Why Aren’t There Many Premium Economy Reviews At OMAAT?

Filed Under: Travel

At OMAAT, we feature news articles about premium economy products that we think may be of interest to readers, such as the incredibly bad breakfast British Airways served on a flight from Tampa to London, and what United Airlines’ new premium economy product means for upgrades.

Several readers have recently asked OMAAT to review premium economy flights, and these are requests we have had before.

I had a few ideas about why there were not many ‘Y+’ reviews already, but I’ve since discussed this more with Ben and Tiffany to fully understand the reasoning, and it’s fair that we explain this to you guys as well.

So in no particular order:

Many of the best airline loyalty programs do not allow premium economy redemptions

Regular readers of the site will have observed that we tend to focus on the loyalty programs that provide some of the best ways to earn and redeem miles. Many of these programs do not allow redemptions for premium economy flights.

This is often because the airline does not have a premium economy product themselves, and therefore doesn’t consider it to be a standard redemption product on partner airlines.

Where OMAAT reviews flights, we want to tell you the best ways to book these flights using miles, which won’t be possible for premium economy flights in many programs.

Lifemiles award chart – no premium economy redemptions allowed
United MileagePlus award chart – no premium economy redemptions
A section of the American Airlines AAdvantage award chart – no premium economy redemptions possible

There is far less differentiation between premium economy products compared to business and first class products

In both business and first class there are huge differences between airlines, and there can even be big differences between products or planes within the same airline.

Just in business class, for example, some airlines offer dine on demand, some have suites with sliding doors, and some have on board bars, while others have middle seats in business class, and angled flat seats with no privacy that are difficult to sleep on.

Then in first class some airlines have on board showers, while others offer double beds. Some serve caviar, some don’t. So we think there’s enormous benefit in showing you which carriers have the best business and first class products, and even which planes/routes/products are the best for each airline.

So there are some fantastic products to redeem miles for, and some that should really be avoided.

Some seats have amazing privacy
While others… don’t

Meanwhile most premium economy products are fairly similar between airlines. Sure some are better than others, but there’s not a huge differentiation between the best and the worst.

Most premium economy seats, regardless of the airline, have either 2-3-2 or 2-4-2 seating, 38 – 42″ pitch, 18 – 20″ seat width, and a meal that looks fairly similar to an economy meal that may be served with better crockery and cutlery (i.e. china/metal).

It’s not usually the best use of miles

When placing a value on the miles you redeem, we always recommend trying to get the maximum value possible. This is usually achieved by redeeming them for the most expensive/valuable product you can, using the least amount of miles.

Let’s use a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer redemption as an example, as KrisFlyer is a program that does allow premium economy redemptions.

And let’s compare it to a Singapore Airlines flight that features economy, premium economy as well as business and first class. I’ve picked Los Angeles to Tokyo — the Boeing 777 service via Tokyo Narita, as the direct A350 service does not feature first class.

Singapore Airlines 777 Business Class

Picking a date in a few months time, for a return flight, the revenue fares for this flight are:

  • Economy: US$807
  • Premium Economy: $1,450
  • Business Class: $4,500
  • First Class: $12,500

The premium economy ticket price is much closer to the economy price than the business class price, to reflect the fact that it is premium economy, not business light, so the experience will be much closer to economy than business class.

To compare, here are the corresponding cost to use KrisFlyer miles to book these same return flights:

  • Economy: 76,000 miles
  • Premium Economy: 130,000 miles
  • Business Class: 176,000 miles
  • First Class: 236,000 miles

So looking at the value you would roughly receive from redeeming KrisFlyer miles for these flights:

  • Economy: 1.0 cpm
  • Premium Economy: 1.1 cpm
  • Business Class: 2.5 cpm
  • First Class: 5.2 cpm

There would be some fees and taxes payable for redemptions at each level, but you can see you get much better value redeeming miles for business or first class, rather than premium economy.

And if you value your KrisFlyer miles at, say, 1.5 cpm, if you are redeeming them for economy (or premium economy) you are receiving less than they are worth, whereas business or first class redemptions will give you more value than the miles are worth.

Singapore Airlines Premium Economy

“Isn’t business class a poor use of miles compared to first class?”

Based on the above, you might say ‘well then isn’t business class a poor use of miles compared to first class?

Not usually.

There are a few reasons that business class is often the sweet spot in many programs award charts.

First of all, many airlines either no longer have first class, don’t have it on all planes, or don’t release any award seats. This can mean that first class is sometimes either impossible to redeem miles for, or greatly limits your destination options. Looking at the KrisFlyer example above, it’s my experience that it’s usually much easier to redeem for business class than first class on Singapore Airlines.

Second of all, there have been more innovations in business class in the last few years (private suites, on board bars, all aisle access) that the gap between the business and first class experience has narrowed significantly on many airlines.

This has also led to some airlines either reducing or removing first class altogether, as there’s little they can offer above their rapidly improving business classes to justify passengers paying the extra expense for first class (in miles or cash).

For example, I would actually choose a Qatar Airways QSuite seat over their A380 first class and keep the additional miles. Both are excellent products, but their first class would not be sufficiently better to warrant the extra miles cost.

It’s not really aspirational travel

I love reading reviews of airlines and new (or obscure!) products I’ve never flown before. That’s what brought me to OMAAT as a reader so many years ago and they’re still my favourite thing to read on the site.

Some of these make me really want to fly them (I sought out an Oman Air business class flight recently just to try their famous Apex Suite). Where airlines have different types of seats or products in their fleet I want to fly their best product and hope you do too.

Of course nobody needs a shower on a plane. But who wouldn’t want to have one given the opportunity?!

Emirates A380 first class shower

But how do you know what the best product is? Reading reviews of them in advance of booking your flights is a great way to do it.

If I’m using my miles I want the best experience I can get.

Premium economy, on the other hand, is a more comfortable and pleasant way to travel than economy for sure, but not something many OMAAT readers would aim at for their ‘trip of a lifetime.’ Ben would rather tell you the 10 best business or first class seats to choose the best for your dream redemption than the same for premium economy, as we feel that has less value for you.

Of course everyone uses their miles in different ways, but a key focus of OMAAT has always been luxury travel for pennies on the dollar.

Norwegian premium (economy) class

Bottom line

We know some of you have asked OMAAT to do more premium economy reviews.

We are not saying there won’t be any — Ben recently flew Norwegian Premium, noting this is the premium product of a low cost carrier which would be a bit different to the premium economy of a legacy carrier — but right now they will not feature as regularly as business and first class reviews, which we feel are of the most interest and value to you guys.

The reasons above are similar to the OMAAT approach to hotel reviews — we think there is more value for readers in reviewing luxury, aspirational properties like St. Regis or Park Hyatts, rather than dozens of reviews of Holiday Inns or Clarion Suites.

Everyone has different uses for their miles — ultimately whatever use you are happy with to reach your travel goals is the best use for you. These uses vary hugely between readers so it’s impossible to cover everything.

So instead, the reviews are mainly focused on luxury, aspirational travel, as we think this is a great use of miles.

As a reminder, Ben has explained the value of having a single voice reviewing almost all flights on this site:

What do I think sets my reviews apart? The fact that you’re getting almost all reviews written by the same person. There are some sites that have a similar number of reviews to what I’ve written, but they’ve been written by dozens of writers. While those are useful individually, to me that doesn’t do a whole lot when it comes to the comparative quality of products. I think there’s a lot of value in reviewing products side-by-side.

I hope this all makes sense — if you think there’s anything we’ve missed by all means let us know in the comments below.

Comments

  1. While I think those are a lot of valid points, let’s be honest that the biggest reason is OMAAT doesn’t have a writer who wants to fly those products. While a lot of us would only fly biz/first with miles, we could afford the buy up from economy to premium, so there is still a lot of value in understanding the product.

  2. “So we think there’s enormous benefit in showing you which carriers have the best business and first class products, and even which planes/routes/products are the best for each airline.”

