The world’s best ‘Premium Economy’ cabins
Can’t afford business class but want more room to stretch out?
The rise of premium economy has been rapid with almost 30 airlines offering this cabin for purchase. But what do you get for your precious holiday or business travel cash? Not all premium economy products are created equal, with some airlines simply adding legroom alongside standard economy seats. We think that’s a bit of a spin, so here we give you five of the best premium economy products on the market.
Have you flown with any of these airlines in the premium cabin? If so, did you enjoy the ride?
Air New Zealand’s sexy looking ‘Space seat’ was quite a hit when it was launched last year on its brand new 777-300ER aircraft. Thankfully, the airline put in the hard yards to redesign its former premium economy product which was simply economy seats with more legroom (note: Air New Zealand still has the former product on some routes, so be careful when selecting your flights). Like Air New Zealand’s usual modus operandi, the new premium economy product is a real trend setter – some reviewers have criticised limited legroom and unusual angles, but we think it looks fabulous. More from NZ’s website here.
Qantas came up trumps in the 2012 Skytrax awards for best premium economy product – and for good reason. I’ve travelled with Qantas in premium economy and it was a fantastic trip (it was an upgrade so perhaps that coloured my experience?) The seats are comfortable with adequate width, the catering is more than acceptable and the inflight entertainment screens do the trick. Unfortunately Qantas premium economy fares can be on the high side, so try to book in advance or grab the seats when on sale. Find out more at the Qantas website here.
The Turkish Airlines ‘Comfort Class’ product came in at second spot behind Qantas in this years Skytrax awards. The airline offers passengers decent sized seats (49cm wide, 116cm pitch with 22cm recline), large inflight entertainment screens, power supply at each seat and top quality catering – which judging by the above picture, looks delicious. Want to know more? Check out the airlines website.
You could be forgiven for not knowing this small European airline – it only has one route (Paris – New York). Parent company British Airways came up with the idea in 2009 after the open skies treaty between the EU and the US came into effect. The airline uses three 757 aircraft and, whilst edging on old age, are still a favourite with aviation geeks. ‘Premium Plus’ passengers get a business class style seat (seen frequently in domestic/regional business class on traditional airlines) in a cabin with only 28 seats. One of the downsides is the lack of inbuilt inflight entertainment – portable TV’s are handed out by crew. Read more about this interesting airline here.
Virgin Australia has seen an epic rise in popularity in the Australian market. But the international arm of this modern and contemporary airline has a lot to offer travellers in the premium economy cabin. The seats and cabin layout is similar to Qantas with a 2 x 3 x 2 layout with a small bar area should you want to stretch your legs. The inflight entertainment system has a large screen size to keep you busy on those long Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi routes. Passengers are provided an amenity kit (pictured above) featuring products from Australian cosmetic company ‘Grown’. Read more here.