The very mention of Premium Economy compels travelers into a passionate discussion of worthiness and relative value. We have seen several airlines adopt this mid tier seating in their inventory to capture passengers who are willing to pay a little more than economy but not quite business fares. While biting into a Premium Economy  fare vs an Economy fare can be quite the head-scratcher,  what when premium economy (PE) is cheaper than economy (Econ)? It’s a no-brainer. If you are wondering what a PE cabin looks like, here is a look into Air Canada’s  PE features.

Premium Economy cheaper than Economy

Recently, browsing fares from YYZ/YUL/YOW to DXB I stumbled upon several dates/months within the Air Canada (AC) system where PE fares were cheaper than Econ. Airline pricing models are second only to quantum physics, neither of which make sense to me 😉 . So without hesitation, I scooped up the PE fare and booked my flights.

PE cheaper than Econ across all flight options

PE cheaper than Econ across most flight options

 

PE cheaper than Econ across most flight options

Return Leg: PE cheaper than Econ across most flight options

 

Based on the available selections, cheapest Econ fare was pricing at $1609 CAD ($856 + $753) whereas PE was pricing at $1468 CAD ($718 + $750). Score.

 

PE @ $1468 CAD

PE @ $1468 CAD

 

While confirming the price, I noticed that DXB – FRA leg did not have PE available so was booking into B class fare. I am hoping a change of inventory by LH (AC codeshare) or an availability change would put me in a real PE seat on that one as well.

B class fare on AC is designated as a Latitude/Full economy fare.

B class fare on AC is designated as a Latitude/Full economy fare.

 

Aeroplan earning chart , booking classes highlighted

Aeroplan earning chart , booking classes highlighted

 

At the time of writing this, I saw several dates in late December/early January for this sector with PE pricing lower than Econ. Within hours of booking this ticket, AC website was updated with a new look and is now running a beta version.

Take Away

Having flown PE cabins on AC long-hauls before, I can attest that the seat comfort and service levels are significantly better than Econ. Not just that, you earn 125% of the miles flown, priority boarding, check-in and baggage handling. You also have priority over other Econ passengers towards an upgrade. With PE presence, upgrades from Econ to Business are difficult (impossible?) to come by since Econ to PE is considered an upgrade. For this trip, I am set to earn upwards of 18,000 Aeroplan miles. Always keep an eye on PE and Business fares even when browsing for Econ fares, you will be surprised how often the upgrade is available for a nominal fee or even lower than Econ 🙂

Have you seen PE prices lower than Econ before? Share your experience with a comment below.