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We review World Traveller Plus on a British Airways 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.

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 ba.com.

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 A380 review

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.

In World Traveller Plus

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.

Wi-Fi

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.

Conclusion

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 ba.com here.

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Comments

  1. OT: I’ve had 7 emails from Amex this morning confirming things done in late October. You’ve added a rewards partner, you’ve transferred points, and confirming the merging of 2 MR accounts. As if they’re on a 6 week delay mechanism. Odd.

  2. Interesting AF – KLM team up with Qantas Flyer. Essentially, with Qantas Flyer you can earn miles on BA, IB + AF + KLM, and Emirates as well as Qatar. Covers very well Europe tbh.

    • As an example… you could fly LON to DEL with many options: BA, AF, KLM, EK and QR. With Avios you can only do BA and QR.
      I’m not saying it’s good value, but shows how versatile that program has become.

  3. OT: FAO shoestring

    BA refused my duty of care claim as they cancelled the flight more than 14 days prior to departure.
    I replied saying I will take them to the small claims court as the next available flight was the following day but they say they can’t compensate us for accommodation and expenses….shall I just ask them for address details to issue a claim?

    • Shoestring says:

      there’s quite simply no 14 day ‘rule’ with duty of care (or any other time limitation other than the 6 year statute of limitations!)

      you would always expect the first (and maybe 2nd) reply from BA CS to be a BS reply in any case – that’s when 90% of people drop out, so BA CS will invariably prefer BS to a proper reply, one exception (sometimes) being when other people in the same position/ flight have already received compo

      suggestion: you could post a very brief summary of your case on the Flyertalk EC261 compo thread and it will definitely interest people enough to give you a few thoughts that might strengthen the way you state your position

      I’m going to be in the same position at Easter – my flight out has been cancelled and I’ve been given an alternative 2.5hrs later, so I’ll be claiming duty of care for 4 of us (it’s longer than 2 hrs so duty of care is applicable)

      • Shoestring says:

        adds: you’ve got plenty of time – don’t go for CEDR (the adjudicators can be wishy-washy with poor knowledge of the law) but choose MCOL – you have to give BA a minimum of 8 weeks to finally reject your claim in any case

        • I think you can ask BA to state that’s their final position on the matter which means no need to wait.

        • Lady London says:

          I think a 3 clear asks and refusals would also be enough basis. You can always ask them to confirm that’s their final answer and request them to provide the address at which papers may be served within their reply.

      • Thanks shoestring and Doug, I could mention in my next reply that one of the claimants is a judge 🤣
        However the judge hates litigation as she sees it every day, and never allows me to use it as leverage….

        • Shoestring says:

          I doubt if it would get to being heard – BA nearly always fold – they fold *most* of the time with MCOL but sometimes let CEDR cases get heard

          you should always expect one or 2 BS copy & paste replies at first

          if you add in a few choice expressions/ header such as ‘Notice before action’, somebody with a bit of legal knowledge or indeed BA’s retained legal team get to see your case and most of the time will then pay up on the obvious ones you’re going to win anyway

  4. Just travelled ba wtp lhr-mia 747 last week
    The plane was in a bad state
    IFE ancient and not working very well.
    Main meal ok ,pizza well overdone.
    Seemed like 1 member of staff doing the whole wtp cabin which resulted in wine and bread 20 mins after meal had been served.
    Got the tickets cheap but come on BA

    • Sounds like you got one of the ancient 747s that are due to be scrapped soon. I know one of the heritage livery aircraft has really, really dated IFE

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        Let’s hope it’s scrapped by next Oct/Nov ….due to fly CW (241).

        • Oldest non-refurbished 747s are being scrapped first, so there’s every chance

          • Five of those scheduled to go next year bug it will be 2022 before they are all gone. The refurbed obes then retiring by 2024. I imagine that delivery delays will likely push this back a bit.

  5. “I’m always pleased when airlines hand out proper bottles of water, too, so that’s a bonus.”
    Strikingly outdated sentiment, given they take 450 years to biodegrade.

    • Unfortunately there is no such thing as ‘tap water’ on an aircraft. Airlines use bottled water for consumption anyway, whether pouring it into a tiny plastic or glass cup or giving you a small bottle. It doesn’t matter one way or another.

      FYI – nothing on board is recycled, it is all incinerated at the destination under international law as a precautionary measure.

      • Not within the EU.

