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

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First thank all of you experienced flyers for any advice!

 

I would consider us "new" flyers.

 

A little background. I flew extensively as a child even long haul flights, but my husband has been on a place for 2 trips, both relatively short under 2 1/2 hours. He is a very nervous flyer also. My husband is the taller of us... at a whole 5'4 so you know.. generally shorter than most women even :)

 

Trying to decide on flights for our Med Cruise. I would like to go with the Delta/Air France one in PE. With the flights it currently breaks down to the flights being in 1st, PE, then Economy based on the planes and then the reverse on the way home. I have to find time to call my TA or Delta to see if we can do Econ, PE, Econ and save some $$

 

On the other hand.. I can go United PE for about $500 less, but I understand that United PE is just a slightly bigger seat and well.. being short I dislike the thought of paying the flight price for just extra "leg room" and nothing else.

 

On the other hand, I can get Economy flights for all legs for about $1000 less than the PE with Delta/Air France with Delta, United, or Lufthansa.

 

Now the money isn't an issue, thought Air is going to end up costing almost as much as the 13 day cruise in a suite which is bonkers but this is why we drive instead of flying in general)

 

How do you all find that PE compared to E on 9+ hour flights? While there are other airlines whose times meet our needs, their price is comparable and well.. Air France just seems to give more for the $$.

 

I remember feeling like this the first time I ever booked a cruise myself almost 8 years ago and feeling lost and confused and I have come to realize that air travel is so much scarier to book!!

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I am from Canada and have only used premium economy on Air Canada Rouge. It was fantastic it was more room nice meal with drinks. We flew from Toronto to Barcelona and Barcelona to Toronto. In May will be flying to Copenhagen there and back premium economy on Air Canada. This plane has thee classes of seats business, premium economy,and economy. Will never fly economy class again the seats are just too small with no leg room and room for the rest of the body as well. you feel like a sardine. There is a great site seat guru where you can get reviews of the different airlines and the seats that are offered and comments by other travelers which may help with booking your flights. Hope this helps and you find the help you need to make a decision. And that you gave a great trip.

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I am from Canada and have only used premium economy on Air Canada Rouge. It was fantastic it was more room nice meal with drinks. We flew from Toronto to Barcelona and Barcelona to Toronto. In May will be flying to Copenhagen there and back premium economy on Air Canada. This plane has thee classes of seats business, premium economy,and economy. Will never fly economy class again the seats are just too small with no leg room and room for the rest of the body as well. you feel like a sardine. There is a great site seat guru where you can get reviews of the different airlines and the seats that are offered and comments by other travelers which may help with booking your flights. Hope this helps and you find the help you need to make a decision. And that you gave a great trip.

 

Premium Economy on Air Canada and many of the European airlines is a seat similar to what is sold as Domestic First Class in the US. It is wider, extra leg-room, better meal etc.

 

On the US airlines they have offered Comfort+, Economy Plus (goes by several different brand names) for a number of years. This is just a little extra leg room. Not the same as Premium Ecnomy.

 

Some US airlines have just stated to do a proper Premium Ecnomy cabin. Delta is one of these, not certain if they have it on all their aircraft yet. I don't think United has started to do it yet, but I could be wrong.

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We flew Lufthansa premium economy from Barcelona last year . It was fantastic . We booked the first row and they were recliners with individual screens with first run movies and tv shows . The seats were wide and comfortable and the service was great . I would never fly economy on long flights anymore.

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"Worth it" is a totally personal, subjective decision only you can make. We don't think it is, so we pay to fly Business or First.

 

Most importantly, as others have said, "Premium Economy" means entirely different things on US airlines, as opposed to foreign airlines.

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We flew Air France, Atl to Paris last May in PE, the seat was a little larger, with more legroom than economy, 2/4/2 across IIRC, as opposed to maybe 2/5/2 in economy. There are a few other perks as well. Not as good as old-fashioned First Class, but better than economy. I usually need a day and half to recover from that flight, but felt ok after the PE flight and a good nights sleep

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I have flown from Seattle to Europe, UAE, Africa, and Japan. Mixed business and personal. I have flown in First, Business, PE, and Economy.

If it was my money, I would not pay more for PE. Since money is not the problem, I would highly encourage looking at Business Class. If Business is out of the question, I don’t feel that the extra expense for PE is of value.

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UA doesn't have premium economy. It's not worth it for me to pay for PE, even for a 10 hour flight. The only time I don't fly in the back is when I can book an award ticket in business, or I get a free upgrade.

