Review of British Airways flight London Washington in Premium Eco

Airline British Airways
Flight BA293
Class Premium Eco
Seat 25K
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 08:30
Take-off 20 Feb 17, 17:00
Arrival at 20 Feb 17, 20:30
BA   #47 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 823 reviews
KévinDC
By SILVER 2961
Published on 19th June 2017
Hello and welcome to the final 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:


As we had a few hours connecting time in LHR, I whipped out my French passport and went through the automated e-Passport gates for EU citizens to "enter" the U.K. and get some fresh air between two 8 hour flights.

Going back through the fast-track security lane was much faster than on the way over and only took a few minutes.

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Although the BA lounges are located just to the right of the T5 South security checkpoint on the mezzanine level, one must walk toward the center of the terminal and take an escalator down one level to come back around and take an escalator back up to the lounge level.

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Surely this silly loop is worth the few extra steps to be greeted by Nigel the BA disco amoeba on the way up the escalators to the Galleries lounges.

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The BA Galleries Business class lounge is up two levels from the ground floor of the terminal.

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I won't cover the lounge in detail in this report, but it was surprisingly, and pleasantly, uncrowded for a peak time of the afternoon.

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Unfortunately, right when I got to the lounge they were switching out the more copious lunch offering consisting of hot dishes to a skimpy "tea" time offering of just finger sandwiches. Boo.

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Once again, our flight was departing from the T5C satellite concourse, so we took the train once again to get to our gate.

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Nice view of a BA A380 coming into the T5C concourse.

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Our 777-200ER was in a corner gate where we couldn't get a good view. There is a bit the tail here in this pic of the 788 at the gate next door.

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Boarding had begun when we got to our gate. Premium cabins and passengers with oneworld status were invited to board.

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Beautiful view of the 788 at the next gate as we walk down the glass jetbridge.

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We were lucky to get a recently retrofitted aircraft. BA's 777-200ER fleet is still in the process of being outfitted with the new Economy and Premium Economy cabins, so flying a 77E can be hit or miss.

The new cabin looks nice. Much better than the last time I took this flight on a non-retrofitted 77E a few years ago

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Our seats in the last row of the World Traveller Plus cabin.

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The new cabins give a fresh look to these aging 777s.

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Good legroom with a standard 38" Premium Economy seat pitch.

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Premium Economy Passengers receive a small amenity kit with a pen, headphone covers, earplugs, and socks.

The noise-cancelling headphones provided are the same as provided in Club World (Business class).

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Nice sunset colors as boarding wraps up.

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Cabin crew hand out menus as the last passengers settle in.

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It's odd that they call the meal "lunch" being that departure is at 5PM.

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Pre-departure drinks are offered shortly thereafter. This time, sparkling wine is offered along with water and orange juice. I'm not sure what BA's policy is on offering sparkling wine as a PDB. In my experience it's been hit or miss, with bubbles offered on some flights but not others. Previously I thought bubbles may only be offered on afternoon/evening flights, but I've been on evening flights where no bubbles were offered. Strange,

Despite this inconsistency, however, I commend BA for offering PDBs at all in Premium Economy, where most other carriers with PE cabins do not.

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A little under 8 hours of flight time today.

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We push back shortly after the doors close with the safety video playing.

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Pushback

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Dirty A380

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Getting dark quickly as the sun sets over T5

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Qantas A380

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Heathrow control tower and Terminal 3

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AA 767-300ER

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Star Alliance partners United and Air China at the Star-dominated new Terminal 2.

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After a surprisingly short taxi, we take off facing west on the north runway.

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We were treated to views of Windsor castle as we climbed.

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Window sunset views

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Shortly after takeoff, there is a hot towel service prior to the drink and meal service.

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A full bar is available for the drink service, including beers, wines, and liquors. I went with more sparkling wine for the apéritif, and a red wine for dinner. Again, the sparkling wine is a Spanish cava. BA previously served actual champagne in World Traveller Plus, but that is no longer the case with ongoing cost-cutting.

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Due to the deep recline of the seats in WTP, in order to see the PTV when the seat in front is reclined, it swivels out for a better viewing angle. However, this really reduces the space around the tray table when deployed. The passenger in front almost knocked over my drinks when he slammed his seat back. Just a warning to be careful with your drinks/bottles when the passenger in front of you reclines. I get that Premium Economy offers more space and the ability to recline, but slamming your seat back during a meal service is rude.

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The meal is served as we cruise over southern Ireland.

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I went for the beef option which was quite tasty with its puff pastry cover.

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A brandy digestif to end the meal. Without asking, the FA gave each of us two bottles, which was much appreciated.

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Movie and nap time as we cruise over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

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I woke up shortly before the "tea" service, about an hour before landing.

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This consited consisted of a small box containing a sandwich and a Kit Kat bar. Nothing spectacular, but it is a better pre-arrival meal than the snack box offered on the DXB-LHR leg.