    The thing is, us normal people pick a destination first, and then the airline. Telling me that the best product is between Dubai and Singapore (or whatever) is not very helpful if my trip is between NYC and Paris. I am not going to say screw Paris and make my destination Dubai due to an airline seat.

    So personally, knowing which airline that flies between NYC and Paris (and there are many) offers the best Economy, Economy Plus, Premium Economy, and Business is a lot more valuable.

  3. I understand your point. But I think your target group changed a bit over time.
    Me and my friends read OMAAT daily and of course also look into miles deals. As someone living in Germany a lot of the cool miles deals (credit card) don’t work, so I mainly read OMAAT to keep me updated about the industry and reviews. Premium Economy should be a part of that.

  4. Maybe. But Ben just reviewed a British Airways flight from LHR to JFK in business class. I’ve flown that relatively short daytime route in premium economy a few times, and it has been more than adequate. Some people may want to save the 10,000 to 20,000 miles (whatever it is) for another truly more aspirational redemption (say JFK to HKG or whatever). In addition, for certain programs that have cash-like redemption policies (Air France, Delta), premium economy may be very relevant in terms of getting decent value.

    Also, there is an argument for more breadth in terms of reviews in general. Ben just posted on how the Conrad Bora Bora was a great experience. Let’s see more Hilton, old Marriott, and independent luxury (Four Seasons), and boutique hotel reviews. In terms of hotels, your readers probably have millions of Chase Ultimate Rewards points that may be better used to pay for luxury hotels in certain cases.

  5. Fair enough.

    My $0.02. Most folks, even road warriors, may not have enough points to fly business for all their personal travel. You need to decide when it makes sense to spend points on first or business, pay for first or business, or go with premium economy, etc. So you might decide that NYC to DUB is so short a flight that it makes sense to pay for Premium Economy and save your points for your trip to Japan.

  6. Nicely written piece. And I agree that the fact the flight reviews are done by one person is a key differentiating factor between OMAAT and, say, TPG. I appreciate that consistency with OMAAT.

  7. Another minor annoyance I have with the site is that the writers tend to only look at how changes in loyalty programs impact “Executive Platinums” or “Delta Diamonds” or “United 1Ks” or “Hyatt Gloablists” or whatever the case may be. A lot of your readers may be “Platinum Pros” or “Delta Golds” or “Hyatt Explorists” or whatever.

    Otherwise outstanding job, everyone!

  8. If all your reviews were based on points – then fine, but there are many reviews where Ben pays cash – hotels and discounted business class. So this post is bs, none of you want to fly and review premium economy. Be upfront and honest and say this is a premium travel blog only…. or understand your audience and adjust your business strategy.

  9. I find little value from this blog since I was comfortable with the miles and points game before I came across this blog. I generally enjoy the blog for its humor and sarcastic comments – worth a read to take one’s mind off of the important things in life. In that respect, I think reading about premium econ product would be entertaining – certainly more so than reciting dated news.

  10. I agree. I’m not really interested in reading about premium economy but then again I’ve been reading Lucky’s posts for over 7 years so I wouldn’t expect him to review premium economy.

    I have flown premium economy in the past but only because I placed a low bid in the airline’s bidUpgrade program to upgrade myself from economy to premium economy. Yes… I still fly economy; after all I always say the only way to appreciate flying premium cabin is to fly economy. 😉

  11. Go to TPG for product comparisons and to OMAAT for humor!

    Anyways, most of the content on this blog is useless since they are manufactured travel experiences (I am not going to fly to Dubai to take a flight to Perth just to try a product). That’s fine since it doesn’t really aim to be a travel blog aimed at helping users create travel plans. It’s just a show case of if you have points, here is how you can fly and occasionally stay at somewhat interesting hotels. I am not sure that I would care to read about Y+ products here since the bloggers are not experts on the topic.

  12. I agree with those above who’ve called out this post as covering up the real fact, which is that the majority of OMAAT writers are above premium economy. One mentioned that Ben clearly pays for flights in cash rather often, so please don’t think we’re dumb and don’t pay attention to those details. TPG will gladly post reviews of PE, yet another reason why it will always be better.

  13. James,

    I get it if this was strictly miles and points based travel in premium products. But we know that’s not always the case.

    As @JJJ says, normal people pick a destination first, and figure out how to get there second. Using a real example, I decided to go to Europe over Memorial day weekend. Business class was “unavailable” at saver levels using UA miles for the dates I wanted to go. Economy, OTOH, was available. Now I gotta figure out whether I should fly SAS, LH, or UA. And if I fly UA, is it worth paying extra for an E+ seat?

    Second, not all of us have an unlimited supply of miles. As someone who lives on the US east coast, business class travel to Europe isn’t always a “must”. I’ve flown the bulkhead on NW’s old A330s from DTW to FRA, and SIN-NRT-SEA and TBH was just fine with it. I’d find value in coverage that discussed premium economy/extra leg room products and whether those are worth it compared to business class. Having a consistent voice from you guys would really help. If I have a limited supply of miles, 2 coach trips to Europe is probably preferable to 1 business class trip.

  14. I have no problem with the reviewers paying cash to review a certain product.

    But ultimately to echo the other points, the main reason premium economy (and economy) reviews are not done here is that the writers (mainly Lucky) here don’t want to fly less than business.

  15. Sorry, James, but this really misses the mark. Many of us redeem miles for aspirational J products or high-value Y routes, but also gladly pay out of pocket for PE (especially since the elite bonuses can be as good as J). It’s very regrettable to have to go to TPG to read PE reviews instead of getting to enjoy the “OMAAT voice” to get the perspective I cherish.

    Other comments have already poked holes in your arguments. I’d also add that there can be a surprising amount of differentiation between PE products both in seat design and soft product. For example, DL has stronger catering (closer to J) but narrower seats.

    As time goes on, more FFPs will add PE to their redemption mix. No reason to not review them now as PE increasingly becomes the new J and J the new F.

  16. This blog has the potential to diversify and to be much more, but either the vision is lacking or there is no interest.

  17. Actually, it’s pure vanity and self-indulgence that bloggers focus on business and 1st Class travel. 95% of travelers are typically in economy class (even those whose companies upgrade them sometimes) so reviews of economy (and PE, as discussed in this blog) would serve readers far more than the premium travel. If bloggers are sincere about providing useful information for the flying public, they’d do reviews in regular economy and even basic economy.

  18. Yeah this is what I call James’s Silver Rule: People’s stated reasons for disliking something are virtually never their real reasons, but rather the reasons that they think will play better to their audience.

    The “you can’t use miles” argument has already been debunked above

    the “there’s not much difference” argument is absurd — there’s not much difference between Lucky’s BA 747 J review from NBO-LHR and LHR-JFK, but he wrote them both didn’t he? Not to mention how many airlines use the same J hard product but still merit individual reviews.

    “It’s not aspirational” Compared to flying the 8th best Chinese business class product to Los Angeles on a cash fare?

    “It’s not a good use of miles.” Many, many things discussed here are not good uses of points/miles. But they’re still interesting or valuable reviews

  19. TPG will gladly post reviews of PE, yet another reason why it will always be better.

    Never! OMAAT is better because no matter what Ben & Co. maintain that sense of wonder you have when you’re 5 years old going to Disney with your parents. “OMG, a flying machine!” They may be older and wiser but deep down the sense of wonder is still there. TPG reviews tend to be a lot more world weary.

  20. For me the biggest reason I visit the site is I enjoy reading the reviews; being Canadian my premium redemptions will only ever be on Air Canada.

    PE reviews will help non US readers in a sense that we don’t get to play the miles game nearly to extent Americans do, so having something that is attainable through cash will be useful.

    And Debit, I also come for Debit.

  21. Careful OMAAT, you’re giving the impression that it’s beneath you to fly premium economy.

    I appreciate your reviews, but there is definitely an amateurish quality to some facets of your content. For me, how you critique the food as thought the flight attendants are cooking it fresh in the galley instead of it being re-heated mass produced food is naive. There is a deliberate blindness to catering other than the occasion article about switching services.

