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.
London LHR ✈ Washington IAD | British Airways, B777-200, Premium Economy [THIS REPORT]
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.
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.
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.
The BA Galleries Business class lounge is up two levels from the ground floor of the terminal.
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.
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.
Once again, our flight was departing from the T5C satellite concourse, so we took the train once again to get to our gate.
Nice view of a BA A380 coming into the T5C concourse.
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.
Boarding had begun when we got to our gate. Premium cabins and passengers with oneworld status were invited to board.
Beautiful view of the 788 at the next gate as we walk down the glass jetbridge.
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
Our seats in the last row of the World Traveller Plus cabin.
The new cabins give a fresh look to these aging 777s.
Good legroom with a standard 38" Premium Economy seat pitch.
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).
Nice sunset colors as boarding wraps up.
Cabin crew hand out menus as the last passengers settle in.
It's odd that they call the meal "lunch" being that departure is at 5PM.
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.
A little under 8 hours of flight time today.
We push back shortly after the doors close with the safety video playing.
Getting dark quickly as the sun sets over T5
Heathrow control tower and Terminal 3
Star Alliance partners United and Air China at the Star-dominated new Terminal 2.
After a surprisingly short taxi, we take off facing west on the north runway.
We were treated to views of Windsor castle as we climbed.
Window sunset views
Shortly after takeoff, there is a hot towel service prior to the drink and meal service.
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.
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.
The meal is served as we cruise over southern Ireland.
I went for the beef option which was quite tasty with its puff pastry cover.
A brandy digestif to end the meal. Without asking, the FA gave each of us two bottles, which was much appreciated.
Movie and nap time as we cruise over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
I woke up shortly before the "tea" service, about an hour before landing.
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.
The lights are turned back on to ready the cabin for arrival.
About to cross the Potomac from Maryland into Virginia, where Dulles Airport is located.
U-turn to land on Runway 1R from the south.
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!
British Airways (South) Galleries Club - 5A
London - LHR
Washington - IAD
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.
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