Ansett767
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:33 am

Premium Economy: Comparisons

Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:12 pm

Having recently flown back to Sydney from London on Virgin and back on BA both in Premium Economy I would like to comment on the marked differences between the two products:

1. Booking
BA wins here - for me being able to preselect a bulkhead seat is a BIG plus. BA lets you (having no status) whereas Virgin seems to block the entire front row. Booking process was the same for both (using call centre as I needed to make side trips as part of booking).

2. Pre flight
Virgin wins hand down. They have dedicated check in desks (although the staff were a bit snobby and short). I requested a bulkhead to be told one was left and it couldn't be given to me but to try at the gate. I then went to chance my luck at Economy check in, where the guy was soooo nice and friendly and told me that was nonsense and that I could have it! (usually I am very timid and wouldn't have tried my luck again). Anyway this turned out to be a big mistake as I was on the aisle but in the centre block which means at the bulkhead one cannot stretch your legs straight (unlike on BA). On the side blocks its also like this but with about 3-4" extra but still not enough. The 'normal' seats are a better bet on Virgin.

3. Flight
Virgin wins on the basis of the following: priority boarding in London and HK, not having to stand in long queues. Pre flight drink is a nice bonus if youre thirsty! newspaper is a nice touch too, as is the hot towel. The food comes as a choice of 3 meals on china - very tasty. BA's economy meals are very average. (choice of 2). flight attendants mixed- good and bad on both. BA has a nice snack bar at the back filled with goodies.

4. Cabin
I found BA's seat more comfortable for the 23 hour trip. The bulkhead was great (VS's was horrid, see above). VS has the upside of having its own bathrooms whereas on the 777 I was on BA shared with Economy. Relatively the same sized cabins.

5. Post-flight
VS wins again with priority luggage. My bags were about 10th off the plane in Sydney and I was out through customs first as all the others were caught in the overseas queue  Smile

Overall, VS wins handsdown in terms of extras. They don't cost the airline too much money but it really gives the product a totally different feel to economy. BA however doesn't and it just feels like economy with a bigger seat.

I myself can go without the pre flight drink, but the priority checkin, boarding etc is all great (again I could go without but its a nice touch). It's hard to say who I would pick in the future as the seat on BA is superior for me which is the no. 1 thing on such a long flight- plus being able to pre select bulkhead - great.

I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions who have flown on both.

Also, I have head Air NZ's product is more like business class too. However I don't get the 3-2 seating on the upper deck (yes the food and service is top notch but being stuck in the middle seat or having to climb over 2 other people is not my idea of fun and I would much rather be on BA/VS).

(p.s. of note, Qantas' new product follows more that of BA's. It is however a little mroe expensive - maybe 10% more based on random dates I picked! How are they going to make this work?)
 
Genius12
Posts: 216
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:49 am

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:00 pm

Interesting to hear your comparisons in sort of a mini trip report!

Did you fly on the new Virgin Premium Economy (ie. leather seats), as rumour has it that this is more comfortable than BA's cloth seat.

For me, I would expect priority checkin and boarding would sway me towards Virgin. I have not sampled either BA's or Virgin's Premium Economy experience.
 
isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:01 pm

In the USA, Midwest has the best economy product on carriers I have flown. Two I cannot rate is JetBlue and
Alaska. Perhaps someone who has flown them can rate them with Midwest.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
Ansett767
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:33 am

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:05 am



Quoting Genius12 (Reply 1):
Did you fly on the new Virgin Premium Economy (ie. leather seats)

Yeah, it was the new seats - which LOOK luxurious in the purple leather but for me, the seats on BA were more comforting on the body, especially after 18 hours - the last 5 hours are a killer!!! hehe

I forgot to say in my original report the entertainment AVOD on Virgin is far superior to BA's not on demand. But seeing as I only watch one maybe two movies max I am not too fusssed. Prefer to sleep!
 
Ansett767
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:33 am

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:03 pm



Quoting Genius12 (Reply 1):
For me, I would expect priority checkin and boarding would sway me towards Virgin. I have not sampled either BA's or Virgin's Premium Economy experience.

Oh, yeah forgot to reply to this sorry - for me its a big perk but on a long 24 h flight checkin and boarding is such a small proportion of total time taken, and so I think seat and being able to preselect bulkhead wins for me  Smile
 
Elite
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:54 pm

Cool, thanks for the comparison. I have been on premium economy for BA but no VS, so that will be something I'll try next time for sure.
 
ag92
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:23 pm

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:29 pm

Thanks for the comparison. It may have helped many people here about premium economy but...

Quoting Ansett767 (Thread starter):
flight drink is a nice bonus if youre thirsty! newspaper is a nice touch too, as is the hot towel

To be quite honest, I have never had a flight in the past 7 years (living memory) in which this wasn't offered in economy class
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 3954
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:21 pm



Quoting Ansett767 (Thread starter):
(p.s. of note, Qantas' new product follows more that of BA's. It is however a little mroe expensive - maybe 10% more based on random dates I picked! How are they going to make this work?)

QFs product is completely different to BAs. 42" pitch for a start, dedicated F/A, more menu options than Economy, plus champagne or orange juice on arrival. Not to mention it's completely new - BAs WT+ hasn't changed in a long time.

Thanks for the comparison! Well done!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
Ansett767
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:33 am

RE: Premium Economy: Comparisons

Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:42 pm



Quoting Ag92 (Reply 6):
To be quite honest, I have never had a flight in the past 7 years (living memory) in which this wasn't offered in economy class

I dont know ANY airlines where they come round with drinks on a tray before take off! But let me know if u do thats pretty cool !

Wow is QF's really 42" thats 4" more than VS or BA. I think though VS's menu and preflight service is similar to Qf's proposed, minus the priority checkin etc

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