    It appears that premium economy is another weak spot for you. The lack of a redemption matrix for PE is fair enough. But you guys definitely but rev tickets too so what gives? At the end of the day, you don’t owe us anything, but you better believe you will be losing clicks to your competitors when I or another traveler wants to get a taste the PE experience before our trip.

  22. Many of us that fly premium economy are paying cash and we want to know what we are getting. As a tall person, premium economy is the way to go without breaking the bank. Would I use my miles for premium economy? A big no.

    Personal, I think your post is full of excuses. Go find a writer that will fly PE often. I am sure there are a few that will.

  23. @ah +1

    Travel bloggers keep saying how premium economy is the new business class. The problem is, they generally don’t put their money where their mouth is and actually, you know, fly the product.

  24. Not directly related, but I quite like when reviews are put in context of reasonable alternatives. For example, Ben’s post contrasting the St Regis Bora Bora with Conrad was really helpful especially for a destination where most readers won’t return to regularly and would choose one or the other.

    When reviewing the transatlantic Swiss Business class, give some context on where you would rank it to other transatlantic business class (especially star alliance since readers would often be able to choose either theoretically). Something like “Swiss is roughly on par with W, X, and Y, but if I had one choice on this route it would be Z.”

    Ben’s reviews often say things like “I wouldn’t actively avoid this route” but don’t always put them in direct comparison.

  25. I’ve been using MR points with my Amex Platinum Business card. Averaging $1300 SEA LHR, so with the 35% bonus it’s only costing 84,500 miles RT. Add this to earning miles on the trip, and not a bad deal.

    I’ve flown BA and Virgin. Hands down, Virgin is better. Flying BA premium economy to me was not worth it. Wouldn’t again. Virgin was a great use of points and I loved it. Not like flying business class (AA 77W DFW to LHR was awesome), but not far behind BA business class at all.

  26. Sorry this is off topic, but the last paragraph reminded me something.

    When doing reviews, you always comment on the wifi speeds by saying if it’s good or not. Could you possibly do a speed test if possible so we know exactly what it is?

    I am a daily reader and I often follow your advice on airline products. For me (a business traveler), I value wifi alot and it would be nice to know the exact wifi speed.

  27. Understand the points raised, but do no agree.
    First, there is still a lot of differentiation between PE products. Having flown Singapore Airlines, Cathay, JAL and Qantas in PE over the last 8 months I can attest to that. Second, I assume PE in general is more relevant to the readers of this blog than Business Class on the single route that Rwandair flies it, as an example (I still enjoyed that review though). Lastly, PE not redeemable with points in many programs is a very North-American viewpoint I guess. For your readership elsewhere around the globe, redeeming in PE is possible (QF, SQ, VA in APAC, as an example).
    So while Lucky and you guys can cover whatever you like in this blog, nobody forces me to come here and read it every day, I believe you are missing out on a growing segment that is becoming more and more relevant. Just my 2 cents worth.

  28. Living in Germany I have to agree with @Maxi. We are stuck here with ever devaluated miles on LH’s Master Card, Eurowings’ niche Visa, and Amex which is not very widely accepted in europe.
    So while I am awestruck by all those CC-deals, promos and first class trips, I would not mind reading about some lower hanging fruits from time to time.

  29. I appreciate reviews of Premium Economy and think the quality differs from airline to airline. I guess I will not be looking to your blog for those reviews and did not think much of your rationale. Too bad.

  30. Please be honest and say Ben doesn’t want to fly premium economy and don’t tell me it’s because of mile redemption. I feel like every other week he’s bought some “amazing fare” that he’s flying. I think the fact that there is a post to justify the fact that the blog will not do reviews speaks to the fact that you know readers want it. Just own it. He doesn’t want to fly below business. Fine, that’s his choice but don’t make it seem like it is for another reason.

    I got started in miles and points about 5 years ago(and kick myself for not having done so earlier), but find it harder and harder to get credit card bonuses. I don’t have huge spend totals so redemptions are further apart for me, which is unfortunate, but it was fun while it lasted.
    I have switched into purchasing fares, including premium economy and take issue with you saying there isn’t much difference. I find huge differences.

    Heck, BA has had problems with economy getting better and more abundant food that premium economy. Cathay uses their regional business seats for premium long haul. Some airlines offer different perks, and, really, how much difference is there between flying different types of planes in BA business? Especially over and over?

    I think you are also missing the fact that premium economy is luxury travel for a lot of people and that most people don’t have the mileage bank you do nor will they ever. I have friends who would love to fly business or first but are traveling with a family of 4 or more so they purchase premium economy as a splurge.

    I can’t get enough miles to get us somewhere in first and most of my family has never flown anything but economy so premium is a step up. I can’t tell you how blown away a friend of mine was when we went into a Delta lounge. They kept checking to make sure everything was complimentary. They told me they felt so important. It was a Delta lounge, and not even a very good one and this was a adult who had been traveling since they were small but this was new to them.

    I think Ben has been traveling in luxury for so long, it has made him unaware of what “aspirational travel” actually is for a lot of people and, while it is certainly the blog’s prerogative to review what they want, I find it short-sighted and huge missed opportunity. I don’t think anyone is expecting hundreds of premium economy reviews, but a few would be rather nice.

    I have been enjoying James’ articles because his have been more down to earth which makes the authorship of this article a little unfortunate.

  31. being a family of four it is hard to find 4 seats in Business on points depending on the programm and destination. As i jumped on te 90000avios game ( which I did regret) i was looking for flights with four available seats in business. BA and QR offered them but with surcharges of around 500€ per person AND a large amount of miles . In the end I booked 2 business and 1 PE on Iberia as the oldest daughter did not want to join us. Where did I find the PE review …?

    All of us want to fly 1st and biz but sometimes life sucks and you need to fly PE so to know what to expect does help …

  32. I mainly want to read Y+ reviews because it is actually a very good way to earn miles. It may not be the sweetspot for burning, but just for AS, Y+ on DE, AA, CX are very good sweetspots for racking up tons of miles for cheap.

  33. I’ve said this on a couple of other blogs, but you’re missing something in your analysis that bears repeating – not everyone has the ability (or desire) to rack up an unlimited supply of miles to only redeem for longhaul J/F. Some of us work desk jobs without much business travel, and/or don’t feel like constantly applying for and churning credit cards for the bonuses. Or you’re needing to fly a family of three, in which case finding 540,000 points for JL F roundtrip just isn’t happening.

    With all that said, PE serves a purpose. Using your SIN example, it’ll take 10 years for me to rack up half a million points to redeem three J seats, and $13.5k cash is out of reach, but I probably could swing the extra $2k to upgrade to Y+. And I can fly when I want, on the exact routing I want, without worrying about whether award availability matches up exactly with when it’s convenient for me to go.

  34. @Anthony : bingo!! i feel exactly the same too. They have to constantly hype AA’s SWU and Hyatt’s DSU because those programs are absolute turd even for mid-tier statuses.

  35. I like to add this: TPG website is worth 56 million. He’s doing something right.

    This site is worth… yea.. only 2 million.

    Why? TPG isn’t shooting himself in the foot. Plus, he isn’t thumbing his nose at the general travel market.

    I am going to be painful blunt here. With this post that you made, I find that lucky and his gangs are humbling their noses at non premium flyer. That’s not the way to do business.

  36. The value per mile comparison is a red herring. Would I get more value by redeeming 80,000 miles for a $5,000 or $8,000 trip. The cost of the flight, which I wouldn’t pay for, is not a real proxy for value. If an airline tomorrow decided to double the price of a biz class ticket, would you suddenly feel that you were receiving twice the value?

  37. Isn’t there a reasonable amount of differentiation with ground services between PE too? I thought ANA and JAL actually offer lounge access with a PE seat while most airlines don’t, and then there is differentiation in terms of when PE boards and whether they have priority check-in and luggage.

