Upgrades from economy to premium economy can be cheap, and they can definitely be worth it. Know that! It’s okay to buy these upgrades if you value a little extra space.
You may not need to. More than ever, premium economy is priced at such small margins in relation to economy that it may make sense to order premium from the outset. There are also a couple of reasons that can be extra advantageous for even better upgrades.
The magic upgrade in long-distance travel is the upgrade from a seat to a completely flat bed, and it is not an economy to premium gear, but it is one that you can achieve with a transition from premium to business class.
Here’s how to approach aircraft upgrades in 2022 and beyond, with travel chaos and changing benefits galore.
Finances for Premium Upgrades: Fees
Most countries define first-class cabins as those in front of a curtain. Many countries now charge higher passenger fees for passengers sitting in these premium cabins. The fees cover things like airport facilities, immigration and infrastructure.
That curtain rule is, to put it mildly, bad news, because it means that an upgrade from the economy cabin to the premium cabin becomes more expensive as the new fees come in addition. You cross through a curtain, so you pay higher government fees.
An upgrade may still be worth it, but you will basically be hit by a bunch of extra charges on top of what the airline wants to charge for the better experience in premium economy.
What you should do …
It is important to look at the difference in price between economy and premium before ordering either, to get an overview of what a “good” upgrade price would be.
If the difference between economy and premium for a round trip is $ 500 versus $ 800 – you actually pay $ 300 for a round trip upgrade.
It’s unlikely that even a one – way upgrade to premium would cost less than $ 250 if you were to book economy from the start, so it may make sense to lock in a better round-trip experience for just $ 300 or $ 400 more.
Premium Economy can also open up beds
Most airlines offer upgrade options with miles from premium to business class. Few airlines offer upgrades from economy class to business class. Upgrades from seats to beds are complete game changers on long-haul or overnight flights.
Cash price differences between premium and business class can be much greater than economy and premium, and that makes these elusive upgrades even more worthwhile with points.
The difference between economy and premium can be hundreds, but the difference between premium and business is often thousands.
Here are some of the best upgrade options out there, from airline to airline. Upgrades can cost as little as 15,000 points one way from premium to business class, and can save thousands in cash if you work with the system.
By ordering a premium economy ticket directly, upgrades with miles and points can move you into business class right away if you play things smart. Since you are already in front of a curtain when ordering for premium economy, there are usually no extra fees to pay either.
Airlines may still add modest surcharges, but there will be no additional government charges from premium to business class, which should keep the cash costs of any upgrades fairly low – and the benefits of business class very high.
More premium points anyway
Ordering premium economy from the start guarantees more than legroom, priority services and a faster exit of the aircraft. Premium Economy earns several miles and elite status credit with most programs, helping you reap the benefits faster.
For people traveling with luggage, the premium usually includes at least one and often two, so any difference in price between economy and premium can be further justified by the savings from checked luggage.
See before you order
Are you looking for a takeaway? Look no further, just look before you order.
Before you book a flight, look at the difference in price between economy and premium, and take things a step further by seeing if any flights that work with your itinerary happen to have upgrades available.
If they do, you can order premium and immediately upgrade to business one way, or round-trip and unlock massive savings compared to paying cash. Either way, you will earn more points and enjoy a comfortable flying experience.