and soft to the touch, despite initially looking a little disheveled on the seat.
The headphones were terrific and a real highlight of the flight, as they were comfortable, well cushioned and high quality, even though they did not have active noise-canceling functionality.
A basic amenity kit is an industry standard in international premium economy, and British Airways' version contained an eye mask, sleep socks, a toothbrush with a tiny toothpaste, a pen and Scaramouche + Fandango lip balm. The "washbag" pouch the items were housed in was made from recycled plastic bottles but looked far more stylish than the crumpled, recycled washbag Virgin Atlantic provides its premium economy passengers .
The 10.6-inch seatback entertainment screen could be tilted up and down at an angle, which was handy when the passenger in front was reclined. It was both touchscreen-operated and could be navigated with the dated remote control housed in the center console. There were 44 new-release movies available, including "Ambulance," "Marry Me" and "Lost City." Among the 24 television series box sets, I enjoyed a few episodes of the latest season of "Britain's Got Talent." Two USB charging points were provided under the screen for each passenger.
Wi-Fi was offered on my flight to London with three different packages available, from 4.99 pounds (about $6) for one hour up to 14.99 pounds (about $17) for the full flight, and limited to one device. The Wi-Fi speeds were the fastest I have ever registered on an aircraft — an astonishing 60Mbps download with a reasonable 4.03Mbps upload. This allowed me to be both very productive throughout the flight and also refresh the BBC news homepage regularly as this flight took place the day Queen Elizabeth II passed away, so I wanted to keep up with events.
Related: In pictures: The queen's life in travel
There were, unfortunately, no dedicated bathrooms for World Traveller Plus passengers, so we shared the two immediately behind our cabin with the World Traveller economy cabin. These bathrooms were standard in size and amenities but were kept clean and as the flight was not full (a perk I've found on my daytime flights across the Atlantic), there was rarely a wait to use them.
Food and beverage
Drinks were offered during boarding with a choice of sparkling wine, orange juice or water. I chose orange juice, which was served in glassware. No bottled water was waiting at my seat.
Flight attendants served the main meal of breakfast shortly after takeoff with a smaller second meal before landing. Breakfast consisted of fruit yogurt and fresh fruit with a choice of three entrees: scrambled eggs with sausage, bacon, mushrooms and tomato; cheese and chervil omelet; or apple pancakes with strawberry compote and vanilla anglaise.
In a vague attempt at a healthier option than sausage and bacon, I asked for the omelet. I was also offered a fresh croissant and my choice of beverage. I again selected orange juice.
A neatly arranged tray packed full of items was handed to me. The range of colors of my meal was visually appealing, though it was, in reality, just a neatly presented economy-class breakfast served on china with metal cutlery.
I've eaten countless airplane breakfasts like this over my decades of travel and it all tasted ... fine. The main dish was piping hot, though it was a little bland so I needed the salt and pepper sachets.
The crew passed through the cabin again to offer tea or coffee after the meal. I chose a coffee to keep me awake right through to London and I was surprised to see the hot drinks served in a takeaway paper cup. Given that the other drinks throughout the flight were served in proper glassware, I wish British Airways provided ceramic cups for these hot drinks.
About 75 minutes before arrival, the trolleys appeared again. The only choices were sandwiches with either chicken and cheese, or just plain cheese. They were served with a packet of sour-cream-and-chive baked pretzels and a choice of drink from the bar. I decided to raise a glass to the (now late) Queen Elizabeth II with a very British gin and tonic. British Airways serves Aviation Gin, which I like for both the name and the taste.
The small sandwich tasted fine and was stuffed with plenty of chicken — I just wish it had been larger. The second meal service on daytime flights this length tends to be too small for me, no matter the airline, and I was still hungry when we landed in London.
The crew members on my flight to London were all upbeat, welcoming and friendly. I found the service to be slightly more formal than in Virgin Atlantic's premium economy cabin, with the British Airways crew referring to me as "sir" with every interaction. There were no lapses in the service throughout the flight.
What I will remember most about this flight was that, 90 minutes before landing, I refreshed the BBC news homepage to learn that Buckingham Place had just announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II. I noticed a few shocked faces around the cabin as those passengers who had connected to the Wi-Fi during the flight learned the momentous news.
