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British Airways World Traveller Plus review (premium economy) on an A380

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This is our review of World Traveller Plus (premium economy) on British Airways.

Premium Economy has not, historically, been a focus for Head for Points.  It isn’t a half-way house between Business and Economy, however much the marketing people may try to convince people otherwise.  A better slogan might be ‘Economy how it used to be, not how it is now’.

We don’t completely ignore it, however.  Earlier this year I reviewed Air New Zealand premium economy.  We have covered Norwegian Premium twice, once here with Anika and once here with myself, and for the money we rate it highly.  I also reviewed Vietnam Airlines premium economy here as part of my trip this Summer.

British Airways BA A380 flying

With British Airways having recently made some improvements to World Traveller Plus, we decided to give it a proper review for the first time.  We will try to do a similar Virgin Atlantic piece over the next few months.

British Airways offered HfP a free WTP ticket for review purposes.  As I was planning a holiday anyway, I tied it in with a trip to Washington Dulles.  Having studied abroad for a year in the Baltimore-Washington area it was high time I made my way back that way to see everyone I knew.

You can find out more about World Traveller Plus on this page of

Mr Jones goes to Washington

British Airways flies twice daily to Washington Dulles.  In the winter season one of the daily flights is on an A380, although you will often find a range of aircraft on this route year round, including Boeing 777s and 747s as well as 787s.

British Airways premium economy check in

Unlike many other carriers at Heathrow including Virgin Atlantic, British Airways does not have a separate World Traveller Plus check-in / bag drop desk.  Given the number of desks at Terminal 5, this is a weird omission – it wouldn’t add any marginal cost (there are enough WTP passengers each day to keep it busy) and it would improve the passenger experience as well as encouraging passengers to trade up.

You must queue with other economy passengers (click any photo to enlarge):

British Airways World Traveller Plus review A380

In practise, however, I have never found the queues at Heathrow T5 to be particularly bad. It is more of a problem at other airports where BA is slightly more space constrained.

Whilst I was travelling light, it is important to note that World Traveller Plus has a far bigger luggage allowance than World Traveller.  The World Traveller allowance is one checked bag of 23kg.  The World Traveller Plus allowance is TWO bags on 23kg.  Executive Club and oneworld status members have higher allowances.  (Full details of BA baggage allowances are here.)

Given that British Airways charges £120 return to add a second suitcase to an Economy ticket, anyone with a lot of luggage should seriously consider booking World Traveller Plus instead.  Given the extra Avios you earn as well – as I discuss below – it may end up cheaper.

Like virtually all premium economy offerings, BA does not include lounge access so you will have to entertain yourself in the perpetually crowded T5 concourse.  (Norwegian used to offer lounge access on Premium tickets but has now dropped it unless you have a flexible ticket.)

However, as I was on an A380 I knew that I would be departing from T5C.  I made my way there early using the secret corridor.  One side of the air train is currently undergoing engineering works and there is a less frequent (and more crowded!) service.

BA’s World Traveller Plus premium economy cabin

World Traveller Plus is on the upper deck of BA’s A380s, tucked behind a smallish Club World. It is, all things considered, a fairly small cabin given the size of the aircraft.

British Airways World Traveller Plus review A380

Seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 config. One of the benefits of being on the upper deck is having the large sidewall storage bins next to the window seats, which are great for stowing things you want to use during the flight.

British Airways World Traveller Plus review A380

The seats are a decent width and have good recline. Whilst Norwegian’s premium economy touts the greatest seat pitch, I did not notice any great differences between Norwegian, British Airways or even Vietnam Airlines (links to reviews). I had ample leg and knee room in World Traveller Plus and was able to extend my legs fully under the seat in front.

British Airways World Traveller Plus review A380

Screens are in the seat back in front of you whilst tray tables are in the armrest. There is also a small cabled remote control for the IFE. If you are sitting behind another World Traveller Plus row you get an adjustable leg rest. There are no personal air vents overhead.

Unlike in some premium cabins, BA has chosen to retain overhead bins throughout the cabin so there is plenty of storage.  On the upper deck of an A380 the window-side bins are smaller than average, although this is not a problem since you can place large items in the central bins.

Each seat came with the stylish new herringbone-design pillows, blankets and amenity kit / headphone sets.

