Premium Economy Vs Economy: Explained In Detail

Premium Economy Vs. Economy

Last Updated on Jul 3rd, 2024 by Sidakbir Singh, Leave a Comment

When reserving plane seats, going through the various options can be challenging. Airlines often use distinct names for their cabins, which are confusing even for frequent travelers. If you’re looking to keep your flight expenses in check, the likely choice would be economy seating. However, the decision-making process doesn’t end there. So, what’s the difference between economy and premium economy fares? 

Here in our guide to premium economy vs economy, we’ve broken down all the different types of economy and premium seating. It’ll provide you with the clarity to help you make a perfect decision for your future flights.

Premium Economy Vs Economy

In a nutshell, the main difference between premium economy and economy is that of space and money. With some extra space for you, premium economy is the winner of the debate – premium economy vs economy, only if you have a good budget to book one premium seat for yourself. 

Still confused as to what’s the difference between premium economy and economy? 

Here’s everything about economy vs premium economy in detail – 

1. What Is Economy Class?

Economy class, also commonly known as standard class, is the most basic cabin class offered by any airline. It is designed to cater to passengers who prioritize cost efficiency over premium amenities

Here are key details about economy class – 

  • Cost Effectiveness: The main difference between economy and premium economy flights is their cost. For passengers on a tight budget, economy class is the best choice. It is perfect for people who want to minimize their trip costs.
  • Seating Configuration: Wide-body aircraft usually have a 3-4-3 or 3-3-3 configuration. The standard height and width of the seats offer a minimal degree of comfort.
  • In-Flight Entertainment: Limited in-flight entertainment options compared to higher classes. It can be necessary for travelers to carry their entertainment things, like books or iPads.
  • Meal Services: Basic meal options are provided, often included in the ticket price. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated upon request on your international flights (like Chicago to Delhi flights, etc.).

2. What Is Premium Economy Class?

Premium economy seeks to bridge the space between economy and business class, providing a more cost-effective option for a comfortable flight. It is worth noting that it is most certainly a “premium economy” and not a “business class” – all airlines’ premium economy experience is much closer to economy class than business class. 

Don’t expect a seat that goes fully flat or you get gourmet cuisine and Champagne — it’s much more like an economy class with a few more bells & whistles. 

Here are key details about the Premium Economy class-

  • Comfort and Space: The major difference between economy flight and premium economy is that the latter has more spacious, comfy seats with more room for the legs. Usually placed in a wide-body aircraft’s 2-4-2 configuration.
  • In-Flight Entertainment: Enhanced entertainment options with larger screens and noise-canceling headphones. Some airlines offer premium economy passengers access to a wider selection of movies and TV shows. To further enhance the in-flight experience, Air India has even revealed luxury amenities for passengers.
  • Dining Experience: Improved meal services with better menu options and complimentary beverages. Priority meal selection and special dietary requests are often accommodated.

Here is an example from Google Flights explaining the price difference between Google Flights Economy vs Premium Economy- 

Wondering what’s the key difference between economy and premium economy? 

3. Difference Between Economy Class And Premium Economy Class

Economy and Premium Economy difference – 

Key DifferencesPremium Economy Economy Class 
Seating Spacious seats with extra legroom.Standard seats with limited legroom.
Perks Priority boarding, more luggage allowance.Standard boarding, limited luggage allowance.
Meals Upgraded menu options with plated meals.Basic meal options, sometimes for purchase.
AmenitiesAmenity kits are on longer flights.Limited or no amenity kits.
EntertainmentLarger screens, improved headphones.Standard entertainment options.
Cabin AtmosphereQuieter, smaller cabin.Larger, more crowded cabin.
CostHigher cost than Economy.More budget-friendly.
Reclining Some reclining, not fully lie-flat.Limited recline.

Hope now you know what’s the difference between flying economy and premium economy. 

Tip – If you want to know about the difference between Business Class and First Class, here’s our detailed guide to Business Class vs First Class. Know everything!

Now, the next question arises – 

What’s the difference between economy and premium economy on international flights? 

4. Economy vs Premium Economy On International Flights

What is Premium Economy on international flights? Is Premium Economy worth it on international flights? 

Premium Economy is mostly offered on international flights where its additional benefits can be best appreciated due to longer flight times. Usually, newer and larger planes like Airbus (A330s, A340s, A350s, A380s) and Boeing (777s, 787 Dreamliners) support Premium Economy. However, availability can vary based on the airline. 

Is premium economy worth it on long haul flights?


International flights Economy Vs Premium Economy – 

Additional ground perks defining flights difference between economy and premium economy might involve more baggage allowance, priority check-in and boarding, occasional airport lounge access, and more reward points/miles, along with less cost regarding points for an upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy versus upgrading to Business. Some airlines also allow bids for cash upgrades.  

Note – Know about the other most asked comparison – Round Trip vs One Way and plan your next travel accordingly! 

Airlines That Provide Premium Economy Class

Several airlines provide premium economy options for travelers. 

Some of them are as follows:- 

Other airlines provide similar amenities under different names for their premium economy class:

Which airline has the best premium economy for international flights?

As per the reports, Delta Airlines is one of the best airlines to book premium economy with. 

Suggested Read: What are the best seats on a plane and how to get them ?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Premium Economy flight?

A: Premium economy is a class of seating on airlines that is higher quality than standard economy class but lower than business class. It is designed to provide passengers with a more comfortable and enhanced flying experience without the higher cost associated with premium cabins.

Q: What is Economy class?

A: Economy class is the standard seating option on most airlines and is suitable for budget-conscious travelers and those prioritizing affordability over additional comfort and amenities.

Q: What is the difference between Economy and Premium Economy?

A: The main difference in economy and premium economy is that premium Economy offers a more enhanced flying experience with wider seats, extra legroom, and additional amenities compared to the more basic accommodations in Economy.

Q: Is Premium Economy more expensive than Economy?

A: Yes, Premium Economy is more costly than Economy. However, Premium Economy is generally more affordable than Business or First Class.

Q: What should I consider when choosing between Premium Economy and Economy?

A: Consider your budget, travel preferences, and the duration of the flight. If comfort and luxury travel is your priority then Premium Economy may be the ideal choice for a more enjoyable in-flight experience.

Q: How to find cheap premium economy flights?

A: We at MyTicketsToIndia are here to help you get cheap premium economy flights from the USA to India (and back). You can also compare the flight prices at google flights and book smartly.

Q: What is premium economy on American Airlines international flights?

A: Premium economy on American Airlines comes with various additional perks like priority check-in, wider seats with extendable footrests, more legroom as well as food that is much more than just being delicious!

That’s it! We’ve tried to cover most of the details regarding the difference between economy and premium economy. Have additional questions? Feel free to leave a comment, and we’ll be glad to assist you!


Planning to reserve flights to India for your next travel? MyTicketsToIndia is always here to help! We provide exclusive offers & deals on both economy and business class USA to India flights (and back) at the most affordable rates. Our team of travel professionals works tirelessly 24/7 to make your booking process super smooth.

So, stop waiting and call us now to book your air tickets at the most budget-friendly prices. 

About Sidak | View Posts

A creative person by profession and by passion, Sidak Bir is an enthusiastic writer who adores his job. His passion for writing has inspired him to pursue writing as a career. His commitment to creating quality content shines through, offering readers a blend of enlightenment and knowledge in every piece. Because he reads, writes, travels, and has an enjoyable time, some people claim he is leading the best life possible. They're right because what more could a person possibly need!

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