As the crew members wheeled the trolleys into the cabin around 15 minutes later for the second meal service, it appeared they had not been advised of the news by the captain as they were as chipper and full of smiles as ever despite some truly glum passenger faces in the cabin.
I was curious to see if and how the pilot might announce the news before we landed in London. It was definitely one of those "where were you when you heard the news" moments in world history, especially for anyone living in the U.K. (the death of Princess Diana and the tragedies of Sept. 11 being others I vividly remember). As we began our descent into Heathrow the pilot advised passengers of the queen's passing over the loudspeaker in a solemn, respectful and very British way.
As an avid traveler living in London, it felt oddly fitting to learn this news on a British Airways flight.
This was a solid premium economy experience on British Airways. The check-in area at Newark needs some work, and for that reason alone I would probably choose to fly from JFK next time. But other than that, it was fairly smooth sailing for the rest of my day across the Atlantic. I still prefer these daytime flights, and woke up at a normal time in my own bed the following morning without jet lag.
British Airways' World Traveller Plus seat provides decent comfort and legroom along with its deep recline and clever headrest. The Wi-Fi download speeds were the fastest I've experienced on a flight, making for a productive workday. The first meal was filling, if not refined, though the second meal was too small, as I have encountered on most flights between New York and London. The headphones, blanket and pillow were all more suited to business class than economy, which was a treat.
Having recently flown Virgin Atlantic's Premium on the same daytime route , I found British Airways to be slightly better mainly because of the superior seat recline, amenities, food quality and consistent service.
I still believe premium economy is overpriced for what you actually get, especially for cash fares two or three times the cost of economy. However, if you are choosing premium economy, British Airways is a smart choice.
British Airways World Traveller Plus Review: Is it Worth It? 2023
By: Author Amanda OBrien
Posted on Last updated: 28/09/2023
In 2017 I flew premium economy with Qantas Sydney to Hong Kong return. It was a fantastic experience.
In fact, it was so good it made me question if I could really justify the extra amount to fly business class if it wasn’t an Australia – Europe/US flight.
So when was looking at flying from London to New York – and then Los Angeles to London return – I thought I would give British Airways World Traveller Plus a shot. Which I did back in 2018 and I recently flew with British Airways World Traveller Plus post-Covid in 2022.
I’m going to kick off with an update from 2022 when I flew from Portland to London Heathrow with British Airways in premium economy. My older review involved flying out of London Heathrow so it has quite a bit of information on checking in at Heathrow etc.
⇒ Click here for Prices and Deals on British Airways
- British Airways World Traveller Plus 2022 update
Table of Contents
British Airways World Traveller Plus Review (2017): Online Check-In
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After a long break flying with British Airways in World Traveller Plus I signed up again to try them out in July of 2022. I was flying from London to Washington DC , and then home to London out of Portland. I received an offer that was too good to refuse to upgrade to business class on the flight from Heathrow to Washington DC. This review update covers the Portland to London Heathrow leg in premium economy.
I somehow managed to end up on British Airways’s first (not sure if this is the first ever flight but it was certainly the first for a while) direct flight out of Portland to Heathrow. Everyone was in a great mood and there was even cake and sandwiches at the boarding gate for everyone!
As such, we had a very nice new 787 that I believe was a Dreamliner. Few things make me happier than realizing that I am on a relatively new plane as it always means a huge improvement in the premium economy experience.
When I mentioned to the crew that Virgin Atlantic offers its premium economy passengers prosecco the attendant even went and got me a glass of champagne from business class! As I said, all were in a joyous mood.
To be honest, not a lot has changed since the last time I flew World Traveller Plus with British Airways. The 787 I was on had only three rows of premium economy seats. I quite liked this as it normally means faster service and I feel more of a sense of space when the area is smaller. The seat layout was 2-3-2.
I had booked in my window seat when I booked the flight as I always do on overnight flights (I find it worth it to pay a bit extra at booking to achieve this).
One thing that has improved is the quality of the headphones in premium economy which are now noise cancelling. Also, the quality of the food on offer has improved. I enjoyed a very nice steak.
The Dreamliner 787 also has new touch-operated window screens and better cabin pressurization. If you are able to choose your flight and can see the different planes available, I suggest checking to find the Dreamliner 787 option for world traveller plus as it is definitely a step above premium economy on some of BA’s other planes.
