Best Transatlantic Airline To Fly Premium Economy


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Which is the best Premium Economy transatlantic airline? British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, or American Airlines?

We rank each Premium Economy seat separately in an article about the top 10 best Premium Economy Airlines in the world. We’ve also outlined the cheapest transatlantic airlines flying to Europe.

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, and 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 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. 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 includes 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 our other reviews below. British Airways comes in at number 1 for me because I find Avios air miles so easy to collect. Delta and American come in joint 2 and 3. Austrian Airlines are number 5 because it does not fly directly from America into London, so this service is less appealing to me. 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 plan to book a flight, don’t book directly through the airline’s website. Our flight experts will quote you for Business and First Class long-haul flights.

Best Transatlantic Airline To Fly Premium Economy
Norwegian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner Premium Economy Review

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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 is not as good as the Business Class (or Club World) products offered by the major carriers. This intermediate product, described by Norwegian as "Business Class in the 1990s" (similar to domestic first within the US), offers larger seats in a separate cabin from economy but not lie-flat seats.

British Airways Premium Economy Flight Reviews

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I have flown with British Airways many times and have reviewed their long-haul Premium Economy flights. My trip reports can be found below. I have compared British Airways Premium Economy vs. Virgin Atlantic's Premium Economy. I also have compared British Airways First vs. Business Class and unsurprisingly, First comes out on top, with seats you can truly sleep on. I find the Business Class (also known as Club World) seats too narrow and uncomfortable to sleep on for long.

Flight Review: Premium Economy On Virgin Atlantic 787 Dreamliner

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In this trip report, I review Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic's new Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner on a flight from London Heathrow to Newark in New York. This flight flew out of London Heathrow Terminal Terminal 3. You can read all our Virgin Premium Economy flight reviews in this collated guide. If you have a Priority Pass, you will get access to the Club Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 3, but you will not get access to the Virgin Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow. You need to be traveling in their Business or "Upper Class" to get access to this lounge.

Review: Austrian Airlines’ Long Haul Premium Economy

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Austrian Airlines’ Premium Economy will be launched on its long-haul flights from March 6 next year - but what do you get? The airline refitting all of its (twelve) current long-haul aircraft. The seating will be based on Lufthansa's Premium Economy (pictured above) with 18 Premium Economy seats in the cabin on its B767-300ERs, and 24 on their B777-200ER (see seat maps). The new Austrian Airlines Premium Economy Seat is nearly identical to what you’ll find on Lufthansa, Austrian’s parent company. Designed by ZIM, the stats are up to 38 inches of pitch and 9 inches of recline.

Review: WOW Air A330 Business Class America To Europe Via Reykjavik

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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. It is worth noting that WOW Air flights tend to route through Reykjavik, which adds to your flight time and is worth considering when booking your flight. In January 2017, WOW Air announced a new cabin with larger seats and improved legroom for its lengthiest routes, connecting San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami to Reykjavik, Iceland.

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