Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I have purchased the airline ticket. Thai Air. One way to Bangkok. Leaving in early July. Fully changeable and refundable (because I am a worry wart).

I purchased a seat in Premium Economy, a relatively new class of seating which I hope becomes a standard option throughout the industry. Premium Economy is a special section, usually at the front of the Economy cabin, that provides more legroom. That's it. The services are usually exactly the same as in Economy. But Premium Economy on Thai Air offers six extra inches of legroom which, on a fifteen-hour flight for a six foot one guy, can make several hundred dollars worth of difference.

The Thai Air pricing has a strange quirk. The one-way, restricted Economy ticket is $811.50. The one-way, unrestricted, Premium Economy ticket is $1,170.50. But a one-way, unrestricted Economy ticket is $2,019.50. Clearly, Thai Air is charging an exhorbitant amount for unrestricted Economy tickets in order to identify those customers who are willing to pay more for extra room and nudge them to buy a Premium Economy ticket. But why at a price that's almost twice what is necessary to get the job done and which all but guarantees that no one will be purchasing unrestricted Economy tickets?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the 42" seat pitch (which is about four inches more spacious than US domestic First Class), the Thai Air Premium Economy offers a slightly wider seat too, as there are only seven seats per row (configured 2-3-2).
In economy, the seating is 8-across (2-4-2) with a 36" pitch. Economy is still more spacious than most competitors, which offer 31"-34" pitches. (These specs only apply to the Thai Air A340-500 aircraft used on the long-range NYC<>BKK and LAX<>BKK routes.)

2:14 PM  

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