Unfortunately, things with British Airways World Traveler plus did not get off to a good start. Two days before my flight I went on to the British Airways app and was able to reserve one of the aisles British Airways Premium Economy seats – great.
The next day, when I went to actually check in online I was told that my passport number was wrong and that I wasn’t able to check in.
I then had issues with my uber so only arrived at the airport 90 minutes before my British Airways flight.
I went and used the check-in machine for my premium economy British Airways flight and my seat had changed to a window – which was good news for me. Then I went to the desk for bag drop.
When the attendant is on the phone for some time when all you do is drop your bag, it is not a good sign. I was told by the attendant that I had been “sneaky” taking the window seat.
I was quite annoyed by this and asked how could I be sneaky when the app had done this for me. I was then told that they had overbooked business class and that seat had been meant for someone who was being downgraded to premium economy on British Airways – which meant they now wanted to move me to British Airways economy class.
I was so annoyed. It really makes me furious when airlines do this. Or should I say when British Airways do this as they are the only airline that has tried to bump me from flights several times due to overbooking.
In what other industry would an organization take your money ahead of time and then when you turned up to experience that service be told that you couldn’t as they had overbooked – and that apparently this was fine?
It is a major problem as a solo traveler as we are at the top of the list when it comes to who gets bumped first when it comes to air travel.
A British Airways staff member once told me that the safest people were those also flying with British Airways from a connecting airport eg Manchester to London and then on to say NY, followed by groups, followed by families and then by couples.
Only the male solo traveler is worse off than the female solo traveler. My annoyance was greater as I had injured my ankle in Nepal earlier that year and absolutely could not have sat in an economy seat for several hours without problems.
Luckily I had a letter from my doctor with me (I had it in case my ankle got worse and I needed medical treatment) so I was able to produce this and say I had to stay in British Air premium economy.
I ended up in British Airways Economy Plus but not without quite a bit of undue stress and frustration. This experience alone has been enough to really put me off flying with British Airways.
I do find it outrageous that you can be potentially bumped like this – and that the staff always seem to act like this is of no consequence and why are you getting upset? OK rant over!
Anyway, the flight was then at Gate A10 at Terminal 5, which means a very long bus trip. I thought we were driving to New York.
BA World Traveller Plus also means no lounge access and no priority seating.
The British Airways World Traveller Plus 777 plane was a little old and compared to Qantas it felt a lot less spacious. The seat layout was 4 in the middle and 2 on each side.
I was on the side thank goodness. I would have been very unhappy to have paid for premium economy and to have had one of the extreme middle seats.
I often wonder who ends up in these seats – are they the people that don’t make sure they do early online check-in? Or maybe they are more tolerant than me.
British Airways Premium Economy 747 has good quality headphones which were nice. The British Airways premium economy product also does have a very good in-flight entertainment system.
The British Airways Premium Economy in-flight amenity kit was not bad – socks, eye mask, earplugs, toothbrush and a pen. Great idea to have a pen as everyone needs one on a flight.
There is a lot of legroom and the seats are comfortable on the British Airways 787 Premium Economy flight. I was also pleased to see that there were 2 USB ports in the seat ahead and then 2 power points between the seats.
The food was a big positive for this World Traveller plus review 777 writer. It did feel like an upgrade from economy. We were also offered a lovely glass of sparkling wine before take-off.
One of my favourite features of British Airways premium economy 777 is that they have a very useful brochure which explains all the features and benefits of the world traveler plus seat – this is such a good idea.
Every premium economy and business class seat is different and you don’t want to miss out when good features can be used.
There was also a good-sized storage locker next to the window which was handy – another reason trying to get the window seat is one of my top tips.
In March 2018 British Airways made major upgrades to its World Traveller and British Airways Premium Economy 777 cabins at Gatwick on their Boeing 777s.
Both cabins have had their entertainment screens increased by 50% in size. I’m looking forward to checking out the new six-way headrest.
Interestingly these new planes will feature a considerable increase in the number of World Traveller Plus seats – coming from a reduction in Club World. Premium Economy is on the rise.
