Premium economy

Premium economy "shell" seats on Japan Airlines.

Premium economy is a travel class offered on some airlines. Positioning in price, comfort, and amenities, this travel class is leveled between economy class and business class. In 1991, EVA Air was the first to introduce Evergreen Class and had since become the first airline to offer this class of service in the world.


As of 2011, the term is not standardized among airlines, and varies significantly between domestic and international flights and between low-cost or regional airlines and other airliners.[1] Premium economy is sometimes limited to just a bit more leg room, but at its most comprehensive can feature services associated with business class travel.[1]

Airline premium economy cabin. Rows of seats arranged between aisles.
Elite class, premium economy on EVA Air

[1]Air New Zealand's and Qantas' Premium Economy and Virgin America's First include amenities such as prioritized check-in, large customized seats (some for couples, others targeting solo travelers), seat pitch up to 41 inches (104 cm) with 50% more recline, premium meals, a self-service bar for drinks and snacks, a personal in-flight entertainment center with remote control, noise-cancelling headphones and choices in games and movies for children and adults, skin care products in the lavatory, and an amenities pouch containing items such as socks, sleep masks, earplugs, and toothbrushes.[2]

At the other extreme, some extra legroom seats in Economy Class, with the same service and seat model, are also marketed as an enhanced Economy class in some airlines. For example, in the United States domestic market, airlines such as American, United, Delta, and JetBlue have an upgraded Economy class with 2–5 inches (5–13 cm) more leg room as the only difference; they market the class as Main Cabin Extra,[3][4] Economy Plus, Economy Comfort, and Even More Legroom respectively, while other services such as ground services and food and beverage services are on par with their normal Economy Class. [1] These more limited travel class versions are more similar to traditional Economy class before airlines started reducing the quality and amenities of Economy Class over the past few decades, and arguably are not a true Premium Economy class.

Service codes used by airlines vary, but are usually in W, R or T – for example, Virgin Atlantic uses W as a subclass code for its Premium Economy product.[5]

Examples of differences

Differences between Premium Economy and Economy class may include:

  • a free upgrade to premium members of frequent-flyer program and passengers flying full-fare economy,
  • a separate section of the economy/coach cabin with more legroom (36–38" (91–96 cm) seat pitch), along with some form of leg rest,
  • improved in-flight entertainment features
  • dedicated cabin crew
  • smaller cabin size
  • better seats (often fewer seats per row, to increase shoulder/elbow room)
  • at-seat laptop power
  • at-seat telephone
  • lounge access (for some airlines)
  • priority boarding
  • increased frequent flyer points
  • entertainment
  • exclusive amenity kits
  • hot towel service
  • welcome drinks (juice or champagne)
  • upgraded meals and drinks
  • increased luggage allowance

Some airlines may designate an entire economy class as premium, such as United p.s. on its transcontinental Boeing 757-200 premium service aircraft. Premium Economy tickets also normally earn more mileage in an airline's frequent flyer program, attracting a bonus between Economy and Business.


Airlines offering this service include:

