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Business Traveller (Middle East) - - News -

ith typ­i­cal long-haul busi­ness class cost­ing £3,000 re­turn, hav­ing the op­tion of more af­ford­able pre­mium econ­omy seats is cer­tainly ap­peal­ing. Bridg­ing the gap be­tween econ­omy class and top-tier cab­ins, pre­mium econ­omy gives pas­sen­gers added ben­e­fits such as queue jump­ing in the air­port and, in some cases, free cham­pagne and lounge ac­cess, as well as more space.

Th­ese days, most ma­jor airlines of­fer a stand­alone pre­mium econ­omy prod­uct – not just econ­omy seats with ex­tra legroom. This year, Amer­i­can Airlines and Delta are fi­nally in­stalling pre­mium econ­omy cab­ins, and it’s ru­moured that some of the Mid­dle Eastern airlines will fol­low suit. But how much bet­ter is the ex­pe­ri­ence than reg­u­lar coach class? We com­pare 16 airlines so you can de­cide…

AIR NEW ZEALAND

In some­what of a back­ward step, the Kiwi car­rier’s in­no­va­tive Space­seat, in­stalled on the B777300, is to be re­placed with a more con­ven­tional pre­mium econ­omy seat by Novem­ber. The prod­uct will be stan­dard­ised across the air­line’s fleet of B787-9 and B777200 and -300 planes, the last of which flies Auck­land-LA-Lon­don. The new seat will be 2-3-2 or 2-4-2. Pas­sen­gers will con­tinue to get pre­mium check-in, pri­or­ity bag­gage and board­ing, and on­board amenity kits, meals and drinks, in­clud­ing wine from New Zealand.

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