So what about the rest of the fleet? World Traveller Plus is a major improvement on World Traveller, which doesn’t offer the best seats. Also, there are few opportunities to upgrade within World Traveller – apart from the exit rows.
If you have a long flight or an overnight flight I think the upgrade cost is absolutely worth it.
Theoretically, being in BA World Traveller Plus means it is easier/more likely that you can be upgraded to Club World. BA does offer paid opportunities for upgrades but not all the time – and not necessarily at the best prices.
The best way to check if this is an option for your flight is to visit the Manage My Booking page. The price generally varies between 400 and 700 GBPs.
For frequent flyers, Avios points are a good option for upgrading – or combining Avios points with payment. It is not normally the best use of Avios to upgrade (they tend to be their most effective for less-visited longer trips in economy class in my experience) but it is a good option.
Finally, if you are a frequent flyer and flying World Traveller Plus there is a greater opportunity for an upgrade. This will most likely happen when World Traveller Plus has been booked out and business class has seats.
Overall, the seat itself is the key difference between world traveller and world traveller plus on British Airways.
On Qantas and other airlines, there does feel like there is more of a difference between the two cabins – particularly when it comes to service.
I was flying with British Airways when they were having extensive problems as an airline so it could not have been fun to be working for them at that time.
However, I am paying the extra and in my view, I do expect a slightly better service. I would hesitate to take British Airways Premium Economy again – mostly driven by nearly being downgraded to economy.
I don’t want to have to worry about this when I am headed to Heathrow. I, of course, would fly with them if there was a good enough deal, but they have certainly moved down my list after this experience.
Here is BA’s full rundown on their premium economy offer and The Telegraph’s Comparisons of Premium Economy Offers including British Airways Premium Economy Reviews
⇒ Prices and Deals on British Airways
World traveller plus on British Airways is premium economy. This is a class between economy and business class.
No, you do not get lounge access with a British Airways World Traveller Plus ticket.
Yes, World Traveller Plus travelers on British Airways get priority boarding and check-in.
No, World Traveller Plus customers on British Airways do not get to use the fast track queue for security.
The seats in British Airways World Traveller Plus generally have a 38 inch pitch and are 18.5 inches wide. The seats are 1 inch wider than economy and the pitch is 7 inches greater than economy.
I use Skyscanner for all my flights – from economy through to business – click here to Check out SkyScanner
Artist Residence is located in Pimlico which is fabulously central. It is in a gorgeous 5 store regency building and has a cute bar.
⇒ Read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now
The Portobello Hotel is located in one of London’s best known and cutest neighbourhoods Notting Hill. This is also the hotel where Kate Moss and Johnny Depp filled up the bath with champagne.
The hotel is located on a quiet street but is a great location.
The Great Northern Hotel is ridiculously close to Kings Cross and St Pancras stations which is incredibly convenient. The hotel dates back to 1854 but has had a major refurb so it feels fresh and modern.
The Hoxton hotel is in the heart of East London in Shoreditch and is a perfect base for exploration. The rooms aren’t huge but the location makes up for it – as does the great value for London with rooms starting at £99 a night.
I covered the cost of my flights on British Airways Premium Economy. This post on British Airways world traveller plus contains affiliate links. That means if you click on them and end up making a purchase on that website I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.
READ NEXT: American Airlines PREMIUM ECONOMY REVIEW
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Amanda O’Brien is the creator and editor of The Boutique Adventurer. She has visited 80 countries and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers as well as the IFTWTA. She is passionate about wine had has just completed Level 3 of the WSET. Born in Australia, she lives in London.
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Sunday 5th of March 2023
Glad your food was ok and an upgrade but I have to reportthe reverse, bith in and oit of India, there was no choice and what was actually served was worse than mkat carriers economy meals. As for BA's IT systems and contempt for customers who habe paid for a service they don't recieve. Your experience is far from unique and I wonder if you would ever have got any form of compensation had you not had the ankle injury. BA or the UK brand of IAG are #BestAvoided today.
Wednesday 15th of March 2023
I doubt it on the compensation front John! Luckily BA seems to be getting better but I am still nervous about being kicked off flights when I am travelling solo
Tuesday 21st of February 2023
Interesting you had problems with entering your passport information when checking-in. This has happened twice to me using the BA website. The two occasions have been years apart so BA have not fixed their website.
