BA rolling out new (and impressive) soft product on World Traveller Plus from July

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In January we wrote about the new catering options that were coming to World Traveller Plus, the British Airways long haul premium economy product.

These were phased in from February, but we had been waiting to hear about the rest of the World Traveller Plus overhaul.

The good news is that British Airways has now announced that new amenity kits, cushions and blankets will be available in World Traveller Plus from 1st July for all Heathrow flights. A more staggered approach is occurring at Gatwick, with amenity kits arriving in July and bedding from 1st August.

It will be interesting to see if this can be rolled out smoothly or whether there will be teething issues, given the quick changeover.

We’ve been given photos of what this will all look like and, I have to say, I am impressed.  The amenity kit now comes in this smart pouch made from recycled plastic bottles:

British Airways World Traveller Plus new amenity kit

and

British Airways World Traveller Plus new amenity kit 2

This replaces the flimsy, transparent plastic kits that are currently available:

Old British Airways World Traveller Plus amenity kit

It will include an eye shade, pen, socks, toothbrush and lip balm from Scaramouche & Fandango.  I don’t think that Virgin Atlantic or Norwegian offer amenity kits in premium economy (EDIT: Virgin does, but only on night flights, sorry guys!) so it’s impressive to see British Airways making a real effort for customers.  The new kit is a clear step above what it was offering previously.

The herringbone pattern featured on the amenity kit is also present on the new (larger) cushion and quilt which, again, do look quite smart:

British Airways World Traveller Plus new blanket quilt

These look like an improvement on the weird grey-beige-brown blankets and cushions that are currently in service!

In a separate move, BA will also be introducing alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails to the World Traveller Plus bar menu.

British Airways has never been known to be particularly adventurous when it comes to design and styling in economy and premium economy, so it’s refreshing to see them rethink their offering.

With the new amenity kits, cushions and quilts, as well as the improved food offering announced in January, World Traveller Plus looks like it could be a really competitive product in the UK market.  This new soft product looks great and possibly even out-does Virgin Atlantic – although Virgin does still offer free seat selection, dedicated check-in desks and dedicated cabin crew for its Premium passengers.

You can find out more about BA’s World Traveller Plus product on this page of ba.com.

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Comments

  1. Academic really for most of us living north of Birmingham – BA is an irrelevance now having abandoned Manchester years ago, apart from the LHR shuttle.
    Everyday dozens of long-haul carriers like Emirates, Etihad, Cathay, United, AA, (even Ethiopian now) to name a few head east and west carrying tens of thousands of passengers that BA should really be carrying as our national flag carrier.

    • Stu_N says:

      Fact is, regional hubs don’t work in most of the world. Take Edinburgh as an example (it’s my local airport). We have Edinburgh has Qatar, Turkish and Emirates for going east and AA, United and Delta (New York, Chicago and Washington I think) for going west. It also has flights to the European hub airports of London (BA), Dublin (Aer Lingus), Amsterdam and Paris (Air France-KLM) and Brussels, Frankfurt and Munich (Lufthansa group). Notice these flights are ALL going to other airline’s hub airports.

      To the best of my knowledge, Lufthansa is the only European airline to run a dual hub model and that’s because Germany is much less centralised than any other European country so there’s sufficient point-to-point demand from both Munich and Frankfurt. USA is an entirely different kettle of fish.

      As for “flag carrier” – it’s not the 1970s any more. They don’t exist.

      • Charlieface says:

        I agree that generally it doesn’t work. EDI takes only 14m pax/year and is 39th busiest in Europe, but MAN at #20 takes 28m. It’s the busiest airport in Europe with no hub carrier (excl Majorca which is obvs only summer) and it suffers because of this. The next busiest non-hub is #28 Berlin Tegel at only 20m. The catchment population within 2hrs is pretty close to LHR and far bigger than many other hubs, including some you mentioned. It also has 2 independent runways, only LHR also has this in the UK.

        • Stu N says:

          Barcelona is #7 with 47m passengers and I wouldn’t say it’s a full hub airport – a few Level long hauls don’t really count.

          Part of the problem for MAN, and BHX to an even greater extent, is the overlap between the “2 hours from Manchester” catchment and “2 hours from Heathrow” – i.e. most of the Midlands). Heathrow will have a much greater gravity than any nascent hub set-up at Manchester due to sheer number of destinations and frequency of flights – Manchester or Birmingham will never be able to compete with that. Plus, by using non-UK hubs and low-cost carriers you can get most places in one change from most of the UK’s regional airports so that’s another issue.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I’m within 100m of both but I’m going to LHR every time as it’s always quicker going down the M40 than up the M6

    • Generally it will be cheaper for AA to operate such routes outside of London, and BA will get the same revenue share regardless of who operates it

  2. Kevin says:

    I didn’t get an amenity kit on Virgin PE last year. Return to Miami.

  3. The Savage Squirrel says:

    “Virgin does still offer free seat selection, dedicated check-in desks”

    And the BA seat’s rubbish.
    So BA doesn’t offer the things that make PE better than economy but it’s OK ‘cos you get a bag with some tat? They may well catch and surpass Virgin in CW/Upper soon but still way behind the next cabin back.

  4. David Mandy says:

    I don’t know what is more tedious really BA “upgrading” their amenity kits or Head for Points reporting this “event”. Either way, it is pathetic when you consider the extra you are paying for a premium service. Both BA and HFP need to get real over issues like this.

    • AndyGWP says:

      My interpretation of this article and (parts of) the recent A350 article is it’s more about highlighting the carrier battle that has started for the PE passenger

    • It is all part of a bigger story about PE changes though.

      I am generally unconcerned about these things unless from a key designer brand.

      • Callum says:

        Writing that you find a plastic bag of tat “impressive” is probably what gave people the impression you do care about it!

        That’s an interesting point though – do you care more about the designer branding than the actual quality? I’ve always suspected so (especially with how you talk about the “lesser” credit card brands), but I do sometimes verge towards being a “reverse snob” so it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m completely off base!

        • That depends if designer brand toiletries are better quality than non-designer brand ….

          And I didn’t write that article, it was written by a 23-year old who doesn’t have a bathroom full of Asprey, Hermes etc stolen hotel toiletries!

  5. Alastair says:

    Does this apply for flights into LHR e.g. from Singapore?

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