Are Premium Economy Seats worth the Cost?

Friday, 28 June 2013
Most travelers highly value cheap airplane tickets and cheap vacation packages. However, many of those same travelers are open to paying a little more in order to be given seats with additional legroom and other perks.

Several U.S. airlines have introduced a premium economy section, typically in the front of coach where, for a fee, fliers are able to enjoy additional legroom and are usually given early boarding privileges. Unfortunately premium economy seats mean very different things to different airlines at very different prices.

Delta recently added Economy Comfort seats with 36 inches of leg room (vs. the standard 32 inches) on most off its international flights and plans to bring the same class of seating to domestic flights shortly. Additional perks of Delta’s premium coach seats are free alcoholic drinks and access to AC power ports.

Such seats are not nearly as comfortable as those provided in Business Class and do not come with Business Class food or service.
Currently Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, United and Virgin America offer premium economy seats. Prices vary, but are often reasonable for those passengers needing a couple of extra inches of room and desirous of sleeping while flying.

Today Delta offers the cheapest upcharge for enhanced economy seats on international flights. United’s premium economy seats are more expensive, but not dramatically so. However, on some United planes you get only 35 inches vs. Delta’s 36”.

Depending on the airline, the flight, and the additional cost, the premium seat option should be considered.

Experienced Frequent Fliers Tips

While just about everyone knows the importance of purchasing cheap airplane tickets and discount hotel rooms or cheap vacation packages, there are additional steps that can be taken to ensure a successful trip.

Independent Traveler spoke to several veteran travelers requesting their travel advice and came up with the following suggestions:

• Back up important travel documents, such as passports, travel insurance policy, itinerary confirmations, and scans of your credit cards, in electronic form. Some experts recommend holding such documents on a flash drive that is always carried by the traveler. Alternatively you could store such documents remotely using a service like Dropbox that can be accessed from any Internet connected computer.

• Prior to departure send yourself a single email that lists all the destination addresses you will be visiting, including hotels, offices, attractions, and museums. Then save this email on your smartphone.

• Record your parking spot electronically. By taking a picture of your parking spot section sign with your smartphone you will not be plagued by a poor memory upon trying to return to your car.

• To save time in finding and taking your airline seat, remember higher numbers are in back and letters run from right to left as you face the back of the plane.

• Purchase water once you pass through airport security. This is important since air travel dehydrates passengers significantly and you can never tell how much water will be provided during your flight.

• Buy your own food prior to boarding or order a special meal prior to departing for the airport. Special ordered airplane meals tend to be the first served, prior to when the full cabin service starts, and also are often fresher.

• Don’t choose a security line based on its length. Instead look to see how fast the security agents in different lines are working.



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