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.