Whichever class you’re in flying to Europe in these days, there’s plenty of choice for travellers among premium airlines, with the premium economy cabin coming under the spotlight in particular in recent years. The reason? Although it’s not quite economy, premium economy is a definite step up from economy class, offering perks including more legroom and additional baggage allowances at more affordable prices. British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Singapore Airlines are among those which offer it on most or all long haul flights, but how do the services compare? Here’s the key information from four of the major carriers, to help you make your decision on whether or not you’re getting the best deal for your money.
British Airways : This carrier calls the cabin World Traveller Plus, and recently a new cabin design has been rolling out across the fleet, featuring an elegant new interior, luxurious seats with greater recline, 60 per cent larger flat entertainment screen, personal in-seat power supply and more. The new cabin is available now on BA’s A380, Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300ER, and it’s still being fitted to Boeing 777-200 and 767 aircraft. The seat pitch is 38” and 18.5” wide with a recline of 8”, and other perks include an amenity kit, in-seat power supply for devices, and you can check in two bags at 23kg each.
Cathay Pacific: This airline also has a relatively new cabin design for premium economy, with a comfortable cabin featuring seats with a pitch of 38”, a width of 19.5” and a recline of 8”. Other perks include priority check-in and boarding ahead of economy class passengers, and a baggage allowance of two pieces up to 35kg for most flights. The amenity kit is environmentally friendly with larger pillows and noise-cancelling headsets. On long haul flights you’ll also be greeted with a welcome drink upon boarding, and cabin crew will provide you with regular snacks and drinks throughout your journey.
Qantas: The Qantas offering includes a generous seat pich of 38” to 42” depending on the aircraft, and a seat width of 19.5” with a recline of 9”, designed byMarc Newson and built by Recaro. Meals come from a Rockpool inspired special menu and Marc Newson designed tableware, and there are pre-boarding perks including priority check-in counters and some priority boarding. You can also check in online between 24 hours and two hours of your flight departure, and pre order from the Premium Economy menu prior to select flights with Menu Select.. There is a generous check-in allowance of 40kg, and complimentary comfort kits are offered on selected flights.
Singapore Airlines: This airline is also rolling out a new cabin design across the fleet, with an exclusive, spacious, 2-4-2 cabin configuration, and seats ranging between 18.5” and 19.5” width, and a pitch of 38” with an 8” recline. Meal options include preordering a main course from the Premium Economy Book the Cook up to 24 hours before you fly, or select from three meal choices on board. Match the food and altitude with your selection of wine or champagne.at least 24 hours in advance, with priority check-in and boarding as standard. Singapore Airlines also has a generous luggage allowance of 35kg check-in.