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Premium Economy Service

December 14, 2012

Premium Economy Benefits
Premium Economy service is touted by various carriers as the new seating class. It offers comfort and amenities at a price above economy class service.  Premium economy seating amenities vary depending on the airline and if travel is domestic or international. On most domestic carriers it’s extra leg room and wider seat width in the forward section of aircraft and include priority boarding. For international travel the amenities vary from carrier to carrier.

The seating at the front of the coach section offers with 3-4 inches in extra leg room and 50% more seat recline. Jet Blue has “Even More Space” and presently includes “Even More Speed” with priority boarding and early access to overhead bins.

International Travel
Traveling internationally, carriers such as Delta and United service include complimentary beer, wine and spirits. International carriers extend dedicated cabins, with priority check in and boarding, increase in baggage requirements and amenity kits.  The term means very different things at different airlines for very different prices.  

Procedures to Follow
The next challenge is confirming this option for domestic US travel. It requires purchasing your discounted economy class ticket, then going on-line or to a kiosk to pay for the extra leg room and secure your seat. If you are frequent traveler with the airline or purchasing full economy tickets the service is discounted or complimentary. DL and UA keep the same booking features internationally, where international carriers confirm seating at time of booking.

First to Offer
Virgin Atlantic Airways was the first carrier to introduce the Premium Economy service on transatlantic flights from NYC to London and beyond. Without question the widest seat, dedicated check in with priority boarding and upgrade meal service.

A Good Option
The “premium economy option” is reasonably-priced with a good solution to taking the edge off flying.  Business Class airfares are out of the reach for most travelers. As an aficionado at long haul international travel, I gladly welcome the seating comfort on 8-16 hours flights.  The Virgin Atlantic comparison chart below gives the differences compared to other carriers. I welcome you to contact me your travel agent to decipher the intricacies of “premium economy travel.”


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