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British Airways Premium Economy Review: Is it Worth it?

Wondering whether to fly British Airways premium economy? Is it worth the price? We had these questions too. This British Airways premium economy review will answer all your burning questions and help you decide whether or not to pay the extra dough.

Long story short – we absolutely do not regret it!

We have recently flown BA Premium Economy a few times when we just can’t justify the expense of a business class flight and we seriously think they offer good value for money.

British Airways Premium Economy Review (World Traveller Plus): Is it Worth it?

British Airways calls their Premium Economy product World Traveller Plus. I guess this is because you get a little bit extra or “plus” and this is certainly true.

British Airways Premium Economy is something that is offered on BA long haul flights. We have flown BA in Europe (2 hour flights) and the only options available to you for routes like that are economy and business class.

What are the seats like in World Traveller Plus?

We found the seats really comfortable. Basically, they are just a bit bigger than normal economy seats and have a bit more recline.

Don’t expect a lie flat seat like business class, but it does make traveling coach just that little bit more comfortable as you get a 18.5″ width seat and 38″ legroom.

It’s not Emirates First Class by any stretch but it really made our flight a bit more bearable. 

If you are traveling as a couple, I will note that the divider does not lift on British Airways – in economy or premium economy. Usually when we are traveling coach we like to lift the divider to give ourselves a bit more room. I also like to sleep horizontal, not vertical if I can help it and it is nice to be able to take a rest on Mike’s lap.

British Airways Premium Economy seats v standard economy British Airways seats

The configuration is 2 x 3 x 2, instead of 3 x 4 x 3 in economy. We would recommend the pair of 2 seats as you actually also get a little storage area, which you don’t get in the “3” middle seat area.

Also, if you are traveling as a couple, this is a nice way to avoid COVID. There is nothing worse than arriving to your holiday destination and being sick.

Check in and Boarding

There are no special perks at check in.

Premium economy entitles you to board in priority to economy and after business and first class, of course. This means you board the plane a little faster which is always nice.

When you’re first seated, you are offered the choice between water or orange juice before the flight takes off. No champagne is offered like you would get on business class, but it still is a nice touch and makes you feel a bit special and “looked after” by the air-hosts, which I liked.

After take over, drinks and snacks are served which include the MOST delicious sour cream and chive pretzels, seriously these things are sooo good, I buzzed one of the flight attendants for more packets throughout the flight. I told her they were very good to which she replied, “I know, I am about 90% pretzel at this point” haha. Can’t say I blame her, I can’t get enough of these things. A+ for snacks BA!

snacks-british-airways-premium-economy

Snacks on British Airways premium economy

What were the meals like?

We have traveled the following routes – Vegas to Milan and Dallas to Milan with BA on a A380.

The food in premium economy was decent and certainly edible. Unlike economy, where the airhost comes around and offers you a section, you get a menu on premium economy which is far more like business class.

This means you have a little more time to think about what you are going to select to eat. I don’t know how many times I’ve said to a hostess in economy “Can you say the meal options again” and ended up just going with whatever after not wanting to ask a second time.

I don’t think a menu is that important but it is nice.

The photo below displays the menu options on the Dallas to Milan leg. If you order a special meal it gets delivered in advance.

british airways premium economy menu

British Airways premium economy menu

I chose the Salmon Teriyaki and Mike had the seared chicken Breast.

The meal was presented really nice and unlike economy where you get throw away containers, you get proper plates, bowls and cutlery in premium economy. I have heard that the meals are quite similar to their business class product just not as nicely presented.

I would rate the Salmon meal a 7/10. It was certainly edible but the fish was a little overdone which resulted in the Salmon being a bit rubbery in texture. The teriyaki flavouring was nice but the amount of sauce was a bit stingy as there was not enough for the rice, which made it dry. 

Overall, the meal was okay and I would rate it better than many economy flight meals I have previously eaten. The salad which accompanied the meal was really delicious. Cheesecake was average at best.

british-airways-premium-economy-meal

British Airways premium economy menu

Mike would rate the chicken meal a 6/10. The chicken was well cooked but the flavouring was bland and the creaminess was somewhat overpowering.

He also commented that the serving size was quite small which left him feeling hungry.

chicken-meal-premium-economy

British Airways premium economy meal

The landing breakfast snack was the choice of a turkey and cheese bagel or a cheese and egg croissant. Both were served warm and honestly were delicious. 10/10. 

I will note though that a “light snack” as stated on the menu was accurate as neither were very big.

TIP – If you care about what you get, make sure you select a seat as far forward in the premium economy section as possible. On our flight with BA (Milan to Vegas) we were sitting at the back of premium economy and they only had one meal left by the time they reached us. I didn’t like the option and they offered me an economy meal instead!!! I would think if there’s nothing left, a complimentary upgrade to the business class product would be more fair, not a downgrade….

