Let’s revisit the well-worn debate of Business Class vs. Premium Economy for a post-pandemic 2022. Those who call airport lounges their second home often wrestle between whether to book business class or premium economy fares. While the most apparent difference lies with the price, there’s also the comfort of the seats and level of service to consider. Since no specific standards exist within the airline industry as a whole, it’s important to understand whether you’re receiving enough value to justify spending the price of a business class fare.
Here are some of the key differences between these two classes:
Business class tickets are typically 2x more expensive than premium economy tickets. This is because business class offers significantly more amenities and perks than business class. Business class passengers generally have access to better food, wine, and entertainment options, as well as more legroom and comfortable seating.
However, the price difference between business class and premium economy can vary significantly depending on the route and airline. When choosing between the two, it is important to consider all factors to make the most cost-effective choice.
Domestic vs international flights
There’s a big difference between domestic business class and international business class. For short-haul flights, passengers generally won’t see a massive distinction between business class and premium economy. Since the flight duration isn’t long enough, or the aircraft is not large enough to allow different options. Many airlines use older aircrafts for domestic flights. This means those classes have very similar seating, privacy, TV sizes, and menus. Which means far less value for money on business class fares.
Seating and comfort level
Business class seats are more like traditional first class seats, often much larger and more extravagant than premium economy seats. They also have more legroom and would come with additional features like a built-in massage technology. Premium economy seats are usually smaller and less private, but they still offer more space and comfort than economy seats.
When you’re flying business class, you can expect the best in terms of comfort and luxury. Your seat will be extremely comfortable and spacious. In most cases, your seat may even recline all the way into a lie-flat bed – perfect for catching up on some sleep on a long-haul flight.
Meanwhile, premium economy also offers spacious and wider seats compared to regular economy, but not to the same degree as business class. You can expect more legroom (than in economy), as well as some additional features like an extra recline and a footrest.
You can expect excellent inflight experience from the cabin crew in both business class and premium economy. Before your trip even starts, a business class flight attendant will welcome you to your seat with pre-flight beverages.
However, the service level in business class tends to be higher than premium economy. Business class passengers are typically served by a dedicated flight attendant who is responsible for their needs during the flight. While premium economy passengers usually have to share a flight attendant with other passengers in their section. As a result, business class passengers receive more personalized and attentive services.
Food and drink
When it comes to food and drink, business class passengers usually have a wider selection of high-quality items to choose from. They also typically receive their meals before business class passengers. In terms of alcohol, business class passengers are often given access to a premium selection of wines, champagnes, and spirits. Premium economy passengers usually have a more limited selection, though they will still be able to enjoy a few complimentary alcoholic beverages during their flight.
When it comes to dining options, passengers have different experiences. In premium economy, passengers typically have to dine when the airline serves the meal, rather than when they want to eat. However, many airlines offer dine-on-demand service to business class passengers, which allows them to order their meals at any time during the flight. This can be a major advantage for those who want to enjoy a leisurely meal or snack on their own schedule.
Another difference between business class and premium economy dining is the quality of the food. Business class passengers often have access to higher quality gourmet meals, with fresher ingredients and more elaborate dish choices. Premium economy class passengers may still enjoy good food on their flights, but it is typically not as luxurious as what is served in business class.
One of the best perks of flying business class is private lounge access. This benefit allows passengers to relax in a comfortable environment with free Wi-Fi, food, and drinks before their flight.
Business class passengers typically have access to exclusive lounges that are not open to premium economy passengers. These areas usually offer a higher level of service, with more attentive staff and a greater selection of amenities. This includes things like snacks and drinks, showers, workstations, and television areas. The main difference between the two experiences is the level of service and the quality of the amenities.
When it comes to amenities, business class passengers usually have access to more luxurious items and services. For example, many airlines provide their business class passengers with complimentary pajamas, slippers, and eye masks. They may also offer other items such as noise-canceling headphones, blankets, and pillows. In contrast, premium economy class passengers typically only receive a basic toiletry kit, slippers, a blanket, and a pillow from most airlines.
Although both classes have in-seat power outlets, business class passengers often have entertainment systems with a larger selection of movies, TV shows, and music. They may also be able to enjoy additional features such as live TV or on-demand movies. Premium economy class passengers usually have an entertainment system with a more limited selection of movies, TV shows, and music.
The business class experience often begins when you arrive at the airport. With perks like the concierge taking care of your baggage and access to the Business/First Class lounge to whet your appetite before you board. Air France and Emirates may also offer chauffeurs to the airport and take care of your luggage upon arrival. Business class passengers also receive the highest priority boarding.
Last word on business class vs. premium economy
Business class does have that touch of something special but premium economy is still a great option – and offers added comfort and amenities.
If you’re looking for the most comfortable flying experience possible, business class is the way to go. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of luxury for a lower price tag, premium economy is a great option.
Are you ready to book your next flight? If you need help with booking or planning your corporate travel, contact us and we will be glad to assist.