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The secret airlines don’t want you to know

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.

CLASS DISTINCTION: The interior of first class on a United Airlines 747 plane, left, and, right, the economy class of a JetBlue E190 plane. Credit: AP

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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