By Ted Thornhill, Mailonline travel editor
08:08 May 10, 2023, updated 10:19 May 10, 2023
Transatlantic premium economy fares are about double the price of flying economy – with the former available from around £600 ($755) and the latter from around £300 ($380). But is premium economy twice as good?
Travel experts at The Points Guy UK help answer this crucial question with a fascinating video where they test the premium economy offerings of three of the biggest players in the transatlantic game – America’s three largest airlines.
The video features a battle between the premium economy cabins of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines on flights to the United States from Dublin and London.
It’s a story of wobbly tables, misplaced headphone jacks, upgraded napkins and “very tasty” harissa chicken. Read on for more…
American Airlines’ premium economy offerings (above) put to the test by Maren Gimnes Maren said the food was ‘delicious’ Douglas International Airport
Maren Gimnes put American Airlines’ premium economy offerings to the test. The Points Guy UK paid 53,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles plus £259 in tax for her Boeing 777-200 flight from London Heathrow to Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The ups include decent leg room and good food.
She told MailOnline Travel: ‘The leg room was very generous and the seat was comfortable with a nice leather finish.
“I liked that the cabin was quite small, which made it feel more exclusive.
“And the food was delicious and well presented – I got metal cutlery and a cloth napkin, which was a nice upgrade from economy.”
Maren told MailOnline: “The leg room was very generous and the seat was comfortable with a nice leather finish.” Maren complained that her table was “very unstable” and that the USB ports were “not conveniently located.”
And disadvantages? There were a few.
She said: ‘The table was very unstable and I didn’t like that it could be folded down into the armrest as it was difficult to move/get up without having to fold it down every time.
“Plus, the charging points and USB ports weren’t in a convenient location. I paid $37 (£29) for WiFi but it didn’t work at all and there was no high-speed security.”
Nicky Kelvin, head of The Points Guy UK, put Delta to the test. Nicky’s ticket between Dublin and JFK cost £925.80, with the fare including a return flight from Charlotte to Paris in economy. felt very modern and fresh¿
Delta was put to the test by Nicky Kelvin, the head of The Points Guy UK. His ticket between Dublin and John F. Kennedy International Airport on a Boeing 767-400 cost £925.80, including a return flight from Charlotte to Paris in economy.
Nicky said the “ups” included a retrofit cabin that “felt very modern and fresh”, priority check-in and security – “not always offered with premium economy products” – which meant “I had a fast and smooth airport experience” and the food was ‘fresh, tasty and plentiful’, with the flatbread ‘an interesting and welcome addition to the curry served’.
The food served in Delta premium economy was “fresh, delicious and plentiful” “The Boeing 767 is significantly noisier than other more modern aircraft,” said Nicky
However, there were also downsides.
Nicky said: ‘The Boeing 767 is considerably noisier than other more modern aircraft and the premium economy cabin is close to the engines.
And the food felt like an upgraded economy class meal rather than a slightly less fancy business class meal. For example, there was no decent crockery.’
United’s premium economy was trialled by Liam Spencer, with his ticket in a 767-300 between Heathrow and Newark Liberty International Airport costing $1,152 (£912), including an onward flight to Charlotte. of personal space,” said LiamLiam’s chair had “excellent depth of recline”
United’s premium economy was trialled by Liam Spencer, with his ticket in a 767-300 between Heathrow and Newark Liberty International Airport costing $1,152 (£912), including an onward flight to Charlotte.
He said: ‘The seat itself was incredibly comfortable with plenty of personal space and excellent reclining depth. On a long-haul flight, this makes a huge difference when it comes to grabbing a few hours of sleep.
‘I was also very impressed with the size and quality of my lunch. It contained harissa chicken, chickpeas, a huge salad, bread and delicious chocolate truffles.
“Meanwhile, the tiny cabin, which was only four rows, felt secluded, private, and peaceful.”
Liam was “very impressed with the size and quality” of his lunch. Liam said the downsides to his flight were that the toilet facilities were shared with the economy cabin
But there were a few niggles.
Liam explained: ‘The toilet facilities were shared with the much larger economy cabin, meaning they were often occupied and crowded.
And I was disappointed that I wasn’t given a menu prior to meal service, but was instead given a very economical choice of chicken or vegetables. The food turned out to be very tasty and plentiful, but I would have liked more choice.’
Visit for more tricks and tips from The Points Guy UK thepointsguy.com/uk-travel and click here to see the original and full premium economy review video.
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