Premium economy is like domestic first class with foot rests (or in some cases a foot bar). It doesn’t let you lie flat, but it gives you extra room and some upgraded amenities. I don’t think it’s a replacement for business class on ultra long haul flights, but it’s ‘good enough’ flying transatlantic Westbound (day flight) and certainly a whole lot better than coach.
I watch Sydney fares because I have family in the suburbs there, and I’ve been going since I was a kid. In fact my very first international trip was to Australia. I even flew American Airlines the last time they served Sydney — DC10s via Honolulu.
So I was super interested to see a premium economy roundtrip fare to Sydney for less than $1800.
The first step in getting a deal on airfare is to know what a deal looks like — how much a route usually costs so you know whether what you’re seeing is better or worse than normal. If you’re booking far out, a price is higher than usual, and there’s no seasonal or special event explaining that it’s often a good idea to wait to buy. If a price is lower than normal, it’s usually a good idea to jump.
So what do premium economy fares to Sydney often look like? Let’s just have a look at what other airlines selling premium economy non-stop between Los Angeles and Sydney are asking at the same time:
This isn’t a mistake fare, something that’s 90% off, but it’s definitely an unusually low fare and a good price for much greater comfort. It’s about a $300 premium in each direction compared to what American wants for the same flights in coach, and much less than the ‘double’ American’s President Robert Isom said the airline is getting for premium economy most of the time (when he spoke to the Cowen and Company Transportation Conference this month). And there’s no question you’re going to want premium economy to Australia more than merely to Europe.
Key details of fare basis QLWZ4EN1:
- Travel permitted Friday through Sunday in each direction
- Outbound travel must occur January 12 – June 28 or July 24 through end of schedule
- Refundable for a $200 fee or $100 change fee