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.
London LHR ✈ Washington IAD | British Airways, B777-200, Premium Economy [COMING SOON]
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!
Unfortunately, construction partially obstructed the view. Then again, when is there not construction at DXB?
There were some good views of the runways; however, though a decent zoom is required.
Jet Airways B737-800
Qatar Airways A330-200
There is no doubt that Emirates is king at DXB
Up close and personal with two EK B777-300ERs
DXB is also an A380-palooza
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.
After check-in, we headed to the train that would take us to the brand new Concourse D.
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.
Airline lounges are located upstairs on the mezzanine level, as indicated by the signage.
The main hall of Concourse D from the mezzanine level.
The British Airways lounge is just to the left after the escalators.
Like many other outstation lounges, the DXB lounge was recently renovated. It is on the smaller side, but there was plenty of seating.
Unfortunately, there is no view of the tarmac from the lounge as the windows face the inside of the concourse.
At this hour, there were breakfast foods available.
A decent choice of hot breakfast items.
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.
My breakfast: Hot turkey sandwich, grilled lamb kofta (yum), potatoes, and scrambled eggs.
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.
It was a short walk to the gate
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.
Our beautiful bird to Heathrow, registered G-ZBKE, was the 2nd B787-9 delivered to BA in November of 2015.
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.
IndiGo A320 arriving at the next gate during boarding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Menus were handed out at the same time.
Oman Air A330 taxiing past as the doors are closed.
A fight time of 7 hours and 13 minutes is expected.
The famous Dreamliner window dimmer button.
We left the gate a few minutes early.
The safety video played as we began out pushback from the gate.
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
Partner A380s, Qantas and Emirates Superjumbos at the gate
Yet another EK A380
During takeoff we can see that the Emirates terminals are relatively empty at this time between major flight banks.
View of Deira on takeoff
Beautiful Dreamliner wing with the crescent moon
Wing with the window dimmed
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.
The IFE has a good choice of movies, including several recent French movies
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
Starter: Meze plate of hummus with fattoush salad
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.
We were treated to some beautiful scenery during the meal, starting with desert landscapes in the southwest of Iran.
The scenery then changed to beautiful snow-capped mountains as we flew north over the Zagros mountain range near the border with Iraq.
The mountains were more snow-covered the further north we flew.
A large mountain town.
Making our way way up the Zagros mountains towards Turkey and the Black sea.
The cabin crew came through the cabin several times throughout the flight with water and orange juice.
About an hour and a half before arrival, the second meal was served.
Much like the breakfast on the IAD-LHR leg, it came in a little cardboard box. Cheap.
Hardly a true "meal" service–more like a cheap snack–nothing premium about this.
Almost there. First glimpse of the U.K. after crossing the English Channel.
The cabin is prepared for landing.
Distant views of London City as we approach from the northeast.
As we get closer to landing, we go into a looping holding pattern–typical when landing at Heathrow.
London City Airport
The O2 and Canary Wharf Business district
After another half loop we come in to land at Heathrow
Air New Zealand All Blacks 777-300ER at the new Star Alliance-dominated Terminal 2
Terminal 3 looking like an AA hub
And here we are at BA's T5
We parked at T5C next to a BA 777.
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.
Thanks for reading!
British Airways Lounge
Dubai - DXB
London - LHR
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.
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