I flew premium economy on my long-haul Emirates flight. It was cheaper than flying coach at a better time and way nicer.

I flew premium economy on my long-haul Emirates flight. It was cheaper than flying coach at a better time and way nicer.
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Author Ash Jurberg sitting on plane seat in premium economy, giving thumbs up
My Emirates preimum-economy flight was expensive, but it was cheaper than flying economy in this case.

  • I secured a great deal on a premium-economy seat on a long-haul Emirates flight.
  • This was my first time in premium economy, and I was surprised at how upgraded the experience felt. 
  • Premium economy is worth trying, especially if you can find a good deal like I did.

I had to fly from Melbourne, Australia, to Dubai with only a few weeks’ notice, and unfortunately, airfares for direct flights were expensive.

Emirates has three direct flights from Melbourne to Dubai a day at 9 p.m., 2 a.m., and 5 a.m. I wanted to get the 9 p.m. flight as it’s the most convenient time to depart, but the airfare was over $1,400. The 2 a.m. flight was a similar price.

However, the 5 a.m. flight didn’t seem very popular or full, and I found a premium-economy ticket for about $1,250, which was cheaper than economy seats on other flights that day.

Although my flight was expensive, it seemed like I got a solid deal for a premium upgrade. Rates vary, but I’ve seen many of Emirates’ premium-economy seats cost $800 to $1,500 more than ones in coach.

Plus, I was actually looking forward to my 14-hour trip since Emirates recently placed third in Skytrax’s overall world’s best airlines of 2024 awards — and its premium-economy class came in second.

Here’s what my first premium-economy flight was like.

I left home at 2 a.m. to catch my flight, but my excitement kept me feeling upbeat.
Author Ash Jurberg sitting on plane seat in premium economy
Before my trip, I was actually looking forward to the 14-hour flight and trying premium economy for the first time.

The seats were bigger and far more comfortable than I had expected.
Seat in premium economy on Emirates flgiht
I had a lot of room in my premium-economy seat.

The premium-economy cabin was at the front of the plane, separate from economy. It consisted of just a few rows, which made it feel exclusive.

Two premium-economy seats took up about the same space amount of space as three economy seats, so I had a lot of room to stretch out.

With the extra width and seat recline, I didn’t feel cramped and could easily relax or stretch out to sleep.

The seat-back entertainment screens were also a nice size at just over 13 inches, which made watching movies a better experience.

Across the whole cabin, there was a feeling of more space.
Author Ash Jurberg sitting on plane seat in premium economy  stretching on plane
I had enough room to stretch out on my flight.

The aisles in premium economy felt wider, which allowed for easy movement throughout the cabin. Passengers weren’t bumping into the aisle seats to try to squeeze through like they often do in economy.

At the front of the cabin, there was a decent amount of space, so I walked around and even did some stretches and Pilates — a great way to keep my muscles moving and blood flowing on a long flight.

There was rarely a queue for the toilets as there were three dedicated restrooms in premium economy that easily accommodated the number of passengers in the cabin.

The in-flight food felt premium, too.
Breakfast on flight —croissant, pancakes on plate
I had a sizable breakfast during my flight.

Breakfast was served about 45 minutes after takeoff, which was great timing so I could eat and then go right to sleep. I also got lunch about halfway through the flight and a hot snack shortly before we landed.

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My meals, which I was able to select from a long menu, were served on actual dishware with metal cutlery. Without disposable utensils and plates, the dining experience felt way more premium.

The food was tasty and filling, and additional snacks like nuts, chips, and fruit were available throughout the flight.

I kept hydrated via a constant supply of water bottles, and although I didn’t drink, there was a wide range of complimentary liquor, beer, and wine on offer.

The onboard service was pretty great.
Author Ash Jurberg sitting on plane seat in premium economy
With fewer customers to serve, my flight felt more personalized.

Emirates staff was attentive, and with the premium-economy section pretty empty, my flight felt more personalized.

The onboard crew seemed friendly and always ready to help.

When I asked a crew member to take some photos of me, she didn’t hesitate and even offered to give me a tour of both the business and first-class cabins.

I felt a bit like an intruder as I took her up on the offer. The seats, amenities, and experience in these cabins seemed another few levels up — and they gave me something to aim for in the future.

Overall, the experience exceeded my expectations, and I’m glad I found a deal.
Back of airplane seat screen on Emirates flight
I get why Emirates has an award-winning premium economy.

The flight went by quickly — well, as quickly as 14 hours can go —and I felt more rested than on previous long-haul flights.

I can see why Emirates’ premium economy is rated so highly, and I’d recommend trying it, even if you have to pay a little more.

After my ticket for less than coach, I’d also suggest looking at the cost of premium economy on less desirable flights. You may need a bit of luck and some last-minute planning, but it might pay off.

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Getting up earlier than I wanted was worth it to travel with perks — and flying in premium economy is certainly a great way to kick off any trip.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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