World Traveller Plus is the Premium Economy offering of British Airways. Passengers benefit from a baggage allowance of two free checked bags, each weighing up to 23kgs, and two pieces of hand luggage. Most BA World Traveller Plus flights depart from Terminal 5, allowing passengers access to plenty of retail stores and restaurants such as Giraffe, Wagamama’s and Plane Food, Gordon Ramsay’s first airport restaurant.
I took the Heathrow Express tube ride from the centre of London at 16h00, and it took me only 25 minutes – very efficient and comfortable, and something I’d recommend, unless you opt for a taxi, which may leave you open to the vagaries of the London traffic. If you haven’t gone through it before, there are a few things you need to be aware of with Heathrow. The sheer expanse of the airport is astounding, and extra time is needed to manoeuvre your way around. The passport control and security checkpoints are extremely thorough, which is to be expected, and the staff are efficient. However, a word of warning – make sure you obey their commands, as I witnessed a fellow traveller finding himself on the wrong side of the authorities, and it wasn’t pretty!
Lounge & Boarding
I had access to the BA Business Class Lounge in the South Gallery. Although I didn’t have much time to enjoy the facilities, the lounge was upmarket and sophisticated. The usual connectivity and computer facilities were available, along with an assortment of food and beverages and a Kid Zone area with games and toys. I made the almost fatal error of assuming that the boarding gate for my flight was just a short walk away from the lounge. As I ambled to the gate, I suddenly realised that I still needed to catch yet another train to the actual gate, which meant that I ended up running frantically through the airport, chuckling nervously. Thankfully, I managed to get onto the flight before the doors slammed shut…with seconds to spare.
I was fortunate enough to get the aisle seat in the first row of World Traveller Plus. The WTP seat is wider than those in Economy, with excellent leg room, but I was envious of the Club World seats (or should I say beds) that I passed on my way to my seat. WTP is a private dedicated cabin with a maximum of six rows, and in-flight services include a complimentary newspaper and the standard cushion, blanket and amenity kit. If you need to work on the flight, all the seats in WTP have laptop power and an in-seat phone. On arrival, WTP customers are given priority when leaving the aircraft.
The flight was uneventful and on time. The staff were friendly and the choice of in-flight entertainment was extensive. I was impressed with the food – all excellent, with a choice between roasted breast of corn-fed chicken and seared fillet of Herefordshire beef for the main course. I’m not normally a fan of in-flight food, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and just how fresh it was.
It’s always good to come home, and even after seeing Heathrow again, I’m still proud of what ACSA has achieved with O.R. Tambo International. It really is a world class airport, comparable with the best the ‘First World’ has to offer. My path through immigration, customs and luggage collection was seamless.
An excellent flight, and to the standard that travellers have come to expect from BA.