Which is the best Premium Economy transatlantic airline? British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, American Airlines, or Norwegian?
Norwegian airlines beat British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, and American Airlines Premium Economy seats with much better recline. I rank each Premium Economy seat separately in my article about the top 10 best Premium Economy Airlines in the world. I have also outlined the cheapest transatlantic airlines flying to Europe. Norwegian is included in this list, and as you can not fly to Europe for as little as $99 USD, this is worth a read.
In terms of collecting loyalty points or miles for a free Premium Economy flight, Norwegian doesn’t do so well as you can’t collect Norwegian miles or upgrade vouchers with airline credit cards and supermarket shopping like you can on American Airlines, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, or British Airways.
I tend to fly British Airways World Traveller Plus because I collect Avios at Tesco or with the American Express Avios credit card. I particularly like the British Airways staff with the jolly British Airways pilots who keep you in the loop of any expected turbulence, the menu (three-course) with options from the business class menu served on china with linen napkins. Admittedly they don’t offer priority boarding, and the seats are a bit thin seats at 18.5″ with very average legroom, but British Airways Premium Economy beats flying in their Economy.
When comparing British Airways vs. Virgin in Premium Economy, Virgin tends to have wider seats so it is best for seats, but the food in British Airways World Traveller Plus wins over that in Virgin. The food on Norwegian is also less sophisticated than either British Airways or Virgin, with no napkins or proper cutlery and crockery, although the Norwegian seats are the best.
The American carriers have just started to launch Premium Economy cabins and seats. American Airlines has already started selling AA Premium Economy seats on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and you can currently pay or even get a free upgrade from Economy to Premium on American. AA’s new premium economy product will feature a leather seat with 38 inches of pitch, larger touchscreen monitors, noise-canceling headphones, AC power outlets, and USB ports. Passengers will benefit from an enhanced dining experience, with upgraded meal options and complimentary spirits, beer, and wine. On the ground, customers will also be able to check up to two bags free of charge and will be given priority boarding ahead of those seated in the main cabin.
Delta Air Lines already offers Comfort Plus with extra legroom but will be launching a complete Premium Economy cabin called Delta Premium Select on long-haul International aircraft. Seats have 38 inches of pitch, up to 19 inches of width, and up to seven inches of recline with adjustable leg rests and headrests. Delta including a Westin Heavenly® In-Flight Blanket with a pillow and a TUMI amenity kit featuring Malin+Goetz Travel Essentials. The food is a fresh, seasonal menu presented with Alessi service ware designed exclusively for Delta. Entertainment is on a 13.3-inch, high-resolution in-flight entertainment screen with noise-canceling headphones and in-seat power ports. Passengers will also get Sky Priority service, which includes faster check-in, accelerated security, priority boarding, and expedited baggage service will also be included.
United currently offers Economy Plus with a 37-inch seat pitch, five inches more than Economy, but this currently has no other advantages over the normal economy seats.
Other Transatlantic Airlines With Premium Economy
There is a new transatlantic premium Economy airline on the block. WOW, air has a new fleet of A330 aircraft, but offers a terrible economy, with hard, uncomfortable seats and little luggage. The Wow air Business Class which is not Business Class at all and is, in fact, a very average Premium Economy, is better than their Economy but is the worst pick of the airlines covered on this page.
Lufthansa also offers Premium Economy flying from America into various German Airports as does Austrian Airlines.
Find out what you get in each Premium Economy in detail in my reviews below. Norwegian is the best, simply because the seats are much better, even though their routes are limited. British Airways comes in at number 2 for me because I find Avios air miles so easy to collect. Delta and American come in joint 3 and 4. Austrian airlines are at number 5 because it does not fly directly from America into London, so for me, this service is less appealing. At the bottom comes WOW Air with new planes but a very average Premium Economy without few luxuries and no special food (the menu is the same as in Economy but you do not have to pay extra for the food like you have to in Economy) plus their routing via Reykjavik is inconvenient.
If you are planning to book a flight, don’t book through the airline’s website direct, our flight experts will quote you cheaper for Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class long-haul flights.
Norwegian Airlines flies Boeing 787 Dreamliners for its long-haul transatlantic routes and offers a Business Class that is better than the Premium Economy offered by the likes of British Airways (read our review of British Airways Premium Economy), but that… Read More.
In this trip report, I review Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic, on their new Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner on my flight from London Heathrow to Newark in New York. This flight flew out of London Heathrow Terminal Terminal 3. You can… Read More.
Following my review on the soon to be launchedAmerican Airlines (AA) Premium Economy offering, I can now confirm that this product will come into circulation over the next three years. Read More.
Austrian Airlines’ Premium Economy will be launched on its long-haul flights from March 6 next year – but what do you get? Read More.
WOW Air is an Icelandic-based airline with a modern fleet. They headline with super-cheap $99 USD transatlantic economy tickets, but these are truly basic. You get little beyond the seat, which enables them to achieve the headline low rates. Read More.
We review the best seats on Primera Air Airbus A321neos, one of the cheapest transatlantic airline flights from Newark or Boston to Europe; London, Paris & Birmingham. Read More.
It is worth reading my tips on how to find cheaper First or Business Class flight tickets to and from North America for a way to save around 20% on your next First, Business flight booking.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.