I knew from reading your blog that premium economy was something that lots of airlines had been experimenting with (BA’s Open Skies, etc.), achieving extremely varied levels of success. However, I would love to know more about the rationale for beefing up premium economy on multi-class aircraft. Are airlines making money on customers who choose premium economy? Are [Business] and [First Class] passengers expressing any concern that some of their traditional “territory” (lounges, preboarding, etc.) might be devalued by expanding its availability to non-[Business/First] customers? What is the outlook for premium products, say, over the course of the next ten years?

-Zach in Chicago

I would say the outlook for the expansion of premium economy is good over the next decade. This is a direct result of the gaping hole that has opened between coach and the premium cabins that are out there today.

Think about how it used to be. There was coach and there was first class. As first class started to gain greater distance from coach in price and comfort, airlines began rolling out business class to fill the gap. The problem is that first and business class have continued to get better and more expensive while coach has, well, stayed coach.

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  • Cranky Flier

    My name is Brett, and I’m an airline dork. I’ve had the bug since I was young. As a kid, I never missed a chance to go to LAX a…

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