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

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#41
1,576 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
9,883 Posts
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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
22,946 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
9,883 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
MR University

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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#45
New Cumberland,PA, USA
30,812 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
3,166 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
3,166 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
7,975 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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#49
New Cumberland,PA, USA
30,812 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
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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
#51
2,024 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by Hlitner
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.
So many generalizations here. The US carriers have really upped their game lately, there are quite a few instances where I would pick a US carrier over Emirates or some of the much lauded Middle Eastern carriers. Some of their configurations are abysmal whereas AA now offer direct aisle access in all their business class seats on longhaul aircraft. Delta now offer suites on their A350 aircraft and United's Polaris is also a pretty decent option (if the aircraft is so equipped).

Originally posted by Hlitner
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).
Really? Prices are amongst the lowest they've ever been relative to inflation. As someone who claims to be a regular traveler you should know that....and the fact that if you are a regular traveler there are plenty of low or zero cost ways to improve the experience from "nearly inhumane". Free access to exit rows/Economy Plus/Comfort Plus/Main Cabin Extra products and the like. if you're whoring yourself out to the cheapest carrier then enjoy the pennies in your pocket, if you aren't then enjoy the premium cabin benefits...
#52
Arizona
662 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by waterbug123
Don't confuses Delta's PE, called Premium Select, with their Comfort+, which is just slightly enhanced economy.
Repeating this for emphasis. It seems that many online travel agencies and google flights code comfort+ as premium economy. It is NOT a premium economy product. American is the only of the three major legacy U.S. carriers offering a true premium economy product at this point -- except for a very few delta flights out of DTW to Asia on the A350 and occasional flights from DTW to AMS -- which as noted is called premium select.

Now, it looks as though delta's premium select is actually a very nice product. Moreover, if you purchase an international premium select ticket at the moment, you are mapped into first class for any U.S. domestic connecting legs (which is not the case with American). So, as they add more premium select routes in the coming years this may turn out to be a very nice intermediate option between coach and business. But do not be fooled into thinking that "premium economy" will put you in this product -- you need to check very carefully. Only premium select is the true PE product.

(One minor caveat -- on some routes flown by 757s that do not have modern lie-flat business seats, Delta will be selling these older business class seats as premium select seats. I think they are doing this on some of their transat flights to Ireland and Iceland -- if you get "premium select" on one of those routes, it will be a true upgraded experience from comfort+ and worth paying a premium.)
#53
SAn Bruno California
1,636 Posts
Joined May 2000
Has anyone used Princess easy air and been able to pick a particular airline in PE ?
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Oskidunker
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#54
20 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Is there a website that shows all airlines aircrafts and their routes? In search of which air crafts have the best true premium economy in regards to comfort from US to London in September. I have visited seatguru with some of the routes I am watching but each air craft seems to have different versions with slight variations. We are not limited to one outgoing or return destination city to get there. Just looking for top options across all air crafts for comfort in premium economy.
#55
1,576 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by jolchip
Is there a website that shows all airlines aircrafts and their routes? In search of which air crafts have the best true premium economy in regards to comfort from US to London in September. I have visited seatguru with some of the routes I am watching but each air craft seems to have different versions with slight variations. We are not limited to one outgoing or return destination city to get there. Just looking for top options across all air crafts for comfort in premium economy.
Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways offer a true PE service on all their trans-atlantic routes. My preference of the two would be Virgin.

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#56
SAn Bruno California
1,636 Posts
Joined May 2000
Lufthansa was great. Flew a few months ago. Waiting to see what product United comes up with


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Oskidunker
Elite Cruiser
#57
20 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by wowzz
Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways offer a true PE service on all their trans-atlantic routes. My preference of the two would be Virgin.

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Great! Thanks!
#58
20 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by oskidunker
Lufthansa was great. Flew a few months ago. Waiting to see what product United comes up with


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Thanks! Will check them out.
#59
1,576 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by oskidunker
Lufthansa was great. Flew a few months ago. Waiting to see what product United comes up with


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Not much help as Lufthansa do not fly into LHR from the US.

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#60
At 35,000 feet
9,883 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by wowzz
Not much help as Lufthansa do not fly into LHR from the US.
You mean they don't fly a routing like USA - FRA - LHR??

Oh, you meant to say they don't fly NON-STOP. Big difference.

For any number of reasons, one might choose to fly to London via FRA. Or not.
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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