Dissenting Opinion: Premium Economy Is Better Value on U.S. Carriers

Ed Perkins wrote an interesting article over on airfarewatchdog in which he compares the airlines’ premium economy products, and even develops his own classification system whereby some airlines offer a “true” premium economy product and others (read: U.S.-based airlines) offer a “semi” premium economy product. True premium economy costs substantially more, but is also a substantially better product, while semi-premium costs just a little more and offers only a slightly better amount of legroom.

Perkins’ insights are interesting, and show how different airlines are taking different approaches to the whole airline seating valuation puzzle.

In his conclusion, Perkins seems to prefer┬áthe U.S. airline model and dismisses the more expensive “true” premium economy model as too expensive in most cases:

True premium economy is really a substantially better product than ordinary economy. If you have lots of money, go for it. Otherwise, look for routes and times when the price premium is low enough to make it worthwhile. And consider semi-premium economy just about any time.

Those commenting, however, would appear to disagree with this conclusion.

US domestic carriers don’t really have premium as Ed mentioned in the article…it’s definitely more “semi-premium,” and I wouldn’t advocate for it. Since I live in Sydney, PE on Qantas is quite nice…it just gets you away from the masses of people with better service, glassware, and more space. ~Sam Henry

I flew Delta’s version of premium economy (economy comfort) from Singapore to Japan several years ago and was miserable. ~James L. Morrison

Premium economy on US carriers is crap when compared to the international carriers, and is not worth the money if more than a couple hundred dollars. Premium economy on most international carriers is worth it. ~Symphorosa Williams

In fact, it isn’t only the commenters on this article who disagree with Perkins’ general assessment. I’d hazard that pretty much the entire globally frequent flying world would agree that U.S. carriers offer the lowest quality in-flight product.

What about you? Do you think the premium economy offerings of the U.S. carriers are a good value? A better value than premium economy offerings on non-U.S. carriers?

Read the article and comments section in its entirety: Premium Economy: Is It for You?

Air New Zealand” by Kent Wien. CC BY-SA 2.0.



  1. at the usual rates for PE on Cathay qantas or air New Zealand you can buy all the miles you need and fly on something like SQ on business AND save some money, so I don’t see the point.

  2. To me, those comments actualy prove the point. Real premium economy is better then US semi offering. No question which too choose if pricing is the same, but IRL, US semi is only a modest premium over regular Y, and premium economy tends to be significantly more expensive.

  3. E+ is fine in the US for shorter domestic flights, but for overseas flights the products of international carriers wins hands down.

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