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The top-15 long-haul premium economy cabins

Virgin AtlanticA number of airlines have downgraded their economy class to economy minus by cramming ever more seats in their planes.

They made this possible by installing smaller seats (big passengers do not fit), reducing the pitch or distance between rows (knees are jammed) and reducing the number of toilets (travelers line up).

Once passengers knew how uncomfortable the new cattle class is carriers introduced a premium economy class, or an economy plus or whatever fancy name they invented.

Many airlines did so by providing a little bit of extra legroom and seat width, while they may also offer coffee, tea or a soft drink and sometimes even a snack. In sum, their premium economy is the regular economy class of 10 years ago.

However, there are also airlines where premium economy is truly better than the old economy class. This may include a separate cabin, or better seats, or some perks, or reasonable meals, or entertainment, etc.

Skift has ranked the best long-haul premium economy cabins by considering:

* Priority/Perks: a combined score based on factors such as priority boarding, separate check-in, extra baggage allowance and lounge access (even though paid).

* Sleep Factor: a combination of various space, seat structure, and other product/service elements which would make comfortable sleep in-flight more likely.

* Amenities: amenity kits, pillows, blankets, and headphones.

The top-15 long-haul premium economy cabins includes 7 airlines from Europe, 4 from Asia, 3 from Oceania, and 1 from North America. No US airline made the grade.

Virgin Atlantic comes on top of the list with a score of 79 (out of 100), followed by Japan Airlines (77) and SAS (76). Click here for the full top-15 including a breakdown of all scores.

Related article: "Best airlines for economy long-haul"

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