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EXCLUSIVE: We reveal the changes to British Airways World Traveller Plus premium economy

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British Airways has been touting improvements in the World Traveller Plus ‘soft product’ (food, bedding etc) for some time.  I’ve now managed to get hold of some information on what is coming as well as some not-seen-elsewhere promotional images of the new meal service.

The changes will come in two phases.  The first phase, starting on 1st February, involves the new food options.  The second phase later in the Spring will involve new soft furnishings and a brand new amenity kit.

Here is a new World Traveller Plus menu, which has been redesigned:

New British Airways World Traveller Plus food

There will be three main courses to choose from, including one vegetarian option.

The starter and dessert will be improved and will no longer be taken from the Economy / World Traveller meal.  This puts BA on a par with Virgin Atlantic which serves a totally different meal in Premium.

New British Airways World Traveller Plus food

Both the main meal and the second meal will be served on china and with ‘real’ glasses.  At present only the main meal uses glass.

New British Airways World Traveller Plus food

Here is another mock-up:

New British Airways World Traveller Plus food

The image below is a typical ‘second meal’ for a longer flight.   Hot food will now be guaranteed for the first time, instead of the pre-packed sandwiches often provided at present.  On shorter flights it will be a  hot hand-held snack and on longer flights you will get a hot meal tray, with a choice of two options, such as the one pictured below.

New British Airways World Traveller Plus food

If the second meal is breakfast, it will come like this:

New British Airways World Traveller Plus food

I need to confess that I have never flown Premium Economy on British Airways, Virgin Atlantic or Norwegian so I am not sure how this compares to what the competition offers.  It certainly appears to be a major improvement on what BA is offering at present.

New British Airways World Traveller Plus food

Regular HfP readers will know that British Airways is rolling out a new World Traveller Plus seat.  It is currently being installed on the Boeing 777-200 fleet, initially on the Gatwick aircraft.  This is the smart-looking seat you can see in the photo above.  You will also find a version of the ‘larger TV’ seat on the A380, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777-300ER fleets, but not all of the Boeing 747 fleet.

These ‘soft product’ changes do not fully close the gap with Virgin Premium, however.

We did a comparison last year 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.  Norwegian also offers an impressive Premium service which we reviewed here, although Norwegian is no longer offering lounge access on Premium Economy tickets unless you buy a flexible one.

New food may be welcome but, based on the analysis we did last April:

Virgin Atlantic offers free seat selection in Premium whilst BA does not

Virgin Atlantic has a 2.5 inch wider seat than BA

Virgin Atlantic offers dedicated Premium check-in desks, whilst BA does not

Virgin Atlantic offers priority baggage handling to Premium passengers, whilst BA does not

Virgin Atlantic has dedicated cabin crew for the Premium cabin, whilst BA does not

In my view, the best reason to book World Traveller Plus is to upgrade it to a flat-bed Club World seat using Avios.  

The cost to upgrade is the difference between a Club World and World Traveller Plus ‘100% Avios’ redemption plus any additional taxes.  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.  This is excellent value.

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Comments (109)

  • singhtel says:

    do you use book and upgrade feature to fly in. business class or is there another way of doing this…

  • Rivo says:

    Due to a tight corporate travel policy I tend to spend a lot of time in WT+. Improved meal service (although the current is not actually that bad) is welcome as well as an improved bedding and amenities pack both of which are very poor and I hold onto my CW set for dear life.

    But VS and CX have wider seats which in all honesty is why i fly Prem Economy.

  • Delbert says:

    Why do airlines, particularly BA, serve Bocconcini with every salad. It’s truly evil stuff.

    • Lady London says:

      It depends on the Bocconcini. Fresh ones eaten where made can be lovely.

      The ones British Airways and other airlines probably buy in are likely to be made by a firm whose name begins with G. that makes any mozzarella-type cheese taste like chewy plastic.

  • matt says:

    Why are you leading this story as exclusive pictures, there were pics on twitter and BA Flyertalk yesterday Jan 16.

    I also thought that VS have removed dedicated crew from BA, whilst BA now have dedicated PE crew on reconfigured aircraft.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Just booked LHR>JFK in WT+ and went to select my food outbound. Need to wait a few days for the return journey. Here are the choices for the 11th Feb

    Braised British beef with roast new potatoes, onion soubise, carrots and bourguignonne sauce
    Roasted guinea fowl with braised red cabbage, green beans, roast potato and mustard and chive jus
    Rigatoni pasta in a creamy garlic and herb sauce with leek , pumpkin and baby spinach

  • Zam says:

    Isn’t an exclusive where it’s only you publishing. Other outlets published this before you.

    • Big Dave says:

      Go get your anorak and take it to the dry cleaners

    • Rob says:

      It doesn’t say the article is exclusive. The headline says the PICTURES are exclusive, which they are. I still haven’t seen any other shots of the curry or the breakfast anywhere.

  • Journeying John says:

    Since ten years ago amidst much fanfare BA launched a new WT+ seta that in 2019 is STILL not available, think this is their standard marketing Bait and Switch… Market and promote a new product and deliver the old one for the majority… Anyway, these changes even if implemented as described will only bring them close to what’s offered by Lufthansa, Singapore, Virgin. They remain poor for comfort, service and value in the marketplace

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