premium-economyIt’s no secret that flying Business or First class is more comfortable than flying Economy. But if you can’t afford a Business class ticket – and don’t have enough points to redeem one – what other options are available to fly to the USA in comfort?

Does anyone have any ideas on how to fly from Australia to the USA in some degree of comfort – if you have leg/back issues – and you can’t afford F or J Class flying?

Enduring Economy on a long-haul flight can be a challenge at the best of times. But not all seats were created equally, and some offer much better legroom than others. Paying for exit row seats is an obvious solution. But they aren’t the only seats with extra legroom. For example, American Airlines offers “Main Cabin Extra” seats with more space to stretch your legs out. These seats can be selected for a fee, or for free by passengers with oneworld status.

United similarly sells Economy Plus seating. And even Virgin Australia now sells Economy X seats with extra legroom and various other benefits, including priority check-in and noise-cancelling headphones.

How about the new Virgin economy space seats? I know someone who flew a refurbished VA plane and said there was clearly more leg room.

For added comfort without a Business class price-tag, Premium Economy can be a worthwhile investment. Qantas offers an excellent Premium Economy product on its A380 and Boeing 747 flights to the United States. Virgin Australia also sells Premium Economy, as does Air New Zealand – although the latter option requires a stopover in Auckland.

Qantas Premium Economy is pretty reasonable. I’d check that out. Same seats as the 737 business class (non lie flat)

If you’d really like to fly Business class but can’t afford a ticket on one of the major airlines, there are some more affordable options available. For example, Jetstar sells reasonably-priced Business tickets to Hawaii. From Hawaii, the rest of the trip can be completed in First class on a US airline relatively cheaply.

Another option is Fiji Airways Business class. This airline sells Business class tickets from Nadi to Los Angeles for just a fraction of the price you would pay on an airline like Qantas or Virgin Australia. You would need to get to Nadi first, but the savings can make the extra hassle well worthwhile!

One option could be to look at Fiji Airways in business class. Sometimes they have cheap fares from Australia. Sometimes they might not – but may have cheap fares from Fiji – then you can buy a cheap Economy fare for the relatively short hop from (I presume) BNE to Fiji.

Add your suggestions to the mix HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]