British airways Premium Economy Review
British Airways Premium Economy Review of the Boeing 777 – 200 London to Mauritius. Read on for our Full Review on The World Traveller Plus Cabin, Gatwick to Mauritius Inc Seats, Dining, Service & Cost. We will look at the Top 10 Tips & Tricks to Get the Very best Value out of your Flights.
BA World Traveller Plus is just one of the featured cabins flown on the non-stop flight from London Gatwick (LGW) to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (MRU) in Mauritius in the Indian ocean. British airways fly three times a week from March to November, the days BA fly at this time of the year are Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays. The frequency increases to five times a week from November to March and they fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays.
The flight duration on this route is approx 11 hours, 50 minutes and covers from London Gatwick to Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Intl airport in Nautical Miles – 6,045.
The aircraft British Airways regularly fly on this route are the Boeing 777-200 which comprises of World Traveller (Economy) with 203 seats, World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) with 24 Reclining seats & Club World (Business) with 48 flat beds.
BA Premium Economy – Our Opinion
This was the first time we had flown in BA Premium Economy class, we were in for a few surprises and wish we had of done some research first. We paid our Travel Agent an extra £500 each to upgrade from World Traveller (Economy) to cover the outbound & inbound flights. We had only ever flown World Traveller in the past but in Economy you sort of know what to expect, No Frills…
Firstly, with Premium Economy tickets you do not get any complimentary Lounge access which we sort of expected for the extra money we paid. We now know from experience that this is pretty standard across all airlines in this class of fare.
You can however purchase Lounge access without flying in First / Club World. All you do is enter the airport you want Lounge access for and Lounge Buddy will display all available options & prices. Typical Lounge access will cost approx £20-£25 each. This amount can be dramatically reduced if you fly regularly & want Lounge access by purchasing an annual pass.
One perk with BA Premium Economy is that you do get Priority boarding, but you have to wait until all passengers in Club World have boarded first before your cabin class is called up and you can begin boarding the plane.
So far, not much better in our opinion than flying in World Traveller except for boarding before Economy?
Entering the Boeing 777-200 you turn right from the Galley but I did manage to a quick peek at the British airways Club World cabin located to the left at the front of the aircraft. Club World or Business Class looked completely different to Premium Economy, firstly each seat is designed to have its own space. The BA Club World Seats located next to the Window & aisle seats have separation panels for Privacy. The Seats are larger and are almost like pods with fully flat beds. They are also in a Configuration of 2 / 2 / 2, in World Traveller Plus the configuration is 2 / 4 / 2 seating. This gives you an idea of the extra personal space you get in the Club World Cabin. For our next trip, we managed to experience Club World using only Avios points & taxes.
Read our Review of our First Club World experience from London to the Maldives here – BA Club World Review Gatwick to Maldives
Entering the Premium Economy cabin and after seeing Business class, we felt a little disappointed. In our opinion, the WT+ cabin looks exactly the same as Economy except there are only two seats on the outside of the aisles next to the windows instead of three seats in Economy. One added bonus in this cabin was the mood lighting, this was turned on once the main lights were turned off during our night-time flight. It gave the whole cabin a relaxed feeling and quite contemporary.
Purely by luck, we were assigned seats at the front of this cabin facing the Galley wall. This made it feel like we had extra leg room but not 100% sure if we actually did. On British Airways you have to pay for seat selection, the only class of cabin which gets automatic seat selection at the booking stage is First Class. Purchasing seat selection on Premium Economy varies from £16 – £30 each, and that’s each way.
The Seats – Premium Economy
The Seats are slightly wider than in Economy and you do get a bit more leg room with movable foot rests. The WT+ seat is officially 18.5 inch wide with a larger seat pitch. Economy seats are 17.5 inches wide and so not a great deal of difference. The seats are Reclinable and do offer better comfort than Economy when trying to sleep. You do get a blanket & cushion, noise cancelling headphones, In flight entertainment system & a very basic Amenity bag containing an eye mask, toothbrush, toothpaste, Flight socks and earplugs which looked remotely similar to those in Economy also. The Cabin is smaller in Premium Economy and feels slightly more intimate than Economy.
Food & Drink
You do get as standard two meals and complimentary drinks on board. We opted for the Chicken which came in the standard tin foil trays with a bread roll. To be honest, it looked and tasted exactly the same as Chicken we have eaten in Economy before. A small chocolate dessert which was nice and a drink were offered with both meals served. The meal orders were taken quickly and served shortly afterwards. We were offered Tea or Coffee twice during our flight time, Tea for me never tastes the same on a plane so I opted for white coffee instead, no Nespresso or Latte’s served here!
Service on Board
By the time we were in the air, we did notice a lot of initial activity by the service crew on board in our cabin. Drinks were served quickly, then a long interval came when we did not see any Cabin crew except for one Stewardess making her way quickly down the aisle through to Club World. It looked like the staff on board were a little stretched. Overall, the Cabin crew serving us were pleasant and professional.
In Flight Entertainment
British airways offer all seats in Economy & Premium Economy In Flight Entertainment by means of a touch screen or controlled entertainment system. The screens are located in the rear of the seat in front of you or in our case, a swivel style movable screen. The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) contains lots of the latest films, documentaries, television, music, audio books and games to keep you occupied during your flight. We opted to watch a latest Cinema Blockbuster film and after we were kept occupied watching a series of comedy episodes and music documentaries. The Noise Cancelling headphones worked well at blocking out the background aircraft noise and were very comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Our Verdict / Recommendations
British airways Premium Economy In our opinion is definitely a step up from World Traveller. Is it worth the extra cost from Economy – in our personal opinion, probably not.
To pay £250 each, each way for a few extras like a slightly bigger reclining seat, slightly more leg room and priority boarding is simply not worth the additional fees charged. Reading the latest news from BA it appears that they have plans to improve the Premium Economy experience with improved dining options, improved cabin interiors, bigger touch screen IFE and a bigger recline on the seats. These improvements are only being fitted to some aircraft first, then a further roll out of improvements across most of the fleet at a later date.
Even with these improvements we still do not think that the new World Traveller Plus experience will be worth the additional fees charged at present.
We would only fly in BA Premium Economy again if there were no availability in Club World and we would definitely pay for Lounge access to make the whole experience as best it could get.
We would however recommend purchasing Premium Economy seats in one of the regular BA Sale’s and if you had enough Avios points then upgrade to Club World.
To Read our Tips & Tricks how to bag Club World upgrades from Premium Economy Cash paid tickets. click here> UPGRADE BA PREMIUM ECONOMY TO CLUB WORLD
Read our Full Trip Report Review on where we stayed in Mauritius at a Luxury 5 Star Resort, by clicking the link here > THE HERITAGE AWALI GOLF & SPA MAURITIUS
Have you ever flown in BA Premium Economy ? If so, whats your opinion – Good / Bad? We would Love to read your Comments below.