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

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

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

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 traveling.”

Fleet: 280

Main Hub: London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Destinations: 200 destinations across 75 countries

British Airways Route Map
British Airways Route Map. Image courtesy of britishairways.com.

Frequent Flyer Program

British Airway’s 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 books, and financial management.

It’s even possible to pool multiple reward accounts into a household account with family members and by joining 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 their 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: Pre-selected 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: Pre-selected 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:

  • Two 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 & Other Fees/Add-Ons

British Airways Baggage Allowance
British Airways Baggage Allowance. Image courtesy of britishairways.com.

Baggage Fees

British Airways’ baggage policy is pretty straightforward for checked-bag allowance. However, their 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: 40 x 30 x 15 centimeters (16 x 12 x 6 inches)
    • Standard carry-on: 56 x 45 x 25 centimeters (22 x 18 x 10 inches)
  • Weight: Up to 23kg (51lb) per item

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

1 cabin bag permitted for infant necessities required during the flight

  • Size Restrictions: 56 x 45 x 25cm (22 x 18 x 10in)
  • Weight: Up to 23kg (51lb)

Stroller Check Policy

One collapsible stroller, per child, can be checked at the gate for free. If the stroller meets the maximum dimensions of 117 x 38 x 38 centimeters (46 x 15 x 15 inches) 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.

Checked Baggage Allowance

  • Size Restrictions: 90 x 75 x 43 centimeters (35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches)
  • Weight:
    • Up to 23kg (51lb) for Euro Traveller & World Traveller Plus
    • Up to 32kg (70lb) 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 & World Traveller: 0 bags included; carry-on baggage only
  • Standard Euro Traveller & World Traveller : 1 bag included*
  • World Traveller Plus: 2 bags included
  • Club Europe & Club World: 2 bags included
  • First: 3 bags included

*2 checked bags included for economy flights:

  • to/from Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Japan, Nigeria
  • connecting between India and USA/Bermuda/Canada
  • connecting from Saudi Arabia to USA/Bermuda/Canada

World Traveller/World Traveller Plus passengers flying London-Doha have an increased baggage weight allowance of 32kg (70lbs)

Additional / Excess Baggage Fees

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

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

Other Fees & Add-Ons

Booking with Call Centre: $25

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

Booking at Airport Ticket Office: $35

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: $10 (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 & 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 & 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 Food and Beverage. Image courtesy of britishairways.com.

For short-haul flights, food and beverages can be purchased onboard. For flights from London Heathrow or London Gatwick, BA has partnered with another British company, Marks & Spencer, as their 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
  • Snacks: starting at £1.15
  • Soft drinks: starting at £1.50
  • Beer: starting at £4.45
  • Wine: starting at £4.60
  • Spirits: starting at £4.50

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.

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Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, & Seat Specs

Euro Traveller (short-haul economy)

British Airways Euro Traveller
British Airways Euro Traveller. Image courtesy of britishairways.com.

Amenities include:

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

World Traveller (long-haul economy)

British Airways Economy
British Airways World Traveller. Image courtesy of britishairways.com.

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 courtesy of britishairways.com.

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 eye mask, socks, and toothbrush provided
  • Power outlet
  • 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 courtesy of britishairways.com.

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 courtesy of britishairways.com.

Amenities include:

  • 6ft lie-flat bed with lumbar support and a movable headrest
  • Power outlet
  • Bedding and amenity kit designed by The White Company
  • 10.4″ monitor with on-demand entertainment
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • 3-course meals and snacks from the Club Kitchen

Club World London City (London-JFK business class)

British Airways Club World London City
British Airways Club World London City. Image courtesy of britishairways.com.

Amenities include:

  • 32 seats that transform into a 6ft lie-flat bed
  • U.S., U.K., and E.U. 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

First 

British Airways First Class 787-9
British Airways First Class on 787-9. Image courtesy of Upgraded Points

Amenities include:

  • Spacious suite with 6ft lie-flat bed with a quilted mattress
  • Duvet, pillow, and pajamas
  • Amenity kit exclusively designed by Liberty London
  • Power outlet
  • 15″ monitor with on-demand entertainment
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Enhanced dining from an à la carte menu (both courses and selection items available)
  • Drink menu includes award-winning wines; afternoon tea or breakfast tea also available, depending on the flight time

Seat Specs

British Airways has a fleet of 240 planes made up of 12 aircraft types making BA’s fleet one of the most modern fleets in the world. We’ve included seating specs below for some of their most common planes, but you can view the full fleet here.

Airbus 319-199 (many seat configurations so an example is included below)
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
Club Europe12-4030″17″
Club Traveller83-12529″17″
Airbus A320 – 200 (many seat configurations so an example is included below)
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
Club Europe12-4830″17″
Euro Traveller95-15030″17″
Airbus A380-800
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
First1478″22″
Club World9772″20″
World Traveller Plus5538″18.5″
World Traveller30331″17.5″
Boeing 777-200 – 4 class aircraft
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
First1478″22″
Club World4872″20″
World Traveller Plus4038″18.5″
World Traveller12231″17.5″
Boeing 777-200 – 3 class aircraft
Club World4872″20″
World Traveller Plus2438″18.5″
World Traveller20331″17.5″
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.

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1 comment

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

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