  38. :sigh: do I need to go back to reading TPG now to get premium economy reviews now? I came here because TPG sold his soul…

    As someone who has a young family of two young children (and who never leaves a comment until now), a lot of the airline reviews in random locations in business/first have no bearing for me. Would love to fly those products but family responsibility and deciding on a destination first precludes any thoughts of which airline route i’ll be taking.

    Gotta say the team at OMAAT are sounding a bit more tone deaf and out of touch with reality/their community if they keep refusing to do E/E+ reviews. It’s a shame if that trend continues. I hope you guys can listen to what your community is saying and at the very least make some superficial effort to respond.

  39. One thing I would like to note is that I enjoy reading this blog to pass the time. As many others mentioned, there is good humor and an overall high quality of writing.

    But by far, the most useful post on this blog was Tiffany’s trip to Jordan. I referenced that multiple times when planning my own trip, and sent that along to many people as well.

    I’d also note that the post ranked quite high on my Google search, and even as a regular reader of this blog, I came across it that way.

    The rest of the content is mostly useless to me. That’s not an insult – video games are useless, but I sure do love to play them.

    Of course, if the content could be entertaining AND useful…well, that would be fantastic.

  40. The real reason is that the writers don’t want to spend 10+ hours in Premium Economy or Economy. I can tell you that there is significant differentiation between providers Premium Economy products or heck even their economy.

    Most of your readers have to save up for years to be able to afford a Business or first award redemption but travel in economy internationally several times a year. Personally I am taking my first ever flight in anything but economy in a few months, but honestly would like to know whether spending 200-300 for an upgrade from Y to Y+ is worth it as I have 4 international trips planned this year all in economy (other than my leg back from one which is in first).

    I think there is value in reviewing and comparing economy and y+ because that is where most of us end up sitting. Heck if you are not willing to fly in Y and Y+ I am sure you could find a writer that would be willing to do it which would diversify your audience and get your more content.

  41. For me, I read this blog for its five star hotel and first/biz class airline reviews because the same category product has a vast difference between countries and airlines. I appreciate this consistency in reviews from mainly one person because at luxury prices, I want to be able to pick the most luxurious product I can and I do not have the luxury to do it by my own trial and error. I don’t find the same vast difference in premium economy across the airlines and if I see a premium economy review, I will only wonder how the biz class is. There are endless reviews on every product online and I value the market this blog concentrates on. I hope the style and content does not deviate and I prefer this blog more than all other airline/hotel review sites.

  42. @James – I think you guys are missing out. Part of what we want to see on OMAAT is where we can get value for miles. Premium Economy (and by this I mean proper PE not crappy E+ on United) is becoming more popular all the time, and some carriers only over PE on some routes, especially for LCC. Some award charts will have sweet spots for PE. You guys like Aeroplan – so I’ll use case in point – North America to Europe 1 is 60,000 miles, and business is almost double at 110,000. But PE is only a little more expensive at 75,000 miles. To me, that is great value – almost 100% more miles for J but only 25% more for premium economy. For a 7-10 hour trans-atlantic flight I may rather save the miles if I can get a decent 38″ pitch with the business class meal (this varies and if you reviewed these we’d know!) I may not also be able to get J for the dates or airports I want, but I can with Premium Economy.

    My $0.02 – if you don’t want to review premium economy, find someone who will – I think people are interested!

  43. I’ll also mention – if you have access to American credit cards miles are MUCH easier to come by; the rest of the world is not nearly so blessed.

  44. I disagree that premium economy is often a poor redemption. I think the single best redemption out there at the moment is Virgin Atlantic premium economy from the east coast to London for 17,500 miles. With the regular Citi and Amex transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic, you can book PE for 12,000 to 14,000 MR or TY points. That’s a steal

  45. I have to echo the comments above.

    I hope that Lucky and Tiffany pay attention to this. It appears most people are on the same page here.

    I’ve believed for some time that OMAAT has been really lacking in this area. Given, the huge library of trip reports available on here, some very repetitive, to be frank. Adding PE into the mix, whether cash or points will be a welcome addition.

    While J and F redemption’s are obviously very attractive, availability is often scarce. So while certain products are aspirational, they mean nothing if you can’t access them. Not everyone has the luxury of an open calendar, or a seemingly inexhaustible supply of points / miles.

    So, yeah. Put me down as someone who’d welcome PE reviews.

  46. I still think there could be a lot of value in reviewing translator premium economy products and then doing a comparison, especially as premium is becoming the next big thing and many airlines are swapping first class for it.

  47. I would like to read more Y+ reviews because I am often faced with flying them. I would never consider paying the cash price for international J or F even Ben’s “Amazing Deals” are still too much money for me. I have churned a lot of miles and have used it for some amazing redemptions, but often there are no good redemption options for the time and place I need to travel, plus I like having status, so I have to fly revenue some of the time. Y+ often is a good value to earn miles and status, plus I don’t want to be trapped in Y for more than a few hours.

  48. Wow. Virtually everyone is going in the same direction in these comments. I’m going to have to agree with them. I’ve flown lots of time in Business on many airlines around the world, but it doesn’t always work out that way and the points availability may not be there for where I want to go. Similarly, sometimes there are deals in other cabins that are almost too good to pass up. I flew Premium Economy on JAL from NYC to NRT and loved the flight and the service, and then flew “real Polaris” from NYC to NRT and wondered how could United screw up the service so badly.

    So more diversity in product reviews would be greatly appreciated!

  49. I agree with what James has said. At this point in time, Premium Economy is not massively different across carriers. Maybe in a few years when the segment matures we may see enough differences to make it worth reviewing. But as of today, I’d rather read about aspirational business and first class award ticket reviews. TPG does a few PE reviews so head over there if you are really interested or just Google it.

  50. Have you guys seen TPG? When they call it full review, it contains 3 pictures and the other 90% of the page is credit card referral. TPG reviews are garbage.

  51. What a load of tosh! Somehow i kept getting annoyed as i read this article and didn’t even get to the end. The comments are spoton.

  52. I’ll also add this: what I like about OMAAT is you guys read the comments, so if this article is the result of you simply being tone deaf to your audience, then 50+ comments telling you otherwise will hopefully change your mind.

    If not, then at least you know you have 50+ comments calling you out on your bullshit.

    As people have pointed out, many are willing to review Y+, so your existing team don’t have to subjugate to peasant + if you hire new writer(s). You can even have guest writers doing those reviews – yes you lose the consistency of one person reviewing it, but it will still help a lot with your readers.

  53. FWIW the SQ PE hard product is – quite literally – hard. So hard that it gave me backache and I vowed to never fly them again (on PE anyway). Give me some VS puffed leather PE seats any day, or BA PE on A380/B787, or even BA Y seats on the A380…
    But yes, +1 for more PE reviews! They *do* differ between airlines.

  54. I read OMAAT and TPG for insight into frequent flyer programs and opportunities to earn points with credit cards. Maybe I’m unusual, but I plan my trips by seeing how I can fly from Point A to Point B for the fewest points or dollars, not what champagne is served or whether the seats are set up in forward or reverse herringbone. But I get that you guys like to travel and need to crank out content. But, I travel much more than you guys do (from what I can tell) and have never selected a flight based on the equipment, whether there are private air nozzles, the type of ramekin to serve nuts, etc.

  55. We have an increasingly wider variety of premium economy products among the various international carriers at our airports (Cathay Pacific, Air France, Alitalia, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, British Airways…..).

    Even here in London, there’s an increasing number of PE choices for the same long-haul routes.

    I do think there is increasingly greater variation between premium economy these days. Random example – one of the ways PE products are being differentiated is what is available to passengers for on-board snacks & beverages between meals. Virgin Atlantic’s “Wonder Wall” beats BA’s Club World/Biz Class “Club Kitchen” hands down for on board, walk-up snacks & drinks. I’d even rank it slightly above Cathay Pacific’s PE as well.

    We’re also seeing increasing differentiation in the type of IFE offered (newer, bigger screens, etc).

    I think by flying PE you still get to earn miles for that aspirational trip that you’ll use miles for, whilst still enjoying an experience that is better than the back of the bus, to varying degrees….and varying those degrees seems to be on the rise:

    I think as more and more leisure and biz travellers use premium economy, airlines may very well continue to look for ways to distinguish their PE products beyond, as you rightly say, the usual bigger seats and better cutlery/crockery…..

  56. Other commenters have mentioned this, so let me repeat it: most people do not have hundreds of thousands of miles to spend on travel, nor do they have the flexibility to plan their travel around when award redemptions are available. If I want to take a trip I have to request days off from work. Unless it’s just a weekend I can’t plan on a whim. The value for miles thing isn’t that important to me since I’ve only booked one trip with miles ever.

    Another point to repeat: premium economy IS aspirational travel for most normal humans. Most of us will fly economy 98% of the time. Any bump up feels great. We are not out here comparing the caviar services between Emirates and Etihad, we’re looking for legroom, a pillow, and better food. PE offers that at a not outrageous price point. Yeah it’s not a lie-flat bed, but for most of us that’s so far out of reach as to be irrelevant. We just don’t have the money or the time/patience to churn credit cards.

    There’s an audience here for PE reviews. I hope you’ll put out something for them.

  57. Regular reader who rarely comments, but I agree with the majority here. PE reviews would be helpful to me. I don’t have an unlimited stash of miles or the spend needed to take advantage of some of these credit card bonuses, but I will pay occasionally for PE on a long flight (can’t afford to pay for business!). It would be nice to have some reviews so I know what I can expect.

  58. A voice AGAINST economy reviews here, premium or not. Most of us do fly economy at least occasionally, and seriously there is nothing there to write home about.
    Secondly, it would be boring and uninspiring.
    Thirdly, for those who threaten not to visit this blog without economy reviews, perhaps a certain number of readers might do just that because they do not wish to read economy reviews. It might be a wash, but the image of this blog might suffer somewhat. Right now there is a certain air of exclusivity to it, a certain brand that we come to expect. With economy and sundry, it’ll be just another blog.
    Those dying to learn more about economy, why not visit frugaltraveler or some such (tons of such blogs there)

  59. This is nonsense. Normal people do not wake up thinking hey, I got a 100.000 miles let see which route gives me best value.
    Instead they need to go from A to B and will then decide if its better to use cash or miles, even provided they have the miles. Again, normal people do not walk around with 27 CC’s to milk CC and FF schemes.

    In most cases for 2- hours flight EC will do whereas for a 6+ hours fights it would be BC.
    For the intermediate flight PE could be an acceptable option, all depending on the price point relative to EC and BC.
    To support that decisionmaking PE reviews are extremely helpful.

    If Ben does not like to fly PE as he can afford to burn his CC referral and signup bonuses for FC thats all fine with me, but please be honest about it.

    Disappointing to see this from you James as generaly you have good and useful posts here. This one is just quack.

  60. I sense there is an internal resistance to actually carrying out the PE reviews. Secondly the analysis of why not to review is, to put it mildly, forced and arbitrary. This is the a major area of airline innovation, investment, and competition. All criteria for existing coverage. There is zero reason why you can’t keep on top of your existing coverage AND add PE to the mix.

  61. Your writing is lovely and I appreciate it. I think you’re the best writer here actually and it’s a breath of fresh air. I agree with the post and like that the site is not trying to cater to everyone. It has a purpose, a vision statement if you will, and it makes sense even if not every agrees with it; no site can be all things to all people. I don’t get to travel much at all anymore and I still enjoy the site because of many of the reasons you stated. Thank you for a well articulated piece.

  62. Wow! Really touched a nerve with this article! Best to pay attention to the reader feedback. I second the need for PE. I happen to be trying to find PE right now from DCA area to Lisbon, Portugal in February. Anyone suggest airline to use? Thanks.

  63. Yeah, OMAAT hasn’t been this out of touch with its readership since Lucky’s first take on Dr. Dao. Fortunately in that instance he was quick to change his tune after an onslaught of feedback. Interesting to see what happens here.

  64. PE is basically economy and not worth miles. Pay cash and move on. I want premium product reviews, not premium economy.

  65. I imagine everyone who reads this site would LOVE to fly Y on a regular basis. But guess what – most of us can’t. Moreover, I assume lots of people -myself included – just love to travel. And I’ll happy jump on r/t LH flights from ORD-LYS for $485 or AA ORD-MUC $347 or AF ORD-CDG $502 (yes – all actual flights that have or will be taken). While we all have our aspirational flight awards, I find information or LH vs AF vs IB premium economy (or even economy) to be meaningful as those are flights I’m far more likely to take. But remember, this is the same site with countless posts complaining about T Mobile not being fast enough. Sure, I like fast data on my phone. But when I’m drinking good wine at a cafe in Lyon, the last thing I’m worried about is data streaming. I think it’s time for a legit crowd-sourced travel review site. Who’s in?

  66. I understand the points, but there are some of your readers that are not rich or work for an employer that pays business for their employees. We fly internationally a few times a year, enjoy premium economy, and can barely afford it. We would certainly appreciate more reviews.

  67. If you want Y/Y+ reviews geared towards the general public, why did you come to a J/F blog that focuses on aspirational travel? That’s asinine.

  68. You guys are right on! You staked out luxury for less using points and miles a long time ago. There are plenty of other sites that address people who want to use miles and points for economy (or premium economy) travel. Please don’t change your focus!! I’ve been following you for almost three years and learned so much. I have flown trans Atlantic several times and trans Pacific, always in business class and always almost for free (always waaayyy less than a economy revenue fare) because of what I learned here. There’s always choices whether heading to Europe, Oceania or Asia and I always search your past posts to help figure out which ones to use given my miles and points account balances, and where I get the most value and experience. Leave the economy and premium economy reviews to the other sites. You are maybe the only, if not then certainly the best by a mile 😉 for information about business (or first class) travel using points and miles. Please don’t change, and keep the educational stuff coming. The recent videos are superb and Tiffany’s posts about ‘how to’ and ‘options’ are amazing! Love you guys!

  69. Adding a PS: Reading over the comments for PE reviews again, I am astonished how the vast majority make the case that they are ‘not rich’, or they don’t have several credit cards and points to use – many sound like they are buying revenue tickets. WTF! That is NOT what this site is about. These folks are not even trying. Getting CC sign up bonuses is a piece of cake that anyone can do with your easy to follow guidance. I’ve gotten hundreds of thousands of points with credit card bonuses. And used those points (plus a little cash) for business class travel many times. That is what this site is all about – and thank you for being that! Please ignore the whining from the folks that can’t even be bothered to play the points game as you instruct and want to have a review of an economy or premium economy leg that they are going to pay cash for (gasp!), or absolutely waste points on. Please continue writing to your loyal base of folks who have been loving learning how to travel business class for practically free using points. Thank you.

  70. @Wylie

    You talk as if the US is the world. Let me reveal a tiny secret: there are other countries on this planet. Where no CC bonuses exist.
    Unless you imply this should be a US blog only. In which case James should start his own.

  71. As a regular million miler for the last nine years (work policy is first class for any travel time greater than five hours and all international travel), I accumulate sufficient miles to take my family on vacations in premium cabins. However, given the difficulty in managing reward redemptions for dates where we are able to travel and the generally low availability on desired destinations, I see great value in comparing in premium economy and economy cabins. There is a lack of diversity in content, styles and writing that I have observed. In addition, it has become evident that the bloggers value quantity over quality – based on many article topics and the lack of proofreading of the many articles. Hope the blog owners consider the feedback from their customers.

  72. @Ron
    No need to be sarcastic, aye. If you have been following this blog for any length of time you will have seen it mentioned that Ben is well aware that the CC bonus world doesn’t really exist outside the USA. Of course there are FF plans with carriers all around the world but it is harder to accumulate points/miles without the CC bonus plans offered in the USA, unless someone flys a lot for work. So, in a way, YES, this is a USA centric blog! (and to a lesser extent a FF blog for those fortunate enough to travel a lot for work (wherever they may live) and amass huge piles of miles that way.) Sorry you can’t play the CC bonus points game wherever you live, but that’s primarily what this site has been about for the 3+ years I’ve been following it.

