One member is considering using Qantas Premium Economy as a means of flying in added comfort on an upcoming trip to the United States. They seek advice on whether it’s worth the extra over Economy, using either money or points to book.

what are the latest opinions about qantas premium economy? worth it or not? and is it worth using qff for premium economy seats long haul (to LAX)?

Qantas operates a Premium Economy cabin on its long-haul A380 and Boeing 747 aircraft. While Premium Economy doesn’t come with the lie-flat beds found in front of the Business class curtain, our members have found the cabin to offer a significant step-up from Economy. Premium economy seats are larger, with more legroom and greater recline. The soft product is also superior with nicer food, a wider choice of quality alcoholic beverages and more personalised service.

My last 747 Y+ trip was to Japan, and was very good. The service was consistent, food decent and wine as always with Qantas was very good. I would not say the legroom was quite as good as Air NZ’s Y+ as the Qantas recline is quite high so I did feel a bit stuck in the window seat. However for the mid-length flight to Tokyo and back it was totally fine and I got a decent sleep. The Y+ cabin on the 747 is quite small but certainly you’re in a much better place then Y!

Premium Economy usually costs around double the price of Economy, but from time to time seats can be found on sale for a very reasonable price. If you’re able to plan your travel far enough in advance, our members recommend waiting for a sale.

Points can also be used to book a seat in the Premium Economy cabin. Although its often better overall value to book Business class on points, Premium Economy is a good option if there are no Business class seats available, or if you don’t quite have enough points. Business class award seats on long-haul flights are very limited, so it’s often the most realistic option for those wishing to use their points to avoid the Economy cabin.

You can also request a points upgrade to Premium Economy from a regular Economy ticket. But buying a Premium Economy ticket outright is a strategy favoured by members looking to use their points to upgrade to Business class. Point upgrades are never guaranteed. So by booking a seat in the Premium Economy cabin, this provides a reasonable “backup” should the upgrade be unsuccessful. Even if the upgrade is successful, there are still a couple of advantages. Firstly, upgrades from Premium Economy to Business class cost fewer points than upgrading from an Economy Saver fare. Secondly, having purchased a Premium Economy ticket, you’ll earn more points and status credits than you would on an Economy fare.

I’ve always booked Y+ to LAX but so far have always used points to upgrade to J. I’m sure my luck is going to run out somewhere along the line though! I’ve always figured the smaller cabin and 2-3-2 is far, far better than being stuck in Y, so even though I’ve never actually flown in Y+ I still see it as worth it.

Join the DISCUSSION.

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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]