Looking for a happy medium between coachs sardine-can accommodations and first classs hefty price on lengthy flights? Premium economy cabins, featuring cushier seats and more space to stretch your legs (and wallet), are emerging as a less extravagant, more comfortable option on a number of airlines (including jetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways, to name a few). Still, said seats on many overseas flights can run upwards of five times the cost of a coach ticket, and transatlantic jaunts in particular see higher fares versus the standard economy class than do their Pacific counterparts.
Which is why Air Frances new Premium Voyageur cabins, which debuted service from New Yorks JFK to Paris's CDG on October 25, are todays golden ticket to affordable premium seating. The starting price point of $1,303 round-trip for the NYC to Paris route (which, including taxes, is only about twice the price of a regular seat), gives passengers double the space, a seat that reclines inside its own shell, and worthwhile perks like private widescreens, feather pillows, noise-reducing headphones, and wool blankets. Air France will progressively implement the new 24-seat cabins on all of its long-haul routes to/from Paris (excepting service to the Caribbean and Indian Ocean) over the coming months including all U.S. gateways by 2010s end. A second daily flight touting the configuration will be added to the NYCParis route on December 9.