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Premium economy vs. business class

Dhahran, Saudi...
5 posts
Premium economy vs. business class

What does premium economy give you that regular economy doesn't? Which airlines have premium economy?

I don't really want to spend the money on business class. So, is premium economy a half-way point between economy and business seat prices?

Level Contributor
1,328 posts
22 reviews
1. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

Very much depends on the airline. At one end, BA's WTP was until recently just a bigger seat (they have now enhanced the food).

Other airlines offer separate check-in, better food / entertainment, dedicated cabin crew, etc. VS even give (gave?) you a pass to the express security queue at LGW.

As a rule, though, it tends to be 'economy plus', rather than 'business minus'. The most significant thing is a bigger seat.

London, United...
Level Contributor
21,724 posts
23 reviews
2. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

Yes it really does depend on the airline and the route ie long haul or short haul to what is included.

However it's very accurate to say its economy plus and not, by any stretch of the imagination business minus.

Other than say sn bxls airlines premium flex economy. Which is very close to their business on short haul. I would not classify premium economy as the mid point and very often the prices reflect this. Simply it's normally just a slightly bigger seat and a better meal or drinks service.

As to what airlines do it, you may need to be more specific,,,where are you going to and from where?

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
14,544 posts
74 reviews
3. Re: Premium economy vs. business class


The term or class 'Premium Economy" is not as tightly defined as is Economy and Business-- probably as it's a rather new product/class, so it's still very much in the early stages of it's development and evolution...

What do you get?? It *really* depends on the carrier and in some cases within the same carrier it can vary by fleet type.

You commonly get a better seat-- better means more leg room and in many cases a bit wider.. Many have some form of a leg rest. and also have larger degrees of recline ability... That is by far the biggest draw to the PE product.

In some cases it's a separate cabin either at the back of Business or the very front of Economy and can be divided off by a soft curtain or the like..

Food usually is a bit mixed.. Some give you basically a economy meal but will a better overall presentation, others give you a meal that's closer in design and substance to a Business class offering.

Some carriers use their Business class cabin crew to service you, others do so from their Economy cabin.. This depends on the carrier and how their manpower and cabin layout is designed.

Is is a half-way point? Overall, I'd say no.. but close..

For me to vote for half-way, I'd like to see a bit more on the ground side.. Like a better checked baggage allowance, and perhaps lounge access or something comparable.. Some carriers offer more on the ground side, but for me, I think that right now with what the "average* PE product is, I'd call it about a 40% to 45% of that of a proper Business class..

However, I can't stress enough, there is A LOT of variance in this product so an apples-to-apples is hard to do until a more uniform product and service is adopted and used by more carriers.

Travel Safe,

Level Contributor
49,524 posts
93 reviews
4. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

David, without knowing the specific airline and route, your question is too general to be answered usefully except to say, as previous poster has, think economy plus, not business minus.

What routes, what airlines are you looking at?

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
40,240 posts
98 reviews
5. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

If you are comparing a long-haul international PE product to a long-haul lie-flat business class product, then I would say PE is not quite halfway between economy and business. I would say is 30% better than economy but nowhere near a lie flat business seat. Lie-flat is a huge plus on a long-haul flight. You will also get better meals and wines.

Overall, on a good long-haul business class, you should feel you are pampered, while on PE, you would normally feel glad to have escaped economy.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
50,742 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

Nicely put in the last paragraph, Sammy.

BA's WT+ has seven inches more pitch between rows, a smaller cabin (no more than 36 - 40 pax) and a more private atmos, a newly enhanced meal service (small menus and hot towels are offered, along with Club World mains), and one more intangible plus.

Pax in WT+ earn more Miles and Tier Points for flying in that cabin, so if one needs the Miles or TPs it's a nice extra. And for those who have Miles aplenty the chance to use some to move up to Club World is a nice treat.

Daydream Island...
Level Contributor
2,451 posts
42 reviews
7. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

"while on PE, you would normally feel glad to have escaped economy."

hahhahahahahahaaaaaa so funny and so true !

Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
32 posts
67 reviews
8. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

HAs anyone out there tried Cathay Pacific Premium economy as yet ? Can't decide between QF/BA, Cathay or Virgin. Flying to Europe middle of next year. Tempted to fly Cathay as they go direct from Cairns, but flew economy to Italy with them last year and swore I'd never do it again....

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
40,240 posts
98 reviews
9. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

PE is entirely different vs economy on CX. At this point, I would go with CX PE. Across BA, QF and CX, all 3 offer similar seat pitch and width. CX has the newest product though (cabin just came about earlier this year on most flights), and the entertainment system in terms of content is by far the best.

Level Contributor
13,977 posts
59 reviews
10. Re: Premium economy vs. business class

I'd say that the QF PE product is as close as it gets to Business minus.

Edited: 12:48 am, October 15, 2012