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Butch

Economy vs Premium

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Posted (edited)

I think this might have been asked before, but maybe it needs to be re addressed.

Years ago, particularly with EVA the disparity between Econ and "elite"  (for the purpose of this topic I'll refer to elite and premium economy as PE) was as little as £150 on the price of the ticket, which worked out at £75 each way. That was before higher taxes, fuel surcharges etc etc.

At the time of writing, the difference is over £400, give or take. PE from LHR-BKK return is £980 for next April, Economy £540. Cathay for LHR-MNL return are also around £400 per person above the cost of an economy return, so again for purposes of the post lets take it that it's £400 over the cost of a standard basic econ fare.

Now, the question is two fold, firstly, is the price difference worth it?. £200 each way for better seating, slightly better food, more luggage, more points, more space and slightly earlier boarding, versus the alternative. It is worth remembering though that EVA are rolling out 10 abreast in econ whereas Cathay are not (referring to their 777-333's). The upside of Cathay is that with the Marco Polo reward scheme, the points and perks soon add up, making the membership worthwhile, even if the enrolment is $100 pa if you don't get 20 points within the first year.

With the costs of all holidays going up due to a weak £, the £400 or so extra does have a considerable bearing. Spread over a 14 day holiday, it gives and extra £28 a day, so if, like me you run a budget of £100 per day, that brings it up to £128 which then means instead of 3700 thb a day to spend, I've got 4736 baht (@37 to the £) to spend, and that extra 1k baht can make a difference. It works out less in the RP as we stay for longer, but the principle is the same because there are 3 of us travelling, thus making it £1200.

However, once having travelled PE, it is a very hard habit to break. As a family we always travel PE to the Philippines, simply due to it being a hell of a long trip, and it works well as a gateway drug into Business Class. Even from a health point of view, I don't feel so tired having flown PE than I did flying econ which used to give me an aching back, knee joint pain and cramps in my thighs (nothing a good Soi honey massage couldn't fix though 🙂 )

I'm getting old now, but like many BM's here despite having a good job and decent income, I still like to save a penny here and there and I can't help but think flying PE is slightly frivolous in todays economic climate. £400 is a lot of money, for example I wouldn't spend that kind of cash on myself, say for some shoes or a coat, and in spending it to upgrade myself when there are cheaper options out there adds a tinge of guilt, which often hits home when landing in Manila and seeing the poverty everywhere.

So, I would ask, is it worth paying the extra given that it is more than it ever has been, and having more to spend on holiday, or is it a case of the fact we all work hard (or have worked hard), life is very short so why not?, after all there's no point being the richest bloke in the graveyard.

Edited by Butch

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It's been a few years now since I have flown economy long haul.  I find Eva PE to be worth the cost with my increasingly stiff joints.  I'm aware of PE with Cathay Pacific and they do fly to Seattle but don't have through booking to Alaska, unlike Eva.  When Eva was still flying 747s, they offered economy seating in thr upper deck which was appreciably than thr main deck.  Managed to get a couple of trans-Pacific flights in business class using frequent flyer miles.  One was on a Delta 767 which I regretted.

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Butch it is of course a personal choice . I have flown business class many years now . Before, because of status miles points i rarely paid for it.  Now living here i have lost all of that . My trip home in 3 weeks is $3800 usd . My cheap charlie friend is going back to Philly for $600 usd the same week.  It is a tough one for me. I dont even do the table cloth service . "Thanks ,i ate in the lounge, a salad and bottle of Sake will be fine."  I'm an well in my 60"s and its not a status thing. I need the flat bed.  In the US i am happy to fly Southwest. "Sit down shut up we will get you Baltimore in a couple hours ." Will be explaining to the kids i may not return home every year. 

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5 hours ago, Butch said:

It is worth remembering though that EVA are rolling out 10 abreast in econ ....

Butch

Your thoughts on this are much the same as mine. I started travelling PE on EVA about a year or so ago because I had suffered the discomfort of the 3-4-3 configuration in Economy. However, my recent flights have led me to conclude that 3-4-3 might have been withdrawn on the LHR/BKK routing. My last flight was on an obviously very recently re-furbished plane, and it was 3-3-3 in Economy.

