The world’s economy has driven many business to cut their travel budgets. Executives who may have been pampered in First Class, catered to in Business Class or become invisible if they are now relegated to Economy/Coach Class, now have a new (popular) option. Many top carriers are now offering an enhanced Economy Class product that provides various upgrades in services with fares that reflect the impact the economy has had on many travelers.
Airlines’ New Enhanced Economy Product
The enhanced economy option is not the same a the “More Room Throughout Coach” that American Airlines tried several years ago. Instead of giving up seat revenue, the airlines are installing two or three rows of enhanced seating at the beginning of the Coach Class cabin. These seats are typically larger than other coach seats, they have a greater “pitch”, which in layman’s terms means more legroom, and, depending on the airline, passengers electing to purchase this enhanced (more expensive) product are often treated to similar, upgraded meal and beverage services as that experienced by passengers “in the front of the bus”.
Cathay Pacific Introduces its First Premium Economy Aircraft
Cathay Pacific Airlines has always had a good reputation among frequent travelers. Their new Premium Economy seat has a 38-inch pitch – compared to 32 in economy – and has a greater width and recline angle, plus large meal table, footrest, 10.6-inch screen, USB port, power outlet and extra stowage space.
Passengers also receive an amenity kit, large pillow, noise-cancelling headphones, Champagne upon boarding and additional snacks.
On the ground, Cathay’s premium economy passengers will enjoy priority check-in and boarding and enhanced baggage allowance.
Cathay’s First Premium Economy Routes
The Boeing 777-300ER also features a new look economy cabin and will be deployed on routes from Hong Kong to Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver and New York from April, and to/from London in May, with 48 Cathay Pacific aircraft featuring the new product before the year’s end.
“This is an important development for Cathay Pacific and another big step in our commitment to providing outstanding products and services to our passengers,” says the airline’s COO, Ivan Chu. “We’re confident that both these new products will be winners.”