British Airways Premium Economy Cabin

British Airways Premium Economy Cabin

A Little More Legroom, Priced as an Upgrade

“Premium economy internationally is basically the same as or better than domestic first class in comfort, including lie-flat beds on some flights,” Joe Sharkey wrote in the New York Times.


“Nearly half of the 1,800 international flights departing daily from the United States have the premium-economy option,”John Walton of told Sharkey, pointing out a secret option most aren’t aware about.

“I was back and forth to the U.K. four times this summer, and every time I went premium economy, because this summer premium-economy fares were about $1,600, compared to about $1,400 for regular economy. So it was a no-brainer.”

As it turns out, there’s no need to sacrifice comfort and affordability on a long-haul flight. Especially when  British Airways has the most Premium Economy seats for international travel, followed by Virgin Atlantic.

But when it comes to Premium Economy seats in the United States, supply is limited.

Sharkey writes that, “If you look hard enough, 13 percent of U.S. flights have roomier seats in regular economy, without paying extra.”

The top-ranked domestic airline for availability of those elusive seats is Southwest, which is followed by Alaska, JetBlue, US Airways and Virgin America, United and Hawaiian.

So while airlines continue busily adding extra fees to every feasible aspect of flying, paying extra for comfort may be the fee most worth it.