AIRLINE REVIEW


A VERY BRITISH AFFAIR


Our editor-in-chief Peter Lynch settles into British Airways
World Traveller Plus for the long haul – Sydney to Marseille
via Singapore and London.

The flight: BA16 Singapore to London

The plane: Boeing 777-300

The seat: 23G to London

The price: From SGD$2,280

Travelling with British Airways is a very English affair. It begins with the fabulous safety video in which Joanna Lumley, Michael Caine and a host of new talent from Comic Relief will have you in stitches.


We’re flying a Boeing 777-300 on the long and arduous journey to Marseilles. It’s going to take us 23 hours in the air and several hours on the ground in Singapore’s Changi and London’s Heathrow.


As we take off, the crew are perky and playful, the World Traveller Plus – BA’s answer to Premium Economy – cabin is roomy, and the seats are copious and comfortable. There are plenty of power points and USB ports for phones and laptops, and there is enough legroom to stretch out comfortably.


Lunch – butter chicken, prawn and potato salad, and Chilean sauvignon blanc – is a revelation. Even the coffee was good! Dinner on the second leg out of Singapore was also a surprise, with plump prawns in tomato sauce, masala ladies fingers, chicken salad and cheesecake.


Time for some entertainment. There are large headphones – though not noise cancelling – and, while the screen is a good two inches smaller than my MacBook 15”, it is fine. The entertainment content, however, is distinctly eclectic. The Hollywood blockbusters are there, but there are also a few movies that aren’t mainstream. Apart from Crazy Rich Asians, there doesn’t seem much for anyone who wasn’t brought up with David Attenborough and Fawlty Towers.


The music section is also different. Alongside the radio hits is Low Beat Masters, which apparently helps you relax by producing alpha brainwaves, and music is arranged by theme rather than by artist, which makes choices a bit of a lottery.


One thing on the entertainment system that seems not very British is the chat room option that allows you to engage with fellow passengers during the flight, though during our trip British reticence seems to have overcome the desire to share travel tips.


Seats are really what air travel is about these days and the World Traveller Plus seat provides what BA describes as a “hammock-style comfort zone” with adjustable head and foot rests. The seat was comfortable and wide, and I was happy to snooze for most of the journey to London, getting up only to snack on chocolate-coated digestive biscuits – another British treat.


Cheery British Airways copes well with such a lengthy trip; the staff are attentive and courteous, the food is good and my seat is great for a long haul.


For those heading off to Europe and keen to acclimatise during the journey, British Airways Premium Economy is a good way to start.


The verdict: A pleasant, very British experience.

AIRLINE REVIEW

A VERY
BRITISH
AFFAIR

Our editor-in-chief Peter Lynch settles into British Airways World Traveller Plus for the long haul – Sydney to Marseille via Singapore and London.


The flight: BA 16 Singapore to London

The plane: Boeing 777-300

The seat: 23G to London

The price: From SGD$2,280


Travelling with British Airways is a very English affair. It begins with the fabulous safety video in which Joanna Lumley, Michael Caine and a host of new talent from Comic Relief will have you in stitches.


We’re flying a Boeing 777-300 on the long and arduous journey to Marseilles. It’s going to take us 23 hours in the air and several hours on the ground in Singapore’s Changi and London’s Heathrow.


As we take off, the crew are perky and playful, the World Traveller Plus – BA’s answer to Premium Economy – cabin is roomy, and the seats are copious and comfortable. There are plenty of power points and USB ports for phones and laptops, and there is enough legroom to stretch out comfortably.


Lunch – butter chicken, prawn and potato salad, and Chilean sauvignon blanc – is a revelation. Even the coffee was good! Dinner on the second leg out of Singapore was also a surprise, with plump prawns in tomato sauce, masala ladies fingers, chicken salad and cheesecake.


Time for some entertainment. There are large headphones – though not noise cancelling – and, while the screen is a good two inches smaller than my MacBook 15”, it is fine. The entertainment content, however, is distinctly eclectic. The Hollywood blockbusters are there, but there are also a few movies that aren’t mainstream. Apart from Crazy Rich Asians, there doesn’t seem much for anyone who wasn’t brought up with David Attenborough and Fawlty Towers.


The music section is also different. Alongside the radio hits is Low Beat Masters, which apparently helps you relax by producing alpha brainwaves, and music is arranged by theme rather than by artist, which makes choices a bit of a lottery.

One thing on the entertainment system that seems not very British is the chat room option that allows you to engage with fellow passengers during the flight, though during our trip British reticence seems to have overcome the desire to share travel tips.


Seats are really what air travel is about these days and the World Traveller Plus seat provides what BA describes as a “hammock-style comfort zone” with adjustable head and foot rests. The seat was comfortable and wide, and I was happy to snooze for most of the journey to London, getting up only to snack on chocolate-coated digestive biscuits – another British treat.


Cheery British Airways copes well with such a lengthy trip; the staff are attentive and courteous, the food is good and my seat is great for a long haul.


For those heading off to Europe and keen to acclimatise during the journey, British Airways Premium Economy is a good way to start.


The verdict: A pleasant, very British experience.