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Worth The Upgrade? Aeroflot Premium Economy Vs Economy


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We compare Aeroflot Economy vs. Premium Economy to find out whether it’s worth paying for the upgrade. We review the cost, seat, food, check-in, and airport lounge you’ll experience if you book Aeroflot 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. Aeroflot 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.

2. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Why Upgrade?

Following on from my comments about the price, 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.

Unfortunately, the seats in Premium Economy on Aeroflot are surprisingly uncomfortable and make it very difficult to sleep, so any extra expense on a Premium Economy ticket may not help you get to sleep at all. Many reviews suggest that there is no more chance of getting to sleep in this thin seat that lacks padding than on a seat in Economy.

3. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Check-in

Aeroflot does have a separate SkyPriority Premium Economy check-in over Economy and priority boarding over Economy, so there is a nice advantage at check-in and before you board. In fact, Premium Economy passengers are allocated SkyPriority Zone 2, so you board the plane right after those seated in Business Class.

4. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Baggage

You get two free checked bags when traveling in Premium Economy, which is a big bonus.

5. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Lounges

When flying in Premium Economy, you don’t get access to any Aeroflot lounges for free, although you can pay a hefty fee for access on booking or once you are at the airport. Alternatively, If you have not paid for Business Class or First Class, you can still access lounges at this 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.

6. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Seat Design

As an example, Aeroflot’s 777 has 48 seats in its Premium Economy cabin in a 2-4-2 layout. This makes up six rows. The Premium Economy seats are 19.5 inches wide with 38 inches of pitch, 2 inches wider than in Economy, and 6 more inches of legroom. The downside of these seats is a lack of padding, which makes them fairly uncomfortable for long periods of time. You get a plastic-wrapped blanket and a small pillow, but even with these, the seat isn’t comfortable.

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.

Positives on Aeroflot are definitely are the extra legroom and the footrest, and the extra seat width for working. But the Premium Economy seat, which is the same as that used in Premium Economy on Air France, is simply too hard to be comfortable and very, very difficult to sleep on.

7. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Seat Pitch

There are around 38 inches of pitch, up to 6 inches more legroom than the Aeroflot Economy seats.

8. Economy vs. Premium Economy: Entertainment

Expect a larger inflight video screen and, hopefully, noise-canceling headphones.

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.

While Aeroflot does not promise the BA Business Class meals to their Premium Economy passengers, expect better catering, with better main meals, drinks, and refreshments than those in the Economy cabin.

You usually get offered a drink, orange juice or water, before takeoff, and once you are in the air, a cart comes around with bags of nuts, sodas, juice, water, beer, or wine, but no spirits.

There tend to be two choices for the main meal, usually with a chicken option, plus sides of meat (beef) and salad plate, and a salad on its own, as well as a cheesecake. The presentation is appealing but not high-end.

There is a crate of snacks to pick from during the flight with Russian branded snacks like muesli bars, biscuits, and chocolates.

Dinner again is nicely presented with a beef and potato option and some side dishes (so you are a little limited if you are a vegetarian as beef seems a constant in the food on offer in Premium Economy on this airline).

Economy vs. Premium Economy: Conclusion

Aeroflot Premium Economy is not worth the extra cost. The food is actually quite nice and better than that in Economy, but the seats are positively uncomfortable, arguably not much better than Economy and certainly not worth the extra cost.

The positives are the extra width and legroom, but the uncomfortable seat makes it hard to sleep, so it is not really worth paying for this Premium Economy.

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