BA sale

What are the best World Traveller Plus deals in the BA sale – and how to upgrade them?

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On Friday we looked at the best Business and First Class deals in the new British Airways sale.  That article is here.

Today I wanted to take a look at some of the deals in World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy).

You can see what is available via this sale page of ba.com.  You must book by 25th September.

Travel dates are all over the place and vary by route and by travel class – see the small print at the bottom of the sale website.

Why book World Traveller Plus?

British Airways is due to announce a revamp of World Traveller Plus very soon although this will be primarily food and amenity related.  Note that the pictures in this article are of the new World Traveller Plus seat which is going onto refurbished Boeing 777 aircraft out of Gatwick.  You won’t necessarily get a TV screen that big.

Whilst clearly better than World Traveller, you are substantially better off with Norwegian Premium (which we reviewed here).  This is closer to being a genuine half-way house between an Economy and Business seat and also comes with lounge access at selected airports.

We also did a comparison recently of British Airways World Traveller Plus vs Virgin Atlantic Premium, which you can find here.  In almost all respects, the Virgin Atlantic product is better.  (Virgin Atlantic has a page dedicated to Premium on their website here.)

The real reason to book World Traveller Plus is to upgrade it to a flat-bed Club World seat using Avios.

Look at some of the sale prices below.  They are often not much more than the £550ish of taxes and charges which BA wants for a Club World Avios redemption.  You can save a lot of Avios by upgrading a World Traveller Plus seat instead.

Another popular strategy is to just upgrade any overnight legs, eg when returning from the US, since World Traveller Plus is more acceptable on shorter day flights.

Club World seats for upgrade come from the same ‘pot’ as standard Club World Avios redemption seats.  If there is not a Club World seat showing for an Avios booking, you won’t be able to upgrade a World Traveller Plus seat.  ba.com has a Book and Upgrade’ tab on the main ‘Book with Avios’ page which you can find here.

An added upside of this method is that you earn Avios and tier points back, based on the World Traveller Plus rate.  A downside – which is important to note – is that, unlike a normal Avios redemption, a World Traveller Plus sale ticket upgraded to Club World with Avios remains non-refundable and non-changeable.  If you value the flexibility of Avios redemptions the upgrade route is not for you.

The cost to upgrade is the difference between a Club World and World Traveller Plus ‘100% Avios’ redemption.  New York, peak dates, is 120,000 Avios for a Club World return flight and 80,000 Avios for World Traveller Plus.  An upgrade from WTP is therefore 40,000 Avios return or 20,000 Avios one-way.

World Traveller Plus sale

What World Traveller Plus sale deals are available?

In general, World Traveller Plus pricing in the new British Airways sale seem a bit higher than usual but it varies route by route.

The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on ba.com. This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.

Here are my picks:

  • Boston £759
  • Fort Lauderdale £663
  • Las Vegas £794
  • New York £757
  • Orlando £779
  • San Francisco £825
  • Barbados £735
  • Punta Cana £613
  • Rio de Janeiro £868
  • Abu Dhabi £612
  • Muscat £698
  • Seychelles £955
  • Mumbai £633
  • New Delhi £609
  • Beijing £844
  • Shanghai £733

World Traveller Plus sale

BA Holidays is also running deals

As I always say, it is well worth pricing up BA’s ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ options.  Adding a hotel, even a one-star one, or a small car can bring down the cost to less than the flight itself.

I strongly recommend popping over to BA Holidays here and doing a test booking before booking anything as ‘flight only’.

Another benefit of booking your flight as a holiday is that you only pay a deposit now with the balance due five weeks before departure.  To top it off, you get a bonus 1 Avios per £1 spent when booking via BA Holidays.

The main home page for the September sale is here.

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at ba.com or via BA Holidays.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. In theory the points upgrade from WTP to CW is a good move but in practice is very difficult to achieve. This is especially true for an upgrade to outbound and inbound. It looks like the availability is actually set to mid-match by either being months apart or within 2 days of each other. For the same reasons The Gold Card Upgrade is also a poor offering.

    • “The Gold Card Upgrade is also a poor offering”. Use a travel agent.

      • Yup. The Gold Upgrade Voucher (GUF2), when booked using a travel agent, books into a REVENUE ticket class and does NOT require Avios availability to be there. 90% of travel agents haven’t a clue how to book them, but Google ‘Propeller Travel’ who are a) unreliable but b) when they do respond, know what to do. Amex Travel also has a good reputation for being able to book these.

        • Rob,
          Even if you can find a TA that knows how to do this, are you then not up against a certain fare class that has low availability? Never understood this quirk anyway why shouldn’t the same rule be available for on line bookings?

          • Needs ‘A’ class availability, but there are usually a couple (at least) of cash tickets marked as ‘A’ for every flight. You just need to find a flight where no-one has bought a cash ticket in F yet.

