British Airways Announces Phase II Of Premium Economy Improvements

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In January of this year, British Airways turned its attention to improving its World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) ‘soft’ product as it announced a new and redesigned menu for its intermediate long-haul cabin.

At the time of that announcement, the airline assured passengers that the improvements to World Traveller Plus wouldn’t be limited to a few changes to the dining offering and that we could expect refreshed amenities and bedding with “added comfort and a touch of luxury” coming “in the Spring”.

Well, this certainly isn’t Spring but, nevertheless, British Airways has just announced that it’s introducing a new range of amenities for World Traveller Plus customers.

From 1 July 2019 new amenity kits made from recycled bottles will be introduced and, according to BA, will “include all the essential items travellers need for a flight”.

a woman holding a small bag and a small pen
Image courtesy of British Airways

Within the amenity kits will be the following:

  • An eye mask
  • “Soft socks”
  • A pen
  • A Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Lip balm from the Scaramouche & Fandango range

As well as the new amenity kits, passengers can also expect to see a “new stylish quilt and cushion” introduced into the World Traveller Plus cabin which will feature the same herringbone design that you’ll find adorning various features of BA’s First Class cabin (and that’s where the similarity to First Class ends!).

a close up of a cloth
Image courtesy of British Airways
a close up of a fabric bag
Image courtesy of British Airways

Building upon the new menus launched in January, British Airways says that it will be adding alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails to its World Traveller Plus menu, and these are set to include a Gin Fizz and a Bloody Mary (for the alcoholic options) and a Citrus Twist (non-alcoholic option).


It’s good to see British Airways continuing to try to improve what it offers in the World Traveller Plus cabin but, while the enhancements to the dining options that have already been rolled out are very welcome and while the further upgrades revealed today are good to see, BA still has a problem – its Premium Economy cabin is simply not as good as the one offered by Virgin Atlantic.

an airplane seat with two monitors
Image courtesy of British Airways

Virgin Atlantic offers 21” wide seats in most of its Premium Economy cabins and there’s noticeably more personal space in and around a Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy seat than there is around a BA World Traveller Plus seat.

a seat in an airplane
Virgin Atlantic A330 Premium Economy

Yes, BA can close the gap a little by pushing through the ‘soft product’ improvements we’ve seen announced this year, but comfort will always trump dining options and amenity kits on a long-haul flight and it’s on comfort where BA cannot compete with Virgin Atlantic.

Fortunately for BA it really only has to worry about Virgin on transatlantic routes as, elsewhere, the airline is essentially non-existent…and that’s why I suspect BA feels no need to genuinely improve the seats in World Traveller Plus (past the addition of power outlets and USB sockets).

a close up of a device
Image courtesy of British Airways

Bottom Line

It’s good to see British Airways follow through with its promise to refresh the amenities and bedding on offer in World Traveller Plus (better late than never) and there’s no doubt that the changes will improve the product for BA’s passengers.

Overall, however, BA’s World Traveller Plus isn’t a cabin to get excited about and I’ll still choose Virgin over BA when traveling across the Atlantic in Premium Economy.