Review of British Airways flight Dubai London in Premium Eco

Airline British Airways
Flight BA108
Class Premium Eco
Seat 19A
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 08:10
Take-off 20 Feb 17, 10:05
Arrival at 20 Feb 17, 14:15
BA   #62 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 719 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 6388
Published on 28th May 2017
Hello and welcome to the next flight-report in this series on British Airways World Traveller Plus between Washington, DC and Dubai, UAE.

Over the U.S. Presidents Day holiday weekend, we took a quick trip to Dubai to visit a good friend who had recently moved to the UAE. Because it was such a long distance over a short period of time, we opted for Premium Economy for several reasons, but mostly for the additional comfort so that we wouldn't be zombies upon arrival and also to avoid breaking the bank on Business class for just a long-weekend trip. For a more detailed account on the choice of BA Premium Economy as it pertains to mileage earnings, see the first report in this series by clicking on the link for the IAD-LHR report below.

Here is the full routing:


On our last day in Dubai, as we were headed out to do some dune bashing in the desert, we stopped and had breakfast at a café at the Emirates Airlines headquarters. The main reason for stopping there was of course, the view! A spot of coffee with a spot of planespotting :-)

Ah, #AvGeek Heaven!

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Unfortunately, construction partially obstructed the view. Then again, when is there not construction at DXB?

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There were some good views of the runways; however, though a decent zoom is required.

Jet Airways B737-800

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Qatar Airways A330-200

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FedEx MD-11F

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There is no doubt that Emirates is king at DXB


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Up close and personal with two EK B777-300ERs



DXB is also an A380-palooza

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With our flight to LHR due to depart at 10:05AM, we drove to the airport in the middle of the morning rush hour. It wasn't pretty, but we still made it to DXB Terminal 1 a little under two hours before departure.

Check-in was relatively fast and courteous. We had an issue with our seat assignments on the 2nd leg (LHR-IAD) having been changed for some reason. I had noticed the change the night before during online check-in. For some reason our original seats did not show on the seatmap–the entire row had disappeared. When I asked about this at the ticket counter, the agent noted that the row was empty, but had difficulty assigning our original seats. He made a quick call and the situation was fixed with new boarding passes were printed. I'm still not sure what happened, but I'm glad the agent was able to fix the seat assignments; I didn't want to sit in the middle section. This wasn't the first time I've had seat assignments moved on BA without an equipment change.

For this flight to LHR, our seats had not changed. I had selected seats on the left side, thinking this would be the best side to get some good views of London on arrival.

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After check-in, we headed to the train that would take us to the brand new Concourse D.

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l had watched the construction of the new Concourse D unfold on the Nat Geo documentary series Ultimate Airport Dubai and was looking forward to seeing it with my own eyes.

Opened in February 2016, the new Concourse D looks great. Though it is not as huge as the other terminals, it is light-filled and modern.

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Airline lounges are located upstairs on the mezzanine level, as indicated by the signage.

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The main hall of Concourse D from the mezzanine level.

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The British Airways lounge is just to the left after the escalators.

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Like many other outstation lounges, the DXB lounge was recently renovated. It is on the smaller side, but there was plenty of seating.

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Unfortunately, there is no view of the tarmac from the lounge as the windows face the inside of the concourse.

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At this hour, there were breakfast foods available.

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A decent choice of hot breakfast items.

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There is a wine bar in the middle of the lounge which included a decent French crémant. Champagne may have been available on demand, as in other BA lounges, but I did not ask.

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My breakfast: Hot turkey sandwich, grilled lamb kofta (yum), potatoes, and scrambled eggs.

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For those interested, there is a smoking lounge on the mezzanine level to the right of the escalators.

It's probably the fanciest airport smoking lounge I've even seen.

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It was a short walk to the gate

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The gate area is enclosed. Boarding passes are scanned upon entering the gate area. A section closest to the boarding door is reserved for First, Business class, and oneworld Elites. This "premium" section was cordoned off with an agent checking boarding passes to allow access. We were granted access with our oneworld status.

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Our beautiful bird to Heathrow, registered G-ZBKE, was the 2nd B787-9 delivered to BA in November of 2015.

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Boarding began on time with First and Business class, followed by oneworld Emerald, then Sapphire frequent flyers. Because boarding passes had already been scanned upon entering the gate area, the boarding process was chaotic and crowded, despite the proper priority boarding protocol.

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IndiGo A320 arriving at the next gate during boarding.

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Hello G-ZBKE!

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We boarded through door 2L and were welcomed warmly on board by two cheerful cabin crew.

The first row of the new generation of BA Premium Economy is equipped with full leg-rests, whereas other rows have fold-out footrest from the seat in front.

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I often like to sit in the last row in premium cabins; however, on the 787-9, the last row is right across from the lav, so I avoided it.

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The new BA World Traveller Plus seats are comfortable and wide with a good amount of legroom. Unlike the first generation of WTP seats, there is a wide double armrest. As I've previously said, the amount of space is generally similar to U.S. domestic First class.

