With tens of thousands of miles in the air over the past 12 months, I had the opportunity to explore this question at length. The below blog will share what I have learned in terms of experiences aboard in relation to cost.
(Above – Singapore Premium Economy)
The model varies by airline as some require it to be purchased at time of ticketing while others allow to “upgrade” after tickets are issued through the seat assignment process.
Lingo – it’s confusing to be sure
– United calls it “economy plus”
– American calls it “main cabin extra”
– Delta calls it “Delta comfort”
– Lufthansa call it “premium economy”
– British Airways calls it “World Traveler Plus”
The list goes on and on…
(Greg and I with our friends Amy & Sue on Air France premium economy)
What is the difference?
Extra legroom (up to 40% more) and wider seat that recline further (bigger pitch) are the main differences. Some offer better food as well as more inclusive drinks as an additional perk. All of these extras are in my opinion exactly what most travelers want and can afford. All that can be had for as little as $99 extra per way – note that pricing is demand driven so it will vary.
(Air France business seat)
While we all dream of the lie at seat as pictured above, it is still prohibitive for most. A standard business rate runs $4500 each way across the Atlantic. Yes thee are some promo deals for less and yes some can cash in miles for a free ticket but recent changes to mileage programs have made earning enough points elusive.
My verdict – Best of both worlds premium economy makes life much better. However buyer beware as each carrier has their own rules on how and where to buy/pay for this enhanced product. I always recommend consulting your travel advisor as they are your experts to find the best value for your needs.
Safe journey to all – wherever travel takes you. Myself, I am off to Paris for a new adventure – sailing the Seine with Viking. The live shot above is me in my seat aboard Delta flight 248 from Salt Lake City to Charles de Gaulle.