Last month, Air Canada unveiled a brand new seating class called Premium Economy. With seven more inches of legroom and 20-inchwide seats, it’s a step up from the mediocrity of Economy, yet not quite as luxe as Executive Class. When introduced on the carrier’s Montreal–Paris flights in July, the hey-at-least-it’s-not-coach class will bring the number of Air Canada seat categories to four. The question is: Where does Premium Economy land in the global spectrum of seat classes? We surveyed the full range to find out.
Etihad Airways’ Diamond First Class won Best First Class at the 2012 World Airline Awards. Legroom? It offers passengers a six-foot, eight-inch extra-wide bed (silk and cotton duvet) with a built-in massager, wardrobe, 23-inch LCD screen and private mini-bar.
First Class passengers on Lufthansa’s Swiss line have access to a full office desk. When they’ve closed their laptops, the extra ottoman transforms the desk into a cozy dinner table for two. It even turns into a bed with air-cushion technology that adjusts to each individual tuchus.
British Airways’ top passengers enjoy angled seats for unlimited legroom and electronic blinds that span two windows.
Icelandair’s Saga Class comes with 40 heroic inches of legroom and a duvet cover to insulate flyers from Nordic winds.
Air Canada’s Premium Economy has the same 38 inches of legroom as Executive class, but without the Maple Leaf Lounge access.
Icelandair’s Economy Comfort is a cut above cattle class: 33 inches of legroom and early boarding.
Air Canada’s basic Economy class has 31 inches of legroom and a slim 18-inch-wide seat.
All seats on U.K.’s EasyJet have 29 inches of legroom. The seats do not recline.
On Ireland’s Ryanair, proposed £1 standing “seats” would increase flight capacity from 189 to 230. Hang on tight!
(Illustration by Ryan Inzana)