British Airways’ First “Refreshed” Boeing 747 Comes Into Service

British Airways 747 New Interior may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

The Boeing 747 is without doubt my favourite plane. As a kid it was the plane that, for me, defined long-haul travel and it was known simply as “the Jumbo”. The upper deck can feel like you’re on your own private jet and it’s a very very nice place to spend a flight. I wouldn’t trade any of the other existing aircraft (not even a fully “blinged” out A380) in exchange for a trip on the top deck of a 747.

Unfortunately the 747s that are around nowadays are dinosaurs in the age of the microchip – they’re simply not efficient enough for a modern airline’s needs –  and that’s why, sadly, they’re on their way out.

But some airlines are taking their time replacing their 747s and some are even taking so long that they’re giving them a little bit of a refresh to keep passengers happy. British Airways is one of those airlines and, according to Business Traveller, their first “refreshed” 747 has been rostered for service.

British Airways 747 New Interior

Unfortunately there’s been no upgrade to the type of seats on the plane although new seat foams are being installed in World Traveller (economy class) and World Traveller Plus (Premium economy) so presumably those seats should be a little more comfortable. There’s no mention of what’s been done to Club World (Business Class) or First Class.

A big positive is that seats throughout the aircraft will have access to universal power ports which will accept US, UK and European plugs together with USB devices. And the biggest (most expensive?) change is the introduction of a new In-Flight Entertainment System (IFE).

The new IFE system is manufactured by Panasonic and will provide passengers with access to over 13o movies and 400 TV shows. The new screens will be lager than the ones they’re replacing and will come with a higher resolution. The will be capable of recognising “touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet“.

That actually sounds like a pretty good upgrade – I just hope they haven’t made the same mistake as American Airlines where the screens on the new 777-300 aircraft don’t angle making them harder to view from a lying/semi-lying position.

While BA have rostered the first of their refreshed 747s, the remaining 17 aircraft won’t all have their makeovers complete until August 2016. The first refreshed aircraft are expected to be used on select flights to Boston, Chicago, Dubai, Kuwait, New York (JFK) and Riyadh.

Business Traveller has a few more pictures of the refresh here.