  • Aerolineas Argentinas: Club Economy: Only on 737's and E190's. Replacing business class on all domestic flights and international flights under 4 hours. Offers similar benefits to business class, including lounge access.
  • Aeroméxico: Aeromexico Plus, now standard across the entire 737 fleet. Offers 4" extra leg-room, 1.5" more recline and adjustable leather headrests. Includes priority check-in, baggage handling, boarding and deplaning, as well as extra millage for frequent flyers.
  • Air Austral: Classe Comfort
  • Air Canada: Premium Economy - on some International routes with new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and on all Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
  • Air Caraïbes: La Classe Caraïbes (Long haul only. Offers 36" of pitch, more recline, a wider seat, a larger PTV and more)
  • Air China: Premium economy (only on A330-300's and select 777-200's. Wider seat with at least 36" of pitch, nearly double recline and a PTV, plus more amenities. The new 747-8's will also offer Premium Economy)
  • Air France: Premium Economy, (all fleet except Boeing 747-400). Offers SkyPriority, paid lounge access, improved meals (including stainless steel cutlery and real glass drinkware), a separate cabin featuring fixed shell seats with a 97 cm pitch and extra wide armrests.
  • Air Transat: Club Class
  • Air New Zealand: Premium Economy on 777-200ER and 787-9 (offers 41" pitch and more recline. Wider seats on 787). Premium Economy Spaceseat on 777-300ER (offers 42" pitch and wider seat which reclines forward within shell). Both include premium meals and check-in, two checked bags and two carry bags.
  • Alitalia: Classica Plus (Premium Economy Class) on the new Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Boeing 777-200ER have been upgraded later.
  • All Nippon Airways: Premium Economy
  • Allegiant Air: Legroom Plus: Offers up to 4" more pitch. Giant Seats: Only on 757's. Bigger seats with at least 6" more pitch, similar to Spirit's Big Front Seats.
  • American Airlines: Main Cabin ExtrAA [4] (offers a slightly wider seat only on the Boeing 777-300ER, 2" more recline and 4-6" more legroom but no other benefits)
  • Avianca: Economy Plus (Only International Service Airbus A330-200 between Bogota-Madrid-Bogota, Bogota-Barcelona-Bogota, Cali-Madrid-Cali, Medellin-Madrid-Medellin)
  • British Airways: World Traveller Plus
  • Brussels Airlines: Bflex economy +
  • Cathay Pacific: Premium Economy (only on Long-haul models, but soon to enter short-haul as well)
  • China Airlines: Premium Economy (now available on Boeing 777-300ER, and formerly used on leased Airbus A330-300)
  • Condor: Condor Premium Economy offers more recline and 15 cm/6" more legroom on long haul flights in its Boeing 767-300 fleet, free spirits during meals, free amenity kits, free headsets and more. Short haul planes have the middle seat blocked off and no extra legroom or recline.[6]
  • Delta Air Lines: Delta Comfort+ (Offers up to 36 inches of pitch, especially on planes with a pitch of either 32 or 33 inches in economy class) and free HBO programming. 50% more recline and free spirits are also offered on long-haul, transcontinental and international flights. Transcontinental flights between JFK and LAX/SEA/SFO also get 1 free premium snack and a free cold meal from Luvo, as well as a pre departure bottle of water and a sleep kit) [7]
  • Edelweiss Air: Economy Max: Long-haul only. Offers 15 cm/6" more pitch and 5 cm/2" more recline(94 cm/37" of pitch and 20 cm/8" of recline in lieu of 79 cm/31" of pitch and 15 cm/6" of recline in Economy), as well as free alcohol and an amenity kit.
  • El Al: Economy Plus (Economy +) On 747's and 767-300's. Offers 4" more pitch (36" up from the usual 32"), 33% more recline, a footrest, priority ground service, a comfort kit and more.
  • EVA Air: Elite Class (on all Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 747-400), Evergreen Deluxe ( Was available on the Boeing 747-400 Combi and MD-11)
  • Finnair: Economy Comfort (Coming December 2014 to long haul aircraft. Offers 3-5" more seat pitch, comfier headrests, a comfort kit and better headphones)
  • Frontier Airlines: Stretch (first 4 rows and exit rows of Airbus offering a minimum of 36in pitch.)
  • Hawaiian Airlines: Extra Comfort (Only on Airbus A330-200 aircraft, comes with priority boarding, full 36 inches (91 cm) of legroom, complimentary on-demand in-seat entertainment, upgraded meal on international main meal only, comfort kit on international routes only, complimentary pillow and blanket on all domestic routes, souvenir pillow and blanket set on international routes only).[8]
  • Icelandair: Economy comfort
