British Airways, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, premium economy, Singapore to Sydney

THE FLIGHT

BA15, Singapore to Sydney, departing 7.25 pm, aboard a Boeing 787 and with a flight time of around eight hours, non-stop; World Traveller Plus class, British Airways’ premium economy equivalent.

LOYALTY SCHEME

Executive Club with BA, a member of the oneworld alliance to which Qantas also belongs.

EMISSIONS

The total CO2 passenger contribution for this route and class is 699.1 kilograms. BA’s online “carbon mitigation tool”, accessible from your seat, calculates and offsets carbon emissions.

FREQUENCY

BA operates daily departures from Singapore to Sydney, and vice versa, with flights originating and ending at BA’s own London Heathrow Terminal 5. (The airline resumed services on the Kangaroo Route between Sydney and London via Singapore at the end of March after a pandemic-induced cessation of 719 days).

CHECK-IN

With this service departing from the ever-efficient Changi, checking-in from the dedicated World Traveller Plus lane is smooth, though I notice some confusion among BA passengers over the airline’s class nomenclature (World Traveller Plus denoting premium versus World Traveller, meaning economy). Changi’s policy of performing its thorough cabin-luggage security check at the departure gate, rather than following passport check, can be a little stressful and tedious.

THE SEAT

16F, an aisle seat and one of 39 in a 2-3-2 cabin configuration with priority boarding included for World Traveller Plus passengers. The pitch of the seat, wider than economy at 18.5 inches (47 centimetres), as you’d expect, and with head and lumbar support, is 31 inches (79 centimetres) and with that all important greater recline. There’s also the additional legroom, with this seat being an additionally desirable bulkhead version at the front of the cabin. Each premium economy passenger receives an amenity kit containing an eye-mask, ear-plugs, toothbrush and paste and a pen (handy for these annoying Australian arrival documents).

BAGGAGE

BA’s generous luggage policy for its premium economy services allows for both a cabin bag and a laptop or handbag on board along with two checked pieces to a maximum of 23 kilograms. (On a total of five separate BA flights on this four week Europe and Asia trip, my suitcase, tracked with an Apple AirTag, emerged, to my relief, every time from the carousel).

ENTERTAINMENT

I hate to be a kill-joy but flying overnight from Asia to Australia has taught me that donning an eye mask as soon as possible in order to get as much shut-eye as possible is a wise approach. If you can’t, or don’t want to, sleep, sit back (or recline even) and enjoy BA’s entertainment system complete with noise-cancelling headphones.There’s also a decent fee-based Wi-Fi service with the seat handily fitted with USB outlets and power sockets for device charging.

SERVICE

With this flight delayed due to its late arrival from London, there’s not a lot of scope for extra niceties from the crew who go about the business (make that premium economy) of getting this flight underway with British aplomb, including dealing with a cranky and difficult couple with child across the aisle.

FOOD

The late departure means that meals, with the adjusted time difference for Australia factored in, are not served until after well midnight. Being such a relatively short flight, and an overnight one with an early morning arrival in Sydney, I opt for slumber instead. If you know you can and will sleep, consider eating at a healthier hour before you board.

ONE MORE THING

I’m one of the few passengers in World Traveller Plus sporting a mask and I’m glad of it since there is much sneezing, coughing and spluttering within the cabin, including from the (unmasked) person beside me.

VERDICT

Such relatively short overnight flights from Asia as this one are never this reviewer’s preferred choice but I’m pleased with how much sleep I do ultimately get in this comfortable premium economy seat.

OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE

★★★½

The writer flew between Singapore and Sydney as a guest of British Airways. See britishairways.com

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