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How “premium” is premium economy? A guide to choosing that upgrade, airline by airline


Disappointment tends to snowball for many airline passengers as they trudge down the aisle to their seats.

First, there is the deep envy for the first- and business-class passengers (in those seats too expensive for most of us, though we still gawk) leading up to a revulsion at the horrors of economy so severe that perhaps an explanation of the Seven Stages of Grief should come in the seat pocket along with the safety card.

Leave it to the crafty airlines to invent a new product—called premium economy—to capitalize on passengers’ trauma of cramped cabins past. Taiwan’s EVA Air and the UK’s Virgin Atlantic were the ones who pioneered the in-between service class in the early 1990s, but the concept really took off this year as fares tumbled and airlines grappled with ways to drum up revenue. Full Story

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