Drinks + Bar

There is a complimentary bar service open the entire flight with a good section of booze on offer.

There is no drinks menu, like you would receive on business class, but I was happy with what was on offer. The staff were very generous with the product too.

For example, if you ordered a wine, they would say “Would you like one for later too?” Let’s just say the Brits like their grog, you won’t go without.

Do you get free drinks on BA premium economy?

As a regular traveler on British Airways’ premium economy, I can tell you that free drinks are definitely part of the package!

Every time I fly, I get to enjoy complimentary wines, beers, and soft drinks. And if I’m feeling fancy, I can even splurge for a cocktail or two!

So, if you’re ever stuck in the middle seat on a long-haul flight, don’t worry – free drinks will be there to make your journey more bearable. Bon voyage!

What was the entertainment like?

The entertainment on the flight was good with a decent range of movies, tv shows and music available. British Airways provides you with noise cancelling headphones to use for this.

I will say I got a bit bored with it and I didn’t feel like they had too much that appealed to me. I might have got a bit pickier over the years with what I consider really good entertainment however, since the entry of Netflix, Stan, Binge etc where you are totally spoiled for choice.

I believe the entertainment is standard, whether you are on first, business, premium economy or economy. What differs is the size of the screen you are watching.

I was happy with the size of the premium economy screen (pictured below). It was a touch screen which was also able to be operated with a remote control.

As you can see, there are also USB plugs under the screen which you can use to charge your phone during the flight.

British-airways-premium-economy-entertainment

What was the service like?

The service was a bit hit and miss. Some of the British Airways staff were lovely (like the pretzel girl) and others were just okay.

Some thing we were a bit miffed about is that we buzzed staff for water during the flight and no-one came for 2 hours! We kept buzzing and no-one came or walked past. Eventually, after hours, a flight attendant walked by and we caught her, totally parched.

We weren’t stoked about this as it is important to keep hydrated during a flight and it’s a bit hard to achieve this if no-one will bring you water! 

What were the amenities like?

I was actually quite impressed with the amenity kit you got in BA premium economy as well as the very decent pillow and blanket.

The pillow and blanket you received was certainly bigger and more plush than what you receive in economy and less plush than Business and First Class. I heard a man boarding who stated “the pillow and blankets keep getting worse” which is definitely spot on.

I thought what you got in terms of comfort was very good in premium economy.

You also receive a really cute little bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, really great chapstick, which is designed to moisturise your lips during flight, a pair of socks and a mask.

For not being a business class product, I was impressed with what you got in terms of quality.

BA-premium-economy-amentities

Baggage allowance on BA premium economy – A+

Now here is one of my favorite things about premium economy – the generous baggage allowance, which was one of the reasons we decided to try it out in the first place.

Each passenger can take with them 2 x 23kg bags which I think is exceptional and in line with many airlines business class luggage allowance. For example, Singapore Airlines business class only allows each passenger to take 40kg each, which is LESS than British Airways premium economy.

I am a chronic over-packer so this was music to my ears. There is nothing worse than arriving at an airport and your 1 x 20kg economy bag is overweight by 2 kilos so you have to open it up, in the middle of the airport and work out what to throw out OR pay stupid fees. We’ve been there more times than I would like to admit….

If you are traveling from Heathrow, Geneva and Zurich, AirPortr can collect your baggage from your doorstep, transport it to the airport, and check it in for your flight for you. This means that you can travel to the airport luggage-free and head straight to security when you arrive. 

BA Premium Economy Price

Here’s something that seriously surprised us – the cost of the difference between an economy flight and a premium economy flight was honestly not much different.

It only cost us 150 pounds extra a ticket which considering the extra luggage alone was entirely worth it to us.

British Airways offers this cool last minute upgrade at the airport trick too which means purchasing a premium economy ticket could be your way into a cheap business class seat.

British Airways will sell you upgrades (subject to availability) at the gate. The cost to upgrade our premium economy ticket was 400 pounds whereas I heard someone in economy ask and their quote was 900 pounds.

We agreed to this price however, it totally wasn’t our day as they suffered a ticketing error while trying to process our upgrade and we couldn’t get it in the end. The staff member who served us was really nice but the manager on duty was a meanie-poo-pah who did not want to assist fix the error.

British Airways Premium Economy vs Economy Cabin

Wondering the key differences between BA Premium economy and economy? The main things that I would say are better than economy are:

  • Increased chair room and recline;
  • Nicer amenities including pillow and blanket;
  • Double the baggage allowance;
  • Bigger tv;
  • Better presented meals & quality;
  • Priority boarding (over economy);
  • Opportunity to possibly upgrade to business class at a better price.