  73. Another PS:
    Ben, your credit card strategy articles are the yin to the how to use points yang. Peanut butter and jelly. I LOVE the CC strategy posts and have been following your every step recently, just getting out from under Chase’s 5/24, applying for and obtaining the Chase Ink Business Preferred card with its 80K point bonus and in the midst of the mandatory spend on the Chase Ink Business Cash with its 50,000 point bonus. I will follow that with the last of the trifecta Chase Ink Business Unlimited for another 50,000 points. That’s 180,000 points!! Yahoo! Another business class roundtrip to practically anywhere, likely with points to spare. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  74. This is all bollocks and the only reason is a snobbish attitude. Premium Economy is great for getting elite qualifying dollars and miles on most carriers and it´s the only sweet spot some of these programs still have. Unfortunately OMAAT is too busy reviewing nonsense like Air Serbia and such to deal with it…

  75. I think Premium economy is basically economy. Not very interesting.

    I think that anyone who says that premium economy is the new business class has not flown premium economy. It is a waste of money.

  76. I’ve been reading the blog for several years but haven’t commented before – I generally like your content James but strongly disagree with your points. As most people have mentioned here, PE travel is within the reach of more people who don’t collect hundreds of thousands of points a year, and the products can be very differentiated (some airlines treat PE as Economy Plus, some as Business Minus).

    If in doubt, why not put up a poll? Then you can see if the readership WOULD want to see more Y+ content.

  77. How many readers would you have if they were all using miles for the “trip of a lifetime”? Most of us travel fairly often. We don’t fly business every time. I don’t bother with business to Europe. Too short a flight. But a premium economy seat is a nice upgrade. And if I pay cash and get the miles to use on another flight, all the better. Paying for some flights has to be part of the plan if you travel enough. And frankly not all my flights are aspirational. Some are just flights.

  78. @James – the author’s name bears weight. It has your name on it so take the responsibility. The comments indicate that there is a clear path for OMAAT to be more successful and you should take pride in enabling that finding, which the “team” overlooked. Frankly, this is a more thought provoking article than anything else published on the blog, recently.

    By the way, possessive of team is team’s.

  79. voting against economy reviews…premium travel is your niche…some here mentioned TPG – but why do we need two TPGs?…don’t lose your uniqueness…

  80. I don’t even fly the airlines commonly discussed here. Hearing about the goings-on of JetBlue, Frontier, and Southwest programs is what I wish there was more of

  81. Why do readers that do not pay a fee to access this blog believe they have the right to complain and expect? Why not go to other sites dedicated to what they expect? This is a wonderfully written blog IMO and the premium market it focuses on is the only reason why I read it daily. If it becomes another TPG similar then I think it loses its value even if it caters more to the mass market.

  82. I’m not interested in PE reviews for the same reason that I’m not interested in flying PE – very little value in what is little more than a regular economy seat with a bit more legroom.

  83. @Donna, If we had some detailed PE reviews here, you would have read what many of us have recently experienced with many international carriers: many PE cabins are absolutely NOT based on a regular economy seat ! It has become a hard product (and even soft too)category of its own, and IMO it would be a shame if this site was late to the party in covering it

  84. I think those of you who think premium economy is the same as economy are confusing “preferred seats” or “comfort plus” or “economy plus” with a true international PE product. It’s quite different: often a dedicated cabin, wider seats, much more seat pitch, a better meal with proper flatware, sometimes lounge access and enhanced boarding. It’s not just a little more pitch. Don’t be confused.

  85. I second @YYZguy’s latest comment. Many here in favour of not reviewing PE seem to be confusing international PE with United Economy Plus and the likes. If there would be proper reviews of Qantas, Singapore Airlines or Cathay PE products, those myths would be lifted and many would realise what great products (minus the flatbed seat) actually exist out there.

    I fly PE due to company travel policy, and then try to upgrade to J if it makes sense and is available. But I also enjoy it, as I am rather in a job where I can travel the world in relative comfort of PE than where I only work in the office 9-5. Of course I would prefer to sit in J on the company’s expense, but it just ain’t happening for now. For holidays I then redeem for J and F when I can.

  86. When I booked an aspirational J trip to SE Asia on CX earlier this year I checked out their videos for their F, J, and PE classes. I was honestly shocked at what I saw in the PE vid: big recliners, delicious meals, attentive service, and decent amenities. It was far better than most US3 transcon service in “F”.

    I thought to myself that this would be a viable option if I were paying for the flight. I’d love to see a review of it and how it compares to others.

    And to @YYCguy’s point: yes, I think people might be confusing international economy plus with the domestic kind where you get 2” extra legroom and a free biscotti…

  87. The fact that level of confusion, and disparity across the “emerging” Y+ market, suggest that reviews ARE needed. For example, SAS PE is a great product I’ve used (and recommended to family) several times to get from Europe to the US Midwest and West Coast, but it is considerably different to an AA Comfort Plus offering (or whatever they call that Y+ slightly extra legroom seat) which is fine for London to US East Coast. Similarly I would like to know if BA PE is worth paying for (obviously not), or, as a London-based flyer, its worth paying for the PE and upgrading with my (small) miles stash to Business (maybe).

    I pay for our travel and dont travel on business, so spread (optimise) my expenses across different airlines and products, trying to get the best bang for my buck/miles. I don’t need an economy review as most seats and hard/soft products are the same (and I know my pain threshold for time/distance), but PE/Business is where the world is moving towards these days. How hard can it be to refocus some reviews away from First, which I gather there aren’t any more products to review, into a PE review? Hell, take it one way if it bothers you that much, but at least try and make an effort on this.

    I enjoy reading this blog for the tips and aspirational reviews and used it to learn more about the hobby. We will be using these tips to redeem BA miles for a big trip in April, and I enjoy reading about potential holidays and destinations we could very well take in the future. Its great lunchtime escapism from the office. But I also think that in the last six to twelve months it seems that there has been quite a bit more articles I skip over in the day on who has what card in their wallet or some other rehashed article. That makes me wonder if the team is starting to run out of products to review?

    One last off-topic comment (which goes somewhat to the comment above) – James, we actually got two Standard Luggage bags based on your review and we absolutely loved them for our three-week trip to Southeast Asia and are now totally sold on the one bag approach.

  88. There is a chasm of differences between say AC PE and CI PE. Or let’s take KL as another example. They have no PE but only extra legroom, so is it better to redeem miles for better legroom on KL or pay more for PE on a partner like DL or AF. That’s just one of the many complex redemption questions that OMAAT readers have to face on a regular basis.

    If you guys want this blog to remain just about luxury F or J travel, then that is fine, just say that. But don’t try and obfuscate your reasoning with some guff excuses that readers can obviously see through. Good luck!

  89. For non-Americans purchasing points for less than 2¢ is probably the only way to travel. The odd points from cc spend augment the total.
    Then using them on AS results in J class on QR for about $2200 return from NA. Not free but at least a 50% saving.
    Flew PE on BA a few years ago and it was incredible value at half the points of CW with a separate cabin and CW food and drink.
    Crap Y sucks. I will never fly EK J ever again!

  90. Presumably the site has figured out its audience and is responding to its perceptions of their wants. The only thing that bothers me as a non-premium flyer most of the time is when an overview of a program, an award chart change, or an offer focuses exclusively on the premium side, as though nobody would care what the situation or effects are for the economy traveler.

    It would be nice to see a parallel blog similar to OMAAT geared toward the economy traveler, but I suppose credit card issuers would not support it well. The ones I used to follow for that have pretty much given up.

