We compare All Nippon Airways (ANA) Economy vs. Premium Economy. We outline 10 reasons why it’s worth paying to upgrade. We review the cost, seat, food, check-in, and airport lounge that you will get if you book ANA Premium Economy. Is it worth paying to upgrade your next flight to Premium Economy?
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1. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Price
If the price is your biggest factor when making the decision on 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. All Nippon Airways is aiming their Premium Economy at Economy Class passengers willing to pay more for an all-round better travel experience and more space. Prices are competitive, and although more, they are not anywhere near the shocking price tag of Business Class.
If your business is paying, then the situation is different. You don’t have to worry so much about the cost. With this in mind, the Premium Economy offering does have more space and better food as well as more and better drinks. If your business is paying, book Premium (or Business Class).
2. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Check-in
All Nippon Airways has a separate Premium Economy check-in and priority boarding over Economy, so there is a nice advantage at check-in and before you board.
3. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Baggage
You get two hold suitcases when traveling in Premium Economy versus one in Economy, which is a big bonus.
4. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Lounges
When flying in Premium Economy, you don’t usually get access to the airline airport lounges for free.
The unique thing about this Japanese carrier’s Premium Economy is that it gives you free access to the All Nippon Airways specific airport lounges. This means that when you are flying out of Tokyo, you have access to one of the best airport lounges in Tokyo.
Alternatively you can also access lounges at the airport for a fee or for free if you have a Priority Pass. Get an unlimited Priority Pass with the Amex Platinum card, or you can also access most Priority Pass lounges for free using the free American Express Gold with its two free Lounge Club passes. To get extra referral points and advice on these free-lounge-access cards and more, have a read of our best credit cards for luxury travel.
5. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Cabin
The All Nippon Airways Premium Economy is in a separate small cabin between Business and Economy Class. Premium Economy on ANA’s B787s and B777-300ER is set up as a 2-4-2 cabin. This compares to Economy with a 3-4-3 layout. On the 777, this cabin is small with just 3 rows.
6. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Seat Width
When flying in the Premium Economy seat, you get a wider seat with additional pitch. The Premium Economy seat on ANA is 10 percent wider than coach seats, at 19.3 inches. For me, the extra elbow room in the Premium Economy seats enables me to work more comfortably on my laptop. The extra recline also enables me to sleep for a short period, a crucial reason to choose to fly Premium Economy if you are flying overnight.
7. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Legroom
The legroom is nice, at 38 inches which is four inches larger than the seats in Economy. Each seat also has a leg rest, a cocktail tray, a footrest, 10.6 inch touchscreen, a power outlet, a USB port, and a connection for Apple devices. Plus, there’s a terrible reading light that tends to get in the way rather than being useful.
8. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Entertainment
Expect a larger inflight video screen in All Nippon Airways Premium Economy.
9.Economy vs. Premium Economy: Food & Drink
A big bonus traveling on British Airways in Premium Economy is that you get Club World standard meals (with fewer choices) served on proper crockery with a real napkin.
Drinks on ANA are excellent, with a range of hot and cold drinks. The food on ANA is good but not great. Cute 20 cl bottles of Spanish Codorníu sparkling wine are served up with your meal if you like, and the menus include useful photos showing the food, so you know what you are getting. Usually, there’s a choice between Japanese and Western dishes, maybe a seafood noodle versus a Western chicken and vegetable dish.
Mains come with a fresh, tasty salad and a bowl of excellent Japanese thin wheat noodles. They don’t quite get the dessert right. If you get the cake, you might find it bitter with an unappealing jelly topping. It’s as good as it sounds… After dinner, there’s a further dessert, usually a chocolate mousse or a pastry or a little pot of Haagen Dazs. This food is very pleasant and better than the food in Economy, but it’s not great.
The service and flight attendants are excellent on ANA and noteworthy for their smiles and hard work.
10. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Sleep
You may wonder whether it is worth upgrading from Economy to Premium Economy at all. Well, it is. The biggest reason to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy is to get some sleep, or at least some rest, particularly if you are flying on an overnight flight.
For overnight flights, being stuffed in a sardine-tin, with little space to move and next-to-no recline, means that sleep is difficult. Or impossible. When I fly in Economy, I find, if I do manage to nod off, the fact that my head then droops to one side because of the lack of seat recline means that I almost always wake myself up as soon as I drop off.
The result is that you can feel pretty grotty after an Economy flight by the time you get to your destination. This matters if you are potentially ruining the first day of your trip because you haven’t spent the extra on upgrading your flight.
Even if the price is your biggest factor when choosing between Economy and Premium Economy, Premium Economy can mean that you avoid wasting a day of your holiday, which may ultimately be worth more than the price difference.
The ANA seat is roomy and comfortable and reclines enough to get some shut-eye. Definitely worth paying for the upgrade. The footrest is great if you are 5 foot 7. If you are taller, it might not be so useful.
Economy vs. Premium Economy: Conclusion
All Nippon Airways Premium Economy is worth the extra cost. It is worth paying for the upgrade if you can afford it. We particularly love the better seats, which are comfortable, and the larger legroom. The food is also tasty, and the service is excellent. All Nippon Airways is a great choice in Premium Economy.
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