I eventually found a telephone number to call for website support and after about 40 minutes the agent was able to get my passport info to take. It was very frustrating, especially after paying for the upgrade to World Traveler Plus, the taking more money part of their website works very well.
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A tale of two classes: British Airways World Traveller and WTP
By fintan horan-stear →.
Unfortunately, on a recent roundtrip between London Heathrow and Newark, New Jersey, starting with LHR-EWR in World Traveller economy class, these flashes of PaxEx brilliance were overshadowed by appalling service on the outbound across the Atlantic.
Having already checked in online, I arrived at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and went straight to the self-service bag drop system, which worked flawlessly. There were no queues. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for security, which took 35 minutes to get through.
The automated bag drop was simple to use. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Once through security, I waited in a paid access lounge for my gate to be called. When the announcement finally came, roughly 20 minutes late, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my flight would be leaving from the A gates closest to the terminal. That is until I learned I was simply headed to a bus gate. I waited patiently at the cramped gate lounge as the stream of premium passengers trickled past and into the bus.
Fifteen minutes before our scheduled departure, my group was called, and we made our way to the vehicle. Unfortunately, once we arrived at our Boeing 777, boarding was a scrum. During the process, a crew member chided passengers for their bag arrangements in a rude and passive-aggressive manner.
The 777 is a mainstay of BA’s fleet, but it’s still surprising to see BA use remote stands for them. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Inside, I took a hot second to inspect my World Traveller economy class seat, part of a seat pair near the back of the aircraft. Though the seat is older, and perhaps past its prime — as evidenced by the small inflight entertainment screen — it has a lot of personal space and in fact, I found it to be quite comfortable.
A blanket, pillow, and disposable headphones of poor quality awaited me. The seat has no individual air gasper, as is often the case these days aboard widebodies.
The seat was a solid product, but it is in need of a refresh on British Airways. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
I went to the lavatory to freshen up before takeoff, and, shockingly, the bathrooms were filthy. We hadn’t even left at this point.
One can only assume the delay in boarding meant a short turnaround. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Once we were in the air, I decided to peruse the IFE selection, which had a variety of blockbusters and UK original series. I settled on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade , and the 1989-era picture quality of the film suited the ancient IFE screen perfectly. Alas, the Wi-Fi and USB power port in the seat did not work.
Whilst the selection was a bit limited, I was grateful for the classics on British Airways. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Despite some tired fixtures, the seat itself was good enough. Even when the seat in front of me was fully reclined, I had enough legroom, and as a 6’4 (193cm)-sized person, I fitted in the space. Having said that, the pan of my seat continuously slid forward throughout the flight, causing my legs to ache from keeping them tense.
Legroom was sufficient, with clear space even for a tall person. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
One hour into the flight, the drink service began, with BA serving World Traveller Plus premium economy passengers first before moving onto World Traveller economy. I had sparkling water and white wine. The Chilean Sauvignon Blanc was soft and fruity. I also snagged a sparkling Italian wine that was too sweet. The two crew members serving the drinks were friendly.
Two hours into the flight, the meal began. Special meals were hand-delivered first. My Asian vegetarian meal consisted of a buckwheat salad starter, Daal curry, cheese and crackers, and mango parfait, which were all tasty and satisfying. However, my enjoyment was dampened when a crew member, who had arrived to assist with meals, scolded the passenger beside me for having his headphones in and not clocking that he had missed the meal.
It was not an isolated incident, as I overhead flight attendants grumble audibly about passengers during the flight — presumably they assumed the passengers couldn’t hear them because of the headphones, ironically enough.
The meal was the highlight of the BA flight. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Following the meal service, I tried to remain in the background as much as possible to avoid raising the ire of the crew.
The IFE was buggy and slow, so I spent the rest of the flight watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and questioning my life choices.
I certainly identified with the heroine of The Temple of Doom on this flight. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Ninety minutes before landing, a snack service arrived, including an Indian-flavored vegetarian Wellington that was not bad.
I was grateful that British Airways could offer a hot snack equal to the meat version on board. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
As we prepared to land at Newark, I felt downtrodden by the abject rudeness of the crew. I hoped that, on my return flight to London in World Traveller Plus premium economy, the experience would improve.
