Cranky on the Web: Rise of Premium Economy, Thanksgiving Tips

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Cranky on the Web

How to fly for Thanksgiving without freaking outCNN Money
Thanks to Jon Ostrower, now at CNN, for mentioning Cranky Concierge in his Thanksgiving travel tips story. There are some good tips to be had in here for those on the road this week.

Cranky Flier: Everything You Need To Know About Premium
As part of liligo’s sponsorship of this site, I agreed to write three guests posts for their blog. This is the first. I wrote about the rise of premium economy in the US, who has it, and how it differs from extra legroom seating.

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12 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Rise of Premium Economy, Thanksgiving Tips

  1. At their Investor Day, UA said they’re evaluating Premium Economy but haven’t announced anything yet. Why do you think it’s taking so long to make a decision when AA and DL (along with all the international airlines) have both already announced they’ll roll it out?

    I could see UA shying away from it if the numbers were bad, but then all the other airlines wouldn’t have already gone with it.

    The first 777-300 is only weeks away from delivery.

    1. Mattnrsa – It’s a good question. Many expected the 777-300ERs would be the aircraft to introduce the premium economy product, but nope. I don’t know what the hold up is, but it’s possible the previous regime just didn’t believe in it. Kirby certainly does believe in it or he wouldn’t have introduced it at American. So I bet it’s coming some day.

  2. Premium Economy will one day be what business class was when it first came out, the middle cabin between First and Economy/coach. No one buys First class hardly, it’s just a place to upgrade to. So airlines will one day rename F-class business and premium economy will be the middle class with economy/coach being the back of the bus like it has been.

    1. I doubt seriously they will rename it as a first class cabin. Most companies corporate travel policies specifically ban first class travel on long haul flights. Corporate travelers are the ones that fill that cabin. However, if premium economy cabins become ubiquitous that may be the highest cabin class allowed. That could end up making the business class cabin like first class, never paid and only upgrades.

  3. I traveled Tuesday and honestly, it was great. It was clear that the airports were a bit busier than normal, but flights were almost all on time, staff was still responsive to a kind word and a smile, and as an experienced traveler, I took a few minutes to help a couple of confused n00bs and probably helped recover their entire day (they were in the wrong terminal at the right gate… the letter at the start was not obvious to either of them, poor things.) Even baggage claim was efficient. For all that we complain about airlines, as a fairly frequent traveler, my impression is that things are actually getting better. When things do sometimes go wrong – I missed a flight for the first time ever in October and it was totally my fault – kindness and appreciation go a long way towards fixing things (American was great in that case. The woman in front of me at customer service had yelled and screamed about the plane she missed – probably her fault, not at the gate at time, berated the agent as unhelpful, and didn’t get rebooked for free. I started my conversation with the agent with, “I made a mistake, I’m not going to yell at you, and I really hope you can help me”. We got rebooked on the next flight which was scheduled in about an hour, for free – customer service agents DO have some discretion. :-)

    1. Yes, JuliaZ, I’ve told my kids (boys, 17 and 19) when they travel, look nice (polo shirt and dockers preferred or nice jeans). I’ve also told them BE NICE to the agents, no matter what the situation. I say doing these ‘little things’ will go a long way, and the agents will take care of you!

      1. Boy isn’t that the truth. I find that when I travel in a suit, smile and act respectfully, I am treated extremely well. In Atlanta, I was on Delta and coming home from a business meeting in a suit and had at least a half dozen Delta people go out of their way to ask if they could be of assistance. Maybe that’s Delta, but they just seemed ot bend over backwards to be of assistance.

        Sometimes, I just have to get angry, such as when a botched connection by United left me in a position where United wanted me to lay over at Denver for 13 hours. United fixed the problem only after a tantrum extraordinaire that ultimately involved the Denver terminal manager and only after niceness was met with a wall of resistance. But these are few and far between. And in defense of United, it was in the Commander Jeff era.

    2. Twice I was upgraded by USAir folk to first, thanks to my natural affability and the horrible people ahead of me.

  4. I don’t need the legroom as much as I need a wide seat because of my hip problems.  Is premium economy for me?

    Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

  5. I first flew Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic when it was called “Mid-Class” about 15 years ago. I flew to the UK in regular economy and vowed I’d even pay for 1st class if I had to returning home to get some leg-room. Since then I’ve flown PE on Virgin probably 20 times. Virgin Atlantic introduced Mid-Class in 1992(!) and I’m surprised it’s taken US carriers 24 years to catch on!

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