If these things are worth it to you, I would upgrade to economy. For only 150 pounds extra a ticket, I certainly think it is worth it and would book it again, even if I didn’t need the extra baggage allowance.

It is much better value to upgrade using cash (or pay the British Premium Economy ticket to begin with) than it is to use points or miles. 

If you buy a regular economy class ticket and try to upgrade later using Avios points, the cost is almost the same as paying for another roundtrip economy class ticket on points.

The rates vary depending on routes, but if you want the security of Business class for a long haul flight, we noticed it’s better value to use miles to upgrade to business class from Premium Economy than it is to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy.

What are BA economy seats + cabin like?

The British Airways A380 economy cabin is equipped with a total of 303 seats, spread out over two decks.

The main deck offers 14 rows of seats across 3-4-3 configuration, while the upper deck has 18 rows in a 2-4-2 configuration.

If you’re travelling in economy class, try to take advantage of the extra legroom in the first few rows of the main deck, as well as seats with extra legroom in the upper deck. Amenities include adjustable headrests, USB ports, and personal TVs.

British Airways Premium Economy vs Business Class

I’m not going to lie to you, flying British Airways premium economy cabin is worlds away from flying business class.

Why? Here are the key reasons:

No lie flat seat

I personally think a lie flat seat is a serious plus of business and first class as it makes sleeping during a flight so much easier. You *almost* avoid jet lag. Business class is a big price jump however.

No entry to airport lounges

Yes, that is right, Unfortunately, British Airways premium economy does not entitle you to access the British Airways lounge which is a big bummer. There are pay lounges these days which make it nowhere near as bad, like this lounge we paid to access in London.

If you are just booking a business class seat for lounge access, it is way way cheaper just to pay for access to a lounge. Some credit cards also get you into these lounges for free.

The presentation of the food is better

The presentation of your food is way nicer, usually on business class you even get table cloths. I have heard premium economy has similar food however, I think honestly business class would be a step above.

Possibly better service

They put more experienced staff in the business class and first class cabins. I think this would be a little hit and miss however.

Access to premium alcohol

Business class provides travelers with an extensive alcohol and beverage menu with some premium liquors included.

More plush amenities, blanket and pillow

Your blanket will be better. Your pillow will be nicer and your amenity kit will be nicer.

Bigger tv screen

The tv screen is slightly bigger in business class.

Summing up: is BA World Traveller Plus Worth it?

To this question, based on all of the above, we say a hell yes!

British Air Premium Economy is a great way to enjoy air travel while spending less.

You can also enjoy additional benefits such as priority boarding, extra legroom, and complimentary drinks and snacks.

With all these features and perks, British Airways Premium Economy is the perfect way to enjoy air travel without breaking the bank.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up to their Avios program so you can earn points and rewards on every flight, as well as access to exclusive deals and discounts. You can also earn Avios points on things like home loans, insurance, air travel with flight partners etc.

P.P.S: Before booking we always double check we have the cheapest fare by opening a flight aggregator like this one, and clicking through to the add bags / taxes page on 3rd party sites like mytrip, Kiwi, gotogate etc as some offer cheaper fares/taxes.

Would you pay extra to travel British Airways Premium Economy? Let us know in the comments below:

Author

Tom Cooke

Saturday 1st of July 2023

Thank you for the great review - I’ve booked Premium Economy for my next trip, as I’d had enough of endless layovers in the Middle East with *cough* another airline, and I can get a Premium Economy flight direct to where I’m going from LHR with BA now. (The domestic hop from Manchester is bearable since I don’t have to change terminals in London).

The other upside is that *if* the whole Avios system works, my wife and I can do the same trip next time virtually for free - Reward ticket plus Companion Reward - we’ll see on that one.

coupletraveltheworld

Tuesday 4th of July 2023

We've found the Avios system to be pretty good for crediting points / miles after the flight. We also found Avios credited for Airbnb bookings to be awarded pretty fast too.

Enjoy your BA PE flight :)

Siobhan

Thursday 1st of June 2023

Thanks for your article - I've never flown in premium economy before, but will be at the end of this year. I'm really excited about it! Good tip about asking at check-in whether an upgrade is available, must be worth a shot! I assume the £400 you were quoted was per ticket? That's not bad value for such a long haul trip

Thanks for the content

coupletraveltheworld

Wednesday 7th of June 2023

Hi Siobhan, Yes it was £400 per ticket. If you had purchased the ticket with cash prior to the flight it would have been much more. So it's a good deal if they have anything available (and there are no other ticketing issues). I hope you have a great trip!