Flying London to Newark on BA in the next month or two? Read This!

ab exterior
Not a British Airways aircraft. This might be a problem.

Readers of our blog (thank you all) will know that BA’s economy class product isn’t the best in terms of space, and I for one really don’t like to fly more than a couple of hours “in the back”.  Premium Economy is an option, although I much preferred Norwegian’s product when we flew to LAX and back at the end of 2017.

Let’s imagine then that you’re going to Newark from Heathrow, or vv, and you’ve bought yourself some space in Premium Economy.  Well, hope that you’re not flying on BA185 or BA184 from  Monday 1 April to Saturday 8 June 2019, as these flights will be operated by an Air Belgium A340-300 aircraft, with no first class or premium economy seats available for sale.   This means you’ll either be changing to another flight (you can do this, ask British Airways to sort it out) or you’ll be downgraded and partially refunded, whilst retaining points, miles and luggage allowances etc.

That’s grand, but for a lot of us, the reason we buy the premium seat is because we have to if we want to travel with even vague comfort levels.

Air Belgium is an airline that primarily provides backup aircraft to other airlines in need, and the ongoing problems with 787 engines are what (I suspect) has precipitated this change.

To quote British Airways:


Premium Economy Passengers

There is no premium economy cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

BA has advised that most premium economy passengers will be downgraded to economy and receive a partial refund of their fare. Passengers will retain their original baggage allowance and Avios earning entitlement. Some passengers may also be upgraded to business class.

Affected passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on

Air Berlin economy
Air Belgium A340 Economy. Do those armrests fold up? (actually, 2-4-2 is nicer than 3-3-3 but it’s no substitute for Premium, is it?)