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British Airways premium economy

We are considering buying premium economy tickets and wonder if it is worth it. For anyone who has flown premium economy, what did you think. Thanks for any advise.

Posted by
1029 posts

I have flown PE but on Virgin Atlantic from SFO to LHR. Love both the hard product (seating, IFE,etc) and soft product (service).

My Virgin Atlantic flights on 787 featured :

  • Dedicated check in lines at both airports
  • Wider seats 7 across vs 9 in regular economy
  • More legroom. Seat guru lists it as 38” vs. 31.
  • Great inflight service. Dedicated attendants.
  • Meals served on chinaware and metal utensils.

It would be tough to go back to regular economy.

Is it worth it? For me it’s the right trade off between price and comfort.

Edit: After reading Emma’s post I guess I got lucky picking VA vs. BA. Also virgin allows no cost advance seat selection in PE and the 787 have in seat power. Helpful if the in flight entertainment system is out and you use your own device.

Posted by
5817 posts

I flew BA Premium Economy from Heathrow to Singapore about 18 months ago.
It was OK but not amazing. You certainly don’t get what you get with Virgin.
The main thing was more leg room and space. Not a huge lot more than standard economy, but every little helps. It was definitely less cramped.
I think there was priority boarding and for food you got a choice of two of the dishes in Business class. That said, by the time they got to me they had run out of my choice so it was a choice of one Business Class dish or whatever was left in Economy. That was it really. No special toiletries or any extras. The premium economy area used the toilets in economy.

Work was playing when I flew. I can’t remember how much more it cost but it wasn’t a huge amount. I do remember BA Premium Economy cost about the same as Singapore Airlines basic economy.

Posted by
4019 posts

Rosemary, we flew BA Premium Economy last year, round trip to Amsterdam, and it was worth it, to us anyway. The seats were roomier, there was real food with real cutlery, and alcoholic beverages were gratis. It's not business class; for example, the seats don't lie flat, but it's definitely a step up from Economy.

Posted by
11681 posts

How much extra is it? That is the number you need to consider in deciding if it is "worth it".

Posted by
850 posts

I used miles to upgrade to Premium Economy in 2017 (SEA-LHR). The seats are a little bigger and there’s more room between rows, the cabin only holds around 40 people, and we actually got a menu, cloth napkins, and metal cutlery at dinner. (I was somewhat impressed until I remembered that regular economy class used to be like that.) Unfortunately, there was an electrical glitch on the plane, so the seat-back entertainment systems were out of commission. That was a bummer, as I had planned to watch something to while away the hours. But I figured out how to use the footrest, wrapped up in a blanket, and managed to sleep until the cabin crew started handing out breakfast boxes.

For some reason, the plane on the way back to SEA had seats that weren't as roomy as the ones on the way over to LHR, but at least the entertainment system was working.

I don't know if the "premium" would be worth paying extra for, but it was worth using some miles for the upgrade.

Posted by
995 posts

I've only done a premium economy on Virgin Atlantic and Delta. I've only done First Class on BA.

Based on those experiences, premium economy was more than worth it on Virgin Atlantic vs First Class or Business Class on Delta, American or BA. Premium economy was not worth it on Delta.

I haven't tried premium economy on BA, but I wasn't impressed by their first class on more than one flight. So I'd say go premium economy.

Posted by
230 posts

Thanks for the input. We are mainly interested in a little extra space. We will go with the premium economy. Thanks everyone.

Posted by
30968 posts


I've paid for Premium Economy on flights with Air Canada for my last few trips and while expensive, it made for a much more comfortable trip. Not only were the seats larger and with more legroom, but there were a few other perks such as better meals, free beverages and more attentive service. Since PE was just behind business class at the front, it also got me to Passport control more quickly. If I'm going to spend 12 hours in an aluminum tube, I'd prefer the experience to be as comfortable as possible!

Posted by
2959 posts

I flew premium economy on BA last summer. It was definitely “worth it” to me. Extra space, small cabin, and only about 20 people sharing the same bathroom. My flights were between SEA and LHR.

Posted by
5257 posts

After a horrendous Economy return flight ( LHR to LAX ) 4 years ago on BA I made the decision to fly Premium Economy on future flights. Definitely worth it in my humble opinion. Better leg room, service, food and drink.

After flying Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy this year, BA’s in 2017 and Virgin Atlanti’s in 2016 I will say hands down Virgin Atlantic’s was the best experience.

Posted by
3141 posts

Rosemary, you might want to read online reviews of BA's premium economy. Also look at for specific flights to get pitch and seat width specs as well as reviews.

Posted by
11431 posts

Premium economy on any airline is better than whatever they have in economy.

However for flights less than 5-6 hours we don’t bother - for longer flights ( ours to Europe is minimally 10-11 hrs ) I wouldn’t go back to economy for anything !

So yeah - it’s always worth it to us - First Class , while a far superior product is not worth it to us as price differential is squally astronimal , where as prem economy is usually only 200-400 dollars more

Posted by
3304 posts

I flew premium economy last year...I waited until a week before my flight and then got the premium economy seats for free. They are almost always the only ones left in economy since people, I guess, don't want to pay for them. If they are the only ones left in economy then you get them without the extra cost. A bit of a risk but it worked for me on four separate flights last year.
I am flying them again in April and did pay extra for them, to guarantee I would get them, since I think they are completely worth it!

Posted by
230 posts

Thank you all for your replies. I bought the tickets yesterday and, yes, did go for premium economy. As my husband says "it's only money" . LOL

Posted by
2873 posts

If you're well-off enough that you can say, "It's only money LOL" they splurging for premium economy is the right thing to do.

I recently took a flight from SFO to Frankfurt on premium economy and it was the first time I've ever gotten some actual sleep on a flight (with a unique travel pillow to boot). It wasn't much sleep, maybe 3 hours all told, but it made a difference to me in terms of dealing with jet lag on the ground.

That said the the cost of the premium economy was only $200 more than regular. I've seen it be double or more regular economy and in that case I probably wouldn't spring for it. But the extra space made it far more relaxing.

Posted by
915 posts

I have miles with British Air so I always buy premium economy and then upgrade with miles. I vowed to take less trips if I could travel in PE because the seats in Economy are not fit for humans. Plus I had a person in front of me recline their seat the entire 6.5 hours we were in flight and wouldn't even retract it for dinner. I may not fly to Europe as often now, but I get better sleep and better service.

Posted by
3141 posts

I flew premium economy last year...I waited until a week before my
flight and then got the premium economy seats for free. They are
almost always the only ones left in economy since people, I guess,
don't want to pay for them. If they are the only ones left in economy
then you get them without the extra cost

Exactly what procedure did you follow to be given premium economy seats (known as World Traveler Plus) for free? Or are you a Gold member who is using your Avios points?