  • Japan Airlines: Premium Economy (Only International Boeing 777 fleet serving London, Frankfurt, Paris, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Delhi, Moscow, and Sydney to/from Tokyo)[9]
  • JetBlue Airways: Even More Space (offers a minimum seat pitch of 38", as well as both priority boarding and screening)
  • KLM: Europe Select (Only on inter-Europe itineraries, on B737-700/800/900 models) Economy Comfort (Long-haul only). Similar to Delta's Economy Comfort, offering similar seat pitch, and amenities, but with a larger recline advantage.
  • LAN Airlines: Premium Economy: Only on A320 series planes. Provides more legroom, width, and recline, plus the middle seat is blocked out to allow more space.
  • LOT Polish Airlines Premium Club (Long-haul only)
  • Lufthansa (from March, 2014, starting out on 747-8 and is expected to be installed on all long haul planes by mid 2015.)
  • Mahan Air: Bigger Seats and More Legroom on A340's Long Haul flights
  • Monarch Airlines: Extra Legroom: Offers wider seats with 5-6" more seat pitch and on A330's, PTV's.
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle: Premium Economy (Long-haul only)
  • Oman Air: All Economy Cabins are Premium Class
  • Pakistan International Airlines: "Economy Plus+"
  • Philippine Airlines: Premium Fiesta Class (only on A321's and newer A330's. On PAL Express flights using 2 class A320's, the business class seats are sold as Premium Economy)
  • Qantas: Premium Economy (Available on Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s)
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines: SAS Plus (previously named Economy Extra, the features remain the same)
  • Scoot: Super/Stretch seats (Located in the 1st few rows and all bulkhead and exit rows in the economy cabin. Seats offer more width, 3-5" more pitch and on 787's adjustable headrests. These seats are distinguished be being a different color that the standard economy seats, yellow on 777's and light blue on 787's.)
  • Singapore Airlines: Executive Economy used to run on non-stop flights from Singapore to Newark and Los Angeles (both operated by an Airbus A340-500). This was discontinued in favor of all-Business Class flights. Recently, Singapore Airlines has now introduced their premium economy class from 1 April 2015, offering many more amenities to passengers when compared to its economy class. [10]
  • Spicejet: Premium Economy (Located in the 1st 5 rows and exit rows of all 737's, featuring a 36" seat pitch, priority boarding and baggage handling and a larger baggage allowance, much like the SpiceMAX bundle)
  • Sunwing Airlines: Elite Plus: Offers at least 6" extra pitch, larger baggage allowance, and priority boarding, check-in and baggage handling.
  • TAM Airlines: Space Plus: Only on select 777's. Offers at least 36 inches of seat pitch and more recline.[11]
  • Thai Airways International: Premium Economy (only on Boeing 777-300ER routes to Copenhagen and Stockholm)[12]
  • Thomas Cook Airlines: Premium Class: Long haul only. Bigger seats with 35-36" of pitch, plus other services.
  • Turkish Airlines: Comfort Class (Only on 777-300's)
  • Ukraine International Airlines: Premium Economy (only on 767's. Offers 36-37" of pitch and a wider seat, plus priority ground service, better food options including a free glass of wine, and increased baggage allowance)
  • United Airlines: Economy Plus (Offers 5" of extra legroom, usually 36" total, and up to 2" of extra recline but no other benefits)
  • Vietnam Airlines: Deluxe Economy (Only available on selected Boeing 777-200ER serving European routes)
  • Virgin America: Main Cabin Select (not its own cabin - includes 12 bulkhead and emergency row seats on each plane)
  • Virgin Atlantic: Premium Economy. Virgin Atlantic also offers Extra Legroom seats in Economy that have 3-4" more legroom.
  • Virgin Australia: Premium Economy. An Economy Plus section will be added to 777's starting late 2015.
  • Vistara: Premium Economy (in Airbus A320-200 aircraft, seats have 36" longer pitch and recline further than in Economy class,Cold/Hot towel service,Two vegetarian and One Non-vegetarian meal option,Dedicated check in counters,Priority Boarding,Extra baggage Allowance and Priority baggage handling)
  • WestJet: Economy Plus: Located in the 1st 3 rows and exit rows, offering at least 36" of pitch, free food and drinks and priority boarding.

Some airlines no longer offer Premium economy:

See also


Wikivoyage has a travel guide for First and business class flights.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Economy class.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/12/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.