New Flyer, is PE worth it for long-haul?

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#41
1,091 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by cruisequeen4ever
I considered Air France Premium Economy for our flight to Europe last summer, but DH actually preferred Economy. He likes being able to put up the armrests, which you can’t do in Premium Economy. I really checked the Premium Economy section as we were deplaning, and honestly, I’m glad we didn’t upgrade to it. It hardly had more space than what we had.


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You don't mention which aircraft you flew on, but for me, the extra legroom would more than make up for the benefit [?] of raising one armrest. [If your husband was sitting next to me, he certainly wouldn't be raising our shared armrest!].
The new PE seats on Air France look fantastic - check them out on the Air France web site. You can't say that your husband would still choose economy!
#42
At 35,000 feet
9,426 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
All these questions about "Is it worth getting Comfort Plus, Premium Economy, or Business class?" are just akin to "Is it worth getting a window cabin, a balcony, a suite?"

And the same kind of discussion you find in those forums.

Ain't capitalism great - you get to choose what is best for YOU and your circumstance.
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#43
London
22,185 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by FlyerTalker
All these questions about "Is it worth getting Comfort Plus, Premium Economy, or Business class?" are just akin to "Is it worth getting a window cabin, a balcony, a suite?"

And the same kind of discussion you find in those forums.
To your average repeat cruiser, the differences between a window cabin, a balcony and a suite are pretty obvious. In contrast, the differences between (say) a premium economy seat and an economy seat are more nuanced. As the average cruiser is unlikely to have come across a premium economy seat, I can understand why people might want to ask what the differences are.

However, the "Is it worth it?" question always depends on how much "it" is. And that's the element of information that is, frustratingly, often missing from these threads.
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#44
At 35,000 feet
9,426 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Globaliser
To your average repeat cruiser, the differences between a window cabin, a balcony and a suite are pretty obvious. In contrast, the differences between (say) a premium economy seat and an economy seat are more nuanced. As the average cruiser is unlikely to have come across a premium economy seat, I can understand why people might want to ask what the differences are.
Yes, the questions asking for clarification on what all the various "upgrades" are completely understandable. Even for frequent flyers, the ever changing nature of aircraft cabins, hard and soft products and ground services makes keeping up with details tough.
However, the "Is it worth it?" question always depends on how much "it" is. And that's the element of information that is, frustratingly, often missing from these threads.
And like so many price-driven decisions, unless you know what you are getting and what your own personal valuations are, it's almost close to a random guess. Especially the personal valuations. I suspect that many folks really don't want to grapple with economics at the margin (Econ 201), so they just look for someone else to, in effect, make the decision for them.

BTW and FWIW, one of my favorite blogs (and bloggers) is Tyler Cowen and his blog "Marginal Revolution". Worth the read, even for non-economists. Always an interesting tidbit or two. And while on the subject, they have an extensive series of free economics classes/videos to help the non-economist learn about this vital subject. Worth the time and effort, IMO.

Marginal Revolution
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Keeping to the subject of aviation, one of the more fascinating posts at MR was a link to THIS ARTICLE that told how Kinshasa has a population of over 12 million people and is Africa's third largest city - bigger than London. Yet Kinshasa has only ELEVEN international flights a day from its airport. Heathrow. with over 1400. Interesting tale of urbanization without globalization.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.
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"Anybody who believes they can out-think the airlines' revenue/yield management computer algorithms is, in my view, delusional." -- Gardyloo

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My standard response to all the questions of "Can I make that early flight home?" or "Can I take a bag that is oversized without paying?":
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#45
New Cumberland,PA, USA
28,610 Posts
Joined May 2000
When it comes to long haul (we consider this flights over 4 hours non-stop) its a balance between your budget and your willingness to part with money for more comfort. On overnight flights (or really long flight over 8 hours) we look for anyway to justify lay flat business class seats. Sometimes you can get a pretty good deal through your cruise line. Other times we will book PE...and try to upgrade to Business within 24 hours of the flight or even at check-in.

The thing about PE, on International flights, is the comfort level is all over the place depending in your airline. We often rely on Seatguru.com for seat info....and also search the internet for recent first-person reviews of that airline, type of seat, and aircraft type. The best PE we have ever seen (and booked) was what they used to offer on some Air New Zealand flights between NZ and the USA. Their PE seats were better than many airline's business class....although they were not lay flat. Other airlines might only give you a regular economy seat with 3-5 inches of additional pitch (leg room). While that is better than economy, one might want to consider how much they are paying per flying hour...for that extra space. DW and I do tend to splurge more on those overnight flights then on a day flight (such as most flights from Europe to the USA). On overnights, the ability to get a few hours of sleep can be worth real money...since that allows us to enjoy our first day (without falling asleep on our feet).

Hank
#46
2,824 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by Globaliser
You didn't sit in it for 14 hours, did you? I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't have said that if you had.


