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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. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    More steps in the right direction.

  2. No improvements in the soft product can disguise the fact that the WTP seat itself, like most other premium economy seats, is rubbish and not worth the price BA charges for it. Why bother when we can get premium economy on LH which is very similar AFAIK for about 30-50% less than BA in the frequent LH promotions.

    • marcw says:

      Lufthansa is NOT competing with BA on product. They are competing on price. But hey, connecting in a third country are usually cheaper than connecting in the origina or destination country.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      That’s not comparing apples for apples.

      Connection vs direct has a value. Also the extra APD for premium really needs to change.

      • Travel Strong says:

        Agreed, the insane APD on premium is a big problem – I really like the VS PE and BA WTP cabins, but they are not worth the business class ballpark APD!! Surely it must be limiting sales and holding back an otherwise great product from being a smash hit.

    • riku2 says:

      Not living the UK, the price for LH vs BA in premium economy is very similar. What makes a difference is availability of the cheaper fares. CX to asia is often cheaper in premium economy than LH or BA, but it’s because CX have so many flights to HKG and there is good chance some cheaper fare buckets are still available, not because of any big difference in the fares themselves. But all this is for flights connecting in the UK. Direct flights are priced much higher.

      • Appreciate the various comments, I thought about direct versus connecting flights only after posting my comment. Being based in Edinburgh my default thinking is one stop flights so a BA connection in LHR is no different from say FRA or AMS from my own personal POV.

  3. Andrew Cooper says:

    Virgin do provide amenity kits in premium economy made by Herschel. They have provided these for many years with toothbrush, pen, eye mask etc. Good to see these improvements none the less…. typing as I step off a virgin flight in JFK where I just got a kit

    • David says:

      In fact, is there any carrier that *doesn’t* provide amenity kits in Premium Economy? Surely this is one of the easiest ways to justify charging an extra £300 per leg – hand out a tiny toothbrush in a bag…

      • Thanks, will amend.

      • Travel Strong says:

        I’ve had amenity kits most times on both day and night flights in Virgin PE day flights and night flights, but not always! I don’t think the logic is a simple as day/night flights… or perhaps its just inconsistent depending on route/crew.

    • Apparently only night flights! Explains why I didn’t see it on the couple of (day) flight reviews I read…

  4. Scallder says:

    I’d personally take that pouch over the black Temperly bags in First any day!

  5. VS do offer amenity kits in PE or did last Oct. They are only offered on overnight services (unless crew on outbound forgot) and the bag is designed by Herschel. Usual contents though can’t remember the brand of lip balm.

  6. Yes, as mentioned in other comments, Virgin do offer an amenity kit. A red one that looks remarkably like the BA one here other than the colour!! Regardless, this is good news. I am going to Bangkok in WTP on the 3rd July so will see how the BA stuff looks in the flesh if it does indeed get rolled out in time!

    I wasn’t impressed with the new catering on my last flight so I hope it was a one off!

  7. Journeying John says:

    This is a basic move to come toward offering a competitive product but they still need to do so much, so not least clean the cabins and make sure IFE actually works / enough food is onboard

  8. Catalan says:

    I’ve flown WTP on a daytime flight on a B773. I found the seat with flexible headrest to be extremely comfortable and the recline and legroom quite impressive. The main meal was from the ClW menu (the side salad and dessert weren’t). This announcement with the upgrade in soft products are a welcome improvement.

  9. Big Dave says:

    good to see plastics being replaced…

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Recycled plastic amenity bag seems like a better way of using plastic already on the earth than landfill.

      • RussellH says:

        ‘Plastic’ bottles are made from PET (stands for PolyEthylene Terephthalate) from where ICI got their original name ‘Terelene’ – so yes, it is polyester fabric.
        I believe that cheap polyester fibre has long been one of the ways of re-using poyester from bottles, cheaper sleeping bag and duvet fillings and fleeces in particular.
        A lot of the small toiletries bottles I see in hotels these days also state that they are made from recycled large drinks bottles.
        I would guess that recycled PET will be fine for non-pressurised containers, but perhaps not so good for large bottles of fizzy drinks which have to withstand significant pressure, which increases once in flight.

        • Simon says:

          I believe there is a roaring trade in making bottles purely to be recycled immediately as that’s more economical than collecting used ones- depressing stuff,

          • flyforfun says:

            But how could that be more economical than making the material for it’s intended purpose instead of making for one thing, and then recycling it into another? Enquiring minds need to know!

          • The Original David says:

            Because mugs from Greenpeace/Extinction Rebellion etc will pay a premium for something that’s been recycled from bottles…

          • Gavin T says:

            Evidence? That’s an extraordinary claim.

  10. WTP is a waste of money unless it is less than 1.5x the economy fare. Surprised at the excitement over some toothpaste etc. The only bit of the amenity kit I would actually keep is the bag itself. Still using the stuff from my 8 QR J amenity kits obtained during one trip …

    • Alex W says:

      Lol, gotta love a Qatar airways ex-EU. Those amenity kits go for £10+ on eBay.

  11. Things are looking up for the next time I am force downgraded then

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