  91. Your readers have spoken. I personally don’t fly coach or PE anymore for reasons I don’t need to go into. But your readers do. And that is the point. You don’t open a store that sells bathing suits in a 100% cold climate locale. You don’t have the buyers. They would want cold weather clothes. So if you have readers that want PE reviews, give that to them. The more readers, especially happy readers you have, the more money you might make off of credit card fees and the more word of mouth you will receive. As one reader offered his resume to review PE, there are plenty of folks that would do that for you if you don’t want to yourselves.

  92. Another request for PE reviews here. It’s a growing product and many of us would find reviews helpful.

  93. If the blog is only aspirational travel, why all the reviews of Priority Pass lounges and restaurants? Anyone booked in business / first will have access to better, quieter lounges. Sorry, but as others have said the reasons you give for not reviewing PE don’t stack up.

    The one valid point is that there is an huge advantage in one person doing the airline reviews. The problem with that is that it is fairly obvious that Ben is travelling less – unsurprisingly he wants to spend some time with Ford. And when Ford travels with Ben, they often stay several nights in one place whereas before Ben would move on with more flight and hotel reviews in the same time. OMAAT has tried to fill the gap with news articles but hasn’t been very successful at that IMHO.

    So I think OMAAT is at a crossroads. The readers want PE reviews and there is a need for the amount of reviews to pick back up. How OMAAT responds to that is up to Ben but I predict that if you don’t make changes that traffic will slowly fall off.

  94. I agree with both sides.
    But I need to remind you guys. This is Lucky’s blog, he can write about whatever he wants.
    If he don’t want to review Y+ (I don’t understand why is Y+ instead of W), this is his problem.
    Also, if he hire someone to review Y+, it’ll probably lose what’s the best in this blog that’s consistency on the reviews.
    Of course, if someone should review Y+, this one should be Andrew (or Tiffany). At least they’re more entertaining and funny than the other ones.

  95. Ok, I understand your point but do not agree. Would you kindly suggest another blog that DOES review PE flights?

  96. @Scott – “you don’t have a buyer”? this blog got where it got so far with their focus on premium travel, and seems to be doing pretty well…no need to change the focus just because some here fly economy…economy is economy is economy…premium or otherwise…and no amount of flatware or inches of recline will change it…
    it’s true that most of us pick destination first (and not a carrier), and it’s true that most have to (at least occasionally) endure economy…but is it anything inspirational or aspirational that we would like to read about?…when I have to be in economy – reviews would not help, it is what it is if you have to…but when I look at redemptions for J or F – that’s where the reviews are most valuable…
    This blog’s reviews gives inspiration…I doubt anyone is really inspired by economy though…

  97. @James — I agree with you about the aspirational travel angle. That’s what brought me to OMAAT too, and it frankly changed my life – I never thought I’d get to try Business (or First, which an upgrade from Business snagged me just once).

    However, the reality is I’m not a regular Business flyer and never will be. From a practical point of view, Premium Economy reviews might be more helpful to me (there’s aspirational and there’s helpful).

    I have to agree with EricAstray that I just assumed it was cos Lucky is wealthy enough not to have to travel in less than Business and First – though understanding full well he’s excellent at what he does. And he has specialised, which is fine (I think he’s the best at what he does). But isn’t there anyone else who works at OMAAT who could have Premium Economy as a sub-specialty?

  98. P.S.
    And I am surprised (or not) that all those commenting on needing economy reviews are still on this blog despite its lack of economy reviews…perhaps something else that attracts you here, even if there are hardly any economy reviews?…so whatever drew us all to this blog – why not that be the major focus?…worked so far…

  99. This blog isn’t unique. All of the information here can be found on a dozen other blogs. The points and miles game if tried, tested and done for. What’s next? Yawn…

    Do people still need help with redeeming their miles for aspirational products? LMAO…

  100. Here is why I think this is a bit disingenuous (Although, I think there is more honesty in the points than most are thinking). This blog also posts about changes in Basic Economy fares and it posts about IHG Points breaks. These are not “aspirational” things, they are topics which are interesting to the more casual / budget traveler.

    Don’t say: you want to focus on luxury travel because it’s what people redeem their points for, and then post about Basic Economy fares. There is a different clientele for them, that’s fine. I have no problem if this blog is 100% luxury travel, but don’t justify not reviewing PE or Economy while still posting about Basic Economy, etc. – they cater to the same group.

    Either own that this is a luxury blog (And don’t BS), or do reviews of Economy and PE.

  101. James, I love your posts, but you are missing two key elements. Only nuts like me book routes to be on a specific product. Most people avoid connections like the plague and chose according to price alone. lastly, few people rack up millions of award points or have the time to destroy their credit by getting a million credit cards. So for many people, premium economy is actually something they can redem for or pay for. I pretty much travel J and above but, even I would be interested in a few economy/premium economy reviews. I know you guys make your money from credut card referals and such, but all the CC related stories are really putting me off from this blog.

  102. @T – Flights are only one thing that are posted here. The hotel news/reviews/points discussions are where I find useful information, but that’s partly because hotels have more universal experiences and the points matter regardless of income or spend, unlike airlines where the blog is strictly focused on luxury products. It would be nice to see more useful airline related discussion, but that’s probably not happening

  103. I think the anti-PE crowd have no clue that PE on some international carriers is even better than J on most US domestic flights.

    I’d rather see a PE review for Cathay, Eva, etc. than read an J review for an airline in RwandaAir or Air Serbia who I bet 99.99% of the readers of this blog will never fly with.

  104. It really sounds like a bunch of excuses. I get it you all want to fly J or F, but if im not using points chances are i am not buying J or F seats. Im not saying someone has to do ewr to sin in economy, but flights like ny to london or paris should include premium economy reviews because the buyup may be steep and we want to know if it is worth it.

  105. I find the reasoning in this article weak. I think the obvious reason that PE is not covered on this site is that the powers that be at OMAAT simply do not wish to fly PE. It was difficult enough getting Ben to stop flying solely first class a couple of years ago. So don’t give me the bogus “reasons” listed in this article. There is definitely a market for PE reviews. OMAAT time simply doesn’t want to cover it. Their call.

  106. If you all don’t want to review Y+ that’s fine. But I do think there are some holes in your thinking.

    First, I think there’s a wide variety in the quality of Y+. Sure, the actual seats are often identical. However, some airlines will put you in business class on the connecting flights (CI), some will give you extra legroom seats (DL), and some shove you in the back (AA). Food and service are similarly different.

    Second, I think there are useful redemptions for Y+. For example, avios are often useless for award tickets because of the fees. However, a great value is to buy Y+ on BA and upgrade the overnight flight using avios. The extra fees are minimal, resulting in much better return (ditto for LH). Also with a card like the CSR, using points to “buy” Y+ can be a good deal given the class of service bonuses and the relatively inexpensive cash fares.

    It’s great to offer aspirational awards, but as others have said, Y+ is often a more practical premium product for those who don’t have a small business to earn gazillions of miles on credit cards. Personally, I’d rather see a Y+ review than yet another LH or SG F.

  107. First, props to James for agreeing to put his name on this article based on “the team.” They had to know he would get obliterated in the comments. But it would have been much more interesting if Ben wrote it.

    And surprisingly nobody is saying it, but the majority of readers here don’t exclusively frequent this blog. We bounce between TPG, VFTW, OMAAT, DD, DOC, GSTP, and more.

    There are plenty of blogs to choose from. If Ben and co don’t want to write about PE, plenty of others will. I’m honestly tempted to start a blog solely based on PE flights. That would be pretty interesting just based on the comments here.

    But from a business perspective, staying true to yourself isn’t a bad thing. But being open and listening to why your readers come in the first place is a must, even if you don’t act on it.

    Funny how people grow up or out of a thing, but then want the thing to change with them and for them.

  108. Ben, Tiffany et al.
    I’m not sure, but I think you are only hearing from a subset of your readership here. You have so clearly developed OMAAT as a ‘luxury for less’ blog, with: 1) strategies to accumulate points based on CC bonuses and focused spend, then 2) using those points to fly business or first for points plus a few bucks (and the same for hotels).

