This Airline Puts the ‘Premium’ in Premium Economy

On most airlines, Premium Economy amounts to just a few extra inches of legroom. Beginning in August, Singapore Airlines will offer a Premium Economy that is worthy of the name.

On most airlines, Premium Economy, by whatever name (Main Cabin Extra, Delta Comfort, and so on) is little more than a standard coach seat with a few extra inches of legroom. With comfort in regular coach on the decline due to more crowded planes and tighter seating, that extra legroom is welcome, to be sure. But “Premium” seems more like a marketing overstatement than a clear-eyed assessment.

Beginning in August, Singapore Airlines will offer a Premium Economy that is worthy of the name.

First and foremost, and unlike most other airlines’ Premium Economy, Singapore’s features a brand-new seat designed specifically for the upgraded service. Depending on the type of aircraft, the seats will be either 18.5 or 19.5 inches wide, a nice upgrade from the 17- or 18-inch standard width for normal coach seats. Seat pitch—the distance between seats—will be 38 inches. And the seats are capable of an 8-inch recline.

Other Premium Economy features:

  • A calf-rest and foot-bar for every seat
  • Individual in-seat power supply
  • Two USB ports, personal in-seat reading light, and cocktail table for every seat
  • More stowage space for personal items
  • Active noise-cancelling headphones
  • A 13.3-inch full HD inflight-entertainment monitor
  • Priority check-in and baggage handling
  • 35 kg. baggage allowance
  • Advance ordering of some main course meal offerings through the Book the Cook service

Premium Economy will be introduced on August 9, on the airline’s Singapore-Sydney flights, before launching on flights to other destinations including Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Zurich. Plans call for Premium Economy to be installed on 19 Airbus A380s, 19 Boeing 777-300ERs, and 20 Airbus A350s.

U.S.-originating travelers will have to wait until December, when Premium Economy will be available on Los Angeles and New York flights.

This article originally appeared on

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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