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The cabin crew came through the cabin with pre-departure beverages as boarding was winding down. The Premium Economy seats have a small drink table on the central armrest.

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Menus were handed out at the same time.

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Oman Air A330 taxiing past as the doors are closed.

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A fight time of 7 hours and 13 minutes is expected.

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The famous Dreamliner window dimmer button.

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We left the gate a few minutes early.

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The safety video played as we began out pushback from the gate.

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Some nice, Emirates-dominated planespotting as we taxied to the runway.

Starting with one of the "United for Wildlife" special livery A380s.



The parade of Emirates 77Ws and A380s continues as we sit in line for takeoff.



Turning onto the runway

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Partner A380s, Qantas and Emirates Superjumbos at the gate

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Yet another EK A380

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During takeoff we can see that the Emirates terminals are relatively empty at this time between major flight banks.

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View of Deira on takeoff

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Beautiful Dreamliner wing with the crescent moon

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Wing with the window dimmed

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Shortly after takeoff the crew were out in the cabin for the first drink service. I went for a sparkling wine, which was a Spanish Cava.

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The IFE has a good choice of movies, including several recent French movies

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Lunch is served as we fly over the Persian Gulf. I selected the herb-crusted beef filet with green peppercorn cream sauce, ratatouille, and potatoes au gratin

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Starter: Meze plate of hummus with fattoush salad

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Overall, the meal was tasty. It was a decent catering upgrade over typical Economy fare.

The other option looked good as well: Hammour tajine with mugrabia, sautéed marrow squash, and red peppers.

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We were treated to some beautiful scenery during the meal, starting with desert landscapes in the southwest of Iran.

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The scenery then changed to beautiful snow-capped mountains as we flew north over the Zagros mountain range near the border with Iraq.

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The mountains were more snow-covered the further north we flew.

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A large mountain town.

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Making our way way up the Zagros mountains towards Turkey and the Black sea.

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The cabin crew came through the cabin several times throughout the flight with water and orange juice.

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About an hour and a half before arrival, the second meal was served.

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Much like the breakfast on the IAD-LHR leg, it came in a little cardboard box. Cheap.

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Hardly a true "meal" service–more like a cheap snack–nothing premium about this.

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Almost there. First glimpse of the U.K. after crossing the English Channel.

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The cabin is prepared for landing.

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Distant views of London City as we approach from the northeast.

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As we get closer to landing, we go into a looping holding pattern–typical when landing at Heathrow.

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Turning

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London City Airport

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The O2 and Canary Wharf Business district

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The City

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After another half loop we come in to land at Heathrow

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Air New Zealand All Blacks 777-300ER at the new Star Alliance-dominated Terminal 2

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Terminal 3 looking like an AA hub

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And here we are at BA's T5

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We parked at T5C next to a BA 777.

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Having arrived a few minutes early and with plenty of time before the flight back to DC, I went through the automated immigration gates on arrival to get some fresh air. The automated gates were fast despite a long line.

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Verdict

British Airways

8.0/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering7.0

British Airways Lounge

7.9/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services7.5

Dubai - DXB

8.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.5

London - LHR

8.3/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

An overall enjoyable flight with BA in World Traveller Plus.

Cabin: A pleasant small-ish and spacious Premium Economy cabin. However, not quite as spacious as the A380 World Traveller Plus cabin which has bins along the sidewalls.

Cabin crew: Cheerful, professional and attentive. I often have good experiences with BA crew.

IFE: Good entertainment options in several languages. It seemed there were more movies and series than the A380 IFE. Music choices were lacking, however.

Catering: The pre-departure drinks and upgraded main meal with business class dishware, glasses, and cutlery nicely differentiate the World Traveller Plus product from the Economy offering. Most other carriers with Premium Economy do not offer pre-departure drinks. The second meal, however, is the same as Economy and cheapens the experience somewhat.

Information on the route Dubai (DXB) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 17 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Dubai (DXB) → London (LHR).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Emirates with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 7 hours and 50 minutes.

  More information

19 Comments

  • Comment 399376 by
    eminere™ 271 Comments

    Superb pictures. That BA A380 in the second-to-last picture needs a good clean!

  • Comment 399420 by
    jules67500 GOLD 4611 Comments

    Hi Kevin ! Thanks for sharing !

    Nice product and first service. Second service could be better, I prefered what LH offers, a small cold snack on TATL flights.

    A+

    • Comment 399461 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4958 Comments

      Hi Jules, thanks for your comments! Yes, it's odd how BA does such a good job of upgrading the experience with a pre-departure drink and better 1st meal, but then just gives an Economy snack box for the 2nd meal. Comparing with the Business class on the way over, it seems the 2nd meal shows cost cutting in both classes.

  • Comment 399432 by
    LTQLGW 154 Comments

    Thanks for the report, lounge seems quite comfortable and seats look better than in Skyteam lounge, the Premium economy seat looks great. But your opinion on AF aircrafts is a bit biased, I never saw so much dirt on AF aircraft but I saw it once on a SQ which was most unexpected. The enclosed gate will make things easier for flights to USA and UK (and maybe other places in the future), because due to new regulations for flights from some arab countries and Turkey, on my last flight from IST to LHR we had a second security check at gate and once checked we were "kept" in a closed area until we passed boarding gate.
    You make lovely pictures, thanks.

