Premium Economy Is The New Business Class (And Business Is The New First) [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Regarding Disney, I think the experience is somewhat like travel in general. Those who regularly travel know how to navigate the ins and outs. Those who do not regularly travel struggle. I go to Disneyland/California Adventure several times a year. I know the drill. I’m able to do 10 to 15 attractions per day, with ample time for food and without the need for Genie/Lightning Lane. Non-regulars simply can’t do that and it becomes a frantic and frustrating affair. As for price, yes, a “regular” family would have to save up for a few years to cover airfare, hotel, food, park tickets, etc.

  2. How is Business the new First!? First class at MOST had 16 seats .. Most Business class cabins are 30+ seats. First Class was always about the personalized service. There is nothing First Class about business class at most Airlines. Maybe it was not a true lie flat seat but I have fond memories of my United PS First Class flights before the merger. I even loved the ultra quiet lounges (especially SFO ) that felt like a living room over the Polaris lounges that are all about chaos and calories. Even though the seat was not as fancy and I had to sit next to someone, I have much better memories about the experience of the Original real first class over todays business class and its not even close.

  3. As for Premium Y, new Business, etc…I was once told 40 is the new 30 too…but so far I’m not really feeling it! LOL!

  4. Links to articles with a paywall – lazy and please don’t bother in the future unless you get a kickback for people signing up for USA Today or the WSJ!

  5. I’m with AC … posting articles that require signup or payment is really annoying. If you insist, please label them so they can be avoided. The ever-more obtrusive ads are tolerable, but just barely. We all know that ‘you’ need to cover expenses and/or make a little money, but isn’t there a middle-ground here somewhere?

  6. @huey judy @ac – my usual practice is to flag that an article is paywalled by noting the source e.g. “NYT” or “Bloomberg”. In this case the paywall didn’t come up for me when I clicked the link and did not realize it therefore..

  7. @Gary Leff – thank you for a very civilized response. I too don’t like paywalls etc. – your response was mature and in the right spirit. Bravo!

  8. The Delta Lounge looks new and fresh, but the seating doesn’t look very comfortable in the seats at the front of the pic here.

  9. @SMR

    I think you miss the point being made about first versus business. Airlines don’t make money on first. Matter of fact, most first passengers are on upgrades or awards. Why should airlines (or any company for that matter) offer a product that they do not make any money on? That is the crux of the matter.

    Now is there a difference between first and business on the international airlines that do offer first class? Yes, beyond a shadow of doubt. But even top rated airlines have flights with no first class. Singapore, Cathay, ANA, Qatar, BA, KLM have flights with no first class. All the US carriers do not offer first class on overseas flights anymore.

    With the exception of transcons and Hawaii flights that offer lie flat domestic first is a joke. On the other hand, business class lie flat seats on international flights are where the airlines will focus their attention. This is the product that sells and earns airlines the most revenue.

  10. The A319NEO is more expensive to operate than the A220-300 so it is no surprise that the latter is the dominant selling A220 model. Airbus recognized that the A319NEO would be outclassed when they acquired the C Series program from Bombardier.

    As for Delta in Chicago. it is probably as significant if not more so that they will add more routes from ORD just so they can get enough people to form a line waiting to get into the new Sky Club.

  11. The PE seats could use a tad bit more recline if I’m being honest. Just give me the Collins’ Air Rest already.

  12. Gary, Thanks for the pieceon the UFO’s. My husband was abducted by them, experimented upon and ejected from their aircraft many years ago. This could be the same people. He now flies around aimlessly on AA hoping to make contact with them again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *