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British Airways to refresh World Traveller and World Traveller Plus on Boeing 747 fleet

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British Airways has announced a ‘soft’ refurbishment of the World Traveller and World Traveller Plus seats on 18 of its remaining Boeing 747 aircraft.  This reflects the fact that some of these aircraft are still seen as having a good few years of service in them.

You shouldn’t get excited about any hopes for a new seat.  The work on the seats is purely cosmetic, with new carpets, seat foam and seat covers.

BA 747 retirement

In World Traveller Plus, every seat will also have access to a power point – accepting UK, US and European plugs – and a USB socket.

Of potentially more interest is the installation of a new in-flight entertainment system from Panasonic.  This will be fitted across all cabins on the aircraft.  Comments on Flyertalk from people who understand these things suggest that this is the best system currently on the market, with high resolution and touch sensitive screens and the capacity to store vast amounts of content.

The work is not due to start until August 2015 and will take 12 months to complete.  Even then, the staggered retirement plan for the Boeing 747’s means that you will only have a 50% chance of getting a refurbished aircraft.

You can

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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Comments (13)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mr Bridge says:

    what is this world traveller of which you speak.

  • Matt says:

    Rob, highly OT but I just got a letter from Cathay offering me a 6 month extension on my Gold card – any idea if this is normal policy? I cancelled Amex Platinum a few months ago. Certainly not complaining!

    • Damien says:

      Same happened to me.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, everyone is getting this

      • Mark says:

        Just those that are about to expire? Mine runs until March but haven’t received anything yet.

    • CV3V says:

      Yes, an extra 6 months of BA Lounge sandwiches, chilli con carne and thai green curry (mildly warm food served after 6pm only, the curry may contain chicken but only if your fast enough).

  • Lady London says:

    I haven’t understood for the past couple of years why any airline has continued to invest in IFE.
    Surely the way forward is passengers bringing their own devices and only wanting power? And maybe like OpenSkies, with an ipad or similar handed out for the flight to those who don’t bring their own device?

    • Mark says:

      The London City flights to JFK do offer exactly that I believe, and similar was also offered to F passengers for a while on aircraft with the old loop IFE system until they were upgraded. As a general rule though I would rather have something built into the seat which I don’t have to hold or find somewhere to place. It would also be difficult to offer the moving map on a hand held device.

      I doubt the majority of people fly with tablets preloaded with content; assuming/expecting people to do that is unlikely to do any airline any favours. I find it is a good opportunity to watch/listen to new stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily have bought before hand anyway.

    • Tim says:

      Ba would still need to upgdade the power supplies. As I rwmber the 747 and old 777 200s have empower outlets in wtp which I have NEVER managed to get go work

      • Mark2 says:

        I have only tried once on an elderly 747 from Toronto in First (via Avios but not worth the extra). I suspected the adaptor (empower to cigarette lighter) but since I have no idea where I could test it (other than in an elderly BA 747) I was stumped. The cabin crew were very helpful but since I use a CPAP machine I was not pleased.

    • callum says:

      Not at all, no. Next time you take a long haul flight, look around. Virtually everyone is watching the IFE and hardly anyone their own tablet.

      There’s no way I could store the range of options available on my tablet, and for the same reason TV exists, sometimes I don’t want to go through the hassle of finding a reliable internet connection and preplanning what I will watch later.

      • Alan says:

        Although interestingly some systems (is it maybe Air Canda Rouge?) let you stream the video from an onboard server – that way you still have access to a wide range of content but the company saves on a lot of the cabling, etc. that’s required for a fitted system.

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