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Shell Seats in Premium Economy
Over the last few years I’ve done a lot of sectors in Premium Economy. Mainly because I’m too old now to ‘suffer’ in the back of the bus and by not buying Business Class I have more $$$$ to spend on more trips.
However there are more variations in Premium Economy between carriers than there are in any other class such as F,J,Y.
The best I’ve experienced is Lufthansa A380 where the Premium Economy section is right in the front, in a very separate private cabin right in the nose of the plane lower deck, right where First Class used to be in the 1970’s and 1980’s !!
The worst – Air France’s premium-economy seats which are widely recognised and reported as being the most uncomfortable in the world and so bad that for comfort you’d better just stick to AF Y economy.
The seats are built into a hard plastic shell and don’t recline at all in conventional fashion. They actually seem to slide inward and down, which makes it impossible to sleep as you are more comfortable with it bolt upright , – the reclined, the seat is even more uncomfortable than when it is upright. Its so bad that many travel bloggers have all come out and said the same thing – avoid at all costs. I wonder if AF reads any of this and has plans to dump all these seats.
More worryingly I see other airlines saying they are installing seats in plastic shells or semi recline plastic shells. Does anyone else know about this negative trend?
I don’t know about the trend, but I agree that the fixed plastic shells are absolutely awful, and since most of my international flights are on Air France I agree that particularly for red eye flights, economy is simply better. For a day flight with no need to sleep, I might opt for PE if I don’t need to recline. I think AF is aware, and the newer generation of their PE seats are apparently more ergonomic and comfortable (haven’t had a chance to try them yet).
We will see if airlines come up with innovative solutions to make the seat not recline AND comfortable.