British Airways Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees & More

British Airways

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British Airways flies from 16 U.K. airports and is a long-standing airline, having celebrated its 100th birthday in 2019.

If you’re looking to take advantage of British Airways’ expansive route network, then everything you need to know about this international carrier, from baggage fees to inflight amenities, is detailed below.

Basic Info

Airline: British Airways

Alliance: Oneworld

Category: United Kingdom’s flag carrier and international airline

Frequent Flyer Program: British Airways’ Executive Club

Tagline: “To fly. To serve.”

About/Mission Statement: “We are fully committed to helping each and every one of our customers enjoy the best possible experience, wherever you might be travelling.”

Fleet: 261

Main Hub: London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Destinations: 200 destinations across 80 countries

Frequent Flyer Program

British Airways’ Executive Club rewards members with Avios points when flying with the airline itself and with Oneworld alliance partner airlines.

The more you fly, the more Avios you earn; Avios can be redeemed for reward flights and will also go towards your membership tier status. This gives members additional benefits such as free seat selection, priority boarding, access to lounges, and bonus point earnings.

Apart from flying, there are also other ways of earning Avios, including shopping, chauffeur services, hotel bookings, and financial management.

It’s even possible to pool multiple reward accounts into a household account with family members, and by signing up, you can claim Avios on any flights 3 months prior to membership.

Hot Tip: Once you’ve started earning Avios, check out our article on the best ways to redeem British Airways Avios for max value.

Ticketing Options

British Airways (BA) has a selection of fare options, whether you’re traveling on a short-haul flight or long-haul flight. The different fare options are:

Short-Haul Flights (European Flights)

British Airways offers an economy and business class on its short-haul flights.

Euro Traveller (Short-Haul Economy Class)

When flying Euro Traveller, you will have the choice of 3 fare types. The benefits for each fare type are:

  • Basic: Preselected seat and carry-on luggage only; no changes or refunds.
  • Plus: Seat selection (opened 48 hours before departure), checked and carry-on baggage, and free changes on departure day
  • Plus Flex: Seat selection at any time, checked and carry-on baggage, and free changes or cancellations at any time (up to 1 hour before departure and fare differences may apply)

Club Europe (Short-Haul Business Class)

When flying Club Europe, you receive the following benefits:

  • Access to British Airways’ departure lounges
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority check-in desks
  • More baggage allowance compared to Euro Traveller
  • Earn more Avios for Executive Club membership

Long-Haul Flights

British Airways offers 4 cabin classes when flying on a BA long-haul flight:

World Traveller (Long-Haul Economy Class)

When flying World Traveller, you have the choice of 2 fare types. The benefits for each fare type are:

  • Basic: Preselected seat and carry-on luggage only; no changes or refunds
  • Standard: Seat selection (opened 24 hours before departure), carry-on and checked baggage, board earlier than Basic fare passengers, and changes allowed, but for a fee

World Traveller Plus (Long-Haul Premium Economy)

When flying World Traveller Plus, you receive the following benefits:

  • 2 checked bags, plus standard carry-on allowance
  • Seat selection (opened 24 hours before departure)

Club World (Long-Haul Business Class)

When flying Club World, you receive:

  • 2 checked bags, plus standard carry-on allowance
  • Access to British Airways’ departure lounges
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority check-in desks
  • Seat selection (opened 24 hours before departure)

First (Long-Haul Premier Class)

  • 3 checked bags, plus standard carry-on allowance
  • Seat selection when booking
  • Priority check-in desks
  • Access to British Airways’ departure lounges
  • Complimentary spa treatments at departure lounges (Terminal 5 Heathrow and Terminal 7 JFK)
  • Dedicated customer service phone line
  • Priority boarding

Baggage and Other Fees/Add-Ons

British Airways Baggage Allowance
British Airways baggage allowance. Image Credit: British Airways

Baggage Fees

British Airways’ baggage policy is pretty straightforward for checked-bag allowance. However, its excess baggage policy is less straightforward, with costs dependent on where you’re flying to and from.

Carry-On Allowance

Passengers can bring a personal item and 1 standard carry-on piece for free.

  • Size Restrictions:
    • Personal item: 16 x 12 x 6 inches (40 x 30 x 15 cm)
    • Standard carry-on: 22 x 18 x 10 inches (56 x 45 x 25 cm)
  • Weight: Up to 50 pounds (23 kg) per item

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

1 cabin bag is permitted for infant necessities required during the flight.

  • Size Restrictions: 22 x 18 x 10 inches (56 x 45 x 25 cm)
  • Weight: Up to 50 pounds (23 kg)

Stroller Check Policy

One collapsible stroller per child can be checked at the gate for free. If the stroller meets the maximum dimensions of 46 x 15 x 15 inches (117 x 38 x 38 cm) when collapsed, then the stroller can be checked at the gate and collected from the arrival gate immediately after disembarking.

Strollers that exceed these dimensions will need to be collected at the baggage carousel.

