Over the weekend I wrote that Singapore would be removing half the first class seats from 777-300ER aircraft being retrofitted with a premium economy. (Airbus A380s getting premium economy don’t see a reduction in Suites class seats.)
What we didn’t know at the time was much about the new premium economy offering itself. Now we do, and it looks pretty good.
When we think of premium economy from US airlines we just think extra legroom seating (economy plus, main cabin extra, economy comfort). Several international airlines offer a true premium economy that’s a separate section of the aircraft with not just extra legroom, but extra width and recline, and an overall upgraded experience including food and beverages.
There are hits and misses — Lufthansa offers amenity kits to their premium economy passengers, but sticks it between coach rows and flight attendants have to police the empty seats.
Singapore Airlines has now revealed their premium economy product. It’s what we expect from real international premium economy – a separate section, more comfortable all-around seat, and upgraded inflight experience.
Roughly speaking think of the seat as domestic first with a little extra recline and a foot rest.
- 18.5 -19.5 inch width
- 38 inch pitch
- 8 inch recline
- 13.3-inch personal HD monitor
Premium economy passengers will receive noise-cancelling headphones. There’s seat power, 2 USB ports, and designated storage for water bottle, mobile phone and laptop. T
Truly uniquely, they’re going to extend “Book the Cook” to premium economy. That’s Singapore’s service where they allow passengers to select main meals from a menu in advance and the airline will have that choice onboard.
No doubt the choices will be different from business class, which are today different from first class. Their business class laksa is my favorite airplane meal in the world and I’ve ordered it even on 2 hour flights from Singapore.
Premium economy will also feature champagne. And there’ll be separate check-in, boarding, and an increased baggage allowance over economy. In other words, an actual differentiated class of service.
They’re advertising different cities to receive the product initially than had been reported by AirlineRoute.net. For instance, Singapore isn’t listing San Francisco – Seoul as one of the initial cities. But New York and Los Angeles A380 service are among the initial cities, and without a loss of first class seats in the process, so that’s a win.
Singapore’s award charts haven’t been updated for premium economy — so at this time there’s no information on using Krisflyer miles to redeem for upgrades from economy to premium economy or to redeem for a premium economy award. I’ve asked Singapore for details. It’ll be of definite interest to those in the US with Chase, Citibank, American Express and Starwood points — and who are looking to both stretch those points for the most travel and avoid flying long haul economy.
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