I agree if money isn't an issue, look at business class for the long haul flights.

You can't compare cruise prices with air fare prices. One has nothing to do with the other.

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I would like to go with the Delta/Air France one in PE. With the flights it currently breaks down to the flights being in 1st, PE, then Economy based on the planes and then the reverse on the way home. I have to find time to call my TA or Delta to see if we can do Econ, PE, Econ and save some $$

 

On the other hand.. I can go United PE for about $500 less, but I understand that United PE is just a slightly bigger seat and well.. being short I dislike the thought of paying the flight price for just extra "leg room" and nothing else.

 

How do you all find that PE compared to E on 9+ hour flights? While there are other airlines whose times meet our needs, their price is comparable and well.. Air France just seems to give more for the $$.

 

A couple of thoughts here...

1. As for your plan to save money by booking the first leg in E instead of F, I guess you can call and ask, but it may mean buying that leg on a separate ticket, which adds risk....you aren't automatically protected on the transatlantic flight if the first leg, on a separate ticket, causes you to miss the connection. But purchasing all of it as one ticket, in premium economy, means that first leg is ticketed in F. As money isn't an issue, I'd leave it alone.

2. Understand the the "Delta/Air France" ticket in PE, the transatlantic leg will be on Air France, although it may have a DL codeshare number attached to the flight. DL doesn't currently offer premium economy on any TATL flights. Don't confuses Delta's PE, called Premium Select, with their Comfort+, which is just slightly enhanced economy.

3. I recently (Oct) flew TATL on AF in PE. Frankly, for the money, I wouldn't do it again. I'd either go ahead and pay for business class or I'd suck it up and fly coach. I'm 5'3" so me the additional space wasn't a huge plus, and the seat recline wasn't all that much. On a TATL flight even economy will get a meal and free drinks, so I found the PE to be a huge additional expense that for me, wasn't worth it.

4. Since you and your husband are both small people, and since you'll get a meal and drinks on a TATL flight no matter where you sit, this might be a case where you take a look at Delta's Comfort+. The price difference is typically a nominal increase over regular economy, and gives a little extra legroom and a tiny bit of extra recline. For the money and for your needs, that might be a better value for you than true premium economy. Or consider business class! ;)

 

 

Some US airlines have just stated to do a proper Premium Ecnomy cabin. Delta is one of these, not certain if they have it on all their aircraft yet.

 

No, if I recall correctly, Delta's "Premium Select" is currently only available on a limited selection of flights to Asia, though hopefully that will change.

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If money is "no object" then why not really enjoy the flight and go in Business class. Or, at least, for the east bound flight as you would have the lie flat seats and might get a few hours sleep, which I feel is very helpful. Business class is MUCH better than the others. We were just making this decision ourselves and have booked business class.

 

We flew to Europe in Delta One class last fall, and I will never fly long haul again in economy class. My DW "hates" to spend the money and says she would just as soon sit in the back. My reply is always, "OK if that is what you want to do. But I will really miss you." So far, she is still sitting next to me in the front.

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If you do decide to go with business class, check out what equipment you’ll be flying on before booking. Not all airlines provide lie flat seats in business.

 

Check out what type of airplane, 777-200, 777-300, 747-400, 787-800, 787-900, 767, A380, A350, etc.

Then go to seatguru.com and look at the seating configurations.

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Also, if your cruise line offers an air program, after you get pricing and routing from the airline, check your cruise line.

 

bon voyage

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As a tall male I will now only fly long haul in a true PE seat - can't afford business class unfortunately. Given that you and your husband are not tall, you will not really benefit from the extra legroom in PE. Only you can decide if a slightly wider seat and a separate cabin are worth the extra cost.

 

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How do you all find that PE compared to E on 9+ hour flights?
True premium economy is definitely worth paying a premium for - but part of the "worth it?" question is how much more you'd be paying. For round-trip trans-Atlantic to/from the US east coast, I think I'd be reluctant to spend $1,000 extra round-trip. From the UK, I'd be looking to pay something more in the £200 per sector range, ie something closer to $500 round-trip.

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So you are on a 13 Day cruise in a Suite that, if you will, has extra leg room but want the cheap seats to the boat?

You could also to upgraded flight one way. I would do it on the trip back after being in a suite for 13 days but then again I'm 6'7" so I always pay to upgrade my seat.

