This morning, I attended the preview of Singapore Airlines’ new Premium Economy Class at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Like many frequent travellers, I was keen to find out how Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy will bridge the gap between its Economy and Business Class services.
The 35kg baggage allowance and priority check-in and baggage handling is a good place to start. But if there’s one design feature with the power to make or break a traveller’s inflight experience, it’s the seat (above).
Premium Economy’s 18.5- and 19.5-inch-wide leather seats (above) remind me of those found in sports cars, with one notable exception: they don’t contour to your body, allowing you the space to reposition during long flights.
All of the basic comforts you’d expect are here, from the adjustable headrest to the calf-rest and foot-bar. But what of that nemesis of the tall person: legroom? I’m 5’8”, and with my chair upright, I can stow a bag underneath the seat in front and my feet don’t reach it. Fully extending my arms in front of me, with outstretched fingers, I can just touch the monitor. In short, there’s a noticeable increase in space from an Economy seat.
While the seat doesn’t recline completely, it does go back 8 inches, which is enough to provide a more comfortable sleep than the one you’d get in Economy.
There are some nifty additions to the chairs, too. There are mobile phone holders in the seatback, with left and right markers to indicate which chair they correspond to, and each seat has two USB ports. Water-bottle holders (above) are built into the front of the central armrest, and there are non-slip cup holders on top of it. Individual reading lights wrap around the passenger from the back of the seat.