Flying: 'premium economy'
Returned from South Africa overnight, flying BA's premium economy (no upgrade this time) - it's the first time I've flown this way, and it wasn't bad. Compared with economy, you get plenty of legroom, a slightly bigger seat, and a proper wine glass, as well as slightly better service.
On the negative side, you get the same food, the same wine and the same toilet facilities as economy. And you don't get to use the lounges. And because the seat only reclines a little, the chances of a good night's sleep are diminished. The best you can hope for is an economy-style fitful napping.
There was a nice bit of honesty on today's flight. The food came and the option was offered: 'chicken or beef?' 'What's nicest?' I responded. 'It's airline food,' said the cabin crew member. Class. And then as we were taxiing after landing, the voice came over the PA: 'Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a filthy day here in London.'
BA call all their cabins by special names. Business class is 'club world' (which sounds a bit chavvy to me); economy is 'world traveller'; and premium economy is 'world traveller plus'. I don't like it, but I can understand that the terms 'premium' and 'economy' spliced together make for a confusing combination.
Both outward and inbound flights were on Boeing 777s. On the way out the plane was 3 weeks old, but the in-flight entertainment system wasn't working properly. On the way back it was an older plane, and there was no video on demand service. That really isn't good enough these days. If you're going to be stuck in a small seat for 11 hours, you need some decent entertainment.