In the amenity kit you’ll find a pair of single-use socks, dental kit, lip balm by Scaramouche & Fandango, eye mask and pen:

British Airways World Traveller Plus review A380 amenity kit

The only thing that is missing is a pair of earplugs, which I had to ask cabin crew for separately.

After boarding I was offered a choice of water or sparkling wine as well as a menu.

British Airways World Traveller Plus review A380

World Traveller Plus in-flight service

Once airborne, cabin crew came round offering everyone a hot towel before coming round with small pack of pretzel and taking drinks orders. I had some white wine as well as some water. You are served two mini bottles, I assume to save time during the meal service.

British Airways World Traveller Plus A380 drink

About an hour later the main meal is served. Starter, main course and dessert are all served on one tray:

British Airways World Traveller Plus review A380 meal

I had the Prawn Thai green curry, jasmine rice and edemame beans which came with a goat’s cheese, orange and beetroot tartare starter and a chocolate and pecan cookie dough cheesecake, as well as some cheddar and crackers.

The other two main choices were braised British beef, chasseur sauce, herb creamed potatoes and baby carrot OR autumn pumpkin and parsnip hotpot with herb dumplings.

I’m always pleased when airlines hand out proper bottles of water, too, so that’s a bonus.

After dinner there is also a tea and coffee service, as well as ice cream mid-flight.

World Traveller Plus in-flight entertainment

British Airways had its first A380 delivered in 2013, so the in flight entertainment is not as new as you will find on its A350s and refurbished Boeing 777s.

The seat back entertainment screen is a decent size, although I don’t think it uses multi-touch technology and sometimes requires more of a firm press.

Underneath the screen are two USB plugs:

British Airways World Traveller Plus A380 ife

On the armrest you will find the headphone jack and remote control.

British Airways has a good selection of entertainment options. There were several pages worth of new releases covering a wide range of tastes from superhero blockbusters to Disney, biopics and smaller films. This is in addition to the ‘classics’ and ‘best of British’ categories etc. I ended up watching the new Spiderman film, the Apollo 11 documentary and All is True, Kenneth Branagh’s film about Shakespeare’s life.

British Airways World Traveller Plus A380 headphones

Headphones are over the ear style, although I don’t think they are noise cancelling. They were certainly decent although nothing to shout home about.


British Airways’ A380s are fitted with Wi-Fi. Unlike on the A350, packages are available based on time rather than consumption, which is a fairer way to go. This was what was available – I’m not sure if the ‘full flight’ prices is higher on longer routes:

  • 1 hour: £4.99
  • 4 hours: £11.99
  • Full flight: £17.99

I went for the 1 hour option to test it out and was surprised by how well it did. I wasn’t streaming video but enjoyed full normal usage of my phone for that hour, without having to worry about page loading speeds or waiting for images to load on social media.

Second meal service

Around an hour before landing cabin crew come round again with the second meal choice. On a shortish transatlantic flight this is a hot slice of pizza in a box or some sandwiches:

British Airways World Traveller Plus A380 pizza

…. which is similar, if not the same, as what is served as the second meal in economy.


British Airways has improved its premium economy offering a lot in recent years. New blankets, pillows and amenity kits lend it a stylish flair whilst the cabin now has a dedicated menu served with real cutlery and tableware.

It is, by and large, a very competitive offering (although I have yet to try Virgin Atlantic’s Premium) and worth a modest price premium over World Traveller.

As this is HfP, I should also remind you that World Traveller Plus is a very generous source of Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points.

This HfP article lists all British Airways routes and the tier points they earnWorld Traveller Plus earns 90 tier points each-way compared with just 20 tier points each way for the cheapest World Traveller (economy) tickets.  One return flight puts you more than half-way to Bronze status.

In terms of Avios, World Traveller Plus to Washington Dulles earns 3,672 Avios each-way.  This compares to just 918 Avios each-way for the cheapest World Traveller (economy) ticket.  An extra 5,500+ Avios on a return flight like this – and substantially more on a longer route – helps offset some of the cost of World Traveller Plus.

Thank you to the BA team for arranging my flight.  You can learn more about World Traveller Plus on here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (115)

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

  • The Original David says:

    Don’t forget the other great benefit of WTP fares – they are upgradeable with Avios to CW.

    • Shoestring says:

      Rhys: exactly – how many Avios to upgrade this flight to CW? Can it be done leg by leg if you have a return? Do you earn (by right) more Avios & TPs?

