British Airways’ New Economy Blankets & Pillows

Filed Under: British Airways

If you’re flying British Airways economy anytime soon, hopefully you’ll find the bedding to be more comfortable…

British Airways has been investing in their product

British Airways has been investing significantly in their passenger experience. This has been most noticeable in premium cabins, as they’ve introduced new Club Suites, and have significantly improved catering, amenities, and bedding.

British Airways’ new Club Suites

Fortunately their investments haven’t been limited to first and business class. The airline has also improved their premium economy experience, with better food and amenities.

British Airways’ new premium economy amenities

While much more selective, economy has also seen some improvements. In early 2018, British Airways improved catering in long haul economy, though up until now hasn’t improved amenities.

British Airways’ improved economy meals

The airline has also made some cuts in economy over the years, though. For example, British Airways doesn’t offer any free food or drinks in short haul economy, while on long haul flights they’re transitioning to 10 abreast seating on many 777s.

New British Airways economy pillows & blankets

There’s finally some good news when it comes to their economy product. British Airways is rolling out freshly designed soft blankets and pillows, along with new headrest covers, for customers in World Traveller (which is the name for their long haul economy):

  • The new pillows are bright blue, with a herringbone design
  • The new blankets are also bright blue, and are a super-soft fleece material
  • The new headrest covers are white

British Airways’ improved pillows & blankets in economy

These new items are available on all long haul flights to and from Heathrow, and will launch on all long haul flights from Gatwick as of March 1, 2020.

The blankets that are being replaced will be donated to charities and projects around the world, so that’s nice.

As Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Customer Experience, describes these changes:

“We want our customers to be able to sit back and really relax on board, making the most of the comfortable new soft furnishings, the in-flight films and programmes and the four-course World Traveller menu. Our aim is to deliver them to their destination feeling refreshed and feeling their trip is off to a great start. ”

Bottom line

While these pillows and blankets (and in particular, headrest covers) don’t look life changing, I have to give British Airways credit for the consistent investments they’ve been making in aspects of their product across all cabins.

If anyone flies British Airways’ long haul economy anytime soon, please report back on whether these pillows and blankets are actually a significant improvement.

  1. BA should focus less on blankets and more on updating their IFE technology. Flew in Prem Econ last week back to the states in a 20 year old plane that felt like it had not been updated since it went wheels up from the factory…

    First, the screens were terrible small and had the most up-to-date screens that 1999 had to offer. Second, there were only like 20 movies and maybe another 20 tv shows. Finally, and most damning, there were no USB outlets. Totally unacceptable in 2020 to not have a way to charge a phone while traveling on a long haul flight.

  2. “Our aim is to deliver them to their destination feeling refreshed…” Well, only if those pillows, blankets and specially the headrest covers are changed to clean ones before every flight. Since that will never happened customers won’t feel refreshed when they have to use one of those items that were used by the previous sweaty passenger. BTW, I don’t know what is worst: no headrests or used ones when you get to your seat.

  3. Am I the only one who hates pillows and blankets in economy? I don’t use them and they end up taking up a bunch of space.

  4. @pw,

    I kind of feel that way when I fly first domestically. I rarely use the pillow or the blanket and then have to find space to stuff them. I almost thought of asking someone in economy if they want them but I wasn’t sure if I’m “allowed”.

    Except for long international flights in business/first I don’t use them either.

  5. I love how they put a very small, very thin woman on the advertised picture, making the seats look so spacious. I’d love if they put a picture of someone my size 6’2″ or maybe even my wife’s size 5’8″. That seat would look a lot more real world sized!

  6. Before there is any praise of BA for adding and refreshing their products and services please remember that they have cut over the last eight to ten years far more than they are now putting back.

    It’s a complete and utter sham.

  7. @Bitzer
    Everyone does it. I had a dear university friend who became an actor. He got a job sitting inside a tiny car — a Mini Metro, in fact — for a tv commercial, commenting on how spacious it was. He was 5’2”.

    @Phil Duncan
    Goodness, you do dislike BA. Shouldn’t we be pleased that they’re moving in the right direction? And the Do&Co catering I ate last week certainly didn’t seem to be a sham.

    Then again, please do tell me which airline is better than BA for one of my regular work trips between London and Buenos Aires? I’d be absolutely thrilled to know.

  8. @BAStinks, that sort of upgrade requires retrofitting the plane. They’re slowly doing it but it takes time

  9. @The nice Paul. Try LH 747 to Argentina. Far superior to the 777 Ba offers. Much newer plane and the experience is much better on all classes. Out of interest, have you ever been to one of BAs 777? Most of them are in a dire state. In some of them the TV screen in premium economy is smaller than my phone screen and you can’t watch anything. Shareholders are very happy, customers on the other side…

  10. @PeterSmith
    What are you talking about? LH doesn’t fly from London to Buenos Aires. Or are you seriously suggesting my employer should pay me to fly first to Frankfurt, while away some time at the airport getting a connection, then fly back pretty much the way I’ve just come?

    Anyway, the last time I flew LH I didn’t see any of the fantasy J seats for which they were made a 5* airline. 😉

    Some of BA’s planes are in a dreadful state: not just 777s, but (ancient) 747s, too. I had a refurbed 747 to Vancouver a few weeks ago, which was rather nice (61K); but an unrefurbed one home, where the CW screen was so fuzzy you couldn’t read the film titles.

    But it seems to be moving in the right direction.

  11. I would think that a blanket in a sealed plastic bag would have been washed. Otherwise what is the point in half doing something? A loose folded one on the other hand would not have been cleaned I imagine.
    The idea of taking along your own laundered pillow slip is a great idea; maybe an old mismatched one that can be left behind?

  12. Nice addition but doesn’t bring back the days that they were the icon of the airline industry. They just don’t care for customers, nor their workers anymore(though there are good and bad experiences). No wonder that in a recent survey they were ranked one of the worst flying options. BA shouldn’t Be competing with RyanAir, Easyjet, Norwegian, etc.

  13. Just flew this home to sea last night. That oddly shaped headrest (those wings don’t fold) makes a pillow impossible to use. Though I used it as lumbar support it worked quite well

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