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What's the Deal: Stretch Your Legs and Save $$$

Carol Sottili

Tired of sitting in the small seats? If you're willing to pay up to have a little room, but you're not willing to pay a fortune, take a look at Virgin Atlantic's sale on premium economy seats.

I flew this class of service on Virgin several times last year, and I can definitely give it a thumbs up. On the Boeing 747, instead of the three seats across along the window, there are two seats in premium economy, so you get lots of space between you and your neighbor, and there's also seven inches of extra legroom. Plus you get free mimosas even before the plane takes off (I'm a cheap date).

Sale is good from Dulles to London for travel April 24 to May 25. Price: $897 round trip, including taxes. Economy is much cheaper at $568, but you may wind up rubbing elbows with someone you'd rather not touch. Buy no later than April 10. And, if you'd prefer flying British Airways, it is offering a similar sale.

While I've not flown that airline in premium economy, I have flown economy, and think it also offers above-average service.

If you want a peek at this week's best deals, check out the Travel page later this afternoon when the What's the Deal? column is posted.

By Carol Sottili |  April 4, 2008; 9:18 AM ET  | Category:  Carol Sottili , Deals
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BA's premium economy (World Traveller Plus) is fine. I've flown it once round-trip between Dulles and Heathrow and once eastbound-only from JFK to Heathrow. An added plus for someone flying solo is that some of BA's 747s use a 1-4-1 arrangement in row 28 (the first row of WT+). The other rows are 2-4-2. Seats 28B and 28J are thus real prizes, as they have more legroom than any other seats on the entire aircraft (even the first-class seats) and there's nobody next to you. For couples, this means seats 29A and 29B, or 29J and 29K, are nice pairs of seats because the A and K seats have no seat in front of them. (Downside is that your tray table is in the armrest and there's no under-seat storage if there's no seat in front of you, but I've happily put up with these downsides.)

Not all of BA's 747s use this arrangement, and none of the 777s do. Those are all 2-4-2 in all WT+ rows.

The other thing to note in WT+ on BA is that while you get the same meal selection as the folks back in steerage, you get served first (so no worries about them running out of your selection). BA's crews are also pretty good about not letting the people in cattle class try to usurp the overhead lockers in the forward cabins.

Posted by: Rich | April 4, 2008 12:38 PM

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