Guide to British Airways World Traveller Plus With Kids
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British Airways’ World Traveller Plus is the cabin between World Traveller and Club World and provides some additional benefits for families. But is it worth the extra price over economy? We’ve already sounded off on the benefits of business class with young children and whether children should even be allowed in premium classes at all. So, I tested out WTP recently on a flight from London to Boston on an A380 for our summer holidays when flying with my two young children.
The most important aspect of most flight choices for families is the price. My family will often book premium economy for just one leg of the trip if it’s less than £150 extra for that segment. We value the extra space around that price point but not much more. For an Avios redemption, we would rarely, if ever, choose WTP because we hold out for Club World redemptions with our Companion Pass or use our Avios for Reward Flight Saver tickets.
Except when travelling in first class, BA will charge you for seat selection until 24 hours before travel. Depending on your status, you may have access to book your own seats for free sooner, but flying World Traveller Plus alone with British Airways does not mean you can select your seat any sooner.
We did not pay for seats in World Traveller Plus but found that the carrier sat us together and allocated our seats several days before departure. The layout in World Traveller Plus is 2-4-2 on all 747s and 777s and 2-3-2 on the A380 and both versions of the 787. We were assigned row 67 D, E, F on the A380.
We found the layout really beneficial as a couple travelling with an infant because we could book the two side seats at the bulkhead with the bassinet and not have to involve another passenger in our onboard struggles with a young baby. Now that we have two children older than 2, we can use two of the side rows in World Traveller Plus pairing an adult with a child. With older children, they could also sit together in a window pair of seats or in the middle three depending on your family size while the adults sit separately in a window pair.
Once you get to the airport, you use the general economy check-in. However, if flying through Terminal 5 at Heathrow, you can use the family check-in desk, which can be speedier than the general economy queues. You don’t receive fast pass access through security, but as a family, you can use family security sections where available.
WTP comes with a generous 2x 32kg baggage allowance per child or adult ticket. For a family of four, you suddenly have access to an upgraded 8 x 32kg bags.
Travelling on a World Traveller Plus ticket without status will not grant you access to any of the British Airways lounges before your flight.
When it comes to boarding, depending on the age of your children and your British Airways status, you may already be asked to board early. If you have older children and no British Airways status, your World Traveller Plus ticket will get you on board before the economy passengers but still after first and Club World.
A noticeable difference is the size of the cabin in World Traveller Plus at nearly 1/3 the size of the economy cabin and closer to the front of the plane. I also noticed that with the generous luggage allowance, there was no longer a scramble for overhead bin space.
The difference between seats in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus is noticeable. For my small children whose legs do not touch the ground when seated, the extra 7 inches of legroom doesn’t make a difference, but I definitely noticed it. We had space to place all of our hand luggage under the seats without an issue. I could also climb over my sat children when the person in front was not fully reclined.
The extra 1 inch of width in the seat was welcome, however, the armrests were fixed in World Traveller Plus. Like many families, we put the armrests up in economy at times other than takeoff and landing to spill onto each others’ seats. World Traveller Plus on the A380 we flew on had fixed armrests with the trays inside them.
I certainly noticed the difference in service on my last WTP flight. Immediately after boarding, I was offered a glass of water, orange juice or Prosecco. Throughout our flight we enjoyed several aspects of the smaller cabin, like being served food quickly and hot towel service.
The inflight entertainment system looked much nicer and is approximately 60% larger than you’ll find in economy. The downside with small children is that they cannot reach the touchscreens. There are ample power points and USB chargers in the WTP cabin, so families can happily plug-in and charge their items. I even used the Internet for one hour for approximately £5 to finish up some work.
When it comes to meal service, you’ll notice a difference when the crew supplies you with a menu once you sit down. The meal was nicer and more akin to Club World than World Traveller. The kids’ meal seemed to be the same as economy, but were served on real crockery.
British Airways has widely advertised its the addition of a second hot meal in WTP. On our flight, it was a school lunch style pizza that would not impress most people, it came at the perfect time for my children who had not eaten their first meal and were out of snacks.
The amenities were recently upgraded in World Traveller Plus and are now closer to a business kit than one in economy. The headphones are noise cancelling, the new amenity kit is nicer and you’ll find better blankets and pillows. The amenity kits were lost on the kids but sometimes we take them as an extra Lego bag, as they have a zip.
The additional legroom, smaller cabin and 2-3-2 configuration on the A380 are reasons that I always check the price differential between economy and premium economy on British Airways flights with my family. For many families, it is not worth the added expense, but British Airways is certainly pouring money into improving the product.
Featured photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen/The Points Guy.