1st Feb 2014 – Global
Awards nominees: Best value product
Best value product
Proof that you don’t have to sit near the front of the plane for quality in flight.
It’s rare that a premium economy class cabin can be said to be luxurious and even more rare that economy class can be called comfortable, but there are some who are working hard at this. This award recognizes those airlines that provide the best value not by being the cheapest (though that may also be the case) but by putting thought and effort into offering a dignified product to those seated in economy and premium economy – in other words the majority of its passengers.
Turkish Airlines “Comfort Class” premium economy. Looking at the cost of a Comfort seat you wouldn’t think this product resembles a previous generation of business class, with 46” of pitch and a 2-3-2 layout. Hard to beat for space, especially if traveling in a pair. The catch? TK has reportedly decided to remove it from the fleet, so get it while you can. Currently on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft operating globally out of Istanbul (IST).
Norwegian Long Haul “Premium seat” premium economy. Norwegian’s product should prove highly attractive to Scandinavian passengers preferring a roomy yet affordable nonstop over one-stop business class through Europe’s hassle-filled hubs. Comfortable, functional and reasonably priced – true to the Scandinavian ideal. On 787s flying between Stockholm/Copenhagen/Oslo and a growing list of cities including Bangkok, New York, Los Angeles. Later this year on London Gatwick to US flights.
LOT Polish Airlines “Premium Club” premium economy. This product hasn’t had much attention as the carrier coped with 787 delays and financial troubles, but this is a top offering with elevated service levels and good prices – making LOT’s 787 an unexpectedly good value choice for transatlantic travel. On 787 services between Warsaw and New York JFK, Chicago, Toronto and occasional charters elsewhere.
Southwest Airlines economy. The beauty of Southwest lies in its simplicity – there are more refined airlines out there, but in an era of add-on fees and complex ticket restrictions, Southwest refreshingly says no thanks, instead offering a competent, straightforward service, usually with a smile. Throughout the Southwest Airlines fleet.
Japan Airlines economy. JAL works to add value for all its passengers and in economy that means tasty food, caring, attentive service and a generally dignified experience – a warm, full-service approach to help offset the discomfort of longhaul economy class. The newest Sky Wider seat is currently on some 777-300ER and 767-300 aircraft; see JAL’s list of services with the product
We’ll be announcing the nominees in each of our 11 categories over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for the winners to be announced from the Singapore Airshow in mid-February. Keep up with us on Twitter so you don’t miss any of the results.