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True premium economy is definitely worth paying a premium for - but part of the "worth it?" question is how much more you'd be paying. For round-trip trans-Atlantic to/from the US east coast, I think I'd be reluctant to spend $1,000 extra round-trip. From the UK, I'd be looking to pay something more in the £200 per sector range, ie something closer to $500 round-trip.

 

I flew transatlantic in premium economy on Air France recently, and only paid $50 extra over economy. Definitely not worth $1000 more.

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I flew transatlantic in premium economy on Air France recently, and only paid $50 extra over economy. Definitely not worth $1000 more.

 

You got very lucky. PE on AF is frequently in the range of an additional $500-$1000 over regular economy.

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You got very lucky. PE on AF is frequently in the range of an additional $500-$1000 over regular economy.

 

 

I know! I only got it one way, but enjoyed it. A couple of years ago AF asked me if I wanted to upgrade to business for $225. I jumped on it, then discovered it wasn’t for my flight from Boston to Paris, but for the leg from Paris to Bucharest! Less than a 3 hour flight, separated from coach by a curtain and seats the same, but I was glad I did it.

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I know! I only got it one way, but enjoyed it. A couple of years ago AF asked me if I wanted to upgrade to business for $225. I jumped on it, then discovered it wasn’t for my flight from Boston to Paris, but for the leg from Paris to Bucharest! Less than a 3 hour flight, separated from coach by a curtain and seats the same, but I was glad I did it.

 

When KLM, and I THINK AF but I'm not positive, sell "business" class for intra-European fights, it is just the front section of coach and they leave the middle seat empty. It's not true business class seating configuration. I'm sure that takes a lot of people by surprise, and not the good kind of surprise. ;)

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Globaliser may add additional info, but the British Airways intra-Europe business class "Club Europe" offers a seat pitch of 30 inches. That's less than most US domestic coach and less than what Ryanair offers. Big shock if someone is expecting a nice seat on their way in/out between Europe and Heathrow.

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Globaliser may add additional info, but the British Airways intra-Europe business class "Club Europe" offers a seat pitch of 30 inches. That's less than most US domestic coach and less than what Ryanair offers. Big shock if someone is expecting a nice seat on their way in/out between Europe and Heathrow.
The new BA Airbus 'Neo's' arriving this year will only have 29 inch pitch, in all classes! Worse than virtually all lcc's. Non-reclining seats as well, although this is a bonus on short flights.

 

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Globaliser may add additional info, but the British Airways intra-Europe business class "Club Europe" offers a seat pitch of 30 inches. That's less than most US domestic coach and less than what Ryanair offers. Big shock if someone is expecting a nice seat on their way in/out between Europe and Heathrow.
However, there is a little consolation in the form of a guaranteed empty seat next to you: most short-haul aircraft are in a 3-3 configuration, but Club Europe is sold as 2-2. So flying in Club Europe is still not the same as economy, and I'm reminded of the research that showed that of all the things that contribute to seat comfort in economy-type seating, the most important by far is an empty seat next to you.

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However, there is a little consolation in the form of a guaranteed empty seat next to you: most short-haul aircraft are in a 3-3 configuration, but Club Europe is sold as 2-2. So flying in Club Europe is still not the same as economy, and I'm reminded of the research that showed that of all the things that contribute to seat comfort in economy-type seating, the most important by far is an empty seat next to you.

 

Agree that the empty seat next to you is a big plus. But Euro-Biz will come as a big shock to folks from this side of the pond who think they will get something akin to USA domestic first.

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One other item about Euro-Biz that can cause disappointment - seeing a seat map with 2-2 in business for a 737 can make one think it's like a USA first, which is also 2-2.

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One other item about Euro-Biz that can cause disappointment - seeing a seat map with 2-2 in business for a 737 can make one think it's like a USA first, which is also 2-2.

 

Yes, it was a big shock my first time to learn that Euro-Biz is nothing more than economy 3 by 3 seats with the middle seat being blocked out by a cheap counter top on it.

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Agree that the empty seat next to you is a big plus. But Euro-Biz will come as a big shock to folks from this side of the pond who think they will get something akin to USA domestic first.
I agree. Assumptions are always dangerous.

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Flying internationally on flights exceeding 7 hrs on a single plane demand no less than biz class.

 

With apologies to Vince Lombardi, flying in PE "is like kissing your sister."

 

That said, OP should familiarize herself with ITA Matrix on the web and do some comparisons of coach and biz class. There are some occasional bargains.

 

 

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Flying internationally on flights exceeding 7 hrs on a single plane demand no less than biz class.

 

With apologies to Vince Lombardi, flying in PE "is like kissing your sister."

 

That said, OP should familiarize herself with ITA Matrix on the web and do some comparisons of coach and biz class. There are some occasional bargains.

 

 

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I would agree, apart from the fact that a 10 hour flight in biz can cost as much as a 7 day resort stay. Unfortunately some of us economically challenged mortals have to make compromises.

 

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"Worth it" is a totally personal, subjective decision only you can make. We don't think it is, so we pay to fly Business or First

 

Same.

 

A lot of people seem to work from the bottom up when looking at airline prices. Start at economy and just go from there. Why not start at the top and work downwards, particularly if money isn't an issue.

 

I fly almost 100% FC domestically within the US and business or first class internationally. Instead of looking at the headline price look at the difference in price between cabins and what that gets you. For example, last year I flew AA Business Class JFK-LHR-JFK for about $2600 return....but then Economy on the same flights was only $800 less than that. Broken down it's only $50/hr difference in price before you take into account any ground benefits (my frequent flyer status gets me First Class ground benefits on AA and other airlines).

 

There are other smart ways to bring down the price. My primary carrier is BA and their Visa card gives you 10% off the entire fare for a $95 annual fee and you can save another $200pp by signing up for AARP (no age restrictions). BA's international business class isn't nearly as world beating as it once was but it's heaps better than any premium economy product out there.

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Flying internationally on flights exceeding 7 hrs on a single plane demand no less than biz class.
If you have unlimited resources.

 

If I have to go to Australia three times in a year, paying for it out of my own pocket, I think that I would rather not risk bankruptcy by adopting this as a rule.

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If you have unlimited resources.

 

 

 

If I have to go to Australia three times in a year, paying for it out of my own pocket, I think that I would rather not risk bankruptcy by adopting this as a rule.

 

 

Your circumstances may dictate that you can't do biz class. That doesn't change the fact that anything less than that class of service on the long hauls is uncomfortable for many travelers - so much so that they will spend more money and/or FF points.

 

 

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Your circumstances may dictate that you can't do biz class. That doesn't change the fact that anything less than that class of service on the long hauls is uncomfortable for many travelers - so much so that they will spend more money and/or FF points.

 

 

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I think you are stating the obvious. We all want to travel in comfort, but circumstances sometimes dictate that we just have to "grin and bear it."

 

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I think you are stating the obvious. We all want to travel in comfort, but circumstances sometimes dictate that we just have to "grin and bear it."

 

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One of the reasons we choose to cruise with Oceania is the air credit for DIY. Those savings added to a FF points/cash combo, date flexibility and some extensive price research often find us affordable biz class.

 

 

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One of the reasons we choose to cruise with Oceania is the air credit for DIY. Those savings added to a FF points/cash combo, date flexibility and some extensive price research often find us affordable biz class.

 

Remember that air credits don't just miraculously appear out of thin air. Somehow, Oceania (and other lines) need to have a revenue source that covers that outgoing cash flow.

 

You've paid for those air tickets (including the credits) one way or another.

 

TANSTAAFL

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Remember that air credits don't just miraculously appear out of thin air. Somehow, Oceania (and other lines) need to have a revenue source that covers that outgoing cash flow.

 

 

 

You've paid for those air tickets (including the credits) one way or another.

 

 

 

TANSTAAFL

 

Gee- I had never thought of it in that way [emoji6]

 

 

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Gee- I had never thought of it in that way [emoji6]

 

Posted not so much for you, but for those who just look at some numbers and don't do the deep dive.

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Posted not so much for you, but for those who just look at some numbers and don't do the deep dive.

 

 

 

Just "yankin' your chain."

Nonetheless, the fare is the fare on Oceania. They do now have a stripped down "cruise only" cabin price (w/o air and other O Life perks). But, for us, the "O Life" price includes good value related to our choices on the ship. So, we're "stuck" with the air or air credit. And we've always taken the credit in order to DIY with added pre/post cruise land stays and best use of our FF points.

 

 

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That doesn't change the fact that anything less than that class of service on the long hauls is uncomfortable for many travelers - so much so that they will spend more money and/or FF points.
That's true, and I like doing it in business class - or first class, even, when I can - if I can organise it.

 

But that, at least, is more realistic than smugly saying:-

 

Flying internationally on flights exceeding 7 hrs on a single plane demand no less than biz class.

 

With apologies to Vince Lombardi, flying in PE "is like kissing your sister."

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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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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.
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.

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