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British Airways announces long-haul economy flight improvements

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British Airways is bringing genuine improvements to its World Traveller economy cabin in the form of a new cushion and blanket design for passengers (photo below).

After the World Traveller Plus (premium economy) overhaul last year, World Traveller was up next for an upgrade.

The new soft product is now being rolled out across the fleet starting with Heathrow as of yesterday.  Gatwick flights will get the new items from 1st March.

British Airways new conomy cushion blanket

The new cushion and blankets replace the rather uninspiring existing ones: a brown fleece blanket and a thin square cushion in a plasticky single-use case. Apart from being really, really ugly (!) the old cushion and blanket bore no resemblance to the rest of BA’s design language.

The cushion features a similar herringbone design to the pillow and blanket in World Traveller Plus, albeit in all blue.

You can learn more about what you get from British Airways World Traveller on this page of ba.com.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons to get the FREE British Airways American Express card.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (150)

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Saw this in my BA Amex account today:
    BA Companion ticket standard tier bonus – 0 pts.
    Does this mean for definite I have triggered the 241 companion voucher as a transaction straight after is being refunded & my target bar states £244 needed to spend for a Companion voucher?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You get an email when it appears and the companion voucher shows when you go to book an Avios redemption.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Thanks TG, have had a 241 before but wasn’t sure i have already qualified or not based on the circumstances. Line in Amex account gives impression I have spent the required amount for the 241, my target bar states different?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          In my experience the voucher is triggered as soon as you have £10k of transactions clear on your account but the counter will show whatever your total to date spend is. So if it went above £10k for a day then a refund took it back under the next I’d say it’s triggered.

          Personally I’ve never cancelled a card without £10k spend cleared on it because even if I do take the p1ss I can say it was within the rules 🙂

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            I got the email today of the 241 voucher available so data point is, If you see the line in your BA Amex account then yes, you have the voucher regardless of any refunds processing or target bar stating otherwise.

  • Kevin says:

    O/T
    BA have cancelled a future flight on me – if I choose the full refund option, I presume I will not incur any £35 fee?

    • Joe says:

      You won’t pay a fee. But it’s a good opportunity to switch to a nearby but more expensive flight for free, if you still want to go.

      • Stu_N says:

        If you still want to take the trip, work out what would work best for you and give them a phone with your preferred options. BA are fairly flexible in my experience.

        If you do decide to cancel you should get a full refund with no charges or deductions, however that would be the end of your dealings with BA, if you still wanted to travel then you’d be making a completely new booking.

        • Lady London says:

          A pity not to take the opportunity to book something you want instead that would normally cost a lot more, perhaps, to a vaguely adjacent destination perhaps months ahead? It’s all a question of putting something reasonable to them.

          Some of us on here dream of landing such opportunities. Are you aware that under EU261 the airline has to get you to your destination as booked even if theyve cancelled their own flight? If you still want to go to that destination on more or less that same date.then this means they will have to buy you a ticket on another airline that’s still flying there, or by some other route, with only reasonable delay, and all extra hotel and food costs paid for if extra time waiting or travelling is required.

          Are you seriously saying you don’t want to use this opportunity for either of the above? In this sort of situation taking a refund is a godsend for the airline given they could have to provide the above.

    • Rhys says:

      Correct

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks all.

      A follow up query, is there a time limit for me to make this ‘Free’ cancellation decision? BA notified me today and the flight is in late March. (I don’t wish to travel) Thanks again.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Probably not but I would make it sooner rather than later. What’s the advantage in not making it now?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Reason why I say this is because what happens if your original flight is reinstated? Do you forfeit the right to cancel for no fee?

      • Lady London says:

        I have had a few of these opportunities from another airline and unless I had a burning need to ensure BA would get me there another way around the same time (ie invoking my EU261 rights) I would leave it as late as possible. Until I either found something else I wanted to ask for instead, or was really sure there were no opportunities I wanted to take so choosing a refund.

        I would view taking the refund as a failure but YMMV.

        When I’ve dealt with it very near the time of the flight I’ve simply mentioned I’d either overlooked it or hadn’t been sure what my plans were.

    • Polly says:

      Shame not to take advantage, but each to their own. We used a BA time change to get a flight changed from hkg to kul, which was what we originally wanted in F. Lost a day but didn’t have to then fly intra Asia.

  • lorraine says:

    O/T
    Are there any deals currently onlounge access? Specifically at Stanstead? Flying out in early April and thinking about going for lounge but wanted to check if there were any delas before i took the plunge

  • Pogonation says:

    I also got offered an £80 off £800 Qatar spend on my Amex. Might have been mentioned here already I’m not sure.

  • L Allen says:

    I have the get £100 for £1000 spend on both my Amex Platinum (personal) and Gold Amex (business).

    Also on my Platinum card is £80 back on £800 spend with Qatar. This may have been mentioned in another bits post, apologies if that’s not new!

  • Jay H says:

    Eurostar are finally introducing direct return trains from Amsterdam to London 👍

  • Grant says:

    OT – Revolut. For those following the fall out from the MCC change on / around 17th Jan (or earlier for some unfortunate souls), I submitted a formal complaint to Revolut. This was off the back of a poor response from the live chat agent and at the end of the chat they provided a link to a survey monkey form which I could fill out as the complaint. The complaint was filed on 20th Jan and I received Revolut’s response today. Points which may be of interest for others:

    1. They apologised (but did not admit fault), upheld my complaint and confirmed they will return the cash advance fees charged by my card issuer, which was £130 in my case.

    2. The MCC change was introduced due to ‘legal requirements’ and they won’t be able to refund any similar charges incurred from now onwards.

    3. They are ‘working on a solution with their partners to find a better solution for this process’

    They also confirmed that this is their final response and provide details of the Financial Ombudsman Service at the bottom of the email.

    I would suggest that others in a similar position would do well to fill out a complaint as it would seem likely that Revolut will refund cash advance fees if you can provide a screenshot of your credit card transactions showing the charge.

    • EwanG says:

      Was there any reference in their final response on how they have communicated the change?
      Many commentators on here (myself included) have, over recent weeks, discussed how this change has been managed. I don’t want to start that debate up again but what I will say is Revolut’s response is interesting, as I could potentially resume topping up via CC and then when charges hit on my next statement, go back to Revolut feigning ignorance about the change (because they have not communicated it directly to me) and get them to refund the charges….

      • Grant says:

        I agree. The failure to communicate was part of my original complaint and they haven’t addressed it directly. I suspect they felt they covered that off in my case by refunding my cash advance fees (effectively mitigating my loss in their eyes) ‘due to the sudden nature of the change’.

        Fact remains that in theory until credit card statements start landing for January spend then some customers may be unaware of the sudden nature of the change.

        • Lady London says:

          It’s rubbish. Revolut has to give the notice required under the ts and c’s for this change before it can come into effect. After they have given that notice in writing to you and until the notice period expires you are entitled to have them put you in the position you should have been i.e. compensate all fees even those you incur from other parties.

          This, as they specifically did have a clause saying this wouldn’t happen. ‘legal reasons’ is a smokescreen. They are responsible.

  • John says:

    O/T
    Do Tesco normally do a bonus to Virgin Atlantic at this time of year?

    • BJ says:

      Most quarters until about a year ago, but only small bonuses, competitions or nothing since then.

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