This was the first time we were taking the kids to Europe and the thought of us all sitting in economy for 24 hours was too much to bear so we decided to pay the extra and fly Singapore Airlines premium economy.
Was it worth it?
In a word-yes. I previously was not very enamoured with premium economy. I had gone on British Airways premium economy and found it very underwhelming…much more economy than premium!
I am happy to report that Singapore Airlines was a huge step up. It all starts when you arrive at check in and see a huge line of economy class passengers snaked through the Terminal waiting for check in. Oh the joy to see a separate check in counter for premium economy. I know from much experience that waiting with 2 restless children in the economy class check in line is not an auspicious start to a holiday! At Brisbane Airport we were also given priority lane access through security-this was the only Airport we received this.
Checked baggage allowance is increased in premium economy to 35kgs per person which always helps when you’re taking all the essential child paraphernalia with you.
Singapore Airlines also board premium economy class passengers in a separate line before economy passengers so again you’re not standing around waiting to board the plane.
The seat configuration is 2-4-2 and even if like us you’re travelling as a family of 4 I think 2 seats of 2 are better than the centre row of 4. The best seats are the front row as you have a huge amount of leg room and can really stretch out.
This was the first time that our kids (aged 7 and 12 years old) were old enough to sit together by themselves with us in the row of 2 behind them to keep an eye on them.
The premium economy class seats recline slightly further and are slightly larger than economy class with a calf and foot rest built into the seat. Look they’re still not amazingly comfortable for an adult on an overnight flight but the all important foot and calf rest really does make a difference and my kids were able to really stretch out and get a good nights sleep on the overnight flights.
The seats also have 2 USB ports and an adjustable reading lamp. This meant my kids devices could stay charged all the way from Brisbane to Rome and this meant much less fighting between the 2 of them.
Little things like being given the noise cancelling headphones that are used in business class meant my kids could happily watch and listen to Singapore’s excellent Krisflyer inflight entertainment. The plastic headphones in economy never seem to stay in little people’s ears and have caused many a tantrum.
The food is also a step up with Singapore’s famous “book the cook” available on some flights. You can book a range of dishes online up to 24 hours before your flight.
The only real negative for me is that premium economy doesn’t have its own toilet or even a toilet between premium and economy. On the new A350 you had to walk deep into economy class and queue with all the economy class passengers to go to the toilet-a pain!
My kids are pretty hard critics when it comes to travel and they were suitably impressed with Singapore’s premium economy although they did look longingly at the business class seats as we traipsed through the business class seats on our way to premium economy….next time!