jamie goode's wine blog: Flying: 'premium economy'

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Flying: 'premium economy'

Returned from South Africa overnight, flying BA's premium economy (no upgrade this time) - it's the first time I've flown this way, and it wasn't bad. Compared with economy, you get plenty of legroom, a slightly bigger seat, and a proper wine glass, as well as slightly better service.

On the negative side, you get the same food, the same wine and the same toilet facilities as economy. And you don't get to use the lounges. And because the seat only reclines a little, the chances of a good night's sleep are diminished. The best you can hope for is an economy-style fitful napping.

There was a nice bit of honesty on today's flight. The food came and the option was offered: 'chicken or beef?' 'What's nicest?' I responded. 'It's airline food,' said the cabin crew member. Class. And then as we were taxiing after landing, the voice came over the PA: 'Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a filthy day here in London.'

BA call all their cabins by special names. Business class is 'club world' (which sounds a bit chavvy to me); economy is 'world traveller'; and premium economy is 'world traveller plus'. I don't like it, but I can understand that the terms 'premium' and 'economy' spliced together make for a confusing combination.

Both outward and inbound flights were on Boeing 777s. On the way out the plane was 3 weeks old, but the in-flight entertainment system wasn't working properly. On the way back it was an older plane, and there was no video on demand service. That really isn't good enough these days. If you're going to be stuck in a small seat for 11 hours, you need some decent entertainment.


At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

I know you're obsessed with keeping up your blog, but this really wasn't worth the effort of posting. (Neither is this reply, but it had to be said)

At 2:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's just plain rude...you really shouldn't have bothered commenting.

At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamie, you have my total sympathy.

I just don't know how you coped, flying premium economy, having been wined and dined at someone else's expense for a week.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

What were you general impressions of the SA wine scene this time Jamie?
I know you did not have the best of weather but trust you were still impressed by the country and quality of wine making.
Flying out there myself this evening although I shall be in business!!

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous simonb said...

jamie,i enjoy your wine blog greatly.This christmas i will be in SA as usual only this time as a God parent for the first time , as a present i was considering buying some large format wine for my God son's future enjoyment.do you have any suggestions ?

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Jonjo Rowlands said...

Hi there,

Love your blog! Also interested in hearing your answer to Simonb's question :-)

If you're interested, here's my comedic rant about what I see as the bad points of the wine industry: http://jonjorowlands.blogspot.com/2009/11/wine.html

Jonjo x

At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Keith - what do you do? You seem to have an interesting travel schedule and very keen interest in fine wines?

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

anonymous------ I am a Director and fund raiser for a great charity named Pebbles www.pebblesproject.co.za


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