    • Comment 399464 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4958 Comments

      Hello LTQLGW, thank you for your comments!

      "But your opinion on AF aircrafts is a bit biased, I never saw so much dirt on AF aircraft"
      - Why would it be biased? I'm French, I should say AF planes are spotless all the time for my national pride, haha. But alas, they are not. Actually, it's gotten much better in the past few years. Back when I few AF frequently (SkyTeam Elite+), AF planes were often dirty, especially A380s under doors and windows as we see here with the BA A380.

      "The enclosed gate will make things easier for flights to USA and UK (and maybe other places in the future), because due to new regulations"
      - Indeed. Luckily I flew this route prior to the electronics ban. A Flight-Report to the UK or US from DXB would not be easy now considering that a DSLR is too large to take on board.

      "You make lovely pictures"
      - Thanks very much!

  • Comment 399612 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Excellent spotting shots at DXB. Great shots of the cars on the road too, I am a huge fan of roads and car traffic.

    Great shots of the cabin.

    Absolutely stunning aerial shots throughout the flight with lots of variation.

    The first meal definitely includes the title "premium", good job by BA. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the pre-arrival meal/snack but I guess they can get away with that given the departure/arrival times and the flight time. It is also unfortunately not surprising after all the cost-cutting :(.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful FR.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 399613 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4958 Comments

      Hi RI777, thanks for your comments!

      "Excellent spotting shots at DXB. Great shots of the cars on the road too"
      - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed this little bonus

      "Absolutely stunning aerial shots throughout the flight with lots of variation."
      - Thanks, it was definitely a scenic flight. I always love those!

      " It is also unfortunately not surprising after all the cost-cutting :("
      - Yep, the cost-cutting is becoming too visible.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Comment 399625 by
    757Fan 559 Comments

    Great report, Kevin! Looks like you had a good flight with BA in WTP. I actually just booked a flight to London in September and was considering flying WTP on BA from Chicago, but ended up booking with Delta instead.

    Awesome photos from your time at Dubai!

    • Comment 399715 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4958 Comments

      Thanks for your comments as always Matthew!

      "but ended up booking with Delta instead."
      - DL Y over BA WTP? Hope the price difference was worth it--though I guess the convenience of the direct from MSP was the deciding factor. It's hard to avoid DL when you live in MSP. I used to be addicted to DL when I lived there; I understand, haha :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 399641 by
    loukas SILVER 308 Comments

    Hi Kevin, thanks for this report with fantastic shots! The ones with snowy mountains are my favorites. I love flying over London, the city views are always stunning. I must say the first meal service looks great, the second one is a disaster.

    • Comment 399716 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4958 Comments

      Hi Loukas, thanks so much for your kind comments!

      "The ones with snowy mountains are my favorites"
      - I love scenic flights, especially when there are beautiful mountains

      "I love flying over London, the city views are always stunning."
      - Yes, it was a shame we only did one loop in the holding pattern. I was hoping to get some better views of central London.

      "the second one is a disaster."
      - #Truth :-)

  • Comment 399678 by
    indianocean SILVER 6585 Comments

    Despite the fact that the second meal (if one can call THAT a meal) is horrendous, WTP product is quite good for that kind of travel
    The main meals look nice but I'm afraid BA seves the same meals for CW passengers (same china)
    Thank you for sharing Kevin

    • Comment 399717 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4958 Comments

      Merci Bernard for your comments!

      "Despite the fact that the second meal (if one can call THAT a meal) is horrendous"
      - Definitely not worthy of being called "meal"

      "The main meals look nice but I'm afraid BA seves the same meals for CW passengers (same china)"
      - Yep. Good for W, but unfortunate for J

  • Comment 399746 by
    KL651 TEAM 4454 Comments

    Thanks for this FR gurrl
    Given the recent IT issues it 's no surprise that seat assignments are modified with no reason ;-)
    Even with the pretty cheap snack BA Y+ remains really attractive compared to LH for instance, especially when you can get it at a good price.

  • Comment 399843 by
    SKYTEAMCHC TEAM GOLD 7801 Comments

    Hi Kevin.
    Thanks for sharing this report with us. The seat looks good and very confortable with good legroom.
    I really like the first meal with nice details and what seems to be a good main dish. The second service is very light but the flight is not that long. FA's passing through the cabin regularly is nice as it's not common on other airlines where they disappear between meal services.

    • Comment 401699 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4958 Comments

      Thank you for your comment. Sorry, I didn't see it before! Though the flight was on the short side, it is about the same length as a Transatlantic flight, but the service level seemed inferior. Yes, it's nice to see FAs in the aisles regularly checking on people--it's true that on many carriers, even in J, they hide in the galley outside of meal services.

  • Comment 401721 by
    flyingindian 4 Comments

    awesome pics!! which camera did u use to click these amazing images??

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