Premium Economy update

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Yada Yada

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G'day folks,

I've just taken a few more PE flights on VB and thought I'd share some notes with you all. My comments are based on the following flights:
FRI 09 MAY MEL-SYD
MON 12 MAY SYD-PER
TUE 13 MAY PER-SYD

The first thing I noticed is that VB is leaving the red seats setup in PE config. I assumed that they would normally leave them in standard economy config, but not so.

The second thing is that it is still not possible to select your own seat during web-checkin. I asked about this a few weeks back and the answer is that their software is not yet capable of this. So whatever web-checkin serves up is what you'll get on your BP. I guess you could change this at the counter when you arrive.

The third thing is that not many pax are using PE yet. On my MEL-SYD flight last Friday, I was sitting in 1F and there was no-one else in PE. Felt kinda weird being up there on my own. On my SYD-PER flight on Monday it was exactly the same. On my PER-SYD flight last night there was one other pax sitting in 2F behind me. I asked the crew on one of the flights if PE is being used by many pax and they said "not yet".

The fourth thing to note is that I detect a slightly better level of service up the front. The crew seem to engage a little more than they normally do and offer to help more. They took my bags and stowed them on every flight and brought them back to me after landing, came back often to see if I wanted anything during the flights, etc. On one flight I was offered a free bottle of water upon boarding.

I am very happy with the PE product. The pricing is good, the service is great, the o/h lockers up front are kept clear for PE pax, the seats are comfy, and at present you can really spread out!

The ramification of them keeping the PE section setup in 2+2 config is that there will be fewer empty seats down the back, so I guess if you purchase a regular fare or even a Blue Zone seat there is now less chance you will have an empty middle seat.

On all my flights, a number of pax crept forward and sat themselves in the PE section. However the crew were vigilant and politely explained that they could not sit there if they hadn't paid for it and must return to their assigned seats. Without a visible divider such as a curtain, I guess this will become a regular part of the crew's job now. :D
 

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The third thing is that not many pax are using PE yet. On my MEL-SYD flight last Friday, I was sitting in 1F and there was no-one else in PE. Felt kinda weird being up there on my own. On my SYD-PER flight on Monday it was exactly the same. On my PER-SYD flight last night there was one other pax sitting in 2F behind me. I asked the crew on one of the flights if PE is being used by many pax and they said "not yet".
I am surprised its not popular ("yet") on the PER runs. That is where I would have expected to see a string take-up of a PE product.

I hope it does pick up in popularity so DJ are encouraged to retain the offering.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
 

dajop

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Great update.

I also noticed on my return flight to SYD a few weeks ago, there was only one person sitting in PE on the way up. On the return (peak hour flight) it was in economy configuration, and completely full (in fact it wasn't being sold on most flight that afternoon).

I too am surprised that it isn't being filled more on the runs across to the west. I wonder if provision of IFE & in-flight catering free of charge would improve the products appeal?
 
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oz_mark

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I am surprised its not popular ("yet") on the PER runs. That is where I would have expected to see a string take-up of a PE product.

I hope it does pick up in popularity so DJ are encouraged to retain the offering.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

The lack of a lounge in PER may be having some effect on its take up on the trans-con (the competition using widebodies, providing a pseudo-international service etc, may also affect the willingness of people in that pricepoint of taking up the offer)

It will probably come down to getting some corprorates on board to start filling up those seats.
 

Travel Guru

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Would you still use it if you were paying for it YADA?

TG
 

JohnK

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The third thing is that not many pax are using PE yet. On my MEL-SYD flight last Friday, I was sitting in 1F and there was no-one else in PE. Felt kinda weird being up there on my own. On my SYD-PER flight on Monday it was exactly the same. On my PER-SYD flight last night there was one other pax sitting in 2F behind me. I asked the crew on one of the flights if PE is being used by many pax and they said "not yet".
Thanks for the update.

Could the reason be that most people feel PE is overpriced? I really do hope that the introduction of PE is successful but it will not be easy considering that most routes, apart from the ones to the west, are 1-2 hours in duration and PE is priced at 3-4 times a normal airfare. I would find it very hard to justify paying the asking price for PE even if they included IFE and beverages.

Time will tell....
 

Yada Yada

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I hope it does pick up in popularity so DJ are encouraged to retain the offering.
Yes, I hope so too. I guess having convertible seats means that they haven't lost capacity so it shouldn't affect them too badly if it isn't popular.

I too am surprised that it isn't being filled more on the runs across to the west. I wonder if provision of IFE & in-flight catering free of charge would improve the products appeal?
Not sure. Providing free food/beverage might be nice although the cost is minimal so maybe it's not a clincher. Same with IFE - on the way over I worked so didn't use it and on the way back (evening) I did so appreciate only paying for what I use. (I still love the ability to scroll through 24 channels!)

The lack of a lounge in PER may be having some effect on its take up on the trans-con (the competition using widebodies, providing a pseudo-international service etc, may also affect the willingness of people in that pricepoint of taking up the offer)

It will probably come down to getting some corprorates on board to start filling up those seats.
I think you are right. It's mostly corporates filling J on QF so I expect the same would apply to VB's PE. The lack of a lounge doesn't bother me that much - Dome is sufficient if I need to eat/drink but perhaps not for the big corporates. I'd expect that VB will open a lounge in PER when the new terminal is built.

Would you still use it if you were paying for it YADA?
Most likely. My preference is to not fly at all when not working but if I have to, for flights longer than about 2 hours I would buy a PE seat.

Could the reason be that most people feel PE is overpriced? I really do hope that the introduction of PE is successful but it will not be easy considering that most routes, apart from the ones to the west, are 1-2 hours in duration and PE is priced at 3-4 times a normal airfare. I would find it very hard to justify paying the asking price for PE even if they included IFE and beverages.

You make a good point John. I feel the SYD-PER fare at $929 is very good value. I compared with QF before booking - they had full Y for $937 and J for $1,611. I spent about $15 on food/beverage so VB's PE is close to line-ball with QF's full Y, and it is so much better in terms of space - I can work and eat in comfort whereas in Y I would simply eat and watch TV - not enough room to work. As I've mentioned previously, I'd rather pay for a good quality hot meal than be served up inedible muck as part of the fare.

But... for short flights and particularly personal travel, perhaps it is not deemed as good value to the average Joe and price alone is the prime motivator.

One other thing I noticed while sitting in the SYD Lounge a few days ago, the monitors were showing a UA flight logo and number for a SYD-BNE. I didn't realise that code-shares like this were in place. Maybe PE will get some customers from international feeds?
 

aus_flyer

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I hope we see the ability to upgrade to PE using Velocity points introduced at some point... though I realise this may be difficult given that velocity points essentially have a "cash" value.
 

ANstar

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I flew PE on a MEL-SYD flight when they had a promotion to get bonus points (somethign like 5000)

I liked the seat - but after paying the big $$$ I am annoyed that I needed to pay another $12 for a sandwich and a wine -= they should just bundle it in. The price point is still a little to close to QF J on some routes (ie syd-mel) and in future, Id probably pay the extra $50 and fly qantas J and get a better seat and a full meal/drink service.

In future if I do fly DJ, I'll just stick to the small incremntal cost for Blue Zone (Exit Rows)
 

wallacej

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I hope we see the ability to upgrade to PE using Velocity points introduced at some point... though I realise this may be difficult given that velocity points essentially have a "cash" value.

I agree... using points is probably the only way I would "buy" (company won't pay for it.. BFOD policy) a PE seat.

Like others on a 1-2 hour flight, doesnt bother me, but def. to Perth I would use it.


 

pauly7

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G'day folks,
On all my flights, a number of pax crept forward and sat themselves in the PE section. However the crew were vigilant and politely explained that they could not sit there if they hadn't paid for it and must return to their assigned seats. Without a visible divider such as a curtain, I guess this will become a regular part of the crew's job now. :D

Cheeky! Maybe a simple sign on the roof 'PE customers only past this point' that could be covered when the seats aren't being used might help...

Thx for the update, have yet to try PE - as per other comments I think they have got their pricing wrong, too exxy for what it is IMHO.
 

oz_mark

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I've seen passengers creep forward on some QF domestic 737 sectors as well. Seems to get taken care of quick enough by the FA's. Although sometimes I had the feeling they would turn a blind eye to one PAX doing it, but when a second does it they both get sent back!
 

ishkaban

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Its quite funny to see the seatbelt sign go off and then the mad rush to the pe rows, and then the dissapointed pax being told to go back to the original seats!!

Some aircraft have had the seating number placard above the PE rows changed to a red colour which says PE seating.

Also some supervisors are putting into the pa, something along the lines of

" The first 3 rows of the aircraft are our premium economy seats, and only persons holding a boarding pass for these seats may occupy this area "
 

ejb

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.....Also some supervisors are putting into the pa, something along the lines of

" The first 3 rows of the aircraft are our premium economy seats, and only persons holding a boarding pass for these seats may occupy this area "

Similar to Hawaiian Airlines announcing after takeoff "Please respect the privacy of our business class pax by not entering their cabin":)
 

wallacej

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I always travel Y domestic, and all I can say is fair enough... and I bet those people running to the front of the plane all know better!
 

thegurio

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Like any question really - there is always going to be a 50% chance that you'll get an answer you don't want...
 

DJ737

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Hi there

Will V Australia's Bus & PE pax get the DJ PE seats on connecting flights?

Cheers
DJ737
 

Mal

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How many people are actually using PE?

Three DJ flights this weekend, no PE paid up pax that I could see. On one flight, the only reason the red seats were being used was due to another flight being canceled and the pax being put onto my plane.

Must sample some more DJ flights to make up my mind, but not looking good for PE at the moment.
 

thegurio

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How many people are actually using PE?

Three DJ flights this weekend, no PE paid up pax that I could see. On one flight, the only reason the red seats were being used was due to another flight being canceled and the pax being put onto my plane.

Must sample some more DJ flights to make up my mind, but not looking good for PE at the moment.

With me i reckon its probably running at about 10% capacity at the moment... they need to either drop it by about $100 or make it point upgradeable. At the end of the day the people who fly DJ, like myself, are at the price sensitive end of the market and want a decent service but not too much outlay, are not likely to sample it. For me personally, while it's comparable with QF business class, there is a reason that i don't fly them and that is because when it is coming out of my own pocket i don't think it's value for money.

Don't get me wrong i do love DJ and am quite loyal!
 

JohnK

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How many people are actually using PE?

Three DJ flights this weekend, no PE paid up pax that I could see. On one flight, the only reason the red seats were being used was due to another flight being canceled and the pax being put onto my plane.
Three DJ flights this weekend for me also and was surprised to finally see 1 person in PE on the MEL-SYD sector.
 
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