Travelling in comfort

Flying Business Class is a dream that many of us aspire to but much fewer can afford! Luckily a number of airlines have heard our lament at the high cost of comfort and have provided an affordable compromise.

Premium Economy bridges the gap between the standard economy class and business class cabins by offering some of the comforts of a premium seat for a reasonable price. Different airlines call their Premium Economy offerings by varying names, but they all boil down to the same concept – a more luxurious journey for a less than luxurious cost.

What are the perks?

  • BIGGER SEATS! More leg room. Wider seat. Better recline and lumbar support.
  • MEALS! Upgraded meals with a free bar service.
  • ENTERTAINMENT! Personal flat screen TV. Power source for laptops, etc.
  • BAGGAGE! 2 pieces of checked luggage
  • CHECK –IN & BOARDING! Dedicated check-in desk and priority boarding at Gate.

Now that being said I must preface and warn you that the inclusions vary by airline.  Do your due diligence and research!

This upgraded cabin is best appreciated on long-haul flights where leg room, dedicated cabin staff and premium meal service make a real difference.

The further in advance you book, the lower the cost. Here are some examples of Economy vs Premium vs Business Class.

London, UK $1415 $1975 $6276
Hong Kong $1550 $2250 $4685
Auckland, NZ $1625 $2855 $5904
Johannesburg, SA $1249 $2250 $4781

*fares are based on restrictive excursion options.

For those of you who are flying throughout the USA or down towards Central and South America, keep an eye open for the “Instant Upgrade” fares that many of the US airlines such as United and Delta offer. I came across this amazing value when booking some clients to Lima, Peru. The least expensive round-trip economy fare from Vancouver to Lima was $1170pp. We took advantage of an instant upgrade fare and my clients travelled Full Business Class for only $1755pp!! Sadly, I haven’t seen this offered to any other continent.

With every advantage comes a disadvantage. Unlike the unrestricted full Business Class fares, the Premium Economy seats are usually 100% non-refundable and entail a change fee to alter your route in any way after ticketing. Like the cheapest economy seats, premium seating is also subject to availability.

Of course, it all depends on the individual’s preferences and requirements. For the business traveler who is travelling on a full fare economy flight, the slight upgrade can make all the difference as to his/her performance in the boardroom the next day! It is worth bearing in mind that having a few extra inches of space and extra attention from cabin crew can make all the difference in a long journey!

As the staff at L’Oreal would say …….. “You’re Worth It”!


**Important note from author of this article:

Apologies to Air Canada as their Premium Economy service on select flights does indeed offer a state of the art onboard entertainment system.  I incorrectly associated their Premium Economy with the Preferred Seating on their AC Rouge aircraft. (This portion of my article has now been removed).

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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