    That’s why I read your blog multiple times a week.

    I have discontinued reading TPG and the many others like him that focus on economy travel be it revenue of points based. Not my interest. And, you are the only one that focuses on your niche, which is my interest.

    I think most of your readers like me are not following this comment string, because the issue of PE reviews is moot to us. No interest. So, you are hearing from a certain subset that I do think represents your core readers.

    Even more confirmed by the repeated comments about paying for flights and is PE worth the upgrade. This site does frequently tout ‘bargain’ fares in business and first. That’s awesome. But, by and large this site is about accumulating miles/points using CC bonuses and spend and then using those points as a currency for travel. You are the best at this. Please let those that want to find out about economy flights stay with TPG.

    Please, no offense to those that care about economy, E+ or PE or how to get great fares in those classes. Each to their own. There are lots of sites that cater to that game, that group. Go read them and stop trying to change what is a different kind of blog here at OMAAT, aimed at a different audience looking to accumulate points with CC bonuses and strategies and use them for first and business air travel and premium accom.

    That said, there are a few valid points. I have to agree that when I am planning a trip I am picking my destination, then looking at how to get there using the points accounts and balances I have for the best deal (least points for best value). I try to avoid US metal because I believe that in many cases the foreign airlines offer superior experiences, but sometimes that’s not an option. So reviews of those choices are helpful when I am deciding between the options.

    More important are things like the recent article by Tiffany about all the options: how to search for award seats possibly on a different carriers site than will be the company I fly with, and how to transfer points around from different plans to get the award.

    I also agree with folks that say the chances of flying Air Moroc, or Air Serbia (not even sure they’re real airlines, just for example), or some other obscure airline are slim to none.

    The whole hotel front is also interesting, especially now with the changes to Starwood, which was the best program, but now we are in a state of flux. I am watching and writing to see if another plan becomes preeminent, and your posts on how to work whatever new systems as you suggest.

    Anyway, it’s your blog. Hopefully, you’re doing what you like and don’t give a f#$k about what the masses want or the ‘value’ of your blog, but keep doing what you like, and appealing to your niche. Walmart may appeal to the masses, but they’re junk. Few shop at Tiffany’s (the store 😉 ), but their experience is exceptional. Please keep on doing what you do.

    Thanks so much! You have opened my world to points and luxury travel for less!

  109. @wylie:

    You keep asserting that those clamoring for PE reviews do not reflect the core readers, yet there are over 120 comments on this specific post and all but 6-10 (this can be subjective) are asking for more PE reviews. I’d say that 95-92% is probably a good representation of core readers. I’m generally indifferent, but I would agree that it would be nice to see some variation.

    And if you’ve been reading the blog at all, you’d know that Royal Air Maroc and Air Serbia are, indeed, real airlines. Ben has flown them. Ben has reviewed them. So, really, have you read the blog at all?

    Finally, it’s Tiffany. Not Tiffany’s. The famous Audrey Hepburn vehicle used the name improperly.

  110. @Andy 11235:

    No, AA don’t put you in the back on connection flight if you booked on PE. I booked a PE flight a month ago on AA and my connection flights will be on MCE.

  111. @AdamR
    Thanks for all your pithy comments.

    I did not feel the need to go back to verify the exact names of the obscure airlines that have been referenced in the comments, and no I did not read those reviews because they are not meaningful to me (as others have commented and I was agreeing). Geez, you like to fight with someone even agreeing.

    Do you read all the posts about CC bonus point accumulation strategies and how to redeem awards so you don’t have to actually buy tickets in business and first? They are very helpful.

    And also so helpful of you to advise me that I mis-used the name of the famous jewelry store. I cannot believe how much time and energy you have to pick comments apart, especially ones that are not addressed to you, but specifically to the writers of the blog.

    Lastly, I am not even going to argue with you that it is my belief that those commenting here are not OMAAT’s core readers, and that OMAAT’s core readers mostly don’t care about this issue and are therefore not following this thread, because you seem unwilling to accept that my opinion is different than yours.

  112. Interesting discussion. Nothing wrong obviously for the blog to be aspirational. We all like to travel in F and sleep in 5*.
    Reality will be different for most of us. With the exception of a few CC freaks lucky to be based in the US, most will earn miles by flying and fly with a combination of cash and miles. I would guess this even applies to most of the US audience.
    Few of us will be lucky enough to have the boss paying for flights, many are not.
    Therefore it comes down to making choices. For that, some info in PE (real PE, not US economy+) is helpful.
    No need at all to change the aspirational focus of the blog.
    But just add in a few PE reviews and keep doing the BC/FC reviews. Thats all that is being suggested here.

  113. Nobody commenting here WANTS to fly PE either. It may be more affordable but it’s not aspirational. Don’t waste time with PE.

  114. Who cares – 90% of the routes these days are obscure anyways. Just keep the comments coming! They are by far the most entertaining segment of this blog.

  115. I’ve done my share of economy travel, however 2018 marks the ten year anniversary of my last long haul trip in the back. I’m too old and too snobby to spend 12+ hours in a cramped seat surrounded by god knows what. I’ve been lucky to travel the world, but unlike Lucky I tend to spend more than one night and avoid chain hotels. I would not seek out a job which entails extensive long haul economy travel. I don’t take the night bus to Bergen, and I would not take it to Tokyo.

    Back to the post: neither economy nor premium economy are interesting to read about. They’re all very similar.

  116. @Wylie – I love the whole “pithy comments” thing. It just channels the whole medieval castle thing.
    I must admit that I disagree with you in trying to speak for the vast majority of the readership. We can speak for ourselves, and have done so in an overwhelming fashion. We want more options. I understand that you feel differently, but please avoid disparaging or trying to group people just because they happen to disagree with you.

  117. It’s interesting to read all the comments, I don’t think there has ever been a post with so many bitter people replying to a thoughtful post. Clearly they’ve mostly missed the key points of your reasoning:

    PE is not as interesting (duh) and the variations are not as wide – for what you’re spending, it’s more important to know the differences between carriers for Business/First

    Bad value for miles redemption

    PE is not aspirational, if it is aspirational to you then I feel sorry for you.

    and of course the most important point:
    It’s your blog and you can write whatever you want – if you want PE reviews go somewhere else, it’s not like there is a shortage of travel blogs who can assist you in your quest for the best PE seat. No one is forcing you to read this.

    Oh and stop this ‘own up’ nonsense – who in their right mind would fly PE when they are able (emphasis on able) to fly Business or First?

  118. I honestly don’t get these comments. It’s like going to an Italian restaurant and being angry that they’re not serving your favourite Chinese dish. You’re at the wrong restaurant. If you’re looking for PE reviews, they’re out there. You came to a luxury travel blog, that’s what you’re primarily gonna find, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Keep up the good work OMAAT team!

  119. I know I’m repeating what others have said, but it cannot be said enough: this blog is becoming rather aloof. The writers feel as if they are “above” everyone else and certainly above premium economy. This blog used to pride itself on transparency, and now, aside from Ben continuously mentioning the fact that he is a dual-citizen or James talking about his carry-on only lifestyle, there isn’t much transparency to be had!

    I rarely fly economy and personally, I see no value in premium economy, though nonetheless it is INTERESTING to read. This is a blog about some REALLY nerdy stuff, and I feel as if it’s only befitting that every kind of unique, mundane, luxurious, and/or spartan gets the level of attention that only these self-proclaimed avgeeks can provide. Back before the fame and numerous contributors, this blog really was all about the details and unique quirks of all sorts of products, burning content in an adorably nerdy way by Ben, and Ben only (also Tiffany; you’re the GOAT).

    Sorry for the rant but the direction this blog is taking is slowly turning toxic, only giving the Trolls of the internet more to feast upon.

    Lastly, some constructive criticism to James: keep in mind that one does not write in the same way one speaks. In other words, you write your blog posts in the same way you would have a conversation, which, while “friendly” and casual, makes for a clunky and confusing experience when read.

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