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Premium Economy Class. Is It Really Worth It?  
User currently offlineTrent1000 From Japan, joined Jan 2007, 573 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9360 times:

Is it better to pay less for a standard economy seat or pay around three times that much to travel in business class? Is it really worth paying about a full Y fare for premium economy short or long haul? UA advertises a few inches of extra legroom, but has very limited seat recline compared to standard economy seats on other airlines. You get the same food as economy passengers and still have to pay for alcohol.

Are there any real advantages to travel in premuim economy on various airlines?
Which airlines and routes are worth it?

Thanks.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSomeone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 3512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9343 times:

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Are there any real advantages to travel in premuim economy on various airlines?

On airlines with a proper premium economy (on IC routes), and not just UAs "a few extra inches" I would say its worth it. Have only tried it with SAS on NRT-CPH and the wider seat (2-3-2 vs 2-4-2 in their 343), more legroom, better service, better food, free drinks including Champagne, made the trip a lot more pleasant

[Edited 2009-04-28 01:31:37]

User currently offlineDingDong From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9280 times:



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Is it better to pay less for a standard economy seat or pay around three times that much to travel in business class?

Business class, of course, if you're well-heeled. If you're not, it's usually a better idea to fly in standard economy than to pay out money one can ill-afford to splurge on, unless previously planned for perhaps some special occasion.

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Is it really worth paying about a full Y fare for premium economy short or long haul?

Short haul, no. Long haul, yes.

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
UA advertises a few inches of extra legroom, but has very limited seat recline compared to standard economy seats on other airlines.

Busted knees or... well, I guess I'd take the legroom over recline any day.

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
You get the same food as economy passengers and still have to pay for alcohol.

You make it sound like economy serves dog food. Wink It may not be a five star seven meal service... but it's not as bad as you put it. If it's that terrible, the wise Y pax will bring along something more agreeable. And the tee-totaler will bring along extra cash to pay for being plastered by arrival at the destination. Well, either that or a hidden flask of 190 proof vodka.

It's all a matter of priorities. Which do you value more (and in which order): knee room, gastronomic experience, intoxication experience, back comfort, amongst other things, versus available cash to spend?



DingDong, honey, please answer the doorbell!
User currently offlineRdwootty From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 905 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9257 times:

The biggest problem for ex UK flights will be the new tax increases that our friendly government, on the basis of a green agenda, will institute. So the tax for all classes except ordinary economy will be HUGE. A family of four will pay 600 tax to the government to fly a charter to Caribbean and so will a fat cat flying to the Bahamas in First. What a disgrace when the airlines have given the customers what they want and will now be ripping out seats.

User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1234 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9179 times:

I think it is worth it for some products and not so much for others. A product such as bmi PE is definately worth it as it is pretty much on par with some lesser biz classes, especially given the price the tend to sell it for. Others such as NZ PE I wouldn't pay much extra for at all.

Quoting Rdwootty (Reply 3):
The biggest problem for ex UK flights will be the new tax increases that our friendly government, on the basis of a green agenda, will institute. So the tax for all classes except ordinary economy will be HUGE. A family of four will pay 600 tax to the government to fly a charter to Caribbean and so will a fat cat flying to the Bahamas in First. What a disgrace when the airlines have given the customers what they want and will now be ripping out seats.

Agree this is crazy to tax PE customers the same insane APD as F class pax. Actually the whole thing is insane because it just forces people like me to take a really cheap flight to FRA and start my long haul journey from there, thus losing the government and British economy lots of money.



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineANstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5316 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9158 times:

PE is definately worth it from my POV. I look at travelling as part of my holiday.... not just when i get off the plane. If you can afford it, do it.

User currently offlineLHR777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9140 times:



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
UA advertises a few inches of extra legroom, but has very limited seat recline compared to standard economy seats on other airlines. You get the same food as economy passengers and still have to pay for alcohol.

UA doesn't advertise Economy+ as a Premium Economy product, which is very different. Try VS Premium Economy or BA World Traveller Plus, and there's a much bigger difference. Some carriers also provide better food in Premium Economy, some don't. However, you'll get a (slightly) bigger seat, more legroom, often a dedicated crew and you're also sitting further forward in the aircraft, thus giving you an advantage upon arrival.

Isn't NZ Premium Economy more a Business-lite product, than a Economy-plus product? I'd heard it was pretty decent.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9049 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



Quoting LHR777 (Reply 6):

Isn't NZ Premium Economy more a Business-lite product, than a Economy-plus product? I'd heard it was pretty decent.

On NZs Premium Economy you get all business class service (priority boarding, food, drinks, pre take off drinks, before breakfast drink, hot towels and bathroom products like hand cream). NZs product is 100% worth it on the B744. The B772 product isnt that nice due to the 3-3-3 seating, but I'm looking forward to trying their new updated product on the B777 one day with more new features. The first updated B777 should now be in service again.


User currently offlineFlyingAY From Finland, joined Jun 2007, 713 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9032 times:

Depends on the carrier. My experience is only on SK short-haul (not worth it, better choose another airline that provides about the same service in normal economy) and on BA long-haul (I felt it was not worth it - doubled the cost, only got little better seat but no other advantages). Probably some carriers have Y+ products that are really worth the difference. I think the number one reason for the existence of these Y+ products is that many companies have a travel policy which prohibits C but not Y+.

User currently offlineNicholaschee From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 8966 times:

Some carriers offer 10% extra FF miles over economy.

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
UA advertises a few inches of extra legroom, but has very limited seat recline compared to standard economy seats on other airlines. You get the same food as economy passengers and still have to pay for alcohol.

UA's Y+ is something similar to NZ's Space+ product. Same Y seats just additional pitch and limited recline, it's only available to the higher tiers of it's FFP and full Y fare passengers. Space+ on NZ's 763 have extra recline.


User currently offlinePanais From Cyprus, joined May 2008, 472 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 8720 times:



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Is it better to pay less for a standard economy seat or pay around three times that much to travel in business class?

Who is actually paying, you or the company you work for?

Economy Plus or Premium or whatever is a necessity of budget cuts among companies. Nowadays, companies are placing restrictions on who and when can travel Business class.
Economy Plus helps go around those rules.


User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2185 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8573 times:



Quoting Rdwootty (Reply 3):
The biggest problem for ex UK flights will be the new tax increases that our friendly government, on the basis of a green agenda, will institute. So the tax for all classes except ordinary economy will be HUGE. A family of four will pay 600 tax to the government to fly a charter to Caribbean and so will a fat cat flying to the Bahamas in First. What a disgrace when the airlines have given the customers what they want and will now be ripping out seats.



Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 4):
Agree this is crazy to tax PE customers the same insane APD as F class pax. Actually the whole thing is insane because it just forces people like me to take a really cheap flight to FRA and start my long haul journey from there, thus losing the government and British economy lots of money.

Hey, hold on here!!!!! Do YOU think it is moral that the cheap traveler pays, say, a tax worth 50% of the fare (say $300 fare + $150 tax), while the F traveler pays ... 5% (say, $3000 fare, but still $150 tax!). This is just absurd. Blindly raising taxes can be problematic, but i mean, taxing the poor and giving fiscal gifts to the rich is a very popular politic to some, to which i certainly do not adhere... and this is how it works with airline transportation. The hurting economy argument is just pure b-s. $150 is $150, no matter the income of the person who owns it, and it will eventually be injected somewhere in the economy in both cases.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8569 times:

IIRC, the idea behind Y+ is that those who pay a full Y fare will now get a slightly larger seat and better service. Where there is no Y+, those paying the full fare get the exact same service as those who paid a very cheap price for their ticket.

I've only been in Y+ once, and it was Virgin Atlantic's Premium Economy class. The cabin was configured as 2-3-2 on the A346 instead of 2-4-2 with a few extra inches of legroom. We were able to pre-board, immediately after Upper Class but before Y, offered drinks before pushback, and of course got more attention from FAs due to the smaller cabin.

In my case I can say it was definitely worth it. I had originally purchased my ticket for regular Y, and upgraded at check in for $300 on top of my already paid fare, bringing it to just below $1000 total. At that price differential I'd say it's definitely worth it, but I can't say I would have splurged if it wound up being twice the cost of my ticket or more.


User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8569 times:



Quoting 777ER (Reply 7):
but I'm looking forward to trying their new updated product on the B777 one day with more new features.

Hi 777ER, from what I've read on Flyertalk, the changes to PE on the 772's only involve installing several more rows of the same Y-seats-with-added-footrest. Unless you know differently? Or are there other and better changes (like wider Y+ seats, in a 2-4-2 config) happening with the delivery of the first 77W?

As things stand - and I'm not telling anybody anything new here - on the 772's, NZ's PE is only good for a) extra status points and b) using as a springboard for cheaper upgrades. NZ management urgently need to realise that their PE is now seriously uncompetitive in terms of seat width and personal space, against QF and VA across the Pacific, BA and VS LAX/LHR and finally QF, BA and VS between HKG & LHR, never mind whether they are using 772s or 744s for that matter. Sorry ... there endeth the rant!

Cheers, Airbear


User currently offlineLipeGIG From Brazil, joined May 2005, 11459 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8490 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Is it better to pay less for a standard economy seat or pay around three times that much to travel in business class? Is it really worth paying about a full Y fare for premium economy short or long haul? UA advertises a few inches of extra legroom, but has very limited seat recline compared to standard economy seats on other airlines. You get the same food as economy passengers and still have to pay for alcohol.

Yes it's better. The Premium Economy is a very smart idea considering the small cabin size, and, if the airline offer a different product, it's worth !
And many airlines could (mainly the ones with just 2 class product) should give a try on it !



New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4660 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8392 times:



Quoting ANstar (Reply 5):
PE is definately worth it from my POV. I look at travelling as part of my holiday.... not just when i get off the plane. If you can afford it, do it.

I couldn't agree with you more...

Quoting 777ER (Reply 7):
On NZs Premium Economy you get all business class service (priority boarding, food, drinks, pre take off drinks, before breakfast drink, hot towels and bathroom products like hand cream). NZs product is 100% worth it on the B744.

Same as Qantas...

The Qantas seat is 42 inch pitch in Premium Economy (standard First Class pitch for the 1950s and 1960s), with a lot of recline. It's the best Premium Economy I've seen...



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3360 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8312 times:



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):

Decide how you want to feel when you arrive at your destination, and the pay the fare accordingly.
On anything over 6 hours you need space to move and relax, to be comfortable in your immediate environment, to feel like a person and not a package.
I know that not everyone can afford Business or First class but what you pay for does reflect in how you will feel when you step off the aircraft.  Wink



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineLDIkaros From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8083 times:

I used to fly BR in their premium economy class between BKK and SFO. The price differential to regular Y class was only 200-300 US $ r/t so it was worth it for me. I certainly would have hated to fly these long hauls in their regular Y class on the old B747 combis. Their premium economy class product was a steal especially since I typically managed to get the best seats in the nose of their planes.

However, I would not pay more than a 50% premium over regular economy and I would certainly not pay for premium economy on shorter flights.

As for UA's Y+, I upgraded from regular Y to Y+ on my last SFO-LHR flight. It was worth it as I got a window row on a B777 for myself. The regular Y cabin was too crowded for my taste. And being able to cross your legs is also very nice.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 8052 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



Quoting Airbear (Reply 13):

Current config is 26-18-269, new config will be 26-36-242.

The pitch will increase 2” going from 39”to 41”. Economy remains 32”.

Recline on the back row will increase from 8”to match recline on all other rows of 9”

A new service/self help area at the front of Premium Economy for both use by
Business & Premium Economy.

Bassinet positions –will move to front row outboard triples –one either side

Distance from the front row partitions –at the outboard triples the distance from the seat to wall will increase by 9”going from 28”to 37”. The distance from the centre Partition to the front row seat will remain as current –28”.


http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...eneral_aviation/read.main/4340006/ - reply #126


User currently offlineGilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3052 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 8042 times:

I really think it depends on a case by case basis!

The price of premium economy v economy.

The level of service/comfort the airline in question offers in both economy and premium economy.

I think airlines like BMI it could definately be worth it, they have installed their business class seats into premium economy and installed new business seats.

I also think it is definately worth it on long haul charter flights. For example Canadian Affair only charge £99 each way to upgrade to premium economy on Thomas Cook and Air Transat between UK and YVR.

On the other hand though, I am a bit cynical of some of the older legacy carriers just beginning to offer premium economy... For example Air France have announce they will soon be introducing PE, but then on the other hand they have managed to cram in 10 accross on their new 77W's. If they try to squeeze more seats into economy in the coming years, they could effectively force people to upgrade to Premium Economy if Economy becomes to too uncomfy for some.


User currently offlineRaffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1718 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 8042 times:

Last year I flew LHR-SFO in Economy with United Airlines and I was very dissapointed. You still had to pay for alcoholic beverages, you just had bigger seats, no amenity pack or anything. Considering the price difference, you really didn't have much more!

Last week I flew out to SFO in Economy with Virgin and I was impressed by the standard Economy offerings, and, upon exiting the aircraft in SFO, the Economy cabin looked really nice, as nice as some Business class cabins I have travelled in.

On my return, I decided to upgrade myself and my partner, and it was just an extra £200 each.
Considering it's an overnight flight and I was driving when I got back, I thought it would be a good idea, a chance to catch a few winks!

Our baggage got Priority loading and unloading. The onboard service was faultless.
The seats are very comfortable, loads of leg room, mood lighting, cocktail table between seats.
Cabin crew passed through the cabin with sparkling wine or orange juice before departure, as well as 5 different newspapers and magazines.

In our seat back pockets there were purple Economy plus blankets, Pillows, Eco + amenity pack with eye shades, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks etc.

There were also 4 toilets reserved especially for Economy Plus behind the Eco plus cabin.

Dinner was served on beautiful china, with metal cutlery, proper glass wine glasses and water cups. Cabin crew offered out oven baked gourmet bread rolls.
We were offered refills of red and white wines.
After dinner, we were offered fresh fruit from a basket and after dinner liquors!

It was very civilised. The seats reclined quite far and proved very comfortable.

Cabin crew came through the cabin with water at 30 minute intervals, topping up water glasses left on our cocktail table.

Before landing at Heathrow, we were offered a choice of two hot breakfasts, another tea coffee service and juices.

Boiled sweets were also offered out from a basket to the Economy plus cabin.

All in all, I found the service fantastic, much better than some airlines' fully fledged Business class offerings. The service, the seats, the onboard catering and especially Virgin's IFE made the flight back wonderful.

I would upgrade again on long haul flights, but for short flights, it's probably not worth it.
However, if you want to have a decent rest and a good standard of comfort on a long haul flight, go with Eco +!



Happy -go- lucky kinda guy!
User currently offlineJetfuel From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 2254 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7993 times:

I usually consider that the cheapest seat on a flight will let upgared my hotel to a 4 or 5 star hotel that I am going to spend multiple nights in...

However if you are rich or can use FF miles then upgrade. Many Y+ seats are a waste of $$$. On only the best airlines is business class worth my money



Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
User currently offlineVHTJE From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 7959 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

If you're flying BA, I wouldn't bother. The BA WT+ is tired, tired, tired and desperately needs an overhaul, which, to be fair to BA, I believe is coming. The only difference between it and World Traveller (Economy) is the seat width.

If it has to be BA, go Club World, which is excellent.


User currently offlineRaffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1718 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7928 times:

Yes, WT and WT+ with BA are tired. A world away from the likes of Virgin and Qantas.
I look forward to the refreshed product.

It's a shame that Economy is always the last to receive any improvements! BA should have updated the cabins when the aircraft were getting kitted out with new premium cabins.

I know that economy cabins really don't make much for airlines, but with so much competition, it's key to stay ahead of the game



Happy -go- lucky kinda guy!
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