The ground experience at Newark was a pleasant surprise. Checkin was faultless, with no queues and friendly staff.
Security was also a breeze; advanced scanners meant no decanting of items out of my bag. And I had some time to relax before boarding.
After amusing myself at the terminal, I arrived at the gate 45 minutes before departure. The mood was calm, and boarding began 20 minutes later. I took my seat just five minutes before we were due to leave.
The aircraft was a three-year-old Boeing 787-10, and I was excited to be on board a relatively new and modern aircraft. World Traveller Plus premium economy is located in a sub-cabin behind the cavernous Club World space, with 35 seats across five rows. The seats are wide and comfortable with a large IFE screen, seat controls in the armrest, power ports, and a cocktail table.
The cabin is conservative but quite airy. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
I was grateful for the noise-cancelling headset and an amenity kit. And the legroom was impressive, with both legrests and footrests provided for extra comfort.
The seat provided ample legroom for this 6’4 (193cm) journalist. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Before boarding, we were presented with a glass of water or orange juice. As we taxied, I inspected the bedding; the pillow and blanket were beautifully soft with a blue and red herringbone design that felt soothing in the hand without being too heavy.
The amenity kit had a matching design and felt soft and sturdy. It contained the usual flight socks, eye mask, lip balm, pen, and toothbrush.
The amenity kit and bedding were frankly wonderful. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
I tried out the IFE on takeoff, which unfortunately didn’t work initially, but, as we turned out of Newark, and with a very loud rendition of the Flower Duet playing in the cabin, the IFE came to life.
If the blasting of BA’s anthem song over the PA didn’t wake people up, the shock of the IFE system sending us to Johannesburg, South Africa might have given passengers a surprise.
Your guess is as good as mine. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
I inspected the IFE offerings: it had a lot of Paramount TV box sets, as well as HBO classics and the usual BBC fare. The system was slow and a bit clunky, but not awful. The quality of the screen was fine, with bright colours, but it lacked sharp definition. I decided on The White Lotus , which was good for escapism. But as before in economy, the Wi-Fi and power outlet did not work.
Whilst better than BA’s 777 economy class IFE system, it still wasn’t state-of-the-art. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Menus were passed out as we climbed, and then hot towels were distributed. Bizarrely, this was done in total darkness, so even with the reading light on it was a bit of a fumble. Thereafter, a haphazard dinner service began.
The menu was a premium touch. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
The lights were fortunately raised for the meal service. Though two flight attendants were working the service, they didn’t bring a drink trolley with them, so options were limited. Room temperature wine from the food cart was available.
The wine was frankly unacceptable for premium economy. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Strangely, no bread was offered, despite there appearing to be a full basket on the cart. I asked for a sparkling wine, which was brought after the meal service; it was the same Italian Frizzante served in economy.
I had the Asian vegetarian option, which consisted of barley salad, korma curry, and a fruit plate. The salad was fruity and sweet, but not cloying. The curry was warm and the fruit plate was fresh and cool.
The meal was perfectly fine, but nothing exciting. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
Having finished my dinner, I got ready for sleep. I found the seat to be scratchy but the seat next to me was unoccupied so I put the spare cover over my seat for added comfort. I got a reasonable 3 ½ hours before waking an hour before landing when the breakfast service began.
I was presented with a slimy roasted vegetable inside a wet roll, which was unappetizing. An orange juice and coffee completed the meal.
Breakfast was a bit of a low point. Image: Fintan Horan-Stear
As we began our descent, I surmised that this was overall a pleasant flight. The hard product offered space to sleep, and the Boeing 787-10 — with new and modern lavs and comfortable cabin pressure — made me feel fresher on landing.
I would have appreciated an operable in-seat power port, and indeed one of those seemingly forbidden bread rolls on the cart. But BA World Traveller Plus delivered a superior experience than the outbound flight in coach, as one might expect.
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Featured image credited to Fintan Horan-Stear
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About Fintan Horan-Stear
Contributing Writer Fintan is a London-based aviation and transport ‘enthusiastic amateur’, writing about trends and developments in the industry with a specific focus on passenger experience and “soft product” elements. His interest in aviation was sparked by the golden age of Pan American and the jet age, and still feels the thrill of adventure on... Read More