British Airways and Qantas
Premium Economy Head to Head
I recently flew Melbourne to London return on a combined Qantas and British Airways Premium Economy fare and it was a great opportunity to directly compare the two One World carriers product.
|Route||QF: Melbourne to Singapore, 9 hours|
BA: Singapore to London & London to Singapore, 13 hours
|Checkin||QF: Priority check in and boarding. Smooth and seamless|
BA: No priority for Premium Economy.
Self serve check in and self serve bag drop at LHR
with no one to help when the computer says ‘no’.
A disaster and a frustrating start to our London Singapore leg.
Qantas wins hands down
|Cabin||QF: Premium Economy 35 seats. Definitely in need|
of refurbishment soon, but matches BA for comfort
BA: Premium Economy 55 seats. Fresher interior than
Qantas, but more seats means less attentive service and
more demand on the 2 bathrooms
A clear win for Qantas
|Loot||QF: lip balm, eye mask, socks, toothbrush and paste|
in a Naopleon Perdis pouch
BA: eye mask, socks, toothbrush and paste, pen, in a plastic bag
Narrow points win to Qantas
|Seating||QF: 2-3-2. We selected window seats as soon as our booking|
was live on Qantas. Free seat selection. Side storage bins are
a bonus on the window.
BA: 2-3-2. We were assigned middle/aisle seats. Seat
selection not included with BA PE fare. $85 per person to
select window seats.
Qantas wins big here
|Comfort||QF: plenty of leg room and storage space. Good amount of|
recline makes sleeping easy enough
BA: as above with foot rests
BA wins narrowly, for the foot rests
|IFE||QF: screen mounted in arm rests. Standard range of movies |
and TV. Typically laggy touch screens. Noise cancelling
BA: screens on back of seats. Similar selection and lagginess.
Noise cancelling headphones
It’s a draw
|Baggage||2 x 23 kg QF & BA|
|Service||QF: Friendly and attentive, I suspect a better ratio|
of staff to passengers due to smaller PE section
BA: Unobtrusive but efficient service.
Excellent service from both, but Qantas a bit more friendly
|Food||QF: 2 full meals on 9 hour flight to Singapore seemed |
generous. Both of excellent quality
BA: dinner and breakfast en route to Singapore. Not quite
up to the Qantas standard
Points to Qantas
|Drinks||QF: standard range of beer and spirits, excellent Australian|
BA: ditto for beer and spirits, wines not as good as Qantas
Narrow win to Qantas
These Premium Economy services made the long haul from Melbourne to London a very comfortable experience. We arrived early morning in Heathrow feeling quite fresh and rested – enough to spend the whole day on our feet exploring London, before retiring to bed at a respectable hour in the evening and avoiding jet lag.
However, Qantas was a clear winner: complementary seat selection, priority check in and boarding lanes, and a smaller Premium Economy cabin make Qantas’s Premium Economy decidedly more Premium than BA.
All in all, Qantas made us feel a lot more special than BA managed to do.