Passengers traveling with a child may also bring an additional item, such as a car seat or travel cot. Infants under 2 are permitted to bring 1 piece of checked luggage with the same size and weight restrictions as the ticketed adult’s bag. This does not apply to passengers traveling on a Basic Economy fare.

Checked Baggage Allowance

  • Size Restrictions: 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches (90 x 75 x 43 cm)
  • Weight:
    • Up to 50 pounds (23 kg) for Euro Traveller and World Traveller Plus
    • Up to 70 pounds (32 kg) for Club World, Club Europe, and First Class fares

The number of checked bags that is permitted is based on the fare class you’re flying:

  • Basic Economy Euro Traveller, and World Traveller: 0 bags included; carry-on baggage only
  • Standard Euro Traveller and World Traveller: 1 bag included*
  • World Traveller Plus: 2 bags included
  • Club Europe and Club World: 2 bags included
  • First: 3 bags included

*2 checked bags included for economy flights to/from Ghana, Kenya, Japan, and Nigeria, connecting between India and U.S./Bermuda/Canada, and connecting from Saudi Arabia to U.S./Bermuda/Canada

Additional/Excess Baggage Fees

Excess baggage fees start at $46, depending on the departure airport, destination, cabin class, and where the fee is paid. For detailed information about excess baggage fees, check out our dedicated article on British Airways baggage fees and tips to cover the expenses.

This article also details which frequent flyer statuses receive additional baggage allowance and which credit cards will reimburse you for baggage fees incurred.

Other Fees and Add-Ons

Booking With Call Center: $13

  • Free for British Airways Executive Club Gold Members booking a reward flight

Booking at Airport Ticket Office: $25

Change Fee: Free (online); $25 (phone); $35 (at an airport ticket office). A ticket change fee may also be charged depending on your fare type. This ranges from $0 to $275 and will be displayed at the time of booking. Any fare differences would also be payable.

Change Fee for Reward Flight Bookings: $55 (free for British Airways Executive Club Gold Priority members)

Same-Day Change: Free for domestic short-haul flights; fees for international tickets depends on route and fare class. Same-day changes can be made up to 1 hour before departure. Unfortunately, same-day changes are not permitted if you have a flight connection or are traveling on a long-haul flight.

Cancellation: Free (online); $25 (phone); $35 (at an airport ticket office); $55 for reward flight cancellations (free for British Airways Executive Club Gold Priority bookings)

Seat Selection

  • Euro Traveller and World Traveller:
    • Standard Seats: short-haul flights starting at $11, long-haul flights starting at $30
    • Twin Seats: starting at $45
    • Exit Row Seats: starting at $75
  • World Traveller Plus:
    • Standard Seats: starting at $27
    • Exit Row Seats: starting at $75
  • Club Europe and Club World:
    • Club Europe: starting at $21
    • Club World: starting at $93

Unaccompanied Minor: Accompanied service was discontinued, so adult fare would be charged for minors, 14 years-of-age or over, who will be traveling alone.

Transporting a Pet: Pets are not permitted to be transported in a carry-on.

Refreshments Onboard

British Airways Food and Beverage
British Airways refreshments. Image Credit: British Airways

Note: Buy on board, prepay, and preorder services are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where meals are included in your ticket, these are served in an enclosed box to reduce interaction between passengers and cabin crew.

For short-haul flights, food and beverages can be purchased on board. For flights from London Heathrow (LHR) or London Gatwick (LGW), BA has partnered with another British company, Marks & Spencer, as its food and beverage provider.

Sweet and savory snacks, fresh food, soft drinks, and alcoholic drinks are available to purchase either with a credit card or even with Avios points:

  • Fresh food: starting at £3.90 (~$5.23)
  • Snacks: starting at £1.15 (~$1.54)
  • Soft drinks: starting at £1.50 (~$2.01)
  • Beer: starting at £4.45 (~$5.96)
  • Wine: starting at £4.60 (~$6.16)
  • Spirits: starting at £4.50 (~$6.03)

For long-haul flights departing London Heathrow, a complimentary meal is provided. You can also opt to upgrade your meal to BA’s exclusive online menu. There are 6 meals to choose from, ranging in price from £15 to £18 (~$20.10 to ~$24.12).

Avoid Paying Baggage and Excess Fees by Using These Credit Cards

Many travel rewards cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve® card come with an annual airline credit that can be used to offset baggage fees.

We also recommend using Capital One Venture cards that feature the Purchase Eraser tool. Just pay for the baggage fee with your Venture card and use the Purchase Eraser tool to redeem your expenses at 1 cent per point.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This no annual fee card comes with a 20,000 mile welcome bonus (worth $200) once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. When you use your card for travel purchases (e.g. baggage fees), use your miles to pay off all, or part of, your statement! This is why we like this card.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - The "big brother" card to the VentureOne with a 100,000 bonus miles offer when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, redeem your miles on travel or transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs.

