British Airways offers a Premium Economy product on board all their widebody jets (branded as “World Traveller Plus”). This Y+ product is intended for customers looking for extra comfort over the regular Economy Class product but at a lower fare compared with Business Class.
Yesterday I had the chance to check their Premium Economy product on one of their B787-9 between London and Abu Dhabi, and overall it was a good experience.
The Seat and the Cabin
On the B787-9, BA offers 39 Premium Economy seats on a 2-3-2 configuration (the same configuration they offer on their Business Class product!). The cabin shares the lavatories with Economy Class.
The Premium Economy seat is significantly wider than the Economy seats on this plane (configured as 9-accross). The product offers an individual 8″ screen, individual light and both a power outlet and a 2 USB ports. At boarding, a blanket, pillow and a basic amenity kit were placed on each seat.
I found the seat to be comfortable, spacious both in width and legroom. It offers a decent recline and a wide arm rest, enough to not fight over it with whomever is sitting next to you. I found the seat to be much more comfortable than the Premium Economy seat offered by Air France (in case you missed it, ypu can check my review of AF Y+ product here). For reference, a picture of the legroom (which was more than enough for me):
The Amenity Kit
The amenity kid offered was basic. It came wrapped on a plastic bag (classy!) and included a dental kit, earplugs, socks, eye shades and a pen. Headphones were also provided on the same pack.
The in-Flight Entertainment
IFE options were varied and plentiful on this flight. Lots of British productions (if you’re a fan of BBC’s shows like me, it’s your lucky day!). I loved that they had episodes of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’. Plenty of selections of movies (including the latest Oscar nominees), TV shows and music from the UK, USA and from around the world.
This was the part I was dreading the most about this flight. BA is not known for their good catering, not even on First Class (John calls them a ‘Bring Your Own Food’ airline!), and my previous experiences on BA Business Class had horrible food offerings.
The service started with a pre-departure drink, with a choice of sparkling wine and water:
After departure, a drink service was offered, with full bar options. I went for a Gin & Tonic. BA’s choice of Gin, Gordon’s, is kind of odd. Being (allegedly) the UK a Gin land, you’d expect a better offering, not something from the bottom shelve. Fever Tree tonic water helped out.
Surprisingly, the food offered for lunch was edible. I went for the neck of lamb with pistaccio rice (tasty) and my friend went for the beef option (he also said it was good). Lunch was served with wine, water or juice options as beverages.
Afternoon tea was served one hour before arrival. It consisted on a sandwich and a chocolate bar, and water, coffee or tea as beverage choices:
In general, it was a rather surprising experience: the seat is comfortable and the food offerings were decent, and that’s more than I was expecting on BA. Since Cruz took over as CEO of the airline and started their particular run to the bottom to compete with the Ryanairs of this world, the premium products offered by the airline have decayed (this is no secret).
BA’s Premium Economy product is solid, and I wouldn’t mind buying it in future trips!