While nothing matters more to most airline passengers than cabin space, Singapore Airlines launched its premium-economy seats in Sydney today with an emphasis on the package as much as the seat pitch.
"It's not just the bigger seat, though, that's important," Greg McJarrow, the airline's NSW-ACT manager, said at the launch this morning. "It's the value of the total package - the service and the priority it gives passengers."
Premium-economy passengers have priority check-in and baggage handling, a hefty baggage allowance of 35 kilograms, a choice of three main courses and the ability to pre-book meals online, and wines and Champagne (Ernest Rapeneau Brut) served throughout the flight.
The airline has invested around $US80 million in the new cabins to be rolled out during the next five months in its Airbus A380s (36 seats) and Boeing 777-300ERs (28 seats) in a 2-4-2 layout. Each leather seat is 19.5 inches wide (18.5 inches in the 777s, compared with 18 inches in Singapore Airlines' economy seats), with an 8-inch recline and a 38-inch seat pitch; the airline's economy seats have a 6-inch recline and 32-inch pitch. The new seats have a calf and a foot rest, and two USB ports. Touch-screen high-definition monitors are 13.3 inches wide, which the airline claims is the largest in its class, with noise-cancelling headphones.
You'll pick the new premium-economy cabin easily when boarding - the palette is charcoal grey with orange trim and cushions, in contrast with the muted cream, chocolate and celadon-blue palette elsewhere.
Return premium-economy fares from Sydney to Singapore cost from $2240; return economy lead-in fares cost from $870.