Premium Economy: Profiling The Best Cabins In The Air

20 March 2015

Words by Jason Dutton-Smith

Bridging the gap between economy and business class, Premium Economy has fast become a popular choice for travellers, especially among business travellers and anyone looking for an enhanced service or more wriggle room.

Premium Economy cabins generally have a dedicated section of the aircraft with fewer seats and dedicated crew. Extras perks such as upgraded meal service, extra baggage allowance, more frequent flyer points and status points are often available depending on the airline.

Here we take a look at who flies Premium Economy from Australia.

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia's long-haul flights to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi, onboard the airline's 777-300ER aircraft, provide a dedicated cabin with just 40 premium economy seats. A stand-up bar at the cabin entrance offer self-service drinks and snacks throughout the flight with two dedicated bathrooms. Seat pitch is 38 inches with a width of 18.5 inches and a large personal seat back on-demand TV screen.

Qantas

Qantas Premium Economy seating is available on all A380 and 747 aircraft with 38 inch seat pitch. Each aircraft type has a private cabin with just 35 seats on the A380, and 40 seats on the 747. Seat width is 19 inches and service includes enhanced meals with a Rockpool-inspired Premium Economy Menu and access to pre-order meals with Q-Eat.

Air New Zealand

The Air New Zealand Premium Economy Space seat is the only seat that reclines within its own shell offering more space and privacy to the person seated behind. Unfortunately, the new 787 aircraft offer a new design where this unique shell feature has been removed. Extra baggage, upgraded meal service, premium headphones and amenity kits are offered with a generous 41 inch seat pitch and 19 inch seat width.

Cathay Pacific

Work and dine in a wider seat with more legroom and upgraded services such as meals, baggage, priority check-in and a larger personal TV screen with a noise-cancelling headset. A dedicated cabin with 2x4x2 layout offers privacy and a dedicated cabin crew to attend to passengers.

Singapore Airlines

Launching in August 2015 on select routes only, Singapore Airlines' new Premium Economy cabin will feature larger seats with a 38 inch seat pitch and 19.5 inch seat width. It is one of the few airlines to offer an expandable leg and foot rest with other features including a personal reading light, 8 inch recline and larger personal TV screens. An enhanced meal and beverage service and multi-media port is available on each seat.


Image courtesy of British Airways

British Airways

World Traveller Plus with its dedicated cabin offer several upgrades to the standard economy experience. Dining is a three-course meal served on china with an enhanced bar service to match. Snacks are available throughout the flight along with large personal TV screens with a wide choice of entertainment and noise-reduction headphones. Other extras include a larger baggage allowance, priority check-in and boarding.

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