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Singapore Airlines Economy Vs Premium Economy


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When flying on Singapore Airlines, is it worth paying to upgrade to Premium Economy from Economy seats on long-haul flights?

Singapore Airlines offers a very good Premium Economy in an exclusive, spacious, 2-4-2 cabin. Their Premium Economy Class seats are designed with greater width of up to 19.5 inches for Premium Economy passengers, a 38 inch seat pitch, and an 8 inch recline, in comparison with the current Economy Class offering of a 32 inch seat pitch, 18 inch seat width, and a 6 inch recline.

While Singapore Airlines has a prestigious reputation, offering great service, delicious food, excellent in-flight entertainment, and the always smiling Singapore air hostess. Do the additional extra choices and exclusive privileges make Singapore Airlines Premium Economy better than Economy. Is it worth the extra cost to upgrade? Read on to find out…

Singapore Airlines currently has a number of A350-900 aircraft in its fleet, which are probably the best plane to pick if you have the choice, whatever class you travel. Their fleet includes 7 ultra-long-haul A350-900ULR variants used on the Singapore Airlines routes from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York, which is one of the longest flights in the world. The SQ A350 is excellent, although it lacks a tail camera.

1. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Price

If the price is your biggest factor when deciding which class to fly in, you should probably choose to fly Economy. After all, the entire plane will get to its destination, whichever class you are sitting in.

Having said that, particularly for overnight flights, being stuffed in a sardine-tin, with little space to move and next-to-no recline, means that sleep is difficult.

Certainly, when I have flown in Economy, if I do manage to nod off, the fact that my head then drops to one side because of the lack of seat recline means that I almost always wake myself up.

The result is that you can feel pretty grotty after an Economy flight when you get to your destination. This means that you are potentially ruining the first day of your trip because you have not spent the extra on upgrading your flight.

So even if the price IS your biggest factor, Premium Economy can mean that you avoid wasting a day of your holiday, which may ultimately be worth more than the price difference. Premium Economy is also significantly cheaper than flying in Business Class, usually 65% less expensive than a business class fare.

How much extra is Premium Economy on Singapore Airlines? Premium Economy is typically 30%-90% more expensive than flying in Economy. Expect to pay up to double the price to fly in Premium Economy.

For a better deal on Business Class flights or luxury hotels, contact our luxury travel concierge for a free quote. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental, and many more.

2. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Loyalty Program

In terms of loyalty programs, Singapore Airlines operates Kris Flyer, so if you are able to use these miles, this is a fairly good frequent flyer scheme. Obviously, you get more miles if you fly in Premium Economy because you are spending more money.

3. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Check-in & Hold Baggage

From check-in to boarding and baggage handling, enjoy priority treatment throughout your journey if you are flying in Premium Economy, which is a major advantage over flying Economy.

You get 35kg when traveling in Premium Economy compared to 30kg, which is a big bonus.

4. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Lounges

Singapore Airlines offers excellent lounges and are some of the best lounges at Singapore airport. When flying in Premium Economy, you do not automatically get access to any Singapore Airlines lounges.

You can use your Priority Pass or pay to access to airport lounges, but they won’t necessarily be the same Singapore Airlines lounges that Business Class passengers access. There is no advantage to flying Premium Economy in this respect, as neither Economy nor Premium Economy passengers get access to the excellent Singapore Airlines Business and First Class airport lounges.

5. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Toilets

Singapore Airlines is way ahead of most other airlines with a stylish Asian color scheme of warm browns. Unfortunately, Premium Economy passengers share the same lavatories as Economy class passengers. Singapore Airlines toilets have free dental hygiene kits, combs, mouthwash, lotion, and perfume spray. The bonus of flying in premium Economy is the amenity kit, which is meager but better than nothing. A zip case comes with a pair of socks and a dental hygiene kit.

6. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Seat

The Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Seat is thoughtfully designed. They have included a calf-rest and foot-rest built right into your seat. For the ultimate snoozing position, just recline (up to a generous 8 inches), stretch out and enjoy the 38-inch seat pitch compared to 32 inches in Economy.

Again they have thought of pretty much everything in their Premium Economy cabins. There are two USB ports in each seat, a fully adjustable personal reading lamp, and a dedicated storage area for your water bottle, laptop, headphones, and other personal items.

