More premium economy seats on offer

With the prices of first and business class seats putting them beyond the budget of many fliers, premium economy is the only way this side of an unexpected upgrade that most passengers can hope to gain some extra leg room and other creature comforts.

The class is increasingly being adopted by more airlines. In the US, American Airlines is already selling premium economy seats on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on selected international routes and Delta is expected to follow suit soon.

Pay extra

Of course any added comforts on a longer flight cost extra, but the whole idea of premium economy is that it remains within the budgets of holidaymakers who are willing to pay a little more.

However, the standards of premium economy differ from carrier to carrier, with free drinks, extra leg room, amenity kits and gadgets all playing their roles in the options on offer.

The average premium economy seat is about 18 inches wide and usually offers 37 or 38 inches of leg room. If it's seat width that interests you, Virgin Atlantic's premium economy has the widest at 21 inches. Norwegian offers the best leg room at 46 inches, although in a perfect example of the premium economy world of give and take, they are also the only airline not to give free meals to fliers.

Right balance

Industry experts say a premium customer is one who regularly flies economy but doesn't mind paying extra for added comfort on a longer flight. However, fliers used to regular business class perks don't want to “buy down” to premium economy.

This all means carriers need to get the balance right and that means getting the details of the premium offering spot on.

High tech extras are another element in the battle for premium pounds and Cathay Pacific's A350-900 aircraft – now flying from Gatwick and starting from Manchester in June – feature dedicated tablet holders, power outlets and USB ports in the seats in the class. Wi-Fi is also available for an extra fee.

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your Long-Haul Travel Insurance in advance.

Date Created: 04 April 2017

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