Premium Economy: The New Air Travel Sweet Spot

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When travelling by plane, little things can go a long way. That’s why Premium Economy Class – the upgraded seat that combines the affordability of Economy Class and the luxury of Business Class – is growing in popularity with passengers. More and more airlines are offering new Premium Economy service with added legroom and services that don’t break the bank, allowing travellers to enjoy comfort and luxury without the high price tag. So if you’re in the market to treat yourself to a more pleasant journey to your destination, now is the time to look into new Premium Economy seats.

ANZ Premium Economy Couple RestingRoomier Seating
Premium Economy Class offers about 5 to 7 inches of extra legroom compared with economy class, as well as 1 to 2 extra inches of seat width and 2 to 3 extra inches of seat recline, giving you a plane seat you will actually enjoy sitting in. When you also get adjustable headrests, legrests, or lumbar support, you’ll find yourself looking forward to a much more comfortable flight. In some cases, you will find larger personal TV screens so you can enjoy catching up on those movies you never have time to watch at home. Laptop power ports allow you to plug in en route with a little more personal space. Or, just sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight.

Style: "standard"Superior Amenities
In addition to the roomier seats, Premium Economy Class flights often offer superior amenities such as priority check-in and boarding. Upgraded beverage services and more sophisticated menus that include vegetarian and vegan options are another welcome perk. A great meal, combined with a comfortable flight, means you arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go.

Better Value
Prices to upgrade to Premium Economy range from as little as $60 per seat to upwards of $1000 depending on the airline, the length of the flight, and the difference in services. When flying within North America, my favourite Premium Economy carrier is Air Canada, particularly on the new 777 and 787 aircrafts. Both aircrafts feature wider seats, better recline, and cozy pillows and blankets. Now that more and more people bring carry-on luggage, it is ever so important to get on the aircraft early. Yet with Air Canada’s Premium Economy seats you get an overhead cabin all to yourself, ensuring there’s lots of space to store your belongings.

ANZ Premium Economy Couple DiningTypically, Air Canada only charges about $60 per upgraded seat and I think it’s definitely worth the extra dollars. After many years of flying, my favourite Premium Economy flights are offered on Air New Zealand – flying to the South Pacific, and Turkish Airlines for its transAtlantic service. Both offer premium cabins, seats reminiscent of the Business class of yesteryear, upgraded amenities, private cabins, and superior food and beverage service. Welcome drinks upon boarding? Yes please!

When To Book
Premium Economy fares can sell out quickly so ensure you plan well in advance. Watch for seat sales, as these happen in premium economy class too! Some airlines only allow for an upgrade at seat selection time. These seats are sold on a first come/first serve basis, and you can only see the availability after you book. If there are any unsold Premium Economy seats, you may have the option of upgrading once you’re checking in.

Passenger Blur at AirportFor me, the decision is easy. If an airline can offer me a more comfortable flight with the little extras that make me feel special, without the expense of a Business Class flight, I’m on board!

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Carolyn Weppler
Carolyn Weppler

VP of Sales at Goway Travel -
Carolyn Weppler has tracked gorillas in Rwanda, been proposed to in Paris (she accepted, naturally!), and travelled to 70 countries, counting Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Russia, Sri Lanka and even Afghanistan among her travel memories. Originally from Hong Kong, Carolyn lived in the UK before settling in Canada. A self-professed ‘foodie’ traveller, her favourite destinations are Nepal, Peru, Uganda, and anywhere else where she can roam local markets and experience new flavours.

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