Air France recently announced that they are adding Premium Voyageur seats to its A380 super-jumbo fleet. This is great news for flyers who want to spend more for a nicer, roomier seat, but don’t have the kind of money to afford business class. Air France’s premium economy seat is actually a more comfortable and generous seat unlike KLM and Delta whose Economy Comfort seats are regular seats with a few more inches of leg room. Premium Economy fares also earn a 50% elite (MQM) bonus and 50% Skymiles bonus and considering they are sometimes only a hundred or so dollars more than regular economy, buying up to Premium Economy if you are flying Air France can be a smart move.
This is great news for Delta frequent flyers, because as I’ve written about before, you can use your System Wide Upgrades or Skymiles to upgrade a purchased Premium Voyageur seat to business class. This is a huge benefit, because Premium Voyageur seats have been priced on the cheap side – I’ve seen east coast to Paris fares for around $1,300 offpeak to $2,000 peak. This is much cheaper than upgradeable Delta fares which usually start at about $2,500 – and if the upgrade doesn’t clear, you just spent a whole lot of money for a regular coach seat. At least you have a nicer seat and service to fall back on when purchasing an Air France Premium Voyageur ticket and waitlisting for an upgrade.
The A380 is scheduled on the Washington DC (IAD) and Montreal routes this summer and I’ve noticed a lot of award availability from those cities – even on peak summer dates.