British Airways are in the process of upgrading its in-flight service for its premium economy cabin – World Traveller Plus.
According to the airline, the changes in World Traveller Plus will be rolling out in the next few months including:
- New furnishings
- An enhanced service
- An improved dining experience.
So onto the catering. World Traveller Plus catering has been an odd mix of a premium meal for the first service, and for the second service – you got what everyone else in World Traveller got.
The new menus go live on the 1st February. They will feature a third menu choice and depending on the flight – a more substantial hot second meal later in the flight.
According to the airline, launch menus go a little like this:
“will include braised British beef with roast new potatoes, onion soubise and bourguignon sauce, roasted guinea fowl with braised red cabbage, green beans, roast potato and mustard and chive jus and rigatoni pasta in a creamy garlic and herb sauce with leek, pumpkin and baby spinach.”
British Airways are also bringing in the ability for passengers to pre-order their meals too (with last orders taken 24 hours before departure), via the Manage My Booking tool.
In terms of soft product, the airline amenities in the cabin, with the promise of with new amenity kits, quilts and pillows.
As you are aware, the new World Traveller Plus seat launched on the Gatwick network last year, which features a larger IFE screen, six-way head, leg and footrest on the Boeing 777 fleet (along with the tight World Traveller seats). The same seat has now been confirmed for the launch of the Airbus A350 in this cabin.
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said:
“This latest tranche of our £6.5bn investment is set to improve World Traveller Plus and customers will see a real change to the cabin. In February the new menus will launch, followed in the Spring by the introduction of new amenity kits, quilts and pillows for added comfort and a touch of luxury.”
Welcome improvements in World Traveller Plus?
It’s at this point where I have to declare more than an interest in the World Traveller Plus refresh. Whilst I love flying Business Class – I do use British Airways World Traveller Plus more often than not when travelling back from North America to the United Kingdom – mainly, as I want to be awake on the ground as I have other places to go to (such as Hamburg).
Let’s have a look at some first service examples from different years.
Toronto to London Heathrow – 2013
Thai Chicken Curry with Pak Choi and Rice.
Boston to London LHR – 2016
Bread, Tomato and Mozzarella, Water, Lily O’Brien Passion fruit dessert
BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London LHR
As you can see – most of my selections have been beef – as I’ve avoid the pasta normally (and if Airplane has taught me anything – it’s to stay away from the fish).
They’ve been reasonable meals – nothing out of this world, but reasonable. In most cases, for the second service, you get either the breakfast box (before that was downsized), the muffin (before that got up-sized) to the cold breakfast roll that is now offered (or whatever BA can get cheaply).
Differentiating the Premium Economy cabin be very tough. I’ve noted that Lufthansa isn’t sure how to position it’s Premium Economy product – let alone deliver it. Hence catering is one way to to make a difference.
I am cautiously welcoming this change as a user of World Traveller Plus. There seem to be positives with new catering and soft furnishings – as well as new seats (depending on the Boeing 777 you sit in).
However, there are plenty of older planes with the older, inferior product – with small IFE screens and a seat that has seen far better days still.
Delivering a quality product throughout the different variants of the British Airways World Traveller Plus cabin will be a challenge – one I hope the airline rises up to.
It’ll be interesting how far these changes roll out by the end of March… when I can report from the field what’s changed – or not.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.