The secret airlines don’t want you to know

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iol travel march 31 cw luxury travel AP CLASS DISTINCTION: The interior of first class on a United Airlines 747 plane, left, and, right, the economy class of a JetBlue E190 plane.


London - Which airline seats make the most profit? Are they up front in first class, which can sell for up to £20 000 (R355 000) return? Or, economy at the back, crammed so tight you risk concussing the person behind you if you recline your seat? In fact, it’s neither.

The most lucrative section of the plane didn’t even exist until the early ’90s: premium economy.

The concept is simple: the passenger gets a little more legroom, a bigger baggage allowance and a glass of bubbly. But, it’s not cheap.

If you want to fly from London to Los Angeles next month with Virgin Atlantic, the most expensive one-way premium economy ticket will cost £2 340 to £1 000 more than the cheapest economy option.

An upper class seat would cost £7 000 one way. But, here’s the secret airlines don’t want you to know: the premium extras don’t cost them anything near £1 000. A business class seat uses three times as much space as an economy one, while a premium economy seat takes up only 50 percent more space.

Virgin Atlantic introduced premium economy in 1992. Now, it’s available on many airlines. You can see why. – Daily Mail

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