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British Airways Travel Classes

We are looking at booking a flight (San Francisco to London) on British Airways. Since we have a voucher for most of it, the question what are your preferences for the travel classes? Of interest, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller (Economy / Economy Premium).

Posted by
5221 posts

I think World Traveler Plus is what other airlines call Premium Economy or Economy Comfort. I've flown it several times and it's quite good. You get considerably more legroom than on Economy, which is my big issue. SeatGuru shows the SFO-LHR flight as a Boeing 777-300, with 38" pitch on WT Plus vs. 31" on regular WT (aka Economy). That's worth a lot to me on a 10+ hour overnight flight. If your voucher will cover that, or most of it, I'd say go for it. If your voucher would get you to a higher class, you might be able to actually get a decent sleep on the flight.

Take a look at that seat plan -- 70 flatbed seats in the top two classes take up roughly the front half of the plane, 229 reclining seats the back half. Makes me want to sharpen the guillotine.... ;-)

Posted by
774 posts

Well known fact: once you travel above your normal booking level, you can never go back.

Posted by
726 posts

We have flown BA quite a bit. Their World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) is decent. Every time we have ever flown economy, we have always booked to bulkhead seats in the front of the section so we have loads of legroom and no one in front of us.

Posted by
12913 posts

Premium Economy on a British Airways 777 gives you 2-3-2 seating (instead of 3-3-3 like regular Economy). If traveling as a couple that is definitely better, as you can sit on the side with no one else in your row, and no one has a middle seat! Plus you get more leg room (I think it is an extra 7”) and a better meal.

But when are you going? The later flight from SFO (BA 286) is traditionally an A380. It is on the schedule for that flight starting May 1—but that is likely to change. We are on that flight in late March, and it was an A380 when I booked, but now it is the 777. They are hoping to put the A380 back on the route, but it likely will not happen until lots more people are flying. If it is an A380 when you travel, the World Traveller Plus seating is in a small dedicated cabin on the upper deck, with 2-3-2 seats. (There are some World Traveller seats on the upper deck as well, with 2-4-2 seating).

You can read about the differences between the 2 classes here:

Note that if you want to choose your seats ahead of on-line checking, you will have to pay, and it is more costly in the Plus class than in regular World Traveller. Or you can wait until online checking, and if you do not like your assigned seats, you can move for free, to any vacant pair of seats. You are more likely to be able to find good seats in Economy than in Premium Economy at that point, because PE is such a smaller cabin.

Posted by
67 posts

I would not fly economy on British Airways if I had a choice for premium economy. There economy legroom is terrible and the meals inedible.

Posted by
29 posts

BA has daytime flights to LHR from Boston, lasting 6.5 hours. A daytime flight makes an economy or economy plus seat tolerable.

I find a daytime flight so worthwhile that I pay my own way to Boston, thus gaining mileage credit, spend the night at the Boston Hilton airport and take the morning hop over the pond. In addition, jet lag is lessened when breaking up the flights from the west coast this way!

Posted by
2816 posts

That would definitely not work for me, and maybe not for the OP. Spend 6 hours on a plane one day to get to Boston, then go to a hotel for the night, and get up at 4 am Boston time to get to the airport for a 7:15 am flight to London. That would be 2 am for me ( or the OP), still being on Pacific time. So it’s a super long day, and a very uncomfortable 6.5 hour flight after the early wake-up. Plus the extra expense of the flight to Boston and the hotel.

Seems like for a little more than that, you could fly British Airways in business class on the outbound overnight flight (with a flat bed seat), and Premium Economy on the daytime flight on the way back.

I just priced that out to see, using San Francisco and random dates in May. Premium economy both ways is $1512. Business class on the outbound and PE on the return is $2577, so $1000 more. Maybe luckhardt’s travel voucher can be applied to that?

Posted by
3562 posts

….what other airlines call Premium Economy or Economy Comfort

These are different classes and are not synonymous.

daytime flights to LHR from Boston

Several cities have daytime flights to London. For me the most interesting is the AA flight from Chicago, timed about 9:15 am such that the early flights from other Midwest cities can connect to it. Would consider it if I didn’t mind the 4:30am wake up.