Premium Economy: What Is It? Is It Worth It? FAQ Fridays

Video transcription

Welcome to another edition of Travelstart’s FAQ Friday with me, Nick Paul. This week we are talking about Premium Economy travel – what is it and is it worth it for you? We offer Premium Economy on our website and many airlines offer it too. These are airline such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and from February 2015 Lufthansa should be offering it too. So let’s have a look at the difference – what does it give you?

Better seats

This is usually better leg room. They are wider, they recline further, and they can make sleeping much easier. For the taller among us, it is a lot more comfortable.

Upgraded dining experience

What this means is that you get better food and also proper cutlery and crockery to eat with.

Extra baggage

You get an extra bag of “checked luggage” when travelling on premium economy but it can vary on the airline and the routing.

Smaller cabin size

A smaller cabin is good as there are fewer seats in the cabin. This means that the staff in the cabin are more dedicated to you and if you need anything, you will get their attention a lot faster.

Price difference

You will be spending slightly less than double the cheapest economy class ticket for the cheapest Premium Economy ticket.

Unique benefits

Certain airlines also offer a few unique perks for travelling on Premium Economy. For example, British Airways offers a full service bar, Virgin Atlantic offers leather seats and champagne when you board the flight, Air France allows you to purchase lounge access, and Quantas has a gourmet restaurant inspired menu and designer seats.

Is it worth it?

Well that’s going to be up to you. Compare the price of a business class ticket with a Premium Economy ticket because for a few thousand Rand extra, you may be lying flat.

So that’s it from me for this week. If you’ve got any travel-related questions, please ask them in the “comments” section below and please remember to subscribe to our channel.

Our Readers Comments

  1. One of the really big advantages if you fly premium economy for Air France is you get premium status going through CDG, i.e. you get to use Priority Pass which makes a huge difference in making your way through that laborious place

  2. Thank you for the very informative blog!

  3. Price difference between Economy, Premium Economy, Business class?

    Can you book premium economy on all airlines?

    • Hi Heather, it depends on the airline, the routing and what’s available as to what the price difference will be. Roughly though, for airlines which offer Economy, Premium and Business classes, the cheapest premium ticket is roughly double the price of the cheapest economy class ticket, the cheapest business class ticket will be roughly double the price of the cheapest premium ticket.

      Premium economy is available on a number of airlines, but not all. The airlines offering it on flights to South Africa currently are: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Qantas, Cathay Pacific and apparently from Feb next year, Lufthansa will offer it too.

  4. I may be being a bit picky, but I have to confess that that little sketch about premium economy has left me no wiser than I was before watching it. Difficult as it may have been to accomplish, a video of the cabin, the seats, how far they stretch back, etc (even if for only one airline) would have been a heck of a lot more insightful.
    Kind regards,


    • Thanks for the feedback Bob! Unfortunately getting hi-res images of the inside of the different cabins was a little difficult from all the airlines involved and most don’t have good raw footage they’ll share for a video like this. We’ll keep trying to get it from them though. Perhaps we can do an updated video later.

      This was just to provide an overview of what it is for people who’ve never heard of it before.

  5. I always try to travel Premium Economy – it is so worth it! Don’t think I can ever go back to Economy for long haul flights. If you book when the airlines have specials, you can travel to the US or UK at great prices. Particularly nice on the long, tiring trek to the US. Was lucky enough to be upgraded to Business Class on one of the BA flights – quite honestly, that flat bed was very uncomfortable. I was happier in Premium Economy.

  6. Spelling on Qantas. No letter “u” after the Q.

    • Well spotted John! We’ve fixed it on the blog post.

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