Qantas gives premium economy a boost

Courtesy Qantas

Courtesy Qantas

Premium economy is slowly coming into its own as airlines such as Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas that have introduced the sub-class to retain down-graders and lure up-graders move to add more differentiating features.

Qantas for one has announced it would extend the Select on Q-Eat feature of the upper classes to premium economy. This allows passengers to pre-order their meal prior to flying, anytime between 7 days and 12 hours prior to departure, and take advantage of choices that are available only on-line. The feature will be introduced on all international flights progressively.

Qantas Executive Manager International Customer Experience Alison Webster said: “Our aim is to provide our customers with a personalised experience when they fly with us.” She added, “The Select on Q-Eat offering in Business has been very well received since its introduction last year. Our customers tell us they enjoy the ability to confirm their meal choice prior to their flight, or to advise us in advance that their priority is to maximise their rest on board, and have their bed made up by our Cabin Crew directly after take-off.”

Courtesy AIRBUS

Courtesy AIRBUS

For premium economy to grow in demand, it has to be more than just a few rows of seats ahead of the normal economy class and a more generous checked baggage allowance. It makes sense that airlines will begin to pay this a little more attention for the higher yield that it brings, if the Cathay experience is a yardstick of success. The Hong Kong-based airline said premium economy “is growing in popularity with passengers and has helped to improve economy class yield.” Passenger yield for the first half of the year has increased by 4.4 per cent, and Cathay has plans to introduce premium economy on 85 aircraft by the end of the year, presently available on 68 of them.

siaThat raises yet again a question that has interested aviation watchers for a long time: Will regional and international rival Singapore Airlines (SIA) change its mind and a similar premium economy class? Think it this way: Will SIA instead introduce its own version of “Select SQ-Eat” for economy class? How’s that for competition?

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About Dingzi
Writer by passion, with professional expertise in aviation, customer service and creative writing. Aviation veteran, author, editor and management consultant. Besides commentary on business issues and life-interest topics, travel stories and book reviews, genres include fiction, poetry and plays. Nature lover who abhors cruelty of any form to animals, and a tireless traveler. Above all, a dreamer.

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