      • The Original David says:

        There is tap water onboard aircraft – it’s what they make tea and coffee with, and it’s what you’ll get a cup of in Euro Traveller if you ask for a free one. There are lots of conspiracy theories about how dangerous it is to drink, but there’s no evidence of that…

        • Even in economy I have only ever seen them pour out bottled water from trolleys….

          • Can’t remember if it’s BA or not, but I’ve definitely seen cabin crew filling water from a tap in the galley when I gave them my own water bottle.

    • You can always take the bottle with you and throw it in a recyclable bin.

      • I was chatting with a crew member recently (think it was LHR JFK) who told me she had volunteered for a role called something like BA Recycling Champion – they check onboard for anything recyclable like water bottles before the cleaners come on … and had been brought on a tour of a Recycling Center. Not quite sure how we got onto that topic !

    • ffs – there is a time and place to be ‘environment friendly’ !

  6. I’ve wondered for a short while now: why on earth are sock in amenity kits?

    For those who require socks I’d expect them to be wearing their own before boarding. For those who don’t then still no need.

    And if you’re one of those manky buggers who takes their shoes & socks off then wanders around everywhere barefoot on board – well, you’re welcome to my verruca & stand in someone else’s dribbles in the loo.

    • They are a cheap alternative to slippers. Take your shoes off. Put the flight socks on over your own.

      • Re the socks being slippers alternative – I thought that would be bloody obvious.

      • +1

      • BA provide actual slippers for WTP, CW and F pax, but apparently only on routes to Asia. They are quite good quality slippers too.

        • Think BA only give you slippers in F. Got them flying to NRT in F a year ago. Didn’t get them in J to HKG two weeks ago.

          Got slippers on JAL J class from HKG to HND last week. Short flight – 4 hours – that puts BA to shame. Wide, angle-flat, massage seats. Good champagne, (IFE of course) and an excellent meal that looked almost too beautiful to eat. Amazing service.

          Other amenities offered individually on a take it or leave it basis at the start of the flight.

    • ankomonkey says:

      “manky buggers” – never thought I’d see that written on here!

  7. On a A380 later this week but in CW, I assume people prefer upper deck?

    Rob – are we going to get a comparison with VS PE? I much prefer the whole experience to BA WTP.

    Anna – thanks for your recommendation for complaining to BA CS about Club Europe running out of food selection by row 2

    After some persistence on my behalf my claim was suitably acknowledged along with my feedback about poor quality Club World food.

    • The Original David says:

      Did you get any avios as compensation?

      • Shoestring says:

        of course he did!

      • Yes.

        5k each for Club Europe (by they offered nothing but empty template apologies at first)

        10k for my Club World meal being a disaster on each course, starter Soup and hot pudding desert both served stone cold, beef was a huge ball of fatty gristle (Rob has the picture)

        Thankfully Mrs TripRep ordered differently to me and her CW food was fine.

    • @TripRep. What about the Virgin service do you prefer? I’m doing Virgin Premium to Miami in Feb. First time in Premium for about 4 years, and my memory of it versus WT+ is neither are particularly better. I usually WT+ as BAEC status makes it better overall for me, if business is out of reach.

      • I like dedicated VS PE check-in, also had fast track security too, but not sure if we got lucky. MCO flights you tend to be first off if on lower deck of 747.

        Seats feel wider and more comfortable, decent food, sparkling wine before take off, feels more polished product than drab WTP.

        Booking VS PE outbound soon for next Florida trip next Nov, weather at this time of year is perfect. So calm, blue skies, dry, low humidity + lovely and warm.

        • Cheers, I look forward to February, although I’m really quite negative on Virgin generally as so many positive reviews of them feel almost cultish in their praise. Just back from 2.5 weeks in Florida. Shockingly one weekend was mid 50s, which feels cold in the context of Florida.
          I err towards BA as the airport experience as a gold is vastly superior, and I’ve never had a really bad experience in WT+. Having said that I tend to Miami now for Florida, even though I’m mostly in Orlando, TI/Clearwater and Cocoa. The rather worn out 777 from Gatwick for Tampa are just not worth the price.

    • Re; your question about upper deck – definitely in my case, and I think most would agree:
      1 – it’s quieter up there
      2 – on BA there are 6 rows of CW in one cabin on the main deck – on the upper deck there are 2 separate groups of 4 rows. Of these, the back row (53 or 59) has unrestricted aisle access. That’s what I have selected for my HKG flights in a few weeks.
      Not sure if any BA aircraft have a different layout, but I don’t think so.

