The landscape of air travel in the country has changed and evolved over the past few years with a lot more people opting to fly rather than use the train especially in the domestic Indian sectors.
Even though there are concerns around the overall slump in the aviation sector, there has been a growth in the number of flyers. With more routes becoming available, and as economy class fares become more passenger-friendly, airlines have invested a lot into improving their product. This is the reason why the demand for a premium seat is becoming increasingly popular.
The trend started in the early 1990s when Taiwanese EVA Air introduced an extra class above economy, followed by Virgin Atlantic in 1992. The class made its real debut around 2007 when airlines like Qantas and Air New Zealand started offering it. The success has lead to a handful of Asian carriers launching the product like JAL, ANA, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines.
Airlines saw Premium Economy also known as the elite Economy Class ,as an opportunity to target travellers who don’t want to pay the price for a business class seat, but don’t mind forking out a wee bit more for a few extra ‘luxuries’ when flying.
Typically long haul Business Class products offer fully flat beds, and a guaranteed aisle access. This leaves a space on the plane for Premium Economy.
Most premium economy seats have a deeper recline that gives you more comfort in-flight and a better sleep.
Along with that in Premium Economy you’ll be able to take advantage of Business Class perks, such as priority check-ins, and access to airport lounges. Passengers are willing to splurge and at the same time enjoy the worth of every penny invested in air travel.
- A Premium Economy fare is generally 65% less expensive than a business class fare. You will not have the same level of service or comfort but you will be assured a more comfortable and relaxing journey.
- A typical Premium Economy fare includes around 5-7 inches of extra legroom, wider seats, and more space to recline.
- You may also have a separate food menu and enhanced entertainment.
The winners of the the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the best Premium Economy airline seats for 2019 are
- Virgin Atlantic
- Air New Zealand
- Qantas Airways
- China Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Azerbaijan Airlines
- Air France
Generally speaking, airlines price tickets based on supply and demand, so there’s no set formula to determine what price you can expect to pay for a Premium Economy class seat. Sometimes it could also be double the cost of an economy ticket
That being said, premium economy can be of good value when flying compared to economy, the question is, how much are you willing to pay for that privilege? It also depends on your personal situation. If you’re a tall person, that extra legroom could make a huge difference in your comfort. Now, if you’re traveling for business, it might be company policy that business class is not allowed, so premium economy would make an excellent alternative.
Most airlines will try their best to get people to pay for the premium seats before they offer them up for free. However, it’s quite common for premium economy seats to be offered at a discount when you’re at the gate. In this case, it would be on a first come, first serve basis.
With a marginal price increase over the cost of an economy class seat and for a fraction of the cost of a business-class ticket, premium economy seat offer a significant upgrade for travellers.
Have you ever travelled Premium economy? Do share your experience via the comments. Thank you .
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