    • Depends where you want to go. Loads of US destinations have availability in CW for more than half the days in Dec 18 and March 19, I’m sure you could find something that works if you are a bit flexible on destination and timing.

      Definitely find the award availability and work around that, rather than book seats in the hope of being able to upgrade down the line.

    • The Original Nick says:

      I’ve recently upgraded 3 seats from WT+ to CW for inbound and outbound , LHR-DXB. Just need to keep checking for availability.

    • AspirationalFlyer says:

      Depends on the route I think. With some flexibility I’ve always been ok with New York, Florida and the Middle East (all routes with a lot of frequency). Often I’ve found myself going into one airport and out of another – e.g. JFK vs EWR and FLL vs MIA.

  2. I wouldn’t use the “book and upgrade” tool on ba.com – it widely over charges. Yes there will be a very slight uplift in fuel surcharge from WT+ to CW (although I think CW and F are the same) but “book and upgrade” charges hundreds more for some reason, I think it doesn’t select the lowest fares when quoting. So just do a regular Avios search to check availability, then book as normal and upgrade as soon as you have a booking ref. Should the unlikely happen that Avios availability has been snapped up in those few minutes – you have the 24hr cancellation option.

  3. “Unlike a normal Avios redemption, a World Traveller Plus sale ticket upgraded to Club World with Avios remains non-refundable and non-changeable. If you value the flexibility of Avios redemptions the upgrade route is not for you.”

    I believe cheap WT+ fares can be changed for a £150 fee. I have in the past reversed a UUA, then cashed in the underlying WT+ ticket to buy a J ticket on different flights when a sale fare came along, so you do have some flexibility.

    • I UUA’d from WT+ to CW and subsequently changed the return leg in CW, I paid £150 change fee and another £50 (penalty?). Had to call BA (twice) and wait about a week for someone to figure out how to process it, but came through in the end.

  4. I remember doing this a few years ago when it was great value. Upgraded our honeymoon flights (WTP to CW) to St Lucia in both directions for 50k avios.. Today it would cost 120k to do the same thing on the same off peak dates!

  5. are all WT+ ticket upgradeable using avios (even the cheapest ones) ?

    • Yes (except for certain tickets you might get as part of a package holiday, staff Hotline tickets etc)

      • good to know. and quite generous of BA !

        • Damien Keegan says:

          My upgrade from WTP to CW coming back from BGI in November was part of a package deal with BA Holidays and could have been upgrade with avios if there was availability. Did it for cash <£600 for 2 pax. Phoned the contact centre as "upgrade" was not possible through the app or website.

  6. Andrew MS says:

    O/T but Speaking of upgrades … do Qatar Airways still email upgrade offers 2 weeks prior to travel . I read about this on a 2017 forum on FT . I am travelling Y class to BKK
    Thanks

    • Prins Polo says:

      I have not seen those recently. I now only get those upgrade offers at T-48h when check in opens.

  7. Do you get tier points and avios for the wtP rate when upgrading or does it track at club world. I’m sure this is just wishful thinking.

  8. Londonbus says:

    The standout price I think in the list above is Shanghai. It’s much further than Muscat or New York and tends to be a fairly expensive route normally.

  9. OT – I saw it in the post in January, but are you still confident that a companion voucher (once transferred to a BAEC account) will not be revoked if the card used to earn it is cancelled?

    The Amex call centre is saying quite firmly that it will, and that one should downgrade to the basic BA Amex in order to keep the voucher.

    Thanks!

    • Seriously? This question is asked (and answered all the time) – it’s already been answered once today on the threads. Read them!

    • Yes still confident.
      Have done it very recently. If you go to basic ba card you will delay any churn, so cancel it.

      You do need an Amex card, any Amex at all, to actually use the voucher. So don’t cancel it unless you have / are getting another one.

      I used my last companion card in late July, only had a platinum card at the time.

      • Am I right in thinking the January sale is usually better priced than this? Just wondering whether I should hold off

  10. Dermot K says:

    If you book a Premium Economy BA Holiday – can you still upgrade using Avios? I can’t see how/where to do it?

    • Yes, you need to call BA Holidays to do it. I’ve done this a couple of times with no issues.

      • Damien Keegan says:

        Yes, as Stu stated. If there’s availability on the flight, if not, the sale price upgrade is pretty good. And First was offered too!

  11. FlightDoctor says:

    Discovered the over charging issue last night. Trying to pay cash for 3 return WTP tickets to HKG next summer and used three of my GUF vouchers to upgrade to CW. The “pay and upgrade” option quoted a combined fare some £1700 more than the cheapest WTP fare if I just booked through henusual flight booking link. I discovered an HFP article from last September describing this phenomenon (Dual Inventory Fare) so I took the advice and booked 3 WTP tickets THEN rang BA and asked them to process an upgrade. Charged an extra £104 pp in taxes but still ended up with a HUGE saving, around £1400. Wonder how many people have been caught out by this.

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