Premium economy, a slightly better deal than just plain coach

Flying in economy can be uncomfortable, if not downright unbearable. (If you’ve flown from Washington to Australia in Seat 32F, you know what I’m talking about.) But perhaps more painful than that middle seat in the back of the plane is the price tag of a first-class or business-class seat. Fortunately, frugal fliers now have a less distressing alternative than the straight-up cattle car. Seven of the 10 largest U.S. airlines have rolled out a premium economy offering, which often includes extra legroom and perks such as free food or priority boarding, all for a fraction of the first-class price. We’ve rounded up the premium economy options for you here, although we’ll let you decide whether the upgrade is worth it. — Kate Parham

Flying in economy can be uncomfortable, if not downright unbearable. (If you’ve flown from Washington to Australia in Seat 32F, you know what I’m talking about.) But perhaps more painful than that middle seat in the back of the plane is the price tag of a first-class or business-class seat. Fortunately, frugal fliers now have a less distressing alternative than the straight-up cattle car. Seven of the 10 largest U.S. airlines have rolled out a premium economy offering, which often includes extra legroom and perks such as free food or priority boarding, all for a fraction of the first-class price. We’ve rounded up the premium economy options for you here, although we’ll let you decide whether the upgrade is worth it. — Kate Parham
Published on May 17, 2013, 2:30 p.m.
 
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