Whether it is "worth it" is a totally subjective consideration. For me it is because of the extra space, and the fact that (mostly) the more troublesome passengers travel in Economy. So I have been converted!

I use my business miles to treat myself to Business Class now and again. But I don't think I could regard travelling BC as "worth it" if I had to pay the full fare.

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I think the premium economy flights are worth the extra money.  I'll be doing that from now on, I suppose, when the seats are available.  

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Posted (edited)

Its always going to be personal choice I think. For myself who likes flying and suffers no real jet lag or aches and pains I'd always choose economy. I could easily afford PE but just couldnt really justify it even at £400 more. You're only landing 10 metres in front of all the riff raff behind  😂😂

Fair play to those who want to pay or for Biz

Edited by Rawhide2

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Posted (edited)

Getting off EVA flights, I've looked at the business class seating.  It appears they have the tunnel for your feet setup.  I did not do well with that the one time I encountered it on a Delta 767.  I'll get enough practice laying flat on my back for an extended period in a few years.

Edited by nkped

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22 minutes ago, Rawhide2 said:

Its always going to be personal choice I think. For myself who likes flying and suffers no real jet lag or aches and pains I'd always choose economy. I could easily afford PE but just couldnt really justify it even at £400 more. You're only landing 10 metres in front of all the riff raff behind  😂😂

Fair play to those who want to pay or for Biz

The problem is that not all economy seats are the same.  Depends on the airline and the plane. I've had some trips in economy that were just fine.  Other times, I was miserable.  

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1 hour ago, js007 said:

The problem is that not all economy seats are the same.  Depends on the airline and the plane. I've had some trips in economy that were just fine.  Other times, I was miserable.  

Yes I agree you need to know your airlines and seat pitch of any you're contemplating

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3 hours ago, js007 said:

The problem is that not all economy seats are the same.  Depends on the airline and the plane. I've had some trips in economy that were just fine.  Other times, I was miserable.  

I did fairly well with Korean.  Of course, the scenery may have been part of that.

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7 hours ago, Rawhide2 said:

Its always going to be personal choice I think. For myself who likes flying and suffers no real jet lag or aches and pains I'd always choose economy. I could easily afford PE but just couldnt really justify it even at £400 more. You're only landing 10 metres in front of all the riff raff behind  😂😂

Fair play to those who want to pay or for Biz

Yep, I admit at this point I'm having trouble justifying the extra. Last trip I had points which deferred the cost of the flight by about £150, so I cashed them in and the PE fare cost me £680, which wasn't too shabby, but this time with only a limited number of points, it'll be pretty much full price.

Even though I'm not a huge bloke, I really suffer in econ. My knees aren't the greateast and a working lifetime of physical labour has pretty much bollocksed my back and hips, and I'm not even 50 yet, then throw shiftwork into the mix and I feel ready for the knackers yard.  The comfort factor is what often justifes it for me, otherwise I'd probably lose a day or maybe two getting myself "right" (especially to the RP) and for the aches to go away.

I do, however remember the time I paid £770 for an economy ticket (which led on to be my worst trip ever to Pattaya and I didn't return for 2 years, bloody awful trip). so I often look at that and then think "it's not that much more" lol, so basically like any questionable decision, I'll do my best to justify it to myself using the most tenuous means possible.

 

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EVA from Amsterdam seem to now have 6 versions of economy seats ,some of them you have to pay for seat selection and that's new don't know if it's the same from Heathrow.

With a general price rise plus paying for seat selection a quick scan through looks like a €120+ hike on last year's trip.

It will require some effort and research through the options to decide what's the best deal and seats on their flights now.

Like more than a few of us 12-13 hours on a direct flight is knackering, I don't have any real health issues and can't afford the better seats so a stop over in the middle East might be an option, 6 hours then a break then another six hours might be ok as long as it's only a 2-3 stopover.

 

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It's systemwide for Eva, not a huge differential, but it's there.

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I refuse to pay for seat selection.  I always check in as soon as they open and manage to get either a window or aisle seat. I dont need to be in the front row but dont want to be between 2 people.