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Almost home.

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The lights are turned back on to ready the cabin for arrival.

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About to cross the Potomac from Maryland into Virginia, where Dulles Airport is located.

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U-turn to land on Runway 1R from the south.

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We arrived at the gate about a half hour early. Thanks to Global Entry and quick baggage delivery, we were out to the car by the scheduled arrival time of the flight–can't beat that!

Thanks for reading and see you soon for a new series of flights!
See more

Verdict

British Airways

8.1/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering7.0

British Airways (South) Galleries Club - 5A

7.6/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Services8.5

London - LHR

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

Washington - IAD

8.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

An overall pleasant flight with British Airways in World Traveller Plus. Premium Economy is a good option for a bit of extra comfort and space for about a 50% price premium over discounted Economy. The new BA Premium Economy seats are comfortable and spacious with deep recline, which is good for sleeping. The World Traveller Plus product is differentiated from the Economy offering with the soft-product as well. Pre-departure drinks, which include sparkling wine, and a meal service with Business class china, glasses, and cutlery and a main dish inspired by the Club World offering, put the premium in the World Traveller Plus product. The cabin crew were pleasant and attentive.

Information on the route London (LHR) Washington (IAD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 10 reviews of 2 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Washington (IAD).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is British Airways with 7.3/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 18 minutes.

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8 Comments

  • Comment 401564 by
    dreamweaver888 77 Comments

    Marvelous review, great to read and nice photos. Thanks!

  • Comment 401589 by
    757Fan 607 Comments

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with WTP on BA on your flight home. It looks like you had a pretty good flight.

    "The passenger in front almost knocked over my drinks when he slammed his seat back. Just a warning to be careful with your drinks/bottles when the passenger in front of you reclines. I get that Premium Economy offers more space and the ability to recline, but slamming your seat back during a meal service is rude. "

    I can't stand this when I travel. I used to always recline my seat, albeit gently, but now as I don't like when it happens to me, I don't put my seat back, unless there's no one behind me.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Matthew

    • Comment 401704 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5529 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by Matthew! The reclining issue is the main reason why I prefer seats in the last row of the cabin, so I can avoid reclining into someone's face. It's totally fine to recline in Domestic F/International Premium Economy, but as you say, you have to be conscious to do it gently, and reclining during meal times is a pet peeve of mine. Now in Domestic Y, I avoid reclining altogether on shorter flights/daytime flights.

  • Comment 401804 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 542 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this one... interesting to read what's up in BA WTP.

    Catering on the main meal looks pretty good for Premium Economy.... but that pre-arrival snack looks like BA went the AC route of "You get a decent post takeoff meal, and then it's economy class fare for you, cheapskate!" with the rest of the catering.

    The mealtime recliner is also a pet peeve of mine as well... I guess it's good that the screen is still visible even when reclined... but yeah... not good when the person in front of you can send your drinks flying on a whim.

    All in all, looks like a pretty decent way to cross the Atlantic, especially on a relatively short non-redeye westbound.

  • Comment 401885 by
    aussenrist 225 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report Kevin! Excellent aerial shots^^

    “and get some fresh air between two 8 hour flights.” - I know that feelings lol

    “The passenger in front almost knocked over my drinks when he slammed his seat back.”
    - It is annoying! So the FA did not order passengers to seat up during mealtime? IME NH, SQ and even UA’s crews (lol) would order and check the seats in upright position during mealtime which is much more enjoyable to have my meal.

    Look forward to next series!

  • Comment 401980 by
    Rl 777 809 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Beautiful spotting shots at LHR.

    Stunning aerial and sunset shots.

    Good to see your flight was operated by a refurbished B772.

    “The passenger in front almost knocked over my drinks when he slammed his seat back.“
    - A clear design flaw, thank you for pointing this out.

    The meal service looks good, made me hungry.

    Spectacular shot before landing.

    Have a good one, see you!

  • Comment 402000 by
    socalnow 979 Comments

    Thanks for the informative and entertaining report KevinDC.

    "As we had a few hours connecting time in LHR, I whipped out my French passport and went through the automated e-Passport gates for EU citizens to "enter" the U.K. and get some fresh air between two 8 hour flights."
    -Enjoy it while it lasts. Ms. May is working hard to finish the Brexit.

    "Despite this inconsistency, however, I commend BA for offering PDBs at all in Premium Economy, where most other carriers with PE cabins do not. "
    -I do say the menu, PDB, hot towel, china, glasses, and cutlery all give the PE experience a air of refinement.

    "I went with more sparkling wine for the apéritif, and a red wine for dinner. "
    -Served both a once like that?

    "I went for the beef option which was quite tasty with its puff pastry cover. "
    -A Wellington of sorts. Perhaps just a blanket to cover a sad piece meat?

    This looks like a really fine compromise between J and Y at a reasonable premium. Thanks for sharing and happy flying.

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