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Premium Economy vs Business Class: Is It Worth the Upgrade?

If you’re tired of flying Basic Economy, you’ll be pleased to learn that Premium Economy and Business Class fares are more affordable than ever in 2019.


Once you fly above Economy Class, it’s hard to go back. Airlines are making it easier, and more affordable, to treat yourself to seats that are bigger and more comfortable with services like better food, and several little luxurious that make the added costs worth every penny. If you’ve got the budget to splash out on Premium Economy or Business Class but don’t understand the difference, we hope this post clarifies a few things for you.

Premium Economy vs Business Class

Premium Economy vs Business Class
Premium Economy comfort | Skyscanner Canada

What is Premium Economy?

Premium Economy is a dedicated section of the seating plan that is between Economy and Business Class. It’s not the cream on top but it’s not scraping the bottom. It’s wider, more comfortable seats; free in-flight entertainment, meals, and drinks; much better food, priority check-in, security, and boarding; checked baggage allowances, more attentive, personal service; hot towels, blankets, pillows, and sometimes an amenity bag with personal hygiene essentials.

What is Business Class?

Business Class is the next step above Premium Economy. Similar services but taken next level plus: flatbed seating, fully dedicated cabin, access to airport lounges, dedicated check-in and faster security lines. The food is gourmet and served on fine dining ware, the wine is superior, and the service is excellent!

What’s the difference between Premium Economy and Business?

To be fair, these classes are pretty similar. Firstly, they both offer priority check-in, security lines, and boarding. They also include checked baggage, dedicated cabins, in-flight entertainment, better food than Economy, and dedicated flight attendants in each cabin.

However, in Business Class you’ll get even more legroom than in Premium Economy. Even better gourmet meals and finer wines. And probably the perk that every long-haul traveller covets: flatbed seating! To think you can enjoy a full night’s sleep In. A. Bed on that 15-hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles is high-class travelling. Some airlines even have stand-up bars in Business Class where you can relax with your favourite drink and mingle with other passengers. And maybe spot a VIP?

Does WestJet have Business Class?

Finally, WestJet joins the luxury cabin class with their new in 2019 Business Class cabin. The low-cost carrier’s new baby, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is now flying selected routes from Calgary. Flights to London, Paris, and Dublin will begin in mid-2019.

Westjet’s Business Class seats aren’t just wider with more legroom, they are private pods. They lie flat, always have aisle access, and have extra space for working and baggage storage. You’re offered champagne on arrival and some excellent food options that will please even the top food snobs.

Business Class gourmet meals
Dine in luxurious style in Business Class | Skyscanner Canada

How does Air Canada’s Business Class compare to their Premium Economy?

Air Canada’s Business Class and Premium Economy both offer perks to its customers like exclusive cabins, superior menus, bigger seats than Economy, hot towels, blankets, pillows, personal amenities, attentive customer service, priority access, checked baggage – all the lux things. Voted best Business Class in North America by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards, Air Canada’s Business Class is luxury travel at it’s best: things like access to the Maple Leaf lounges, higher quality wines, even bigger seats, VIP attentiveness, and of course, those luscious lie-flat seats for sleeping. Some of these luxurious add-ons are available on certain routes only so always investigate which aircraft is scheduled to fly before booking.

What’s the price difference between Premium Economy and Business?

According to Seat Guru, the fare difference between Premium Economy and Business Class is about 65%. That may seem like a lot, but like all fares, there are seat sales to be had throughout the year. It is also possible to score cheap Business Class seats on occasion. Use Skyscanner’s search engines to discover the best fares available. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll get an upgrade.

Which airlines have the best Business Class?

Each year, Skytrax, a consumer aviation agency, awards outstanding airlines with a spot on their list of the World’s Best Airlines. It’s kind of like the Oscars, but for flights instead of Hollywood movies.

In 2019, Canada’s own Air Canada received the award for World’s Best Business Class. Considering they offer a range of priority services such as a wine list and over 1000 hours of entertainment on a personal screen, it’s no wonder. Here’s what the rest of the 2019 top 10 Best Business Class looks like:

Ready to Book Your Next Flight in Style?

We know that reading about next level cabin classes gets your travel dreams all shiny and new. To enhance your travel planning, Skyscanner’s search engines, and the Skyscanner App makes organizing your next vacation super easy.