Vistara Premium Economy – The Worst of Both Worlds?

Recently I wrote about the differences between premium economy as it is implemented on U.S. carriers vs. non-U.S. carriers.

The gist being: U.S. carriers offer a rather unimpressive premium economy product, but at a relatively cheap price; whereas non-U.S. carriers typically offer a much nicer premium economy experience at a much steeper price.

Now Vistara – a new full-service airline operating in India – has come along and, based on this trip report by Vishal Mehra, it has decided to take a different tack with regard to premium economy.

Namely, Vistara has opted to provide the limited enhancements found on U.S. carriers at a price more in line with the international carriers premium economy products.

From Vishal’s report:

I … asked the attendant a rather pointed question: Besides three inches of extra seat pitch what am I getting in Premium Economy? The attendants … were most professional and courteous, but the reply did not convince me one bit. I don’t blame them. …


I paid roughly 2.5x the cost of my economy ticket to be in premium economy, price differences for other passengers may vary slightly but the value proposition is still not attractive enough for short-haul domestic flying.

I’m no expert in the Indian aviation business – I will continue to rely on the expertise of Ajay over at Live from a Lounge and Vishal (who, as it turns out, are fast friends according to this post) – but charging a LOT more for an only marginally better product would seem to me to be an odd strategy for a new airline.

And from a purely selfish perspective, I sure hope it doesn’t work because I don’t want the U.S. carriers getting any “bright” ideas.

Read Vishal’s review in its entirety: Review: Is Vistara’s Premium Economy worth it?

Worst business model EVER!” by mia.judkins. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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