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Is premium economy worth the extra cash? (Virgin or BA)

(25 Posts)
EldonAve Mon 14-Sep-09 12:33:58

We are heading to the US for half term and I'm tempted by the premium economy option

I flew BA WTP years ago but all it gave you was a bit of extra legroom

Is it better now?

Any comments on which airline is better welcomed too

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 14-Sep-09 13:27:44

Depends on how much more you would pay for the option over Economy. That applies to both BA and Virgin.

WTP is a smaller and quieter cabin; one advantage with WTP is that they get priority disembarkation on arrival. Food is the same as in economy though.

DO look carefully at both airlines re pricing; sometimes Virgin work out dearer cost wise than BA does. The converse is equally true.

pagwatch Mon 14-Sep-09 13:36:10

we always fly premium ecomony now because you do get more room and we book the upstairs bit which is way quieter than the main cabin. That is pretty important for DS2 who has ASD - so it is worth it for us. As is the much quicker check in - DS2 not good in queues. The fact that he can tolerate flying when he is so severe is a huge bonus to us so it makes travelling possible.
It does make me laugh though when people swan about in Premium economy being really quite pleased with themselves and then I get on with DS2 smile
You do unfortuantely get a higher percentage of shouting people who feel that as they have paid a bit more they can prat about yelling at each other about their duty free purchases and treating the staff like waitresses. Very poor.

Tis pricey though.

EldonAve Mon 14-Sep-09 13:42:25

It seems to be about a 30% premium

ib Mon 14-Sep-09 13:44:32

IMO no, not worth it. Difference in price is too big with economy, and all you get is a small amount extra leg room.

inscotland Mon 14-Sep-09 13:44:50

When I looked for our flights to Miami we could have got business class on BA for the same as premium economy on Virgin so definitely exhaust all options first!

Rindercella Mon 14-Sep-09 13:51:54

Imo, yes it is most definitely worth it - I personally would never do a transatlantic flight in economy again. DH and I are both tall and that extra legroom makes all the difference.

Tis true about some people swanning about though...last year coming back from Barbados we checked in via the economy check in desk, there was a bit of confusion and some bint queuing at the premium check in gave us a filthy look and said "This is first class you know". Anyway, when we boarded who was sitting across the aisle from us in Premium? Yep, that snooty woman, who promptly sank into her seat! grin

pagwatch Mon 14-Sep-09 14:00:00


When we got on with DS2 last year a guy gave us a somewhat sneery look. DS1 said loudly - "God they let just anyone in the SN area these days"

<<pag hopes that one day we will have SN premium economy. Sadly will probably be with the luggage>>

Rindercella Mon 14-Sep-09 15:48:10

PMSL Pag grin

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 14-Sep-09 16:55:17

Would just like to add to an earlier comment that Pagwatch made about the upstairs cabin.

BA's upstairs cabin on their longhaul flights is for Club World pax as well as part of their downstairs cabin. There is no premium economy in the upstairs cabin on their flights (PE is downstairs either behind or in front of the main Club World cabin). BA's PE is small, around 4 rows in total usually with a 2-3-2 configuration.

I personally don't think that BA's PE product is worth the extra paid for it unless BA have a sale on (then it is markedly cheaper).

Think some Virgin flights though have their Premium Economy section upstairs on their jumbos. Its alawys worth checking out for cabin seating arrangements.

Rindercella Mon 14-Sep-09 17:03:39

Virgin do have an upstairs Premium Economy section on the planes I have been on at least. I haven't flown PE with BA, just with Virgin, but I have always found it to be worth it (have also flown Upper Class, which I don't really think is worth the extra, and definitely wouldn't bother with small children).

EldonAve Mon 14-Sep-09 18:55:17

Thanks everyone
I will definitely check seatguru

oldraver Mon 14-Sep-09 23:18:35

Are people really openly snotty just because they are flying PE shock

Rindercella why do you think Upper not worth the bother with young ones. I was hoping I could get DS to sleep hmm

MollieO Mon 14-Sep-09 23:34:00

If you are flying to South Africa SAA have their upstairs as economy. Bit more room than downstairs but no extra cost.

If I flew Upper I would put the children in Economy with the nanny - one of the many reasons I no longer fly Economy on long haul flights grin. Should add this is what someone else did, not me!

hmc Mon 14-Sep-09 23:40:01

In BA Premium economy I disagree that all you get is a bit of extra leg room - you get a bigger seat completely. In economy there are 10 seats transverse the cabin and in premium economy there are 8 seats in the same space, so clearly more room to breathe.

It also seems quieter, more peaceful and feels less like being herded like cattle....

hmc Mon 14-Sep-09 23:41:01

"Are people really openly snotty just because they are flying PE"

Lol, I have never noticed that.

Rindercella Tue 15-Sep-09 09:47:36

"Are people really openly snotty just because they are flying PE"

Of course not everyone is snooty...I guess like everything, there is always the exception smile In fact, the only snooty person I have ever seen on PE was the woman I referred to in my earlier post.

I personally wouldn't bother spending a couple of grand more for my small DD to be able to stretch out on a flat bed seat - she'd be far more likely to want to share my seat with me, rather than be in her own seat eaither behind or in front of me hmm! Whereas on PE, she can sit next to me and have all the space she needs. I guess it depends on your priorities (I might feel differently when DD is 12 - she is currently only 2!).

DadInsteadofMum Tue 15-Sep-09 11:32:21

At 6'4" tall PE economy is definitely worth it.

MarshaBrady Tue 15-Sep-09 11:40:53

Yes it us worth it just to avoid economy.

But the arm rests don't go up in BA -or was it qantas, not sure. Found this very annoying when ds wanted to lie down.

Would like to find pe with arm rests that lift, and in meantime dream about flying business to Australia.

EldonAve Wed 16-Sep-09 07:49:44

Thank you all

We have booked Premium on Virgin
I deserve it after flying Continental grin

alibubbles Wed 16-Sep-09 13:53:47

Premium Economy Virgin is much better than BA PE (World traveller plus.)

I did BA to Bahrain PE in May, it was not good, but PE to China with Virgin I slept all the way!

Definately shop around, we did BA Business to Singapore in July for only a little more than PE and we came back on the new Quantas A380 with flat beds.

Rebeccaj Fri 18-Sep-09 12:08:37

PE upstairs with Virgin was definitely worth it, much smaller cabin so better, faster service, fewer people for whiny kids to annoy!

isnowsoonenough Fri 18-Sep-09 12:28:00

Rebeccaj - how did you manage to request the seats you wanted upstairs on Virgin? Did you do it online?

Rebeccaj Sat 19-Sep-09 19:53:21

Hi there

We selected them at online checkin, yes - we were luckly enough to get the front row. You could try ringing in advance too.


EldonAve Sun 20-Sep-09 08:47:30

I think it depends on the cabin layout so some flights only have upper class upstairs

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