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Getting Value for Money: Is an Airline Upgrade is Worth It?

When you’re travelling on business, upgrading your flight to premium economy can certainly help to make your trips more comfortable. But is it really worth it? Even if your budget can cover the upgrade, can you justify it?

Here’s a look at the factors involved in premium economy seats to help you decide whether an upgrade is right for you.

Size and Comfort of Seats

One of the main reasons why people choose to get an upgrade is to enjoy a larger seat with more legroom. However, the size of the seat and the amount of extra space you are given on a premium economy fare varies by airline.

Some provide up to seven inches of extra legroom as well as more recline and more space, or even leg rests. Some do not provide nearly as much extra space.

If you are going on a long flight, perhaps to South Africa on business, you’ll want to be able to relax properly, and a larger seat can help you to sleep better on the flight.

Obviously, it’s always a good idea to stay in a comfortable hotel like the Protea Hotels Fire & Ice by Marriott where you can relax when you arrive, but if you can enjoy a relaxing flight then that will help even more. So check what is offered by your airline and use this to decide whether it’s worth it.

Food and Drink

Also look at what you will be getting in the food and drink department. Do you get a different meal on longer flights? Extra free snacks? Free alcoholic drinks?

Again, it varies by airline. Some provide you with a meal similar to the business class offering or even let you choose your meal before you board. Once you have found out what your airline offers, you can use this to help you decide whether it’s worth it.


You should also look at the other perks offered in premium economy. For example, some airlines will provide WiFi, priority check-in, a larger baggage allowance, or even a larger blanket. There are lots of different perks that could make it more worth your while upgrading.


Ultimately, the price of the upgrade will be the deciding factor in whether the upgrade is worth it. If you’re looking for a cheaper flight and premium economy costs nearly double the price for a slightly wider seat, you might be less inclined to upgrade.

If, however, the increase in price is reasonable and you are sure that it will provide you with a more relaxing flight, you might want to go for it.

Timing of Your Purchase

If you want to get an upgrade for less, you should think carefully about when you buy your ticket. It is often more expensive when you upgrade in advance. While the closer you get to your departure date, the less expensive it becomes, often to ensure they fill up all their seats.

This is great news if you want to make a last-minute upgrade. So check just before you leave to catch your flight and you might be able to snag a bargain upgrade.

Worth the Upgrade? It’s Up to You

These are some of the main factors involved when you are deciding whether or not to upgrade to premium economy on your next flight. Just remember that all the airlines are different, so find out exactly what you will get for your money, then make a personal decision as to whether you can justify the extra expense.

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