      • Rob says:

        It is the difference between the WTP and CW Avios cost, plus any extra taxes. You get Avios and TP for what you paid for, not what you flew.

        • Shoestring says:

          checked & that’s +48000 Avios +£200 extra (return in Business as opposed to PE)

  • Jon says:

    Slightly O/T, but talking of touch-screen IFE. Does anyone know why airlines bother with it?

    In my experience, it never seems to work very well, and just risks having the person in front get annoyed (or you being annoyed by the person behind) as a result of the seat jolting because of all the poking and prodding. I assume touch-screens cost more to install than regular screens, and presumably any promise of saving weight and hence fuel burn by dispensing with the remote handsets has come to naught since the handsets are still there (of necessity, I think, given the unreliability of the touchscreens). So what exactly was the point? Technology for the sake of it?

    • Jamesay says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Having someone tap on your headrest (gaming) for the entirety of a long haul flight is borderline criminal!

    • ankomonkey says:

      May not be this at all, but my kids expect everything to be touchscreen. I suspect this is true for a lot of the younger generations.

    • flyforfun says:

      Depends on the airline and how modern the system is, and the person using it.

      An Cathay’s A350’s they are a light touch to operate.

      On Etihad I was sat next to a toddler that bashed it constantly for 14 hours. Pity the poor bloke in the seat in front…

    • Rhys says:

      Touch screens in the last few years are now the same as on your phone or tablet, rather than the old pressure-sensitive style ones. Never had a problem with hard-tapping behind me personally in recent years 🙂

    • Crafty says:

      Found this incredibly annoying on a TUI flight to Phuket last week. Will be petitioning to retrofit all the old semi responsive remote controls!

  • Michael says:

    Good chance of upgrade too. Especially the Washington flights – a lot of civil servants travel premium economy so the cabin can fill quite easily.

    • Rhys says:

      My flights were so full (Thanksgiving…) that there wouldn’t have been any room to upgrade anyone up!

      • Doug M says:

        That’s often when it happens though. Maybe CW wasn’t full, but PE and E oversold resulting in shift forward. Obviously not going to shift you if they gave you the ticket for review purposes.

  • Mark says:

    Have mentioned it before on here but I don’t understand why BA are not yet offering dedicated check in desks for PE. Seems to be the standard for PE on other airlines and as Rhys says the marginal cost is minimal (certainly from Heathrow and Gatwick).

    • Mike says:

      Pretty sure ba offered j check in before for Wtp? I flew it last a few years ago (2016) and vaguely remember that.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I expect it could cause issues at outstations. With such a small cabin and no access granted to elites, it could routinely have shorter queues than the business one. Given that you only need two trips per year to earn Bronze, I expect many passengers will have access to the business check in desks anyway.

  • Holger Sell says:

    Regarding the amenity kit, was looking for ear plugs too until I noticed Ear plugs are in the charity envelopes, at least they have been on all flights I have been on BA recently.

    • Rhys says:

      Would be an odd place to put earplugs….

      • blenz101 says:

        I can confirm that on my most recent BA flight the earplugs (in-ear that are supplied in economy) are now within the charity envelope.

  • Jamesay says:

    It’s incredible to know that touch screens are still being used. Having ones headrest banged on by the selfish idiots that play games on overnight flights is the reason I avoid BA WTP as well as the United 757s to regional airports in the U.K. There’s no excuse for ensuring that a good handset control is in place.

    • Lady London says:

      + 1. No idea why airlines would continue to invest in hard wired entertainment systems on aircraft anymore anyway in this day and age.

      • Rhys says:

        Actually I would prefer not to worry about bringing my own gear and having to balance it on the tray table etc etc. Much easier to just use IFE

  • Paul Hockaday says:

    Enjoyed the BA WTP review. When my Avios run out may decide to give it a try. Did you mention whether the seats recline at all? Might have missed it

    • Rhys says:

      They do recline, a decent recline too, about standard for premium economy so more than normal economy seats.

  • Denis says:

    BA does a great job with their Premium Economy. Meals look great and such an upgrade to economy meals. The only cons of BA product is charges for a seat assignment.
    Just compare this product to AF premium economy: terrible seat (everyone hates it and they just don’t care), exactly same economy meal, all drinks in plastic.

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