BA WT+ versus VS PE

Old Oct 1, 03, 9:55 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: ny,ny,usa
Posts: 50
BA WT+ versus VS PE

All - I'd appreciate some brutally honest advice as to which JFKLHR return service is superior: WorldTraveller+ or PremiumEconomy (BA vs. VS). Thanks

Jamie
jamiebaker is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 10:05 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold, BD Gold, PC Ambassador, SPG Gold
Posts: 4,001

Regrettably I would say VS, due mainly to the following:

- dedicated PE check-in
- champagne before take off
- (if 747) upstairs seating
- 150% of miles, rather than 125%

Otherwise in other respects the seats and service are pretty much the same.

PhilH
PhilH is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 10:09 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Programs: Mucci Gold Class
Posts: 2,045
They're much of a muchness. Choose depending on where you want your frequent flyer miles to go.

There are loads of threads on this. My 2 cents is that BA has better service and a better overall attitude to its customers. On some VS 747s, PE is in the bubble which is nice (BA's is always downstairs behind Club) if you can get your seat there. But I racked up a lot of miles in both: for me the seats, IFE, food, lounge access (or lack of) etc etc are pretty much the same: I go for BA for the FF miles, the better route network and the service.
whmere is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 10:14 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA/BD Gold/IC A/*Wood Gold - Certified BodyCombat and BodyPump Instructor
Posts: 6,070
Jamie:

Whilst I can't compare the two, I can give you my impressions on a flight the other day LHR-CAI.

If you've not flown it before and are expecting a quasi-club class then stop. It is not business class. Though it is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Check-in:
BA have no dedicated WT+ check-in, whereas VS do. If you have half a brain cell, you'll use online check-in (if you don't have an exec club account, get one, as you can select your seat 24 hours in advance). You then can use the self-service machine to collect your boarding card. If you have a bag, you need to go to the dedicated Fast Bag Drop desk - which means they check you in again! However, there were only four people in front of me instead of four hundred.

Fast Track Security:
Hah! No, but it beats any US airport.

Lounge:
Nope. But I used my Priority Pass to get into the Holideck Lounge. You can use it if you pay 16 pounds. I have to say it was a very nice lounge with loads of different areas (children, quite, sports bar, a cool observation deck!!). Drinks are free (unless you paid 16 quid of course). Worth a visit for the loungeless.

Seat:
OK. The foot rest is useless, and you have to watch out for the IFE boxes. It's better than being wedged in at the back of the bus, but it is not a Club seat. You do feel you have more elbow room,That said, there were only eight of us in a cabin that seats 32. However, it felt very narrow to what I am used to (C-Class on United). It does make you appreciate the Old C-Class seats on UA's JFK-LAX/SFO flights (Yikes!!)
Visit www.seatexpert.com. I had 29A and it was pretty good. I'd go with the recommeneded 28A/K if you've got the high yield version (see website for details of the two configs). OH, and in WT+ you get GAMES that the great unwashed do not get and some more channels. Probably worth it for that alone.

Food:
Same as WT-. You get first choice however. The only thing I felt was a bit abandonned after the drinks. They were friendly enough, but seemed to disapear after that until the food came around. To used to flying Business class I guess. And (for the UA folks) the curtains were closed. Also, note that the loos are in the back with the rest of Y. I cockroached it and used the J-Class loos. If I'm paying well over the odds, the least they could do was provide a loo for us!

Hope that helps, but I'd never flown WT+ before and did not know what to expect. I guess if you remember that it is not Club, then you'll be ok.
LHR Tim is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 10:34 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Considering neither is comparable to business class and both offer reasonable service I'd pick the cheapest one. In premium travel I'd select the best service, seat etc... and not worry about the price but for premium economy it's not worth paying more for one or the other...
ScottC is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 10:41 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: A North Face.
Programs: TransitionMetal HyperElite Card(tm)
Posts: 2,436
If you actually intend to fly in your ticketed cabin: I'd suggest you fly VS, mainly because you do get some differentiation in service (Seating upstairs, dedicated check-in, bubbly on departure); BA's differentiation begins and ends with the superior seat, while Virgin provide a little bit more over and above standard economy.

However: personally I'd buy BA WT+ and upgrade to Club.

Regards,
Alex

[This message has been edited by alexwuk (edited 10-01-2003).]
alexwuk is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 10:44 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Programs: statusless these days
Posts: 19,412
If I'm not mistaken from reading past reports, isn't VS more likely to roll PE pax to UC if the back cabin is full?
YVR Cockroach is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 10:50 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, AMEX Platinum (US)
Posts: 18,136
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by LHR Tim:
OH, and in WT+ you get GAMES that the great unwashed do not get and some more channels. Probably worth it for that alone.
</font>
Really?

Something to keep the kids entertained, though don't expect X-Box, PS2 etc

Fraser is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 11:00 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Programs: Mucci Gold Class
Posts: 2,045
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by terenz:
If I'm not mistaken from reading past reports, isn't VS more likely to roll PE pax to UC if the back cabin is full?</font>
Possibly: my experience is only my own, but VS did upgrade me pretty regularly to UC, and I was only ever a silver on them. BA have never upgraded me from WT+ to J (and I've been Gold for years), though I have had about my fair share of Y to J and J to Fs.
whmere is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 11:14 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,132
Alexwuk may be refering to buying WT+ tickets (cheapest at about 570 per person) and upgrading to Club with miles. I have done this recently for a trip to Denver in February (579 per person + 25,000 miles per person round trip).

Have been upgraded to business class once on both VS and BA. Both times with was from plain Economy to business class (although both had there premium economy products on board). The only time I have travelled in a premium economy (WT+), I did not get upgraded. But that is not exactly a wide sample of experience...!

At about 500/600, PE/WT+ is worth it. If it is only available at 1100/1200, then might as well pay an extra 300/400 for a cheap full business class ticket (accept that gets very addictive...).

Boo

Boo Boo is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 11:31 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 1,993
IMHO seats 28B & J are the best value on the 747... 500 for a seat entirely on it's own - even in J you have to look at someone else while seated - these seats are great even if the flight is full.
VS's PE is good if upstairs... And slightly better food... But they are very similar. BA have regular cheap 3 week advance purchase T class which I use regularly.
I've been upgraded to J 5 times in the last 8 flights also (lowly Silver card).
BA Loyal is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 3:47 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Programs: BA/VS Gold, Marriott Plat, HH Diamond
Posts: 623
The games suck. I mean, I can get totally addicted to a good implementation of Tetris, but BA doesn't have one. All the games lag pretty badly and are generally a chore to try and play. Bring your own...
Markonen is offline  
Old Oct 1, 03, 3:56 pm
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 40,150
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Markonen:
The games suck. I mean, I can get totally addicted to a good implementation of Tetris, but BA doesn't have one. All the games lag pretty badly and are generally a chore to try and play. Bring your own...</font>
I found the tetris game on BA last weekend to be quite good

Dave
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Oct 2, 03, 2:29 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Scotland
Programs: BA Blue.
Posts: 966
Seems a bit strange that one person has been upgraded 5/8 and the other who mentions they travel WT+ quite often never!!

What is your secret BALoyal!! ;-)
blawson is offline  
Old Oct 2, 03, 9:01 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 1,993
I take the busy LHR/JFK route, so upgrades are always more likely when plane is full.
Much more frequent upgrades now I have (lowly) silver than when I was blue...
BA Loyal is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread