Premium Economy Seats Worth Paying For

premium economy class
image: CNTraveler- Air New Zealand

During our recent trip to Orlando, I was able to select complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats due to my lifetime Gold status with American Airlines.

While it’s highly unlikely that I’d ever pay to upgrade to these seats, it was nice to have the extra leg room and early boarding. (Either way I would’ve had an earlier boarding group due to my status.)

In my opinion, Main Cabin Extra seats offers the space that should be allocated to all flyers booking in the back of the plane. (A bit less would even be acceptable.) However as we all know, the airlines trying to squeeze as many passengers onto a flight certainly would not agree.

So, while I enjoyed Main Cabin Extra on AA, I don’t find value in spending extra money for a bit more leg room.

I came across a slideshow from Conde Naste Traveler where they found “Premium Economy Seats Worth the Upgrade“.

Here are CNTraveler’s 10 airlines worth paying for the upgrade:

  • Virgin Atlantic: dedicated check-in & bag drop, 21 in. wide seats, great dining options
  • Japan Airlines: expanded drink selections, Tumi amenity kits, lounge access & a seat design which “prevents passengers in front of you from reclining into your lap”
  • British Airways: seats with better recline & adjustable head/ foot rests, noise cancelling headphones, 3-course meal served on china
  • Qantas: wide seats with 38 to 42 in. pitch, menu by Neil Perry, self-serve snack bar
  • Air New Zealand: These seats look like business class- white leather, in its own shell- two center seats allow passengers to face each other.
  • Cathay Pacific: start with a hotel towel and drink while enjoying great meals & snacks, “noise cancelling headphones, fancy soaps, eco-friendly amenities” & more
  • Alitalia: dedicated check-in, priority bag handling, ergonomic seats- 19 in. wide, leg rests and 120 degree recline, great food & drink too.
  • OpenSkies: sister airline to BA- seats recline 130 degrees, 47 in. pitch, also includes “entertainment packed iPads”
  • ANA: lounge access at select locations, seats close to 20 in. wide, meals include wine & dessert and you’ll also get an amenity kit
  • Thai Airways: last 5 rows of biz class sold for half price giving you a lie-flat seat with economy service, also “won’t include fancy dining options”

What are your thoughts on upgrading to premium economy seats? Is it worth the extra luxuries or not worth paying the price?

Once again, I’d say for domestic flights, it’s probably not worth it but for long, international flights, some of the airlines mentioned above do seem to offer some pretty amazing seating and benefits. However, I still probably wouldn’t be willing to pay extra for them.

Find out more about premium economy seats worth the upgrade from CN Traveler here.

4 thoughts on “Premium Economy Seats Worth Paying For

  1. Randall Powers- Funny!

    Mike- I agree to some degree with you get what you pay for but the space being given in coach these days is getting a bit ridiculous.

    Thumbelina- Definitely a good idea. I’ll have to look into it.

  2. A lot has been said the US based flyers get what they want to pay for, rock bottom prices equal rock bottom service. Being 73 inches tall I always pay for legroom on any flight more than one hour in length. BA does have a nice product, flew it from LHR-JNB.

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