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Why Air Canada Premium Economy Is a Great Deal

Why Air Canada Premium Economy Is a Great Deal

There have been a lot of articles written about premium economy cabins lately. Many are negative, and use words like “overpriced” to describe the experience, and most are written by people who have flown it many times and can offer a better review than I can.

I recently flew premium economy for the first time, from Toronto (YYZ) to Amsterdam (AMS) with Air Canada. I didn’t want to be in the middle cabin, and I almost wasn’t. However, there was one seat in business class available, and I was number two on the upgrade list.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the experience, as I don’t like sitting in recliners on seven-hour flights. I really enjoy lie-flat seats, especially on red-eye flights, and I think Air Canada Signature Class is a compelling product.

However, at the end of the day, I don’t think premium economy is at all overpriced. I also think there’s exceptional value to be found for anyone with Aeroplan Elite Status, which you can get for free just by signing up for the Chase Aeroplan Card or through Everyday Status Qualification, and neither of which require you to ever set foot in an airplane.

The Premium Economy Experience

First, let’s discuss how the experience differs from regular economy for someone who enjoys status with Air Canada.

If you have the base-level 25K status, you’ll get priority baggage handling that you would not otherwise be entitled to. That’s about it for ground benefits, as your status already entitles you to everything else a ticket in premium economy includes.

Booking in premium economy affords you priority baggage handling

By booking in premium economy to begin with, you also get the following benefits over travelling in the regular economy cabin:

  • 1–3 inches of extra seat width (depending on aircraft type), affording you more room to reposition yourself for extra comfort
  • 6–7 inches of extra seat pitch (depending on aircraft type), giving you substantially more foot and leg room
  • 2 inches of extra seat recline, allowing you to lean back a bit further and hopefully get some better sleep
  • A couple extra inches of armrest space, so that you’re not butting elbows with your neighbour the whole flight
  • A better first meal service, which is very similar to what you’d get in the standard North American business class
  • A power outlet at every seat (instead of between every seat), so there’s no fighting over electricity
  • A bigger…

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