Maybe so, just sharing my itty bitty experience with it.


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#47
2,824 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by wowzz
You don't mention which aircraft you flew on, but for me, the extra legroom would more than make up for the benefit [?] of raising one armrest. [If your husband was sitting next to me, he certainly wouldn't be raising our shared armrest!].

The new PE seats on Air France look fantastic - check them out on the Air France web site. You can't say that your husband would still choose economy!


Lol Don’t worry; my husband would never raise his armrest next to anyone but me. We booked one of the rare 2 person rows and had ample room. I think we were on a 777; we did have the newly designed PE seating. Online, it looked fantastic to me me. In person, I wasn’t as impressed. To each their own!


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#48
7,376 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
[quote=Hlitner;54989628]
The thing about PE......Other airlines might only give you a regular economy seat with 3-5 inches of additional pitch (leg room). While that is better than economy, one might want to consider how much they are paying per flying hour...for that extra space. /quote]

Make sure you are not comparing true "premium economy" with the lesser "economy plus" or similarly named product that a number of airlines offer. Those lesser products are indeed nothing more than a few extra inches of legroom, and perhaps a near imperceptible increase in seat recline, and that is very different from a TRUE premium economy seat. Apples and oranges....
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Remembering 34 past cruises:
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#49
New Cumberland,PA, USA
28,610 Posts
Joined May 2000
[quote=waterbug123;54997721]
Originally posted by Hlitner
The thing about PE......Other airlines might only give you a regular economy seat with 3-5 inches of additional pitch (leg room). While that is better than economy, one might want to consider how much they are paying per flying hour...for that extra space. /quote]

Make sure you are not comparing true "premium economy" with the lesser "economy plus" or similarly named product that a number of airlines offer. Those lesser products are indeed nothing more than a few extra inches of legroom, and perhaps a near imperceptible increase in seat recline, and that is very different from a TRUE premium economy seat. Apples and oranges....
We hear ya , One needs to understand that terms like "First Class," "Business Class," "Premium Economy," etc. are actually quite meaningless and are mere labels adopted by many airlines. There are no real standards for any of those classes. For those willing to spend a few minutes, it is now pretty easy to get definitive information on each airlines classes.....by aircraft type (and sometimes even specific flights). It only takes a few minutes to look at "seatguru" and a few other relevant sites to research options. Our own experience shows, again and again, that foreign (non-USA) carriers usually offer a better overall product then the major USA airlines. If I am flying from the USA to the Far East I am going to favor airlines like Singapore, Cathay Pacific and even China Air over United! If heading east I would be looking at some of the European Airlines....but would fist evaluate the top Middle Eastern airlines such as Etihad and Emirates before I would even consider Untied, American or Delta! This is even more true when considering Premium Economy, Business and First.

I think the major US airlines are taking advantage to decreased competition. Where there is Southwest and Jetblue....you do have good price competition. But otherwise, American, Delta and United seem to compete against each other to see who can offer the least comfortable pricey seats...coupled with the worst food (if they even offer food). We recently flew Delta from ATL to PVR (Puerto Vallarta) in economy. This is about a 4 1/2 hour flight (including gate time) and Delta generally uses relatively new A320 aircraft. Economy get you about 30 inches of pitch...which means that anyone over about 5"10 will find their knees tucked in against the seat in front! We have watched them go from 34 inch to 32 inch to 30 inch....while also taking away most of the seat recline ability (because there is no room). Meanwhile, fuel prices have decreased, aircraft have become much more fuel efficient, and prices climb out of the stratosphere. As frequent travelers we are forced to accept this nearly inhumane treatment. And in our experience, Delta is the best of the 3 major US airlines (you do not even want to hear my rants about AA and United).

Hank
#50
At 35,000 feet
9,426 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Hlitner
but would fist evaluate the top Middle Eastern airlines such as Etihad and Emirates before I would even consider Untied, American or Delta! This is even more true when considering Premium Economy, Business and First.
PLEASE be very aware of the need to check equipment. For example, on Emirates, the A380 is quite nice in Business, with private seating and the onboard bar area. But the same airline's 777 uses 7 across slant-board seating that is several generations old, and with little personal space or privacy. Worlds of difference - in fact, I will add additional legs to my routings with Emirates just to avoid their 777.
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"Anybody who believes they can out-think the airlines' revenue/yield management computer algorithms is, in my view, delusional." -- Gardyloo

"It doesn't really make a blind bit of difference what other people are paying since they're traveling from different airports, on different days, at different times of the year." -- fbgd

"Daddy he hates airplanes, Baby loves to fly. The Lady wants to know the reason why." -- Michael Franks

My standard response to all the questions of "Can I make that early flight home?" or "Can I take a bag that is oversized without paying?":
"Well, you gotta ask yourself....do you feel lucky? Well do you?" -- Inspector Harry Callahan