So far I have never sat next to a huge person who really should have bought 2 seats. There was a video of a woman being thrown off a plane because she complained loudly about being stuck between 2 hippopotamus. They knew they were fucking fat because they bought seats with an empty between them. The plane was full and this poor woman couldn't move and complained loudly (and abusively) but the staff should have made one of the fatties swap seats so she was only squashed on one side.

 

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I first flew PE with EVA in 2006 and it was so much nicer than the economy flights I'd taken with Air Canada before  that I got spoiled by it and have done it ever since; however, when I tried to book a r/t for this winter I couldn't seem to make the return flight work so I phoned EVA and was told that they are going to start running a 787 Dreamliner from Vancouver in February which will only provide two classes, economy and business - so much for my PE, and I ended up booking PE on Cathay Pacific instead for around the same price EVA was charging. I haven't flown with CP before so it will be interesting to make the comparison. I could have still flown PE with EVA from Seattle but it would mean more money, another flight and US border crossing too so not worth the trouble.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, maipenrai said:

I first flew PE with EVA in 2006 and it was so much nicer than the economy flights I'd taken with Air Canada before  that I got spoiled by it and have done it ever since; however, when I tried to book a r/t for this winter I couldn't seem to make the return flight work so I phoned EVA and was told that they are going to start running a 787 Dreamliner from Vancouver in February which will only provide two classes, economy and business - so much for my PE, and I ended up booking PE on Cathay Pacific instead for around the same price EVA was charging. I haven't flown with CP before so it will be interesting to make the comparison. I could have still flown PE with EVA from Seattle but it would mean more money, another flight and US border crossing too so not worth the trouble.

Cathay PE is very good indeed, comparable with EVA's product and I'd say, slightly better because the small cabin area has 2 dedicated Cabin Crew. The food was a much higher standard than EVA, seat pitch and comfort are the same. One point of note is that in the EVA PE, the bulkhead seats have a metal slide extension for your legs when fully reclined (due to there being no footrest), Cathay are the same (I think the seats are exactly the same apart from the material colours). That is on the 777's we've flown, but as yet I've not been on an A350, but the product seems to be steps ahead of the EVA one on there according to this report.

https://www.godsavethepoints.com/sneak-peek-economy-premium-business-cabins-cathay-pacific-airbus-a350-1000/

If you intend to fly Cathay regularly, I'd strongly suggest joining the Marco Polo FF program, there is a cost attached to it though ($100 PA) which recurs unless you get 20 point per year, but the rewards are very good indeed.

Here's a review:

https://www.executivetraveller.com/your-guide-to-cathay-pacific-s-marco-polo-club-loyalty-program

Edited by Butch

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I now look at things from a different perspective...

- Due to National coaches availability I will only fly into LHR T2/T3 before 1600 so bang goes EVA and BA..

- My preference after that is to fly PE and pay 20 quid with loungebuddy at each departure lounge.. But no PE within my budget to T2/T3 so economy it is.

- So for my next flight home it will be a price decision between Emirates or Qatar. Getting tanked up with scoff and wine in the lounge for 20 quid and with 2 short flights of 7 or so hours they won't have time to refuse me drinks unless I vomit...

- Austrian/Swiss/Lufthansa are coming in at good prices but I am sure they will stop serving me wine after the 6 or 7 hour mark which is totally unacceptable....

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1 hour ago, Bullfrog said:

I now look at things from a different perspective...

- Due to National coaches availability I will only fly into LHR T2/T3 before 1600 so bang goes EVA and BA..

- My preference after that is to fly PE and pay 20 quid with loungebuddy at each departure lounge.. But no PE within my budget to T2/T3 so economy it is.

- So for my next flight home it will be a price decision between Emirates or Qatar. Getting tanked up with scoff and wine in the lounge for 20 quid and with 2 short flights of 7 or so hours they won't have time to refuse me drinks unless I vomit...

- Austrian/Swiss/Lufthansa are coming in at good prices but I am sure they will stop serving me wine after the 6 or 7 hour mark which is totally unacceptable....