For me, the extra elbow room in the Premium Economy seats enables me to work more comfortably on my laptop, making the width worth paying for.

7. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Seat Recline

The Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Seat reclines up to a generous 8 inches, which compares to Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy seat recline of 7-8 inches (Virgin offers another good Premium Economy product). This “up to 8 inches” is fairly standard across the industry. More seat recline makes it easier to sleep as your head is less likely to drop to one side because the seat is more horizontal.

Most Economy seats have a recline of 4-6 inches. Singapore Airlines claim that their Economy Class seats “are designed to give you more personal space” and their Economy seats usually have the full 6 inches of recline. This makes their Economy seats some of the best in the sky, but space is heavily reduced when compared to Premium Economy.

If you can’t stretch to paying for Premium Economy or don’t think the extra cost is worth it, you can pay for an Extra Legroom Seat in Economy with a wider seat pitch on Singapore Airlines. These can be found near the exits.

If you prefer to be among the first in Economy Class to disembark the plane, you can choose our Forward Zone Seats, located closer to the doors.

8. Economy vs. Premium Economy: KrisWorld inflight entertainment

With contents thoughtfully curated, the KrisWorld inflight entertainment offers an impressive selection of 1,800 entertainment options – movies, television programs, music, games, and apps – a video touchscreen handset, and, in Premium Economy, a 13.3-inch HD enabled touchscreen monitor with noise-canceling headphones. In Economy, the screens are smaller, and you don’t get noise-canceling headphones.

On selected flights, you can also stay in touch with family, friends, and colleagues with Internet connectivity, as well as text and multimedia messaging, whichever class you are flying in.

9. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Flight Attendants

Singapore Airlines flight attendants have the reputation of being kind and helpful. They have certainly been trained better than many competitor airline flight attendants. Those serving in the Premium Economy cabin have more time for you than those serving in the Singapore Airlines Economy cabin, so Premium Economy wins.

10. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Food

You get free drinks and free food in Singapore Airlines Premium Economy. The menu offering is enhanced, and the food is decent.

You can actually reserve your main course from a variety of Premium Economy Book the Cook dishes up to 24 hours before you fly or select from three meal choices onboard. Match the food and altitude with your selection of wine or champagne, all for free, of course! This is substantially better than the food options in Economy.

Is Premium Economy On Singapore Airlines Worth It?

I would say that the Singapore Airlines Premium Economy is a good product and worth paying the extra if you can afford it. That said, the seat recline is poor, considering this is one of the best Business Class airlines in the sky. 8 inches is very average and is not enough of an increase from 6 inch in Economy to make the Singapore Airlines Premium Economy outstanding. Their 35kg luggage allowance is also less than genrous for Premium Economy. I have flown in Premium Economy and would not hesitate to fly it again, but Singapore Airlines is not the best Airline in the world for Premium Economy.

Below you will find my most recent flight reviews on Singapore Airlines in Business Class:

Singapore Airlines Business Class Reviews

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class, KUL to SIN

In "Reviews"

In November, I was booked into Singapore Airlines for a very short flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. For this 50-minute flight, I was lucky enough to be placed on Singapore Airlines’ A330 Business Class. Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review my flight on Singapore Airlines (SQ) A330 in Business Class from Singapore Changi International Airport to Ho Chi Minh City, which I flew in April 2017. Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class Boeing 777 From Beijing

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review my flight on Singapore Airlines Business Class Boeing 777-300ER, Beijing to Singapore. On a recent work trip, I found out that I had to get from Beijing to Singapore at the last minute. As… Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Dusseldorf to Singapore

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review Business Class on a new Singapore Airlines (SQ) Airbus A350-900 from Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) in Germany to Changi International Airport (SIN) in April 2017. This was followed by a flight on Singapore Airlines A330… Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review my flight on Singapore Airlines (SQ) A330 in Business Class from Singapore Changi International Airport to Ho Chi Minh City, which I flew in April 2017. Read More.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 Business Class Review

In "Reviews"

I am always keen to review Business Class seating on the latest planes and the new Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 is no exception. This new aircraft features a three-class configuration, with 42 seats in business, 24 in Premium Economy, and… Read More.

For a comparison, you can also read my Singapore Airlines First Class flight reviews.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.