Cardholders of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card also have 2 ways to offset their baggage fees:

  • Pay for the taxes, fees, and carrier charges for your reward flight using Avios
  • Receive a statement credit of up to $200 — 3 times per year, up to $600 — when you book a reward flight using Avios and pay the taxes, fees, and charges on your card

Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, and Seat Specs

Euro Traveller (Short-Haul Economy)

British Airways Euro Traveller
British Airways Euro Traveller. Image Credit: British Airways

Amenities Include:

  • Leather seating designed for maximum space
  • Adjustable headrests
  • Complimentary newspapers (where available)
  • In-seat power
  • Activity packs for children (for flights over 2 hours)

World Traveller (Long-Haul Economy)

British Airways Economy
British Airways World Traveller. Image Credit: British Airways

Amenities Include:

  • Ergonomically-designed seating with lumbar support and a movable headrest
  • Cushion and blanket provided
  • Eye mask, socks, and toothbrush provided upon request
  • Personal in-seat entertainment monitor; available entertainment includes recent films, games, and music
  • Meal plus a light snack and beverages

World Traveller Plus (Long-Haul Premium Economy)

British Airways World Traveller Plus
British Airways World Traveller Plus. Image Credit: British Airways

Amenities include:

  • More legroom and wider seats than World Traveller
  • Lumbar support, footrest, and adjustable headrest
  • Smaller cabin with dedicated cabin crew
  • Cushion, blanket, and an amenity kit with an eye mask, socks, and toothbrush provided
  • In-seat power
  • Personal in-seat entertainment monitor; available entertainment includes recent films, games, and music
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Meals, including the option to choose from 2 dishes from the business class menu.
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages available

Club Europe (Short-Haul Business Class)

British Airways Club Europe
British Airways Club Europe. Image Credit: British Airways

Amenities Include:

  • Priority boarding
  • Leather seating designed for maximum space
  • Adjustable headrests
  • Complimentary newspapers (where available)
  • Dedicated cabin crew
  • Fresh food meals and beverages

Club World (Long-Haul Business Class)

British Airways Club World
British Airways Club World. Image Credit: British Airways

Amenities Include:

  • 6-foot lie-flat bed with lumbar support and a movable headrest
  • Power outlet
  • Bedding and amenity kit designed by The White Company (on selected flights)
  • 10.4-inch screens with on-demand entertainment (17-inch screens in the new Club Suites)
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • 3-course meals and snacks from the Club Kitchen

Club World London City (LCY-JFK Business Class)

British Airways Club World London City
British Airways Club World London City. Image Credit: British Airways

Amenities Include:

  • 32 seats that transform into a 6-foot lie-flat bed
  • U.S., U.K., and EU power outlets
  • Bedding and amenity kit designed by The White Company
  • iPad for entertainment
  • OnAir connectivity service for internet, voice calls, and messaging (international roaming agreement required and billing will be through your provider)
  • Gourmet dining plus snacks available at request
  • Amenity kit with products from The White Company

First 

British Airways First Class 787-9
British Airways First Class on 787-9. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Amenities Include:

  • Spacious suite with 6-foot lie-flat bed with a quilted mattress
  • Duvet, pillow, and Temperley London loungewear
  • 7-piece Elemis skin and body care collection
  • Power outlet
  • 15-inch monitor with on-demand entertainment
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Enhanced dining from an à la carte menu (both courses and selection items available)
  • Refreshment menu includes award-winning wines and afternoon tea, depending on the flight time

Hot Tip: Ready to redeem Avios and enhance your inflight experience? See our guide on how to upgrade to business or first class on British Airways flights!

Seat Specs

British Airways has a fleet of over 260 planes made up of 12 aircraft types, making BA’s fleet one of the most modern fleets in the world. The fleet of Boeing 747, known as “The Queen of the Skies,” was retired in July 2020.

We’ve included seating specs below for some of its most common planes, but you can view the full fleet here.

Airbus A320-200 
Seat CountSeat PitchSeat Width
Club Europe12 to 4830 inches17 inches
Euro Traveller95 to 15030 inches17 inches
*many seat configurations, so an example is included
Airbus A380-800
Seat CountSeat PitchSeat Width
First1478 inches22 inches
Club World9772 inches20 inches
World Traveller Plus5538 inches18.5 inches
World Traveller30331 inches17.5 inches
Boeing 777-200 — 4-Class Aircraft
Seat CountSeat PitchSeat Width
First1478 inches22 inches
Club World4872 inches20 inches
World Traveller Plus4038 inches18.5 inches
World Traveller12231 inches17.5 inches
Boeing 777-200 — 3-Class Aircraft
Club World4872 inches20 inches
World Traveller Plus2438 inches18.5 inches
World Traveller20331 inches17.5 inches

Frequently asked questions

What is the baggage allowance for British Airways?

For detailed information about excess baggage fees, check out our dedicated article on British Airways baggage fees and tips to cover the expenses.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

1 comment

  1. Cannot tell you how disappointed I am in this airline. Absolutely no better than budget airlines but cost a fortune.

    Reply

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