There are numerous airlines that provide premium economy, but which are the best?
Over the past few years, many airlines have started to offer premium economy. It is now offered by an increasing number of airlines as a third or fourth cabin on lengthy itineraries (and by several in Asia on shorter regional trips). It has demonstrated that it is an affordable method to get more room and comfort than the standard economy cabin. Today, we’ll examine some of the better options.
Why travel in business class?
To provide additional room and a better overall experience for travellers in economy, the premium economy product was developed. It’s interesting to note that this is exactly how the business class was introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Many airlines adopted it after being the first to do so by Taiwanese airline EVA Air in the early 1990s.
While US carriers entered the market later and chose to concentrate on improved seating within the main cabin rather than a completely new cabin, several illustrious European and Asian airlines have made it commonplace in recent years. And in the Middle East, only Emirates provides such a service (Qatar Airways, for instance, has declared that it prefers to concentrate on providing an excellent economy class service).
In Asia, a number of carriers now provide premium economy on widebody flights on shorter regional itineraries (Simple Flying recently examined this on a Cathay Pacific flight).
Premium economy is unquestionably closer to economy class than business due to the similar-looking seat and slightly superior meal selections (which may include some with alcohol). Although it may be more affordable than the most expensive seats due to its competitive pricing.
In general, it is a great technique to increase comfort on a lengthy flight. The key advantages include wider seating, greater room for the legs, and a smaller cabin. However, there are extra advantages as well, such as increased baggage allowance, excellent customer service, and advantages on land like expedited check-in and boarding. Increased mileage and status credit gains over economy prices are frequently advantageous for frequent travelers and mileage collectors.
We’ll only be able to cover a few of the greatest long-haul premium economy options here, so let’s look at some of the top ones! comparable to economy class, many airlines offer seats with comparable sizes, widths, and pitches, but there are still methods to distinguish yourself from the competition. The seat information presented here is all from seatguru.com.
Japan Airlines prevails in the quest for pure space. All of the premium economy seats on board have a 42-inch seat pitch. The average premium economy seat pitch is about 38 inches, making this the largest in the sector. Depending on the kind of aircraft, seat width ranges between 19 and 19.5 inches.
However, not all of their aircraft, particularly their 777s, are equipped with this product. Japan Airlines offers premium economy on the Boeing 787-8, 787-9, 777-200, and 777-300. Also take note that the Boeing 787 has a preferred seating arrangement of 2-3-2 as opposed to the Boeing 777’s 2-4-2 seat configuration. Airlines generally use seats with similar attributes.
There may be a bigger table, a bigger screen, fixed armrests between the seats, a footrest of some sort, and decent recline possibilities in premium economy class. A privacy partition that folds out from between the seats is a pleasant bonus provided by Japan Airlines. A good feature that ensures the passenger behind will have more room is that the seats glide forward within a shell rather than recline backward.
By providing access to the airport business class lounge, Japan Airlines distinguishes its premium economy. This is offered on every flight prior to takeoff, whether it be for the Japan Airlines lounge or a partner lounge.
New Zealand Airlines
In terms of premium economy space, Air New Zealand ranks in second. All of its chairs have a 41 or 42 inch pitch and a 19 to 20 inch breadth. On all of its widebody aircraft and routes, including the Boeing 777-200, 777-300, and 787-9, the airline offers premium economy. The Boeing 777 has seats set up 2-4-2 and the Boeing 787 has seats set up 2-3-2.
The Skytrax World Airline Awards for best premium economy class in 2022 ranked it eighth overall despite its roomy seating.
A distinctive and avant-garde premium economy seat was once available from Air New Zealand. The Spaceseat was introduced in 2010 as a bigger seat with a 2-2-2 arrangement that offered even more room and privacy. However, the product has since been discontinued, and all aircraft have been updated with the new seats. With new cabins scheduled to debut on the Boeing 787-9 in 2024, the airline is now innovating once more. This will provide economy class passengers lie-flat bunks, a first for the world. A revised premium economy package for Dreamliners has also been revealed by New Zealand’s national airline, promising greater room and improved privacy.
The exceptional premium cabins on Singapore Airlines are well-known, and premium economy is no exception. Some Boeing 777-300s, all Airbus A380s, and some Airbus A350 aircraft all have this class available. All seats are 19 or 19.5 inches wide and have a 38-inch pitch, which is fairly close to the average.
On every aircraft, the seating is set as 2-4-2.Additionally, six rear seats on Singapore Airlines’ A350-900ULR (which lacks an economy class) are single premium economy seats with an extra storage bin next to them rather than a second seat. These are some of the top lone traveler premium economy seats in the air!It’s a well regarded and honored cabin. The finest premium economy cabin for 2022 was selected by UK consumer magazine Which to be on Singapore Airlines. In 2022, it received the second-best rating for premium economy class from Skytrax World Airline Awards.
Emirates became the first of the major Middle Eastern airlines to provide the eagerly awaited premium economy class when it debuted in 2021. It is only offered on their Airbus A380 up front on the main deck and on a few itineraries for now, but this may change. Seats have a wide, padded leg rest and up to 40 inches of legroom. With the same cream leather and wood accents found in business class, the cabin is aesthetically attractive. Along with some business class drink options, it also provides a fantastic meal served on genuine dinnerware.
Virgin Atlantic as well as British Airways
With both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic building a reliable product, premium economy has grown in popularity as a travel option on routes leaving the UK. Premium economy is now available on every widebody aircraft with both airlines. British Airways continues to go above and above by adding a fourth first class cabin to certain of their planes.
In this cabin, both airlines’ seats and available space are comparable. Each of their planes has a 38-inch pitch.
Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Airlines
After only recently introducing it, all three of the major US airlines now provide premium economy. The three airlines all offer a 38-inch seat pitch and a maximum breadth of 19 inches, thus none of them stand out for having a roomy premium economy cabin.The most comprehensive and reliable selection is provided by American Airlines in the US.
The first of the major US legacy airlines to offer premium economy, it will be made available on all of its long-haul flights by the middle of 2019. However, on the whole, it gets bad reviews. With Delta Air Lines in tenth place and United Airlines in eleventh place, Skytrax does not even rank their product in the top 20 for premium economy class in 2022.