Jamaica flight among first to feature new British Airways cabin
British Airways has unveiled its brand-new World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) seats; completely revamping both cabins.
The flight from London Gatwick to Kingston today, is among the first to feature the new cabins.
Customers flying from London Gatwick will now be able to experience the airline's fully refreshed Boeing 777 fleet and new generation premium economy and economy seats.
The new World Traveller Plus and World Traveller cabins, which have been fitted with elegant new seats with 50 percent larger entertainment screens, will roll out across the airline's fleet of 10 long-haul aircraft based at Gatwick.
The six three-class Boeing 777 aircraft will be completed by winter 2018, with the four four-class variations finishing by summer 2019.
The first routes to enjoy the fully refreshed aircraft will be Punta Cana, Cancun and Kingston, Jamaica, before it is gradually rolled out across all of British Airways' 22 long-haul routes from Gatwick.
The new seats have been developed by the airline's in-house design teams, in collaboration with a leading seat supplier. Great attention to detail has also been paid to how the customer uses their seat, with the World Traveller Plus design featuring a new leg and footrest, as well as an improved fully adjustable six-way headrest to suit customers of all heights. The new seat also has a cocktail table at the front and in-arm tray tables. In response to customer demand, the size of the World Traveller Plus cabin will double.
The World Traveller cabins have also been fitted with the newest, most enhanced seating, which feature a six-way headrest with adjustable ears for added comfort and movable middle arm rests, which is particularly useful for customers traveling with children.
The new in-flight Panasonic entertainment system – which has the capacity to offer four times as many films, TV and audio - has been updated with larger HD screens and gesture control to navigate the interface like using a tablet. The screen size will double from six to 12 inches in World Traveller Plus, and increase from six to 10 inches in World Traveller. New USB sockets are available at every single seat allowing all customers to charge a range of different electronic devices during their flight and World Traveller Plus seats also have an additional power outlet socket for UK, US and EU plugs.
Bespoke lighting has been fitted in every cabin and can be set to reflect the time of day, helping to lull travelers to sleep at night and wake them in the morning so customers arrive feeling fresher and the effect of jet-lag is lessened.
Sean Doyle, British Airways' director of network and alliances, said: "We are one of the very few global airlines that offers a choice of four cabins for customers to travel in and World Traveller Plus appeals to a broad mix of both leisure and business travelers. In response to demand we're increasing the size of the cabin so we can offer more of these popular seats to our customers, while keeping the cabin intimate and retaining the expert, attentive service that our travelers love."
These improvements are the latest in the airline's continued investment for customers. In January, British Airways announced a multi-million-pound investment in its World Traveller catering with the introduction of more, better quality food and greater snacking options throughout long-haul flights.
Six hundred million pounds will be spent on Club World with an emphasis on improved catering, the introduction of bedding from The White Company and a new seat in the future. Furthermore, all customers can look forward to the latest generation Wi-Fi across British Airways' long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years.
Over the last five years the airline's operation at Gatwick has seen 40 percent more customers traveling, with passenger numbers increasing from 4.4 million to 6.2 million. According to CAA figures, British Airways is the most punctual of the three big short-haul carriers flying from London: at the 15-minute level and at Gatwick the airline outperformed easyJet's punctuality by 13 percentage points and Ryanair's by nine percentage points in 2017.
At Gatwick, the airline has also increased the number of routes it serves by more than 50 percent. In 2012 British Airways flew to 48 different destinations, whereas now the airline serves 74.