14th May 2014 at 10:55 #570764
Anonymous14th May 2014 at 10:55 #570765
Am planning a trip to Cape Town with the better half and looking at booking WT+ (with half an eye on UuA to CW should seats become available.
BA still flies the 747 to Cape Town, which as my monicker suggests, makes me very happy, but I am concerned that the quality of the soft product might not be worth the extra money.
I gather the 747 fleet is not getting upgrades to the premium cabins as they are starting to be retired.
I have several questions:
1. How bad is the quality of the seats, IFE, food etc?
2. What is the WT+ cabin like on the mid-J 747s? Locationwise it looks great, sandwiched between First & CW.
3. Is it worth paying the extra or should I save the money and slum it in WT?
Any advice from personal experience rather than a general debate on the merits of BA would be appreciated.14th May 2014 at 11:39 #570766
From personal experience
WTP is definitely a step up from Y, and mid-J is the best 747 configuration by far – it definitely benefits WTP over even CW, and you get to exit early – good for the scrum for passport control at CPT. And they set up the WTP tuck box next to the Club Kitchen, so you’d be forgiven for exchanging your WTP mini chocolate bar for a more classy Club chocolate!
Some people think the seat is hard, but my ass is well padded, so I have no issues! However, be under no illusion – this is nowhere near CW
The main soft product benefits apart from the seat are that the first meal main course comes from a CW selection. Errrr, that’s about it. Everything else about the meals and drinks is effectively Y with little touches like glass glasses and real cutlery for the first meal
Best seats by far are the front rows, because of the additional legroom and legrest that is not present on the rest of the seats – suspect they may be reserved for Gold card holders. Failing that, go for the LHS, as the service pattern starts at LHS front, so you’re much more likely to get first choice meals
Assume the flight will be pretty full in WTP, and there is one very hardworking crew member for the entire cabin, so if you want something (e.g. a second drink), ask for it proactively and immediately when you have their attention, or else you will have to wait. And wait.
As you say, the 747 fleet is un-refitted, so don’t expect everything to be working. From my (small) sample of journeys, I’d say it’s 50:50 whether your AVOD will work properly (and about 50:50 chance of a tech delay, albeit mostly minor – an hour or two – no APU is a common one, so it’s hit or miss if the plane will have had air conditioning before you step on board). So bring entertainment. And a spare battery, because there isn’t any power14th May 2014 at 11:57 #570767
Thanks for advice @cityprofessional. When you say LHS, is that from the front looking to the rear?14th May 2014 at 12:22 #570768
Have to say as crew for BA, There is no set standard for which side you are to start the service. Personally which ever side I start first for the first meal, I’ll start the other side first for the second service. Also I find passengers find the front row JK side a little chilly as the door is just the other side of the bulkhead.14th May 2014 at 13:00 #570769
Note also that WT+ will have [as compared to plain Y]
1. an ‘improved’ amenity kit where you get socks/pen/eyeshades
2. the amenity kit comes in a very useful transparent re-sealable bit of plastic which I use quite regularly at home to store an iPhone when out running.
3. a better headset which cups around the Ears to provide better listening experience
4. larger and more “luxurious” cushions with their own pattern
As mentioned before, the main meal is from CW.
All told, the Y+ offering is decent enough. IMHO quite enough for a New York trip but 12hrs to CPT overnight…. Not sure.14th May 2014 at 14:08 #570770
I would just make a couple of points extra about a CW over WT+ ticket.
You have lounge access and speedy check in desk.
Fully flat bed, which is good on a long flight. Upstairs is very quiet and much more private.
Your luggage has a priority tag on it, so sometimes you get your luggage quickly.14th May 2014 at 15:01 #570771
As Scott72 mentioned, the JK seats at the front are chilly, but on my recent flight LHR/MIA in that cabin and configuration, the whole cabin was freezing all the way across the pond. The one cabin crew serving the cabin was wonderful. I asked him at the start about the drinks service – I felt like I sounded desperate actually – and he said I just had to ask at any point and he would get us drinks. He always started service from the front AB seats and went down that aisle, then started at the front of the other aisle JK side and sadly we were at the back of that aisle so just had to take what we got. I’ve booked again for Miami for later in the year and have chosen the AB seats to see if we can have half a chance of getting a choice of meal. Yes, the seats are unbearably hard, you just have to take a walk to the galley and steal some of the Club Kitchen food!14th May 2014 at 15:09 #570772
A number of people have noted that Premium Economy on the A380 & B787 for BA is a step up. How much of a step is it? Can anyone comment as I will be flying the A380 to LAX in June and returning from AUS on 787.14th May 2014 at 17:45 #570773
The new Premium Economy is far superior on the A380/787. Not only does it look good but the seats are more comfortable, seem bigger to the older style and the IFE is better in choice and reliability. I can’t comment on the A380 but on the 787 it’s a nice intimate cabin. I believe you do get a welcome glass of sparkling wine on boarding on the Airbus as it’s the flagship but not on the 787… Just OJ or water.14th May 2014 at 18:35 #570774
The old WT+ seats on the 747 are very poor in my view – not been on BA’s 380/787 but the WT+ seating in the 772 and 773 aircraft is very good by comparison.14th May 2014 at 19:11 #570775
The last time I flew PE was in 2008. I assume the 747 PE seats are of this vintage?15th May 2014 at 08:46 #570776
Is the difference in quality between old WT+ on the 747 and the upgraded version on the A380 significant enough to warrant booking LHR – JNB – CPT instead of flying direct?
It adds extra time to the journey, but from what I understand from comments posted in the thread, almost certainly in more comfort. 12 hours is a long time to be in a seat, especially overnight.15th May 2014 at 08:55 #570777
+1 to your question.
I’ve done the same thing booking LHR-LAX-SFO rather than LHR-SFO direct so I am hoping that I made the right decision!15th May 2014 at 09:16 #570778
Personally, I would come via Joburg and experience the A380. The Y and Y+ experience is significantly better. Plus I doubt it would cost more and if you have a silver or gold card you would be using the excellent SLOW lounge at CPT domestic. I find the Y+ experience on the 747 appalling and frankly have stopped paying to upgrade now.
Last time I did it, which was CPT oddly enough, the seat was held together by sticky tape, and I had a bit of an altercation with the purser who tried to shout at me for having my leg rest down at take off until I pointed out that it was held together with tape and wouldn’t stay up! Plus the Mid J configuration created utter boarding chaos.
The entertainment is so much better too on the A380, really superb, versus a completely un viewable screen on the 747’s.
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