Not sure whereabouts in the UK you're heading for, but Emirates now fly into Stansted, there's a pretty decent train service between there and Colchester, and also a lot of National Express coaches drop at Stansted then go on to Heathrow / Gatwick.

Is loungebuddy any good?. I had a pass for the Miracle lounge at Suvarnabhumi, it was bloody excellent, showers, beer, food and of course wine plus they're not strict on the time spent there either.

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3 minutes ago, Butch said:

Not sure whereabouts in the UK you're heading for, but Emirates now fly into Stansted, there's a pretty decent train service between there and Colchester, and also a lot of National Express coaches drop at Stansted then go on to Heathrow / Gatwick.

Is loungebuddy any good?. I had a pass for the Miracle lounge at Suvarnabhumi, it was bloody excellent, showers, beer, food and of course wine plus they're not strict on the time spent there either.

I head West from LHR along the M4.

I found loungebuddy to be very good since I stopped flying up front (and took everything for granted). Last time I flew out I went onto the Suvarnabhumi website and checked the history of departures to see what gates my flights left from and chose a lounge nearest staggering distance to the plane...There was a choice of buffet and a chef was available for fresh cooked food. Wine was self service from the fridge but when the girl saw me getting up and down she basically filled my glass for me every time I emptied it..All for 20 quid! .Same same for LHR but of course only self service and for 25 quid. Both would have cost me much much more in the restaurents and pubs......

But read the reviews carefully before choosing!!

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10 hours ago, Butch said:

Cathay PE is very good indeed, comparable with EVA's product and I'd say, slightly better because the small cabin area has 2 dedicated Cabin Crew. The food was a much higher standard than EVA, seat pitch and comfort are the same. One point of note is that in the EVA PE, the bulkhead seats have a metal slide extension for your legs when fully reclined (due to there being no footrest), Cathay are the same (I think the seats are exactly the same apart from the material colours). That is on the 777's we've flown, but as yet I've not been on an A350, but the product seems to be steps ahead of the EVA one on there according to this report.

https://www.godsavethepoints.com/sneak-peek-economy-premium-business-cabins-cathay-pacific-airbus-a350-1000/

If you intend to fly Cathay regularly, I'd strongly suggest joining the Marco Polo FF program, there is a cost attached to it though ($100 PA) which recurs unless you get 20 point per year, but the rewards are very good indeed.

Here's a review:

https://www.executivetraveller.com/your-guide-to-cathay-pacific-s-marco-polo-club-loyalty-program

Food in Eva PE was quite good in June-July, noticeably better than last year.

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I too remember the Eva Evergreen Class and all it's benefits, now the price gap between Economy and Elite is too great, plus the Elite cabin layout does not allow you to stretch your legs unless you go down the back.

For the first time in along time I am thinking of giving Thailand a miss this year, the pound is worthless and flying is not so much fun as it used to be.

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35 minutes ago, Gus said:

I too remember the Eva Evergreen Class and all it's benefits, now the price gap between Economy and Elite is too great, plus the Elite cabin layout does not allow you to stretch your legs unless you go down the back.

For the first time in along time I am thinking of giving Thailand a miss this year, the pound is worthless and flying is not so much fun as it used to be.

I'm pretty much in the same boat Gus. It might have to be a family holiday to the philippines instead and give Thailand a total miss.

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1 hour ago, Butch said:

I'm pretty much in the same boat Gus. It might have to be a family holiday to the philippines instead and give Thailand a total miss.

Hi,

I saw ads for "Amazing Thailand" on Sky recently so maybe bookings are down. Flights are OK, its the currency thats the problem.

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5 hours ago, Gus said:

flying is not so much fun as it used to be.

 

I think that the general public consensus of flying these days.   Airlines have forgotten about customer service and then there's TSA as well.

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13 hours ago, wacmedia said:

Hi,

I saw ads for "Amazing Thailand" on Sky recently so maybe bookings are down. Flights are OK, its the currency thats the problem.

It is amazing that flight prices are holding especially with foreign carriers, weak Sterling would affect that and also put fuel up in Sterling terms. 

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