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About to book my first long haul flight after many cruises from Southampton.

It's a minefield and I know someone on this board will offer honest opinions.

My first dilemma is

Are Premium economy seats/deals worth the extra money?

When booking opens for seats is there a hierarchy for who can book first like Baltic Ligurian etc?

Am I guaranteed to get two seats together?

Do I then pay for these seats?

Sorry if that's a lot of questions but do value people's thoughts and experiences.

Thanks

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Hi spf

 

In short, we feel that Premium Economy is always worth it. Why? Extra legroom; priority boarding (on aircraft, not ship); priority airport check-in; fast-track security; complimentary alcoholic beverages; superior baggage allowance (greater on Thomas Cook than Thomson); priority debark from aircraft to waiting 'jalopies';seat configuration is 2-3-2 in Premium.

Baltic / Ligurian can book their aircraft seats 2 days prior to other passengers.

Two seats together will not be guaranteed, but we have always had 2 seats together - window and aisle.

They cost extra; anywhere between £20 and £60 each, depending on airline and which row you select. The cost of the seat you select is clearly indicated at the time of booking; booking opens 13 weeks prior to departure, but always after the final payment date.

 

Presume you are flying to the Caribbean? Enjoy!

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I would recommend upgrading to Premium for all the reasons NauticalMiss provided earlier. For both fly cruises we did to Caribbean we were too late to get premium due to late booking.

 

If you end up without premium and need to book seats, then I recommend doing that as soon as the ability to reserve is available.

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At £60 a seat it's a no-brainer. That is very cheap compared to a normal charter upgrade

 

 

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I have used Thomson Premium Long Haul for non-cruise flights and I agree they are worth it for the reasons stated above but to add to that, more than the extra leg room the extra seat width is worth the extra cost and the main reason I upgrade.

 

Thomson have recently changed the timings for selecting seats for all flight passengers in Premium and extra leg space, changing from 90 days from the return flight to the time of booking. This benefits early bookers but I do not know how this effects cruise passengers.

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I would also agree that it's worth upgrading to Premium Economy. Usually when you book the flights you see the seating plan and can choose which seats you want so can book two seats together. It would be unusual for those seats to be altered. The check in alone is worth a lot. On our last Caribbean flight we had to book late as P&O cancelled our original cruise and we had to change to another cruise and by that time all the Premium Seats were booked. We went on a wait list but no luck. When we got to Gatwick - and we arrived as we thought early - the queue for Economy check in snaked a long way. The queue for Premium had two couples waiting to check in! When we last went there was no additional luggage allowance for Premium passengers and so that's an added extra. We've been in Premium more with Thomson than Thomas Cook and have been impressed with their offering - for the meal for example, warm rolls were brought round in a basket for us to choose, wine was poured into glasses from a bottle, not those little individual bottles which are usually given. The Steward then came round several times topping up glasses if wanted. The whole experience, for us, was well worth it. Also when we left the plane we were off very quickly and on to one of the first buses to the port which meant that we didn't have to queue for a long time at Bridgetown - important for me as I can't stand for long periods of time. So yes, well worth it.

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I'm doing my first long haul fly-cruise in December and decided to give the Premium Economy ago (with Thomas Cook), I don't like flying so hopefully this will make it a little more comfortable for me!

It was £299pp but then we still have to pay £40 pp return to pick our seats to sit next to each other which can be done 13/14 weeks before you go.

I think the 2 higher tiers get to pick seats 2 days before others and that most people login at Midnight when they are released so that they can get the seats they want and to be sat together, which is what I'll have to do sadly!!

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The £299 figure seems about right. Not sure how 'nautical miss' got pe for £60?

 

Sent from my SM-T700 using Forums mobile app

 

I thinks she may have been referring to the additional costs to select your seat £20 pp each way?!

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I think you must be correct. I have never flown PE in conjunction with a cruise so wasn't aware of this extra cost - Thomson and Virgin allow you to choose your seats for free in PE. BA make you pay, even in club, unless you wait until 24 hours before the flight, or are a BA Gold member.

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re: £60 cost, I also took it to mean the extra cost of reserving the specific seat not the Premium cabin itself.

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I thinks she may have been referring to the additional costs to select your seat £20 pp each way?!

 

Indeed that is what I meant ;)

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. BA make you pay, even in club, unless you wait until 24 hours before the flight, or are a BA Gold member.

 

Happy to report that BA also don't charge if you fly in First :D, regardless of whether you are Gold or not.

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£60 is the charge for the extra leg room seats.

 

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Forums mobile app

 

And also for Row 1 in PE Thomas Cook / P&O Charter, whereas Row 1 in PE on Thomson / P&O Charter is £20? Maybe £25, can't recall. Anyway, it's a cautionary tale. I remember having the painful experience of paying £60 per seat on our last long-haul to Britannia in December. My complaint over the disparity between airlines was upheld 3 times by P&O, until some pen-pusher (sorry, representative) from Edgington's office called me to list the reasons for them rejecting my request for a partial refund. Caught me on a bad day; got my refund :D.

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I think you must be correct. I have never flown PE in conjunction with a cruise so wasn't aware of this extra cost - Thomson and Virgin allow you to choose your seats for free in PE. BA make you pay, even in club, unless you wait until 24 hours before the flight, or are a BA Gold member.

 

We have just booked a cruise on Adonia for next February to the Caribbean. We are going on Virgin, I believe its P&O new partener for flights from Manchester and London :)

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Only you can judge if the additional cost for PE flights is worthwhile. Most people would agree that the upgrade is excellent value especially when you compare the similar upgrades on BA or Virgin can be 3x the cost. Check out Youtube, there are a few videos showing the differences. Our preference is for the Thomson flight as the bulkhead seats in PE are classified as standard seats at £20 not £60 as is the case on Thomas Cook charter flights.

 

Currently PE is £299/pp extra for the return flight UK to Caribbean (applicable ONLY to Thomson and Thomas Cook charter flights)

 

To reserve your seats it is an extra £20 for Standard seats and £60 Emergency exit seat which is applicable whether you choose Economy or Premium Economy, this is the only way to guarantee getting seats together. You can avoid the extra charge by getting allocated seats at check-in for free but could be seated apart.

 

The seat release times are published on the PO website, yet to be published for the winter 2017 goto -

https://ask.pocruises.com/help/po/flights/seat_booker1

Edited by jody75

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As far as I am aware, there are no emergency exits in the PE cabins.

Totally agree.

BUT you need to tell PO Cruises that, they charge £60 for Thomas Cook PE seats 1A/1B/1H/1J which according to PO Customer Services are emergency exits seats. (see NauticalMiss post)

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Totally agree.

BUT you need to tell PO Cruises that, they charge £60 for Thomas Cook PE seats 1A/1B/1H/1J which according to PO Customer Services are emergency exits seats. (see NauticalMiss post)

Seems like PO customer services should take a look at Seatguru, which shows these seats in yellow, as they have less legroom than other seats, due to the bulkhead. I suppose the only advantage is that there is no one in front of you reclining their seat, but this is not really an issue in PE. IMHO the seats are certainly not worth an additional £60.

 

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And also for Row 1 in PE Thomas Cook / P&O Charter, whereas Row 1 in PE on Thomson / P&O Charter is £20? Maybe £25, can't recall. Anyway, it's a cautionary tale. I remember having the painful experience of paying £60 per seat on our last long-haul to Britannia in December. My complaint over the disparity between airlines was upheld 3 times by P&O, until some pen-pusher (sorry, representative) from Edgington's office called me to list the reasons for them rejecting my request for a partial refund. Caught me on a bad day; got my refund :D.

I actually took photos of these emergency exit seats in case of future problems - clearly not emergency exit seats 😲

 

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I actually took photos of these emergency exit seats in case of future problems - clearly not emergency exit seats 😲

 

Sent from my SM-G935F using Forums mobile app

 

Hi Gymbod, good to hear from you. Did you enjoy your extended Christmas cruise? You're right; the seats were definitely bulkhead and not emergency exit. P&O were rather indignant about the category of seating but ultimately they were wrong. Incidentally, we only booked Row 1 because we had an 'extremely overactive child' in front of us the previous year and didn't want to repeat the experience :rolleyes:.

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We are doing a Thomson cruise in the Caribbean next January which we booked this January. We upgraded to Premium Club and were able to select our seats straight away with no additional seat-booking charge on top of the £294pp Premium cost.

Not flown Premium before but the reviews are mainly good and, as has been said, there are some good You Tube videos showing what you get. Looking forward to it.

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We are doing a Thomson cruise in the Caribbean next January which we booked this January. We upgraded to Premium Club and were able to select our seats straight away with no additional seat-booking charge on top of the £294pp Premium cost.

Not flown Premium before but the reviews are mainly good and, as has been said, there are some good You Tube videos showing what you get. Looking forward to it.

Personally I think it is worth paying the extra, especially for the return night flight.

 

Sent from my SM-T700 using Forums mobile app

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