It was British Airways that was the first airline to offer lie-flat seats in business class around the year 2000. This made the difference between economy class and business class very big, which led to the creation of a new service class at British Airways: luxury economy. The new cabin was named World Traveller Plus by British Airways.
Even after all these years, British Airways is still the best at luxury economy. In 2019, the product was updated with a new luxury economy seat that has in-flight video screens that are 50% bigger, as well as new comfort kits, pillows, and blankets.
But is the price of British Airways’ luxury economy class worth it? To help you decide, let’s talk about the product in more depth and find out how much it costs to book. The answer of Is it cheaper to upgrade at the airport British Airways economy depends on a variety of factors, including the airline, the route, the time of year, and the availability of seats
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An Overview of British Airways Premium Economy
The London-based company British Airways’ top economy class is called British Airways World Traveller Plus. In terms of price and position on the plane, World Traveller Plus is in the middle of economy and business class. It’s roomier than British Airways World Traveller economy, but it doesn’t have the lie-flat seats or better service of Club World business class.
When you check in for British Airways Premium Economy, the perks begin. While the number of bags you can bring on different routes changes, on trips between the U.S. and Europe, you will always get two free checked bags, along with a cabin bag and a personal item.
People who fly British Airways in luxury economy get to go first when it’s time to board, but they get put in Group 3 out of nine groups.
What British Airways Premium Economy Is Like On-Board
Most seats have a pitch of about 38 inches, a width of about 18.5 inches, and a good amount of reclining. There is a largest and a perch on each seat.
The first meal in British Airways’ premium economy is usually a hot meal served on real plates with metal forks and spoons. The second meal, on the other hand, isn’t usually as fancy. These cold meals come in paper bags or boxes.
This type of seat has a big screen built into the seat in front of it for on-board fun. The tray under that screen is a good place for people to put their ID, boarding pass, phone, and other small things. There is a box for drinks and two power sources with plugs for the US, UK, and EU on the armrest between each seat. With two places to put water bottles between the footrests.
There is usually a pillow, a blanket, noise-cancelling headphones, and a comfort kit in each British Airways luxury economy seat when you board. Some lines, though, have the crew hand out the goodies as boarding is coming to an end. This may be so that other people don’t take them.
How Much British Airways Premium Economy Costs
It goes without saying that the price of British Airways luxury economy is a big part of whether or not the experience is worth it. The cash price of any flight will change a lot based on the route, demand, and how close you book your flight to the departure time.
In April 2022, British Airways premium economy flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Bengaluru, India (BLR), going through London. The whole trip cost just $949. From January 2024 to now, the cheapest round-trip times in the next six months take more than $1,200.
If you can get a round-trip ticket on British Airways’ luxury economy to Europe for less than $1,000, you’ve got a good deal. Prices are usually between $1,200 and $1,500 round-trip in the fall and around $2,000 round-trip for last-minute summer trips. So
How to Save on British Airways Premium Economy
There are two ways for travellers to save money on British Airways premium economy paid fares. Having a British Airways Visa Signature Card or being a member of AARP.
People who have a British Airways Visa Signature Card can save 10% on British Airways trips. Only when they book through ba.com/Chase10. It’s not just a saving on the base price either. You’ll save 10% on the whole flight price, which includes taxes, fees, and airline charges. Even better, this code lets you book flights for up to eight family and friends at the same time.
You can use this deal as many times as you want. But it’s only good for round-trip trips on British Airways that leave from the United States. Otherwise, you’ll have to drive or fly to a different airport if British Airways doesn’t fly to your home airport.
Becoming a member of AARP is another way to save money on your next flight. Any age AARP member can save up to $200 per person on British Airways flights:
- $65 for each person for economy or premium economy fares, but not for basic economy
- $200 each for first- and business-class tickets
Even better, you can use both of these deals at the same time. Let’s say you want to book a round-trip British Airways premium economy ticket. From New York City to Athens, Greece is for $1,326. You can book these same flights for just $1,135 round trip if you use both the $65 AARP discount and the 10% British Airways member discount.
Cost to Upgrade from British Airways Economy to Premium Economy
People who are booked in British Airways’ economy class can use Avios to move up to premium economy. There are, however, a few problems:
- British Airways needs award room in luxury economy to be available.
- You can’t move up from the cheaper World Traveller fare classes (Q, O, and G).
- You can’t use Avios to get a better seat at the airport or on the plane.
Why does it cost more to upgrade with Avios? It costs more to upgrade than to book an award seat. Specially in economy or premium economy on that trip on that date. It’s also possible that you’ll have to pay cash for the gap between the taxes and fees.