What is Premium Economy Class?
While economy-class tickets have become more affordable, this affordability has often comes at a cost: the comfort of the passenger. For this very reason, airlines have launched the new premium economy class. This category of airline ticket offers passengers a class of service somewhere between economy and business. Essentially passengers get a little more comfort for a little more money, making it the perfect choice for those that don't want to, or can't, fork up the money for a business class seat but would like to experience a higher level of in-flight offerings. What the additional costs and comforts are vary from airline to airline, but typically passengers can expect the following on long-haul flights:
- More leg room and wider seats - Premium economy seats offer an average of 15 cm (just under 6 inches) more pitch than economy class seats, making it more comfortable for even the tallest passenger to stretch out. In addition, most seats are between 2 cm and 3.8 cm wider than the economy-class average (around 1-2 inches more). Though this may not seem significant, it actually makes quite a difference when it comes to comfort. Finally, passengers flying in this new premium class have a footrest and a 20 cm seat recline so that they can lie slightly flatter than they would in economy class.
- A separate cabin and dedicated check-in - It is rare to find families with small children and infants in this class, so the separate cabin can make for a more peaceful journey. The dedicated check-in counter also means less queueing.
- Bigger entertainment screens, tray tables and USB ports - Most carriers offer a larger in-flight entertainment screen and some even offer noise-cancelling headphones when flying premium economy. In addition, each seat has at least one USB port and a dedicated universal power socket. This way passengers who prefer to catch up on their favourite show can bring their own in-flight entertainment along in the form of a tablet or laptop. The larger tray table also makes it a lot more comfortable for passengers who want to use the flight to get some work done and use the tray table as a workstation.
- Good food and good service: Here each airline adds its own personal touch. For example, British Airways provides a three-course meal with business class menu options and meals are served on china. Passengers also get linen napkins and enjoy a full complimentary bar service. Singapore airlines also lets passengers choose a special meal from the 'Book the Cook' pre-order service 24 hours before the flight.
- Other perks: Since this is not a standardised service across airlines, carriers offer a variety of perks for passengers in this class. Some of these perks include additional baggage allowance, extra miles, airport lounge access and much more.
How much does premium economy class cost?
Several factors influence the cost of a flight ticket, but the cost of a premium economy ticket can range from as much as 95% more than the same ticket in economy class to as little as just 15% more. Compared to business class, the cost of flying premium economy averages out at only 65% of the business class price on the same flight. Booking closer to your departure time can get you a better price on a ticket in this category, so be sure to have a look at the offerings available here on lastminute.com.