    • Lady London says:

      Really ‘acknowledged’ @Triprep? Or is that code for they coughed up avios but you are gagged,?

      Acknowledgement is all very well but when is BA going to stop a pattern of not loading enough servings ingredients of meals and drink for the numbers of passengers they have booked? This can’t be by accident there are too many reports.

  8. Mike Bickle says:

    How do you book PE and upgrade to Club with Avios. Do you book PE and hope Club Seat is available or is there a more certain way?

    TIA

    • The Original David says:

      It’s the same availability as a normal CW avios redemption, so if there’s availability showing for that, there’ll be availability for you to upgrade into from a WTP cash ticket.

      You need to be more careful with upgrades from WT into WTP – if your WT booking goes into O, G or Q fare buckets, they can’t be upgraded with avios. All WTP fare codes are upgradeable.

  9. I am quite happy with PE even on long trips list west coast but the charges on redemptions are ridiculous – almost as much as business and a major part of that is Tax

    • One if the failures of APD for me is that it’s standard or reduced for economy. I think a more tailored range would be better. First and WT+ should not attract the same tax. I believe a stated purpose of APD was environmental, which makes that single split silly.

  10. Peterrrrr3 says:

    O/T

    Is there any way to transfer Avios from one person to another person? My spouse will soon get an Avios sign-up bonus on Iberia (US card), but will not have any status on her IB or BA account, whereas I will still be BA Silver. Anyway for us to reap the rewards of my status? I’m thinking:

    1) BA Household account but not sure you can “Combine Avios” with an IB account, plus I think I’ve read a few downsides to it.
    2) IB to her BA and then use that account to book ourselves tickets? I’d be effectively using those Avios but am assuming my status won’t count for anything as it was booked on her account?
    3) IB to Avios.com to MY BA route? Not sure about this one – making it up but is there any loophole through here?

    Any input appreciated – we will have an OK stash of Avios and the status will help quite a bit.

    Thanks,

    P

      • Peterrrrr3 says:

        Appreciate the prompt response Rhys.

        I had already read these, and they are pretty much exclusively related to British Airways Avios and sharing between these accounts – no mention of Avios.com or Iberia, which is where the Avios will be credited to in the first place.

        Any other articles Rob might have done on this subject? As per questions 1 to 3 above, or even the possibility of transferring between IB accounts?

        Thanks again.

        P

        • Combine Avios from Iberia to BA and then open a household account, then you can use the Avios

    • No way of transferring to another person for free, unless you are BA Gold. Only thing to do is to form a Household Account with you.

      However …. HHA members must share an address. Your spouse will not be able to earn miles on a US credit card if the BA account has a UK address, and you can’t earn miles on a BA Amex if you change your address to the US.

      CMA is not an issue because you go via avios.com and that has no restrictions on moving into household accounts.

      Easiest route is just to book tickets for yourself from her account. Status is based on the passenger so you still get Gold/Silver benefits even if a BA Blue books your seat for you.

  11. Quick OT if anyone would kind enough to help.

    Am planning on going to St Lucia in the first week of Feb, I had planned to buy the flights with miles but on two occasions my options had gone before the miles were in my account! I decided to wait to see for Black Friday which was a disappointment from both VA and BA.

    Is there an Xmas sale as such with the big airlines? Contemplating waiting until then but conscious it would be a risk if nothing materialised like Black Friday.

    Thanks

    • Not my area as such. But I think you should be expecting to pay £££. You need to be specific with questions, are you thinking economy or business, I’m going to guess business as you mention miles and economy is not a great use of miles. With a destination like St. Lucia you’re talking very limited space, I don’t think it’s an every day service with BA is it? A quick look at the low fare finder suggests if you’re talking business you need to think in terms of £3.5K as a floor in the first part of February. There appears to be zero redemptions available for UVF in February. I think putting the above into context of a sale means you almost certainly won’t see anything cheap as loads are clearly very good, and they have no need to reduce price.
      A couple of suggestions are try as a holiday, as in adding a hotel or car, but I can’t see that doing much. Other option is to consider looking for a redemption to say Miami, where there are more flights and potentially more availability, and then separately look for flights from there to UVF.
      To be honest I think it’s way too late to be getting a good price. UVF maybe one of those places that redemptions get snapped up within minutes of being released. So you need to have the miles in place and play the midnight game.

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